* C$ strengthens to C$0.9575 to the U.S. dlr, or $1.0444
* U.S. jobs, retail sales data support
* Higher oil, copper, gold all provide lift
* Moody's downgrade risk weighs on U.S. dollar
TORONTO, July 14 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar
strengthened to its highest point in over two months against
the U.S. currency on Thursday, buoyed by positive U.S. data,
higher oil prices and a broadly weaker greenback.
U.S. data showed jobless claims dropped last weak and
retail sales rose slightly. Both reports showed slightly more
strength than analysts had expected. [ID:nN1E76D0BM]
Stronger U.S. data typically benefits the Canadian dollar,
as the United States is Canada's largest export market.
The Canadian dollar also benefited from the greenback's
decline against a range of currencies following a warning from
ratings agency Moody's on Wednesday that the U.S. economy's top
credit ranking may be in danger.
"The data this morning ... it's viewed as relatively
benign," said Darcy Browne, managing director, capital markets
trading at CIBC World Markets.
"The U.S. dollar is under pressure from the overnight
session. There are lingering effects from the late day warning
of Moody's downgrade, and really no resolution on the debt
He added that given U.S. and European problems, the
Canadian dollar is "a place where people are comfortable
parking their money."
At 9:28 A.M. (1328 GMT), the currency
C$0.9575 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0444, up from Wednesday's
North American finish at C$0.9597, or $1.0420.
Earlier it climbed to C$0.9549, or $1.0472, the highest
point since May 11.
Browne expected the Canadian dollar to trade between
C$0.9530 and C$0.96 for the session.
(Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)