* C$ at C$1.0549 vs US$, or 94.81 U.S. cents * CPI rate edges up to 1.3 pct in July from 1.2 pct in June * Bond prices fall on longer-term end of maturity curve By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Aug 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar briefly softened to a six-week low against the U.S. dollar on Friday after Canadian inflation rose less than expected, suggesting the country's interest rates will hold steady for some time. Canada's annual inflation rate edged up to 1.3 percent in July from 1.2 percent in June, underlining how little pressure the Bank of Canada is under to tighten policy, Statistics Canada data indicated. Market operators had expected the rate to hit 1.4 percent. The Bank of Canada aims to keep inflation at 2.0 percent. "Certainly with the wholesale trade earlier this week - that was quite far off. You knew retail sales was going to have to be down from what the expectations were," said Don Mikolich, executive director, foreign exchange sales at CIBC World Markets. "But on the inflation side, there haven't been very many signs that we'd be having too big a swing, or too many misses there. So very little market reaction." Canadian wholesale trade fell by a larger-than-expected 2.8 percent in June from May, according to data released on Tuesday. The Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.0549 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.81 U.S cents at 9:22 a.m. EDT (1322 GMT). It briefly touched C$1.0569 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.62 U.S. cents after the inflation data was released. The currency was weaker compared with Thursday's finish at C$1.0516, or 95.09 U.S. cents. The currency, which was mostly underperforming its key counterparts except for the Japanese yen and the New Zealand dollar, was expected to trade between C$1.0520 and C$1.0570 against the U.S. dollar on Friday, RBC Capital said in a research note. The price of Canadian government debt was weaker across the longer-term end of the maturity curve. The two-year bond slipped 1.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.213 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond fell 14 Canadian cents to yield 2.763 percent.