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CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar hits 9-month low as oil slumps on coronavirus

    * Canadian dollar falls 0.3% against the greenback
    * Loonie hits its weakest since June 2019 at 1.3465
    * Price of U.S. oil slides 3.9%
    * Canada's 10-year yield falls to its lowest since October
2016

    TORONTO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened to
a nine-month low against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as the
selloff in global stock and commodity markets showed no signs of
abating and data showed barely any growth in Canada's economy in
the fourth quarter.
    At 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading 0.3% lower at 1.3440 to the greenback, or 74.40 U.S.
cents. The currency touched its weakest intraday level since
June, last year at 1.3465.
    For the week, the loonie was on track to fall 1.6%, its
biggest weekly decline since June 2018. 
    U.S. stocks opened sharply lower and the price of oil, one
of Canada's major exports, slumped to its lowest in more than a
year as rapid spreading of the coronavirus outbreak raised fears
of a possible global recession. U.S. crude oil futures       
were down 3.9% at $45.25 a barrel.                              
 
    Canada's economic growth slowed to an annualized rate of
0.3% in the fourth quarter, the worst performance in almost four
years, due in part to strikes, bad weather and shutdowns,
Statistics Canada said. The number matched both the forecast of
analysts in a Reuters poll as well as the Bank of Canada's
prediction.             
    Expectations for Bank of Canada interest rate cuts over the
coming year have jumped in recent days as worries about the
economic impact of the coronavirus rose. Still, the central bank
will hold interest rates at 1.75% at next week's policy
announcement, according to most economists polled by Reuters.
            
    "The bank is cognizant of the risks to financial stability,
the housing market in particular, if they were to cut rates,"
said Robert Both, a macro strategist at TD Securities. "That
just has us thinking that they'll wait for a little more data
before pulling the trigger in April."   
    Canadian government bond yields fell across the yield curve
in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year yield declined 8
basis points to 1.067%, its lowest since October 2016.    

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by David Gregorio)
  
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