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Trading Performance 2017-2018

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The Canadian economy added jobs in October with a surge in full-time hiring, and the unemployment rate dipped to a 40-year low, underpinning expectations that the Bank of Canada would keep raising interest rates.

Statistics Canada said on Friday that 11.2k jobs were created and the unemployment rate fell to 5.8% for the first time since July. The market had forecast a gain of 10k positions and for the jobless rate to remain at 5.9%.

The Bank of Canada on Tuesday reiterated that more interest rate hikes would be needed to achieve its inflation target and that now was the ideal time to remove monetary stimulus, given how well the economy was doing. Market expectations of an interest rate hike on December 5, as reflected in the overnight index swaps market, dipped to 28.43% from 30.29%.

Although full-time jobs rose by 33.9k compared to a loss of 22.6k part-time positions, the labor participation rate dropped to 65.2%, its lowest since October 1998.

The average year-over-year wage growth of permanent employees - a figure closely watched by the Bank of Canada - fell to just 1.9%, the lowest since the 1.7% recorded in August 2017.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 250k jobs in October as employment in the leisure and hospitality sector bounced back after being held down by Hurricane Florence, which drenched North and South Carolina in mid-September.

There were also big gains in construction, professional and business services payrolls, and manufacturing, where employment increased by the most in 10 months.

The economy created 118k jobs in September.

The Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report on Friday also showed the unemployment rate was steady at a 49-year low of 3.7% as 711k people entered the labor force, in a sign of confidence in the jobs market.

The market had forecast payrolls would increase by 190k jobs in October and the unemployment rate would be unchanged at 3.7%.

Average hourly earnings rose five cents, or 0.2%, in October after advancing 0.3% in September. That boosted the annual increase in wages to 3.1%, the biggest gain since April 2009, from 2.8% in September.

Employers also increased hours for workers last month. The average workweek rose to 34.5 hours from 34.4 hours in September.

The Fed is not expected to raise rates at its policy meeting next week, but the market believes October's strong labor market data could see the U.S. central bank signal an increase in December. The Fed raised borrowing costs in September for the third time this year.

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