April 1, 2019 / 1:38 PM / a year ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ holds near 11-day high as Chinese data boosts sentiment

    * Canadian dollar near flat against the greenback
    * Loonie touches its strongest since March 21 at 1.3339
    * Price of U.S. oil rises nearly 1 percent
    * Canadian bond prices fall across a steeper yield curve

    TORONTO, April 1 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was nearly
unchanged against its U.S. counterpart on Monday, steadying near
an earlier 11-day high as oil prices rose and a surprise
recovery in China factory activity boosted investor sentiment.
    Stocks and the price of oil, one of Canada's major exports,
were boosted by data showing a pick-up in China's manufacturing
activity and further hints of progress in U.S.-China trade
talks. U.S. crude        prices were up nearly 1 percent at
$60.71 a barrel.                         
    At 9:19 a.m. (1319 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading nearly flat at 1.3346 to the greenback, or 74.93 U.S.
cents. The currency touched its strongest intraday level since
March 21 at 1.3339.
    The nearly two-week high for the loonie came after data on
Friday showed surprising strength in the domestic economy. 
    On Friday, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission and Reuters calculations showed that speculators have
cut their bearish bets on the Canadian dollar. As of March 26,
net short positions had fallen to 39,571 contracts from 47,774
in the prior week.             
    The loonie declined 1.3 percent in March but was up 2.2
percent for the first quarter, the best performance in the G10.
    Canadian government bond prices were lower across a steeper
yield curve, tracking declines for U.S. Treasuries despite an
unexpected drop in U.S. retail sales in February.             
    The two-year            fell 1.5 Canadian cents to yield
1.557 percent and the 10-year             was down 20 Canadian
cents to yield 1.64 percent.           

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith
Editing by Susan Thomas)
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