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Canadian dollar, stocks move higher on strong jobs report

11/07/2014 04:30 EST | Updated 01/07/2015 05:59 EST
The Canadian dollar gained almost three-quarters of a cent against the U.S. dollar as the greenback weakened and oil moved higher.

A strong Canadian jobs report showing the economy created 43,100 new positions in October also helped push both the loonie and stocks higher.

The dollar rose 0.72 of a cent to close at 88.24 cents US on the better-than-expected jobs numbers.

The S&P/TSX composite index jumped 127.45 points to close at 14,690.83.

Resource stocks moved higher as commodities strengthened. Oil was up $1, trading at $78.91 US a barrel in New York, off the low of less than $77 it hit earlier this week.

That gave bargain hunters the confidence to pick up oil companies which have been beaten down in the past six weeks as oil prices plunged.

“Value investors are starting to pick up oil companies and realizing that there is probably more upside at this price than there is downside,” said Kevin Headland, director of the portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management.

Despite Friday’s gains, the benchmark TSX has not rebounded from the recent equity sell-off to hit record levels like its U.S. peers have.

“Canada has not bounced back as strongly. There’s still a lot of pressure on oil,” said Headland.

And further weakness is projected for the Canadian dollar. Nomura predicted it could fall to 84 cents US by the spring of 2015.

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz has stopped giving forward guidance on interest rates and appears content to let the loonie fall in an effort to boost exports.

U.S. stocks and the U.S. dollar were mixed Friday, despite an employment report that showed 214,000 jobs created.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 19.46 points to 17,573.93, the Nasdaq declined 5.94 points to 4,632.53 and the S&P 500 index was up 0.71 of a point to 2,031.92.

Economists had predicted 235,000 U.S. jobs would be created and investors were disappointed that the momentum of growth did not match expectations. The U.S. jobless rate also fell, dropping to 5.8 from 5.9 per cent.

In other corporate developments, Bloomberg reported that Canadian Pacific Railway could be interested in going after Norfolk Southern, the second-largest railway in the eastern U.S. CP made a pitch to U.S. carrier CSX in October but talks didn't result in a deal.

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