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Canadian dollar touches a 12-day high as oil prices climb

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·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Monday, steadying after it notched its strongest level in nearly two weeks as oil prices rose and fears of widespread contagion from China Evergrande Group eased.

Chinese authorities pumped more cash into the financial system to offset the fallout from real estate firm Evergrande's woes. The move was supportive of commodity-linked currencies such as the Canadian dollar, although gains were capped as U.S. bond yields climbed.

The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, rose for a fifth straight day amid supply concerns as demand picks up in parts of the world with the easing of pandemic restrictions. U.S. crude prices were up 1.8% at $75.34 a barrel.

The Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2655 to the greenback, or 79.02 U.S. cents, after touching its strongest level since Sept. 14 at 1.2610.

Speculators have raised their bearish bets on the Canadian dollar to the highest since August 2020, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday. As of Sept. 21, net short positions had increased to 27,877 contracts from 9,283 in the prior week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau risks further fueling Canada's hot inflation if he presses ahead with spending plans outlined during the election campaign, which could pressure the Bank of Canada to hike interest rates sooner than planned.

Canadian GDP data for July is due on Friday, which could offer further clues on the central bank's policy outlook.

Canadian government bond yields were higher across a steeper curve, tracking the move in U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year touched its highest level since June 30 at 1.424% before dipping to 1.406%, up 3.1 basis points on the day.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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