* Canadian dollar rises 0.3% against the greenback * Canadian retail sales plunge 26.4% in April * Price of U.S. oil increases 3.5% * Canadian bond yields rose across a steeper curve TORONTO, June 19 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against the greenback on Friday as hopes for economic recovery trumped domestic data showing a record drop in retail sales in April, when lockdowns to fight the coronavirus outbreak were in place across the country. Canadian retail sales plummeted 26.4% in April, Statistics Canada data showed. That was a bigger drop than economists had expected but a flash estimate from the national statistical agency was for sales to rebound 19.1% in May. Wall Street rallied on hopes of a bounce back in post-pandemic economic activity, as investors shrugged off rising new COVID-19 cases in several U.S. states and in China. A second wave of COVID-19 and another round of sweeping lockdowns could have a "very serious" impact on the Canadian economy and must be avoided, Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Lawrence Schembri said on Thursday. The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.3563 to the greenback, or 73.73 U.S. cents, on Friday. The currency, which was up 0.1% for the week, traded in a range of 1.3547 to 1.3615. The gain for the loonie came as the price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, was bolstered by a promise from OPEC producers and allies to meet supply cuts and signs that demand, hit by the coronavirus crisis, was recovering. U.S. crude prices were up 3.5% to $40.21 a barrel. Canadian government bond yields were higher across a steeper curve, with the 10-year up 3.7 basis points at 0.562%. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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