CANADA FX DEBT-C$ hits near 3-week low as Poloz signals no urgency to hike

 (Adds strategist quotes and details on activity; updates
    * Canadian dollar at C$1.2848, or 77.83 U.S. cents
    * Loonie touches weakest since April 3 at C$1.2858
    * Bond prices mixed across the yield curve
    * 10-year yield hits highest since Feb. 16 at 2.365 percent

    By Fergal Smith
    TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar fell to a
nearly 3-week low against its broadly firmer U.S. counterpart on
Monday, pressured by weaker-than-expected domestic data and
dovish comments over the weekend from Bank of Canada Governor
Stephen Poloz.
     Poloz said he expects the inflation rate to be above the
central bank's two percent target in 2018, but he is comfortable
with that as long as the long-term trend is steady, according to
media reports published on Sunday.             
    "He emphasized he won't be in a rush to hike rates just
because inflation is ticking higher," said Adam Button, a
currency analyst at ForexLive in Montreal.
    Poloz's comments come after some recent data which has
pointed to a slowdown in the domestic economy.           
    Canadian wholesale trade decreased by 0.8 percent in
February from January, amid falling sales in the miscellaneous
and motor vehicles and parts subsectors, Statistics Canada said
on Monday. Analysts had expected a 0.5 percent increase.
    "The market is more excited about Fed rate hikes than Bank
of Canada rate hikes and the bond market is really screaming
that at the moment," Button said.            
    The U.S. dollar        rallied to a seven-week high on
Monday as investors bought the greenback on the rise in the
10-year U.S. Treasury yield toward the psychologically important
3 percent level.             
    At 3:11 p.m. EDT (1911 GMT), the Canadian dollar         
was trading 0.6 percent lower at C$1.2848 to the greenback, or
77.83 U.S. cents. The currency touched its weakest level since
April 3 at C$1.2858.
    The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, turned
positive in volatile trade. U.S. crude oil futures       
settled 0.4 percent higher at $68.64 a barrel.
    Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the yield
curve, with the two-year            up 2 Canadian cents to yield
1.916 percent and the 10-year             falling 10 Canadian
cents to yield 2.349 percent.
    The 10-year yield touched its highest intraday since Feb. 16
at 2.365 percent.  

 (Reporting by Fergal; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Chizu