Pre-Brexit rush by factories boosts UK economy in early 2019

Credit: REUTERS/Paul Ellis/Pool

Britain's economy got a sharp one-off boost in the first three months of 2019, official figures showed on Friday, as manufacturers rushed to deliver orders before a Brexit that never came.

* Canadian dollar rises 0.6% against the greenback

* Loonie touches its strongest since May 1 at 1.3384

* Canada adds 106,500 jobs in April

* Chances of a BoC rate cut this year fall to less than 30%

TORONTO, May 10 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened to a nine-day high against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, as investors slashed bets for an interest rate cut this year from the Bank of Canada after domestic data showing a record jobs gain.

The Canadian economy added 106,500 jobs in April, the biggest monthly gain on record, led by employment increases in the two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, Statistics Canada data showed. That far outstripped analysts' expectations of 10,000 jobs.

Chances of an interest rate cut by December fell to less than 30% from about 40% before the jobs report, the overnight index swaps market indicated.

At 9:16 a.m. (1316 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.6% higher at 1.3392 to the greenback, or 74.67 U.S. cents, its biggest gain since March 29. The currency touched its strongest intraday level since May 1 at 1.3384.

The loonie rallied even as U.S. President Donald Trump said he was in "absolutely no rush" to finalize a trade agreement with China, after the United States increased duties to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods overnight.

Canada runs a current account deficit and exports many commodities, including oil, so its economy could be hurt by a slowdown in the global flow of capital or trade.

U.S. crude oil futures were down 0.1% at $61.62 a barrel.

Separate domestic data showed the value of Canadian building permits rose 2.1% in March, driven higher by construction plans in the four Western provinces, after falling a revised 5.1% in February.

Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield curve, with the two-year down 7.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.623% and the 10-year falling 44 Canadian cents to yield 1.727%.

The gap between Canada's 2-year yield and its U.S. equivalent narrowed 5.5 basis points to a spread of 62.9 basis points in favor of the U.S. bond, its narrowest since Jan. 16. (Reporting by Fergal Smith Editing by Nick Zieminski) ((fergal.smith@thomsonreuters.com; +1 416 941 8113;)) Keywords: CANADA FOREX/

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