* Down at C$1.0662 to the US$, or 93.79 U.S cents
* Lower North American stock markets help pull C$ lower
* Bond prices firmer across curve
(Updates to close, adds quote)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar limped to a
lower close against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, pressured by a
drop in risk appetite that manifested itself in a stronger
greenback and sliding equity markets.
Concern about the fiscal health of Greece and other smaller
euro zone countries helped lift the U.S. dollar to a 6-1/2
month peak against the euro. [FRX/]
"Given the return of risk aversion, the commodity-based
currencies traded with a weaker bias," said Matthew Strauss,
senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
The Canadian dollar finished at C$1.0662 to the U.S.
dollar, or 93.79 U.S. cents, down from Wednesday's finish at
C$1.0647 to the U.S. dollar, or 93.92 U.S. cents. It touched a
low of C$1.0668 to the U.S. dollar, or 93.74 U.S. cents,
earlier in the day.
In the overnight session, the Canadian dollar had risen as
high as C$1.0555 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.74 U.S. cents, after
U.S. President Barack Obama helped build confidence in his
State of the Union address by focusing on job creation rather
stricter Wall Street oversight. [MKTS/GLOB]
Also weighing on market sentiment on Thursday was U.S.
economic data that showed initial jobless claims fell less than
forecast in the latest week. Also, U.S. durable goods orders
rose in December, but to a level below that forecast by a
Reuters poll of economists. [ID:nN28241882]
As well, the price of crude oil <CLc1>, a key Canadian
export, settled below $74 a barrel [O/R], pressured in part by
the stronger greenback. Gold prices were also softer. [GOL/]
Market focus on Friday is expected to be on the release of
U.S. fourth-quarter gross domestic product data and Canada's
Government bond prices were mostly firmer as equity markets
lost ground as money flowed to the safety of government debt.
"Stocks are lower. That's been the theme for the past week
or so. Basically, it's a reversal of the risk trade," said
Sheldon Dong, fixed income analyst at TD Waterhouse Private
The two-year bond <CA2YT=RR> was up 8 Canadian cents at
C$100.34 to yield 1.333 percent, while the 30-year bond
<CA30YT=RR> climbed 45 Canadian cents to C$117.60 to yield
Canadian bonds mostly outperformed U.S. bonds across the
curve, with the Canadian 30-year bond 62.5 basis points below
the U.S. 30-year yield, compared with about 59 basis points in
the previous session.
(Editing by Peter Gallowa