February 21, 2019 / 3:28 PM / 8 months ago

CANADA FX DEBT-C$ steadies near two-week high ahead of Poloz speech

    * Canadian wholesale trade rose 0.3 percent in December
    * ADP data shows Canada added 35,400 jobs in January
    * Price of U.S. oil falls 0.3 percent
    * Canadian bond prices fall across a steeper yield curve

    TORONTO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little
changed against the greenback on Thursday, holding near its
strongest level in two weeks as domestic data showed a surprise
rise in wholesale trade and ahead of a speech by Bank of Canada
Governor Stephen Poloz.
    Canadian wholesale trade increased by 0.3 percent in
December from November on stronger sales in the motor vehicle
and parts subsector, Statistics Canada said. Analysts had
forecast a 0.1 percent decrease.
    A separate report, from ADP, showed that Canada added 35,400
jobs in January as hiring increased in the trade, transportation
and utilities and professional and business services sectors.
             
    The Bank of Canada, which said in January that the
challenges facing the economy were temporary, will release
Poloz's prepared remarks on monetary policy at 12:45 p.m. EST
(1745 GMT).
    At 9:52 a.m. (1452 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading nearly unchanged at 1.3179 to the greenback, or 75.88
U.S. cents.
    The currency, which on Wednesday touched its strongest level
since Feb. 6 at 1.3151, traded in a range of 1.3164 to 1.3206.
    The steady profile for the loonie came as Wall Street was
pressured by data showing an unexpected drop in new orders for
key U.S.-made capital goods. The data offset news that the
United States and China have started to outline commitments in
principle on the stickiest issues in their trade dispute.
                        
    Canada is a major producer of commodities, including oil, so
its economy could benefit from improved prospects for global
trade.
    Oil prices hovered around 2019 highs on Thursday, bolstered
by OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and
Iran, but were capped by slowing growth in the global economy.
            
    U.S. crude oil futures        were down 0.30 percent at
$56.99 a barrel.
    Canadian government bond prices were lower across a steeper
yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year
           fell 5.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.800 percent and
the 10-year             declined 34 Canadian cents to yield
1.935 percent.
    Canada's government will unveil its budget for the 2019/20
fiscal year on March 19 and outline ways to provide more access
to prescription drugs, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on
Wednesday, confirming a report from Reuters. The budget is the
last before a federal election in October.              

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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