* C$ tips higher to 98.78 U.S. cents
* Mild price gains across the government bond curve
TORONTO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against the U.S. currency on Monday, eyeing a relatively narrow range while drawing mild support from firmer commodity prices.
After sliding for two straight sessions last week, the Canadian dollar began a data-filled week relatively flat.
It crept to a session high at C$1.0103 to the U.S. dollar in early trade, bouncing from C$1.0141 to the U.S. dollar, as North American stock index futures indicated a higher open and the price of oil pushed up.
Trading, however, was expected to be subdued as year-end holidays approach.
At 8 a.m. (1300 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 was at C$1.0124 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.78 U.S. cents, up slightly from C$1.0128 to the U.S. dollar, or 98.74 U.S. cents, at Friday’s close.
“The C$1.0140-50 level represents the topside resistance technically. It’s been unsuccessfully tested on a number of occasions, so that represents the near-term target for (U.S.) dollar bulls,” said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial. He put support at C$1.0090 to the U.S. dollar, and further out at C$1.0040 to the U.S. dollar.
Domestic data may take the market’s focus away from global influences, such as persistent debt unease in Europe and heightened Korean tensions.
That has helped push up prices mildly in Canadian government bonds, which were higher across the curve in light safe-haven flows.
The two-year bond CA2YT=RR rose 4 Canadian cents to yield 1.626 percent, while the 10-year bond CA10YT=RR climbed 5 Canadian cents to yield 3.179 percent.
The Canadian consumer price index report for November on Tuesday will likely be the highlight of the week, although October figures for wholesale trade, retail sales, and gross domestic product may also sway the currency.
Inflation has been lower than expected for much of the year, so markets are looking for reassurance the trend won’t suddenly be reversed. Such a reassurance would leave the central bank in a comfortable position to hold its key interest rate unchanged at 1 percent for at least the first quarter of 2011. For details, see [ID:nN17250600] ECONCA (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)