CANADA FX DEBT-Domestic wholesale trade data, oil lift Canadian dollar

* Canadian dollar at C$1.2849 or 77.83 U.S. cents

* Bond prices lower across the maturity curve

Dec 20 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday after domestic data showed wholesale trade rose more than expected in October, which could bode well for economic growth at the start of the fourth quarter. Increased purchases of machinery and equipment, as well as household goods, drove the value of Canadian wholesale trade up 1.5 percent, data showed. That could mean October growth data, due on Friday, could come in stronger than forecast, though Thursday's retail sales report will also be key, Nick Exarhos, economist at CIBC, wrote in a note. The Canadian dollar touched a session high of C$1.2819 after the data was released, its highest since Dec. 15.

At 9:31 a.m. ET (1431 GMT), the Canadian dollar was

trading at C$1.2849 to the greenback, or 77.83 U.S. cents, up 0.2 percent. An uptick in oil prices also lent support to the loonie as crude rose on expectations of a fall in U.S. inventories.

U.S. crude prices were up 0.40 percent at $57.79 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 0.44 percent to

$64.08. Canadian government bond prices were largely lower across

the maturity curve, with the two-year price down 5.5

Canadian cents to yield 1.634 percent and the benchmark 10-year falling 40 Canadian cents to yield 1.983 percent.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr in Ottawa; Editing by Susan Thomas)