* C$ at C$0.9955 vs US$, or C$1.0045 * Currency expected to strengthen on U.S. recovery -poll By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Feb 6 The Canadian dollar firmed marginally against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, while holding within a recent range, as investors looked to Friday's Canadian employment figures to offer clearer direction for the currency. Canada's dollar has traded between C$1.0006 and C$0.9949 since Friday, with encouraging U.S. economic data keeping it generally firmer against the U.S. dollar. "We're stuck in a long-term range. It's going to take a meaningful event either from a policy perspective or growth to really shift expectations about the Canadian dollar," said Benjamin Reitzes, senior economist and foreign exchange strategist at BMO Capital Markets. "Things are normalizing to some extent. Stocks can continue to rise with earnings, but the Canadian dollar can't continue to strengthen indefinitely," he added, noting that the currency's correlation with equities is slowly breaking down. 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 Bank of Canada's recent dovish comments and finding support from an improving U.S. economy. The Canadian dollar closed Wednesday's North American session at C$0.9955 against the U.S. dollar, or C$1.0045, compared with Tuesday's finish of C$0.9962, or $1.0038. "It's kind of a wash when you look at Canada. ... It's just swashbuckling back and forth there," said Darcy Browne, managing director, foreign exchange sales at CIBC World Markets. The Canadian dollar was stronger against major currencies, except for the Japanese yen. It touched a 1-1/2-month high against the Australian dollar and a five-month high against sterling. "Aussie is looking heavy, so the commodity complex is looking a little tired here right now," said Browne. Canadian monthly employment data is expected to show 5,000 jobs added in January, according to a Reuters poll. BMO's Reitzes said Friday's employment data could weaken the Canadian dollar a little, but said expectations were already quite poor. "Unless you get a big negative, you probably won't get a big selloff. And even then, people hopefully by now have learned to take the report with a pretty big grain of salt," said Reitzes. "You get the initial knee jerk, but usually a retracement after that." Canadian government bond prices rose across the curve, with the two-year bond firming about 3 Canadian cents to yield 1.156 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond rising 20 Canadian cents to yield 1.995 percent.