* Canadian dollar slips to 94.91 U.S. cents
* Bank of Canada expected to hold rates steady
TORONTO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar sagged on Tuesday morning, pressured by weak commodity prices and investor aversion to risk, while trade was muted ahead of the Bank of Canada rate decision.
The central bank is seen keeping rates near zero when it makes its scheduled rate-setting announcement at 9:00 a.m. (1400 GMT) on Tuesday, and committing to do so until at least July, despite evidence the economy is kicking back to life. [ID:nN07158839]
"The general mood this morning is risk off, which is typically not good for the Canadian dollar," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist, TD Securities.
However, the Canadian dollar could gain later in the session if the the message from the bank is "somewhat constructive at least on the outlook," given recent domestic economic data, he added.
Data on Friday showed Canada's economy added five times more workers than expected in November. [ID:nN04141170]
Adding to optimism about the Canadian outlook was a report on Monday that showed the value of building permits shot up 18 percent in October. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast, on average, a mere 1 percent rise. [ID:nN073438]
At 7:41 a.m. (1241 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at C$1.0536 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.91 U.S. cents, down slightly from Monday's finish at C$1.0529 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.98 U.S. cents.
Global shares were largely flat on Tuesday and the U.S. dollar struggled after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a cautious assessment of the world's largest economy. [MKTS/GLOB]
Oil prices, a key Canadian export, fell below $73 a barrel on Tuesday, extending losses the previous day, while gold was also under pressure. [O/R] [GOL]
Canadian bond prices were mostly higher across the curve on Tuesday, mimicking gains in U.S. Treasuries on the lingering effect of Bernanke's comments, which splashed cold water on hope of a rapid recovery. [US/] [ID:nN07169826] (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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