* C$ finishes at 81.93 U.S. cents
* Bond prices lower across the curve (Adds details, quotes)
TORONTO, April 28 (Reuters) - Canada’s currency was slightly lower against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday in muted dealings as oil prices sank on concern about the depth of the swine flu outbreak, undercutting the effects of better-than-expected U.S. economic data.
North American equity market trimmed earlier losses on data that showed U.S. consumer confidence posted its biggest jump in more than three years in April, while the slump in U.S. home prices showed signs of slowing in February. [ID:nN28304426]
That helped calm earlier worries that major U.S. banks may need more capital.[MKTS/GLOB]
“In the current environment, anything that looks good for the U.S. economy or global economy is bad for the U.S. dollar,” said David Watt, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
The market continued to be fixated by the dangers of a possible flu pandemic as the swine flu virus that has killed 149 people in Mexico spread to more countries. [ID:nLS803449]
“There are so many things such as swine flu, and those sort of things that are roiling in the background. What we’re literally getting is drivers based on conjecture and fear,” Watt said.
“There’s literally no direction right now for the Canadian dollar.”
The Canadian currency finished at C$1.2205 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.93 U.S. cents, down slightly from Monday’s finish of C$1.2195 to the U.S. dollar, or 82.00 U.S. cents.
Oil prices, a key Canadian export, settled lower at $49.92 a barrel due to fears that the swine flu outbreak could further hit fuel demand, already pressured by the global financial crisis. [ID:nSP458959]
Canadian bond prices were lower across the curve alongside the bigger U.S. Treasury market as the U.S. consumer confidence reading dented the safe-haven appeal of government bonds and on supply concerns. [ID:nN28334543]
The two-year Canada bond was down 7 Canadian cents at C$100.54 to yield 0.988 percent, while the 10-year bond slipped 45 Canadian cents at C$105.95 to yield 3.060 percent.
The 30-year bond retreated 75 Canadian cents to C$120.70 to yield 3.795 percent. In the United States, the 30-year Treasury yielded 3.9518 percent.
Canadian bonds largely outperformed their U.S. counterparts across the curve. The Canadian 30-year bond yield was 15.7 basis points below its U.S. counterpart, from about 7 basis points on Monday. (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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