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Canadian job figures surprised once again – 24,700 jobs were gained, 50% more than expected. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.1%. No surprise here, but this is still great. The Canadian dollar wasn’t excited.

The Canadian Department of Labour Force Survey showed that gains were mostly seen in the services industries, and included gains for women above the age of 55 and for students entering the summer holiday. Why was there a weak reaction?

USD/CAD now (11:10 GMT) trades at 1.0426, after standing at 1.04 just before the release. The initial reaction was a drop in USD/CAD, but this was erased very quickly. Loonie traders are probably used to bigger surprises. This could explain the weak reaction. Last month saw a leap of 108K, almost 5 times the early expectations. We’ve seen huge surprises in the past as well.

Update: Non-Farm Payrolls disappointed. Risk aversion hurt the loonie once again…

Earlier this week, two major positive events were seen in Canada. Canadian GDP rose by 0.6% in March, double the early expectations, sealing the first quarter with an annual rise of 6.1% in its GDP, double the growth rate of the US.

The reaction was hesitant, in anticipation to the rate decision. USD/CAD didn’t move from the 1.04 to 1.0550 range.

The rate decision provided the long-awaited rate hike – Mark Carney’s BOC raised the Canadian interest rate by 0.25% to 0.5%, being the second Western central bank to do so. Also here, the reaction in forex was slow. This was due to the risk aversive trading, caused by European troubles.

The European worries even sent USD/CAD to 1.0580, but this proved to be a false break. As no news came out of Europe, the loonie began decoupling from the global fear, and made gains against the US dollar.

Thursday saw a break in the other direction, as USD/CAD fell under 1.04 and reached 1.0334, but this was corrected towards the release of the job figures – USD/CAD returned to flirt with the 1.04 line.

Next – The American job market

At 12:30 GMT, the mighty Non-Farm Payrolls are released. This will shake USD/CAD and all the markets. Expectations are very high. This week’s numbers strengthened the notion that “the sky is the limit“, and that the figure will be 500K or even above 600K.

Note that the unemployment rate is still high at 9.9%, and is expected to drop only to 9.8%, significantly worse than the Canadian figure of 8.1%, giving the loonie an advantage, at least regarding the job market.

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