Canadian dollar slightly weaker in subdued trade

Mon Apr 1, 2013 9:52am EDT
 
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was slightly weaker against the U.S. currency on Monday, with volumes limited by Easter holidays ahead of several central bank policy decisions due later in the week.

"It's a very quiet start to the week. There are lots of central banks meeting this week, which is contributing to the lack of interest at the moment," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD Securities.

At 9:22 a.m. the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.0172 to the greenback, or 98.31 U.S. cents, compared with C$1.0160, or 98.43 U.S. cents, at Friday's North American close.

The loonie, as Canada's currency is colloquially known, has traded between C$1.0140 and C$1.0200 in the past three sessions.

Canada has no domestic data until Friday's employment report which, coupled with similar data out of the United States on the same day, will illustrate the extent to which businesses are hiring as the two economies slowly recover.

Canadian employment data is expected to show the economy added just 8,500 net new jobs in March, well down from the higher-than-expected 50,700 added in February. The unemployment rate is seen unchanged at 7.1 percent.

Canada recently experienced a burst of outsized job growth, with an average of 29,000 jobs created per month over the past six months. But economists have warned the pace of new hiring would decline given slowing economic growth, a cooling property market and record high household debt levels.

The European Central Bank, the Bank of England, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of Japan are all due to make policy announcements this week, leaving currency strategists unwilling to make big bets before the news.   Continued...

 
A Canadian dollar coin, commonly called a "Loonie" and an American dollar bill are seen in this staged photo in Toronto, March 17, 2010. REUTERS/Mark Blinch