* C$ higher at C$0.9778 vs US$, or $1.0227 * Bond prices turn negative across the curve * July retail sales jump by 0.7 percent By Claire Sibonney TORONTO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar turned positive against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday and bonds sold off after data showed domestic retail sales in July rose much more than expected. Canadian retail sales jumped by 0.7 percent from June to a near record C$38.99 billion, in part due to higher sales of new cars, far greater than the modest 0.1 percent advance forecast by market analysts. Following release of the data, Canada's currency hit a session high of C$0.9765 versus the greenback, or $1.0241, from around C$0.9795, or $1.0209, heading into the report. "With the data release you saw strengthening in the Canadian dollar as well as a sell-off in fixed income, so it was definitely seen by markets as a decent indicator of consumer strength," said Emanuella Enenajor, economist at CIBC World Markets. "If anything it means consumers aren't on a downward spiral," she added, but cautioned that the report doesn't change the fact that consumers still face significant headwinds, including the slow pace of hiring, decelerating consumer credit and elevated debt loads. Earlier in the session, uncertainty over Spain's next move to tackle its funding problems had turned investors away from riskier assets, including the Canadian dollar. Investors have been reluctant to place big bets after a strong rally in global markets that followed the announcement of new policies earlier this month by the world's major central banks to stimulate growth and support efforts by Europe to resolve its debt crisis. "I suspect that there is a need for a new trigger and a new catalyst to the upside on the euro and for risk assets, and the answer could be from Europe with the market really hoping that we get at some point soon (from) Spain making the formal request for a bailout," said Audrey Childe-Freeman, head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets. "Until we get that I think we'll stay in a very kind of ... cautious mood in the market. And from a Canadian dollar perspective it means that we probably remain within the recent ranges." This week, Spain is expected to unveil new structural reforms and its draft budget plan for 2013. Investors also await results of stress tests on its banking sector. At 9:31 a.m. (1331 GMT), the Canadian dollar stood at C$0.9778 versus the greenback, or $1.0227, firmer than Monday's North American session finish at C$0.9788, or $1.0217. Childe-Freeman said Canadian dollar resistance was seen around C$0.9730 and support around C$0.9800. U.S. consumer confidence figures due at 10 a.m. are also expected to provide further direction. Canadian government bond prices turned negative across the curve following the stronger-than-expected retail sales data. The two-year bond fell 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.122 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond lost 10 Canadian cents, yielding 1.827 percent.