* Canadian dollar at C$1.3315, or 75.10 U.S. cents
* Bond prices mixed across the yield curve
* Loonie touches its strongest since Dec. 15 at C$1.3297
TORONTO, Jan 4 The Canadian dollar strengthened
to a near three-week high against its U.S. counterpart on
Wednesday, together with gains for other commodity-linked
currencies after upbeat global economic data.
A batch of reports from Europe showed that French consumer
confidence hit a nine-year high, business activity across the
euro zone rose at the fastest pace in more than five years and
inflation in the euro zone is its highest in over three years.
This followed similarly upbeat reports this week on U.S.,
British, Chinese and Japanese business activity.
Commodity-linked currencies, such as the Canadian dollar,
the Australian and New Zealand dollars tend to benefit more than
many others from an upswing in growth.
The U.S. dollar edged down from a 14-year high
against a basket of currencies and the prices of oil, one of
Canada's major exports, rose on expectations that U.S. crude
inventories are falling and signs that oil producers will stick
to agreed output cuts that took effect this week.
U.S. crude prices were up 0.34 percent at $52.51 a
At 9:19 a.m. ET (1419 GMT), the Canadian dollar was
trading at C$1.3315 to the greenback, or 75.10 U.S. cents, much
stronger than Tuesday's close of C$1.3433, or 74.44 U.S. cents.
The currency's weakest level of the session was C$1.3456,
while it touched its strongest since Dec. 15 at C$1.3297.
The Australian dollar rose 0.6 percent, while the New
Zealand dollar was up 0.5 percent.
Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the yield
curve as investors braced for minutes from the December meeting
of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee.
The two-year fell 0.5 Canadian cent to yield
0.769 percent and the 10-year was flat to yield
Canada's trade report for November and employment report for
December are due on Friday.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Nick Zieminski)