* C$ at C$0.9940 versus US$, or $1.0060 * C$ slides on comment by Bank of Canada head * Global growth worries add to C$ weakness By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday after the head of the Bank of Canada said the case for raising interest rates was less imminent. The currency hit a session low after the central bank's governor, Mark Carney, said the bank was more cautious about an eventual rate rise given weak third-quarter growth and slack in the economy. Canada's dollar had hit its strongest level since last Friday earlier in the session as traders cheered the bank's decision on Tuesday to retain hawkish language in its rate-setting statement. The bank's tightening stance contrasts sharply with the monetary easing on offer in the United States and most other developed economies. But Carney's comment qualifying the central bank's view quickly knocked the currency lower. "We've taken back some of the impact we had yesterday," said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian fixed income and currency strategy at Royal Bank of Canada. "It was basically off of comments which the market took to heart today but really wasn't much different from what the bank had talked about before, that rate hikes weren't imminent," he said. At 1:40 p.m. (1740 GMT) the Canadian dollar was trading at C$0.9940 to the greenback, or $1.0060, compared with C$0.9927, or $1.0074, at Tuesday's North American close. The currency at one point hit a session low of C$0.9956. Overnight index swaps, which trade based on expectations for the central bank's key policy rate, showed that after the report and Carney's comments traders scaled back bets on a rate hike in late 2013. RATE RISE "FANTASY" "Anyone who expects the Bank of Canada to be raising rates in the next six or twelve months is living in a fantasy land," said David Bradley, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotiabank. The Canadian dollar's weakness was compounded by signs that the euro zone is heading for a deeper recession than previously feared. This contributed to a broader rise in the safe-haven greenback against most major currencies. The Canadian dollar held onto slight gains versus the euro , but turned weaker against the Japanese yen, the British pound and the Australian dollar, which was helped by signs China is making a slow, steady recovery. Short-term Canadian government debt prices received a boost from Carney's comments, with the two-year bond adding 5 Canadian cents to yield 1.121 percent. The benchmark 10-year bond gained 9 Canadian cents to yield 1.841 percent.