* C$ ends session higher at C$1.0054, or 99.46 U.S. cents
* Bonds mixed on Canada rate hike view, U.S. debt sale
By John McCrank
TORONTO, April 29 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar gained
against the greenback on Thursday as optimism grew that a
bailout deal for Greece will be reached, whetting the market's
appetite for riskier cyclical assets such as oil, which Canada
European Union and International Monetary Fund officials
are in Athens negotiating a multibillion-euro aid package for
Greece to help it avoid a debt default.
If unresolved, the debt crisis in Greece could have
far-reaching effects. Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney
warned on Thursday that it had the potential to indirectly hurt
the Canadian economy as growth in global markets is curtailed.
EU and IMF officials said they hope to wrap up a deal
within days in an effort to prevent the debt crisis from
spilling into other fragile EU states. [ID:nLDE63S0BL]
Hope for a deal helped boost North American equities.
"Basically, there is less risk aversion and investors are
more willing to buy riskier assets," said Matthew Strauss,
senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
He added that all commodity-based currencies were stronger
on the day.
The Canadian dollar <CAD=D4> ended the North American
session at C$1.0054 to the U.S. dollar, or 99.46 U.S. cents, up
from C$1.0088 to the U.S. dollar, or 99.13 U.S. cents, at
The price of U.S. crude oil topped $85 a barrel, as
commodity markets broadly advanced. [ID:nSGE63S07H]
Exports of commodities make up a big chunk of the Canadian
economy, and the country's currency is often influenced by
moves in their prices.
Looking forward, Canadian gross domestic product data for
February will be released on Friday, but the bigger draw will
come from south of the border, as the first read of the U.S.
GDP for the first quarter is released.
In the fourth quarter of last year, U.S. GDP came in
surprisingly strong, at 5.6 percent, signaling a faster
recovery than earlier expected. First quarter U.S. growth is
expected to have been 3.4 percent. [ID:nN29243362]
"If it continues pointing towards the weekend as the
possible timeframe for an agreement on a Greek deal, there will
be a lot of attention paid to the U.S. data," Strauss said.
"So, going into tomorrow, the market will still be
following the Greece developments very closely, and then the
Canadian bond prices were mixed, with the short end lower,
reflecting a move from safe-haven bonds to riskier assets. The
long end was higher along with the U.S. market, which saw
strong demand for a seven-year note sale.
Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets,
said the higher yields on the short end could also be
attributed to expectation of higher interest rates in Canada in
the not too distant future. Yields move in the opposite
direction to prices.
"On the short end, we saw a little bit of a backup in
yields today as I think the market regained a bit of confidence
that the Bank (of Canada) would likely be hiking (rates) in
June," Porter said.
He said the ongoing debt trauma in Europe, coupled with
Bank of Canada Governor Carney's recent statements that the
timing of a rate hike was not "preordained," had cast some
doubt on how soon rates would rise. [ID:nN27120558]
The two-year Canadian government bond <CA2YT=RR> fell 8
Canadian cents to C$99.17 to yield 1.961 percent, while the
10-year bond <CA10YT=RR> gained 1 Canadian cent to C$98.00 to
yield 3.50 percent.
(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway)