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  • USD/CAD has ground to fresh multi-year lows in recent trade at 1.2910.
  • Spurring the move has been a fresh wave of USD weakness, driven by vaccine and US fiscal stimulus optimism.

USD/CAD is trading close to lows of the day in the 1.2910s. Indeed, the pair touched the 1.2910 level, meaning that it eked out fresh multi-year lows. USD/CAD closed out Wednesday FX trade 16 pips lower or down 0.13%.

USD/CAD price action dominated by bearish USD flows

USD/CAD was surprisingly immune to movements in the crude oil market on Wednesday; crude oil markets rallied at the start of the US trading session, with upside in part spurred by reports that OPEC+ have been making headway towards an agreement on output cuts, although the WTI has since backed off near-$46.00 per barrel highs and currently trades around $45.00.

Price action has largely been determined by USD flows, which were, in the end, bearish to the greenback (and pushed the Dollar Index as low as 91.00). A combination of US fiscal stimulus and vaccine optimism once again weighed on demand.

In terms of the latest vaccine news; CNN reported that the first US shipments of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine will be made as early as 15 December and Moderna’s vaccine could be shipped as soon as 22 December, subject to the FDA’s decision on the vaccines on 10 December. In the UK, the Pfizer vaccine has already received approval and people will be receiving shots as early as next week.

Meanwhile, regarding US stimulus talks; Senate Republicans and Democrats are still some way apart on stimulus, the former group preferring a package of just under $500B and the latter a package of around $1.3T. However, the Democrats said that a bipartisan proposal, valued at $900B would serve as a good basis for negotiation, indicating (perhaps) a greater appetite for compromise than they showed prior to the election. Whether the Republicans will be willing to reciprocate when it comes to compromising is another thing.

The combination of mass vaccination increasingly seeming like a near-term reality and the market’s perception of the chances for more US fiscal stimulus soon rising, risk appetite was understandably stoked on Wednesday, with US equities nudging back towards all-time highs from Asia session lows.

Meanwhile, ADP National Employment data missed expectations, showing the US economy adding 307K jobs in November (consensus was for 410K of jobs gains), boding poorly for official the NFP number on Friday. This comes after ISM manufacturing data on Tuesday showed manufacturing sector employment in contraction in November. If NFP data on Friday does end up disappointing, this will likely be a USD negative as markets will assume this raises the likelihood that the Fed will deliver further stimulus (perhaps forward guidance on its asset purchase programme or adjustments to the composition of purchases). In the meantime, the ISM services PMI’s employment subindex will be closely watched on Thursday.

USD/CAD continues south within bearish trend channel

USD/CAD’s near-term bias remains towards further downside given that the pair is trading within a bearish wedge. The trendline support of this wedge links the 16, 18 and 30 November lows, while the trendline resistance of this wedge links the 23, 24 and 30 November highs, as well as Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s highs.

Now that support in the 91.20s has gone, the most immediate area of support to watch out for is the psychological 1.2900 level. Below that, the next area of support goes right back to October 2018 low which sits just below the psychological 1.2800 level. Thus, if USD/CAD can crack below 1.2900, it will have a relatively open run at 1.2800.

To the upside, a break to the north of USD/CAD’s bearish wedge would open up the door to a test of the 30 November high at just above the psychological 1.3000 level, as well as resistance around the 1.3030s (the 25 November high and 18 November low).

USD/CAD four hour chart