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Monday June 11, 2007 - 21:33:46 GMT
Reuters - www.reuters.com

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Forex Market News - Canada dollar flat versus stronger US$, bonds ease

Canada dollar flat versus stronger US$, bonds ease
Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:12pm ET27

By Cameron French

TORONTO, June 11 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar kept pace with a broadly stronger U.S. currency on Monday as data showed Canadian housing prices still rising at a fast pace.

Bond prices dipped alongside U.S. treasuries, pressured by concerns that inflationary pressures will drive interest rates higher.

The currency finished at C$1.0606 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.29 U.S. cents, compared with C$1.0602 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.32 U.S. cents, at Friday close.

Housing prices rose 0.8 percent in April from March, the biggest monthly gain since last August, providing support for expectations of interest rate hikes, analysts said.

The data gave the currency a slight boost, helping it match the gains of the U.S. dollar, which rose on increased appetite for higher-yielding U.S. debt.

Both currencies strengthened against the euro, pound, and Swiss franc.

"I think (the housing report) definitely is currency-positive news," said Steven Butler, director of foreign exchange at Scotia Capital.

"But I think the market is leaning on good data for Canada. The surprise numbers are the weak numbers," he said.

The currency stayed in a close range of 94.08 U.S. cents to 94.37 U.S. cents, a shift from its wide swings last week, when the Canadian dollar rallied to a 30-year high, then retraced some of the gain.

Analysts still expect the Canadian dollar to rise, given rate hike expectations, strong commodity prices, and a steady stream of announced foreign-led takeovers of Canadian companies.

On Monday, for instance, Canadian-based miner Peru Copper Inc. (PCR.TO: Quote, Profile , Research) said it will be bought by Aluminum Corp. of China for C$840 million in cash, while UraMin Inc. (UMN.TO: Quote, Profile , Research), which has its stock listing in Canada, said it is in talks about a possible sale of the company.

Butler said the currency may tread water until key manufacturing data due on Wednesday.

"It looks like a little bit of consolidation with the market today before the next wave (of data)," he said.

BONDS LOWER

Bond prices fell, but lagged the retreat of U.S. treasuries, which continued to drop on concerns that persistent inflationary pressure will derail previously-expected interest rate cuts. Continued...

Rate hikes last week in New Zealand, South Africa and Europe helped pull debt prices lower last week and hawkish comments by Cleveland Federal Reserve President Sandra Pianalto early on Monday added to the fears of tightening credit conditions.

The bond sell-off has been more muted in Canada as traders have already priced in Bank of Canada tightening this year.

The new housing prices data put some pressure on domestic prices, while a separate report from Statistics Canada showed Canadian industries ran at 83.0 percent capacity in the first quarter, the first increase after four quarterly declines.

The capacity data, closely watched by the Bank of Canada for signs the economy is overheating, was shy of analysts' forecasts of 83.5 percent capacity use and was down from 85.8 percent in the same quarter a year earlier.

The two-year bond eased 4 Canadian cents to C$98.24 to yield 4.697 percent, while the 10-year bond slid 12 Canadian cents to C$95.30 to yield 4.647 percent.

The yield spread between the two-year and 10-year bond was -5.0 basis points, compared with -4.4 basis points at the previous close.

The 30-year bond dropped 65 Canadian cents to C$117.95 to yield 4.563 percent. In the United States, the 30-year treasury yielded 5.319 percent.

The three-month when-issued T-bill yielded 4.33 percent, unchanged from the previous close.

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.

 

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