CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms against US$ on risk bid

* C$ at C$1.0153 vs US$, or 98.49 U.S. cents
    * Holds near 4 1/2 year highs vs yen
    * Touches weakest level vs NZD since mid-2005
    * Bond prices mixed

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, April 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was firmer
against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday as investors looked more
favorably at riskier assets but movements were limited by a lack
of major news or economic data.
    The Canadian dollar remained near four-and-a-half-year highs
versus the yen following the Bank of Japan's aggressive stimulus
policy last week. 
    A solid start to U.S. corporate earnings season and a fall
in Chinese inflation helped stocks and commodities.
    Mixed Canadian housing data did little to move the currency.
Housing starts edged higher in March as rural starts surged, but
urban starts declined, while separate data showed the value of
Canadian building permits were weaker-than-expected.
    "We didn't really get that much of a strengthening, much of
a reaction off the housing start data," said Mazen Issa, macro
strategist at TD Securities.
    "More recently, in the absence of data and more significant
events taking place abroad, the drivers tend to shift toward
events abroad."
    At 9:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), the Canadian dollar was
trading at C$1.0153 versus the U.S. dollar, or 98.49 U.S. cents,
stronger than Monday's North American session close C$1.0173 vs
US$, or 98.30 U.S. cents.
    Its performance was mixed against other currencies, touching
its weakest level against the New Zealand dollar 
since mid-2005, but was stronger against the Swiss franc
 and Swedish kroner.
    Canadian government bond prices were mixed, with the
two-year bond flat with a yield of 0.992 percent and
the benchmark 10-year bond up 5 Canadian cents to
yield 1.760 percent.