CANADA FX DEBT-C$ retreats after weak U.S. data drags on markets
* C$ at C$1.0138 vs US$, or 98.64 U.S. cents * U.S. retail sales fall unexpectedly in March * Bank of Canada rate decision set for Wednesday * CPI, manufacturing, housing data also in focus next week * Bond prices rise across the curve By Solarina Ho TORONTO, April 12 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against the U.S. dollar on Friday, a day after putting in its strongest performance in nearly two months, as disappointing U.S. data signaled flagging momentum in Canada's largest export market. Canadian and global equity markets and commodities also sold off after a dour reading of U.S. consumer sentiment and poor retail sales. Canadian gold-mining shares were hit especially hard as the price of gold fell below $1,500 to its lowest levels since July 2011, hurt by a draft plan for Cyprus to sell gold reserves as part of its bailout by international lenders. "Weak data out of the U.S. weighed on pretty much all assets. You're seeing commodities in particular get hit pretty hard. Gold is down pretty meaningfully today," said Benjamin Reitzes, senior economist and foreign exchange strategist at BMO Capital Markets. "That's definitely not helping the Canadian dollar's cause." U.S. retail sales contracted in March for the second time in three months, falling 0.4 percent, which was below analysts' expectations of a flat month in sales. The Canadian dollar finished the week at C$1.0138 versus the U.S. dollar, or 98.64 U.S. cents, softer than Thursday's close of C$1.0107, or 98.94 U.S. cents. "The U.S. (retail) numbers tend to reflect a trend that we've seen before ... whereby we see the data through spring tend to disappoint," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD Securities. "Worries about a soft patch start to perhaps percolate through the market. We think it is something we have to keep in mind over the course of the next few weeks here." The Canadian currency mostly underperformed against other major currencies, including the Japanese yen. Earlier in the week, it had touched its strongest level against the yen in about 4-1/2 years. There is potentially market-moving data from both sides of the border next week, including manufacturing sales, U.S. and Canadian consumer price index data, and housing statistics. The Bank of Canada's next interest-rate decision and monetary policy report will come on Wednesday. The price of Canadian government debt was higher across the curve, with the two-year bond climbing 6 Canadian cents to yield 0.950 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond rising 43 Canadian cents to yield 1.738 percent.
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