CANADA FX DEBT-C$ softens as next week's Fed meeting, data in focus
* C$ at C$1.0277 vs US$ or 97.30 U.S. cents * Fed policy debate, next week's jobs data in focus * Oil prices fall on China, U.S. output worries * Bond prices higher across curve By Solarina Ho TORONTO, July 26 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar eased on Friday from a five-week high against the U.S. dollar, but traded within a tight range as investors eyed economic data and a Federal Reserve meeting next week for guidance on the U.S. economy. "We had a little volatility earlier in the week but that's pretty much been sapped out of the market," said Blake Jespersen, managing director, foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital Markets. With a lack of economic data to drive direction, the commodities-linked currency was pressured in part by weaker oil prices, which fell on worries over a looming Chinese economic slowdown and decades-high oil output in the United States. At 9:17 a.m. (1317 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.0277 versus the U.S. dollar, or 97.30 U.S. cents, marginally off its North American session close at C$1.0264, or 97.43 U.S. cents on Thursday. The Canadian dollar, which was mixed against other major currencies and trading within a narrow range on Friday, was expected to be bound between C$1.0260 and C$1.0310. The greenback was broadly weaker after a Wall Street Journal report said the U.S. central bank may debate changing its forward guidance to emphasize that it will keep rates low for a long time. The news prompted investors to trim bets on the dollar gaining. Next week, Canada and its largest export market will release economic growth data, while the U.S. will also issue its July data on the state of the labor market. "Everything the Fed says these days is extremely important to the market and has been moving the market quite dramatically. Fed is always the big event, but of course jobs on Friday will also be key," said Jespersen. The price of Canadian government debt was higher across the maturity curve. The two-year bond rose 1.8 Canadian cents to yield 1.144 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond rose 13 Canadian cents to yield 2.450 percent.
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