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Canada housing starts edge up 1.3 percent in April

TORONTO, May 10 (Reuters) - Canadian housing starts inched up 1.3 percent in April, adding further evidence that recovery in the housing sector is a major component of Canada's economic recovery, data showed on Monday. New home construction rose to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 201,700 units from a revised 199,200 units in March, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said. The April number came in below the average forecast by analysts, who had called for 205,000 starts while March's housing starts were revised up from an originally reported 197,300 units. The Canadian dollar pulled back slightly on the lower-than-expected monthly rise in housing starts, but remained about 2 percent higher from Friday's close at C$1.0242 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.64 U.S. cents, surging on the back of a European rescue deal. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts rose 5.1 percent to 182,500 units in April as a big jump in the volatile multi-dwelling group offset a retreat in single-family homes. The volatile multi-dwelling group, which includes high-rise condos, climbed 27.2 percent to 98,600 units in the month. But the closely watched single-family component showed starts dropping 12.7 percent to 83,900 units, breaking an 11-month streak of gains. Rural starts in April were estimated at an annual rate of 19,200. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio) Keywords: CANADA/HOUSING (kayan.ng@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: kayan.ng.reuters.com@reuters.net; 416-941-8109) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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