TORONTO — The loonie climbed Friday, rising above the 80-cent mark, as oil prices rose and the country’s economic growth came in stronger than expected.
The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 80.34 cents US, up 0.47 of a cent.
The loonie jumped sharply in the moments after Statistics Canada reported that the economy grew by 0.6 per cent in May, higher than the 0.2 per cent that economists had expected.
However, chief investment strategist Philip Petursson says higher crude prices are likely more responsible for the loonie’s ascent than the economic data.
“Canadian economic growth is nice, but it tends to have less of an overall impact on the equity markets,” said Petursson, who works at Manulife Asset Management.
Meanwhile, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index lost 62.71 points to 15,128.65, with most sectors lower.
Consumer discretionary stocks gave back 1.15 per cent, while consumer staples companies were down 1.01 per cent and telecom companies lost 0.86 per cent.
The only two sectors that closed higher were gold, up 0.96 per cent, and materials, up 0.26 per cent.