CANADA FX DEBT-C$ little changed ahead of Bank of Canada decision
* C$ at C$1.0280 vs US$, or 97.28 U.S. cents * C$ has weakened more than 3 percent since January * Bank of Canada expected to keep interest rates unchanged * At least five central banks announce rate decision this week By Solarina Ho TORONTO, March 5 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar finished little changed on Tuesday against its U.S. counterpart, with investors mostly sidelined ahead of a rate decision and policy statement by the Bank of Canada's on Wednesday. The Bank of Canada is one of several major central banks expected to keep monetary policy easy at meetings this week. Australia's Reserve Bank kept interest rates at record lows overnight. The Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank are all expected to either keep current loose policies in place or add extra stimulus after their meetings this week. The Bank of Canada, for its part, is expected to hold interest rates steady at 1 percent. However, investors will be closely dissecting the central bank's language for any change in tone. "I would say given the weakness, there's some flexibility on their part to perhaps to be a bit more cautious," said David Tulk, chief Canada macro strategist at TD Securities. "Our base case is that they still want to reiterate the view that rates will go up; it just may take a very long term." The Canadian dollar has weakened more than 3 percent since the Bank of Canada toned down its more hawkish stance in January, saying the withdrawal of monetary policy stimulus was "less imminent than previously anticipated." That language has prompted economists and forecasters to predict the central bank will likely hold interest rates unchanged until the first quarter of 2014. "The Bank of Canada has been the main source for this recent loonie weakness over the last month or so," said Darren Richardson, corporate dealer at CanadianForex, a commercial foreign exchange dealing firm, referring to the colloquial name for the Canadian dollar. The Canadian dollar finished its North American session at C$1.0280 versus the U.S. dollar, or 97.28 U.S. cents, slightly firmer than Monday's finish at C$1.0277, or 97.30 U.S. cents on Monday. It was broadly underperforming other currencies on Tuesday. Canadian government bond prices were lower across the curve. The two-year bond was off 2 Canadian cents and yielding 0.955 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond was down 5 Canadian cents to yield 1.815 percent.
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