CANADA FX DEBT-C$ closes near 6-week high as soft data hits US$

* C$ at C$1.0145, or 98.57 U.S. cents
    * Data on U.S. private-sector jobs, services disappoints
    * Canadian currency near 6-week high

    By Andrea Hopkins
    TORONTO, April 3 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rose
slightly and closed not far from six-week highs against its U.S.
counterpart on Wednesday as weaker-than-expected U.S.
private-employment and service-sector data sent global stock
markets and the U.S. dollar lower.
    U.S. companies hired at the weakest pace in five months in
March as recent strong demand for construction jobs evaporated,
while growth in the vast services sector slowed, signs that the
economic recovery could be hitting a soft patch. 
    The data sparked concern that the recent pick-up in U.S.
economic growth is losing momentum and provoked caution among
investors ahead of Friday's all-important government reports on
employment for March. Major stock markets, the U.S. dollar and
oil prices all fell in response.  
    The Canadian dollar briefly rose to C$1.0125 to the U.S.
dollar, the session high it hit on Tuesday, which was also its
strongest point since Feb. 20. But it pared those gains as stock
and commodity prices fell.
    Some traders were hesitant to take major positions ahead of
the outcome of meetings by key central banks in Europe and Asia
on Thursday and the U.S. payrolls report and the Canadian
employment report, both due on Friday. 
    "It's a day of wait and see for the Canadian dollar. ECB
(European Central Bank) tomorrow, Bank of England, Bank of
Japan, and then of course the dual payrolls on Friday. That it
enough event and data risk to inspire a fair bit of price
action," said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange
at National Bank Financial.
    The Canadian dollar ended the North American
session at C$1.0145 to the greenback, or 98.57 U.S. cents,
slightly stronger than Tuesday's close of C$1.0149, or 98.53
U.S. cents.
     Canada's main stock index, the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index, tumbled more than 2 percent
on Wednesday, as the sluggish U.S. economic data hurt investor
    "What's notable about dollar-CAD today is lack of price
action amidst a fairly significant selloff on the TSX," Spitz
said. "That speaks to the breakdown of the traditional risk-on,
risk-off correlations that would normally have moved the
Canadian dollar weaker on a day like today." 
    The price of Canadian government debt was higher across the
curve, with the two-year bond up 2 Canadian cents to
yield 0.993 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond 
rising 38 Canadian cents to yield 1.833 percent.