Wires

CANADA FX DEBT-Canadian dollar steadies as investors weigh higher virus deaths

using new methods to confirm the virus.

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* Canadian dollar trades near flat against the greenback

* Loonie trades in a range of 1.3241 to 1.3271

* Price of U.S. oil increases 0.9%

* Canadian bond yields eased across the yield curve

TORONTO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, holding on to its previous day's gains as oil prices rose and investors assessed a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus deaths and infections. The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, increased despite lower OPEC and IEA demand forecasts due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, the world's biggest oil importer.

U.S. crude oil futures were up 0.9% at $51.64 a barrel.Stocks globally fell after China reported 254 new

deaths, double the previous day's toll, amplified significantly

At 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), the Canadian dollar was

trading nearly unchanged at 1.3247 to the greenback, or 75.49 U.S. cents. The currency, which on Wednesday notched a nine-day high at 1.3237, traded in a range of 1.3241 to 1.3271. The steady profile for the loonie came as Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, speaking in Melbourne, Australia, said that Canada's economy is in a pretty good place. Last month, the central bank opened the door to an interest rate cut should a recent slowdown in domestic growth persist. But data since then has showed that the economy added more than twice the number of jobs than expected in January.

Canadian government bond yields eased across the yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries on Thursday despite data showing U.S. underlying consumer prices rose in January. The 10-year yield fell 1 basis point to 1.386%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by David Gregorio)