CANADA FX DEBT-Oil boosts C$ ahead of U.S. holiday, jobs data
* C$ at $1.0510 to US$, or 95.15 U.S. cents * Higher oil prices boost commodity-driven currency * Buyers seek value following steep decline * Shrinking trade deficit ignored as jobs data looms By Cameron French TORONTO, July 3 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar gained versus its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, rebounding from Tuesday's 21-month lows as strong oil prices lifted the currency, while its recent decline enticed value seekers. U.S. crude topped $100 a barrel for the first time since September on concerns about Egyptian unrest and tight supplies. Higher oil prices typically boost the Canadian dollar because Canada is a major supplier of oil to the U.S. market. With activity muted ahead of the U.S. Independence Day holiday on Thursday and the release of major jobs data on Friday, buyers sought to take advantage of the currency's 3.4 percent slide since mid-June. "It has moved a long way in a relatively short period of time, and now that things have quieted down a little bit, people are trying to pick away and look for some value," said Mark Chandler, head of fixed income and currency strategy at RBC Capital Markets. The loonie, as Canada's currency is colloquially known, has shed value in recent weeks as the U.S. Federal Reserve signals its intention to scale back the asset purchases that have supported equity and bond markets. Meanwhile, uneven Canadian economic data has investors continuing to wonder how soon the Bank of Canada will act on its long-held threat to raise interest rates. Chandler said he saw particular interest in the loonie among Canadian corporate clients on Wednesday. The Canadian dollar ended the session at C$1.0510 to the greenback, or 95.15 U.S. cents, compared with C$1.0549, or 94.80 U.S. cents, at Tuesday's North American close. Data showing a smaller than expected Canadian trade deficit in May due to falling imports was largely ignored, traders said. "The market obviously has got two things on its mind: July 4 tomorrow and jobless data on Friday," said Steve Butler, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotiabank. The employment numbers are expected show Canada lost some 2,500 jobs in June after notching oversized gains the previous month, while the much larger U.S. economy is seen adding 165,000 jobs. Prices for Canadian government debt were mixed. The two-year bond rose 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.194 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond slid 6 Canadian cents to yield 2.414 percent.
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