CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weakens, hit by employment data

Fri Jan 9, 2009 10:23am EST
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* Canada sheds 34,400 jobs in Dec vs 22,000 loss forecast

* Bonds higher at short end, lower at long end

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar edged lower versus the U.S. currency on Friday as December employment data in Canada signaled that the economy has likely slipped into recession, giving the Bank of Canada more ammunition to cut interest rates further.

At 9:46 a.m. (1446 GMT), the Canadian currency was at C$1.1910 to the U.S. dollar, or 84.03 U.S. cents, down from C$1.1785 to the U.S. dollar, or 84.85 U.S. cents, on Thursday.

Bond prices were higher at the short end as the jobs data supported expectations the Canadian central bank will cut rates further, while the long end was pressured by persistent supply concerns in both Canada and the United States.

Figures on Friday showed the Canadian economy shed 34,400 jobs in December, while the unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent from 6.3 percent in the previous month.

The figures were worse than forecasts in a Reuters poll for job losses of 22,000 and a jobless rate of 6.5 percent. [ID:nN09253705]

Also weighing on the Canadian currency were U.S. employment figures, also released on Friday.   Continued...