CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weaker on data, stimulus hopes
* C$ at C$0.9936 vs $US, or $1.0064 * Federal Reserve stimulus hopes dim * Bank of Canada's hawkish tone meets skepticism * Bond prices mixed By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Aug 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was weaker against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, failing to gain traction as the market continued to unwind recent gains amid a recent string of weak domestic economic data and diminished hopes of swift stimulus action in the U.S. Minutes from the Federal Reserve's August meeting suggested another round of monetary stimulus may not be far off, but comments on Thursday from St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard, who called the minutes "a bit stale", dampened those expectations. "It's a tough day for the Canadian dollar, but we saw a push down to a three-month-high earlier in the week," said Adam Button, currency analyst at ForexLive in Montreal. "It's abundantly clear the Canadian dollar doesn't have the appetite to get below 98 cents," he added, also noting that the currency has "almost been tick for tick with the S&P 500" over the last month. U.S. stocks were lower on Thursday over the Fed's stimulus expectations and data out of China and the euro zone, which clouded the global economic outlook. The Canadian dollar closed at C$0.9936 versus the U.S. dollar, or $1.0064, softer than Wednesday's finish at C$0.9914, or $1.0087. Button said if the currency can push above the C$0.9950 level, it will likely test parity. Market skepticism that the Bank of Canada can really deliver on its hawkish sentiment also kept the currency under pressure. Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney in remarks on Wednesday repeated similar language used last month when keeping rates unchanged, saying "some modest withdrawal of the present considerable monetary policy stimulus" might become appropriate. "It seems kind of unbelievable that the Bank of Canada is going to be raising rates anytime soon -- in fact I think the market is pricing in only a 12 percent change of a move by year end," said David Bradley, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotiabank. "If you look at the last three or four economic indicators, they've been quite soft -- retail sales, CPI, unemployment -- so that is preventing further Canadian dollar strength as well." Canadian bond prices were mixed, with the two-year bond losing 2.8 Canadian cents to yield 1.124 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond gaining 16 Canadian cents to yield 1.822 percent.
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