CANADA FX DEBT-C$ rides U.S. data to 4th straight higher close
* Closes at C$1.0819 to US$, or 92.43 U.S. cents
* C$ ends week up 1.6 percent
* U.S. housing data sparks rally
* Bond prices lower across curve (Updates to close)
TORONTO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar rose for a fourth straight session on Friday as climbing oil prices coupled with healthier U.S. housing data to boost risk appetite and lift the currency to a 1.6 percent gain on the week.
After touching a one-month low at the start of the week the domestic currency put together a string of gains on hopes that the the global economy was on the mend.
The latest rally versus the greenback came as U.S. data showed sales of previously owned homes in July notched their fastest pace in nearly two years, which the market interpreted as the strongest sign yet that the housing sector was finally pulling out of a slump [ID:nN21391628].
Another boost came from the price of oil, a key Canadian export, which hit a 2009 high above $74 a barrel as the upbeat data suggested an economic recovery as well as a potential revival in energy demand. [ID:nSIN143777]
"The housing data came in with a strong upside surprise and we immediately saw equities reacting to that, and the Canadian dollar followed suit as one of the commodity-based currencies," said Matthew Strauss, senior currency strategist RBC Capital Markets.
"So you have two very strong supportive factors with higher oil prices and stronger equity increases."
Canada's currency rallied to its highest level since Aug. 7 moments after the 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT) U.S. data, touching C$1.0762 to the U.S. dollar, or 92.92 U.S. cents.
It backed off slightly, but still closed at C$1.0819 to the U.S. dollar, or 92.43 U.S. cents, up from C$1.0873 to the U.S. dollar, or 91.97 U.S. cents, at Thursday's close.
The currency was already higher heading into the North American session, given increased risk appetite overnight, as data showed the euro zone economy probably crawled back to growth this quarter. [ID:nLL381566]
The Canadian dollar is now up about 21 percent from the four-year low it tumbled to in early March.
BOND PRICES LOWER
Canadian bond prices, with no domestic data to influence a move, ended lower as the appetite for secure assets like government debt eased after the U.S. housing data and comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Bernanke said prospects for a return to growth in the near term appeared good in the United States and elsewhere. The remarks went beyond a statement from Fed policy-makers last week when the central bank acknowledged the U.S. economy was "leveling out." [ID:nN2139655]
"It's all on the back of the much stronger than expected U.S. home sales figures," said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.
"I guess Bernanke's commentary reaffirming that the recession is likely over weighed on the bond market as well but it's largely due to the sales numbers."
The two-year Canadian bond ended down 19 Canadian cents at C$99.30 to yield 1.355 percent, while the 10-year bond slipped 81 Canadian cents to C$102.17 to yield 3.485 percent.
The 30-year bond shed C$1.35 to close at C$117.40 to yield 3.961 percent.
Canadian bonds outperformed their U.S. counterparts across the curve. The Canadian 30-year bond was 41.2 basis points below the U.S. 30-year yield, versus 35.1 basis points on Thursday. (Editing by Rob Wilson)
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