The Canadian dollar gained against other major currencies in the European session on Thursday after a report showed the country added much more jobs and the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped for the month of March.
Canada's unemployment rate unexpectedly fell in March as companies added full-time jobs, according to official data released today.
After four months of stagnation in the jobs market, employment increased by 82,000 in March, mostly in full-time work, Statistics Canada said.
The unemployment rate dropped to 7.2 percent from 7.4 percent. Economists expected only 10,000 new positions to be created, leaving the unemployment rate at 7.4 percent.
Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was up 1.1 percent or 197,000. Almost all of this growth was in full-time employment, the agency said.
Separately, the agency said total value of building permits rose 7.5 percent to $6.5 billion in February, sharply reversing an 11.4 percent decline in January. The advance in February was the result of an increase in the non-residential sector, which offset the decrease in the residential sector.
The loonie rose to 0.9933 against the U.S. dollar from an early 6-day low of 1.0000. On the upside, the loonie may target 0.99 level.
New U.S. claims for unemployment fell to the lowest levels in almost four years, according to figures released by the Labor Department.
For the week ending March 31, the level of new claims for unemployment came in at a seasonally adjusted level of 357,000, a decline of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 363,000.
Against the Australian dollar, the loonie edged up to 1.0213, compared to an early Asian session's 2-day low of 1.0282. The next upside target level for the loonie is seen at 1.015.
The loonie touched near a 3-week high of 1.2971 against the European currency, compared to 1.3097 hit late New York Wednesday. If the loonie rises further, it may target 1.29 level.
Germany's industrial production fell more than expected in February, reflecting a wide spread contraction in manufacturing and construction sectors.
Industrial output dropped 1.3 percent in February from a month ago, offsetting January's 1.2 percent growth, according to the report released by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology today.
The Canadian currency recovered from a fresh 1-week low of 81.91 against the yen and the pair is now trading at 82.71. The next upside target level for the loonie is seen at 84.00.
Canada's Ivey PMI for March is due at 10:00 am ET.
by RTT Staff Writer
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