* C$ at C$0.9922 vs US$, or $1.0078
* U.S. jobless claims fall back to 4-year lows
* Bond prices lower across the curve
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, March 15 The Canadian dollar
turned slightly positive against the greenback on
Thursday after data showed U.S. jobless claims fell back to
a four-year low last week but it slid against other major
Canada's role as the largest U.S. trading partner has
recently helped it outperform other commodity-linked currencies
as strong U.S. data and a more optimistic economic tone from the
Federal Reserve have boosted North American sentiment.
In further signs of U.S. economic strength, initial claims
for state unemployment benefits dropped 14,000 to a seasonally
adjusted 351,000, falling back to a four-year low reached in
February, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
The Canadian dollar touched a session high at C$0.9915
versus the U.S. dollar, or $1.0085, shortly after the data was
released, but failed to test this week's low at C$0.9881, as the
U.S. jobless claims came in below Reuters estimates of 356,000.
At 9:00 a.m. (1300 GMT), the Canadian dollar was at
C$0.9922 versus the U.S. dollar, or $1.0078, up slightly from
Wednesday's North American session close at C$0.9930 versus the
U.S. dollar, or $1.0070.
On Wednesday the Canadian dollar hit its strongest level
against the Australian currency this year, breaking
through the 200-day moving average and testing an overnight high
But after testing technical thresholds against the
Australian and New Zealand currencies and against the euro,
Canada's dollar retreated on Thursday.
"That might have caused a few of the short Canadian dollar
positions to get squeezed on the move back up on the cross,"
said David Bradley, a director of foreign exchange trading at
Canada's resource-reliant dollar was also held back after
top consumer China said on Wednesday it must embrace
slower growth to keep its economy from faltering, hurting
industrial metals prices such as copper.
Canadian bond yields rose above their yearly highs set on
Wednesday as risk appetite improved. The two-year bond
was down 3 Canadian cents to yield 1.259 percent,
while the 10-year bond dropped 42 Canadian cents to
yield 2.202 percent.