By Commodity News Service Canada
Winnipeg, March 8 – The Canadian dollar was trading at a firmer level compared to its US counterpart at midday Friday, with strong employment data from the US and Canada behind much of the strength, analysts said.
At 11:50 CST Friday, the Canadian dollar was trading at US$0.9725, or US$1=C$1.0283, which compares with Thursday’s North American close of US$0.9714, or US$=C$1.0294.
According to Statistics Canada, 51,000 new jobs were created in February, beating pre-report expectations that 8,000 new jobs would be added. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7%.
In the US, 236,000 new jobs were created in February, beating expectations of 165,000 new jobs.
Strong Canadian housing data also underpinned the value of the loonie. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., Canada’s seasonally adjusted rate of housing starts increased to 180,719 in February, from 158,988 in January.
The Toronto Stock Exchange was down 26.44 points, or 0.21%, at 11:50 CST Friday, to sit at 12,800.08.