(Adds dealer quotes and details on activity; updates prices) * Loonie was flat vs greenback; down 0.2 percent for the month * Canada's current account deficit widens to C$15.48 billion in Q4 * Price of U.S. oil rises 0.5 percent * Canadian bond prices trade lower across steeper yield curve By Fergal Smith TORONTO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was steady against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, reversing its earlier decline as oil prices rose and investors bought the loonies they needed at month-end to rebalance their portfolios. At 4:00 p.m. (2100 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading unchanged at 1.3157 to the greenback, or 76.01 U.S. cents. The currency, which on Monday touched its strongest in nearly three weeks at 1.3113, traded in a range of 1.3140 to 1.3206. For the month, the Canadian dollar fell 0.2 percent. Still, the loonie's 3.7 percent gain since the start of the year lags only sterling among G10 currencies. "This is flow driven ... this is supply of dollars and need to buy CAD," said Brad Schruder, director of corporate sales and structuring at BMO Capital Markets. "Traders are trading their positions cautiously ahead of the GDP tomorrow, with an eye towards the bank." Canada's fourth-quarter GDP data is due on Friday, which can help guide expectations for next week's interest rate decision by the Bank of Canada. The central bank, which is widely expected to leave its benchmark interest rate on hold next week at 1.75 percent, said in January that low oil prices harmed the economy in the fourth quarter of 2018 and will continue to do so in the first quarter of this year. U.S. crude oil futures settled 0.5 percent higher on Thursday at $57.22 a barrel despite signs of slower economic growth in China and India. Canada's current account deficit widened to C$15.48 billion in the fourth quarter from a revised C$10.11 billion deficit in the third quarter as a sharp drop in energy prices triggered a higher deficit on trade goods, data from Statistics Canada showed. Separate data from Statistics Canada showed that producer prices fell by 0.3 percent in January from December on lower prices for energy and petroleum products. Analysts had expected a 0.1 percent increase in industrial prices. Canadian government bond prices were lower across a steeper yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year fell 1.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.783 percent and the 10-year declined 28 Canadian cents to yield 1.948 percent. (Reporting by Fergal Smith Editing by Susan Thomas)
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