- Bank of Canada likely to pause at today’s meeting
- Fed expected to pause next week
The Canadian dollar is unchanged, trading at 1.3400 in the North American session.
Bank of Canada expected to hold rates
The Bank of Canada meets later today, and the money markets are expecting another pause, which would leave the benchmark rate at 4.5%. The BoC’s rate-tightening cycle has been on a “conditional pause”, which is another way of saying that rate decisions are data-dependent, especially on inflation and employment reports.
The Bank has kept rates on hold since March and is expected to follow suit today, but there have been signals that the rate-hike cycle may not be over. First, April inflation report surprised on the upside after it ticked upwards to 4.4%, up from 4.3% annually, and rose from 0.3% to 0.7% month-to-month. The upswing will be of concern to BoC policy makers, as the central bank is intent on wrestling inflation back to the 2% target.
The second concern is GDP, which hit 3.1% y/y in the first quarter, beating the BoC’s forecast of 2.3% growth. Consumer spending has been stronger than anticipated, as many households have sizeable savings from the pandemic which they are spending now that the economy has reopened. BoC policy makers are concerned about the rise in inflation and GDP, and we could see hints about future rate hikes even if the Bank opts to pause at today’s meeting.
The Fed meets next week and with a blackout period in place on Fed public engagements, the markets are hunting for clues. Market pricing has been on a roller-coaster as divisions within the Fed over rate policy have made it difficult to determine what the Fed has planned. Currently, the markets are predicting a 78% chance of a pause, which would mark the first hold in rates after 10 straight rate increases.
- 1.3375 is a weak support line, followed by 1.3250
- 1.3496 and 1.3585 are the next resistance lines
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