CANADA FX DEBT-C$ firms on U.S. jobs data, eye on Bank of Canada
* C$ at C$1.0289 vs US$, or 97.19 U.S. cents * Canadian retail sales rise 0.2 pct in Aug * U.S. adds 148,000 jobs in Sept, below expectations of 180,000 * Bond prices higher across maturity curve By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against the greenback on Tuesday as a disappointing jobs report south of the border took the U.S. currency lower, while investors looked ahead to an upcoming monetary policy announcement from the Bank of Canada. Domestically, data showed Canadian retail sales edged up in August, though the rise was slightly below economists' expectations. Analysts said the U.S. jobs report garnered more attention in the market. The release, which had been delayed by the U.S. government shutdown, showed the economy added 148,000 jobs last month, suggesting a loss of momentum in the economy. The figures underscored economists' view that the Federal Reserve may maintain the current pace of its economic stimulus efforts for longer than had been expected. "It highlights that even leading into the government shutdown, the employment sector in the U.S. was slowing," said Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto. That pushes out when the Fed could start to wind down its $85 billion a month in bond purchases "well into 2014," she said. The Canadian dollar ended the North American session at C$1.0289 versus the greenback, or 97.19 U.S. cents, stronger than Monday's close of C$1.0301, or 97.08 U.S. cents. The greenback lost 0.6 percent against a basket of currencies. Still, the loonie did not gain as much against the U.S. dollar as some other major currencies. The market was cautious ahead of Wednesday's interest rate decision from the Bank of Canada. The central bank is expected to keep rates steady at 1 percent. The accompanying statement will be a bigger focal point, with investors sensitive to any change in tone that might indicate when the Bank will eventually raise rates. Analysts are also looking for the central bank's view on the economic outlook for both Canada and the United States. In a speech earlier this month, Senior Deputy Governor Tiff Macklem said the central bank expects lower growth in the third quarter than had been previously forecast. "We're not expecting any radical changes tomorrow but Canada's and the U.S.'s fortunes are so inextricably linked to one another that the market is placing a lot of emphasis on their outlook for the U.S. economy and the potential downside risks," said Gareth Sylvester, director at Klarity FX in San Francisco. Government bond prices were higher across the maturity curve with the two-year bond up 6.3 Canadian cents to yield 1.168 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond up 57 Canadian cents to yield 2.483 percent.
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