USD/CAD – Canadian dollar slightly lower ahead of CPI

The Canadian dollar has posted slight gains in the Wednesday session. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.3145, down 0.19% on the day. On the release front, Canada releases a host of inflation indicators, led by CPI. The key inflation indicator is expected to gain 0.2%, after two straight declines. The U.S. posts minor manufacturing and housing reports, but the focus will be on Fed Chair Powell’s testimony before a congressional committee. On Thursday, the U.S. will post Advance GDP and unemployment claims. Canada will release current account and the raw materials price index.

There were no surprises from Powell’s testimony before a senate committee on Tuesday, as Powell preached patience with regard to changes in interest rates. Powell stated that the Fed was in “no rush to make a judgment” and made reference to “conflicting signals in the economy”. The labor picture remains bright, with strong hiring and low unemployment. At the same time, consumer spending and housing data have been soft. The markets are expecting the Fed to remain on the sidelines in May and June, meaning that the first hike of 2019 will not come before the second half of the year.

Will the Bank of Canada raise rates in the first half of 2019? Canadian numbers have been mixed, making it difficult for the Bank of Canada to step in and raise rates for the first time in 2019. Similar to the Federal Reserve, the BoC was aggressive in 2018, but has applied the brakes in 2019. The Bank hiked rates three times last year, but has since stayed on the sidelines, with the benchmark rate pegged at 1.75%. It’s unlikely that the bank will make any rate moves unless the Canadian economy shows clear signs of gathering steam. Consumer spending data in December was a disappointment, with retail sales and core retail sales posting declines. If inflation remains weak, there will be little pressure on the bank to raise rates in the next few months.

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USD/CAD Fundamentals

Wednesday (February 27)

  • 8:30 Canadian CPI. Estimate 0.2%
  • 8:30 Canadian Core CPI
  •  8:30 Canadian Common CPI. Estimate 1.9%
  •  8:30 Canadian Median CPI. Estimate 1.8%
  •  8:30 Canadian Trimmed CPI. Estimate 1.9%
  •  8:30 US Goods Trade Balance. Estimate -74.1B
  • 8:30 US Preliminary Wholesale Inventories. Estimate 0.4%
  • 10:00 US Fed Chair Powell Testifies
  • 10:00 US Factory Orders. Estimate 1.5%
  • 10:00 US Pending Home Sales. Estimate 0.7%
  • 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate 2.8M

Thursday (February 28)

  • 8:30 Canadian Current Account. Estimate -14.0B
  • 8:30 Canadian RMPI. Estimate 4.1%
  • 8:30 US Advance GDP. Estimate 2.6%
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 221K
  • 20:15 US Fed Chair Powell Speaks

*All release times are EST

*Key events are in bold

USD/CAD for Wednesday, February 27, 2019

USD/CAD, February 27 at 7:55 EST

Open: 1.3169 High: 1.3177 Low: 1.3131 Close: 1.3145

USD/CAD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2969 1.3049 1.3125 1.3200 1.3290 1.3383

USD/CAD was flat for most of the Asian session and has posted slight losses in European trade

  • 1.3125 is a weak support level
  • 1.3200 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.3125 to 1.3200

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3125, 1.3049 and 1.2969
  • Above: 1.3200, 1.3290, 1.3383 and 1.3445

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.