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The Canadian dollar surged to a fresh 3.5 year high despite the country's jobs data missing expectations. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

The Canadian dollar surged to a fresh three and a half year high Friday morning despite an employment report for March that missed expectations.

A weak U.S. dollar and higher commodity prices helped send the loonie up 0.44 of a cent to 104.77 cents US after earlier going as high as almost 105 cents US.

Statistics Canada reported that the economy shed 1,500 jobs for the first time since last September, although the unemployment rate did manage to slip to 7.7 per cent from 7.8 the previous month.

Economists had expected an overall gain of about 30,000 jobs during March.

"The employment report made next to no impact on the Canadian dollar," said BMO Capital Markets deputy chief economist Doug Porter.

"The big driver at the moment is the U.S. dollar itself retreating against most currencies and we are seeing real strength in almost every major commodity you can shake a stick at. Gold prices are at a record high, silver is above $40 US an ounce and oil is up another one to two dollars."