CANADA FX DEBT-C$ steady ahead of speech by central bank chief
* Canadian dollar at C$1.1028 or 90.68 U.S. cents * Bond prices lower across the maturity curve By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, April 24 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the greenback on Thursday, sticking to its recent trading range as the market looked ahead to a speech by the head of the Bank of Canada later in the day. Central bank Governor Stephen Poloz was set to give a speech in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, titled "Canada's Hot - And Not - Economy". Investors will be watching for any further insight into the likely path of monetary policy. Poloz's speech will be followed by a press conference. Central bank policy has been a major driver of the loonie since the Bank of Canada shifted to a more dovish policy stance last October. Poloz said last week an interest rate cut was still a possibility, even as the central bank forecast inflation will pick up speed this year. Heading into last week's policy announcement by the bank, there had been the expectation that it could be a little less dovish given some recent strength in economic numbers, said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian fixed income and currency strategy at Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto. "What people were hoping for was that at the margin, it looks like now that rotation is happening and that exports and capital spending, at least initially, look to be getting better, but (Poloz) really hasn't been willing to concede that," Chandler said. That might leave investors a little bit wary heading into Poloz's speech this afternoon, he added. The Canadian dollar was at C$1.1028 to the greenback, or 90.68 U.S. cents, a tad stronger than Wednesday's close of C$1.1032, or 90.65 U.S. cents. With no major domestic economic data on tap on Thursday, trading could be muted heading into Poloz's speech. After hitting a 4-1/2 year low hit in March, the loonie has bounced back but its rally has lost momentum over the last two weeks as investors weigh modestly improving economic data against a still-neutral Bank of Canada. That has left the Canadian dollar moving mostly sideways in recent sessions as it hovers around the technically important C$1.10 level. Canadian government bond prices were lower across the maturity curve, with the two-year off 1-1/2 Canadian cents to yield 1.075 percent and the benchmark 10-year down 12 Canadian cents to yield 2.446 percent. (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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