CANADA FX DEBT-C$ nudges higher as data, Fed in focus
* C$ at C$1.0333 vs US$, or 96.78 U.S. cents * Fed minutes, Canadian retail sales, CPI in focus this week * Bond prices mixed, lower across long-term end of curve By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar eked out a slight gain against its U.S. counterpart on Monday, and was primarily awaiting Canadian retail sales and inflation data this week for further cues. The Canadian dollar, which is coming off an especially quiet week, has been mostly pushed and pulled by U.S. data and Federal Reserve commentary recently. Minutes of the Fed's most recent policy meeting due out this week are expected to provide better clarity on when the central bank will begin to scale back its stimulus program. Domestically, analysts are expecting Canadian retail sales to fall 0.4 percent and inflation to grow by 0.2 percent. Retail sales is due on Thursday and inflation is due on Friday. "I think it's really a case of the markets waiting ... on the Canadian data, in particular, retail sales and CPI," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD Securities. "And it's a case of waiting for the Fed moves to see if there's any sharpening of the Fed's tapering rhetoric." At 9:34 a.m. (1334 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.0333 versus the greenback, or 96.78 U.S. cents, marginally stronger than Friday's session finish at C$1.0339, or 96.72 U.S. cents. The Canadian dollar was outperforming the Japanese yen and Australian dollar, but underperforming the British pound and the euro. The currency was not expected to break out of Monday's narrow trading range so far of C$1.0316 and C$1.0341 during the session, said Osborne, adding that in the near term, the currency was expected to trade between C$1.0250 and C$1.04 over the next few days. Prices for Canadian government debt were lower across longer end of the maturity curve. The two-year bond slipped half a Canadian cent to yield 1.221 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond fell 15 Canadian cents to yield 2.733 percent, its highest yield in more than two years.
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