* C$ at 97.43 U.S. cents as risk aversion diminishes
* Bond prices mostly lower
TORONTO, May 18 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar pushed higher against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, helped by a better, although still cautious, tone to riskier markets.
Investors took heart from promises that euro zone finance ministers hoped to clarify some technical and legal details of the rescue plan this week [ID:nLDE64G290]. Spain and Portugal are also expected to outline measures to cut their budget deficits.
That helped lift U.S. stock index futures, while crude oilprices, a key driver for Canada's commodity-linked currency, recovered from a five-month low the previous session and rose more than 3 percent to above $72 a barrel. [O/R] [.N]
"The general theme is guarded optimism on Europe, but that can quickly evaporate," said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian fixed income and currency strategy at RBC Capital Markets.
At 8:05 a.m. (1205 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was at C$1.0264 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.43 U.S. cents, up from C$1.0337 to the U.S. dollar, or 96.74 U.S. cents, at Monday's close.
The currency retested the overnight session high at C$1.0259 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.48 U.S. cents, ahead of the day's data.
Canadian data for international securities transactions for March is on tap, while the U.S. will present April data for housing starts, building permits and producer prices. This week's consumer price data for both Canada and the U.S. are due later this week.
With the exception of the 30-year bond, Canadian government bond prices were mostly a touch lower and tracked U.S. Treasuries.
"Longer term yields in the U.S. are down and it looks to be a little bit in Canada too. That story may be a bit about a combination of inflation being mute and also weakness in China (with) worries gathering a little bit of steam as well," said Chandler.
The two-year government bond CA2YT=RR dipped 1 Canadian cent to C$99.24 to yield 1.882 percent, while the 10-year bond <CA10YT=RR was up 2 Canadian cents to C$99.95 to yield 3.506 percent. The 30-year bond CA30YT=RR was up 17 Canadian cents at C$118.65 to yield 3.880 percent. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)