(Adds analyst quotes and details throughout, updates prices) * Canadian dollar weakens 0.4% against the greenback * Loonie trades in a range of 1.2492 to 1.2565 * Canadian housing starts fall 5.3% in October * Canadian 10-year yield touches its highest since April 2019 By Fergal Smith TORONTO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday as the greenback broadly climbed and a senior Bank of Canada official said there was a lot of uncertainty about when slack in the economy will be absorbed. The loonie was trading 0.4% lower at 1.2555 to the greenback, or 79.65 U.S. cents, after trading in a range of 1.2492 to 1.2565. "The USD is holding up well ... helping keep USD-CAD in the mid 1.25s," said Amo Sahota, director at Klarity FX in San Francisco. The U.S. dollar rose to a 16-month high against a basket of major currencies after data showed U.S. retail sales rose more than expected last month. The Bank of Canada still expects economic slack to be absorbed in the middle quarters of 2022, but that does not necessarily mean in the second quarter, Deputy Governor Lawrence Schembri said, potentially dashing market hopes of an early rate hike. Money markets see the central bank hiking as soon as March and five times in total next year, which is much more tightening than is expected from the Federal Reserve. The remarks help moderate some of the "hawkish" sentiment surrounding the BoC, Sahota said. The Canadian inflation report for October, due on Wednesday, could offer further clues on the Bank of Canada's policy outlook. Canadian housing starts fell 5.3% in October compared with the previous month, data from the national housing agency showed on Tuesday. The price of oil, one of Canada's major exports, settled 0.2% lower at $80.76 a barrel on forecasts of an increase in global production in coming months and concerns over rising coronavirus cases in Europe. The Canadian 10-year touched its highest level since April 2019 at 1.792% before dipping to 1.763%, up 3.6 basis points on the day. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski)
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