CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weakens against firm U.S. dollar, hits new 11-1/2-year low
* Canadian dollar at C$1.3876 or 72.07 U.S. cents * Bond prices mixed across flatter maturity curve TORONTO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar fell to a new 11-1/2-year low against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, together with broader gains for the U.S. dollar after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday for the first time in more than nine years. The greenback hit a two-week high against a basket of major rivals after the Fed raised interest rates and signaled four more hikes are to come next year. Depressed oil prices in the face of a relentless build in oversupply added to pressure on the Canadian dollar. U.S. crude prices were down 0.25 percent to $35.43 a barrel, while Brent crude added 0.83 percent to $37.70. At 9:28 a.m. EST (1428 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.3876 to the greenback, or 72.07 U.S. cents, weaker than the Bank of Canada's official close of C$1.3785, or 72.54 U.S. cents. The currency's strongest level of the session was C$1.3778, while it hit its weakest level since June 2004 at C$1.3880. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week fell from a five-month high, suggesting sustained labor market healing that could support further Fed tightening. Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the maturity curve, with the two-year price down 0.5 Canadian cent to yield 0.552 percent and the benchmark 10-year rising 41 Canadian cents to yield 1.466 percent. The curve flattened in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries, as the spread between the 2-year and 10-year yields narrowed by 4.5 basis points to 91.4 basis points, indicating outperformance for longer-dated maturities. Canadian inflation data for November is awaited on Friday. A Reuters poll shows a pickup in the consumer price index to a 1.5 percent pace from a year earlier. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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