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Canadian dollar hits 2-week high as Fed stance bolsters sentiment

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FILE PHOTO: A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar touched a two-week high against its broadly weaker U.S. counterpart on Thursday, as the Federal Reserve remained patient about reducing stimulus and the Bank of Canada reassured Canadians it would keep inflation under control.

The U.S. dollar slipped to a one-month low against a basket of major currencies after the U.S. Fed's reassurance that interest rate hikes remain distant.

"The Fed continued to support markets yesterday with upbeat talk on the economy but not committing to cutting stimulus in the near term," Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management, said in a note.

Canada sends about 75% of its exports to the United States including oil. Oil prices rose as crude stockpiles in the United States, the world's top oil consumer, fell to their lowest since January 2020.

U.S. crude prices were up 0.7% at $72.87 a barrel, while the Canadian dollar gained 0.5% to 1.2469 per greenback, or 80.20 U.S. cents. It touched its strongest intraday level since July 14 at 1.2451.

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem, writing in a column for the Financial Post newspaper, said Canadians can be confident that the cost of living will not rise out of control as the economy reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data on Wednesday showed that Canada's inflation rate slowed to 3.1% in June from a decade-high 3.6% in May, but more price increases could be coming as businesses shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic reopen and consumers dip into record savings.

Canadian government bond yields were higher across a steeper curve, with the 10-year up 3.6 basis points at 1.206%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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