The Toronto stock exchange fell at the open, as Statistics Canada reported job gains of 12,500 in April, slightly missing expectations.
The S&P/TSX composite index was down 23.79 points to 12,520.11.
Statistics Canada says the latest job gains left the overall unemployment rate unchanged at 7.2 per cent. However, they did help take the sting out of March’s massive 54,500 contraction even if they were not enough to put job creation on the positive side of the ledger for 2013 as a whole.
The loonie continued to drop, off 0.56 of a cent at 98.70 cents U.S.
The dollar has been flirting with parity with the U.S. dollar this week amid heightened investor appetite and signs that the U.S. economy is recovering as it should.
However, TD Bank forecasts the loonie may be in for a rough ride this year and could drop to as low as 90 cents US by the end of the year.
U.S. markets rose slightly, buoyed by strong world markets and a rising U.S. dollar. The Dow Jones industrials was ahead 3.42 points to 15,086.04, while the Nasdaq was up 5.33 points at 3,414.50 and the broader market measure, the S&P 500, increased 1.38 to 1,628.05.
Meanwhile, commodities continued their retreat. The June crude contract declined $2.12 cents to US$94.27 a barrel, while June gold bullion dropped $41.70 to US$1,426.90 an ounce and July copper remained unchanged at US$3.34 a pound.
Energy shares may face pressure on Friday as crude oil dropped 2.1 percent on signs of rising supply.
The group, along with other cyclical sectors closely tied to the pace of economic growth, is among the biggest gainers in the recent rally, spurred by an improved global outlook.
“We’re seeing a real rotation out of defensive names and into groups like technology and industrials,” said said Chris Bertelsen, chief investment officer of Global Financial Private Capital in Sarasota, Florida, who helps oversee $2-billion in assets. “That’s keeping the market moving and preventing it from plateauing.”
With files from Reuters