* Canadian dollar falls 0.7% against the greenback * Canadian wholesale trade rises 0.7% in February * Price of U.S. oil falls about 40% * Canadian bond yields decline across a flatter curve TORONTO, April 20 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as oil prices tumbled, with investors overlooking domestic data that showed a surprise increase for wholesale trade in February, before lockdowns began. The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, was depressed by concern that U.S. crude storage will soon be full. The front-month contract for U.S. crude , which is due to expire on Tuesday, plunged 40.1% to $10.94 a barrel, while Brent crude was down 6.8% at $26.17. Canadian wholesale trade increased 0.7% in February from January on stronger sales in the motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector, Statistics Canada said. Analysts had forecast a 0.5% decrease. In separate data, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index showed prices of single-family homes were up 0.6% in March from February. At 9:46 a.m. (1346 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.7% lower at 1.4079 to the greenback, or 71.03 U.S. cents. The currency traded in a range of 1.4020 to 1.4132. Speculators have trimmed their bearish bets on the Canadian dollar, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday. As of April 14, net short positions had fallen to 23,760 contracts from 24,433 in the prior week. The number of people with the new coronavirus in Canada is trending in the right direction but strict physical distancing will need to stay in place, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday. Authorities across Canada have ordered the closure of non-essential businesses, throwing millions out of work. Ottawa is rolling out more than C$200 billion of economic support measures, while the Bank of Canada has slashed interest rates by 150 basis points since March and begun buying Canadian government bonds. Last week, the central bank said it would broaden its asset-purchase, or quantitative easing, program to include provincial and corporate debt. Canadian government bond yields fell across a flatter curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries on Monday. The 10-year was down 2.6 basis points at 0.619%. Canada's inflation report for March is due on Wednesday. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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