The Canadian dollar has taken it on the chin this week, already down -4.5% against its largest trading partner, the USD this year, the currency is closing out the week on the back foot and this despite the presence of a stronger retail sales headline print yesterday (+0.6%). Notwithstanding keeping rates on hold mid-week (+1%), the Bank of Canada’s policy statement leans towards a further easing bias, without explicitly making the change in stance.
Governor Poloz removed from its statement the phrase that the “substantial monetary policy stimulus currently in place remains appropriate,” which happened to appear in the last statement only a month ago. Many believe that within the context of the BoC’s heightened concern about persistently low inflation, the omission represents a step closer towards an easing bias.
However, on Friday, total inflation in Canada fell -0.2%, m/m in December, with a y/y pace of inflation to +1.2%, back into the Banks 1-3% target range from +0.9% in the month before. The increase in the yearly pace of both headline and core prices – up to +1.3% – is likely to bring some sense of calm to the “disinflation weary Governor Poloz.”
Canadian bond prices happened to soften slightly on the Canada’s inflation headline, but do remain better bid, along with US Treasurys from a flight to safety bid as investors scrambled out of riskier emerging assets. This too has the CAD shifting ever so slightly away from its newly cemented lows for the time being. Nevertheless, the “mighty buck” is expected to remain better bid on pullbacks until some normalcy reappears within all asset classes.
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