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* C$ ends up at C$0.9880 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0121
* Bond prices fall as risk sentiment perks up again
* Little market impact from rise in Canadian retail sales (Updates to close)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Aug 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar finished slightly firmer on Tuesday, but was a laggard against the U.S. currency as it was largely left out of a global shift to riskier assets.
Equities and most commodities rallied, supported by gauges of Chinese and euro zone economic activity that came in less gloomy than feared. That pushed lingering worries of the euro zone debt crisis aside, putting pressure on bond pricing. [MKTS/GLOB]
Toronto's main stock index closed sharply higher, notching its biggest gain in nearly two weeks. [.TO]
But while Canada's retail sales grew for a third straight month, the figure prompted little enthusiasm from market players who noted a one-off jump in auto sales had fueled most of the rise.
"Equities have maintained a lot of their strength but we're not getting the same strength as others from a weaker U.S. dollar," said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian fixed income and currency strategy, at RBC Capital Markets.
"The retail sales number wasn't bad really, but it seems to be having some residual effect. Maybe that's restraining the Canadian dollar a little bit versus its peers."
The currency CAD=D4 ended at C$0.9880 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0121, up slightly from C$0.9901 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.01, at Monday's session close.
The Canadian dollar had added to overnight gains, rising to C$0.9855 after the retail sales data before easing.
The currency was a laggard among other majors, as well as its commodity-linked cousins, the Australian and New Zealand dollars, which rose about 1 percent against the greenback.
The two-year bond CA2YT=RR fell 6 Canadian cents to yield 0.943 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR dropped 65 Canadian cents to yield 2.378 percent.
Retail sales in June were up 0.7 percent from May as auto sales roared back to life, Statistics Canada data showed. The increase matched forecasts. Excluding autos, sales fell by 0.1 percent in the month versus market expectations for a 0.2 percent increase. [ID:nN1E77M09U]
May's advance was revised up to 0.3 percent from an initial 0.1 percent, and in volume terms sales rose 1.6 percent.
Thin trading might have had some effect, as market players prepared for the annual gathering of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which remains the key event for late this week.
Investors are looking to see if the U.S. Federal Reserve announces further economic stimulus a year after Chairman Ben Bernanke launched a second round of quantitative easing to revive the struggling U.S. economy.
A speech on Tuesday by Jean Boivin, deputy governor at the Bank of Canada, made no mention of current monetary policy and had little impact on the market. [ID:nT5E7J801A]
Overnight, a speech by Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Tiff Macklem is also expected to have minimal market impact. He will be speaking in Mumbai, India, in a speech titled "The role of the G20 in sustaining the recovery and protecting financial stability." (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)