CANADA FX DEBT-C$ strengthens after surprise domestic trade surplus
* C$ at C$1.0071 to the US$, or 99.30 U.S. cents
* Domestic trade surplus offset by U.S. jobless claims
* ECB rate cut boosts both North American currencies
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, May 2 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday after the domestic economy posted a surprise trade surplus, though the gain was trimmed by greenback appreciation after a sharp fall in jobless claims.
"The problem for the Canadian (dollar) ... has been the fact that at the same time, we saw a much better than expected jobless claims number out of the U.S," said Jeremy Stretch, head of foreign exchange strategy at CIBC World Markets.
The currency firmed to C$1.0060 to the greenback, or 99.40 U.S. cents, after Statistics Canada said growing exports led to a C$24 billion surplus in March.
It closed at C$1.0081, or 99.20 U.S. cents on Wednesday.
But the greenback also gained, pushing the loonie back to around C$1.0071, or 99.30 U.S cents, as fewer Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits than at any time in the last five years. Continued...