CANADA FX DEBT-C$ slips as focus turns to jobs reports
(Updates to market close, adds fresh comment) * Canadian dollar at C$1.1375 or 87.91 U.S. cents * Bond prices higher across the curve By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Dec 4 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar eased slightly against the greenback on Thursday in slow trading ahead of Friday's release of U.S. and Canadian employment reports for November. A less dovish statement from the Bank of Canada on Wednesday helped prop up the Canadian dollar. But with little key economic data, and despite volatile moves in other currencies, market participants held off on making any big bets on the loonie. "Everything's on the move ... But USD/CAD - it's like, did someone hit the snooze button? Was there even a Bank of Canada announcement yesterday? Part of that is actually quite telling from yesterday," said Amo Sahota, director at Klarity FX in San Francisco. The central bank had reinforced expectations it will hold off hiking interest rates until after the U.S. Federal Reserve makes its move sometime in the middle of next year, Sahota said. The Canadian dollar finished at C$1.1375 to the greenback, or 87.91 U.S. cents, marginally weaker than Wednesday's close at C$1.1366, or 87.98 U.S. cents. The currency had big swings of between half a cent and more than a cent over the previous five sessions, mostly in reaction to a plunge in oil prices after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided not to pull back on production despite a glut in the market. Canada is a major oil exporter. "We're trapped at around these levels mostly as people await the job reports," said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian fixed income and currency strategy at Royal Bank of Canada. In Canada, economists and analysts expect 5,000 new jobs to have been added in November and for the unemployment rate to have crept up to 6.6 percent from 6.5 percent. Chandler, noting that the U.S. labor report may have a bigger influence on the loonie on Friday, said a slight pullback was expected after the robust job gains of the previous two months. Canadian government bond prices were higher across the maturity curve, with the two-year up 1.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.017 percent and the benchmark 10-year rising 27 Canadian cents to yield 1.909 percent. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway and Tom Brown)
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