May 2, 2012 / 12:57 AM / 6 years ago

Canada dollar weakens on soft euro zone, U.S. ADP data

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s dollar ended slightly softer against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as weaker euro zone and U.S. economic data made investors more pessimistic about the global economic outlook.

An image of the front of the new Canadian 50 dollar bill, made of polymer, is seen on display before a news conference in Quebec City, March 26, 2012. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

The currency followed the trend overseas that saw the euro and world shares fall after data showed euro zone factories sank further into decline last month.

Also weighing on investors’ willingness to buy riskier assets, including commodity-linked currencies like the Canadian dollar, was data that showed U.S. private employers added far fewer jobs than expected in April.

But John Curran, senior vice president at CanadianForex, said recent ramped-up expectations of a Bank of Canada rate hike cushioned the currency’s fall.

The central bank surprised investors last month with a more positive domestic economic outlook and an explicit warning that it may have to start raising rates again.

“People still have it in the back of their minds that (Bank of Canada Governor) Carney may do something,” said Curran.

“We’re getting some tailwinds from the Carney comments. People don’t really want to believe that he’s going to be wrong. Canada is still doing OK. Comparatively speaking the Canadian dollar is holding in quite well.”

The Canadian currency finished at C$0.9865 against the greenback, or $1.0137, down a hair from Tuesday’s finish at C$0.9858 against the greenback, or $1.0144.

“It did weaken off slightly this morning on the weaker-than-expected ADP employment report. But it still remains confined to a C$0.98 to C$0.99 range, likely for the next day and a half,” said Blake Jespersen, a managing director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital markets.

Jespersen said he expected trading to remain light ahead of key U.S. jobs data later in the week.

“Investors are just cautious about positioning themselves ahead of a big number that could lead to a big move,” he said.

Non-farm payrolls data out Friday is expected to show hiring by U.S. employers rebounded in April, which could ease fears that the economy has stumbled into a soft patch.

Businesses outside the farm sector are expected to have added 170,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey, after rising a meager 120,000 in March. The unemployment rate is seen holding at a three-year low of 8.2 percent.

Canadian bond prices climbed across the curve with Canada’s two-year bond up 3 Canadian cents to yield 1.316 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond gained 20 Canadian cents to yield 2.025 percent.

Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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