CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weakens in quiet trade, global growth a concern

* C$ at C$1.0287 vs US$, or 97.21 U.S. cents
    * Poor data from Europe, Chinese lending news adds to global
    * Bank of Canada policy statement in focus this week
    * C$ seen trading between C$1.310 and C$1.0262

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, March 4 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was
slightly weaker on Monday as investor focus was directed
overseas with poor data from Europe and China's announcement
that it was planning to tighten lending in its property sector
highlighting concerns about global growth. 
    Lack of progress in forming a new government in Italy and
broad U.S. spending cuts that automatically kicked in on Friday
added to the global economic uncertainty.
    In Canada, a string of weak economic data over the last few
weeks have pressured the currency, though fourth-quarter
domestic growth data that came in as forecast on Friday helped
mitigate recent declines.
    "I think a lot of people are calling for further weakness
down the road," said David Bradley, director of foreign exchange
trading at Scotiabank, adding that with most of the focus abroad
and little North American data, markets here are expected to be
fairly quiet.
    At 9:07 a.m. (1407 GMT), the Canadian dollar was
trading at C$1.0287 against the U.S. dollar, or 97.21 U.S.
cents, softer than Friday's North American finish at C$1.0271,
or 97.36 U.S. cents.
    Canada's dollar has retreated against the greenback since
mid-February, when the pair were trading at equal value.
    It was mostly underperforming a basket of major currencies
as well, with the exception of its commodities linked
counterpart, the Australian dollar.
    Bradley did not expect the Loonie, as it's colloquially
known, to trade much further beyond today's high of C$1.310 and
low of C$1.0262.
    Looking ahead to the week, the first key driver will be the
Bank of Canada's rate decision on Wednesday. The central bank is
widely expected to hold rates at 1 percent, so investors will be
parsing over the bank's language in its policy statement.
    Ongoing issues at home and abroad prompted the Bank of
Canada to tone down its more hawkish stance in January, saying
the withdrawal of monetary policy stimulus was "less imminent
than previously anticipated."
    "Obviously, they might tone down some of the language
they've been using in the past. If they totally take out the
reference to "less imminent", then obviously that's going to be
negative for the Canadian dollar," said Bradley, adding that he
did not anticipate the BoC dropping the rate hike reference
    Canadian government bond prices were mixed. The two-year
bond shed a meager 0.2 Canadian cent to yield 0.940
percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond was up 1
Canadian cent to yield 1.798 percent.