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The Canadian dollar lurched higher on Friday on news that the country unexpectedly created jobs last month and that its unemployment rate slid.

The loonie rose 0.5 per cent against the buck and touching C$1.3067 to the US dollar, from the day’s low of C$1.3158.

Employment rose by 48,000 in January, according to Statistics Canada, compared with economists’ expectations for a loss of 10,000 jobs. The report did show that December’s employment figures were revised down to 46,100.

Much of the employment was driven by service sector jobs with increases in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing; business, building and other support services; transportation and warehousing; and public administration.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate slid by one 0.1 percentage point to 6.8 per cent. The report also showed that the labour force participation rate was largely unchanged from a year ago to 65.8 per cent.

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