* C$ inches up to 97.97 U.S. cents
* Short-term bonds fall after ADP jobs data
TORONTO, Aug 4 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar sidled higher against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday and approached the six-week high reached earlier in the week, with stronger than expected U.S. private jobs data helping it to hold gains.
The ADP figures, which showed a job gain of 42,000 in July compared with expectations of 40,000, came ahead of the much more comprehensive U.S. labor market report for July on Friday.
Canada is also set to publish July jobs data on Friday, the main market event of the week, with forecasters expecting a modest gain of 15,000 jobs and a steady unemployment rate at 7.9 percent. [ID:nN30270191]
“The markets are relatively calm. I think a lot is going to depend on the numbers this Friday,” said John Curran, senior vice president at CanadianForexCanada.
“I think you could see some Canada strength creep in with expectations of decent numbers for Friday. However there are lots of people willing to buy U.S. dollars down around these levels just because it’s the lower end of the recent band we’ve been in since October.”
He added: “Barring that one test below par in April, this has been a relatively decent area to buy U.S. dollars.”
The Canadian currency CAD=D4 nearly matched the six-week high at 98 U.S. cents it hit earlier this week, but was just shy at C$1.0207 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.97 U.S. cents, at 9:30 a.m. (1430 GMT). That compared C$1.0239 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.67 U.S. cents, at Tuesday's close.
The Canadian dollar has gained in recent sessions but analysts say the climb has been held back somewhat by concerns about economic growth in the United States, Canada’s biggest trading partner.
Canadian government bond prices were mixed following the ADP report as U.S. stock indexes were buoyed by the data. That reduced bids for less risky government debt.
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