CANADA FX DEBT-C$ stabilizes as domestic data offsets lower oil
* Canadian dollar at C$1.3084, or 76.43 U.S. cents * Loonie touched its weakest since July 11 at C$1.3139 * Bond prices lower across the maturity curve By Fergal Smith TORONTO, July 22 (Reuters) - The commodity-linked Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Friday after rebounding from an 11-day low as stronger-than-expected domestic data offset lower oil prices. Canadian retail sales rose by 0.2 percent in May from April to hit a record C$44.28 billion, Statistics Canada said. The gain, the fourth in five months, topped a forecast of no growth in a Reuters poll. Sales excluding autos jumped 0.9 percent. Canada's annual inflation rate held at 1.5 percent in June, slightly firmer than analysts had forecast. The core inflation rate, which strips out the prices of some volatile items and is closely watched by the Bank of Canada, remained at 2.1 percent. "I guess the surprise is that the core inflation hasn't been weaker than it has, and the longer we stay over 2 percent as the economy does do better then it does bring the Bank of Canada back on the horizon as likely to tighten and not ease," said Richard Gilhooly, head of rates strategy at CIBC Capital Markets. At 9:35 a.m. EDT (1335 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.3084 to the greenback, or 76.43 U.S. cents, slightly stronger than Thursday' close of C$1.3086, or 76.42 U.S. cents. The currency's strongest level of the session was C$1.3055, while it touched its weakest since July 11 at C$1.3139. The Bank of Canada may continue to blame past depreciation of the Canadian dollar for core inflation running above its 2 percent target, said Nathan Janzen, senior economist at Royal Bank of Canada. "But that argument is going to start to have less credibility towards the end of the year, unless we get another depreciation (in the currency)," Janzen added. Crude futures were on track for weekly losses as investors reassessed U.S. data on oil stocks and excesses in oil products in Europe and Asia. U.S. crude prices were down 0.49 percent to $44.53 a barrel. Canadian government bond prices were lower across the maturity curve, with the two-year price down 5.5 Canadian cents to yield 0.595 percent and the benchmark 10-year falling 35 Canadian cents to yield 1.139 percent. On Thursday, the 10-year yield touched its highest in nearly four weeks at 1.174 percent. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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