CANADA FX DEBT-C$ steady on cautious sentiment; eye on retail sales
* C$ closes at C$1.0261 vs US$, or 97.46 U.S. cents * Canadian retail sales on Tues key data this week By Solarina Ho TORONTO, April 22 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ended little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Monday, following a dismal prior week, with a dearth of economic data and news keeping the currency steady. The currency touched its weakest level of the day shortly after U.S. data showed home resales edged downward in March, pointing to some slowdown in the housing market recovery pace as overall economic activity cooled. The commodities-linked Canadian dollar was trading in a tight 38-point range between C$1.0248 and C$1.0286 after weakening off 1.2 percent last week in reaction to plunging commodity prices. "It's been a very quiet day overall. It's more a day of consolidation, rather than anything else. The market generally still seems to be a little bit nervous," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD Securities. "We're still seeing the U.S. numbers come in on the softer side of expectations." The Canada's dollar finished its North American session at C$1.0261 against the U.S. dollar or 97.46 U.S. cents, little changed from Friday's finish at C$1.0263, or 97.44 U.S. cents. The Group of 20 countries over the weekend stopped short of criticizing the radical easing steps which the Bank of Japan says are aimed at battling deflation, with any currency weakness simply a byproduct. Outgoing Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney also slashed growth forecasts last Wednesday, which added to some of the currency's weakness. "Last week was a pretty big week for us in terms of domestic events with the (Bank of Canada's Monetary Policy Report) and so on," said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian fixed income and currency strategy at Royal Bank of Canada. "The G20 meeting, if anything, gives the green light for the Bank of Japan to continue to have accommodative policy. That's underpinned a bit of a risk-on tone and generally helped riskier commodity-based currencies such as Canada, but it's very, very, very small." Looking ahead, retail sales on Tuesday will be the main economic data for Canada this week while first-quarter GDP figures on Friday will be the key U.S. data. "If there's anything that's waiting out there for the Canadian dollar it's probably the announcement of a new Bank of Canada governor," said Chandler. Current deputy Tiff Macklem is unanimously expected to be the successor to Carney, according to a Reuters poll. Should there be a surprise appointment, there is a risk of the Canadian dollar weakening, said Chandler. Canadian government bond prices were mixed, with the two-year bond off half a Canadian cent with a yield of 0.942 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond shed 1 Canadian cents to yield 1.710 percent.
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