CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weaker as oil falls, jobs data awaited
(Adds trader comment, updates prices to close) * Canadian dollar settles at C$1.3003, or 76.91 U.S. cents * Bond prices mixed across the maturity curve By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, July 7 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as oil prices sunk to a two-month low and North American stock markets broadly lost ground ahead of jobs data due on Friday. The Canadian dollar settled at C$1.3003 to the greenback, or 76.91 U.S. cents, weaker than the Bank of Canada's official close of C$1.2959, or 77.17 U.S. cents. The currency had initially strengthened but reversed course after the U.S. government reported a drop in weekly crude stockpiles close to analysts' forecasts, but far less than the decline expected by market optimists. Canada is a major exporter of crude. "It's a gloomy environment since Brexit," said David Bradley, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotiabank, referring to Britain's shock vote to leave the European Union last month. "The market still seems thin, a lot of people are still on the sidelines since the Brexit vote." The currency's strongest level of the session was C$1.2878, while its weakest level was C$1.3021. U.S. private payrolls increased more than expected in June and fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, suggesting a rebound in job growth after May's paltry gains, two separate reports showed. That added to services industry data from Wednesday that showed surging new orders and hiring, suggesting the U.S. economy regained speed in the second quarter. Canada conducts most of its international trade with its southern neighbor. Meanwhile, the value of Canadian building permits issued in May unexpectedly dropped by 1.9 percent from April, Statistics Canada data indicated on Thursday. The federal statistics agency has not collected jobs data for Fort McMurray since the Alberta city was engulfed by wildfire in May, and has not decided when to resume the survey there. Jobs data for June is due out on Friday in both Canada and the United States. Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the maturity curve, with the two-year price up 4 Canadian cents to yield 0.466 percent and the benchmark 10-year falling 6 Canadian cents to yield 0.979 percent. The Canada-U.S. two-year bond spread was -12.7 basis points, while the 10-year spread was -40.6 basis points. (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Diane Craft)
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