* C$ ends at C$0.9849 vs US$, or $1.0153 * Disappointing U.S. jobless claims weigh * Signs of China rebound help lift sentiment * Focus turning to Tuesday's Bank of Canada announcement By Claire Sibonney TORONTO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar eased against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, succumbing to a host of negative factors including weaker-than-expected U.S. unemployment data and soft commodity markets. The risk-related currency took early direction from U.S. jobless claims data that showed the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits spiked last week, reversing a sharp decline in the prior week. Uncertainty over the commitment of Germany and France to battle the euro zone debt crisis also weighed on confidence. "We saw a little bit of disappointment in the U.S. jobs data, and no positive headlines form the EU summit triggered some profit taking," said Michael O'Neill, vice President of FX trading at Jitneytrade. The Canadian dollar ended the North American session at C$0.9849 to the greenback, or $1.0153, compared with C$0.9780, or $1.0225, at Wednesday's North American close. The resource-linked Canadian currency had initially strengthened overnight after data showed that China, one of the world's hungriest consumers of many commodities, had likely hit the bottom of a seven-quarter-long economic downturn between July and September. "The Canadian dollar is ping-ponging between C$0.9740 and C$0.9860," said O'Neill. The currency underperformed other G10 majors amid uncertainty over whether the Bank of Canada plans to drop a hawkish bias on interest rates in its policy announcement next week. "The fact that we've got the Canada rate announcement on Tuesday will keep the Canadian dollar at bay until then," said Matt Perrier, director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital Markets. A Reuters poll released on Thursday suggested the central bank will postpone interest rate hikes until the fourth quarter of next year and will likely water down rather than eliminate its hawkish language. John Curran, senior vice president at CanadianForex, said that if the Bank of Canada retained language about an eventual rate rise the currency could significantly strengthen, whereas movement would likely be more subdued if the language were removed. Canadian government bond prices climbed across the curve in the flight-to-safety bid and outperformed U.S. Treasuries. The two-year bond was up 2 Canadian cents to yield 1.125 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond added 16 Canadian cents to yield 1.894 percent.