CANADA FX DEBT-C$ hits 12-day high as oil, retail sales up
* Canadian dollar at C$1.2750, or 78.43 U.S. cents * Bond prices mixed across the maturity curve TORONTO, June 22 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened to a 12-day high against a weaker greenback on Wednesday as oil rallied and investors grew more optimistic that Britons would vote to stay in the European Union, while domestic data showed a rebound in retail sales. Canadian retail sales rose 0.9 percent in April from March, mainly on higher gasoline prices, Statistics Canada said. This follows a 0.8 percent decline in March, a smaller dip than previously reported. Excluding autos, sales rose 1.3 percent, stronger than analysts expected. Supportive of Canada's commodity-linked currency, oil prices rallied after an industry report showed a large drop in U.S. crude inventories and as investors' risk appetite increased ahead of Britain's referendum on EU membership. U.S. crude was up 0.28 percent at $49.99 a barrel. Riskier markets also drew support after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday virtually ruled out a July interest rate hike, while the U.S. dollar lost ground against a basket of major currencies. At 8:54 a.m. EDT (1254 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.2750 to the greenback, or 78.43 U.S. cents, stronger than Tuesday's close of C$1.2811, or 78.06 U.S. cents. The currency's weakest level of the session was C$1.2816, while it touched its strongest since June 10 at C$1.2743. Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the maturity curve, with the two-year up 2 Canadian cents to yield 0.598 percent and the benchmark 10-year rising 7 Canadian cents to yield 1.244 percent. On Tuesday, the 10-year yield reached its highest in nearly three weeks at 1.255 percent. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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