* Canadian dollar rises 0.5% against the greenback * Loonie trades in a range of 1.4081 to 1.4200 * Price of U.S. oil increases by nearly 20% * Canadian bond yields trade mixed across a flatter curve TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as the prospect of further economic stimulus and higher prices for crude oil, one of Canada's major exports, boosted investor sentiment. At 9:24 a.m. (1324 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.5% higher at 1.4083 to the greenback, or 71.01 U.S. cents. The currency, which on Tuesday hit a near three-week low at 1.4263, traded in a range of 1.4081 to 1.4200. World stocks inched up on hopes for a massive joint stimulus fund to support the European Union during the coronavirus crisis and on an ongoing rebound in oil prices, while investors brushed off a slew of awful economic data. U.S. crude oil futures were up nearly 20% at $16.53 a barrel, spurred by the promise of more government stimulus, as well as rising tensions in the Middle East and output cuts by producing nations to tackle oversupply. Canada's export credit agency on Wednesday said it would backstop loans to hard-hit oil and gas producers, in the latest move by Ottawa to free up credit for the struggling energy industry. Ottawa is rolling out more than C$200 billion in measures to support Canada's economy, while the Bank of Canada has slashed interest rates by 150 basis points since March and begun buying Government of Canada bonds. Canadian government bond yields were mixed across a flatter curve on Thursday. The 10-year eased 1.6 basis points to 0.600%. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.