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TORONTO: The Canadian dollar edged higher against its US counterpart on Friday as weaker-than-expected US jobs data weighed on the greenback, although the loonie pulled back from an earlier three-week high.

The US dollar lost ground against a basket of major currencies after data showed that US job growth slowed more than expected in August.

The data could affect the timing of the Federal Reserve’s announcement on when it will start scaling back its massive monthly bond buying program.

The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, was supported by expectations of a rebound in global demand, while a slow recovery for the US Gulf Coast export and refining hub from the hurricane earlier this week looked set to deplete stocks further.

US crude prices rose 0.1% to $70.08 a barrel, while the Canadian dollar was also up 0.1% to trade at 1.2535 per greenback, or 79.78 US cents. It touched its strongest intraday level since Aug. 11 at 1.2489.

For the week, the loonie was on track to gain 0.7%, which would be its second straight week of gains.

Still, there is less upside for Canada’s dollar over the coming year, according to analysts who are weighing the effect of a surprise contraction in the economy and signs of a cooler housing market on the Bank of Canada’s policy outlook, a Reuters poll showed.

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