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Housing and Employment Data are the major events this week. Here is an outlook to this week’s market movers, and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.

The Bank of Canada left its key interest rate unchanged at 1 % last Tuesday and gave no signal of rate hikes in the near future. However, the BOC statement mentioned the faster than expected rate of recovery in the Canadian market but cautioned from the cumulative effects of the persistent strength in the Canadian dollar and Canada’s poor relative productivity performance. There was no mention of a suggested rate hike in the next decision date on April 12.

USD/CAD daily chart with support and resistance lines marked. Click to enlarge:

USD CAD Chart March 7-11

  1. Building Permits: Monday, 13:30. The value of new building permits issued in Canada increased 2.4 % to $5.7 billion in December after dropping 11.2% in November. Economists had expected a gain of between 2.9%. The main contributor to this rise is the residential permits. A further increase of 3.3%  is predicted now.
  2. Housing Starts: Tuesday, 13:15. Housing starts edged up to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 170,400 units slightly below the 171,000 expected, but above the 169,000 in December. This relatively weak figure exemplifies economists’ view that the Canadian  housing market  which led the country out of the recession will moderate through 2011. Another clime of 175,000 is expected now.
  3. NHPI  : Wednesday, 13:30. New Housing Price Index increased slightly by 0.1% in December.  This mild increase was lower than the 0.6% increase expected and the 0.2% in September. Prices remained flat in almost half of the markets surveyed. The Canadian housing industry gave unclear results; a modest increase in Building permits versus a surge in building starts. Analysts predict the market will stabilize in 2011. A more substantial rise of 0.4% is expected now.
  4. Trade Balance: Thursday, 13:30. Canada’s December trade balance deficit unexpectedly turned into a sizeable surplus of $3.0 billion while analysts expected a small deficit of $0.3 billion. A surge in exports of a massive $3.4 billion (9.7%) was the main cause for the rise. A smaller surplus of $2.4 billion is forecasted now.
  5. Employment Data: Friday, 12:00. Canadian employment change rose more-than-expected to a seasonally adjusted 69.20K, from 22K in the prior month. Analysts had expected Canadian employment change to rise 18.9K. This surge indicates a real recovery in the job market in tandem with the US job market growth. Meanwhile the unemployment rate, which had been forecast to remain unchanged, grew to 7.8 percent from 7.6 as more people looked for jobs. Nevertheless the Job market seems to be improving and will stabilize in the nest months. The job market is expected to gain 31,300 new jobs and jobless rate is predicted to decrease to 7.7%.

*All times are GMT.

USD/CAD  Technical  Analysis

After closing under the 0.98 line last week, USD/CAD continued south and couldn’t break below 0.97. A first attempt resulted in a false breakout to 0.9680, while the second one saw a dip just under 0.97. The pair eventually closed at 0.9711.

Looking up, 0.98 is the initial line of resistance. USD/CAD couldn’t climb above this line after it was breached. This line was also support in 2008. It’s closely followed by 0.9840, which worked as a strong cushion in recent weeks, and now works as resistance.

Higher,we find the 2010 low of 0.9930.Recently it was a pivotal line.  USD/CAD parity is the obvious resistance line above, working in both directions in the past few months.

Above, 1.0060 is the highest level in the past months and is another resistance line  – a minor one.  It’s followed by 1.0140, which  served as resistance in December and also as support in the past.

Even higher, 1.0280 also served in both directions, taking the role of resistance in the last encounter. 1.0380 was another resistance line, that capped a break more than once, and is strong resistance.

Looking down, we don’t have too many lines.The first line is 0.97, which also was a support line back in 2008, when commodity prices were soaring and worked perfectly just now as an important cushion. It’s followed by 0.96, which is a minor line – a stepping stone on the way down.

The fall to the all time low, back in November 2007, was quite fast – the record was set at 0.9056 – this is still far.

I remain bearish on USD/CAD.

The Canadian economy is growing at a healthy pace, and this is likely to be reflected also in the employment figures this week. Note that the soaring price of oil also boosts the loonie – send CADUSD higher.

Further reading: