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* C$ stood at C$0.9817, or $1.0186
* Reaches highest level since March, 2008
* Recent commodity price spike still supporting currency
* Bond prices mostly firmer across the curve
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar broke the C$0.98 barrier against the greenback on Friday to reach a near three-year high, helped by this month's oil price rise and the view it is less vulnerable than many other currencies to global shocks like Libya's revolt.
The currency rose even though oil pulled back slightly on Friday after recently hitting two-and-a-half year highs. [O/R]
"Canada has benefited a little bit from ... its relative safe haven status, considering all the things going on in the world -- the unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa," said Steve Butler, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotia Capital.
At 9:30 a.m. (1430 GMT), the currency CAD=D4 stood at C$0.9817 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0186, up from Thursday's North American finish of C$0.9832 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0171.
Earlier in the session, it briefly hit C$0.9795, its strongest showing since March, 2008.
Butler noted that the market was somewhat cautious heading into the weekend and month-end on Monday.
"That's all about flows and we sort of throw fundamentals out the window," he said.
Weaker GDP data from the U.S. could put some follow-through pressure on North American currencies as the session progresses, he added. [ID:nCAT005386]
"Canada seems to be a bit of a safe-haven play, but at the same time we all know that a weaker (U.S.) dollar in the U.S. is not good for the Canadian economy, so sometimes we get dragged down a little bit on those surprise numbers," said Butler.
Canadian bond prices were mostly firmer across the curve.
The two-year bond CA2YT=RR was up half a Canadian cent to yield 1.796 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR added 21 Canadian cents to yield 3.294 percent. (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)