CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms modestly, eyes on Canadian GDP

Reuters

* Canadian dollar at C$1.1166 or 89.56 U.S. cents * Bond prices lower across the maturity curve By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar firmed slightly against the greenback on Thursday as upbeat U.S. growth data helped stem some of the risk aversion in global markets, while investors were turning their attention to domestic data due Friday.

The loonie fell as low as C$1.1199 in overnight trade, its lowest level since July 2009. The currency has made fresh 4-1/2-year lows for three sessions in a row.

Data south of the border that showed U.S. economic growth was on solid ground in the fourth quarter helped the loonie claw back some gains. U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the final three months of last year, in line with economists' expectations.

Still, most analysts expect the path for the loonie remains downward. Just one month into the year, the U.S. dollar has appreciated about 5 percent against the Canadian currency.

"I still think that the direction of the flows and the momentum of the market is for a weaker Canadian dollar," said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.

The Canadian dollar ended the North American session at C$1.1166 to the greenback, or 89.56 U.S. cents, slightly firmer than Wednesday's close of C$1.1178, or 89.46 U.S. cents.

"It would probably take a really good GDP number tomorrow and a good payrolls number next Friday to arrest the slide in the loonie," said Anderson.

Friday's focus will be on domestic data that is expected to show Canada's economy grew by 0.2 percent in November, slightly softer than the month before.

Canadian government bond prices were lower across the maturity curve, with the two-year down 1.3 Canadian cents to yield 0.970 percent and the benchmark 10-year off 7 Canadian cents to yield 2.374 percent.

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