It has been a quiet week for the Canadian dollar, despite the crisis between Ukraine and Russia, which has captivated the world’s attention. The lack of movement could change on Wednesday, as Canada releases the inflation report for February.
Canada CPI expected to rise
Canada’s CPI looked weak in December, with a reading of -0.1% m/m. However, inflation is expected to have jumped in January, with a consensus of a strong gain of 0.6%. A reading within expectations would indicate that high inflation remains alive and well and will put pressure on the Bank of Canada to take aggressive action in order to curb inflation.
BoC Governor Tiff Macklem has said that more rate hikes are coming in order to lower inflation to the central bank’s 2% target, but other than that hasn’t provided any guidance. Macklem has maintained that inflation is transitory and will ease in the second half of the year but he may have to adjust his stance, as we saw with Fed Chair Powell, if inflation continues to accelerate.
The crisis on the Ukraine/Russia border remains a powder keg that could explode at any time. Somewhat surprisingly, this major geopolitical development has not affected the Canadian dollar, which is a minor currency that is sensitive to risk sentiment. That could change if there are dramatic moves in the next few days, such as a Russian invasion, which could see the currency tumble, or a Russian troop withdrawal from the border, which would be bullish for the Canadian dollar.
There are still hopes that a diplomatic solution can be reached and there have been reports of some Russian troops withdrawing from the border. The solution to the crisis is firmly in the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The West has no intention of supporting Ukraine militarily, so the key question is whether the threat of sanctions is enough to dissuade Putin from starting a war in central Europe.
- USD/CAD faces resistance at 1.2818 and 1.2873
- 1.2679 is being tested in support for a second straight day. Below, there is support at 1.2595
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