CANADA FX DEBT-C$ pulls back from 5-week high as oil prices slide
* Canadian dollar at C$1.3431, or 74.45 U.S. cents * Loonie touches its strongest since April 19 at C$1.3388 * Bond prices mixed across a flatter yield curve * 2-year spread vs Treasuries hits narrowest in 3 weeks TORONTO, May 25 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, pulling back from a five-week high as oil prices fell after OPEC signaled it would go no further with production cuts than markets previously expected. U.S. crude prices were down 0.84 percent at $50.93 a barrel even as Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries delegates said that the producer group had decided to extend cuts to March. Some investors have been hoping it would reduce output even further to drain stocks more quickly. At 9:19 a.m. ET (1319 GMT), the Canadian dollar was down 0.2 percent at C$1.3431 to the greenback, or 74.45 U.S. cents. The currency's weakest level of the session was C$1.3449, while it touched its strongest since April 19 at C$1.3388. On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada was more upbeat about the economy than some investors had expected as it left interest rates unchanged at 0.5 percent. The central bank reiterated its position that excess capacity remains in the economy, but it dropped a reference to slack being "material" and noted strong spending by Canadians along with a housing boom and job growth. Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said late on Wednesday that he felt "very strongly" that U.S. trade relationships with Canada and Mexico help U.S. competitiveness. The remarks came as U.S. President Donald Trump looks at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canadian government bond prices were mixed across a flatter yield curve. The two-year dipped 1.5 Canadian cents to yield 0.724 percent, and the 10-year rose 7 Canadian cents to yield 1.471 percent. The gap between Canada's two-year yield and its U.S. equivalent narrowed by 1.7 basis points to a spread of -57.3 basis points, its smallest gap since May 1. Shorter-dated Canadian bonds have increasingly underperformed since Wednesday's rate decision by the Bank of Canada. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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