* C$ at C$0.9940 to US$, or $1.0060
* Canada GDP growth sputters in Q3, exports fall fast
* U.S. consumer spending falls, points to weak growth in Q4
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Nov 30 The Canadian dollar weakened
against the U.S. currency on Friday as domestic economic growth
data disappointed and a fall in U.S. consumer spending pointed
to troubles ahead in Canada's biggest export market.
The Canadian economy grew at a weaker-than-expected 0.6
percent annual rate in the third quarter, data showed, as
exports fell at the fastest pace in more than three years,
business investment sputtered and the housing market cooled.
That growth rate contrasts with the 2.7 percent rate notched
in the United States, and was below the 0.9 percent forecast for
Canada in a Reuters poll.
The soft number adds to pressure on Canada's central bank to
retract its stance that interest rates will need to be raised.
"I think the biggest market impact is that it's likely to
have the Bank of Canada sound slightly more cautious, and that's
also putting downward pressure on the Canadian dollar," said
Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank.
The central bank is due to issue a monetary policy decision
next Tuesday, with no forecaster polled by Reuters expecting a
Meanwhile, a fall in U.S. consumer spending in October
pointed to Canada's biggest trading partner also recording
slower growth in the current quarter.
It was the first fall in five months, though Superstorm
Sandy was cited as a factor in choking off car sales and work
At 9:23 a.m. (1423 GMT) the Canadian currency, acutely
sensitive to signs of stagnation in the global economy, was
trading at C$0.9940 to the greenback, or $1.0060, compared with
C$0.9928, or $1.0073, at Thursday's North American close.
It hit a session low of C$0.9954 immediately after the GDP
data was released, compared to C$0.9945 just prior, but is on
track for a slight gain overall this week.
Government debt prices extended gains after the GDP release.
The two-year bond was up 2.5 Canadian cents to yield
1.067 percent, while the benchmark 10-year bond rose
16 Canadian cents to yield 1.692 percent.