* C$ firms to C$0.9589, or $1.0429
* Bonds mixed; ECB hikes interest rates
* Currency expected to trade between C$0.9560 and C$0.9620
TORONTO, April 7 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar was
stronger against the greenback on Thursday, holding above the
$1.04 mark, as oil prices held steady and traders firmed their
positions in advance of Friday's employment data.
Canada created an average of 40,000 jobs per month over the
last five months -- a recovery that's been faster than its
neighbors to the south -- but with February's lackluster gains,
market watchers are keen to see if the lull was temporary.
At 8:18 a.m. (1219 GMT), the currency
C$0.9589 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0429, higher than
Wednesday's North American finish C$0.9604 to the U.S. dollar,
"The Canadian dollar is still well bid by the foreigners,"
said C.J. Gavsie, managing director of foreign exchange sales
at BMO Capital Markets.
Oil, a key Canadian export, have held steady above $108,
which has also helped support the currency. [O/R]
"I do think the correlation factor is going to continue
having us see further strength in the Canada dollar," said
With little key data to drive direction on Thursday, the
currency is expected take its cue from oil and equities
markets. The Canadian dollar is seen trading between a range of
C$0.9560 and C$0.9620.
Gavsie said corporate activity, including mergers and
acquisitions, could also influence the currency.
"You could see a little bit of a sell-off of Canadian
(dollars) in the coming days," said Gavsie, noting that as
deals close, investors in acquired companies are receiving
"There are a lot of foreign holders that were previous
owners of those Canadian companies. They'll be repatriating
some of their funds back to their own currency. so I think some
of that will be felt."
Canadian government bond prices were mixed across the
curve, with shorter-term bonds ticking higher and prices of
longer-term bonds falling. A European Central Bank interest
rate hike reinforced views of tighter monetary policy
The two-year bond
was up 1 Canadian cent to
yield 1.879 percent, while the 10-year bond gave
back 28 Canadian cents to yield 3.427 percent.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)