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Canadian trade showed the country plunging

The U.S. dollar climbed after a Labor Department report showing America’s economy churned out a more-than-expected 248,000 jobs last month, with the unemployment rate easing to below the 6-per-cent mark, at 5.9 per cent compared to August’s 6.1 per cent.

At the same time, the latest Statistics Canada measure of Canadian trade showed the country plunging to a deficit in August from a hefty July surplus.

At one point in the day, the loonie, as Canada’s dollar coin is known, was down by almost a penny, having opened at 89.63 cents U.S. and dipping to 88.73 cents. Later in the day, it regained some ground, though remained below 89 cents.

“This week there was a lot of risk, and most of that has now passed, and most of that supports an ongoing U.S. dollar strengthening trend,” said chief currency strategist Camilla Sutton of Bank of Nova Scotia.

Market watchers see the Canadian dollar tumbling to as low as the 83-cent range next year.

HSBC Bank Canada was the latest to weigh in this week, projecting the dollar will erode by the end of 2015 to just above 83 cents (U.S.)

But some others aren’t far off that mark. CIBC World Markets, for example, projects a loonie, as the Canadian dollar’s known, of 85 cents. Société Générale forecasts just over 86 cents. And Bank of Nova Scotia sees it more around the 89-cent level, where it stands today.

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