* C$ at C$0.9936 to US$, or $1.0064
* Canada GDP growth sputters in Q3, exports fall fast
* U.S. consumer spending falls, points to weak growth in Q4
* Some C$ buying seen ahead of government's Nexen deal
* C$ notches minor slip on week, firmed 0.7 pct in November
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Nov 30 The Canadian dollar weakened
marginally against the U.S. currency on Friday as domestic
economic growth data disappointed the market and a fall in U.S.
consumer spending pointed to troubles ahead for Canada's biggest
The resource-linked currency saw some interest based on bets
that Ottawa will approve a Chinese company's $15.1 billion
acquisition of energy producer Nexen Inc next month,
one analyst said.
"You may be getting some pre-positioning ahead of the Nexen
decision that's coming up in a couple of weeks, with many
thinking that the government will approve that," said John
Curran, senior vice president at CanadianForex.
A Canadian cabinet member known to have reservations about
the bid to buy Nexen said Friday that at least some of Canada's
concerns about getting reciprocal treatment from China have been
addressed by an investment pact.
But the broader influences on the currency were negative as
figures showed Canadian economic growth was weak in the third
quarter, and that U.S. consumers spent less in October.
"On a cross basis the Canadian dollar is doing OK, but
against the U.S. it's just a non-event," Curran said, pointing
to gains against the Japanese yen, British pound
and New Zealand dollar.
The Canadian currency, acutely sensitive to signs of
stagnation in the global economy, ended trade at C$0.9936 to the
greenback, or $1.0064, compared with C$0.9928, or $1.0073, at
Thursday's North American close.
That meant it recorded a slight 0.2 percent loss against the
U.S. dollar for the week but firmed 0.7 percent against the
greenback over the month.
CANADA GROWTH SLOWS
The Canadian economy grew at a weaker-than-expected 0.6
percent annual rate in the third quarter 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 for the quarter, 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 none of the forecasters polled by Reuters
expecting a rate move.
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 causing
Government debt prices were broadly higher, with the
two-year bond adding 2.5 Canadian cents to yield
1.067 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond rising
10 Canadian cents to yield 1.698 percent.