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* C$ higher at C$1.1544 to the U.S. dollar
* Unit helped by Bank of Canada surveys
* U.S. stock market rise also fuels gain
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TORONTO, July 13 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar strengthened against the U.S. currency on Monday, helped by a rebound in equity markets and pair of Bank of Canada surveys that showed signs of improved business sentiment.
Lending conditions in Canada continued to tighten in the second quarter, according to the surveys of businesses and senior loan officers released on Monday, but the number of respondents pointing to tighter conditions declined and some aspects of business sentiment improved. [ID:nOTW000406]
"In general, given the positive aspects of those reports we have seen some interest to buy Canadian dollar," said George Davis, chief technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets, who also noted the Canadian unit gained momentum once the U.S. dollar breached the C$1.1585 level.
Another factor helping the currency higher was a rally in U.S. equity markets as bank shares gained following an upgrade on Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) and bullish comments from an influential bank analyst. [ID:nN13417348]
"What we have seen lately is when equity markets have done better so does the Canadian dollar," added Davis.
At 12:06 p.m. (1606 GMT), the Canadian unit was at C$1.1544 to the U.S. dollar, or 86.63 U.S. cents, up from C$1.1647 to the U.S. dollar, or 85.86 U.S. cents, at Friday's close.
Capping the Canadian dollar's rise was a drop in prices for key Canadian exports like oil, which slipped below $60 a barrel on concerns over the state of the global economy. [ID:nLD322824]
Domestic bond prices were mixed across the curve, mirroring the U.S. Treasury debt market where prices were mixed as investors assessed risk and supply concerns. [ID:nN13423572] (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)