* Canadian dollar trades near flat against the greenback * Loonie touches its strongest intraday since Dec. 7 * Price of U.S. oil rises 1.7 percent * Bond prices trade mixed across the yield curve * Canada-U.S. 2-year spread widens by 3.6 basis points TORONTO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, pulling back from an earlier one-month high as domestic data showing a wider trade deficit offset further recovery in oil prices. Canada's trade deficit widened in November to C$2.06 billion, pressured by a 2.9 percent drop in exports as crude oil exports declined, Statistics Canada said. Analysts had forecast a deficit of C$1.95 billion. The price of oil has rallied in recent days after falling sharply since October. U.S. crude oil futures were up 1.7 percent at $49.33 a barrel on hopes that talks in Beijing between U.S. and Chinese officials might defuse a trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies. Stocks were also boosted by expectations of a trade deal, while the U.S. dollar climbed against a basket of major currencies as signs of slowing in the euro zone economy weighed on the euro. At 8:57 a.m. (1357 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3297 to the greenback, or 75.20 U.S. cents. The currency touched its strongest level since Dec. 7 at 1.3268. Its steadiness comes ahead of a Bank of Canada interest rate decision on Wednesday. Money markets expect the central bank, which has worried about the impact of lower oil prices on the economy, to leave its benchmark interest rate on hold at 1.75 percent throughout 2019. The leaders of Canada and the United States discussed U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum on Monday but no talks on lifting the sanctions are planned, a Canadian source familiar with the matter said. Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the yield curve, with the two-year down 0.5 Canadian cent to yield 1.889 percent and the 10-year rising 4 Canadian cents to yield 1.952 percent. The gap between Canada's 2-year yield and its U.S. equivalent widened by 3.6 basis points to a spread of 67.4 basis points in favor of the U.S. bond. (Reporting by Fergal Smith Editing by Susan Thomas)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.