CANADA FX DEBT-C$ near flat vs firmer greenback as oil prices climb

    * 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.
    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
    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)