* C$ down at C$0.9728, or $1.0280
* Bonds mixed across the curve
* U.S. payrolls expected to be strong
* C$ range of C$0.9760/80 to C$0.9680
TORONTO, March 4 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar nudged
lower against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, but remained
range-bound ahead of the U.S. monthly jobs data.
A Reuters poll forecasts an increase of 185,000 new jobs
when February employment data is released at 8:30 a.m. (1330
GMT). This would be the biggest gain in nearly a year and the
strongest signal that the economic recovery was on track.
"I think the market's leaning on a stronger number for the
U.S. The question is how strong and what's that going to mean
for (Canada)?" said Steve Butler, director of foreign exchange
trading at Scotia Capital.
"The underlying factors are, what's good for the U.S. is
good for the Canadian economy. We are seeing signs of life down
south of the border so I think that's been helping the Canadian
At 7:52 a.m. (1252 GMT), the currency
C$0.9728 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0280, down from Thursday's
North American finish of C$0.9722, or $1.0286.
Butler said the currency has been trapped just above the
low C$0.9700 range, with the fundamentals still strong in
Canada. The Canadian dollar was seen moving between a low of
C$0.9760 to C$0.9780 and a high of C$0.9680.
Government bond prices were mixed across the curve.
The two-year bond
was flat, with a yield of
1.879 percent, while the 10-year bond added 11
Canadian cents to yield 3.383 percent.
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)