* Canadian dollar at C$1.3220, or 75.64 U.S. cents
* Loonie touches its strongest since Oct. 20 at C$1.3199
* Bond prices lower across steeper maturity curve
TORONTO, Dec 8 The Canadian dollar strengthened
to a seven-week high against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as
oil rose, although some gains for the loonie were pared as
currency markets gyrated after the European Central Bank's
monetary policy decisions.
The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, recovered
above $50 a barrel, bouncing back from the week's lows. U.S.
crude prices were up 1.17 percent at $50.35 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar rose against a basket of major
currencies as the ECB announced it would trim asset buys from
April next year, but also broaden the maturity range for
eligible securities and permit purchases of bonds yielding below
the ECB's deposit rate.
At 9:39 a.m. EDT (1439 GMT), the Canadian dollar
was trading at C$1.3220 to the greenback, or 75.64 U.S. cents,
stronger than Wednesday's close of C$1.3237, or 75.55 U.S.
The currency's weakest level of the session was C$1.3251,
while it touched its strongest since Oct. 20 at C$1.3199.
Recent stronger-than-expected economic data and higher oil
prices after last week's output cut agreement by members of the
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have helped
support the Canadian dollar.
On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada pointed to a "significant"
amount of slack in the Canadian economy as it held interest
rates steady, but also used language suggesting a rate cut is
off the table as global growth picks up.
Canadian government bond prices were lower across a steeper
yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries and German
The two-year price fell 3 Canadian cents to yield
0.719 percent and the benchmark 10-year declined 39
Canadian cents to yield 1.64 percent.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Bill Trott)