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* C$ at C$1.0343 vs US$ or 96.68 U.S. cents * U.S. retail sales climb at fastest pace in 7 months * Bond prices lower across curve By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Aug 13 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ended weaker against its U.S. counterpart in quiet trading on Tuesday, with the greenback bolstered by U.S. retail sales data that heightened expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve is on the verge of scaling back stimulus measures. The loonie, as Canada's currency is colloquially known, gained against the Japanese yen, but was off against the euro and the pound. Retail sales, a key gauge of U.S. consumer spending, rose at the fastest pace in seven months in July, a sign of quicker economic growth that strengthens the case for the Fed to reduce stimulus. "This retail sales number this morning from the U.S. helped jolt markets into moving," said Greg Moore, a currency strategist at TD Securities. "A solid report overall, it reinforces the notion that (Fed) tapering in September should be appropriate. It's not a very strong signal that it will happen...but tapering is essentially on track," he said. Other data on Tuesday showed U.S. small business optimism improving in July, while import prices rose less than expected during the month. The Canadian dollar's moves were subdued, however, with little domestic data to drive direction until manufacturing sales on Friday. "It's the late summer doldrums ... It's pretty benign for now," said Don Mikolich, executive director, foreign exchange sales, at CIBC. Mikolich added that markets are waiting for clear signals about what the Fed might do. "Canada's going to take its cues from those sorts of developments," he said The Canadian dollar ended the day trading at C$1.0343 versus the U.S. dollar, or 96.68 U.S. cents. This was weaker than Monday's North American finish of C$1.0303, or 97.06 U.S. cents. TD's Moore said he expects the currency to trade between C$1.0250 and C$1.0450 through the remainder of the week. Market action is expected to pick up toward the end of the month with the release of Canadian inflation, retail sales and economic growth data. "I think by the end of the month, we'll have a bit of a picture of whether the economy here is still sputtering, or whether we'll see a little bit of trend growth," Mikolich said. Canadian government debt prices were lower across the maturity curve. The two-year bond lost 10.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.202 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond fell 67 Canadian cents to yield 2.618 percent.