* Canadian dollar at C$1.0960 or 91.24 U.S. cents
* Bond prices mixed
(Adds strategist's comments, updates prices)
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Aug 5 The Canadian dollar hit its
weakest level against the greenback in three months on Tuesday,
extending its recent retreat as commodity prices dropped after
sluggish Chinese growth data reignited investor fears about the
health of the world's second-biggest economy.
The Canadian dollar is often sensitive to economic news from
China, a key consumer of resources.
"It helps that the commodities are a little bit softer. Gold
trading back below $1,300 and crude trading back below $100 has
probably added to interest to sell Canadian dollars," said David
Bradley, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotiabank.
The loonie has shed 2.8 percent since the beginning of July
as optimism that U.S. economic recovery is gaining momentum has
prompted investors to snap up the greenback.
Bradley said the Canadian dollar could weaken toward the
C$1.1050 level, which has proven tough to punch through, if
domestic jobs figures for July, due on Friday, disappoint.
"The Canadian employment data this Friday, that's going to
be the next catalyst. If that comes out soft, then it could
easily see us trading up towards that level (C$1.1050)."
The Canadian dollar ended the day at C$1.0960 to
the greenback, or 91.24 U.S. cents, weaker than Friday's
official Bank of Canada close of C$1.0926, or 91.52 U.S. cents.
At one point it hit C$1.0977, its weakest since May 5.
The latest catalyst was data overnight that showed growth in
China's services sector slowed to a nine-year low in July.
"With China potentially slowing down or not stabilizing to
the extent that the government would like it to, that would put
pressure on their export demand, which would in turn harm the
loonie, which is why we're seeing a bit of weakness," said
Scott Smith, senior market analyst at Cambridge Mercantile Group
Many market participants in Canada were away on Monday for
the Civic Holiday.
The longer the U.S. dollar-Canadian dollar stays above the
C$1.09 level and its 200-day moving average around C$1.0850, the
more that will create upward momentum for the currency pairing,
In addition to the Friday jobs data, investors will also get
a June trade balance report to digest on Wednesday.
Canadian government bond prices were mixed, with the
two-year off 1-1/2 Canadian cents to yield 1.079
percent and the benchmark 10-year up 5 Canadian
cents to yield 2.112 percent.
(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Bernadette
Baum; and Peter Galloway)