* C$ at C$0.9895 vs US$, or $1.0105
* Bond prices mixed
* Strong U.S. jobs data trumps weak Canada data
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, March 9 The Canadian dollar
firmed against the greenback on Friday morning as the market
looked past weak domestic employment numbers and was encouraged
by stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data, a further signal of
recovery in Canada's biggest trading partner.
"We're in a state now where the Canadian dollar is more
severely affected - and positively affected in this case - by
U.S. data than it is by our own," said Firas Askari, head of
foreign exchange trading at BMO Capital Markets
Figures on Friday showed showed U.S. employers added 227,000
jobs last month, outpacing estimates of 210,000 new jobs. It was
the first time in a year that payrolls have grown by more than
200,000 for three straight months.
In Canada, the economy lost 2,800 jobs in February as the
creation of 9,100 full-time jobs was offset by 12,000 fewer
The Canadian unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent from
7.6 percent in January, but that was because fewer people
searched for work.
The Canadian dollar rose as high as at C$0.9880, its highest
level in nearly a week, after the release of the U.S. employment
number. Earlier in the session it hit a low of C$0.9942 after
the release of the Canadian data.
"Clearly another month of disappointing labor market
numbers," said Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at Royal
Bank of Canada. "It provides a reason for the Bank (of Canada)
not to be in any rush to start tightening."
Twenty-four hours earlier, Canada's central bank expressed
optimism about the Canadian economy, but held its key lending
rate unchanged at ann ultra-low 1 percent for the 18th
At 9:40 a.m. (1440 GMT), the Canadian dollar stood
at C$0.9895 versus the U.S. dollar, or $1.0105, up from
Thursday's North American close of C$0.9911 to the U.S. dollar,
The Canadian dollar was also outperforming most global
currencies on the crosses.
"Generally it's been a good news second half of the week for
the Canadian dollar and global economy," Askari said. "The U.S.
economy is showing signs of serious rebounding and strength, my
concern is more with Europe still not having solved its key
On Thursday, markets were heartened after Greece won 85.8
percent acceptance from its private creditors for a bond swap
deal, but investors continued to fret about whether Greece or
other weak euro zone economies may need more funds in the
future, especially given a weak euro zone economy.
David Bradley, director of foreign exchange trading at
Scotia Capital, said he expected the Canadian currency to stay
within a range of C$0.9850 to C$1.0050 against the U.S. dollar
for Friday and the balance of the month.
Canadian bond prices were mixed, with the two-year bond
up a Canadian cent to yield 1.171 percent. The
10-year bond rose 3 Canadian cents to yield 2.008