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USD/CAD posted slight losses last week. This week’s major events are Ivey PMI and employment change. Here is an outlook for the highlights of this week and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.

The economic slowdown in Canada continues, as GDP declined in March by 0.1%, its third decline in four months. Manufacturing continues to struggle, as the global trade war has dampened appetite for Canadian exports. Manufacturing PMI slowed for a fifth successive month, falling to 49.7 points. A reading below the 50-mark points to contraction.

In the U.S, the Federal Reserve stayed on the sidelines, maintaining the benchmark rate. The rate statement noted that inflation pressures are muted and that the FOMC would remain patient regarding future rate movements. Fed Chair Jerome Powell reinforced this stance at a follow-up press conference, saying “we don’t see a strong case for moving in either direction”. The Fed is already on record as saying it does not expect to raise rates before 2020, and with inflation levels persistently below the Fed’s target of 2.0%, the Fed can afford to continue its wait-and-see stance.

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

  1. Ivey PMI: Tuesday, 14:00. The PMI improved to 54.3 in March, above the estimate of 51.4. This reading points to modest expansion. The indicator is projected to fall to 51.5 in April.
  2. Housing Starts: Wednesday, 12:15. Housing starts jumped to 193 thousand in March, up from 173 thousand a month earlier.
  3. Trade Balance: Thursday, 12:30. Canada continues to post trade deficits. There was an improvement in February, as the deficit dropped to 2.9 billion, lower than the forecast of 3.5 billion.
  4. Employment Data: Friday, 12:30. After starting 2019 with huge employment gains, 7.2 thousand jobs were lost in March. This event should be treated as a market-mover. The unemployment rate remained pegged at 5.8% for a third successive month.

* 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) was breached in resistance for the first time since March.

1.3385 was breached early in the week as the pair posted strong gains. 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

Canadian numbers continue to point to a slowdown, and the BoC 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 is likely to face further headwinds, although higher oil prices could limit the damage to the loonie.

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