* Currency earlier touched C$1.1982, or 83.46 U.S. cents
* Factory sales rose in February, first time since July
* Bond prices lower across the curve on data
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By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, April 16 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed versus the U.S. dollar on Thursday morning after earlier hitting a 13-week high on domestic data that showed a rebound in factory sales.
The currency shot up to C$1.1982 to the U.S. dollar, or 83.46 U.S. cents, its highest since Jan. 12, after a Statistics Canada report said on Thursday factory sales rose in February for the first time since July in part on a slight rebound in the battered auto sector. [ID:nN17446129]
“We got a little bit better than expected manufacturing shipments data for February,” said Charmaine Buskas, senior economics strategist, TD Securities.
“That was probably the catalyst that pushed it through that level,” she added referring to the Canadian unit piercing through C$1.2000.
However, Buskas doubted whether the improved reading could be sustained.
“It probably is not going to be a sustained improvement given that most of the rise was due to the auto sector,” she said. “The reason why the auto sector posted such a good performance was because there were shutdowns in January. It kind of tempers the optimism a little bit.”
Also helping the currency were world stocks .MIWD00000OUS, which held on to gains on Thursday morning after U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) reported stronger-than-expected earnings. [MKTS/GLOB], while U.S. stocks were steady.
“Equity firmness is a reflection of risk appetite returning,” said Matthew Strauss, senior currency strategist RBC Capital Markets. “That general optimistic sentiment is supporting the Canadian dollar.”
At 10:20 a.m. (1420 GMT), the unit was at C$1.2030 to the U.S. dollar, or 83.13 U.S. cents, virtually unchanged from Wednesday’s finish at C$1.2032 to the U.S. dollar, or 83.11 U.S. cents.
Canadian data that will attract investor attention on Friday is the consumer price index for March due before the market open.
Domestic bond prices were lower across the curve, mimicking the U.S. Treasury market as Wall Street stocks gained and dented the appeal for safe-haven government bonds. [ID:nNYD000464]
The domestic factory data also kept pressure on Canadian bond prices, said Buskas.
“The selloff is really the function of the slightly better data that we got today,” she said.
The two-year bond slipped 5 Canadian cents at C$100.21 to yield 1.149 percent, while the 10-year bond retreated 20 Canadian cents to C$106.85 to yield 2.960 percent.
The 30-year bond pulled back 70 Canadian cents at C$122.45 to yield 3.708 percent. In the United States, the 30-year treasury yielded 3.7069 percent. (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Frank McGurty)