CANADA FX DEBT-C$ ends little changed ahead of U.S. jobs data
* Canadian dollar closes at C$1.0961, or 91.23 U.S. cents * Bond prices higher across the maturity curve (Adds strategist's comment, updates prices)) By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, May 1 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar pared early losses and closed little changed against the greenback on Thursday, suggesting that its recovery from a sharp drop in March might have created a floor for the currency. The loonie, as the Canadian dollar is colloquially known, slipped in early trading in what is typically a seasonally weak period for the currency, but it regained ground in the afternoon as investors positioned themselves ahead of the U.S. employment report for April, set for release on Friday. "The fact we were pushed down, couldn't get above that (C$1.10) level, is a clear sign this market no longer prefers to be long dollar/Canada," said Brad Schruder, director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital Markets. "The negative sentiment that had been really hanging above the loonie like a dark cloud is starting to break up," he said. The Canadian dollar bounced back after hitting a 4-1/2-year low in March but its rally back flattened out through most of April. The currency has traded in a tight band on either side of the C$1.10 level in recent weeks. The Canadian dollar ended the North American session at C$1.0961 to the greenback, or 91.23 U.S. cents, steady with Wednesday's close of C$1.0960, or 91.24 U.S. cents. "There's a very definite seasonal tendency for the early to mid-part of May to be better for U.S. dollar-Canadian dollar, and it was very good for U.S. dollar-Canadian dollar last year," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD Securities in Toronto. "The 2014 trading pattern to me looks a fair bit like what we saw last year. So, given the bounce we had last year, given the general seasonal trend over the last 15 or so years for May to be a little bit better for the U.S. dollar from a seasonal point of view, I do think we're close to a low point here." Investors largely shrugged off Chinese data showing growth in the country's vast manufacturing sector increased slightly in April, though the figure came in just below expectations. The loonie can be sensitive to economic developments in China, the world's second-largest economy and a major consumer of natural resources. Investors expect Friday's U.S. unemployment report for April to show that Canada's biggest trading partner added 210,000 jobs in the month. Canada will not release its labor market report for April until next week. Canadian government bond prices were higher across the maturity curve, with the two-year up 2.4 Canadian cents to yield 1.069 percent and the benchmark 10-year adding 32 Canadian cents to yield 2.370 percent. (Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Peter Galloway)
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