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* C$ flat at C$0.9865 vs US$, or $1.0137 * Bond prices little changed across curve By Claire Sibonney TORONTO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday in rangebound trading, shrugging off a modest rally in other riskier assets after aluminum giant Alcoa opened the U.S. earnings season with an optimistic outlook. World shares staged a slight recovery after two days of losses. However, even with the encouraging Alcoa report, investors were wary about the outcome of the fourth-quarter earnings season. Adam Cole, global head of FX strategy at RBC Capital Markets in London, said he expects the Canadian dollar to start reacting to the U.S. earnings season once it picks up steam. "It looks extremely dull," said Cole. "Coming sessions is where we particularly take direction from (earnings). If that's where stocks take their direction then it's difficult to get away from that, being a fairly major barometer of pressure on CAD." U.S. profits were expected to beat the previous quarter's lackluster results, but analyst estimates were down sharply from October. Quarterly earnings were expected to grow by 2.7 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. Investors were also in a cautious mood before European and British central banks hold policy meetings on Thursday, when Spain also tests appetite for peripheral euro zone debt and China releases trade data. At 9:07 a.m. (1407 GMT), the Canadian dollar stood at C$0.9865 versus the greenback, or $1.0137, slightly weaker than Tuesday's North American session close at C$0.9867, or $1.0135. It traded in a tight 21-point range between C$0.9860-C$0.9881 RBC noted near-term U.S. dollar resistance versus the Canadian dollar around C$0.9947 and support near C$0.9826. Helping to limit the move on Wednesday, data showed Canadian housing starts slowed in December, but not as sharply as expected, as rural starts declined but urban starts held steady. Still, the Canadian dollar was outperforming some other major currencies such as the yen, as renewed expectations of easier Bank of Japan monetary policy led some investors to sell the Japanese currency. Canadian bond prices were also little changed, climbing at the short end of the curve, while longer-dated issues drifted lower. The two-year bond was up nearly 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.161 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond was off 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.909 percent.