TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was slightly lower Friday amid a solid U.S. jobs report.
The loonie was down 0.01 of a cent to 100.26 cents US as the U.S. Labour Department's non-farm payrolls report said the economy created 157,000 jobs in January. It also significantly revised upward the number of jobs created in the previous two months. The Labour Department said that a total of 127,000 more jobs were created than initially thought.
The jobless rate rose 0.1 of a point to 7.9 per cent.
The positive jobs reading helped reassure investors who were surprised at data released Wednesday showing the U.S. economy shrank in the fourth quarter at an annualized rate of 0.1 per cent.
The currency closed above parity Thursday for the first time in a week after Statistics Canada reported gross domestic product grew by 0.3 per cent, better than the 0.2 per cent reading that had been expected. Year over year, GDP was ahead by 1.3 per cent.
The dollar had been closing below parity since last Wednesday, hitting a six-month low late last week, after the Bank of Canada said it would likely move to hike interest rates further down the road than previously thought because of weaker economic conditions.
Commodity prices improved following the release of the jobs report with the March crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange shedding early losses to gain a penny to US$97.50 a barrel.
April bullion was up $11.20 to US$1,671.80 an ounce while March copper was up one cent at US$3.74 a pound.