CANADA FX DEBT-C$ helped by sales data, all eyes on central bank

Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:32am EDT
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* Canadian dollar at 80.90 U.S. cents

* Canada retail sales edge up 0.2 percent in Feb

* Bond prices higher across the curve

* Market eyes Bank of Canada Monetary Policy Report

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was slightly higher on Thursday morning, supported by domestic retail sales data and firmer global equity markets, with investors awaiting a key Bank of Canada report due later in the morning.

The currency drew support from domestic data that showed retail sales edged up 0.2 in February from January, the second straight monthly increase after major declines in November and December. [ID:nN23310364]

As well, global markets were higher as investors set aside recent worries about the global economy and banking sector [ID:nLN597380], while U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open, boosted in part by positive earnings. [ID:nN23311190]

The market is expected to pay close attention to the central bank's Monetary Policy Report, due at 10:30 a.m. (1430 GMT), which will outline a potential framework for unconventional policy measures, such as printing money to buy securities, also known as quantitative easing. [ID:nN23361342]   Continued...