CANADA FX DEBT-C$ ends slightly stronger as housing starts jump

(Adds strategist comment, updates prices to close)
    * Canadian dollar ends at C$1.3227, or 75.60 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices mixed across the yield curve

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar ended a
touch stronger against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday as a jump
in housing starts offset a drop in oil prices and caution as
hearings for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet
nominees began.
    Housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
207,041 units in December from an upwardly revised 187,273 units
in November, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected starts to rise to a
195,000 unit pace. 
    The Canadian dollar settled at C$1.3227 to the
greenback, or 75.60 U.S. cents, barely stronger than Monday's
close of C$1.3230, or 75.59 U.S. cents. The currency's weakest
level of the session was C$1.3257, while its strongest was
    A dip in the price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, to
its lowest in nearly a month on mounting doubts that producing
countries would implement of a deal to cut output and caution
ahead of Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration tempered any gains by the
    "Increased concern about the confirmation process for
Trump's cabinet is stirring a risk-off trade around the world
right now," said Karl Schamotta, director of FX risk and
strategy at Cambridge Global Payments. 
    On Friday, the loonie reached its strongest point in more
than three weeks at C$1.3177 following surprisingly strong
domestic employment and trade data.
    Still, foreign exchange strategists expect the loonie to
weaken over the coming year, pressured by trade agreement
uncertainty and probable monetary policy divergence between the
Federal Reserve and the Bank of Canada. 
    Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the yield 
curve, falling marginally at the short and long ends but rising
in the middle.
    The two-year price slipped half a Canadian cent
to yield 0.755 percent, while the five-year added 3 cents to
yield 1.092 percent and the 30-year issue slipped 2 cents to
yield 2.281 percent.

 (Additional reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Bill Trott
and Alan Crosby)