CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weakens but unshaken from its recent range

Reuters

* Canadian dollar at C$1.0745 or 93.07 U.S. cents * Bond prices lower across the maturity curve (Adds details, quotes, updates prices) By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, July 24 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against the greenback on Thursday as robust jobs data south of the border supported the U.S. dollar to the detriment of the loonie, eclipsing encouraging global purchasing activity figures.

Still, the Canadian dollar remained hemmed in to its recent trading range in a quiet week for domestic economic data that has provided few catalysts to take the currency strongly in either direction.

"It's part of just bouncing around in this range that we're becoming quite familiar with over the last week," said Ken Wills, currency strategist and broker at CanadianForex in Toronto.

Data showed China's factory activity expanded at its fastest in 18 months in July, while the euro zone's private sector picked up. The reports together suggested the global economy started the second half of the year on solid footing.

But that was offset by a separate report that showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest since early 2006. That pressured the loonie as it raised expectations for another strong U.S. employment report next week.

It also underscored speculation the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than had been expected following comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen last week.

"The market in my opinion gets a little ahead of themselves in that regard, thinking the Fed's going to be painted into a corner and have to do something," said Wills.

"It may lead to a bit more serious change in tone in the fall, but I wouldn't expect to see it yet." The Canadian dollar ended the North American session at C$1.0745 to the greenback, or 93.07 U.S. cents, weaker than Wednesday's close of C$1.0729, or 93.21 U.S. cents.

While the loonie is nearly flat for the week so far, the currency will see more potential drivers next week with gross domestic product reports on both sides of the border, as well as the U.S. unemployment report and a Fed meeting.

"We don't have too many catalysts until next week to try to get a sense of a better view point going forward," said Scott Smith, senior market analyst at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Calgary.

The currency pairing should find support at C$1.07, while the high C$1.07s to C$1.08 area will likely act as resistance unless U.S. economic data continues to come in strong, said Smith.

Canadian government bond prices were lower across the maturity curve, with the two-year down 3 Canadian cents to yield 1.098 percent and the benchmark 10-year down 24 Canadian cents to yield 2.160 percent.

(Editing by Chris Reese)

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