USD/CAD – ‘Bad is Good’ Has Oil and Loonie on the Rise

  • USD bulls squeezed after claims and new home sales
  • U.S New home sales declines -11.4%
  • First time this year Brent trades north of $64
  • Loonie bulls buoyed by potential PBoC stimulus

Despite the absence of any significant domestic data, the CAD is much stronger mid-day Thursday. A rise in crude oil prices and the U.S dollars broader intraday poor performance is giving the loonie an impressive bid to print new weekly dollar outright lows (CAD$1.2135).

In the U.S, the number of Americans seeking first-time unemployment benefits rose slightly last week (+1k to seasonally adjusted +295k vs. +290k expected), but remained consistent with an economy steadily adding jobs. Other data showed sales of newly built homes falling sharply last month, declining -11.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of +481k units and putting an end to three months of solid gains. Today’s print was the sharpest decline in nearly two-years.

The Fed meets next week and must judge the U.S economy’s recent mixed signals alongside an economic slowdown in China and other parts of the globe. With the market now pushing the Fed’s first rate hike further out the curve (58% expect a September hike, down from +73% last week) is not helping any long-term USD bull’s positions.

For the commodity and interest rate sensitive CAD, rallying crude prices (Brent crude trading above $64 a barrel for the first time this year and West Texas Intermediary up +3% to $58) is giving most loonie bulls confidence to push on higher. In the short term, crude is expected to garner further support from the potential for supply disruptions in the Middle East and from weak data from China raising markets expectations for economic stimulus.

In China, the flash manufacturing PMI remained in contraction for the fourth consecutive month, recording a new one-year low print of 49.2. Digging deeper, the data reveled that new orders, along with input and output prices, decreased at a faster rate. This would suggest weakening domestic demand and disinflationary pressures and supports the potential of further stimulus measures from the PBoC sooner rather than later.

The loonie bull needs CAD$1.2135-40 to be broken with momentum to take on the ‘big’ dollar’s next psychological support level at $1.2100 just ahead of last week’s intraday low of $1.2089 (April 17).

Forex heatmap

Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell