Loonie moves higher after Canadian jobs data, but off earlier heights

TORONTO – The Canadian dollar moved higher Friday, though it backed off a hearty half-cent climb made earlier in the session after the release of the latest domestic jobs report.

The loonie ended the session up 0.17 of a cent to 102.40 cents US, following a gain of more than seven-tenths of a cent earlier.

Statistics Canada said the country added 52,100 new jobs in September — five times more jobs than expected. The report marked the third biggest increase in jobs so far this year.

The data reinvigorated discussion that the Bank of Canada could move to raise its key interest rate sooner rather than later.

“The composition and magnitude of employment gains have provided solid support to household spending,” said RBC assistant chief economist Dawn Desjardins in a note.

“For the Bank of Canada, the persistence of slack in the economy will provide the rationale to keep the overnight rate at one per cent at least until the external headwinds die down and growth starts to strengthen,” Desjardins said.

Meanwhile, a report on U.S. jobs numbers showed that the unemployment rate fell below eight per cent for the first time since January 2009, while hiring increased to 114,000 jobs in September.

In commodities, November crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped $1.83 to end at US$89.88 a barrel, a decline of 2.5 per cent from a week ago.

December gold bullion dropped $15.70 to US$1,780.80 an ounce, closing at its lowest levels of the week. December copper was down 0.8 of a cent at US$3.78 a pound.