December 31, 2018 / 4:02 PM / 9 months ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ steadies, but on course for worst year since 2015

    * Canadian dollar trades near flat against the greenback
    * Price of U.S. oil falls 0.6 percent
    * Canadian bond prices rise across much of a steeper yield
curve
    * 2-year yield hits six-month low at 1.846 percent

    TORONTO, Dec 31 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar on Monday
was on track to end 2018 with its worst performance in three
years, little changed on the day against its U.S. counterpart as
gains for stocks offset a decline in oil prices.
    Stocks were boosted by signs of progress in the U.S.-China
trade dispute. Canada runs a current account deficit and exports
many commodities, including oil, so its economy benefits from an
 unfettered global flow of trade.             
    U.S. crude oil futures        were down 0.6 percent at
$45.08 a barrel on persisting concerns of a supply glut. The
price of oil has fallen more than 40 percent since October,
which has worried the Bank of Canada.             
    The central bank has raised interest rates five times since
July 2017 to leave its benchmark interest rate at 1.75 percent.
But money markets do not expect any further increases in 2019.
          
    At 10:14 a.m. (1514 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading nearly unchanged at 1.3643 to the greenback, or 73.30
U.S. cents. The currency, which on Friday touched its lowest
intraday in 19 months at 1.3662, traded in a range of 1.3610 to
1.3648.
    For the year, the loonie was down 7.8 percent, its first
decline since 2015.
    The U.S. dollar        edged lower in thin year-end trading
as increased risk appetite weighed on demand for safe haven
currencies.             
    Canadian government bond prices were higher across much of a
steeper yield curve, with the two-year            up 2.5
Canadian cents to yield 1.848 percent and the 10-year
            rising 5 Canadian cents to yield 1.950 percent.
     In earlier trading, the two-year yield fell to its lowest
since June 29 at 1.846 percent.
    Canada's bond market will close early ahead of the New
Year's Day holiday. The country's employment report for December
is due on Friday.

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
  
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