CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms as U.S. jobs data trumps Canada's

Fri Mar 9, 2012 4:38pm EST
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* C$ ends at C$0.9909 vs US$, or $1.0092

* Bond prices little changed across curve

* Strong U.S. jobs data outweighs weak Canada data

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, March 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar advanced against the safe-haven greenback on Friday as the market downplayed weak domestic employment numbers in favor of stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data that provided a further signal of recovery in Canada's biggest trading partner.

Figures on Friday showed U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs last month, outpacing estimates of 210,000 new jobs. It was the first time in a year that payrolls have grown by more than 200,000 for three straight months.

In Canada, the economy unexpectedly failed to create any new jobs in February, continuing a trend of stalled employment despite signs of a healthy domestic economy and a comeback by the U.S. job market. The net job loss in February was 2,800 with the biggest drops in the retail and wholesale trade sectors.

"The Canadian dollar was responding to the generally better news out of the U.S. and the healthy indications on North American growth and didn't respond much to Canada's own employment report," said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC.

"The U.S. dollar now seems to be benefiting from better U.S. news and the Canadian dollar is rising on the U.S. dollar on the same events."   Continued...