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Canadian dollars.Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

The Canadian dollar closed higher Friday amid a strong jobs report for May.The loonie was off early highs but still up 0.59 of a cent to 98.06 cents (U.S.) after Statistics Canada reported that the economy created 95,000 jobs in May, most of them full-time positions. Also, the unemployment rate moved down to 7.1 per cent from 7.2 per cent.Economists had expected job creation somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15,000 last month.

Meanwhile, traders also took in a stronger-than expected read on American employment last month.

The U.S. Labour Department said 175,000 jobs were created during May.

The expectation had been for the economy to have cranked out about 165,000 jobs during May.

Prices for oil and metals were mixed as the American jobs data improved demand prospects and pushed July crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange up $1.27 to $96.03 a barrel.

The commodity-sensitive loonie backed off from a high of 98.37 cents earlier in the day as the U.S. jobs report also pushed August gold down $32.80 to $1,383.10 an ounce while copper was down 5 cents at US$3.27 a pound.

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