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The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as evidence of the coronavirus spreading outside of China weighed on investor sentiment, while a measure of domestic employment showed jobs rose for the seventh straight month.

Stocks globally fell as South Korea reported a spike in new cases and Japan reported two new deaths, while research suggested the virus spreads faster than previously thought.

Canada is a major exporter of commodities, including oil, so its economy could be hurt should the coronavirus outbreak slow global growth.

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U.S. crude oil futures were up 1.3 per cent, supported by China’s efforts to boost its economy and supply concerns in Venezuela and Libya.

At 9:46 a.m. EST, the Canadian dollar was trading 0.2 per cent lower at 1.3241 to the greenback, or 75.52 U.S. cents. The currency traded in a range of 1.3212 to 1.3265.

Canada added 25,900 jobs in January, led by hiring in the trade, transportation and utilities and construction sectors, according to a report from payroll services provider ADP released on Thursday.

Separate data showed that the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index rose 0.1 per cent in January, paced by gains for the Eastern Canadian metropolitan areas of Hamilton and Montreal.

Canadian bond yields fell across a flatter yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year yield was down 2.8 basis points at 1.331 per cent.

Canada’s retail sales report for December is due on Friday, which could help guide expectations for the Bank of Canada interest rate outlook. Money markets see about a 40 per cent chance that the central bank would ease by April.

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