CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms ahead of domestic data as greenback slips

    * Canadian dollar at C$1.2478, or 80.14 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices higher across the yield curve

    TORONTO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged higher
against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday ahead of top tier
domestic data this week and the greenback slipped against a
basket of major currencies.     
    Speculation that U.S. President Donald Trump's choice for
the next head of the Federal Reserve could be a less hawkish
candidate than had previously been expected weighed on the U.S.
dollar       .             
    Canada's trade data for August is due on Thursday and the
September employment report is scheduled for release on Friday,
which could help guide market expectations on prospects of
another interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada this month.
    The central bank has raised rates twice since July. But the
chances of another hike as soon as this month have dwindled to
less than 20 percent from nearly 40 percent before Governor
Stephen Poloz signaled last week that a third hike was not
imminent, the overnight index swaps market indicated.           
    At 9:36 a.m. ET (1336 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading at C$1.2478 to the greenback, or 80.14 U.S. cents, up
0.1 percent.
    The currency traded in a range of C$1.2449 to C$1.2495. On
Tuesday, it touched a one-month low at C$1.2539.
    Toronto home sales plunged in September from a year earlier
and prices were down 15.5 percent from their April peak, but
sales and prices inched up from August, suggesting housing in
Canada's largest city may be stabilizing, data showed.
    Late on Tuesday, separate data showed that Canadian auto
sales rose at an annual rate of 7.7 percent in September, driven
by strong demand for trucks.                 
    The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, dipped on
worries that rising U.S. crude output could scupper a rally that
lasted for most of the third quarter.             
    U.S. crude        prices were down 0.16 percent at $50.34 a
    Canadian government bond prices were higher across the yield
curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year           
price edged up 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.518 percent and the
10-year             gained 9 Canadian cents to yield 2.103

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Susan Thomas)