August 10, 2012 / 1:17 PM / 5 years ago

C$ falls on jobs data, weak US$ supports

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar eked out a gain on Friday, reversing an earlier loss following unexpectedly weak domestic jobs numbers for July, which dimmed expectations the Bank of Canada would raise interest rates any time soon.

The Canadian currency sank to a session low of C$0.9970 against the U.S. dollar, or $1.0030, after data showed the economy lost 30,400 jobs in July in a third disappointing month for the labor market.

"I don't think the market ever fully believed in the Bank of Canada's fairly hawkish tone, but it certainly dampens expectations for rate hikes in Canada," said Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank.

But the currency clawed back from its weak point to end at C$0.9910, or $1.0091, a hair higher from its North American finish at C$0.9920 versus the U.S. currency, or $1.0081.

The currency rose around 1 percent for the week, its fifth straight weekly climb.

"What the price action today would indicate, in terms of the move lower in dollar/Canada, it would be based on some squaring of long dollar positions heading into the weekend. Nothing more, nothing less," said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial.

"Euro is still trading the range. Dollar/Canada is still holding above the calendar low, but the move today has served to counteract the negative implications of that miss we saw earlier today," he added, referring to the employment report.

The data showed net job losses resulted from the elimination of 51,600 part-time positions, which offset the 21,300 full-time jobs created, according to Statistics Canada data on Friday. There was little change in both public and private sector employment.

The jobless rate climbed to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent, with the biggest layoffs in wholesale and retail trade and in professional, scientific and technical services.

The market had expected some 9,000 jobs to be created in July after mediocre gains of 7,300 in June and 7,700 in May.

Apart from those key events there was little to sway the currency, said Spitz.

Global shares lost momentum on Friday, at one points falling for the first time in five days, on weak Chinese trade data. Declines were limited by expectations policymakers could act to shore up the world's economies. Toronto and U.S. stocks were little changed most of the day, but mostly ended higher. <MKTS/GLOB>.N.TO

Stock markets' recent rally has been underpinned by comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi two weeks ago that the central bank was "ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro," raising hopes of heavy bond buying to aid Spain and Italy.

The Canadian dollar notched a mixed performance against its major currency peers. It outperformed the U.S. dollar, euro and Australian dollar, but underperformed the New Zealand dollar, sterling and yen. Spitz said Canadian dollar resistance would likely be at C$0.9900-10 versus the greenback.

Canadian bond prices were mostly higher. The two-year bond edged up 6 Canadian cents to yield 1.132 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond was up 26 Canadian cents to yield 1.783 percent.

Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Kenneth Barry and Leslie Adler

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