Loonie moves higher as US jobless numbers come in above expectations

TORONTO – The Canadian dollar gained some ground Friday after the U.S. jobless rate came in better than expected.

The loonie ended the session ahead 0.05 of a cent at 99.23 cents US.

The U.S. Labor Department said employers added 165,000 jobs in April, while both February and March numbers were also better than first thought.

The gains trimmed the U.S. unemployment rate to a four-year low of 7.5 per cent, but also ran against some less enthusiastic economic signs.

It “may have only been modestly above consensus forecasts of 140,000, but that still comes as quite a relief given weak indicators in the build up,” wrote CIBC World Markets Inc. economist Andrew Grantham in a note.

“Overall it was a strong set of numbers that will reduce fears of a significant slowing in the U.S. economy.”

Meanwhile, the June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $1.62 to US$95.61 a barrel.

July copper gained 21 cents to US$3.31 a pound. June gold bullion was off $3.40 at US$1,464.20 an ounce.