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TORONTO: The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, recovering from a three-week low, as domestic jobs data supported expectations for the Bank of Canada to begin hiking interest rates over the coming months.

The loonie was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2454 to the greenback, or 80.30 U.S. cents, after touching its weakestlevel since Oct. 12 at 1.2479.

"The Canadian jobs data support the notion of earlier rate hikes in Canada suggested by last week's BoC outcome," strategists at Scotiabank, including Shaun Osborne, said in a note.

"Meanwhile, other major central banks are pushing back against the idea of earlier rate increases."

The Bank of Canada last week said it could begin hiking interest rates in April, about three months earlier than previously thought. Money markets expect lift-off as soon as March.

The Canadian economy added 31,200 jobs in October, the fifth straight month of gains, and the jobless rate slipped to the lowest since the COVID-19 pandemic started at 6.7%.

Canadian dollar hits 6-day low

For the week, the loonie was down 0.6%, pressured by a pullback in the price of oil, one of Canada's major exports.

Oil rebounded on Friday after OPEC+ producers rebuffed a U.S. call to raise supply to cool the market, sticking to plans for a gradual increase in output after cuts made in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

U.S. crude prices settled 3.1% higher at $81.27 a barrel, while the U.S. dollar touched its highest level in more than one year against a basket of major currencies as data showed that U.S. job growth picked up in October.

Canadian government bond yields eased across the curve, tracking the move in U.S. Treasuries.

The 10-year was down 5.1 basis points at 1.603%, after touching on Monday its highest level since May 2019 at 1.766%.

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