USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Edges Higher as US Housing Reports Miss the Mark

The Canadian dollar has posted slight gains in the Wednesday session. In North American trade, USD/CAD is trading at 1.2726, down 0.25% on the day. On the release front, Canadian Foreign Securities Purchases shocked the markets, recording a decline of C$0.92 billion, compared to an estimate of a gain of C$23.45 billion. This marked the first decline since December 2015. In the US, housing numbers were softer than expected. Building Permits dipped to 1.22 million shy of the forecast of 1.25 million. Housing Starts slowed to 1.16 million, missing the estimate of 1.22 million. Later in the day, the FOMC will release the minutes of its July policy meeting. On Thursday, there are two major events in the US – unemployment claims and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index.

The Federal Reserve releases its July minutes on Wednesday, and the markets will be listening closely. Although we’re unlikely to learn anything new about the likelihood of a rate hike before the end of the year, analysts will be looking for further details about the Fed’s balance sheet, which has ballooned to $4.2 trillion. At the June policy meeting, the Fed outlined plans to begin reducing the balance sheet, but shied away from providing any details regarding the size of the reductions or a start time for the plan. Analysts expect September will be the start date, and the Fed could start the process by slowing its asset purchases by a modest amount, such as $10 billion/mth. Once the reductions start, the US dollar stands to make gains for two reasons. First, the move would mark a vote of confidence in the US economy. Second, a reduction of $60 billion is expected to have the same effect as a quarter-point rate hike, which would make the dollar a more attractive asset for investors.

The Canadian dollar has lost ground in August, but has still looked hot this summer, jumping 5.7% since June 1. Some of these gains are linked to oil prices, which jumped sharply in July. At the same time, Canadian indicators have generally been strong, with a GDP gaining 0.6% in May, and the labor market showing improvement. In July, the Bank of Canada raised interest rates by 25 basis points to 0.75%. This was the first time the BoC raised rates since 2010, and the move has helped boost the currency. Despite the economic growth, Canada continues to grapple with weak inflation. CPI declined in June (the first decline in 2017), and the markets are braced for another soft reading on Friday, with an estimate of a flat 0.0%.

NAFTA Talks Begin on Wednesday


USD/CAD Fundamentals

Wednesday (August 16)

  • 8:30 Canadian Foreign Securities Purchases. Estimate 23.45B. Actual -0.92B
  • 8:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.25M. Actual 1.22M
  • 8:30 US Housing Starts. Estimate 1.22M. Actual 1.16M
  • 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate -3.0M
  • 14:00 US FOMC Meeting Minutes

Thursday (August 17)

  • 8:30 Canadian Manufacturing Sales. Estimate -1.0%
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 240K
  • 8:30 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Estimate 18.3

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold


USD/CAD for Wednesday, August 16, 2017

USD/CAD Wednesday, August 16 at 9:15 EDT

Open: 1.2757 High: 1.2771 Low: 1.2712 Close: 1.2721


USD/CAD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2445 1.2562 1.2701 1.2815 1.2943 1.3016

USD/CAD was almost unchanged in the Asian session. The pair has posted small losses in the European and North American sessions

  • 1.2701 is a weak support level. It could break in the North American session
  • 1.2815 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.2562 to 1.2701

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.2701, 1.2562, 1.2445 and 1.2302
  • Above: 1.2815, 1.2943 and 1.3016

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

USD/CAD ratio is showing slight gains in short positions. Currently, long positions have a strong majority (65%), indicative of trader bias towards USD/CAD reversing directions and moving upwards.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

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.