The Canadian dollar gained ground on Friday, after outstanding employment data. The economy created a whopping 106.5 thousand jobs in April, crushing the estimate of 11.7 thousand. This marked the first gain above the lofty 100K level since April 2010. The pace of purchasing activity continued to accelerate, as Canadian Ivey PMI improved to 55.9 in April, up from 54.3 a month earlier. This easily beat the forecast of 51.5.
In the U.S, the focus was on inflation. The producer price index slowed to 0.2% in April, down from 0.6% a month earlier. The core release also lost ground, dropping from 0.3% to 0.1%. This was followed by consumer inflation reports. CPI dropped from 0.4% to 0.3%, shy of the estimate of 0.4%. The core release remained stuck at 0.1%, short of the estimate of 0.2%.
President Donald Trump made good on his tariff threat, as the U.S. raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday, from 10% to 25%. Trump announced the move on Sunday, which sent shock waves across equity markets during the week. Risk appetite dropped, but the Canadian dollar was spared, managing to hold its own last week.
USD/CAD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:
- CPI Data: Wednesday, 12:30. CPI, the primary gauge of consumer spending, has improved of late. The indicator has posted two straight gains of 0.7%. The core reading has not been as strong, slowing to 0.3% in March. Will we see better numbers in April?
- Manufacturing Sales: Thursday, 12:30. This market-mover slumped in February, with a decline of 0.2%. This was weaker than the estimate of -0.1%.
* All times are GMT
USD/CAD Technical Analysis
Technical lines from top to bottom:
1.3757 has held in resistance since May 2017.
1.3660 was the high point for USD/CAD in December.
1.3547 capped USD/CAD in June 2017. 1.3445 (mentioned last week) remained relevant throughout the week. It switched to a resistance line on Friday after the pair lost ground.
1.3385 was tested in support on Friday and is a weak line. Close by is 1.3350.
Lower, 1.3265 was the high point in mid-November. 1.3225 has held in support since early March.
1.3175 was a swing low in late November.
1.3125 was a low point earlier that month.
1.3048 has provided support since early November.
I remain bullish on USD/CAD
The BoC remains in dovish mode, as economic activity has been lukewarm. The bank could keep a freeze on rates until 2020 if the economy doesn’t pick up speed. The U.S economy in better shape than its Canadian counterpart, so the Canadian currency could face headwinds, especially if the Fed decides to raise rates later in 2019.
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