CANADA FX DEBT-C$ near 1-month high after strong domestic jobs report

Fri Apr 4, 2014 9:22am EDT

* Canadian dollar at C$1.0972 or 91.14 U.S. cents
    * Bond prices mostly higher across the maturity curve

    By Leah Schnurr
    TORONTO, April 4 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar
strengthened on Friday against the greenback to its highest in
nearly a month, bolstered by data that showed the domestic
economy added twice as many jobs as expected in March.
    Employers created 42,900 jobs last month, well ahead of the
20,000 that analysts had expected, while the unemployment rate
declined for the first time this year, to 6.9 percent.
 
    "It was a pleasant upside surprise for March, which is good
news in the context of the weakness we saw in February," said   
Craig Wright, chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada in
Toronto.
    Canada had shed 7,000 jobs in February.
    At the same time, separate data south of the border showed
U.S. employers kept up a steady pace of hiring last month with
192,000 new jobs. Still, the figure was slightly below
expectations and the divergence between the U.S. and Canadian
numbers helped further support the loonie. 
    "The combination of an as-expected U.S. report and a solid
Canadian number has given the Canadian dollar a bit of a boost,"
said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets in
Toronto. 
     "I don't believe either report is a real game changer, I
don't think either one changes the broader landscape of the
North American economy, but at least for today this is a nice
boost for the loonie."
    The Canadian dollar was at C$1.0972 to the
greenback, or 91.14 U.S. cents, stronger than Thursday's close
of C$1.1039, or 90.59 U.S. cents. The loonie hit a session high
of C$1.0957 shortly after the jobs reports were released, the
lowest level since early March.
    The strong report was still unlikely to alter the Bank of
Canada's stance, analysts said. The central bank has been a
major driver of the Canadian dollar's direction since it shifted
the tone of its policy last year.
    Canadian government bond prices were mostly higher across
the maturity curve, though the two-year was off 1-1/2
Canadian cents to yield 1.110 percent. The benchmark 10-year
 was up 24 Canadian cents to yield 2.522 percent.

 (Additional reporting by Andrea Hopkins and Alastair Sharp;
Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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