CANADA FX DEBT-C$ pauses ahead of U.S. jobs data
* C$ flat at C$0.9880 vs US$, or $1.0121 * Bond prices little changed By Claire Sibonney TORONTO, May 4 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar was little changed against the greenback on Friday as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of a reading on the U.S. jobs market that could heighten concerns about the health of the world's biggest economy. U.S. employers likely increased hiring in April to add 170,000 workers to their payrolls, according to a Reuters survey of economists, up from March's meager print of 120,000, while the rise might not be enough to lower the country's 8.2 percent jobless rate. "Markets at this point are essentially frozen waiting for this number," said Blake Jespersen, managing director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital markets. "The Canadian dollar did weaken a little bit over the past day after the weaker ADP employment report so I would say expectations are for a slightly softer nonfarm payroll number." On Wednesday, data on private-sector employment from U.S. payrolls processor ADP showed private employers added 119,000 jobs in April, far fewer than expected. At 7:39 a.m. (1139 GMT), the Canadian currency stood at C$0.9880 versus the U.S. dollar, or $1.0121, up slightly from Thursday's finish at C$0.9889 versus the greenback, or $1.0112. Jespersen sees broad support for the Canadian dollar around parity and resistance around C$0.9800. "The U.S. data has been disappointing of late but this (nonfarm payrolls) number will obviously be key over the next month." he said. "If we do see a strong number, this could really reinvigorate the Canadian dollar, but if it disappoints again we could see it slip back another half a cent or more." Investors also were focused on weekend elections in the euro zone, with evidence of a sharp contraction in the region's dominant services sector suggesting its recession could last longer than feared. Voting in France and Greece is likely to provide a litmus test of popular tolerance for further austerity, a day after the European Central Bank ended near-term hopes of more policy easing to boost the ailing economy. Canadian bond prices were little changed across the curve. Canada's two-year bond slipped half a Canadian cent to yield 1.309 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond was up 2 Canadian cents to yield 2.089 percent.
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