June 9, 2017 / 9:23 PM / 2 months ago

CANADA FX DEBT-Robust jobs numbers push C$ to near two-week high

 (Adds trader comment, details, updates prices)
    * Canadian dollar at C$1.3463, or 74.28 U.S. cents
    * Loonie touches 1-week low at C$1.3545 before jobs data
    * Then hits highest since May 29 afterwards
    * Bond prices lower across the yield curve

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, June 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar on Friday
hit its strongest against its U.S. counterpart since late May
after a surprisingly strong domestic jobs report that boosted
the argument for the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates.
    Canada's job growth accelerated in May at its fastest pace
in eight months, Statistics Canada said. Employers added 54,500
jobs, handily topping economists' forecast for a gain of 11,000.
            
    "If you compared these (full-time employment) numbers to
what they would have to be in the States, you'd be looking at
three-quarters of a million jobs" there, said David Bradley,
director of foreign exchange trading at Scotiabank. "The (U.S.)
dollar would go crazy over a number like that."
    At 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT), the Canadian dollar          was
trading at C$1.3463 to the greenback, or 74.28 U.S. cents, up
0.3 percent.
    It had gotten to C$1.3424 after the data, its strongest
since May 29, after touching its weakest since June 2 at
C$1.3545 in overnight trade.
    The greenback was itself higher against a basket of
currencies       , helped by a sharp drop in the British pound
       after the country's Conservative Party lost its
parliamentary majority in a snap election.              
    In other domestic data, industrial capacity use rose to its
highest since 2007 in the first quarter, lifted by manufacturing
and construction.             
    Perceived chances of an interest rate increase this year
rose to nearly 30 percent soon after the jobs report versus 22
percent before, data from the overnight index swaps market
showed. It was last at 26 percent           .
    "It is just another piece of information that suggests that
the Bank of Canada could be tightening maybe a little bit
earlier than markets are pricing," said Andrew Kelvin, senior
rates strategist at TD Securities.
    The foreign exchange options market is showing much less
risk of a sharp drop in the Canadian dollar than before last
November's U.S. election, which could spell bad news for
speculators who have heavily shorted the underperforming
currency.             
    Net short positions on the loonie were trimmed for a second
straight week to 94,501 contracts as of June 6, from 98,187 a
week earlier, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
and Reuters calculations showed, but held near a record high. 
    Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield
curve, with the two-year            down 4 Canadian cents to
yield 0.737 percent and the benchmark 10-year            
slipping 5 Canadian cents to yield 1.423 percent.

 (Additional reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Bernadette
Baum and James Dalgleish)
  
 

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