CANADA FX DEBT-Domestic wholesale trade data, oil lift Canadian dollar

    * Canadian dollar at C$1.2849 or 77.83 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices lower across the maturity curve

    Dec 20 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against
its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday after domestic data showed
wholesale trade rose more than expected in October, which could
bode well for economic growth at the start of the fourth
    Increased purchases of machinery and equipment, as well as
household goods, drove the value of Canadian wholesale trade up
1.5 percent, data showed.             
    That could mean October growth data, due on Friday, could
come in stronger than forecast, though Thursday's retail sales
report will also be key, Nick Exarhos, economist at CIBC, wrote
in a note.
    The Canadian dollar touched a session high of C$1.2819 after
the data was released, its highest since Dec. 15. 
    At 9:31 a.m. ET (1431 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading at C$1.2849 to the greenback, or 77.83 U.S. cents, up
0.2 percent.
    An uptick in oil prices also lent support to the loonie as
crude rose on expectations of a fall in U.S. inventories. 
    U.S. crude        prices were up 0.40 percent at $57.79 a
barrel, while Brent crude         rose 0.44 percent to
    Canadian government bond prices were largely lower across
the maturity curve, with the two-year            price down 5.5
Canadian cents to yield 1.634 percent and the benchmark 10-year
            falling 40 Canadian cents to yield 1.983 percent.

 (Reporting by Leah Schnurr in Ottawa; Editing by Susan Thomas)