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CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar steadies as bearish bets on currency hit 5-week low

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* Loonie trades in a range of 1.2339 to 1.2388 * Speculators cut bearish bets on the currency * Price of U.S. oil rises 1.7% * Canadian bond yields little changed across the curve TORONTO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar barely moved against its U.S. counterpart on Monday as data showed that speculators have cut bearish bets on the currency to the lowest in five weeks and ahead of a Bank of Canada interest rate decision later this week. The Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2369 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.85 U.S. cents, after trading in a range of 1.2339 to 1.2388. Last Thursday, the currency touched its strongest level in nearly four months at 1.2287. Canada's hot inflation and recovering job market are increasing pressure on the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates ahead of schedule, with investors looking to a policy announcement this week for clues that the central bank is turning more hawkish. Economists polled by Reuters expect the BoC to raise rates as early as the third quarter of next year. Money markets are pricing in the first increase by April and nearly 100 basis points of tightening in total next year. As of Oct. 19, net short positions in the Canadian dollar had fallen to 10,924 contracts from 27,860 in the prior week, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday. The U.S. dollar rebounded on Monday from a one-month low as traders looked ahead to tighter U.S. monetary policy even as they bet on the prospect of interest rate increases happening earlier outside of the United States. The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, was boosted by tight global supply. U.S. crude oil futures were up 1.7% at $85.19 a barrel. Canadian government bond yields were little changed across the curve, with the 10-year down less than half a basis point at 1.645%. On Friday, it touched its highest level since January of 2020 at 1.713%. (Reporting by Fergal Smith. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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