CANADA FX DEBT-C$ steadies as trade fears cool, jobs data looms

* Canadian dollar at C$1.2908, or 77.47 U.S. cents

* Bond prices slightly higher across much of the yield curve

* 10-year yield touched its highest intraday since Feb. 28

TORONTO, March 8 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as fears of a trade war ebbed, crude oil prices steadied and investors looked ahead to U.S. and Canadian jobs data due on Friday. U.S. President Donald Trump was expected later in the day to sign a proclamation imposing 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum. But prospects of exemptions for key trading partners, including Canada, has calmed financial markets. On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada called trade policy an "important and growing source of uncertainty for the global and Canadian outlooks," as it left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.25 percent. The central bank has raised interest rates three times since July and Canada's employment report for February can help guide expectations for further hikes. Economists in a Reuters poll expect jobs to rebound 20,000 after slumping 88,000 in January. Data from Statistics Canada on Thursday showed that the value of Canadian building permits jumped 5.6 percent in January from December, while new home prices were flat for a second month in a row. At 9:18 a.m. EST (1418 GMT), the Canadian dollar was little changed at C$1.2908 to the greenback, or 77.47 U.S. cents. The currency traded in a range of C$1.2868 to C$1.2952. On Wednesday, the loonie matched Monday's low at C$1.3002, its weakest since July 5. The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, was broadly steady on Thursday but still set to slip over the week for the second time in a row against a backdrop of rising U.S. crude production and an increase in inventories.

U.S. crude prices were up 0.2 percent at $61.25 a

barrel. Canadian government bond prices were slightly higher across

much of the yield curve, with the two-year up 0.5

Canadian cent to yield 1.776 percent and the 10-year rising 6 Canadian cents to yield 2.23 percent. The 10-year yield touched its highest since Feb. 28 at 2.246 percent.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by David Gregorio)