CANADA FX-C$ strengthens to two-month high after U.S. data
* C$ strengthens to C$0.9575 to the U.S. dlr, or $1.0444
* U.S. jobs, retail sales data support
* Higher oil, copper, gold all provide lift
* Moody's downgrade risk weighs on U.S. dollar
By Trish Nixon
TORONTO, July 14 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened to its highest point in over two months against the U.S. currency on Thursday, buoyed by positive U.S. data, higher oil prices and a broadly weaker greenback.
U.S. data showed jobless claims dropped last weak and retail sales rose slightly. Both reports showed slightly more strength than analysts had expected. [ID:nN1E76D0BM]
Stronger U.S. data typically benefits the Canadian dollar, as the United States is Canada's largest export market.
The Canadian dollar also benefited from the greenback's decline against a range of currencies following a warning from ratings agency Moody's on Wednesday that the U.S. economy's top credit ranking may be in danger.
"The data this morning ... it's viewed as relatively benign," said Darcy Browne, managing director, capital markets trading at CIBC World Markets.
"The U.S. dollar is under pressure from the overnight session. There are lingering effects from the late day warning of Moody's downgrade, and really no resolution on the debt ceiling."
He added that given U.S. and European problems, the Canadian dollar is "a place where people are comfortable parking their money."
At 9:28 A.M. (1328 GMT), the currency CAD=D4 was at C$0.9575 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0444, up from Wednesday's North American finish at C$0.9597, or $1.0420.
Earlier it climbed to C$0.9549, or $1.0472, the highest point since May 11.
Browne expected the Canadian dollar to trade between C$0.9530 and C$0.96 for the session. (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)
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