* C$ up at C$0.9936 per U.S. dollar, or $1.0064
* Bond prices firmer across the curve
* Focus on upcoming U.S and Canadian GDP data (Adds details, comment)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against the U.S. currency on Thursday, spurred by a pick-up in buying of Canadian dollars and light trading ahead of U.S. and Canadian economic data tomorrow and next week.
Weakness in equities and softer resource prices -- normally drivers for the Canadian dollar -- were having little effect as the currency firmed, but still within the parity to C$0.99 range.
"Look at Canada as more or less an oasis of stability within a relatively volatile market around it," said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial.
"The Canadian dollar seems to be taking the global macro risks that are being put on the table from time to time in good stride."
The currency has remained relatively stable despite a downgrade of Japan's long-term debt rating, ongoing concerns over European financial stability, and the Federal Reserve's decision to leave interest rates unchanged near zero, Spitz noted.
"There's significantly less volatility in USD/CAD than there appears to be in other currency pairs."
At 2:48 (1948 GMT), the currency CAD=D4 stood at C$0.9936 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0064, up from Wednesday's North American finish at C$0.9953, or $1.0047.
The U.S. will issue forth-quarter gross domestic product data on Friday and investors will look for clues the health of the world's biggest economy. Strength in the United States generally bodes well for Canada, its biggest trading partner.
Next week, a slew of Canadian data, kicking off with the GDP figures and culminating in the job numbers on Friday will provide more direction for the range-bound currency.
"It's not likely to trade between C$0.99 and parity for much longer. The market will break it out. I think the break-out is likely to be toward U.S. dollar weakness and Canada strength," said Spitz, who sees the break-out to be around the C$0.9837 level.
Canadian bond prices were firmer across the curve.
The two-year bond CA2YT=RR was up 2.5 Canadian cent to yield 1.738 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR climbed 29 Canadian cents to yield 3.278 percent. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)