CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weaker as economic data clouds outlook
* C$ at C$1.0237 vs US$, or 97.64 U.S. cents * Seen trading between C$1.0200 and C$1.0260 on Monday * Carney speech and conference in focus * Bond yields edge higher By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Monday, holding near the 8-month low that followed dismal retail sales and inflation numbers last week, with investors looking to an appearance by the head of the central bank for hints of a possible easing in monetary policy. Analysts said data later this week, including a report on the current account on Thursday and GDP data on Friday, could add to the gloom surrounding the currency's outlook. "The market's looking for another reason to take the Canadian dollar weaker at this point and we may get it as the week wears on," said Darcy Browne, managing director at CIBC's Capital Markets Trading. "It's the same weak fundamentals that's been making the Canadian dollar weaker over the last week or so." The currency touched its softest level against the U.S. dollar in nearly eight months last Friday after the Canadian economy registered its lowest inflation in more than three years last month and the largest decline in retail sales in nearly three years in December. Last week's data furthered trimmed the likelihood that the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates this year. Further guidance could come later on Monday from a speech and news conference by Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, in which he is likely to be pressed for hints on whether the central bank could drop the tightening bias it has had since early last year. At 9:12 a.m. (1412 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.0237 versus the U.S. dollar, or 97.64 U.S. cents, weaker than Friday's North American session close at C$1.0208, or 97.96 U.S. cents. Browne said there is natural hedging interest around C$1.0250, but expected the Canadian dollar to move to C$1.04 to C$1.05 against the greenback over the medium term. For today, he expected a range between C$1.0200 and C$1.0260. The Canadian dollar was underperforming against nearly all major currencies, except the Japanese yen. Government bond prices dipped across the curve. The price of a two-year Canadian government bond was off half a Canadian cent, yielding 1.074 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond fell 19 Canadian cents, yielding 1.965 percent.
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