April 27, 2016 11:45 am

Rising oil prices push Canadian dollar to 9-month high

Loonies sit on an American dollar on Sept. 20, 2007 in Montreal.

File / The Canadian Press

Rising oil prices have pushed the Canadian dollar to highs not seen since the summer of 2015 as the loonie climbed above 79.40 cents US Wednesday morning.

North American crude oil was up 99 cents a barrel at US$45.03 by mid-Wednesday morning, which pushed the loonie up 0.18 cents US to a nine-month high.

The loonie bottomed at approximately 68 cents in January 2016 as the price of oil dipped below $35 per barrel. The loonie’s rebound comes despite predictions earlier this year that the Canadian dollar could fall below 60 cents US, which would have broken the currency’s all-time low of 61.69 cents set in 2002.

The falling price of oil has left the Alberta economy reeling; unemployment peaked in February at 7.9 per cent when it rose above the national average for the first time since 1988.

READ MORE: As oil patch sheds jobs, unemployment claims rise steadily in Saskatchewan, Alberta

Alberta’s unemployment rate has since fallen to 7.1 per cent as the province generated 19,000 new jobs in March, according to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey.

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