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CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms ahead of domestic data as greenback slips

* Canadian dollar at C$1.2478, or 80.14 U.S. cents

* Bond prices higher across the yield curve

TORONTO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged higher against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday ahead of top tier domestic data this week and the greenback slipped against a basket of major currencies. Speculation that U.S. President Donald Trump's choice for the next head of the Federal Reserve could be a less hawkish candidate than had previously been expected weighed on the U.S.

dollar .

Canada's trade data for August is due on Thursday and the September employment report is scheduled for release on Friday, which could help guide market expectations on prospects of another interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada this month. The central bank has raised rates twice since July. But the chances of another hike as soon as this month have dwindled to less than 20 percent from nearly 40 percent before Governor Stephen Poloz signaled last week that a third hike was not imminent, the overnight index swaps market indicated.

At 9:36 a.m. ET (1336 GMT), the Canadian dollar was

trading at C$1.2478 to the greenback, or 80.14 U.S. cents, up 0.1 percent. The currency traded in a range of C$1.2449 to C$1.2495. On Tuesday, it touched a one-month low at C$1.2539. Toronto home sales plunged in September from a year earlier and prices were down 15.5 percent from their April peak, but sales and prices inched up from August, suggesting housing in Canada's largest city may be stabilizing, data showed.

Late on Tuesday, separate data showed that Canadian auto sales rose at an annual rate of 7.7 percent in September, driven The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, dipped on worries that rising U.S. crude output could scupper a rally that lasted for most of the third quarter.

U.S. crude prices were down 0.16 percent at $50.34 a

barrel. Canadian government bond prices were higher across the yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year price edged up 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.518 percent and the

10-year gained 9 Canadian cents to yield 2.103

percent.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Susan Thomas)