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CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar advances for eighth straight week

 (Adds strategist quote and details throughout; updates prices)
    * The Canadian dollar trades in a range of 1.2027 to 1.2094
    * For the week, the loonie strengthens 0.4%
    * Flash estimate shows Canadian retail sales falling in
April
    * Price of U.S. oil settles 2.7% higher

    By Fergal Smith
    TORONTO, May 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little
changed against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as encouraging
U.S. factory data boosted the greenback, with the loonie adding
to a streak of weekly gains and staying in reach of a 6-year
high.
    The loonie        was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2055 to
the greenback, or 82.95 U.S. cents, having traded in a range of
1.2027 to 1.2094. For the week, it was up 0.4%, the eighth
consecutive week it has advanced, which is the longest streak
since 2016.
    On Tuesday, the loonie touched its strongest level since May
2015 at 1.2013, bolstered by the recent surge in prices for some
of the commodities that Canada produces on prospects for global
economic recovery.
    The reaction of markets, including bonds and copper, to the
U.S. data "came to the rescue for USDCAD," said Erik Bregar,
head of FX strategy at Exchange Bank of Canada.
    Copper        fell 1.5% and the U.S. dollar        gained
ground against a basket of major currencies after data showed
U.S. factory activity gathering speed in early May.             
    Investors have worried that the heating up of the U.S.
economy could raise the outlook for inflation, prompting the
Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy.
    Canadian retail sales plunged by 5.1% in April, Statistics
Canada said in a preliminary estimate, a fall that analysts said
coincided with provincial efforts to fight a third wave of
COVID-19.             
    Statscan also said March retail trade rose by 3.6% from
February, surpassing estimates for a 2.3% increase.
    The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, settled
2.7% higher at $63.58 a barrel as a storm formed in the Gulf of
Mexico, threatening production.             
    Canadian government bond yields were mixed across the curve
in a shortened session ahead of Monday's Victoria Day holiday.
The 10-year             was nearly unchanged at 1.543%.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Nick
Zieminski)
  
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