* Canadian dollar trades near flat against the greenback * Loonie touches a 2-week high at 1.3487 * Price of U.S. oil falls 1% * Canadian bond yields ease across much of a flatter curve TORONTO, July 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, holding near an earlier two-week high as stock markets globally rose and domestic housing data added to evidence of economic recovery. Canadian housing starts rose by more than expected in June, climbing 8.3%, data from the national housing agency showed. European shares were rising again after a two-day wobble as China's markets continued their charge but concerns about renewed coronavirus lockdowns in the United States weighed on the price of oil, one of Canada's major exports. U.S. crude oil futures were down 1% at $40.49 a barrel. The loonie was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3506 to the greenback, or 74.04 U.S. cents. The currency touched its strongest intraday level since June 23 at 1.3487. The loonie and long-term Canadian bond yields were bolstered on Wednesday by a larger than expected expansion in spending by the federal government. Canada's jobs report for June is due on Friday, which could help guide expectations for further stimulus measures from the Bank of Canada. The central bank is due to make an interest rate announcement and present updated economic projections next week. Canadian government bond yields were lower across much of a flatter curve, with the 10-year down 3.6 basis points at 0.541%. (Reporting by Fergal Smith Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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