CANADA FX DEBT-C$ strengthens as oil rally offsets soft domestic data
* Canadian dollar at C$1.3415, or 74.54 U.S. cents * Bond prices mixed across the maturity curve TORONTO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as a rally in oil offset weaker-than-expected domestic wholesale trade data. Oil prices rose on Monday to their highest in three weeks, catching a lift from a weaker U.S. dollar and as OPEC appeared to be moving closer to agreeing on an output cut when it meets next week. U.S. crude prices were up 2.74 percent at $46.94 a barrel. Oil is one of Canada's major exports. The U.S. dollar pared some recent gains after rising on Friday to its highest level since April 2003. The value of Canadian wholesale trade unexpectedly fell by 1.2 percent in September from August, Statistics Canada data showed. Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted a 0.4 percent gain. Sales in volume terms sank by 1.5 percent. At 9:27 a.m. EDT (1427 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.3415 to the greenback, or 74.54 U.S. cents, stronger than Friday's close of C$1.3513, or 74.00 U.S. cents. The currency's strongest level of the session was C$1.3409, while its weakest was C$1.3515. Speculators cut bearish bets on the Canadian dollar, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data on Friday. Net short Canadian dollar positions fell to 18,599 contracts in the week ended Nov. 15 from an eight-month high of 21,312 in the prior week. Canada is keeping its options open on future trade deals, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said after the closing of APEC talks in Peru on Sunday. Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the yield curve, with the two-year up 0.5 Canadian cent to yield 0.669 percent and the benchmark 10-year rising 5 Canadian cents to yield 1.574 percent. On Wednesday, the 10-year yield touched an 11-month high at 1.602 percent. Canada's retail sales report for September is due on Tuesday. Analysts will be watching to see if retail sales rebounded from a decline in August, in a possible sign that consumers have begun to spend their new child bonus checks from the government. (Reporting by Fergal Smith Editing by W Simon)
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