CANADA FX DEBT-C$ softens ahead of ECB meeting and jobs report
* C$ at C$0.9983 vs $US, or $1.0017 * C$ expected to trade between C$0.9950 and parity * Currency expected to strengthen on U.S. recovery -polls By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was weaker against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, as market sentiment turned cautious before a European Central Bank meeting, but the currency stayed within recent ranges as investors awaited Canadian employment figures. The currency has traded between C$1.0006 and C$0.9949 over the last few sessions, with encouraging U.S. economic data keeping the Canadian dollar generally firmer than the U.S. dollar. "It's still butting up against exporter offers and the multitude of broad-based selling just around the parity level. The dips are still being bought," said Darcy Browne, managing director, foreign exchange sales at CIBC world markets. "I'm kind of convinced now we're more likely to stay in the range ahead of the Canadian employment data this Friday ... the commodity complex is looking a little tired here right now." The ECB will meet on Thursday and investors are nervous the central bank might express concern about the high level of the euro. At 9:35 a.m. (1435 GMT), Canada's dollar was trading at C$0.9983 versus the U.S. dollar, or $1.0017, weaker than Tuesday's North American session finish of C$0.9962, or $1.0038. The Canadian dollar was mixed against other currencies, hitting a 1-1/2 month high against the Australian dollar and easing from five month highs against the sterling . Canadian monthly employment data is expected to show 5,000 jobs added in January, according to a Reuters poll. Browne at CIBC said "it's pretty safe you can lean on the side that we won't have a knock-your-socks off positive number" and noted that the Bank of Canada lowered its growth expectations last month. Browne expected Canada's dollar to trade between C$0.9950 and parity on Wednesday. A Reuters poll released on Wednesday showed economists and foreign exchange strategists expected the Canadian dollar to strengthen over the course of 2013, looking past the central bank's recent dovish comments and finding support from an improving U.S. economy. Canadian government bond prices rose across the curve, with the two-year Canadian government bond firming about 2.3 Canadian cents to yield 1.160 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond rising 18 Canadian cents to yield 1.997 percent.