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CANADA FX DEBT-C$ slightly weaker ahead of GDP data this week

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, May 29 The Canadian dollar edged lowerin holiday-thinned trading on Monday, helped by a slight rise inoil prices while investors took a cautious approach ahead of astring of U.S. and Canadian economic data due later this week.


At 4 p.m. ET (2000 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.3459 to the greenback, or 74.30 U.S. cents, down0.1 percent.


The currency traded in a range of C$1.3399 to C$1.3470, withvolume the lowest since mid-April due to public holidays in theUnited States, Britain and China.


"Everything is subdued," said Alphonso Esparza, senior market analyst at OANDA Corp, adding that he expects the


Canadian currency to be pressured by mixed to positive U.S. datathrough the week and a strong non-farms U.S. payrolls number onFriday. 


"The rest of the week doesn't look that great for theloonie," he said.


Canada is to release data on the country's gross domesticproduct on Wednesday, while the country's trade data for Aprilis due on Friday.


Economists forecast that the Canadian economy grew at a 3.9percent annualized pace in the first quarter after a strongexpansion in the second half of 2016.         


Prices for oil, a major Canadian export, rose slightly,barely paring last week's steep losses with the market remainingcautious as increases in U.S. drilling activity have undercut anOPEC-led push to tighten supply.      


The loonie rose 0.5 percent last week, touching itsstrongest in five weeks on Wednesday after the Bank of Canadastruck a more upbeat tone than investors had expected.


Speculators increased bearish bets on the Canadian dollar toa record high, data from the Commodity Futures TradingCommission and Reuters calculations showed on Friday. 


Canadian government bond prices were higher across a flattermaturity curve, with the two-year price down 1


Canadian cent to yield 0.708 percent and the 10-year rising 28 Canadian cents to yield 1.412 percent.

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