CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms slightly after positive Canadian data
* Canadian dollar at C$1.0875 or 91.95 U.S. cents * Bond prices higher across the maturity curve By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, May 15 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar firmed modestly against the greenback on Thursday after data showed domestic manufacturing sales rose in March for the third month in a row. Still, the gains saw the currency stick to its recent trading range and analysts think it is likely to remain trading around either side of C$1.10 in the near-term. Manufacturing sales rose by 0.4 percent, better than the 0.3 percent rise economists had been expecting. But the benefit to the loonie was mitigated by several economic reports out of the United States that also showed improvement, which counterbalanced the impact on the U.S. dollar-Canadian dollar pairing, said Greg Moore, senior currency strategist at Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto. "The broader view on U.S. dollar-Canadian dollar is really still that we're tracing out this wide neutral range for the time being," said Moore. "Before there's a stronger divergence in data trends between the U.S. and Canada, it's going to be a bit of a sideways move for the currency." The Canadian dollar was at C$1.0875 to the greenback, or 91.95 U.S. cents, slightly stronger than Wednesday's close of C$1.0882, or 91.89 U.S. cents. The Canadian dollar has seen a bigger divergence against some of its other crosses, including the euro and sterling, which could see some stronger trends emerge, said Moore. The euro fell against the Canadian dollar after data showed the euro zone economy grew much less than expected in the first quarter. The euro was at C$1.5082. "This slightly stronger-than-expected (Canadian) data today and generally over the last few months, balanced against some not quite as strong data in regions like Europe and the UK suggests both of those crosses could favor the Canadian dollar in the coming weeks," Moore said. Canadian government bond prices were higher across the maturity curve, with the two-year up 1.3 Canadian cents to yield 1.039 percent and the benchmark 10-year was up 30 Canadian cents to yield 2.257 percent.
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