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Friday July 13, 2007 - 21:10:59 GMT
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Forex News - Canadian dollar hands back some gains, bonds up

Canadian dollar hands back some gains, bonds up
Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:43PM EDT

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, July 13 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar capped off
a winning week with a lower close against the U.S. currency on
Friday as several failed attempts to break a key level sparked
a mild wave of profit-taking.

Domestic bond prices recouped a slice of the massive losses
suffered in recent months as a weak U.S. retail sales report
set the tone, given the lack of any Canadian data.

The Canadian dollar closed at C$1.0485 to the U.S. dollar,
or 95.37 U.S. cents, down from C$1.0455 to the U.S. dollar, or
95.65 U.S. cents, at Thursday's close.

Earlier this week the currency hit a 30-year high of
C$1.0440 to the U.S. dollar, or 95.79 U.S. cents, but failed
attempts to breach that level in the overnight session
convinced traders it was time to pocket some gains.

"It tested the C$1.0450 level a number of times overnight
but it really failed to break that level convincingly and as a
result we saw some profit-taking," said Matthew Strauss, senior
currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

But Strauss did not dismiss the idea of the Canadian dollar
reaching a new 30-year high next week given the lofty prices
for oil and gold as well as the June consumer price index data
due on Wednesday, which could tinker with rate expectations.

The timing of another rate hike by the Bank of Canada was
thrown into question on Tuesday after the central bank raised
its overnight rate to 4.50 percent but issued a statement that
was less hawkish than expected.

"The initial reaction on Tuesday after the statement that
started reducing the probability of a hike by the Bank of
Canada in September was not correct," said Strauss. "A strong
(CPI) number will just confirm the view that the next hike
would most likely be in September."

Canada's annual core inflation rate, which helps to guide
monetary policy, is expected to be to 2.6 percent in June from
2.2 percent in May, according to a Reuters survey.

While the Canadian dollar was dealt a minor blow by the
comments from the Bank of Canada, it enjoyed a slew of positive
factors all week, including upbeat domestic data and the $38
billion takeover bid for Alcan Inc. (AL.TO: Quote, Profile, Research).


Canadian bond prices used the absence of any Canadian data
to avoid slipping into negative territory and instead found
comfort in a weak U.S. retail sales report.

But even though the bond market put an end to a two-day
skid, analysts are not signaling any sharp turnaround, with
many calling for further declines.

"The bond market trend is still negative so I still think
prices will continue to decline and yields will continue to
rise," said Carlos Leitao, chief economist at Laurentian Bank
of Canada in Montreal.

"However, that bearishness in the bond market kind of eased
up a bit this week ... as the Bank of Canada's relatively less
hawkish stance indicates it is not likely to raise rates much
further than where we are now."

The two-year bond was unchanged at C$98.35 to yield 4.678
percent, while the 10-year bond gained 16 Canadian cents to
C$95.36 to yield 4.644 percent.

The yield spread between the two-year and 10-year bond
moved to -3.4 basis points from -0.5 basis points at the
previous close.

The 30-year bond added 57 Canadian cents to C$117.75 to
yield 4.572 percent. In the United States, the 30-year treasury
yielded 5.191 percent.

The three-month when-issued T-bill yielded 4.51 percent,
unchanged from the previous close.

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