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Canadian dollar steadies near 3-month high as oil climbs

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·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar barely moved against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as oil prices rose and data showed slower economic growth in China, with the currency holding near a three-month high.

World stock markets dipped after data showed slower-than-expected growth in China's economy last quarter, and surging prices for oil, one of Canada's major exports, fed inflation concerns.

U.S. crude oil futures were up nearly 1% at $83.07 a barrel, buoyed by recovering demand and high natural gas and coal prices encouraging users to switch to fuel oil and diesel for power generation.

The Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2365 to the greenback, or 80.87 U.S. cents, after trading in a range of 1.2348 to 1.2409. On Friday, the currency touched its strongest level since July 6 at 1.2334.

Still, speculators have raised their bearish bets on the Canadian dollar, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. As of Oct. 12, net short positions had increased to 27,860 contracts from 26,866 in the prior week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new government is set to impose higher taxes on Canadians, which will help fund some campaign promises but are not broad enough to also start paying down the country's record levels of debt, leaving Canada vulnerable to the next economic crisis, analysts say.

Canadian housing starts fell 4.4% in September compared with the previous month as groundbreaking decreased on multiple-unit and single-detached urban homes.

Canada's inflation report for September is due on Wednesday, which could help guide expectations for the Bank of Canada policy outlook.

Canadian government bond yields were higher across the curve.

The 2-year climbed to its highest since March 2020 at 0.866% before dipping to 0.851%, up 8.5 basis points on the day, while the 10-year was up 5 basis points at 1.634%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)