* C$ ends higher at 97.34 U.S. cents
* Bonds edge up as market players consider rate moves
* Focus on Canada central bankers, U.S. data this week (Updates to close)
TORONTO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar climbed to a three-week high against the U.S. currency on Monday as upbeat Chinese data and relief about the impact of new global banking regulations whetted investor appetite for riskier assets.
The currency hit its highest level against the greenback since Aug. 19 -- C$1.0265 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.42 U.S. cents -- and then pared gains to close at C$1.0273 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.34 U.S. cents. That was still firmer than Friday's close of C$1.0351 to the U.S. dollar, or 96.61 U.S. cents.
"This is the strongest the Canadian dollar has been in quite some time," said Eric Lascelles, chief Canada macro strategist, at TD Securities. "We're bumping up against a little bit of resistance and we'll see whether we can break our way through C$1.0240. Generally speaking it's been a risk appetite day."
He said part of the reason for the rise was that investors were "warm and fuzzy" over Basel III developments after global regulators meeting in Switzerland agreed on the weekend to force banks to more than triple the amount of top-quality capital they must hold in reserve. Canadian banks were seen as being able to take he new rules in stride. [ID:nLDE68B0BP] [ID:nN13189759]
Strong Chinese data, including factory and money growth figures, showed the economy remained buoyant despite government efforts to clamp down on bank lending and property speculation. [ID:nTOE68A00H]
"We have risk appetite that's increased since China released its data," said Camilla Sutton, currency strategist at Scotia Capital.
"I think that's reassured the market for the outlook for global growth and that's good news for Canada."
Sutton said focus this week will be on speeches by Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, as well as Deputy Governor Timothy Lane. In the United States, data of key interest includes retail sales and inflation figures.
BONDS GAIN AS WELL
Canadian bond prices turned higher on Monday across the curve as market players assessed the outlook for the economy as positive for bonds even though risk appetite was strong in other markets.
There was no Canadian data on Monday, but Lascelles said the market weighed last week's interest rate hike and hawkish Bank of Canada's statements against Carney's more dovish remarks on Friday at a panel discussion.
Investors also considered remarks by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on Monday in which he welcomed signs that the Canadian housing market has cooled. [ID:nN13124201]
"There's a full gamut of views out there right now (on the Bank of Canada's path of monetary policy). So the market is unusually jittery, but I'm inclined to think that we don't get those (rate) hikes in October," Lascelles said.
The two-year Canada bond was up 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.459 percent, while the 10-year bond rose 21 Canadian cents to yield 3.078 percent. Canadian government bonds mostly underperformed across the curve against their U.S. counterparts. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng and Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)
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