* C$ at C$1.0172 vs US$, or 98.31 U.S. cents
* Central bank policy meetings a focus for week
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, April 1 The Canadian dollar was
slightly weaker against the U.S. currency on Monday, with
volumes limited by Easter holidays ahead of several central bank
policy decisions due later in the week.
"It's a very quiet start to the week. There are lots of
central banks meeting this week, which is contributing to the
lack of interest at the moment," said Shaun Osborne, chief
currency strategist at TD Securities.
At 9:22 a.m. (1322 GMT) the Canadian dollar was
trading at C$1.0172 to the greenback, or 98.31 U.S. cents,
compared with C$1.0160, or 98.43 U.S. cents, at Friday's North
The loonie, as Canada's currency is colloquially known, has
traded between C$1.0140 and C$1.0200 in the past three sessions.
Canada has no domestic data until Friday's employment report
which, coupled with similar data out of the United States on the
same day, will illustrate the extent to which businesses are
hiring as the two economies slowly recover.
Canadian employment data is expected to show the economy
added just 8,500 net new jobs in March, well down from the
higher-than-expected 50,700 added in February. The unemployment
rate is seen unchanged at 7.1 percent.
Canada recently experienced a burst of outsized job growth,
with an average of 29,000 jobs created per month over the past
six months. But economists have warned the pace of new hiring
would decline given slowing economic growth, a cooling property
market and record high household debt levels.
The European Central Bank, the Bank of England, the Reserve
Bank of Australia and the Bank of Japan are all due to make
policy announcements this week, leaving currency strategists
unwilling to make big bets before the news.
"The uncertainty that the situation currently is provoking
has really curtailed interest in positioning ahead of the bank
meetings," Osborne said.
Prices for Canadian government debt were mixed across the
curve, with the two-year bond up half a Canadian cent
to yield 1.000 percent, and the benchmark 10-year bond
rising 6 Canadian cents to yield 1.869 percent while
the seven-year bond slipped.