CANADA FX DEBT-C$ hits monthly low after inflation data
* C$ at C$1.0017 vs US$, or 99.83 U.S. cents
* Hits March low at C$1.0033
* Canada Feb core inflation higher than expected
* Bond prices higher across curve
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, March 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar touched a monthly low against its U.S. counterpart on Friday after data showed Canada's annual inflation rate edged up in February to 2.6 percent from a rate of 2.5 percent in January.
Core inflation, which excludes eight volatile items including gasoline and some food, sped up to 2.3 percent versus market expectations of 2.2 percent rate, Statistics Canada said on Friday. On a monthly basis, the headline consumer price index climbed 0.4 percent, under pressure from higher gasoline and clothing prices.
The Bank of Canada targets 2 percent inflation within a control range of 1 percent to 3 percent.
The Canadian dollar softened after the data, touching a monthly low at C$1.0033 versus the greenback, or 99.67 U.S. cents. It was at C$1.0001 immediately before the report was released. Continued...