USD/CAD Forecast Aug. 17-21 -Canadian dollar climbs, consumer data next

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The Canadian dollar strengthened last week, as USD/CAD dropped close to 1 percent. There are four releases in the upcoming week, including inflation and retail sales. Here is an outlook at the highlights and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.

Canada only released tier-2 data last week, but the numbers were nonetheless encouraging. Housing Starts climbed to 246 thousand in July, up from 212 thousand beforehand. This marked the highest reading since June 2019. The week wrapped up with Manufacturing Sales, which jumped 20.7% in June, up from 10.7% a month earlier.

In the US, consumer inflation was unchanged at 0.6% in July. The core reading improved to 0.6%, up from 0.2% beforehand. There was good news on the employment front, as unemployment claims fell to 963 thousand, down from 1.186 million. This marked the first time that new claims have fallen below the 1-million mark since mid-March, before the spread of Covid-19. Retail sales reports were mixed. The core reading came in at 1.9%, above the estimate of 1.3%. However, the headline read posted a gain of 1.2%, shy of the estimate of 2.0%.
USD/CAD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:
  1. Foreign Securities Purchases: Monday, 12:30.  Demand for Canadian securities by foreigners dropped to C$22.41 billion in May, down sharply from C$49.04 billion beforehand. We now await the June data.
  2. Inflation: Wednesday, 12:30. The headline reading climbed to 0.8% in June, up from 0.3% in May. This marked the strongest reading since January 2107. Core consumer inflation improved to 0.4%, after two declines. Will the uptrend continue in the July release?
  3. ADP Non-Farm Employment Change: Thursday, 12:30. The official employment change came in at 418.5 thousand in July, pointing to strong job growth. The ADP indicator is projected to climb over the 1-million mark, with an estimate of 1.04 million. If the release is within expectations, it would be another sign that the economy is headed in the right direction.
  4. Retail Sales: Friday, 12:30. Retail sales rebounded nicely in May, with a gain of 18.7%, after a plunge of 26.4% beforehand. It was a similar story for the core reading, which climbed 10.6% after a drop of 22.0% in the previous release. Strong data for June would be bullish for the Canadian dollar. 
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USD/CAD Technical Analysis

Technical lines from top to bottom:

1.3550 (mentioned last week) has held in resistance since mid-July.

1.3420 is next.

1.3330 switched to a resistance role as USD/CAD posted strong losses last week.

1.3265 is fluid, as the pair ended the week just below this line.

1.3140 is providing support.

1.3078 has provided support since January.

1.2951 is a 52-week low for the pair. It is the final support level for now.

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I am bearish on USD/CAD

The US dollar continues to struggle, and Canada continues to show good numbers, indicating that the economic recovery is gaining steam. If Canada posts solid inflation and retail sales numbers this week, we could see the Canadian dollar’s rally continue.

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About Author

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.

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