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CANADA FX DEBT-C$ little changed vs weaker greenback as investors weigh rising debt

rising debt@

* Canadian dollar at C$1.2163, or 82.22 U.S. cents

* Bond prices lower across the yield curve

* Canada-U.S. 10-year spread narrows by 3 basis points

TORONTO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar held steady on Friday against the U.S. dollar as an unexpected fall in U.S. retail sales pressured the greenback, while investors weighed data showing Canadians debt as a share of income reached a record high. The ratio of debt to disposable income rose to 167.8 percent in the second quarter from a downwardly revised 166.6 percent in the first quarter, Statistics Canada said. The Bank of Canada, which has raised interest rates twice in the last three months, has been concerned that highly indebted Canadians have less flexibility to deal with sudden changes in their income. Resales of Canadian homes rose 1.3 percent in August from July, breaking a string of four straight monthly declines, as Toronto sales bounced back after dramatic cooling during the spring market, separate data from the Canadian Real Estate Association showed.

The U.S. dollar retreated against a basket of major

currencies after data showed U.S. retail sales fell 0.2 percent in August as Hurricane Harvey likely depressed motor vehicle purchases.

At 9:57 a.m. ET (1357 GMT), the Canadian dollar was

nearly unchanged at C$1.2163 to the greenback, or 82.22 U.S. cents. The currency traded in a range of C$1.2120 to C$1.2186. The steady profile for the loonie came as shares and other risk assets barely moved after the latest missile test by North Korea.

U.S. crude prices, which have climbed this week on

higher demand forecasts and the restart of refineries in the United States following recent storms, were up 0.04 percent at $49.91 a barrel. Oil is one of Canada's major exports. While the Bank of Canada's inflation targeting regime has worked well, the central bank is open to alternatives and wants to communicate in a way that avoids unproductive volatility, Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said on Thursday. Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield

curve, with the two-year down 4.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.604 percent and the 10-year falling 23

Canadian cents to yield 2.086 percent. The gap between the 10-year yield and its U.S. counterpart narrowed by 3 basis points to a spread of -11.1 basis points. Last Friday, the spread hit its narrowest since October 2013 at -7.8 basis points.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Bernadette Baum)