USD/CAD has edged lower in the Thursday session. Early in the North American session, the pair is trading at 1.3320. On the release front, there are no Canadian economic indicators. In the US, unemployment claims jumped to a 7-week high, rising to 258 thousand. This was well above the forecast of 258 thousand. Later in the day, New Home Sales is expected to improve to 566 thousand. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak at an event in Washington, and FOMC members Neel Kashkari and Robert Kaplan will also deliver speeches on Thursday. On Friday, Canada publishes CPI, one of the most important economic indicators. CPI was unexpectedly high in January, at 0.9%. The February report is expected to slip to 0.2%.
Canada’s retail sales were stellar in January, indicative of a strong increase in consumer spending. Core Retail Sales jumped 1.7%, beating the forecast of 1.3%. This marked the strongest gain since February 2015. Retail Sales sparkled with a gain of 2.2%, compared to an estimate of 1.3%. The strong figures point to a strong first quarter for the economy, and weak retail sales data in December appear to be a seasonal distortion. However, the Canadian dollar was unable to take advantage and couldn’t gain ground against the greenback.
With a dearth of economic releases this week, the markets have been focusing on speeches from FOMC members. Earlier this week, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he expected the Fed to raise rates two more times this year. This projection was in line with the Fed’s dot plot (which remain unchanged) as well as last week’s rate statement. Although one could make a strong case that three rate hikes in 2017 would be impressive, the markets appear disappointed, and would like four hikes, given the strong performance of the US economy. The Fed’s cautious approach has soured sentiment towards the greenback, resulting in the dollar heading lower against its major rivals.
Thursday (March 23)
- 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 240K. Actual 258K
- 8:45 US Fed Chair Janet Yellen Speech
- 10:00 US New Home Sales. Estimate 566K
- 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -147B
- 12:30 US FOMC Member Neel Kashkari Speech
- 19:00 US FOMC Member Robert Kaplan Speech
Upcoming Key Events
Friday (March 24)
- 8:30 Canadian CPI. Estimate 0.2%
- 8:30 US Core Durable Goods Orders. Estimate 0.5%
*All release times are GMT
*Key events are in bold
USD/CAD for Thursday, March 23, 2017
USD/CAD March 23 at 8:35 EST
Open: 1.3333 High: 1.3355 Low: 1.3315 Close: 1.3325
- USD/CAD has edged lower in the Asian and was choppy in European trade
- 1.3253 is providing support
- 1.3371 is the next resistance line
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 1.3253, 1.3120 and 1.3006
- Above: 1.3371, 1.3461, 1.3551 and 1.3672
- Current range: 1.3253 to 1.3371
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
USD/CAD ratio is unchanged in the Thursday session. Currently, short positions have a majority (59%), indicative of trader bias towards USD/CAD continuing to move lower.
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