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Tuesday July 17, 2007 - 21:09:05 GMT
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Forex News - Canada dollar dips in listless session, bonds drop

Canada dollar dips in listless session, bonds drop
Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:42PM EDT

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, July 17 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar eased from its 30-year high against the U.S. currency on Tuesday as traders adjusted positions a day ahead of an inflation report that could set the stage for further monetary tightening.

Domestic bonds prices, with no Canadian data to consider, turned lower along with the bigger U.S. treasuries market.

The Canadian dollar closed at C$1.0434 to the U.S. dollar, or 95.84 U.S. cents, down from C$1.0428 to the U.S. dollar, or 95.89 U.S. cents, at Monday's session close.

Much of the currency's slide came during the overnight session as it encountered a bit of short covering after a sharp jump on Monday that pushed it briefly above 96 U.S. cents for the first time since March 1977.

But with key Canadian inflation numbers due on Wednesday, the currency spent the entire North American session trapped in a tight range of C$1.0425 to C$1.0449.

That range will likely be shattered when the inflation data arrives. A strong reading is expected to spark another wave of buying for a red-hot currency that has gained 12 percent against the U.S. dollar this year.

"Right now the market is basically starting to price in another rate hike by the end of the year," said George Davis, chief technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

"But if we do get another stronger than expected piece of data then I think the market will basically start to anticipate that the (central) bank's going to have to do more than that."

The Bank of Canada raised interest rates last week for the first time since May 2006 and issued a statement that left many expecting just one more round of tightening this year.

Davis said a strong inflation report, which is expected to show the core rate climb to 2.6 percent for its highest level in more than four years, could send the Canadian dollar through C$1.04 to the U.S. dollar, or 96.15 U.S. cents.

The Canadian dollar's sharp rally has prompted several predictions that it would soon reach parity with the greenback, a level last seen in November 1976.


Bond prices were unable to escape their recent funk as the looming CPI data due on Wednesday in both Canada and the United States was enough to deter a potential rally despite some bond-friendly developments.

"I do think the CPI numbers are weighing heavily upon the market," said Eric Lascelles, strategist at TD Securities. "But the market does seem to be sloughing off anything that would potentially cause it to rally right now."

Strong U.S. data released early in the session was followed by ongoing worries about higher-risk subprime mortgages in the United States and a report that showed U.S. home builder sentiment hit a 16-year low.

On top of the key data due on Wednesday the market will pay close attention to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as he begins his two-day testimony before Congress.

The two-year bond fell 7 Canadian cents to C$98.33 to yield 4.692 percent, while the 10-year bond slid 27 Canadian cents to C$95.43 to yield 4.634 percent.

The yield spread between the two-year and 10-year bond moved to -5.8 basis points from -5.5 basis points at the previous close.

The 30-year bond declined 45 Canadian cents to C$118.00 to yield 4.557 percent. In the United States, the 30-year treasury yielded 5.146 percent.

The three-month when-issued T-bill yielded 4.54 percent, up from 4.53 percent at the previous close.

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