CANADA FX DEBT-C$ up slightly, but range-bound ahead of jobs data
* Canadian dollar at C$1.0660 or 93.81 U.S. cents * Bond prices lower across the maturity curve * Fed minutes had little impact on loonie (Updates to close, adds analyst comment) By Andrea Hopkins TORONTO, July 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened modestly against the greenback on Wednesday, though the currency was expected to hew to a narrow range with investors turning their attention to the domestic employment report at the end of the week. North American stocks rose, lifting a global equities gauge as the Federal Reserve detailed its plan to allow a strengthening economy to fend for itself, while Brent fell as Libyan oil pumps came back online. Minutes from the most recent Fed meeting showed the U.S. central bank has begun detailing plans to ease the world's largest economy out of an era of loose monetary policy, while its asset purchases will likely end in October. While that pushed stocks higher, the Canadian currency ended the day only slightly stronger against its U.S. counterpart. "It's vaguely stronger on the day, but it's had a fairly narrow range and what we're seeing is broad-based U.S. dollar weakness, aggravated by the minutes for some," said Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank. "Net net, the minutes had a very limited impact, and the broader move has been stronger equities and broad-based U.S. dollar weakness." The Canadian dollar ended the North American session at C$1.0660 to the greenback, or 93.81 U.S. cents, slightly stronger than Tuesday's close of C$1.0677, or 93.66 U.S. cents. Reaction to Wednesday's Canadian housing data was muted after a report showed housing starts unexpectedly rose in June. The loonie is expected to be constrained until Friday's employment report and, beyond that, next week's Bank of Canada meeting. The economy is forecast to have added 20,000 jobs last month. Investors are waiting to see how the Bank of Canada will react to recent surprisingly strong inflation data after the central bank has repeatedly flagged its concerns about the low inflation environment. "Employment on Friday is going to be just a preamble for the Bank of Canada next week," said Martin Schwerdtfeger, FX strategist at TD Securities. "For the Bank of Canada, we think they are going to balance once again inflation coming higher relative to their previous projections with GDP coming lower." Analysts expect that will allow the central bank to maintain the neutral tone it has held since October. "They have no incentive whatsoever to modify market expectations at this point in time," said Schwerdtfeger. Canadian government bond prices were mixed, with the two-year off 1.5 Canadian cent to yield 1.123 percent and the benchmark 10-year up 2 Canadian cents to yield 2.250 percent. (Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Chris Reese)
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