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CANADA FX DEBT-C$ steadies near 2-year high as investors weigh U.S. stimulus prospects

·2 min read

* Canadian dollar trades near flat against the greenback * Loonie touches a 2-year high intraday at 1.2903 * Price of U.S. oil falls 0.4% * Canadian bond yields trade mixed across a flatter curve TORONTO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, with the currency holding near an earlier two-year high as oil prices fell and investors weighed signs of progress on U.S. economic stimulus talks. Lawmakers in Washington have failed to reach an agreement on economic stimulus to help relieve the impact of COVID-19 in the United States, but there were early indications that a $908 billion bipartisan proposal could be gaining traction. Canada sends about 75% of its exports to the United States, including oil. Oil dipped as producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, locked horns over the need to extend record production cuts set in place during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. crude prices were down 0.4% at $45.09 a barrel, while the Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2917 to the greenback, or 77.42 U.S. cents. The currency touched its strongest intraday level since October 2018 at 1.2903. The U.S. dollar hit its lowest in more than two years against a basket of major currencies. Optimism about COVID-19 vaccines has weighed on the safe-haven currency. Canada's jobs report for November is due on Friday, which could help guide expectations for the Bank of Canada policy outlook. The central bank, which has cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 0.25%, is due to make a policy decision next week. Canadian government bond yields were mixed across a flatter curve, with the 10-year down 1.2 basis points at 0.748%. On Wednesday, it touched a near three-week high intraday at 0.780%. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)