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* C$ at C$1.0195 vs US$, or 98.09 U.S. cents * Markets await Fed news conference on Wednesday for monetary policy clarity * U.S. housing starts rise less than expected; U.S. CPI climbs in May * Bond prices mostly lower across maturity curve By Solarina Ho TORONTO, June 18 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar softened against a broadly stronger U.S. dollar, as investors positioned themselves ahead of guidance by the U.S. Federal Reserve on where it will take its monetary policy. Markets have been jittery in recent weeks on speculation the Fed could begin winding down stimulus soon, and investors are looking to Fed chief Ben Bernanke's news conference on Wednesday after the central bank's policy meeting for more clarity. "It's more (U.S.) dollar than Canada specifically in that the (U.S.) dollar is up against all of the majors today," said Adam Cole, global head of FX strategy at RBC Capital Markets in London. "I think we're still seeing people shuffling positions around ahead of the FOMC meeting tomorrow. There hasn't been a lot in the way of hard news to digest." The Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.0195 versus the greenback, or 98.09 U.S. cents at 8:55 a.m. (1255 GMT), a modest retreat from Monday's close at C$1.0177, or 98.26 U.S. cents. It was mostly outperforming other major currencies and expected to trade between C$1.0190 and C$1.0240 during Tuesday's North American session, according to an RBC research note. There was no Canadian data to report. South of the border, U.S. consumer prices rose in May and a gauge of underlying price pressures showed signs of stabilizing after a long decline, a potential comfort to Fed policymakers who would like to see stronger inflation. U.S. housing starts rose less than expected in May, likely due to labor and material constraints, though the overall trend was consistent with a recovering housing market. Government bond prices were mostly lower across the maturity curve, with the two-year bond shedding 1.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.119 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond off 7 Canadian cents to yield 2.164 percent.