USD/CAD is almost unchanged in the Thursday session, as the pair trades at 1.3430. On the release front, Canadian Building Permits posted a sharp decline of 2.5%, well short of the estimate of a 1.4% gain. In the US, unemployment claims dropped sharply to 234 thousand, easily beating the forecast of 251 thousand. The week wraps up with a host of employment indicators. Canada will publish Employment Change and the unemployment rate, while the US releases three key events – Nonfarm Employment Change, Average Hourly Earnings and the unemployment rate.
The Canadian dollar continues to struggle, and a major reason is weak oil prices. Despite OPEC cutting production levels, the world remains awash in oil, as increasing US production has offset the OPEC cuts. US Crude Inventories continue to show surpluses, most of which have been higher than the forecast. This was the case again last week, with US crude inventories posting a strong gain of 1.6 million. The indicator has posted 12 surpluses in the last 13 weeks, which has helped keep oil prices close to the $50 level.
The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its March policy meeting on Wednesday. At that meeting, the Fed raised rates a quarter-point to 0.75%, but the dovish rate statement disappointed the markets, triggering broad losses for the US dollar. In the minutes, policymakers noted upside risk to the US economy, but remained divided on whether inflation will rise to the Fed target of 2.0%. Most policymakers were in favor of taking steps to trim the $4.5 trillion balance sheet, which has ballooned since the Fed implemented its aggressive quantitative easing program back in 2008. So what’s next for the Fed? According to the CME’s Fed Watch, the odds of a rate hike at the May meeting are just 5 percent, while the likelihood of a rate hike in June stand at 63 percent. Last week, FOMC member Eric Rosengren called for three more hikes, saying the Fed should raise rates in June, September and December. Rosengren said that employment and inflation levels were close to the Fed’s targets, and that three additional hikes were needed in order to prevent the US economy from overheating. However, a majority of FOMC members are in favor of just two more hikes this year.
Thursday (April 6)
- 7:30 US Challenger Job Cuts. Actual -2.0%
- 8:30 Canadian Building Permits. Estimate 1.4%. Actual -2.5%
- 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Actual 251K. Actual 234K
- 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 10B
Upcoming Key Events
Friday (April 7)
- 8:30 US Average Hourly Earnings. Estimate 0.2%
- 8:30 US Nonfarm Employment Change. Estimate 174K
- 8:30 US Unemployment Rate. Estimate 4.7%
- 8:30 Canadian Employment Change. Estimate 5.7K
- 8:30 Canadian Unemployment Rate. Estimate 6.7%
- 10:00 Canadian Ivey PMI. Estimate 56.3
*All release times are GMT
*Key events are in bold
USD/CAD for Thursday, April 6, 2017
USD/CAD April 6 at 9:00 EST
Open: 1.3436 High: 1.3451 Low: 1.3415 Close: 1.3435
- USD/CAD was flat in the Asian session and has edged lower in European trade. The pair is unchanged in the North American session
- 1.3371 is providing support
- 1.3461 is a weak resistance line
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 1.3371, 1.3253, 1.3120 and 1.3006
- Above: 1.3461, 1.3551 and 1.3672
- Current range: 1.3371 to 1.3461
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
USD/CAD ratio is unchanged in the Thursday session. Currently, short positions have a majority (62%), indicative of trader bias towards USD/CAD breaking out and moving lower.