CANADA FX DEBT-C$ stays range-bound; focus shifts to data next week
* Canadian dollar at C$1.0857 or 92.11 U.S. cents * Bond prices lower across the maturity curve (Adds details, quotes, updates prices) By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, May 16 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the greenback on Friday, sticking to its recent trading range as investors turned their attention to key economic reports on tap next week. After some sharp gains in the last two weeks, the loonie has consolidated this week as it has found few catalysts to push it decisively in either direction. The loonie touched a four-month high last week, trading in the low C$1.08s, but snapped back after a disappointing domestic jobs report last Friday. Analysts expect the currency will be comfortable around either side of C$1.10 in the near term. "The loonie is just keeping calm and carrying on," said Scott Smith, senior market analyst at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Calgary. "This week was really characterized by just taking stock of what has happened the previous two weeks and looking on a go-forward basis at how traders want to position in U.S. dollar-Canadian dollar." The Canadian dollar ended the North American session at C$1.0857 to the greenback, or 92.11 U.S. cents, modestly firmer than Thursday's close of C$1.0877, or 91.94 U.S. cents. Trading was also muted heading into a long weekend with Canadian markets closed on Monday for the Victoria Day holiday. Data showed foreign investors sold C$1.23 billion ($1.13 billion) worth of Canadian securities in March, the first divestment this year, while domestic purchases of overseas assets hit a 16-month high. A light economic calendar this week, as well as a mixed batch of U.S. data, has left the Canadian dollar in a narrow range, said Don Mikolich, executive director of foreign exchange sales at CIBC World Markets in Toronto. While next week will also be a quiet one for data, investors will get two key reports with March retail sales and April inflation next Thursday and Friday. "We need to see a little bit more data next week. We'll get retail sales and CPI so that gives an opportunity for the Bank of Canada to indicate where its thinking is on future tightening," said Mikolich. Canadian government bond yields picked up slightly, lifting the benchmark 10-year off the trough hit on Thursday that brought it to its lowest level since last June. Canadian bonds had moved alongside a rally in U.S. Treasuries on Thursday. While the sudden move did not have much impact on foreign exchange markets, analysts said it will likely remain on the radar screen heading into next week. The Canadian 10-year was down 8 Canadian cents to yield 2.264 percent, while the two-year was off 0.3 Canadian cents to yield 1.039 percent. (Editing by James Dalgleish)
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