Canadian dollar pares losses after lukewarm retail sales

  • Canadian retail sales post weak 0.1% gain
  • Markets eye Jackson Hole Symposium as tightening cycles near end

The Canadian dollar remains under pressure on Wednesday. In the North American session, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3554, up 0.04%. Earlier, the Canadian dollar fell below the 1.36 line for the first time since May 31st.

Canada’s retail sales stagnant in June

Canada’s retail sales for June barely moved, with a gain of just 0.1% m/m. This was unchanged from the May reading, which was downwardly revised from 0.2%, and just above the consensus estimate of zero. On a yearly basis, retail sales slipped 0.8% in June, compared to a gain of 0.2% (revised downwards from 0.5%) and shy of the estimate of 0.3%.

The data indicates that consumer consumption is cooling down as higher interest rates continue to filter through the economy. Canada’s GDP in the first quarter was solid at 3.1%, but second-quarter growth is expected to be much more modest, at around 1%.

Consumer spending has been a key factor in the Bank of Canada’s rate decisions. Earlier in the year, stronger-than-expected consumer spending resulted in the BoC raising interest rates in June and July. Today’s soft retail sales figures will provide support for the central bank to take a pause at the September 6th meeting, with GDP the final key release ahead of that meeting.

Markets await Jackson Hole

There has been a whole lot happening this week and investors will be hoping for some interesting comments from central bankers who are meeting this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Many of the major central banks, including the Federal Reserve, are winding up their rate-tightening cycles and Jackson Hole has often served as a venue for announcing shifts in policy. That said, Fed Chair Powell has insisted that the fight against inflation is not done, although the dark days of high inflation appear to be over. There is talk in the markets of the Fed trimming rates next year, but I doubt that Powell will mention any cuts to rates, when he is yet to acknowledge that the Fed is done tightening.


USD/CAD Technical

  • USD/CAD put strong pressure on the resistance at 1.3606 earlier. Above, there is resistance at 1.3660
  • 1.3522 and 1.3468 are providing support

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Market Analyst at OANDA
A highly experienced financial market analyst with a focus on fundamental and macroeconomic analysis, Kenny Fisher’s daily commentary covers a broad range of markets including forex, equities and commodities. His work has been published in major online financial publications including, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.