Canadian holds near 3-month high as bond yields rise

* Loonie trades in a range of 1.2348 to 1.2409

* Price of U.S. oil settles 0.2% higher

* Canadian housing starts fall 4.4% in September

* Canadian 2-year yield climbs to its highest since March 2020

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged lower against its U.S. counterpart on Monday but held near its highest level in more than three months as U.S. and domestic bond yields climbed, while a Bank of Canada survey showed that companies are anticipating stronger demand.

The loonie CAD= was trading 0.1% lower at 1.2377 to the greenback, or 80.80 U.S. cents, after trading in a range of 1.2348 to 1.2409. On Friday, the currency touched its strongest level since July 6 at 1.2334.

"It has been a bit of a rocky day across markets and the loonie has been pulled around a few different directions," said Erik Nelson, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo in New York. "For all the big moves in the rates market, the FX market has been much quieter."

The Canadian 2-year yield CA2YT=RR climbed to its highest level since March 2020 at 0.866% before dipping to 0.824%, up 5.8 basis points on the day, while the 10-year CA10YT=RR was up half a basis point at 1.589%.

The price of oil CLc1 , one of Canada's major exports, settled 0.2% higher at $82.44 a barrel but easing off earlier multi-year highs as U.S. industrial output for September fell, tempering early enthusiasm about demand.

The Bank of Canada's Business Outlook Survey Indicator reached its highest level on record in the third quarter even as firms said that supply constraints will limit sales and put upward pressure on costs.

Separate domestic data showed that housing starts fell 4.4% in September compared with the previous month.

Canada's inflation report for September is due on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new government is set to impose higher taxes on Canadians, which will help fund some campaign promises but are not broad enough to start paying down the country's record levels of debt, analysts say.
Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Alistair Bell

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