USD/CAD – Canadian dollar dips, U.S. GDP beats expectations

The Canadian dollar has lost ground in the Thursday session. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.3205, up 0.37% on the day. On the release front, Canada’s current account deficit widened to C$15.5 billion. In the U.S., Advance GDP expanded 2.6% in the fourth quarter, above the estimate of 2.2%. Chicago PMI climbed to 64.7, easily beating the forecast of 57.3 points. Unemployment claims rose to 225 thousand, above the estimate of 221 thousand. On Friday, the U.S. will release Core PCE Price Index and UoM Consumer Sentiment.

Will 2019 be the year of the dove for the Federal Reserve? After an aggressive 2018, when the Fed hiked rates four times, the Fed is yet to make a move in 2019. The dovish stance was reinforced by Fed Chair Powell’s testimony on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday. Powell preached patience with regard to changes in interest rate levels. The Fed chair stated that the Fed was in “no rush to make a judgment” and made reference to “conflicting signals in the economy”. The labor picture remains bright, with strong hiring and low unemployment. At the same time, consumer spending and business investment have been soft. Powell was optimistic about the U.S. economy, but said that the lower global growth and uncertainty over trade was weighing on the economy. The markets are expecting the Fed to remain on the sidelines in May and June, meaning that the first hike of 2019 may be on hold until the second half of the year.

Canada’s economic numbers have been mixed, making it difficult for the Bank of Canada to step in and raise rates for the first time in 2019. Similar to the Federal Reserve, the BoC was aggressive in 2018, but has applied the brakes in 2019. The Bank hiked rates three times last year, but has since stayed on the sidelines, with the benchmark rate pegged at 1.75%. It’s unlikely that the bank will make any rate moves unless the Canadian economy shows clear signs of gathering steam. Consumer spending data in December was a disappointment, with retail sales and core retail sales posting declines. If inflation remains weak, there will be little pressure on the bank to raise rates in the next few months.

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USD/CAD Fundamentals

Thursday (February 28)

  • 8:00 US FOMC Member Clarida Speaks
  • 8:30 Canadian Current Account. Estimate -14.0B. Actual -15.5B
  • 8:30 Canadian RMPI. Estimate 4.1%. Actual 3.8%
  • 8:30 Canadian RMPI. Estimate 4.1%. Actual 3.8%
  • 8:30 US Advance GDP. Estimate 2.2%. Actual 2.6%
  • 8:30 US Advance GDP Price Index. Estimate 1.7%. Actual 1.8%
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 221K. Actual 225K
  • 9:45 US Chicago PMI. Estimate 57.3
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -172B
  • 20:15 US Fed Chair Powell Speaks

Friday (March 1)

  • 10:00 US Core PCE Price Index. Estimate 0.2%
  • 10:00 US UoM Consumer Sentiment. Estimate 95.8

*All release times are EST

*Key events are in bold

USD/CAD for Thursday, February 28, 2019

USD/CAD, February 28 at 8:00 EST

Open: 1.3156 High: 1.3208 Low: 1.3141 Close: 1.3205

USD/CAD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2969 1.3049 1.3125 1.3200 1.3290 1.3383

USD/CAD was flat in the Asian session and has posted small gains in European trade

  • 1.3125 is a weak support level
  • 1.3200 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.3125 to 1.3200

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3125, 1.3049 and 1.2969
  • Above: 1.3200, 1.3290, 1.3383 and 1.3445

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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.