* Firms to C$0.9759 to the US$, or $1.0247 * China stimulus hopes support * Higher oil prices also benefit currency By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar firmed slightly versus its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday as traders looked beyond the International Monetary Fund's more pessimistic view of the global economic outlook and bet on China to kick-start demand. The IMF said the global economic slowdown is worsening as it cut its growth forecasts for the second time since April and warned U.S. and European policymakers that failure to fix their economic ills would prolong the slump. Yet by 9:25 a.m. (1315 GMT) the Canadian dollar had strengthened to C$0.9759 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0247, from a close of C$0.9789, or C$1.0216, on Friday. Most Canadian currency traders were away from their desks on Monday for the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday. "It's a hope that the global economy is not getting worse, that's what the view of the market is," said Charles St-Arnaud, Canadian economist and currency strategist at Nomura Securities in New York. "The IMF is behind the curve, everyone knows the global economy is slowing, and I think there was some relief that the downgrade was in line with what markets were expecting," he said. Helping offset the dire IMF outlook, China's central bank injected more cash into the country's money markets, which encouraged expectations that the world's second largest economy would take further steps to spark growth. Energy markets were also supportive. Oil rose to around $113 a barrel on Tuesday after two days of losses, with tensions in the Middle East and the risk of supply disruptions outweighing concerns about sluggish global demand. Canada is a major oil exporter, and tight energy market prices tend to support its currency. Canadian government bond prices were broadly lower, with the two-year bond slipping 3 Canadian cents to yield 1.140 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond fell by 10 Canadian cents, to yield 1.818 percent.