USD/CAD Loonie Under Pressure but BoC Confident in Economic Outlook

The USD advanced 0.58 percent versus the CAD in the last 24 hours. The USD/CAD pair easily broke through the 1.36 resistance level and it was only after the release of the Canadian building permit data beat expectations that the pair stabilized. The currency pair touched a daily high of 1.3620, and it depreciated as the Bank of Canada governor spoke at 12:50 pm EST to trade in a right range just below the 1.36 price line.

Canadian housing starts rose in cada by 9.1 percent in November crushing forecasts that called for a 3.0 percent gain after the contraction of 6.6 percent in the October data. Six Canadian provinces showed an improvement in the size of the value of building permits leading with the oil rich province of Alberta, with Ontario in second place. Canadian housing has defied economists who have predicted the end of the boom fuelled by low interest rates. The soft landing that has been forecasted is taking time to materialize and the building permits boosted the CAD.

Stephen Poloz Says the Central Bank Could Use Negative Rates

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will delivered a speech titled: “The Evolution of Unconventional Monetary Policy” in Ottawa today. After cutting the benchmark Canadian interest rate two times in 2015 to record low 0.50 percent the BoC Governor admitted for the first time that negative rates could be added to the monetary policy toolkit. Poloz remains firm that the central bank has the right growth forecast on the Canadian economy, but the weakness of energy prices have expanded the time horizon for recovery. The most positive factor to Canada’s recovery is in fact that of the U.S. economy and with an upcoming rate hike signalling a moderate pace of growth in America, Canada is well positioned to boost exports to its largest trading partner.

Oil Price Lower After Market Share Grab Preferred to Stability

West Texas oil is trading close to the open price of around $37.20 but it did touch lows not seen since 2009 near $36.23 as the amount of crude in the market is pushing the price of crude further down. Short covering brought the price above the $37 price level where it remains at the time of writing.

The potential for a rift within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after last week’s meeting failed to deliver a production cut intended at stabilizing prices, keeps the uncertainty about production in the air, with the reality of a supply glut in a lower demand environment. The low price of oil has had a deflationary effect around the world, but threatens to empty the coffers of oil producers as the current price is not sustainable for their business models to operate for a long time.

OPEC and non-OPEC members both need the price to rise, but instead have engaged in a market share war with a winner takes all mentality. Canadian energy exports in volume will increase, but its hard to say who profitable that would be for crude producers as the price continues to tumble.

Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza