CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firmer after U.S. jobless claims jump

Thu Feb 5, 2009 10:18am EST
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TORONTO Feb 5 (Reuters) - Canada's dollar recovered from an early low to turn higher on Thursday as soft U.S. jobless data helped convince some traders to lighten up on long U.S. dollar positions.

In recent sessions the U.S. dollar struggled to sustain its breaks above the C$1.24-C$1.25 levels, which has frustrated some traders and resulted in a rebound in the Canadian dollar, analysts said.

At 9:45 a.m. (1445 GMT), the Canadian unit was at C$1.2270 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.50 U.S. cents, up from an early low of C$1.2383 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.76 U.S. cents.

The Canadian dollar closed at C$1.2320 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.17 U.S. cents, on Wednesday.

"I think some people through late last week and early this week were buying U.S. dollars looking for a break higher," said George Davis, chief technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

"But the fact that we've struggled to break above (those areas) has gotten those people a little frustrated so I think they are starting to close out some of their long U.S. dollar positions."

Helping to keep the U.S. dollar from holding gains against the Canadian currency were data like Thursday's report on U.S. jobless claims, which hit a 26-year low. It came ahead of a key employment data due out on Friday that are expected to show more job losses in Canada and the United States. (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)