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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Carrie Underwood In A Bikini

TORONTO (Dow Jones)--The Canadian dollar ended sharply lower Friday, muscled lower along with most other currencies by a resurgent U.S. dollar.

The U.S. dollar was trading at C$1.0609 at 3:30 p.m. EST (2030 GMT), from C$1.0496 at 8:00 a.m. EST (1300 GMT), and from C$1.0507 late Thursday.

After dipping to a low at C$1.0485 in morning trading, the U.S. dollar began a sustained ascent against its Canadian counterpart on the back of a 1.3% increase in U.S. retail sales last month, almost double the expected 0.7% increase. Excluding auto sales, it was still impressive, at 1.2%, versus the 0.4% forecast.

The U.S. dollar ultimately reached a daily high of C$1.0622, according to EBS via CQG, before retracing a modest portion of its gains.

The move was substantial, representing a 0.6% decline in the Canadian dollar, but the pair remained well within recent trading ranges.

"In dollar/Canada, I don't think we call this any kind of a shocker because we're still in that same old range," said Don Mikolich, executive director of foreign exchange at CIBC World Markets.

The recent data in the U.S. do not really justify expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve, which meets next week, will begin to reduce monetary stimulus sooner than expected, he said.

"I can't imagine there's any real change in view on how monetary policy will be conducted over the next six to twelve months based on this, alone," Mikolich said.

In Canadian data Friday, Statistics Canada reported that new house prices rose for the fourth consecutive month in October, increasing by a slower-than-expected 0.3%.

The market had expected a 0.4% gain from September when prices rose 0.5%, the fastest since January 2008.

The U.S. dollar faces resistance at the C$1.0650, C$1.0670 and C$1.0730 levels and support at C$1.0480, C$1.0430 and then C$1.0410, said CIBC's Mikolich.

"I think there's room for the Big Dollar to gain back some ground from where it is now," he said.

A report from Colin Cieszynski, market analyst at CMC Markets Canada, said that, for the most part though, Friday's weakness appears to be more of a normal correction of the relative gains made earlier in the week.

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