* Canadian dollar at C$1.1090 or 90.17 U.S. cents
* Bond prices mostly lower across the maturity curve
By Leah Schnurr
TORONTO, March 7 The Canadian dollar slumped
against the greenback on Friday, briefly piercing the C$1.11
level after data showed the domestic economy unexpectedly shed
jobs last month, in contrast to an acceleration of jobs growth
south of the border.
Canada lost 7,000 jobs in February, contrary to expectations
for an increase of 15,000. The unemployment rate held steady at
7 percent, but the data was unlikely to give the Bank of Canada
much reason to change its neutral policy stance.
The report was a setback for the loonie, wiping out most of
its gains in the past two days that had pushed the currency to a
two-week high on Thursday.
"The direction of the move makes sense to me ... however,
the size of the move was a bit of a surprise to me, even
considering the strength of the U.S. report," said Greg Moore,
senior currency strategist at Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto.
"I think it can be justified by the fact that we've seen big
choppy moves over the past week or two, so it's just been more
volatile moves in general."
The Canadian dollar ended the North American
session at C$1.1090 to the greenback, or 90.17 U.S. cents,
weaker than Thursday's close of C$1.0992, or 90.98 U.S. cents.
The loonie hit a session low of C$1.1101.
The currency is likely to trade in the mid-C$1.09 to
mid-C$1.11 range for the time being, said Moore.
"Next week is another very quiet week, there's not much to
point to at all in Canada that could change the overall macro
picture. So I think that essentially leaves us neutral for now,"
A separate report on Friday showed Canada's trade deficit
narrowed more than expected, but that silver lining was eclipsed
by the employment data.
Data south of the border boosted the greenback to the
Canadian dollar's detriment as the U.S. added 175,000 jobs in
February, beating expectations.
Canadian government bond prices were mostly lower across the
maturity curve, with the two-year off 0.2 Canadian
cent to yield 1.053 percent and the benchmark 10-year
was down 14 Canadian cents to yield 2.523 percent.