CANADA FX DEBT-C$ flat as China data, domestic retail sales weigh
* Canadian dollar at C$1.1032 or 90.65 U.S. cents * Bond prices higher across the maturity curve (Adds quote and details, updates prices) By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the greenback on Wednesday as more signs of slower economic growth in China and downward revisions to domestic retail sales left the currency churning in its recent range. Data showed Chinese factory activity shrank for the fourth month in a row in April, though the pace of contraction eased slightly compared to the month before. The loonie is often sensitive to developments in China, which is the world's second-largest economy and a major consumer of natural resources. "The Chinese data overnight continues to signal that there's going to be issues with China hitting their growth targets if the government doesn't look to maybe step in to do some more to support the recovery," said Scott Smith, senior market analyst at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Calgary. Economic data at home was not able to provide support for the loonie as Canadian retail sales grew more than expected in February but January's figures were revised lower. Recent stronger Canadian economic data had helped the Canadian dollar bounce back from a 4-1/2-year low hit in March, but the loonie has lost traction in the last couple weeks as analysts weigh the modest economic improvement against a central bank that is still neutral in its monetary policy. "We're seeing a little bit of drifting, there is still in the market a Canadian dollar bearish sentiment on an overall basis," said Smith. "To some extent, we're around this pivot right now at the C$1.10 figure (and) we're waiting for the next move on where it will go." The Canadian dollar ended the North American session at C$1.1032 to the greenback, or 90.65 U.S. cents, slightly weaker than Tuesday's close of C$1.1028, or 90.68 U.S. cents. While the next major move for the Canadian dollar is still likely to be lower, that will ultimately have to come on the back of strength in the U.S. dollar as the Federal Reserve continues to wind down its accommodative monetary policy, said David Tulk, chief Canada macro strategist at TD Securities in Toronto. "If you look at the Canadian-specific reasons or factors why we could see a weaker Canadian dollar, it seems a lot of those have been already well established in terms of the market," said Tulk. "They understand the fact that the Bank of Canada is sounding cautious, they understand that economic growth will more or less underperform the U.S., so our big view point is that it has to come through U.S. dollar strength." Canadian government bond prices were higher across the maturity curve, with the two-year up half a Canadian cent to yield 1.064 percent and the benchmark 10-year up 15 Canadian cents to yield 2.425 percent. (Editing by Chris Reese)
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