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* Closes at C$1.0873 to US$, or 91.97 U.S. cents
* C$ hits highest level since Aug. 14
* Goldman Sachs says short US$ versus C$
* Bond prices ends session flat (Updates to session close)
By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar hit its highest level in nearly a week on Thursday en route to its third straight higher close versus the U.S. currency as hopes that the global economy was on the mend boosted risk appetite.
The currency's rise followed a rebound in Chinese and North American equities, which helped lift investors' spirits and weigh on a low-yielding greenback, which usually falls when markets grow more optimistic and exit the perceived safety of the U.S. dollar.
"Stocks and risk sentiment has modestly improved but the Canadian dollar has really outperformed all the other majors," said Tyson Wright, senior foreign exchange trader at Custom House, a currency services firm in British Columbia.
"It seems the move was a little exaggerated obviously because Canada outperformed and our data over the last week hasn't been that positive."
The Canadian dollar rallied as high as C$1.0864 to the U.S. dollar, or 92.05 U.S. cents, which marked its highest level since Aug. 14. It backed off a touch but still managed to end the session higher.
It ended at C$1.0873 to the U.S. dollar, or 91.97 U.S. cents, up from C$1.0956 to the U.S. dollar, or 91.27 U.S. cents, at Wednesday's close.
The move higher came as Goldman Sachs said now is a good time to short the U.S. dollar versus the Canadian currency, given its ties to the price of oil, which have rebounded of recent lows. [ID:nN20528836]
Wright said the currency's latest rise was likely exaggerated, given thin liquidity, but noted that its move will likely be contained around the C$1.08 area.
The latest Canadian data showed wholesale trade rose for the first time in nine months in June, up 0.6 percent from May on higher sales of automotive products. [ID:nN20510314]
That data came a day after a report showed consumer prices in Canada fell at the steepest rate in 56 years in July due to a sharp decline in energy costs. [ID:nN19463312]
BONDS END FLAT
Canadian bond prices finished flat across the curve, tracking a move in the bigger U.S. Treasury market after weak U.S. labor data offset a surprise rise in regional manufacturing.
A U.S. report showed manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic region turned positive in August, ending a 10-month contraction on the back of a jump in new orders. [ID:nN20513029]
The report charted an improvement in manufacturing but a separate report from the U.S. Labor Department underscored the fragile state of the jobs market and kept dealers hanging on to more secure assets.
The two-year Canadian bond ended up 5 Canadian cents at C$99.50 to yield 1.251 percent, while the 10-year bond rose 15 Canadian cents to C$102.97 to yield 3.389 percent.
The 30-year bond rose 26 Canadian cents to C$118.71 to yield 3.891.
Canadian bonds underperformed their U.S. counterparts across the long end of the curve. The Canadian 30-year bond was 34.1 basis points below the U.S. 30-year yield, versus 38.2 basis points on Wednesday.
(Editing by Rob Wilson)