USD/CAD Forecast February 3-7 – Solid U.S. Durables, GDP Propel Greenback Higher

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USD/CAD continues to post gains and has pushed above the 1.32 line. Last week, the pair touched its highest level since early December. This week features key employment numbers. Here is an outlook at the highlights and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.
In Canada, GDP reports remain soft. In November, the economy posted a small gain of 0.1%, up from -0.1% in the previous release. On the inflation front, the Raw Materials Price Index posted a strong gain of 2.8%, its strongest gain in 8 months.
It was a busy week for U.S. indicators. Durable Goods Orders jumped 2.4%, which was a 9-month high. However, the core release declined by 0.1%, shy of the estimate of 0.4%. The Federal Reserve maintained the benchmark rate, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that the “Fed is determined to avoid inflation persistently running below 2%.” This could be a hint of a rate hike in the next few months, which would be bullish for the U.S. dollar. Advance GDP for the fourth quarter came in at 2.1%, as expected. This was unchanged from the third-quarter figure.

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

  1. Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 13:30. The index slowed to 50.4 in December, just above the 50-level which separates contraction from expansion. We now await the January release.
  2. Trade Balance: Wednesday, 13:30. Canada continues to record trade deficits. In December, the deficit was unchanged at C$1.1 billion, larger than the estimate of a deficit of C$0.8 billion. Will we see an improvement in January?
  3. Employment Reports: Friday, 13:30. The economy created 35.2 thousand in December, rebounding from a sharp loss of 71.2 thousand a month earlier. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.6%, down from 5.9% in November. Strong numbers in January could boost the Canadian dollar.
  4. Ivey PMI: Friday, 15:00. The index has been showing sharp swings of late. In November, the PMI soared to 60.0, up from 48.2 a month earlier. However, the PMI fell back down to 51.9 in December, shy of the forecast of 60.2 points. The January estimate stands at 52.3 points.

USD/CAD Technical Analysis

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We start with resistance at 1.3550.

1.3445 has remained intact since June 2019. 1.3385 is next.

The round number of 1.3300 has served in a resistance role since early December.

1.3265 is an immediate resistance line.

1.3150 has some breathing room in support after gains by USD/CAD last week.

1.3100 (mentioned last week) is next.

1.3048 is the next support level.

1.2916 has provided support since October 2018.

1.2830 is the final support line for now.

I am bullish on USD/CAD

The recent outbreak of the coronavirus in China continues to spread and has dampened investor risk appetite. Oil prices have also fallen, so the Canadian dollar will have a tough time holding its own against the greenback.

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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.