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Loonie weakens slightly, hovers near parity

Canadian dollars are shown with U.S dollars.

Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Canadian dollar was weaker Monday as traders had time to take in a better-than-expected jobless rate last week from the world's largest economy.

But with little in the way of major economic announcements expected this week, the loonie was down 0.05 of a cent (U.S.) at 99.18 cents.

On 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.

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Traders will also be looking ahead to a major job report from Canada due out on Friday. Consensus expectations are positive and suggest the economy added about 11,000 jobs in April.

Statistics Canada reported municipalities issued $6.5-billion (Canadian) 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.

The June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up 41 cents (U.S.) to $96.02 a barrel. June gold bullion gained $2.80 to $1,467 an ounce while July copper was unchanged to $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."

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