* C$ softer vs Thursday close as jobs data misses
* Bond prices inch slightly higher
* Net job loss of 2,800 in Feb from January
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, March 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar weakened against the U.S. currency on Friday after unexpected weak domestic employment data showed the economy added no net new jobs in February.
Canada lost 2,800 jobs in the month. The creation of 9,100 full-time jobs was offset by 12,000 fewer part-time positions. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent in January, but only because fewer people searched for work.
“The weakening in the Canadian dollar is appropriate. I think this is a bit of a disappointment and probably should take a bit of the recent shine off the currency,” said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.
The data initially pressured the currency, sending it to a session low of C$0.9942 versus the greenback, or $1.0058. But it pared losses ahead of the key U.S. jobs report due at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT).
At 7:53 a.m. the Canadian dollar stood at C$0.9922 versus the U.S. dollar, or $1.0079, down from Thursday’s North American session close at C$0.9911 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0090.
Weak U.S. stocks futures and flat overseas shares did little to help the currency, after Greece as expected successfully closed a bond swap needed to avert an unruly default, with market attention turning to focus on U.S. employment.
David Bradley, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotia Capital, expected the currency to stay within a range of C$0.9850 to C$1.0050 against the U.S. dollar for Friday and the balance of the month.
South of the border, the consensus estimate is for the U.S. labor department to announce 210,000 non-farm jobs created during the month.
“We get the U.S. numbers and that could potentially trump these Canadian numbers and re-establish a new trend,” said Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada.
Canadian bond prices crept higher across much of the curve, outperforming flat U.S. Treasuries ahead of the U.S. jobs data.
The two-year bond was up 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.168 percent, compared with 1.173 percent before the Canadian jobs report.
The 10-year bond added 2 Canadian cents to yield 2.009 percent.