* C$ softens to C$0.9888 vs US$, or $1.0113
* Bond prices also drift lower
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, Aug 29 The Canadian dollar slipped
against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, easing from a 3-1/2 month
high hit in the previous session, but stuck in a tight range as
investors hesitated to make big bets ahead of a key speech by
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday.
Bernanke is scheduled to address a conference of central
bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and could signal new measures
to boost growth. He is expected to stoke expectations for a
third round of quantitative easing, though he may not detail the
timing of such a measure.
A slew of European and North American economic data
including the Norwegian central bank's rate decision, German
inflation, Canadian producer prices and U.S. GDP were expected
to provide some further direction.
"It won't be for a lack of data but the market itself is
myopic with respect to Jackson Hole and it's long on
anticipation and it's short on tolerance," said Jack Spitz,
managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank
Traders also speculated that news European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi was too busy to attend Friday's Jackson
Hole meeting renewed hopes he could announce a long-awaited plan
to bring down Spanish and Italian borrowing costs at the ECB's
Sept. 6 policy meeting.
"The market may be disappointed by (Draghi) as well but I
think we're talking about event risks as they happen and they're
going to be fast and furious starting this Friday," added Spitz.
At 8:07 a.m. (1207 GMT), the Canadian dollar stood at
C$0.9888 versus the greenback, or $1.0113, softer than Tuesday's
North American session close at C$0.9878 against the U.S.
dollar, or $1.0124.
Lower oil prices did little to help Canada's
commodity-driven currency on Friday as Hurricane Isaac, which
hit land in Louisiana, left U.S. Gulf Coast oil production
facilities without significant damage.
So far on Friday, the Canadian dollar traded in a narrow
23-point range between C$0.9876-99.
Spitz saw near-term Canadian dollar support around C$0.9920
and resistance around C$0.9843.
Canadian bond prices drifted lower across the curve, with
the two-year bond off 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.176
percent and the benchmark 10-year bond down 7
Canadian cents to yield 1.805 percent.