CANADA FX DEBT-C$ holds onto gains amid tepid optimism

Mon Jan 7, 2013 9:42am EST

* C$ at C$0.9868 versus US$, or $1.0138

* Stocks and commodities broadly slip

* Currency holds gains notched last week

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as it held on to gains notched late last week, with investors taking a tentatively positive stance towards the global economy.

Stock markets and commodity prices stalled after a strong run-up last week, in which the Canadian currency gained 1 percent after strong job growth and a partial deal reached in U.S. debt talks.

"The Canadian dollar has retained its strength from last Friday's employment data and the move that occurred then," said John Curran, senior vice president at CanadianForex.

At 9:21 a.m. (1421 GMT), the Canadian dollar stood at C$0.9868 to the greenback, or $1.0138, slightly stronger than Friday's North American session close at C$0.9871 to the greenback, or $1.0131.

It traded in a tight 26 basis point range, after moving three-quarters of a cent on Friday.

Canada impressed investors with robust hiring data on Friday, while U.S. employers kept up a steady pace of hiring and manufacturing surveys pointed to growing activity in China.

Curran pointed to European data and central bank decisions due mid-week as the next test for the Canadian currency, while corporate earnings season is also about to kick off.

The currency also held up against the euro at C$1.2881 after euro zone factory prices fell for the first time in five months in November, giving the European Central Bank ample room to consider another interest rate cut.

Tiff Macklem, a senior Bank of Canada official widely tipped to replace the departing Governor Mark Carney as head of the central bank, may hint at a future monetary policy when he speaks about economic growth at a university on Thursday.

"If he comes out with a hawkish stance that will lend itself to Canadian dollar strength," Curran said.

The two-year Canadian bond slipped 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.212 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond fell 15 Canadian cents to yield 1.954 percent.

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