CANADA FX DEBT-C$ slightly firmer after trade deficit narrows

Thu Mar 7, 2013 9:43am EST
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* C$ at C$1.0302 to US$, or 97.07 U.S. cents

* Canada trade deficit narrows while U.S. balance widens

* Jobs data on Friday eyed for next direction

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, March 7 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened marginally on Thursday after data showed Canada's trade deficit narrowed in January as exports grew at a faster rate than imports.

That compared favorably with a widening trade deficit in the United States, Canada's largest trading partner by far.

"The combination of data points, if you look at the two trade balances, did favor a softening in dollar/CAD," said Jeremy Stretch, head of foreign exchange strategy at CIBC World Markets in London.

The Canadian dollar initially weakened to C$1.0317 to the U.S. dollar, or 96.93 U.S. cents, following the release of the latest data. But it then firmed to C$1.0302. It had closed at C$1.0315 versus the U.S. dollar on Wednesday.

Stretch said he was not convinced that the Canadian dollar's gain on the data was "durable."   Continued...