* C$ at C$1.0449 vs US$, or 95.70 U.S. cents
* Canadian GDP grows by 0.3 pct in August
* Canadian bond prices higher across the curve
By Leah Schnurr
TORONTO, Oct 31 The Canadian dollar strengthened
against the U.S. currency on Thursday, pulling back from a
seven-week low, as data showed the domestic economy grew at a
slightly better-than-expected pace in August.
The oil and gas industry helped the Canadian economy grow by
0.3 percent in August, topping economists' expectations for a
0.2 percent rate.
Still, the report was unlikely to change the outlook that
Canada's economy is progressing only modestly, or sway the Bank
of Canada's monetary policy, said Mazen Issa, macro strategist
at TD Securities in Toronto.
"Overall, not much of a major implication in terms of the
underlying trend in GDP at the moment," said Issa.
The Canadian dollar hit a session high of C$1.0435 shortly
after the data was released, but the knee-jerk reaction "seems
to be fleeting at the moment," Issa said.
The Canadian dollar was at C$1.0449 versus the
greenback, or 95.70 U.S. cents, stronger than Wednesday's close
of C$1.0484, or 95.38 U.S. cents.
Investors were likely to stay focused on monetary policy on
both sides of the border.
The Canadian dollar tumbled on Wednesday to its lowest level
since early September after the U.S. Federal Reserve stayed the
course on its economic stimulus efforts, but the central bank's
tone was not as dovish as some had expected.
The U.S. central bank surprised markets with its previous
policy decision in September to maintain its massive bond
purchases, despite earlier hints by several Fed officials that
it might begin to scale them back. Investors have since been
trying to gauge the Fed's timetable for withdrawing its
"At this juncture, the underlying risk really remains around
the FOMC and the potential tapering process," said Issa.
A shift in policy from the Bank of Canada last week has also
knocked the Canadian currency lower in recent sessions after the
central bank dropped its rate-hike bias, pushing analysts'
expectations for an eventual increase in interest rates further
out into the future.
Canadian government bond prices were higher across the
maturity curve. The two-year bond rose 2 Canadian
cents to yield 1.092 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond
added 25 Canadian cents to yield 2.393 percent.