CANADA FX DEBT-C$ rebounds on Chinese data, rate cut bets trimmed
* Canadian dollar at C$1.4509 or 68.92 U.S. cents * Bond prices lower across the maturity curve TORONTO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar firmed against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday after China's GDP data provided relief for battered commodity-linked currencies, while traders trimmed bets that the Bank of Canada will cut rates on Wednesday. China's fourth-quarter growth slowed to 6.8 percent, meeting forecasts but also raising hopes that Beijing will cushion the slowdown with more stimulus policies. China is a major customer for Canada's commodity exports. Oil prices rose as data showed Chinese oil demand likely hit a record high in 2015, but contracts remained near 12-year lows as the IEA said the market should stay oversupplied this year. The implied probability of a Bank of Canada rate cut this week was little more than 50 percent, down from 64 percent on Monday. A rate cut has been fully discounted by May. At 9:02 a.m. EST (1402 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.4509 to the greenback, or 68.92 U.S. cents, stronger than the Bank of Canada's official close on Monday of C$1.4557, or 68.70 U.S. cents. The currency's strongest level of the session was C$1.4433, while its weakest level was C$1.4559. On Monday, it hit its weakest since April 2003 at C$1.4650. On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau struck a more downbeat note than typical on the battered currency as well as low oil prices, saying they hurt large parts of the economy. Trudeau sidestepped a question as to whether budget deficits will be much larger than promised to help a sluggish economy. Canadian investors bought a record C$16.46 billion ($11.35 billion) worth of foreign securities in November, mostly in U.S. Treasury bonds and stocks, Statistics Canada said. Canadian government bond prices fell across the maturity curve, with the two-year price down 6.5 Canadian cents to yield 0.337 percent and the benchmark 10-year falling 42 Canadian cents to yield 1.205 percent. The yield hit a record low on Friday at 1.143 percent. The Canada-U.S. 10-year bond spread was 1.7 basis points less negative at -85.6 basis points as Canadian government bonds underperformed. It hit a record-wide gap toward the end of December at -90.3 basis points. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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