* Canadian dollar at C$1.3076, or 76.48 U.S. cents
* Oil prices gain 1.9 percent
* Canadian wholesale trade rises 0.1 percent in January
* Bond prices lower across the yield curve
TORONTO, March 20 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar steadied against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Tuesday as oil prices rose and domestic data showed an increase in wholesale trade, while investors braced for a potential Federal Reserve interest rate hike on Wednesday. Canadian wholesale trade edged up 0.1 percent in January as higher sales in the food and machinery and equipment sectors offset declines in the building material and vehicle industries, data from Statistics Canada showed. Analysts had forecast no change in wholesale trade. The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, rose on tension in the Middle East and the possibility of further falls in Venezuelan output.
U.S. crude prices were up 1.9 percent at $63.23 a
The U.S. dollar climbed against a basket of major
currencies, boosted by expectations of a more confident sounding Fed. Meanwhile, a sharp drop in a confidence survey among German investors weighed on the euro. At 9:09 a.m. EST (1309 GMT), the Canadian dollar was little changed at C$1.3076 to the greenback, or 76.48 U.S. cents. The currency traded in a range of C$1.3053 to C$1.3087. On Monday, it touched its weakest intraday since June 28 at C$1.3124. Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins will deliver a speech on Thursday, while domestic inflation data for February is due on Friday. Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The two-year fell 3.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.803 percent and the 10-year declined 9 Canadian cents to yield 2.179 percent. The gap between the 10-year yield and its U.S. equivalent widened by 2.3 basis points to a spread of -70.0 basis points.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith Editing by Bill Trott)