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A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto in this January 23, 2015, file photo. The Canadian dollar pared earlier session losses against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, strengthening after data showed January growth was better than feared. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files

MARK BLINCH/Reuters

The loonie gained ground on Thursday, surging as high as 78.95 cents (U.S.) at 8:35 AM before settling at 78.70 up .002 or .254% from Wednesday's close.

Despite a rising dollar, the loonie found support in rebounding oil prices which climbed about 3% on increased demand, particularly for gasoline to fuel summer road trips and vacation getaways. The US has also lowered expectations for a deal with Iran as President Obama has now put the odds "below 50-50" while Secretary of State Kerry has indicated that the US "will not rush" negotiations.

The Canadian dollar further benefited from positive economic data as the Canada New Housing Price Index came in above forecasts, climbing from 1.1% to 1.2% in May from a year earlier. This is welcome news since sagging oil prices have taken a toll on housing and real estate demand in oil boom regions like Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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In addition, Chinese markets steadied and ultimately made big gains on Thursday after the government calmed investors with liquidity and firm trading controls. The Shanghai Composite rose 5.8% and the Shenzhen market rose 3.8%.

The world still awaits the outcome of the Greek debt crisis as Athens races to outline its economic reform package for international creditors. Prime Minister Tsipras scrambled to sell a bundle of tax hikes and pension modifications to the Greek people in order to win a new, 3-year lifeline. The proposal's deadline is midnight on Thursday.

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