By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, April 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar got a boost versus the U.S. currency on Thursday morning as domestic jobs data came in below expectations, but was still not as weak as some market players had anticipated.
The Canadian currency rose as high as C$1.2308 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.25 U.S. cents, up from pre-data levels around C$1.2363 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.89 U.S. cents.
The rise in the currency followed a report that showed the Canadian economy shed 61,300 jobs in March. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected 55,000 job losses for March, though some forecasts called for 90,000 job losses. [ID:nN09253705]
"Although it was below the consensus, the whisper numbers were that it was going to be even worse, so the fact that is was only minus 60,000 actually seemed to give the market some encouragement," said David Watt, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
"A lot of people were positioned for worse numbers ... so people thought 'well it's bad but not really bad enough to justify the (U.S.) currency moving sharply higher.'"
At 7:45 a.m. (1145 GMT), the Canadian dollar had eased back a touch to C$1.2347 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.99 U.S. cents, up from C$1.2373 to the U.S. dollar, or 80.82 U.S. cents, at Wednesday's close.
Canadian bond prices were lower across the curve, mirroring moves by the bigger U.S. Treasury market as North American equities were expected to open higher.