April 23, 2009 / 1:36 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ helped by sales data, all eyes on central bank

* Canadian dollar at 80.90 U.S. cents

* Canada retail sales edge up 0.2 percent in Feb

* Bond prices higher across the curve

* Market eyes Bank of Canada Monetary Policy Report

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was slightly higher on Thursday morning, supported by domestic retail sales data and firmer global equity markets, with investors awaiting a key Bank of Canada report due later in the morning.

The currency drew support from domestic data that showed retail sales edged up 0.2 in February from January, the second straight monthly increase after major declines in November and December. [ID:nN23310364]

As well, global markets were higher as investors set aside recent worries about the global economy and banking sector [ID:nLN597380], while U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open, boosted in part by positive earnings. [ID:nN23311190]

The market is expected to pay close attention to the central bank’s Monetary Policy Report, due at 10:30 a.m. (1430 GMT), which will outline a potential framework for unconventional policy measures, such as printing money to buy securities, also known as quantitative easing. [ID:nN23361342]

“If there is going to be any market mover today that’s going to be it,” said David Bradley, director of foreign exchange trading Scotia Capital.

At 9:15 a.m. (1315 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.2361 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.90 U.S. cents, up from Wednesday’s finish at C$1.2400 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.65 U.S. cents.

Bond prices were mostly higher across the curve as investors awaited the Bank of Canada report, helped by speculation it may provide details about government bond purchases. (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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