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The Canadian dollar was sharply lower Friday as jobs data for April showed a big decrease in employment.

The loonie fell 0.6 of a cent to 91.8 cents U.S. as Statistics Canada reported that the economy cut 28,900 jobs, against expectations of a gain of about 12,000. It was also a huge turnaround from the previous month when the economy cranked out 43,000 jobs, which means 14,000 jobs were added over the two-month period.

The unemployment rate held steady at 6.9%.

The participation rate was a bit lower than expected, coming in at 66.1% versus the 66.3% rate that economists had forecast.

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The Canadian dollar had charged ahead almost two-thirds of a U.S. cent Thursday to a four month high in the wake of a positive reading on housing starts.

Markets had also been encouraged by China’s April trade data that showed an improvement in exports. Exports rose 0.9% from the previous year, compared with a 6.6% decline in March. Imports also grew after a contraction in March but at a subdued level.

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On Friday, there was some positive inflation news from China.

Consumer prices in the world’s second-largest economy rose 1.8% over a year earlier, down from March’s 2.4% increase, giving the government more leeway if needed to stimulate the slowing economy.

On the commodity markets, June crude in New York was ahead 27 cents to US$100.53 a barrel.

July copper was unchanged at US$3.06 a pound while June bullion gained $3.50 to US$1,291.20 an ounce.

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Originally published on Advisor.ca

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