CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weakens as G20 underwhelms but oil rally limits drop
* Canadian dollar at C$1.3534 or 73.89 U.S. cents * Bond prices mixed across the maturity curve TORONTO, Feb 29 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Monday after a Group of 20 meeting underwhelmed, but losses were pared as crude oil prices rose and giant commodity consumer China eased monetary policy in an attempt to spur growth. The risk-sensitive commodity currency rose 1.8 percent last week as crude oil prices and global stocks rallied. A weekend meeting of G20 finance chiefs ended with no new plan to spur global growth. However, oil prices strengthened on rising hopes that the market has bottomed out and as OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia said it would work with other producers to limit oil market volatility. U.S. crude prices were up 1.40 percent at $33.24 a barrel. In addition, China's central bank resumed its policy easing cycle, cutting the reserve requirement ratio by 50 basis points, taking the ratio to 17 percent for the biggest lenders. At 9:22 a.m. EST (1422 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.3534 to the greenback, or 73.89 U.S. cents, weaker than Friday's official close of C$1.3514, or 74 cents. The currency's strongest level of the session was C$1.3506, while its weakest was C$1.3586. On Friday, it touched its strongest since Dec. 8 at C$1.3505. Canada's current account deficit widened modestly in the fourth quarter to C$15.38 billion ($11.34 billion) from a revised C$15.31 billion in the third quarter. Canadian producer prices rose 0.5 percent in January, the first gain in six months, as higher costs for vehicles offset lower energy prices. Bearish bets by speculators against the Canadian dollar were pared further after reaching five-month highs in January. Net short Canadian dollar positions decreased to 36,940 contracts in the week ended Feb. 23 from 45,085 in the prior week, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the maturity curve, with the two-year price flat to yield 0.518 percent and the benchmark 10-year rising 8 Canadian cents to yield 1.174 percent. Canadian gross domestic product data for the fourth quarter is awaited on Tuesday. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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