CANADA FX DEBT-C$ dips ahead of FOMC minutes despite firmer oil
* Canadian dollar at C$1.3336 or 74.99 U.S. cents * Bond prices dip across the maturity curve By Fergal Smith TORONTO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged lower against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday despite weaker than expected U.S. housing starts and firmer crude oil prices, as attention turned to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes this afternoon. U.S. housing starts fell in October to a seven-month low, but a surge in building permits suggested the housing market remained on solid ground. Negative for commodity currencies, base metals hit multi-year lows as fears persisted over waning demand in top metals user China following the release of home price data. Oil rallied on reports of falling stockpiles and rising refinery activity in the United States, but trimmed gains ahead of official inventory data this morning from the Energy Information Administration. Fresh terrorism anxiety also emerged after police raided an apartment in a Paris suburb seeking suspects in last week's attacks in the French capital. Heightened geopolitical tensions following the Paris attacks had given a boost to crude oil prices on Monday. At 9:13AM ET (1413 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.3336 to the greenback, or 74.99 U.S. cents, weaker than the Bank of Canada's official close on Tuesday of C$1.3308, or 75.14 U.S. cents. The currency's strongest level of the session was C$1.3299, while its weakest level was C$1.3348. U.S. crude prices were up 0.96 percent to $41.06, while Brent crude added 1.49 percent to $44.22. Canada's new Liberal government is reviewing a C$4.3 billion ($3.2 billion) package designed to compensate farmers for losses they might incur under a new Pacific trade deal, Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters on Wednesday. Canadian government bond prices were slightly lower across the maturity curve, with the two-year price down 2.5 Canadian cents to yield 0.635 percent and the benchmark 10-year falling 4 Canadian cents to yield 1.662 percent. * The Canada-U.S. two-year bond spread widened 1.6 basis points to -24.5 basis points, while the 10-year spread was 2.4 basis points wider at -62.7 basis points as U.S. Treasuries underperformed ahead of the FOMC minutes. The FOMC minutes for the October 27-28 meeting will be released at 02:00 pm ET (1900 GMT). (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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