CANADA FX DEBT-C$ gains on US$, traders eye retail sales data

* C$ at C$1.0344 to US$, or 96.67 U.S. cents
    * Japanese yen gains on election result
    * Dearth of Canadian data this week provides little impetus
    * Retail sales on Tuesday only major economic indicator

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, July 22 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ended
stronger against its U.S. counterpart on Monday on a greenback
retreat in light trade, as investors responded to a dearth of
news by pulling back on long U.S. positions. 
    "There were fairly thin flows in a market that was biased to
sell the U.S. dollar all day long," said Jack Spitz, managing
director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial.
    "Now we await from a domestic perspective the only data
print (this week), which will be retail sales tomorrow morning,
expected to rebound, which could create some selling in
dollar-Canada," he said, pointing to C$1.0260 if the retail
numbers surprise to the positive.
    Retail sales are forecast to have risen 0.4 percent in May
from April, helped by higher gasoline prices, with sales
excluding autos seen up 0.3 percent. 
    The Canadian dollar ended the session trading at
C$1.0344 to the greenback, or 96.67 U.S. cents, compared with
C$1.0367, or 96.46 U.S. cents, at Friday's North American close.
    The U.S. dollar in recent weeks has gained broadly as yields
spiked in anticipation of a reduction in monetary stimulus, with
the Canadian currency managing to stick with the greenback and
gain against some other currencies.
    "Canada's had a decent little run. When the (U.S.) dollar
was really rallying it hung in there quite well," said Darcy
Browne, managing director of foreign exchange sales at CIBC
World Markets.
    "Overall, the Canadian dollar still stands to benefit from
its proximity to the U.S., (but) it's a low-beta currency in
good times and bad times."
    The Japanese yen gained against both North American
currencies after the country's prime minister won a decisive
electoral victory that could herald more political stability.
    Browne said trade in the loonie, as the Canadian currency is
colloquially known, would likely remain subdued all week given a
dearth of data releases, excluding the retail sales on Tuesday.
    "I would imagine we're just going to be on the ebbs and
flows of risk and dollar-mania throughout the course of the
week," he said.
    The price of Canadian government debt was mixed across the
curve, with the two-year bond off half a Canadian
cent to yield 1.089 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond
 rising 5 Canadian cents to yield 2.355 percent.