* C$ dips to 94.19 U.S. cents
* Fed keeps rates near zero, voices some optimism
* BoC downplays talk of a housing bubble (Updates to late afternoon with price, central bank activity)
TORONTO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged lower against the U.S. currency on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates near zero, while the Bank of Canada downplayed talk of a housing bubble.
The Fed rate decision and a speech by Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney were the events of the session, but neither managed to sway the Canadian dollar out of its recent ranges.
The Fed voiced guarded optimism that the battered U.S. job market was improving, but it repeated a vow to keep interest rates extraordinarily low for "an extended period." [ID:nN16119711]
In a speech addressing concerns of an overheated housing market, Carney repeated that Canadian household debt has risen sharply relative to income but said the risks to the financial system are small and do not warrant an early interest rate hike by the bank. [ID:nN1697463]
"There was not a whole lot of reaction for either him or the (Fed). We're still stuck in a range for Canada," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD Securities.
At 3:40 p.m. (1840 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.0617 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.19 U.S. cents, down slightly from C$1.0614 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.22 U.S. cents, at Tuesday's close.
Canadian short-term bonds were lower, partly because stock markets held strong gains, suggesting risk appetite was up.
The two-year government bondwas down 7 Canadian cents to C$99.86 to yield 1.323 percent, while the 10-year bond was up 9 Canadian cents to C$102.86 to yield 3.3.394 percent. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)
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