* C$ ends at 96.73 U.S. cents
* C$ rises 2.6 percent for the week
* Bond prices rise in safe-haven bid
(Updates to close, adds quotes)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, June 11 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar retreated
against its U.S. counterpart on Friday for the first time in
five days as softer than expected retail sales report in the
United States raised concerns about economic recovery.
Retail sales in the United States, which buys around
three-quarters of Canadian exports, fell unexpectedly in May
for the first time in eight months. Total retail sales dropped
1.2 percent, versus forecasts for 0.2 percent growth.
As well, the price of U.S. crude oil futures ended below
$74 a barrel. Canada is the biggest oil supplier to the United
States, and its currency is often influenced by moves in oil
"The general negative impact the retail sales had on
equities helped to drive a little bit of that risk-aversion
trade," said Sacha Tihanyi, a currency Strategist at Scotia
"If you're a shot-term person you'd think: I don't want to
touch Canada right now. I'd rather touch some other currency,"
The disappointing retail data raised concerns about the
health of consumer spending and kept U.S. stocks down for most
of the day. However, equities managed to stage a late afternoon
rally, which helped to trim the currency's losses. [.N]
The Canadian dollar finished at C$1.0338 to the U.S.
dollar, or 96.73 U.S. cents, down slightly from Thursday's
North American finish of C$1.0312 to the U.S. dollar, or 96.97
Still, the currency's slide was cushioned by a surprisingly
strong reading of U.S. consumer sentiment.
The Canadian dollar was up 2.6 percent this week as
investor fears over European the sovereign debt largely
dissipated. It was the currency's best weekly performance since
"It's kind of a sigh of relief and a change of pace from
the downside volatility that's come from the ongoing euro zone
grind," said Tihanyi.
He added that the market currently expects the currency to
trade between C$1.0300 and C$1.0400 to the U.S. dollar.
Canadian bond prices edged higher across the curve as the
weak U.S. retail data fed a safe-haven rally, mimicking moves
in the U.S. Treasury market. [US/]
"We do take a lot of price discovery from the U.S. and we
had very disappointing retail sales come out this morning in
the U.S.," said Ian Pollick, portfolio strategist at TD
"What that really shows us is there is a certain fragility
in consumer spending."
On the domestic data front, strong manufacturing growth in
the first quarter drove a record jump in industrial capacity
The report is not normally seen as a major market mover,
but essentially reaffirmed that economic recovery is on track
in Canada, said Pollick.
The two-year government bond CA2YT=RR was up 6 Canadian
cents to yield 1.789 percent, while the 10-year bond
CA10YT=RR rose 16 Canadian cents to yield 3.415 percent.
Canadian bonds underperformed U.S. issues across the yield
curve. The 10-year Canadian yield was 18 basis points above its
U.S. counterpart, from about 11 basis points in the previous
(Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson)