BUSINESS

Loonie records small gain on strong building data from Statistics Canada

05/06/2013 08:33 EDT | Updated 07/06/2013 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar registered a small gain Monday, built on strong building permits data from Statistics Canada.

The loonie was up 0.09 of a cent at 99.32 cents US.

Statistics Canada reported municipalities issued $6.5 billion worth of building permits last month, up 8.6 per cent from February. Most of the gains were from the commercial sector in Ontario and Alberta, with those permits rising 19 per cent to $2.8 billion. Residential permits increased 1.7 per cent to $3.6 billion after an 8.1 per cent decline in February.

Traders also had time to digest a better-than-expected U.S. jobless rate report from Friday.

The U.S. Labor Department said employers added 165,000 jobs in April following positive figures reported in both February and March. The gains trimmed the U.S. unemployment rate to a four-year low of 7.5 per cent.

Canada will release its latest job numbers on Friday. Consensus expectations are positive and suggest the economy added about 11,000 jobs in April.

In commodities, the June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 55 cents to US$96.16 a barrel. This is the highest price it's been since April 2, according to FactSet data. June gold bullion was up $3.80 at US$1,468 an ounce and July copper was down 0.04 of a cent at US$3.31 a pound.

"Commodities sectors have been fairly quiet," said Colin Cieszynski, a market analyst with CMC Markets.

"Crude oil has backed off a little bit. Gold has pretty much flattened and copper has as well."