* C$ rises to C$1.0143 or 98.59 U.S. cents
* Yen sinks on BOJ stimulus, Euro sinks, then recovers
* U.S. dollar gains strength in choppy trade
By Andrea Hopkins
TORONTO, April 4 The Canadian dollar seesawed
against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, first falling, then
strengthening before nearly flattening against the U.S. currency
amid a battery of external data and statements by central banks
in Japan and Europe.
A busy day in currency markets saw the U.S. dollar gain
ground against the yen after the Bank of Japan announced
aggressive measures to ease monetary policy.
The euro hit 4-1/2-month lows against the greenback before
storming back to strength as traders weighed comments by
European Central Bank B President Mario Draghi, who affirmed his
commitment to keeping the euro zone intact.
While Canada's currency was mostly sidelined by the global
moves an unexpected rise in new claims for U.S. unemployment
benefits pushed the Candian dollar weaker early in the session
as economists worried the U.S. labor market was not out of the
woods yet. The United States is the leading market for Canadian
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits rose to 385,000 last week, its highest level in four
months, the third straight gain, and well above the 350,000
expected by economists surveyed by Reuters.
That, combined with weaker-than-expected ADP private-sector
employment data on Wednesday has analysts ratcheting back
expectations for the closely watched monthly U.S. payrolls and
unemployment report due out on Friday. Canada's monthly job
creation and unemployment rate data are also due out on Friday.
"I think on balance people are probably managing
expectations a little bit lower, the consensus was around the
200,000 mark (of a net rise in U.S. payrolls), but people are
starting to expect something lower," said Matt Perrier, a
director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital Markets.
The Canadian dollar fell to a session low shortly after the
U.S. jobless claims data was released, hitting C$1.0160 to the
U.S. dollar, or 98.43 U.S. cents, before climbing steadily back,
briefly strengthening above Wednesday's North American session
close at C$1.0145 to the greenback, or 98.57 U.S. cents.
At 9:58 a.m. (1358 GMT), the Canadian dollar was
trading at C$1.0143 to the greenback, or 98.59 U.S. cents,
little changed from Wednesday's close.
Perrier said the currency could weaken as far as C$1.0185 as
the U.S. dollar gains broad strength on the Japanese stimulus
and the dovish tone in Europe.
"It looks like we have the potential to see the Canadian
dollar weaken off further against the U.S., working off
C$1.0180-85 as bit of a pivot level up top and C$1.0225 as the
more important level to watch through there - that will start to
signal another leg weaker in the Canadian dollar versus the
U.S.," Perrier said.
The Canadian currency had hit 6-week highs early in the week
near C$1.0125, or 98.77 U.S. cents, but the strength dissipated
on Wednesday after U.S. data came in weaker than expected,
sparking a sell off in equity markets.
The price of Canadian government debt was mixed. While the
two-year bond was flat and yielding 0.994 percent the
benchmark 10-year bond rose 8 Canadian cents to
yield 1.819 percent.