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CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar steadies ahead of key retail sales data

·2 min read

(Adds dealer quotes and details throughout; updates prices) * Loonie trades in a range of 1.2529 to 1.2594 * Price of U.S. oil settles 2.3% higher * Canadian bond yields ease across a flatter curve By Fergal Smith TORONTO, July 22 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the greenback on Thursday, with the currency holding on to gains over the last two days as oil rose and ahead of data that could offer clues on the domestic economy's strength coming out of lockdowns. The loonie was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2558 to the greenback, or 79.63 U.S. cents, after trading in a range of 1.2529 to 1.2594. "I think tomorrow is going to be the important day for USD-CAD," said Michael Goshko, corporate risk manager at Western Union Business Solutions. "We will finally get a little bit of clarity on just how well the Canadian economy is emerging from the third wave." Analysts expect retail sales data on Friday to show a 3% decline in May from April. A preliminary estimate for June, when some provinces loosened pandemic-related restrictions, could also be released. Last week, the Bank of Canada took a mostly optimistic stance on the country's economy, saying the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic had largely passed. Still, investors have been weighing in recent days whether the spreading Delta variant could impede global economic recovery. On Monday, the Canadian dollar hit a five-month low at 1.2807. Oil, one of Canada's major exports, extended strong gains made in previous sessions on expectations of tighter supplies until the end of the year. U.S. crude futures settled 2.3% higher at $71.91 a barrel. Canadian government bond yields eased across a flatter curve, tracking the move in U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year was down 3.1 basis points at 1.191% but holding well above the five-month low it hit on Monday at 1.097%. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Barbara Lewis and Jonathan Oatis)