* C$ at C$1.0411 vs US$, or 96.05 U.S. cents * Aussie strength lifts commodity currencies * Investors focus on ECB, North American employment data * Canadian bond prices rise across the curve By Andrea Hopkins TORONTO, Nov 4 The Canadian dollar firmed in early trading on Monday as a stronger Australian dollar lifted other commodity-linked currencies and traders looked to the end of the week for direction on European central bank policy and U.S. payrolls. The Australian and New Zealand dollars were modestly higher across the board, underpinned by encouraging local data and extended weakness in the euro. The Aussie drew comfort from a flurry of mostly supportive data, the most important of which was a strong lift in September retail sales. "We've seen a big move in the Aussie overnight, which was really domestically driven, but it seems to have taken the other commodity currencies with it. So it has spilled over from Aussie into the (Canadian dollar) and Kiwi and generally into a softer U.S. dollar picture," said Adam Cole, global head of FX strategy at Royal Bank of Canada in London. At 9:30 a.m. ET (1430 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.0411 versus the U.S. dollar, or 96.05 U.S. cents, stronger than Friday's North American session close at C$1.0427 versus the greenback, or 95.90 U.S. cents. Cole said the currency was expected to maintain a range between C$1.0380 to C$1.0420, well off last week's lows, when the Canadian dollar sank to C$1.0475, or 95.47 U.S. cents, after the Bank of Canada dropped its tightening bias and investors shifted expectations for a rate hike well into 2015. The focus this week is on the European Central Bank and U.S. and Canadian employment data. A drop in euro zone inflation to well below the ECB's target level and firm money market rates have convinced many investors that a shift in ECB policy is on the way and looks set to support prices until the central bank meets on Thursday. The Bank of England also holds it policy meeting on Thursday and is expected to keep rates on hold following a run of improving UK economic data. The main North American event this week will be Friday's U.S. payrolls report, which is expected to show a modest rise of just 125,000 jobs in October, in the wake of last month's government shutdown in Washington. Canadian employment data is also due on Friday and expected to show 13,500 new jobs added in October, after a gain of just 11,900 in September. "Domestically in Canada obviously the October jobs report is the only indicator of any significance, but we've also got all the global event risk - in terms of central bank meetings, the ECB in particular - and the U.S. payrolls report on Friday, so there is a lot going on internationally that could drive the currency," Cole said. Canadian government bond prices were higher across the maturity curve. The two-year bond was up half a Canadian cent to yield 1.120 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond rose 8 Canadian cents to yield 2.489 percent.