October 8, 2019 / 1:35 PM / 13 days ago

CANADA FX DEBT-Loonie sticks to narrow range as housing sector shows momentum

    * Canadian dollar trades near flat against greenback
    * Canadian housing starts fall 2.5% in September
    * Price of U.S. oil decreases 1.4%
    * Canadian bond prices rise across the yield curve

    By Fergal Smith
    TORONTO, Oct 8 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little
changed against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, trading in a
narrow range as investors worried about U.S.-China trade talks
this week and domestic data showed a smaller-than-expected
decline in housing starts.
    Canadian housing starts in September fell 2.5% from the
previous month to 221,202 units, according to data from the
national housing agency. Economists had expected starts to fall
to 214,500 units.             
    "Canada's housing sector is back on the front foot with
resales picking up as the year progresses and homebuilding
activity clearly displaying some momentum," Josh Nye, a senior
economist at Royal Bank of Canada, said in a note.
    Separate data, from Statistics Canada, showed that the value
of Canadian building permits rose by 6.1% in August from July.
            
    Global stocks          edged lower for the second straight
session after a report that the Trump administration was moving
ahead with discussions around possible curbs on capital flows
into China stirred up fresh worries over the outcome of the
high-level trade talks later this week.             
    Canada is a major exporter of commodities, including oil, so
its economy could suffer from prolonged uncertainty in global
trade.
    U.S. crude oil futures        were down 1.4% at $51.99 a
barrel on dampened hopes for a U.S.-China trade deal, though
unrest in Iraq and Ecuador lent some support to crude prices.
            
    At 9:12 a.m. (1312 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading nearly unchanged at 1.3306 to the greenback, or 75.15
U.S. cents. The currency traded in a range of 1.3289 to 1.3326.
    Canada's employment report for September, due on Friday, can
help guide expectations for the Bank of Canada policy outlook.
    Canadian government bond prices were higher across the yield
curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year           
rose 5.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.429% and the 10-year
            was up 36 Canadian cents to yield 1.261%.        

 (Reporting by Fergal Smith
Editing by Mark Heinrich)
  
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