CANADA FX DEBT-C$ slightly weaker ahead of GDP data this week

Mon May 29, 2017 4:49pm EDT
 
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 (Adds analyst comment, updates prices)
    * Canadian dollar at C$1.3459, or 74.34 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices higher across the yield curve

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, May 29 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged lower
in holiday-thinned trading on Monday, helped by a slight rise in
oil prices while investors took a cautious approach ahead of a
string of U.S. and Canadian economic data due later this week.
    At 4 p.m. ET (2000 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading at C$1.3459 to the greenback, or 74.30 U.S. cents, down
0.1 percent.
    The currency traded in a range of C$1.3399 to C$1.3470, with
volume the lowest since mid-April due to public holidays in the
United States, Britain and China.
    "Everything is subdued," said Alphonso Esparza, senior
market analyst at OANDA Corp, adding that he expects the
Canadian currency to be pressured by mixed to positive U.S. data
through the week and a strong non-farms U.S. payrolls number on
Friday. 
    "The rest of the week doesn't look that great for the
loonie," he said.
    Canada is to release data on the country's gross domestic
product on Wednesday, while the country's trade data for April
is due on Friday.
    Economists forecast that the Canadian economy grew at a 3.9
percent annualized pace in the first quarter after a strong
expansion in the second half of 2016.         
    Prices for oil, a major Canadian export, rose slightly,
barely paring last week's steep losses with the market remaining
cautious as increases in U.S. drilling activity have undercut an
OPEC-led push to tighten supply.      
    The loonie rose 0.5 percent last week, touching its
strongest in five weeks on Wednesday after the Bank of Canada
struck a more upbeat tone than investors had expected.
    Speculators increased bearish bets on the Canadian dollar to
a record high, data from the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission and Reuters calculations showed on Friday. 
    Canadian government bond prices were higher across a flatter
maturity curve, with the two-year            price down 1
Canadian cent to yield 0.708 percent and the 10-year            
rising 28 Canadian cents to yield 1.412 percent.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by James Dalgleish and Dan
Grebler)