* C$ at $1.0263 vs US$, or 97.44 U.S. cents * U.S. durable goods records biggest drop in 7 months * Investors await announcement of next Bank of Canada chief By Solarina Ho TORONTO, April 24 The Canadian dollar was listless in a sixth day of range-bound trading against the U.S. dollar as a recent string of lackluster data and unchanged expectations on the Bank of Canada's next rate hike limited the currency's movements. Canada's dollar did not budget after U.S. data showed orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods recorded their biggest drop in seven months in March, while a gauge of planned business spending rose only modestly, signs of a slowdown in economic activity. "Certainly nothing to get excited about. Pretty big negative numbers there," said Benjamin Reitzes, senior economist and foreign exchange strategist at BMO Capital Markets. "On the data front for Canada - more of the same. Lackluster growth, essentially. There's no reason to believe that the data is going to provide much impetus for Canadian dollar strength. If anything, the risks are probably still for a weaker dollar over the next month or two." At 9:39 a.m. (1339 GMT), the Canadian dollar, which was weaker against most other major currencies, was trading at C$1.0263 against its U.S. counterpart, or 97.44 U.S. cents, little changed from Tuesday's finish at C$1.0262, or 97.45 U.S. cents. Reitzes said Canada's AAA rating still makes the currency attractive for central banks and sovereign wealth funds, which will provide support and offset some weakness. The Bank of Canada is expected to announce a replacement any day for Governor Mark Carney, who is leaving in June to head the Bank of England. Current deputy Tiff Macklem is widely expected to take the helm, but analysts say there is always a slim chance of a surprise. The loonie, as the currency is colloquially known, has finished within a tight 11-point range since the central bank stuck to its oft-repeated view last week that its next interest rate move would be a rise. "Until we know who's taking over from Carney, we don't really know whether that bias will be dropped or not," said Reitzes. Canadian government bond prices were generally lower across the curve, with the two-year bond off 1.1 Canadian cents with a yield of 0.952 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond was flat, yielding 1.728 percent.
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