The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. rival Friday as renewed optimism about the prospects for global economic growth sent oil prices soaring. The U.S. dollar retreated below the key C$1.30 level for the first time in a week, with one dollar buying C$1.2982 in recent trade. By comparison, it bought C$1.3143 late Thursday in New York. Robust data on housing starts and the Canadian labor market also helped support the currency by giving the Bank of Canada more reasons to keep monetary policy on hold. Canada is a major crude-oil exporter and moves in its currency, also referred to as the loonie, are often closely correlated to moves in oil prices.
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