The Canadian dollar strengthened against its major counterparts in the New York session on Friday, as Canada job growth outpaced forecasts in February amid the easing of restrictions.

Data from Statistics Canada showed that Canadian economy added much more jobs than expected in the month of February.

Employment increased by 259,200 jobs in February, after falling by 212,800 jobs in January.

Economists had expected employment to rise by about 75,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent in February from 9.4 percent in January. The unemployment rate was expected to fall to 9.2 percent.

The loonie firmed to a 2-1/2-year high of 87.16 against the yen and more than a 2-week high of 1.2511 against the greenback, from yesterday's closing values of 86.54 and 1.2528, respectively. The currency is likely to find resistance around 88.5 against the yen and 1.23 against the greenback.

The loonie approached a 3-day high of 0.9694 against the aussie and a 1-year high of 1.4927 against the euro, off its early lows of 0.9772 and 1.5022, respectively. Next immediate resistance for the loonie is seen around 0.94 against the aussie and 1.47 against the euro.

Looking ahead, University of Michigan's preliminary U.S. consumer sentiment index for March will be featured in the New York session.