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Loonie slides as U.S. jobs data narrowly misses expectations

A Canadian dollar, or loonie, sits on top of its American counterpart in Toronto on Sept. 20, 2007.

ADRIAN WYLD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Canadian dollar was lower Friday amid U.S. employment data that slightly missed expectations.

The loonie was 0.07 of a cent to 91.64 cents US, as the U.S. Labor Department said the American economy added 209,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate ticked up 0.1 of a point to 6.2 per cent.

Generally, economists had looked for the U.S. economy to add 225,000 jobs with unemployment rate holding steady.

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U.S. Job growth figures for May and June were revised upward.

Canadian employment data for July will be released Aug. 8.

Traders also looked ahead to the release of the latest reading on the health of the American manufacturing sector. Economists expected the Institute for Supply Management's index to hit a six month high of 56.

There was also positive news from China's manufacturing sector.

The Chinese government's official purchasing managers index came in above expectations at 51.7 in July, up 0.7 of a point from June, the highest reading in 27 months. And to complement it, the HSBC manufacturing PMI was lowered to 51.7 from the preliminary estimate of 52.0, but that is still the best level in 18 months. Taken together, the measures point to improving economic activity.

On the commodity markets, September crude lost 79 cents to US$97.38.

December gold gained $12.70 to US$1,295.50 an ounce and September copper lost a cent to US$3.22 a pound.

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