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The Canadian dollar continued its winning ways last week, as USD/CAD dropped below the symbolic 1.30 line for the first time since October 2018. There are six events in the upcoming week. Here is an outlook at the highlights and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.
The Canadian dollar continued to post gains, as the currency climbed 2.2% in December, its best month since June. Last week, the sole indicator, Manufacturing PMI, dropped to 50.4, down from 51.4. This indicates stagnation in the manufacturing sector.
In the U.S., the holiday schedule resulted in the release of the FOMC minutes on Friday. Policymakers said they expected rates to remain steady “for a time”, but did note continuing downside risks to the U.S. economy due to global trade tensions. ISM Manufacturing PMI slipped to 47.2 in December, down from 48.1 a month earlier. This was shy of the estimate of 49.0 and the weakest reading since June 2009.

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

  1. Raw Materials Price Index: Monday, 13:30. This inflation indicator has sputtered, failing to post gains since July. The November reading came in at -1.9%, matching the forecast. The November estimate stands at +1.5%.
  2. Trade Balance: Tuesday, 13:30. Canada generally posts trade deficits. The October deficit came in at $-1.1 billion, better than the forecast of $-1.4 billion. The estimate for November stands at $-0.8 billion.
  3. Ivey PMI: Tuesday, 15:00. The PMI soared to 60.0 in November, crushing the estimate of 49.3 pts. Another strong reading is expected in December, with a forecast of 60.2 pts.
  4. Housing Starts: Thursday, 12:15. Housing starts showed little change in November, with a reading of 201 thousand. The indicator is expected to jump to 215 thousand in December.
  5. Building Permits: Thursday, 13:30. Building Permits tend to show sharp swings. The indicator has posted two straight declines, with the October release coming in at -1.5 percent. The markets are expecting a strong rebound in November, with an estimate of +2.2 percent.
  6. Employment Data: Friday, 13:30. The economy shed 71.2 thousand jobs in November, shocking the markets, which had expected a gain of 10 thousand. A strong gain of 31.8 thousand is forecast in December. The unemployment rate is expected to fall from 5.9% to 5.8%.

USD/CAD Technical Analysis

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We start with resistance at 1.3445, which has remained intact since the first week of June. 1.3385 is next.

The round number of 1.3300 has served in a resistance role since early December. 1.3265 follows.

1.3150 switched to a resistance role on December 26th, when the Canadian dollar started the current rally.

1.3100 (mentioned  last week) is next.

1.3048 follows.

1.2916 was last tested in October 2018. 1.2830 is next.

1.2730 has held in support since May 2018.                    

1.2630 is the final support level for now.

I remain neutral on USD/CAD

The Canadian dollar has put together an impressive rally and dropped below the 1.30 line, which has psychological significance. Risk appetite has been strong, although it remains to be seen if this will continue after a U.S. airstrike killed an Iranian general on Friday.

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Safe trading!