CANADA FX DEBT-C$ little changed as Ukraine, Gaza crises cut risk appetite
* Canadian dollar at C$1.0730 or 93.20 U.S. cents * Bond yields mostly down, 10-year at lowest in a year (Adds details, quotes, updates prices) By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, July 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the greenback on Monday, hemmed in by a lack of risk appetite in global markets as fighting flared in Ukraine and hostilities continued in Gaza. With the Bank of Canada sticking to its neutral policy stance and with little domestic economic data on tap, the loonie was expected to trade in a range in the short term, but market focus was on the hot spots around the world. In Ukraine, fighting broke out in the eastern city of Donetsk, while a train carrying the remains of the victims of last week's downed Malaysian flight left the site. Meanwhile, the death toll from the two-week conflict between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants passed 500, while the United States took a direct role in efforts to secure a ceasefire. While markets as a whole have fluctuated with changes in risk appetite, a rise in oil prices helped put a floor under the Canadian dollar, said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian fixed income and currency strategy at Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto. The loonie is often sensitive to movements in oil prices as Canada is a major producer of oil and natural resources. U.S. oil for September settled up 91 cents at $102.86 a barrel. "Realistically, when people look at these movements and what it means for the Canadian dollar, the most immediate focus tends to fall on oil prices," said Chandler. "That's been relatively supportive and that's one of the reasons why we've had a little bit of a bid in the Canadian dollar." The Canadian dollar ended the North American session at C$1.0730 to the greenback, or 93.20 U.S. cents, slightly stronger than Friday's close of C$1.0736, or 93.14 U.S. cents. In a relatively subdued week, Wednesday's Canadian retail sales data for May will be a focal point, as will Tuesday's inflation data out of the United States. The U.S. dollar-Canadian dollar pairing is likely to be tightly capped between C$1.08 and C$1.07, but a breakout above C$1.08 could become the start of another leg higher, said Scott Smith, senior market analyst at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Calgary. That could see the pair creep up to the mid-C$1.09s, he said. The flight to safety sent Canadian government bond prices mostly higher, with the benchmark 10-year up 27 Canadian cents to yield 2.136 percent, its lowest in more than a year. The two-year bucked the trend and was off 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.085 percent. (Editing by James Dalgleish)
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