CANADA FX DEBT-C$ steady against weaker US$ on central bank worries
* C$ at C$1.0169 vs US$ or 98.34 U.S. cents * Canadian factory sales fall 2.4 pct in April from March * U.S. producer prices rise; consumer sentiment off highs * Bond prices rise across curve By Solarina Ho TORONTO, June 14 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar held steady against a weaker U.S. dollar on Friday, recovering from earlier losses, as market focus turned to the policies of the world's major central banks. The U.S. dollar fell as investors worried major central banks could begin reining in aggressive stimulus measures and after data showed a decline in U.S. consumer sentiment. "It's more or less unchanged. Slight volatility today, based on stop-loss selling in USD/CAD below C$1.0150," said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial, referring to orders placed earlier to sell when a currency reaches a certain price are triggered. The Canadian dollar, which was mixed against other major currencies, finished its North American session on Friday at C$1.0169 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.34 U.S. cents. This was little changed from Thursday's finish at C$1.0166, or 98.37 U.S. cents. During the day, the currency traded between C$1.0137 and C$10188. "The strength in the Canadian data of late - the good housing, the good unemployment - have really provided decent support for the Canadian dollar," said Benjamin Reitzes, senior economist and foreign exchange strategist at BMO Capital Markets. "Going forward, I'm not convinced the Canadian dollar's going to be able to hang in here." Earlier in the session, data showed Canadian factory sales sank unexpectedly in April from March. The 2.4 percent plunge was the fourth in five months and the biggest drop since August 2009. Analysts had expected a 0.3 percent rise. "It does put GDP on a path maybe to be somewhere in the flat to plus 0.1 (percent) neighborhood," said Reitzes. "Getting beyond that would probably be pretty difficult, given the weak manufacturing number." Many strategists said this week they expect the Canadian dollar to weaken further as did the findings of a recent Reuters poll. The next big market driver could come when U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks next week. Market watchers will be parsing the language he uses for hints on when the U.S. central bank might begin scaling back its stimulus measures. "One of the main drivers and key themes within the currency space would be the direction for interest rates as specifically relating to FOMC meeting," said Spitz. Government bond prices rose across the curve, with the two-year bond up 3.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.108 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond up 16 Canadian cents to yield 2.120 percent.
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