CANADA FX DEBT-C$ slips against firmer greenback, crude oil softens
* Canadian dollar at C$22.31, or 81.76 U.S. cents * Bond prices mostly lower across maturity curve TORONTO, May 19 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar retreated against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday to its weakest level in about a month, as the greenback rallied against a basket of major currencies to a two-week high and helped push crude oil prices down nearly 2 percent. The U.S. dollar's strength came as European Central Bank officials said they could take more measures to lower euro zone bond yields and boost inflation, moves that could inject more euros into the market. The Canadian dollar extended its losses from Monday, with market participants also likely positioning themselves ahead of a speech by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz. Investors are speculating whether Poloz could use the opportunity to temper his earlier optimism about an improving Canadian economy or talk down the loonie. * At 9:18 a.m. EDT (1318 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.2231 to the greenback, or 81.76 U.S. cents, sharply weaker than Friday's Bank of Canada close of C$1.2022, or 83.18 U.S. cents. Most Canadian trading floors were closed on Monday for the Victoria Day holiday. The Canadian dollar ended at C$1.2159, or 82.24 U.S. cents on Monday, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data. * The currency's strongest level of the session was C$1.2130 while its weakest level was C$1.2242. * A well supplied global oil market also kept crude prices in check. U.S. crude prices were down about 1.85 percent at C$58.33 a barrel, while Brent crude slid 1.74 percent to $65.11 a barrel. * The Canadian dollar, which was stronger than many of its other major currency counterparts, is expected to trade between C$1.2150 and C$1.2250 against the U.S. dollar during the North American session on Tuesday, according to KnightsbridgeFX.com. * Canadian government bond prices were mostly lower across the maturity curve, with the two-year down 10 Canadian cents to yield 0.698 percent and the benchmark 10-year off 82 Canadian cents to yield 1.801 percent. * The Canada-U.S. two-year bond spread was 9.7 basis points, while the 10-year spread was -47.2 basis points. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Paul Simao)
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