* C$ rises to 92.17 U.S. cents, underperforms other majors
* Bond prices dip as stocks gain
* European data and U.S. data contrast
TORONTO, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Canada's currency edged higher on Thursday against a greenback that was pressured by disappointing U.S. economic data.
U.S. retail sales dipped an unexpected 0.1 percent in July. [ID:nN12109251] Data also showed the weak U.S. labor market struggled to stabilize with the latest jobless claims rising slightly last week. [ID:nN13489469]
Also, the euro zone's two biggest economies, Germany and France, defied expectations with returns to growth in the second quarter, which helped drag the U.S. dollar lower [ID:nLD331672] [ID:nN13229983] despite the U.S. Federal Reserve's statement on Wednesday that the worst of the financial crisis is over. [ID:nN1272730]
While soft U.S. economic news has tended to drive safe-haven flows to the U.S. dollar during the financial crisis, it did the opposite on Thursday.
"The traditional safe-haven story isn't playing out right now," said Eric Lascelles, chief economics and rates strategist at TD Securities.
"The U.S. dollar seems to be softening on sour economic news as opposed to strengthening on safe-haven flows. That seems to be why the vast majority of currencies out there are substantially up."
The Canadian dollar was one of the softest performers among major currencies. Its 0.4 percent gain versus the U.S. dollar on Thursday paled in comparison to the more than 1 percent rise in its sister commodity currencies, the Australian and New Zealand dollars.
A strong open to North American equity markets and a firm oil price also supported the Canadian dollar.
At 9:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.0850 to the U.S. dollar, or 92.17 U.S. cents, up from C$1.0884 to the U.S. dollar, or 91.88 U.S. cents, at the close on Wednesday, when it snapped a four-day skid.
BOND PRICES EASE
A positive tone to equities as well as the surprising growth data overseas contributed to slightly lower Canadian bond prices across the curve.
The disappointing U.S. data offset some of the decline.
The two-year Canadian bond was off 1 Canadian cent at C$99.34 to yield 1.328 percent, while the 10-year bond slipped 15 Canadian cents to C$101.75 to yield 3.536 percent.
The 30-year bond eased 10 Canadian cents to C$116.60 to yield 4.004. In the United States, the 30-year bond yielded 4.518 percent. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)