USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Lower as Dollar Shakes Off Fed Rate Cut Pressure

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.12 percent on Tuesday after the market tried to scale back probabilities of multiple rate cuts in 2019 by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Trade war concerns also rose as the precedent of a quick win in the trade war with Mexico could see the US use the tool more this year. The USMCA ratification process is due to start and is not exempt from revisions based on political agendas.

Uncertainty about what the outcome of the US-China trade dispute will be ahead of a potential meeting in Japan at the end of the month are giving the greenback a boost as its appeal as a safe haven rises.

usdcad Canadian dollar graph, June 11, 2019

The US dollar is mixed against major pairs. The EUR and the GBP are higher against the greenback after President Trump tweeted earlier this morning about the unfair strength of the US dollar. Rising probabilities of an interest rate cut by the Fed are keeping the dollar under pressure but given the appeal of the currency as a safe haven during the US-China trade war it continues to appreciate despite the wishes of the Trump administration.

The market is pricing in multiple rate cuts before the end of the year, but before that happens the case for a weaker US economy has to present itself before the Fed. Inflation data to be released on Wednesday could validate the downward trend started with the disappointing jobs report last week. Core inflation is expected to gain 0.2 percent and the headline indicator only 0.1 percent. Wage growth was also a miss on Friday with a 0.2 percent gain when the forecast called for 0.3 percent.

The Fed will wait for a confirmation of US slowdown before it acts, the US central bank is not known for being pro-active and will not fix the economy, until there is proof that is broken. A rate cut in the summer will materialize if there is proof of a slowdown but could also get readopt a patient stance if there is a trade agreement between the US and China. The flip side is that failing to discuss trade or a rise in aggressive rhetoric from either side could increase the trade headwinds against the US economy and force Chair Powell to cut sooner rather than later.

Crude Flat as Strong Dollar Offsets OPEC+ Extension Rumours

Oil is flat on Tuesday as the US dollar rebound continues for its second day putting pressure on energy prices. The dollar is higher after the deal with Mexico on immigration avoided tariffs and closed off a trade front so that now the US can focus on the US-China trade dispute.

The negotiations between the two super-powers don’t have a set date, and with the G20 in Japan fast approaching the chance there is a positive announcement is uncertain. The impact on oil prices from further downgrades in global growth could lead to further losses.

West Texas Intermediate graph

Russia is playing hard to get and remains not committal about extending the OPEC+ deal to cut oil production. The deal has been the major stabilizing force for crude prices, but rising US production and a prolonged trade war are close to offsetting the balance. Russia could be improving their position to seek leverage out of Saudi Arabia before agreeing to rejoin the major producers.

Yellow Metal Recovers as Trade Tensions Rise Safe Haven Appeal

Gold rose 0.1 percent on Tuesday after falling more than 1 percent at the start of the week as the short-lived US-Mexico tariff dispute once again put emphasis on the US-China trade war. The US dollar rebounded despite mixed economic indicators putting investors on alert of possible rate cuts from the Fed.

Equities were the main beneficiaries on Monday but as equities failed to gain momentum, the yellow metal was once again seen as a destination in times of uncertainty. Gold remains bid as the main dispute between US and China remains unresolved. If there is no sit down between leaders at the G20 the yellow metal will rise as investors will be on the lookout for a safe haven.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to announce at least one interest rate cut in 2019, putting less pressure on the metal as recession fears increase. Physical demand for gold continues at a healthy pace and the asset’s appeal as a safe haven will depend on negotiations between the US and China at the G20.

Markets End Six Day Win Streak Await US Inflation for clues on Fed’s Move

Equities in the US ended lower after the massive rebound on Monday. June has seen the stock rally narrative reborn and with the US-China in the background this month, and the Mexican import dispute being so short-lived it all fed into the expectations of higher levels if trade headwinds remain subdued. As the potential G20 meeting between Trump and Xi gets closer the anxiety in the market will be reflected in equity prices and is up to the Trump administration to manage those expectations better than in the past.

A trade deal in June is a long shot, seeing how far apart the two sides are, but signs of progress would spark optimism that a deal is once again within sight which could prompt equities to jump into a higher gear.

Pound Rises on Solid Jobs and Inflation Data

The British pound became the biggest major pair winner against the US dollar on Tuesday. The pound appreciated 0.30 percent after the release of the UK’s jobs report. The jobs data showed a 3.3 yearly rise in wages and the lowest unemployment rate since 1974. The shadow of Brexit was felt even in the light of positive data as the number of jobs added was the weakest since August with employers holding back on hiring as the divorce between the United Kingdom and the European Union could be entering its endgame.

The rise in wages in particular is seen as the right inflationary data feeding into the expectations that the Bank of England (BoE) could lift the interest rate to avoid the economy overheating despite Brexit headwinds. Comments no Monday from Michael Saunders delinked any future action from the central bank to the Brexit outcome. The divergence between the BoE who could potentially raise rates in 2019, compared to the Fed and the ECB that have a rate cut as their next possible monetary policy move has put a bid on the GBP.

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza