CANADA FX DEBT-C$ rallies to January highs on weak US$, oil
* Canadian dollar at C$1.1941 or 83.75 U.S. cents * Bond prices higher across the maturity curve TORONTO, May 14 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar extended this week's gains against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, supported by a softer greenback and oil prices that stayed close to 2015 highs. Investors have grown concerned that recent U.S. data has not been painting a picture of a strengthening economy. At one point on Thursday, the U.S. dollar fell to its weakest level against a basket of major currencies since January, with Wednesday's underwhelming April retail sales numbers still casting a cloud. Markets have been waiting to see evidence that the world's largest economy was bouncing back in the second quarter after an uninspired first quarter so that they can better assess when the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to hike interest rates. On Thursday, data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly, suggesting the job market was still stable despite the recent sluggish economic data. But U.S. producer prices fell for the third time this year in April, down 0.4 percent, far weaker than the small 0.2 percent rise economists had expected. * At 9:17 a.m. EDT (1317 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.1941 to the greenback, or 83.75 U.S. cents, stronger than the Bank of Canada's official close of C$1.1967, or 83.56 U.S. cents, on Wednesday. * The currency touched C$1.1920 at one point, its strongest level since mid-January. Its weakest level was C$1.1971. * U.S. jobless claims for last week fell 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000, below the 275,000 forecasters had expected. * New home prices in Canada were unchanged in March, slightly off economists' forecasts for a 0.1 percent rise. * U.S. crude prices were down 0.33 percent at $60.3, while Brent crude lost 0.10 percent to $66.74. * The Canadian dollar is expected to trade between C$1.1900 and C$1.1975 against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, according to RBC Capital Markets. * Canadian government bond prices were higher across the maturity curve, with the two-year up 3 Canadian cents to yield 0.681 percent and the benchmark 10-year rising 7 Canadian cents to yield 1.823 percent. * The Canada-U.S. two-year bond spread was 11.7 basis points, while the 10-year spread was -44.5 basis points. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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