CANADA FX DEBT-C$ slips on positive U.S. economic data; oil supports
* C$ at C$1.0505 vs US$, or 95.19 U.S. cents * U.S. Q2 GDP grows at 2.5 pct annual rate; job claims fall in previous week * Canada current account widens to C$14.6 billion in Q2 * Bond prices fall across maturity curve By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar softened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, after data showed the U.S. economy accelerated more quickly than expected during the second quarter. U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate - more than double the pace of the previous three months - while the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week. The figures are the latest indicators the Federal Reserve could be ready to scale back its economic stimulus program. "Slightly better-than-expected U.S. GDP number gave the U.S. dollar a bit of a boost. That has the Canadian dollar on a back foot," said Benjamin Reitzes, senior economist and foreign exchange strategist at BMO Capital Markets. "Oil prices - even though they're little bit off today - continue to give the Canadian dollar some support, limiting the potential weakness for now as long as oil prices stay as firm as they are." Brent crude and U.S. crude jumped some five and four percent respectively over the past two days on concerns over Middle East oil supplies following expectations the West may be gearing up for a military operation in response to last week's chemical weapons attack in Syria. Oil prices eased somewhat on Thursday, however, as the possibility of a delay in a military strike helped calm jitters. The Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.0505 to the U.S. dollar, or 95.19 U.S. cents at 9:42 a.m. (1341 GMT), softer than Wednesday's North American finish at C$1.0485, or 95.37 U.S. cents. The currency is expected to trade between C$1.0480 and C$1.0530 during the session according to RBC Capital Markets. Domestically, Canada's current account gap widened to C$14.6 billion during the second quarter, in line with expectations, as exports struggled to gain traction and oil shipments to the United States fell. Meanwhile, producer prices rose for the second straight month in July. Second quarter Canadian economic growth figures and a slew of U.S. data on Friday will be the next driver for the Canadian dollar. Economists are expecting a weaker reading for Canada's GDP. Canadian government bond prices fell across the maturity curve. The two-year bond was off 3 Canadian cents, yielding 1.216 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond retreated 29.5 Canadian cents, yielding 2.660 percent.
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