* Canadian dollar rises 0.1% against the greenback

* Loonie touches its strongest since Sept. 21 at 1.3229

* Canadian housing starts fall about 20% in September

* Canadian bond yields dip across the curve

TORONTO, Oct 8 (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar strengthened
to a more-than two-week high against the greenback on Thursday
as oil prices rose, while Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem
left negative interest rates on the table if the coronavirus
crisis were to worsen.

The BoC is not actively discussing negative interest rates
but they are a tool the bank could use in case it needs to do
more to tackle economic challenges caused by the coronavirus
outbreak, Governor Tiff Macklem said. “Never say never,” he
said.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, was
supported by output shutdowns in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and the
prospect of more supply losses in Norway, as well as by hopes
for some U.S. coronavirus relief aid. U.S. crude prices
were up 2.8% at $41.06 a barrel.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.1% higher at 1.3243
to the greenback, or 75.51 U.S. cents. The currency touched its
strongest intraday level since Sept. 21 at 1.3229.

Canadian housing starts fell by more than expected in
September, tumbling about 20% to 208,980 units from a revised
261,547 units in August, data from the Canadian Mortgage and
Housing Corporation showed.

Canadian government bond yields edged lower across the curve
in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year fell
one basis point to 0.614%, pulling back from an earlier
five-week high at 0.639%.

Canada’s jobs report for September is due on Friday, which
can help guide expectations for the strength of economic
recovery.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
((fergal.smith@thomsonreuters.com; +1 647 480 7446;))

Keywords: CANADA FOREX/

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