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Thursday November 22, 2007 - 00:30:42 GMT
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Forex Market News - Canada dollar ends down as retail data disappoints

Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:08pm EST
 By Frank Pingue
 TORONTO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ended lower
against the U.S. currency on Wednesday as weak domestic data
and talk of a Bank of Canada rate cut took the focus away from
upbeat fundamentals like high oil and gold prices.
 Bond prices rose as ongoing credit worries shook North
American equity markets and sparked demand for government debt,
while the weak retail data also offered support.
 The Canadian dollar closed at US$1.0125, valuing each U.S.
dollar at 98.77 Canadian cents, down from Tuesday's close of
US$1.0197, or 98.07 Canadian cents.
 The latest drop in the currency, which hit its lowest level
in about seven weeks during the session, followed domestic data
that showed an unexpected drop in September retail sales.
 The data, which followed Tuesday's tame inflation report,
added more clout to market expectations that the Bank of Canada
will cut its key overnight rate in December.
 "People are really starting to wonder what the Bank of
Canada is going to do," said Steve Butler, director of foreign
exchange trading at Scotia Capital. "More and more people are
swinging into the rate-cut camp and I think that's really
undermined the currency over the last couple of weeks."
 A Reuters poll taken on Tuesday showed a slim majority of
Canada's primary securities dealers expect the Bank of Canada
to leave interest rates steady in December, but most see at
least one rate cut by the end of January.
 That marked a shift away from the previous Reuters poll
taken on Nov. 2, when only one dealer forecast a quarter-point
cut in December and two saw a January cut.
 The Canadian dollar has tumbled since hitting a modern-day
high of US$1.1039 on Nov, 7, and a few pieces of soft domestic
economic data have been credited with much of the retreat.
 If not for the weak retail data, the Canadian dollar could
have recouped some of its recent losses as oil prices touched a
record high above $99 a barrel, before easing, while gold
prices rose above $800 an ounce.
 Canada is a key producer and exporter of many commodities
and its currency often follows the lead of oil and gold prices,
two of its key exports.
 With its latest decline, the Canadian dollar is now within
sight of falling back below parity with the U.S. dollar for the
first time since Oct 4. But some market experts feel there is
not much more risk to the downside for the currency.
 "We might have a chance at parity but I don't get the
feeling there is a whole lot more damage to be done," said
Butler. "There's going to be a point when a little more sanity
comes back into the market and people start to refocus on
 Canadian bond prices ended higher as a pessimistic tone
dominated the market, most notably the nagging credit fears and
still-high oil prices.
 The weak September retail data could be a sign of things to
come as the month marked the start of a stream of Canadians
crossing the border to U.S. shopping malls to take advantage of
their currency's greater purchasing power.
 "And that was for September. If indeed October and November
see that trend increasing then that means more soft numbers in
the pipeline," said Mark Chandler, fixed income strategist at
RBC Capital Markets.
 The two-year bond rose 20 Canadian cents to C$101.34 to
yield 3.563 percent. The 10-year bond added 55 Canadian cents
to C$100.00 to yield 4.000 percent.
 The two-year yield has fallen from 4.303 percent on Oct. 5,
when a strong Canadian jobs report suggested there was little
room for a Bank of Canada interest rate cut.
 The yield spread between the two-year and 10-year bond
moved to 43.7 basis points from 40.6 at the previous close.
 The 30-year bond was up 35 Canadian cents at C$112.92 to
yield 4.229 percent. In the United States, the 30-year treasury
yielded 4.461 percent.
 The three-month when-issued T-bill yielded 4.02 percent,
down from 3.96 percent at the previous close.

© Reuters 2006. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.


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