CANADA FX DEBT-C$ edges up ahead of March jobs data

Wed Apr 8, 2009 5:12pm EDT
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 * C$ finishes higher for second session
 * Market focus on March jobs data on Thursday
 * Bonds higher, track U.S. Treasuries
 (Updates to close, adds quotes)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, April 8 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged
higher against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday but market action
was muted ahead of key Canadian jobs figures set to be released
on Thursday morning.
  The relatively flat finish suggests investors were
reticent to take major positions ahead of the jobs data, said
Derek Burleton, senior economist Toronto-Dominion Bank.
 "It'll give us a good sense as to how Canada's economy was
faring at the end of the first quarter -- a quarter that was
dismal," he said. "The hopes are we will get some easing in the
rate of decline in the economy in the second quarter."
  Canada is likely to have suffered its fifth straight month
of heavy job losses in March, with the unemployment rate rising
to its highest level in seven years.
 The median forecast of analysts surveyed by Reuters was for
a loss of 55,000 jobs following a loss of 82,600 in February.
 The Canadian currency finished at C$1.2373 to the U.S.
dollar, or 80.82 U.S. cents, up slightly from Tuesday's close
at C$1.2378 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.78 U.S. cents.
 It got support from gains on North American stock markets
and an unexpectedly robust rise in Canadian housing starts in
 Housing starts rose 13.7 percent in March -- snapping a
six-month losing streak -- to a seasonally adjusted rate of
154,700 units. That beat the consensus expectations of analysts
for 130,000 starts. [ID:nN08489392]
 "It was better than expected, it did not deteriorate
further, it adds to the growing body of evidence that the
Canadian economy actually did OK in March," Doug Porter, deputy
chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, said of the data.
 He added that the housing starts data may raise hopes that
even Thursday's employment numbers may not be quite as bad as
 Canadian government bond prices were higher, climbing in
tandem with U.S. Treasuries after minutes from the Federal
Reserve's March FOMC meeting indicated U.S. central bankers had
become more downbeat on the economy. [ID:nN08541282]
 Sheldon Dong, fixed income analyst at TD Waterhouse Private
Investment, said there was little to drive the market before
Thursday's jobs data.
 The two-year Canada bond was up 8 Canadian cents at
C$100.35 to yield 1.086 percent, while the 10-year bond climbed
45 Canadian cents to C$107.45 to yield 2.895 percent.
 The 30-year bond rose 75 Canadian cents to C$124.00 to
yield 3.631 percent. In the United States, the 30-year Treasury
yielded 3.6624 percent.
 Canadian bonds mostly outperformed their U.S. counterparts.
The 10-year bond yield was 4.10 basis points above its U.S.
counterpart, compared to 4.50 basis points on Tuesday.
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)