The Canadian dollar fell almost a full U.S. cent Friday after the United States reported there was no job growth in August.
The dismal news from the country’s largest trading partner sent the dollar down 0.9 of a cent to 101.61 cents U.S. as traders flocked to the safety of U.S. Treasurys. It had earlier tumbled as low as 101.55 cents U.S.
“Amid increased uncertainty about the global economic outlook, a historic credit-rating downgrade and equity market weakness, the U.S. labour market stagnated in August,” said BMO Capital Markets senior economist Sal Guatieri.
It’s the first time since February 1945 that the U.S. government has reported a net job change of zero. The unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 per cent.
Investor sentiment was further bruised as the U.S. Labour Department revised July job creation down to 85,000 from 117,000.
Expectations for U.S. job growth were modest, with economists expecting gains of between 70,000 and 80,000.
Oil prices also fell sharply on demand worries with the October crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange down $2.48 to $86.45 (U.S.) a barrel.
Copper prices were lower with the December contract off four cents to $4.12 (U.S.) a pound.
But the employment report also sent traders to other safe havens such as bullion, with the December gold contract on the Nymex gaining $47.80 to $1,876.90 (U.S.) an ounce.