Falling Canadian dollar coins or loonies are pictured in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, May 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

TSX sets record, loonie soars to three-year high on strong jobs report

The Canadian dollar traded for 80.04 cents US

Strong employment numbers for February propelled the Canadian dollar to a three-year high while the TSX climbed for a sixth-straight day to set another record close.

The Canadian dollar traded for 80.04 cents US after hitting an intraday high of 80.26, compared with 79.61 cents US on Thursday.

“Everything’s firing on all cylinders for the Canadian dollar this week. It’s literally up four days in a row,” said Erik Bregar, head of currency strategy at the Exchange Bank of Canada.

Sentiment was buoyed Friday by “blowout” Canadian jobs numbers, he said.

The Canadian economy added 259,000 jobs last month, whipping past expectations to pull the country closer to pre-pandemic employment levels.

One year into the pandemic, Canada’s job market is 599,100 jobs short of where it was in February of last year, or 3.1 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

“That was some icing on the cake for our Canadian dollar,” Bregar said in an interview.

He said the loonie could climb higher if stock markets and global oil prices continue to rise.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see us at the 83 cents mark if the S&P and WTI continue higher over the next three months,” Bregar wrote in a recent email. That level hasn’t been reached since May 2015.

The stronger currency would be good for cross-border shoppers if it weren’t for the fact that the border with the U.S. is closed and airlines have cut service at the government’s request to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Still, Canadians can prepay for holidays or purchase and save U.S. dollars for the eventual trip.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down for most of the day but inched up 6.75 points to a record close of 18,851.31 after hitting an intraday low of 17,297.75.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 reached record closes with the 30-stock Dow up 293.05 points to 32,778.64. The S&P 500 index was up 4.0 points at 3,943.34, while the Nasdaq composite was down 78.81 points at 13,319.8.

Markets were down for most of the day as U.S. 10-year bond yields hit a high of 1.642 per cent. Bregar said yields rose on news that primary dealers sold a record amount of treasuries in the week ending March 3.

He said there’s some nervousness about the expiry on March 31 of some regulatory exemptions that allowed banks to horde U.S. treasuries without affecting some leverage ratios.

“I think that’s what’s made overall risk sentiment a little bit softer today,” Bregar said.

He said the stock market doesn’t seem to mind increasing yields as long as the increases are “slow and manageable.”

“What it freaks out about is when it happens too quickly.”

Financials, energy and materials were among the sectors that rose on the TSX.

Energy was up slightly despite lower crude oil prices with shares of Vermilion Energy Inc. up 2.6 per cent and Suncor Energy Inc. 1.7 per cent higher.

The April crude oil contract was down 41 cents at US$65.61 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was down 6.8 at US$2.60 per mmBTU.

Materials rose slightly even though gold was lower.

The April gold contract was down US$2.80 at US$1,719.80 an ounce and the May copper contract was up one tenth of a cent at US$4.14 a pound.

BlackBerry Ltd. gained 10.8 per cent to move technology up while Lightspeed POS Inc. rose 6.9 per cent after announcing another acquisition late Thursday.

North American stock markets ended the week higher despite initial concerns about inflation that ended up being benign.

The TSX gained 2.6 per cent to increase 8.1 per cent so far in 2021. The S&P 500 was also up 2.6 per cent on the week, the Dow 4.1 per cent and Nasdaq 3.1 per cent.

economy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Firefighters battled a burning home on farmland in the north end of Vernon Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Homeowner taken to hospital after Vernon home destroyed by fire

Firefighters engaged in a lengthy battle against the engulfed structure Saturday afternoon

The Regional District of North Okanagan has purchased a watercraft to be used by the BC Conservation Officer Service, who will conduct enhanced boat patrols on the Shuswap River during the 2021 floating season. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Boat purchased to provide enhanced Shuswap River oversight this floating season

The regional district purchased an extra watercraft to be used by Conservation Officers this year

The West Kelowna Warriors beat the Vernon Vipers 3-2 in BCHL action Friday, April 16, 2021. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
West Kelowna goaltender stymies Vernon Vipers for 3-2 win

The Warriors were outshot 44-23 Friday night, but it didn’t bother Johnny Derrick

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Nick Clements captured a photo of the Northern Lights over Oyama Friday night, April 16, 2021. (Nick Clements photo)
PHOTOS: Northern Lights colour Okanagan night

Residents saw the dazzling green aurora borealis throughout the valley Friday night

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
‘In grief for our dying world’: B.C. climate activists embark on 4-day protest

Demonstrators will walk through Vancouver for the first two days before boarding a ferry Sunday morning

Most Read