* C$ jumps to 99.70 U.S. cents
* Bonds little changed (Updates to afternoon)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rose more than a penny against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, hitting a near three-week peak on the back of a broad risk rally.
The Canadian dollar CAD=D4 hit a session high of C$1.0030 against the greenback, or 99.70 U.S. cents, its highest level since Nov. 12.
With no Canadian economic data on tap, the move was largely driven by global markets as stocks and commodity prices gained, due in part to upbeat U.S. housing and retail data.
The euro rebounded against the U.S. dollar as well on further evidence of economic recovery in Europe and the United States. Traders also cited European Central Bank buying of Portuguese and Irish bonds.
The Canadian dollar, however, was the day's best performer among G10 currencies.
"It's unusually strong ... it's very much a flow-driven story," said Sacha Tihayni, currency strategist at Scotia Capital.
"Everything is going in the same direction today against the U.S. dollar so that provides the pretext for Canadian dollar strength. Commodities are up, equities are roaring away."
At 12:46 p.m. (1738 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was at C$1.038 to the U.S. dollar, or 99.62 U.S. cents, up sharply from C$1.0170 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.33 U.S. cents, at Wednesday's close.
The Canadian dollar is expected to be fairly rangebound and remain close to current levels around parity with the U.S. dollar over the next 12 months, according to a Reuters poll released on Thursday. [ID:nN02224928]
Tihanyi said parity represented a significant support level for the U.S. dollar on Thursday.
Next in focus, Friday's release of the Canadian November jobs reports will be the last major piece of data to consider before the Bank of Canada's next interest rate decision on Dec. 7. The U.S. jobs report is also on tap on Friday.
In another poll released on Thursday, primary dealers and global forecasters surveyed by Reuters said unanimously they expected the Bank of Canada to keep interest rates on hold next week, but the uneven economic recovery left them divided on the timing of rate hikes in 2011. [ID:nN02264459]
Canadian government bond prices cut some losses as U.S. Treasuries turned positive after comments from Jean-Claude Trichet failed to meet hopes that the European Central Bank will take aggressive action to stabilize euro-zone activity. [US/]
The two-year government of Canada bond CA2YT=RR was flat to yield 1.677 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR was down 22 Canadian cents to yield 3.04 percent. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng and Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway)