CANADA FX DEBT-C$ holds steady in quiet trading after mixed data
* C$ at C$1.0160 vs US$, or 98.43 U.S. cents * Canadian January GDP up a higher-than-expected 0.2 pct * U.S. quarterly GDP slightly weaker than analysts' view * U.S. weekly jobless claims rise more than expected By Solarina Ho TORONTO, March 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar traded little changed on Thursday against its U.S. counterpart following data that showed Canada's economy rebounded in January, even while a report showed U.S. fourth-quarter growth to be slightly weaker than expected by analysts. Equity, bond and currency markets were all relatively flat heading into the Easter long weekend. "We don't have a lot of volume flowing through today," said Mark Frey, chief market strategist at Cambridge Mercantile Group. "It's definitely illiquid heading into the long weekend." The Canadian dollar finished the North American session at C$1.0160 versus the greenback, or 98.43 U.S. cents, little changed from Wednesday's North American close of C$1.0165, or 98.38 U.S. cents. It rose as high as C$1.0145, or 98.57 U.S. cents, its strongest level in more than a month, immediately after the Canadian growth data was released, but then retreated. The Canadian economy grew a higher-than-expected 0.2 percent in January following the weakest two quarters since the 2008-09 recession, thanks to solid manufacturing and mining and an end to a National Hockey League work stoppage, Statistics Canada said. "The rebound in January bodes well for quarterly growth ... but the pace is still looking fairly moderate, sub-potential," said Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada. Figures on Thursday also showed industrial product prices increased in February, up 1.4 percent from January, the biggest jump since June 2008 as prices for petroleum, coal and other commodities rose. U.S. data, meanwhile, showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but likely not enough to suggest the labor market recovery was taking a step back. Separate data also showed the U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, more than the government had expected, but just below the 0.5 percent gain forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll. The Canadian dollar's performance was mixed against other currencies. It strengthened against the Australian dollar , but weakened against the euro. It still traded close to 2-1/2 month highs against the euro, however, as the latter remained vulnerable to the crisis in Cyprus, where banks reopened after the imposition of capital controls. Month- and quarter-end positioning buoyed the euro, with investors covering bets against the currency. The economic calendar is bare next week until Friday, when payroll figures will be released in Canada and the United States. Analysts said any movement in the currency before then will take its cue from overseas. "The corporate flow is going to be light. Everyone is going to be tuned into what's going on in Europe and Cyprus and any further developments," Frey said. The price of government bonds was mixed, with the two-year bond down 1.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.002 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond rose 4.9 Canadian cents to yield 1.875 percent.
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