CANADA FX DEBT-C$ slides to 5-1/2 lows on U.S., Canada jobs data

Fri Jan 9, 2015 5:07pm EST
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(Updates with fresh comment, closing figures, Keystone vote)

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO Jan 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar stumbled to its weakest finish in more than 5-1/2 years on Friday after North American jobs data signaled an interest rate hike in the United States and the status quo in Canada.

Canada shed 4,300 jobs in December after losing 10,700 in November. Market forecasters had estimated an increase of 15,000 jobs. The overall unemployment rate held at 6.6 percent.

Disappointment in the headline figures was tempered by the fact that wages were higher, losses were skewed toward part-time work, and full-time figures were robust, economists noted.

In the United States, nonfarm payrolls rose 252,000 last month.

"Obviously the (U.S.) dollar's strong and that's a general theme in the market across all the majors," said Lennon Sweeting, corporate dealer at USForex in San Francisco.

"Canada's numbers were on target. They weren't exceptional, but they weren't weak. They held the Canadian dollar steady and kept the Canadian dollar susceptible to U.S. dollar gains."

The Canadian dollar, which was underperforming against most major currencies, finished at C$1.1866 to the U.S. dollar, or 84.27 U.S. cents, weaker than Thursday's close of C$1.1836, or 84.49 U.S. cents.   Continued...