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  • Wholesale sales in Canada rose  more than expected in March.
  • WTI dropped  below $60 to weigh on the loonie.
  • US Dollar Index jumped to fresh 2-year highs above 98.30.

The USD/CAD pair gained traction in the early American session and rose to a fresh weekly high of 1.3493 as the loonie failed to capitalize on the upbeat data and the USD continued to gather strength. As of writing, the pair was up 0.47% on the day at 1.3492.

According to Statistics Canada, wholesale sales in March increased by 1.4% on a monthly basis following February’s dismal 0.2% reading and surpassed the market expectation of 0.9%. However, the pair didn’t have a difficult time preserving its bullish momentum as falling crude oil prices weighed on the commodity-sensitive CAD. After closing the previous day 2.6% lower, the barrel  of West Texas Intermediate extended its slide and fell to its lowest level in two months near $59.

On the other hand, the heavy selling pressure European currencies amid political uncertainties ramped up the market demand for the greenback and allowed the US Dollar Index to advance to its highest level since May of 2017 at 98.37 to provide an additional lift to the pair.

The IHS Markit’s Manufacturing and Services PMI data will be watched next. Later in the session, several members of the FOMC are scheduled to deliver speeches, which are unlikely to receive a significant reaction from the market.  

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