* C$ at C$0.9973 to US$, or $1.0027
* Modest U.S. jobs growth give slight boost to C$
* C$ at fresh 13-month low vs euro; highest vs yen since
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Feb 1 The Canadian dollar was little
changed on Friday, but ended the week stronger versus its U.S.
counterpart after U.S. jobs and manufacturing data pointed to
steady recovery in Canada's main trading partner.
The Canadian currency gained 0.9 percent for the week. It
ended January down more than half a percent after the Bank of
Canada said last week that interest rate hikes were less
imminent. That news pushed it to less than equal value with the
greenback for the first time since November.
The less hawkish stance, and any variation on it, is likely
remain a central factor in the Canadian currency's future amid a
global backdrop of activist monetary policy.
"The Canadian dollar is on its own at the moment because of
the Bank of Canada and its change of policy. Everyone is looking
at what each individual central bank is willing to do to affect
the currency," said Darren Richardson, a corporate dealer at
U.S. nonfarm payrolls grew modestly in January but gains in
the prior two months were bigger than initially reported,
supporting views the economy of Canada's main trading partner
was on track for a sluggish recovery despite a surprise
contraction in output in the final three months of 2012.
"The only surprise was that there was a large revision
higher, so I would suspect the move in dollar/Canada has been on
that revision higher for the December and November period," said
Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank.
Separate reports on Friday showed U.S. factory activity hit
a nine-month high in January as new orders rebounded, while car
and truck sales surged and consumer confidence perked.
Sutton described the jobs report as "mildly positive" for
the Canadian dollar, but said the impact was modest because the
data was unlikely to shift policy at the U.S. Federal Reserve,
which has tied its monetary stance to labor market improvement.
The Canadian dollar ended Friday trade at C$0.9973
to the greenback, or $1.0027, exactly where it finished at
Thursday's North American close.
MIXED ON THE CROSSES
The Canadian currency was mixed against other major
currencies; hitting its strongest level against the Japanese yen
since May 2010 as investors bet the Bank of Japan
will ease monetary policy further; and weakening to a fresh
13-month low of C$1.3709 against the euro as the
single currency recorded broad gains on a positive euro zone
It has weakened by more than 5 percent against the surging
euro since early January.
"Euro/Canadian dollar is on a tear at the moment and it
looks like for all the world it's going to trade up to C$1.42,"
said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD Securities.
Scotiabank's Sutton said traders' attention will now turn to
a European Central Bank policy meeting next week, where dovish
voices may be heard on the euro's rise, to China data over the
weekend, and to Canada's own employment report at the end of
She said the Canadian currency would likely test resistance
at C$0.9902 as reallocation away from the currency is somewhat
reversed over the next week, with C$1.01 capping any weakness.
Illustrating a growing disconnect between the Canadian
currency and North American equity markets, the benchmark
Toronto Stock Exchange index gained some 0.7 percent
on Friday and more than 2 percent in January.
The price of a two-year Canadian government bond
slipped 5 Canadian cents to yield 1.189 percent, while the
benchmark 10-year bond fell 44 Canadian cents to
yield 2.039 percent.