* Ends down at C$1.0188 per US$, or 98.15 U.S. cents
* Bond prices rise in part on safe haven bid
(Updates to close, adds quotes)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, March 22 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar touched a
one-week low against the U.S. dollar on Monday, weakened by
mixed commodity prices and uncertainty about Europe's handling
of Greece's debt woes.
Another factor weighing on the currency was the fact that
many Canadian dollar bulls had already placed bets, resulting
in little fresh buying, said Eric Lascelles, chief economics
and rates strategist at TD Securities.
"We've seen what are called 'net spec long,' so speculators
who have bought the Canadian dollar, that's up to the highest
level that we've seen in a long while and has more than doubled
in the last week," said Lascelles.
"The perception is that everybody that's in, is probably in
so there's not much room for further momentum. That technical
consideration is something that is causing the Canadian dollar
to halt its advance, for the time being anyhow."
The currency touched a low of C$1.0148 to the U.S. dollar,
or 98.54 U.S. cents, its weakest level in one week. It finished
the session at C$1.0188 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.15 U.S.
cents, down from Friday's close at C$1.0164 to the U.S. dollar,
or 98.39 U.S. cents.
While the fundamental picture for the Canadian dollar
remains positive, the currency has been rattled by worries of
European sovereign debt levels, which have boosted the safe
haven appeal of the U.S. dollar and stalled the Canadian
currency's rise toward parity with the greenback.
Traders were jittery before the March 25-26 summit of
European Union leaders, where a key focus is expected to be
Greece's financial stability. [FRX/] European leaders gave out
mixed signals at the weekend over aid to Greece.
"One of the things that has tempered the market's
enthusiasm for the Canadian dollar is the general risk aversion
story that has the U.S. dollar performing fairly well versus
some of the commodity players," said Lascelles.
Oil prices rebounded from earlier lows to rise for the
first time in three days, but gold prices were weaker. [O/R]
Canada's data calendar is fairly light this week, but
market players are likely to zero in on Bank of Canada Governor
Mark Carney's speech on Wednesday for clues on when interest
rates may go up.
Bonds were higher across the curve on Monday, in line with
their U.S. counterparts, as worries over Greece's debt crisis
helped reverse a recent selloff before this week's $118 billion
in auctions of government bonds. [US/]
Investors were also jittery ahead of the EU summit, which
helped to drive flow to bond markets, said Mark Chandler, head
of Canadian fixed income and currency research at RBC Capital
The two-year government bond <CA2YT=RR> ticked 5 Canadian
cents higher to C$99.78 to yield 1.615 percent, while the
10-year bond <CA10YT=RR> gained 27 Canadian cents to C$102.31
to yield 3.454 percent.
(Additional reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilso