USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Gains Ground After Dismal US Retail Sales

The Canadian dollar has paused on Thursday, after posting strong gains a day earlier. Currently, USD/CAD is trading at 1.2491, down 0.01% on the day. On the release front, Canada releases ADP Non-farm Employment Change. In the US, there are a host of indicators, highlighted by PPI and Core PPI reports for January. Both indicators are expected to record gains after declining in the December readings. The US will also release key manufacturing reports and unemployment claims. On Friday, the US releases key housing and consumer confidence numbers. Canada will publish Manufacturing Sales.

It’s been a rough February for the Canadian dollar, but the currency jumped on the bandwagon on Wednesday, as the US dollar posted broad losses. The Canadian currency posted its best one-day performance in 2018, gaining 0.09% against the greenback. The US dollar sagged as investors focused on poor retail sales reports in January. Retail Sales was flat at 0.0%, short of the estimate of 0.5%. Core Retail Sales declined 0.3%, well off the forecast of +0.2%. On the inflation front, CPI jumped 0.5%, above the estimate of 0.3%. Last week’s market sell-off, which sent the US dollar higher against other currencies, was triggered by fears of higher inflation. This strong CPI reading has raised concerns that investors could again lose their risk appetite and send the Canadian dollar lower.

Will the recent volatility in the markets affect interest rate policy in the US? Currently, the Fed has projected three hikes this year, but that could change to four or even five hikes, if inflation continues to head upwards and the robust US economy maintains its strong expansion.  The new head of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, received a rude welcome from the stock markets, when he started his new position last week. Powell sought to send a reassuring message earlier this week, declaring that the Fed is on alert to any risks to financial stability. However, it is clear that the Fed’s hand is limited when it comes to stock markets moves, and the volatility which we saw last week could resume at any time.

 

USD/CAD Fundamentals

Thursday (February 15)

  • 8:30 Canadian ADP Non-Farm Employment Change
  • 8:30 US PPI. Estimate 0.4%
  • 8:30 US Empire State Manufacturing Index. Estimate 17.7
  • 8:30 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Estimate 21.5
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 229K
  • 9:15 US Capacity Utilization Rate. Estimate 78.0%
  • 9:15 US Industrial Production. Estimate 0.2%
  • 10:00 US NAHB Housing Market Index. Estimate 72
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -193B
  • 16:00 US TIC Long-Term Purchases. Estimate 50.3B

Friday (February 16)

  • 8:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.29M
  • 8:30 US Housing Starts. Estimate 1.23M
  • 8:30 US Import Prices. Estimate 0.6%
  • 10:00 US Preliminary UoM Consumer Sentiment. Estimate 95.4

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

 

USD/CAD for Thursday, February 15, 2018

USD/CAD, February 15 at 7:50 EST

Open: 1.2491 High: 1.2503 Low: 1.2465 Close: 1.2491

 

USD/CAD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2060 1.2190 1.2351 1.2494 1.2630 1.2757

USD/CAD ticked lower in the Asian session. In European trade, the pair dropped slightly but has recovered

  • 1.2351 is providing support
  • 1.2494 was tested earlier in resistance and remains fluid
  • Current range: 1.2351 to 1.2494

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2351, 1.2190 and 1.2060
  • Above: 1.2494, 1.2630, 1.2757 and 1.2855

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

USD/CAD ratio is showing slight movement towards long positions. Currently, long positions have a majority (53%), indicative of trader bias towards USD/CAD breaking out and moving lower.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.