USD/CAD Forecast Dec. 14-18- Investors eye inflation, retail sales

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The Canadian dollar pushed its US cousin close to the 1.27 line, but was unable to consolidate these gains, as USD/CAD was almost unchanged on the week. The upcoming week has five events.
Canada’s Ivey PMI dipped to 52.7 points in November, down from 54.5 beforehand. The index has remained in expansionary territory since June, with readings above the neutral 50-level. The BoC delivered a message of “more of the same” at its monthly policy meeting. The bank kept rates at 0.25% and made no change to QE. Bank members hinted that rates would remain in ultra-low territory until the economy picked up. This stance means that we could see these rate levels for the next 2-3 years.

In the US, headline and core inflation both rose slightly, from 0.0% to 0.2%. PPI was also weak, with the headlined and core releases coming in at a negligible 0.1%. Unemployment claims surged to 853 thousand last week, up from 712 thousand. This points to weakness in the labor market, as the economy continues to struggle. The week wrapped up on a positive note, as UoM Consumer Sentiment improved to 81.4 in December, up from 77.0 beforehand.

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

  1. Housing Starts: Tuesday, 13:15. Housing starts rose slightly in October, from 209 thousand to 215 thousand. We now await the November data.
  2. Manufacturing Sales: Tuesday, 13:30. The indicator rebounded in September, climbing 1.5%. Will the upswing continue in October?
  3. Inflation Report: Wednesday, 13:30. Headline CPI improved to 0.4% in October, its first gain in four months. . Trimmed CPI, which excludes the most volatile items in the headline reading, has been steady, with two straight gains of 1.8%. We now await the November release.
  4. ADP Non-Farm Employment Change: Thursday, 13:30. Canada’s labor market has shown some strong gains in job creation, but the ADP report has registered three straight declines. Will we see a reading in positive territory in the November release?
  5. Retail Sales: Friday, 13:30. Headline retail sales improved nicely in September, with a gain of 1.1%, after a reading of 0.4% beforehand. Core retail sales also showed a strong improvement, from 0.5% to 1.0%. Will the upswing continue in October?

USD/CAD Technical Analysis

Technical lines from top to bottom

We start with resistance at 1.3174 (mentioned last week).

1.3092 has held in resistance since mid-November.

1.2938 switched to resistance at the start of December, when USD/CAD started its slide.

1.2856 is next.

1.2702 is protecting the 1.27 line.

1.2620 is the final support line for now.

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I remain bearish on USD/CAD

With FDA approval of Pfizer’s Covid vaccines, risk sentiment has risen, which is bullish for the Canadian dollar. As well, an agreement on US fiscal stimulus would inject a huge amount of US dollars into the economy and would likely weigh on the US dollar.

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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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