* C$ rises to 97.25 U.S. cents
* Bond prices firm across curve
* Canadian financial markets closed on Monday
(Updates to close)
By Ka Yan Ng
OTTAWA, July 30 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rose for a
second straight session against its U.S. counterpart on Friday
as month-end demand overtook initial disappointment from soft
U.S. economic news.
Marginally firmer overnight, the currency hit a session low
after the release of U.S. and Canadian GDP data early in the
day, and then ground higher again on recovering U.S. stock
markets and month-end foreign exchange flows.
The Canadian currency CAD=D4 finished at C$1.0283 to the
U.S. dollar or 97.25 U.S. cents, up from Thursday's finish at
C$1.0362 to the U.S. dollar, or 96.51 U.S. cents.
"It looks like it's kind of recaptured what we had in a
trend before the selloff on GDP numbers," said Sacha Tihanyi,
currency strategist at Scotia Capital.
"It's in line with this big U.S. dollar weakening move, and
it's likely too that month-end flows are causing some of the
Data on Friday showed growth in U.S. gross domestic product
slowed more than expected in the second quarter, while Canadian
GDP edged up in May after stalling unexpectedly in April.
Analysts said the Canadian figures should keep the Bank of
Canada on track to raise interest rates on Sept. 8. Markets are
pricing in roughly a 64 percent chance of a quarter-point
increase in the bank's benchmark rate then, according to
Friday's yields on overnight index swaps, which reflect
expectations for the policy rate. BOCWATCH
Recovering equity markets and oil prices helped fuel
demand for riskier currencies. Equities cut GDP-linked losses
after a barometer of U.S. Midwest business activity in July
jumped and U.S. consumer sentiment data for the month came in
better than expected. [.N] [O/R] [ID:nN29111411]
"Hedge funds that have made a profit in U.S. equities have
to balance their books so they'll be selling their equities and
selling U.S. dollars to convert them back into Canadian," said
Darren Richardson, senior corporate dealer at CanadianForex.
He noted that forecasts for continued higher interest rates
are also benefiting the Canadian currency.
BOND PRICES ADVANCE
Canadian bond prices climbed strongly across the curve,
mimicking U.S. Treasuries, on talk that prospects of slow
growth and low inflation could lead the U.S. Federal Reserve to
become more accommodative. [US/]
The Canadian two-year bond CA2YT=RR drove 15 Canadian
cents higher to yield 1.459 percent, while the 10-year bond
CA10YT=RR added 40 Canadian cents to yield 3.113 percent.
"You'd already seen a pretty sizable rally, people are
still keying off of the Fed President Bullard's quantitative
easing comments yesterday but it seems to me that you've got a
bit of an extra kick from the numbers this morning," said Eric
Lascelles, chief macro strategist at TD Securities.
On Thursday, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James
Bullard added to fears about the economy by saying he was
worried about the risk the United States might fall into a
Japan-style quagmire of falling prices and investment, comments
the drove stocks and other riskier assets to retreat.
Most Canadian financial markets are closed on Monday for a
(Additional reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter