* Canadian dollar falls 0.2% against the greenback * Loonie touches its weakest since Dec. 30 at 1.3073 * Price of U.S. oil declines 0.6% * Canada-U.S. 10-year spread widens by 2.2 basis points TORONTO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened to a 10-day low against the greenback on Thursday as oil prices fell and domestic data showed a surprise drop in housing starts, while investors awaited remarks by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz. At 9:43 a.m. (1443 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.2% lower at 1.3067 to the greenback, or 76.53 U.S. cents. The currency touched its weakest intraday level since Dec. 30 at 1.3073. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of Canadian housing starts fell 3% to 197,329 units in December from a revised 204,320 units in November, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said. Economists had expected starts to rise to 210,000. Separate data, from Statistics Canada, showed that the value of Canadian building permits fell by 2.4% in November from October. Oil prices added to the previous session's sharp losses on the back of swelling U.S. crude stocks and easing fears of imminent escalation of conflict between the United States and Iran. U.S. crude prices were down 0.60% at $59.25 a barrel. The decline for the loonie came ahead of remarks later on Thursday by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz. The central bank will release Poloz's prepared remarks at 1:45 p.m. (1645 GMT). In December, the Bank of Canada pointed to early signs the global economy was stabilizing and sources of resilience in the Canadian economy as it left its benchmark interest rate on hold at 1.75%. But domestic data has since showed that Canada's economy shrank 0.1% in October and shed more than 70,000 jobs in November. As the Canadian economy softens and the recent boost from easing trade tensions fades, the Canadian dollar, which was the top-performing G10 currency in 2019, is expected to shift into a sideways trading pattern over the coming year, a Reuters poll showed. Canadian government bond prices were little changed across the yield curve on Thursday, with the 10-year rising 4 Canadian cents to yield 1.628%. The gap between the 10-year yield and its U.S. equivalent widened by 2.2 basis points to a spread of 26.3 basis points in favor of the U.S. bond. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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