* Canadian dollar was nearly unchanged against the greenback * Loonie trades in a range of 1.2969 to 1.3008 * Price of U.S. oil increases by 0.4% * Canadian bond prices rally across a flatter yield curve TORONTO, Jan 2 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as Chinese monetary policy easing buoyed global equity markets, with the loonie holding on to its gains from 2019, when it was the top performing G10 currency. At 9:10 a.m. (1410 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2995 to the greenback, or 76.95 U.S. cents. The currency traded in a range of 1.2969 to 1.3008. The loonie, which notched on Tuesday a 14-month high at 1.2952, strengthened 5% in 2019. World stock markets began the new year with news that China's central bank was freeing another 800 billion yuan ($115 billion) for its economy, ensuring there was no immediate hangover after the wild gains of 2019. Canada is a major exporter of commodities, including oil, so its economy could benefit from a pick-up in global growth. U.S. crude prices were up 0.4% at $61.29 a barrel as signs of improving trade relations between the United States and China which eased demand concerns and rising tensions in the Middle East provided support. Canadian government bond prices were higher across a flatter yield curve, with the two-year up 6 Canadian cents to yield 1.667% and the benchmark 10-year rising 53 Canadian cents to yield 1.644%. (Reporting by Fergal Smith Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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