CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weaker ahead of data, BoC decision this week
* C$ at C$1.0300 vs US$, or 97.09 U.S. cents * Wholesale trade rises 0.5 percent in August * Bond prices mostly lower across maturity curve By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened slightly on Monday as investors were wary of taking aggressive bets ahead of some key data reports on both sides of the border this week, as well as an interest rate decision from the Bank of Canada. Economic data reports delayed by this month's partial U.S. government shutdown will be released in the coming weeks. One of the most important for markets, the unemployment report for September, will be released on Tuesday. At home, investors will also take in Canadian retail sales for August. The shutdown has raised concerns about how much of a bite it will take out of the already fragile U.S. economic recovery. That casts some uncertainty on Canada's economic prospects, as the United States is Canada's largest trading partner. Investors are also speculating that the impact from the shutdown will see the Federal Reserve maintain the current pace of its economic stimulus program for longer than had been expected. "It's sleepy price action to start off the week," said Scott Smith, senior market analyst at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Calgary. "We've got a lot of data coming down the pipe, so I think people are weighing what the expectations for those (releases) are." The Canadian dollar was at C$1.0300 versus the greenback, or 97.09 U.S. cents, weaker than Friday's close of C$1.0294, or 97.14 U.S. cents. Investors were also staying on the sidelines ahead of an interest rate decision from the Bank of Canada, due on Wednesday. The central bank is expected to keep rates steady at 1 percent. The accompanying statement will likely be a bigger focal point, with investors sensitive to any change in tone that might indicate when the bank will eventually raise rates. "The Bank of Canada has held a relatively hawkish tightening (bias) over the last few statements," said Smith. "The risk is we start to see a little softening of language on the Bank of Canada side of things and maybe looking toward more of an emphasis on boosting export growth and holding off on interest rates until we see that slack removed from the economy." The loonie saw little reaction to domestic data on Monday that showed wholesale trade rose in August, helped by stronger auto sales. Government bond prices were mostly lower across the maturity curve with the two-year bond off 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.186 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond falling 12 Canadian cents to yield 2.544 percent.
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