USD/CAD- Canadian dollar extends gains despite weak job data

  • Canada’s economy sheds 17K jobs, unemployment rate climbs
  • US dollar under pressure after unemployment claims jump
  • Canadian dollar rallies for a third straight day

The Canadian dollar continues to rally. USD/CAD is trading at 1.3328 in the North American session, down 0.22% on the day.

Canada’s labour market softens

The week wrapped up with Canada’s May employment report, which usually is released at the same time as the US job data, but had the spotlight to itself today. The data was a disappointment. Canada’s economy shed 17,300 jobs, all of which were full-time positions. This followed an increase of 41,400 in April and missed the consensus of a gain of 23,200. The unemployment rate rose from 5.0% to 5.2%, the first rise since August 2022.

The weak job numbers could signal softness in the labour market, which would have major ramifications for the Bank of Canada’s rate path. The Canadian dollar lost 40 points in the aftermath of the release but quickly recovered these losses. We could see more movement from USD/CAD on Monday as the markets digest these numbers.

US dollar beats a retreat after jobless claims rise

The US labour market has shown resilience, as we saw last week with a red-hot nonfarm payroll report. Still, some cracks have appeared, such as the jump in the unemployment rate and a low participation rate. The markets are looking for signs that the labour market is cooling off and jumped all over unemployment claims, which surprised on the upside at 261,000, up from 233,000 a week earlier. A spike in one weekly report isn’t all that significant, but the timing of the release close to the Fed meeting may make a Fed pause more likely, and that has sent the US dollar lower against its major rivals.

Bank of Canada delivers a rate hike

Central banks continue to wrestle with high inflation, which has remained stubbornly high despite aggressive rate tightening. This week alone, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of Canada raised rates by 0.25%, surprising the markets which had expected a pause. The BoC has made clear that its “conditional pause” stance would be data-dependent and perhaps the markets should have paid more attention to the uptick in April inflation and strong GDP growth in the first quarter. The BoC highlighted both of these indicators in its rate statement as factors in its decision to hike rates, and the central bank will be keeping a close eye on economic growth and inflation ahead of the July meeting.


USD/CAD Technical

  • USD/CAD is testing support at 1.3339. Below, there is support at 1.3250
  • 1.3496 and 1.3585 are the next resistance lines

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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.