The Canadian dollar has gained ground at the start of the new trading week. Early in the North American session, USD/CAD is trading in the mid-1.10 range. In economic news, Canadian inflation indicators were positive, as both the Raw Materials Price Index and Industrial Product Price Index showed strong improvements in January. In the US, In the US, the focus is on several manufacturing releases, highlighted by ISM Manufacturing PMI.
The Canadian dollar is happy to say goodbye to the month of January, as the currency tumbled almost five cents against the US dollar. The month ended with a disappointing GDP release, with a gain of just 0.2%. February has started off well, as the loonie has moved higher on Monday, thanks to some solid inflation numbers. The Raw Materials Price Index bounced back from a sharp decline in December, posting a respectable gain of 1.7% in January. This was slightly short of the estimate of 1.9%. The Industrial Product Price Index followed suit with a 0.7% gain, marking a ten-month high. The strong readings are welcome news, as inflation has been at persistently low levels, indicating an underperforming economy.
In the US, last week’s Unemployment Claims disappointed, coming in above the estimate for the first time in four weeks. The key indicator rose to 348 thousand, up sharply from 326 thousand a week earlier. This was higher than the estimate of 331 thousand. The news was even worse from Pending Home Sales. The key indicator plunged 8.3%, its sharpest drop since April 2011. This will raise concerns about the health of the US housing sector, as Existing Home Sales and New Home Sales also missed their estimates in December. The silver lining on Thursday was courtesy of Advanced GDP, which posted its best reading in two years, with a strong gain of 3.2% in Q4. This was just shy of the estimate of 3.3%, and a nice rise from the 2.8% gain in Q3. So where is the US economy headed? With GDP posting strong gains but employment numbers struggling, the recovery does not seem to be creating many new jobs, which could seriously hamper long-term economic growth.
In a highly anticipated decision, the US Federal Reserve pressed the taper trigger for a second month in a row last week . This reduces its stimulus program (QE) by another $10 billion, lowering the bond-buying scheme to $65 billion each month. Fed chair Bernard Bernanke has indicated that the Fed plans to wind up QE by the end of the year, so we can expect further tapers, barring any surprise downturns in the US economy. Wednesday’s policy statement was Bernanke’s swan song, as Janet Yellen takes over the reins as the Fed chair on February 1.
USD/CAD for Monday, February 3, 2014
USD/CAD February 3 at 14:50 GMT
USD/CAD 1.1060 H: 1.1134 L: 1.1054
- USD/CAD has posted losses in Monday trading. The pair broke below the 1.11 line early in the European session and continues to move lower as the US dollar remains under pressure.
- 1.1000, a key psychological level, is providing support. This is followed by a support line at 1.0906, which is protecting the 1.09 line.
- 1.1094 has reverted to a resistance role. This is a weak line which could face pressure if the Canadian dollar weakens. This is followed by resistance at 1.1177.
- Current range: 1.1094 to 1.1177
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 1.1000, 1.0906, 1.0852 and 1.0783
- Above: 1.1094, 1.1177, 1.1319, 1.1496 and 1.1610
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
USD/CAD ratio is pointing to gains in long positions in Monday trading. This is not consistent with what we are seeing from the pair, as the Canadian dollar has posted gains. The ratio is made up of a majority of short positions, indicating a trader bias towards the Canadian dollar continuing to move upwards.
The Canadian dollar has started the week with gains. Early in the North American session, the US dollar remains under pressure.
- 13:30 Canadian Raw Materials Price Index.
- 13:30 Canadian Industrial Product Price Index.
- 14:00 US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Speaks.
- 14:00 US Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 53.8 points.
- 15:00 US ISM Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 56.2 points.
- 15:00 US Construction Spending. Estimate 0.3%.
- 15:00 US ISM Manufacturing Prices. Estimate 54.2 points.
- All Day – Total Vehicle Sales. Estimate 15.6M.
*Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT