CANADA FX DEBT-C$ closes near 6-week high as soft data hits US$
* C$ at C$1.0145, or 98.57 U.S. cents * Data on U.S. private-sector jobs, services disappoints * Canadian currency near 6-week high By Andrea Hopkins TORONTO, April 3 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar rose slightly and closed not far from six-week highs against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as weaker-than-expected U.S. private-employment and service-sector data sent global stock markets and the U.S. dollar lower. U.S. companies hired at the weakest pace in five months in March as recent strong demand for construction jobs evaporated, while growth in the vast services sector slowed, signs that the economic recovery could be hitting a soft patch. The data sparked concern that the recent pick-up in U.S. economic growth is losing momentum and provoked caution among investors ahead of Friday's all-important government reports on employment for March. Major stock markets, the U.S. dollar and oil prices all fell in response. The Canadian dollar briefly rose to C$1.0125 to the U.S. dollar, the session high it hit on Tuesday, which was also its strongest point since Feb. 20. But it pared those gains as stock and commodity prices fell. Some traders were hesitant to take major positions ahead of the outcome of meetings by key central banks in Europe and Asia on Thursday and the U.S. payrolls report and the Canadian employment report, both due on Friday. "It's a day of wait and see for the Canadian dollar. ECB (European Central Bank) tomorrow, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, and then of course the dual payrolls on Friday. That it enough event and data risk to inspire a fair bit of price action," said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial. The Canadian dollar ended the North American session at C$1.0145 to the greenback, or 98.57 U.S. cents, slightly stronger than Tuesday's close of C$1.0149, or 98.53 U.S. cents. Canada's main stock index, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index, tumbled more than 2 percent on Wednesday, as the sluggish U.S. economic data hurt investor sentiment. "What's notable about dollar-CAD today is lack of price action amidst a fairly significant selloff on the TSX," Spitz said. "That speaks to the breakdown of the traditional risk-on, risk-off correlations that would normally have moved the Canadian dollar weaker on a day like today." The price of Canadian government debt was higher across the curve, with the two-year bond up 2 Canadian cents to yield 0.993 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond rising 38 Canadian cents to yield 1.833 percent.
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