* C$ ends lower at C$0.9783 vs US$, or $1.0222
* C$ finishes week down 0.1 percent
* Earlier touched weakest level vs US$ since March 21
* C$ pares losses after ISM data; bond prices pare gains
(Updates to close, adds commentary)
TORONTO, June 3 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar closed
slightly weaker against the U.S. currency on Friday, paring
steep early losses, after investors latched on to a report
showing a pickup in U.S. services sector growth.
The Canadian dollar sank early on to C$0.9852, or $1.0150
-- its weakest level since March 21 -- after a report showing
U.S. non-farm payrolls rose far less than expected in May and
jobless rate rose to 9.1 percent. [ID:nOAT004818]
But the dismal report was partly offset by later U.S.
services sector data that grew modestly in May while gauges of
new orders and employment climbed.
"The trends for the Canadian dollar are a little mixed,"
said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD
"The Canadian dollar tends to underperform on the back of
weaker-than-expected numbers and although the ISM on the margin
was a little better than expected, it doesn't really offset the
big miss we had on the payrolls."
He noted the general run of both U.S. and Canadian economic
data recently has been quite disappointing.
C.J. Gavsie, managing director of foreign exchange sales at
BMO Capital Markets, said there is concern about the impact of
the spillover from the U.S. economy and supply disruptions from
the Japan earthquake on Canada.
Any external drag on Canadian growth would make the Bank of
Canada less likely to resume its rate hike campaign soon,
reducing the Canadian dollar's appeal.
The Canadian dollar
closed at C$0.9783, or
$1.0222, down from Thursday's North American session close at
C$0.9756 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0250. It ended the week 0.1
Osborne said the range of C$0.9765-75 was pivotal as the
Canadian dollar has closed around 10 basis points on either
side of that level since early last week.
Near term, he sees Canadian dollar support at C$0.9850 and
resistance at C$0.9670.
He said the near-term trend is likely to be for a weaker
Canadian dollar given the difficult seasonal time for stock
markets and risk-related assets and speculation about a
potential third round of quantitative easing by the U.S.
Next week, investors will focus on Canadian purchasing,
housing, trade and employment figures.
Canada's jobs data for May on Friday will be the most
closely watched item, with risk more tilted to the downside for
the Canadian dollar if the number comes in below consensus,
added TD's Osborne. [ID:nN03165332]
The central bank is expected to resume raising interest
rates in September after it warned on Tuesday that it would
"eventually" have to lift borrowing costs, according to a
Reuters poll. [CA/POLL]
Canadian bond prices rallied on the soft U.S. jobs figures,
following U.S. Treasuries higher. [US/]
Even as investors weigh whether this signals a soft patch
or a prolonged slowdown, markets have begun to come around to
the view that government bonds should benefit in the near term
as inflationary expectations will be contained.
Canada's two-year bond
was up 8 Canadian cents
to yield 1.437 percent, while the 10-year bond
advanced 28 Canadian cents to yield 2.993 percent.
(Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)