* C$ slips to 99.41 U.S. cents
* Canadian bond prices tick up across curve (Updates to close)
TORONTO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar took a small step lower against the U.S. dollar on Thursday after coming within a tick of parity with the U.S. currency the day before at the end of a six-session rally.
The Canadian dollar CAD=D4 finished at C$1.0059 to the U.S. dollar, or 99.41 U.S. cents, down from Wednesday's close of C$1.0040 to the U.S. dollar, or 99.60 U.S. cents.
The currency had edged slightly higher in each of the six previous sessions, but there were few headlines to nudge it out of a tight trading range.
"In essence what I think we've been seeing over the past few days is that we tend to get these relatively big swings intraday and then we revert to somewhere close to the opening level," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD Securities.
"It does indicate there is a bit more uncertainty. We don't seem to be able to get any sort of traction intraday one way or the other."
Soft equity and commodity markets on Thursday dented enthusiasm for the Canadian currency, while news headlines did not have a lasting impact.
The currency shrugged off data that showed foreigners favored Canadian corporate bonds in October. [ID:nN16134503]
U.S. data showed the economy appeared to be gaining traction with new claims for jobless aid falling last week and factory activity this month in the Mid-Atlantic region growing at its quickest pace in more than 5-1/2 years.
The reports added to growing evidence of a substantial pick-up in U.S. economic growth during the fourth quarter, even though housing data pointed to continued stress in that sector. [ID:nN16214117]
For the most part, however, the Canadian currency took a breather after rising as high as C$1.0001 to the U.S. dollar, or 99.99 U.S. cents, on Wednesday, said Blake Jespersen, director, foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital Markets.
"It took a good run at parity, but just ran into too many sellers of the Canadian dollar," he said. "The fact that it's still hanging very close to that level means, I think, we're going to eventually take it out."
Bonds rallied across the curve on Thursday, partly as riskier assets, such as Canadian equities, fell out of favor.
Canadian government bonds put in a mixed performance against their U.S. counterparts. The interest-rate sensitive two-year bond CA2YT=RR rose 9 Canadian cents to yield 1.686 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR climbed 50 Canadian cents to yield 3.267 percent. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)