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Many important events are lined for this week with BOC Business Outlook Survey, Ivey PMI, Building Permits and more. Here is an outlook on the market-movers ahead and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD, now on lower ground.

NDP Leader Jack Layton suggested raising corporate tax to 19.5% getting $5.9-billion in annual tax revenue, while cutting the small business rate to 9% from 11%, at a cost of $1-billion. The tax money will be used for job creation by giving incentives to employers for hiring new workers. Will his plan be accepted?

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

  1. BOC Business Outlook Survey: Monday, 14:30. Bank of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey Indicates Optimism thanks to continuing but modest growth. Credit conditions show continued improvement. However, growth is being restrained by strong competition and moderate demand. Because of these the Bank of Canada is expected to keep monetary conditions accommodative in the near term.
  2. Ivey PMI: Wednesday, 14:00. The Canadian PMI soared to 69.3 in February compared to 41.4 the prior month and the 47.9 estimated by analysts. The Ivey PMI is an important indicator of business conditions and the overall economic condition in Canada. A drop to 65.4 is expected now.
  3. Building Permits: Thursday, 12:30. The value of building permits fell in January by 5.1% to $5.4 billion way below the 0.5% rise expected and following 2.6% rise in the previous month. A decline in construction intentions both residential and non-residential were behind the fall. A rise of 3.2% is forecasted now.
  4. Employment Data: Friday, 11:00. Canadian employment change rose less-than-expected to a seasonally adjusted 15,100 in February following 69,200 in the preceding month. Analysts had expected Canadian employment change to rise 26,200 last month. The majority of the losses came in the business, building and other support services group. However all in all the last three months show improvement in the labor market. An increase to 32,400 in new jobs is expected with a decrease in Unemployment rate reaching 7.7%.
  5. Housing Starts: Friday, 12:15. Canadian housing starts grew by 6.6% to 181,900 units in February from 170,600 in January due to an increase of housing Starts in Ontario. Housing starts will continue to be positive in March. A small decrease to 180,000 is predicted now.

    *All times are GMT.

USD/CAD  Technical  Analysis

The beginning of the week wasn’t too good for the Canadian dollar, that temporarily breached the 0.98 line (discussed last week). But the pair quickly fell and after a struggle with 0.97, it broke to new 40 month lows, closing at 0.9630.

Looking up, the 0.97 now turns into important resistance. This veteran support line gave a good fight to the loonie, and is now rather far away. It’s followed by 0.98, another support line from the same period of time, that proved to be a strong line in recent weeks.

Higher above, we find 0.9930.  This is the 2010 low and it now works as strong resistance. The next minor resistance line is very close – 0.9977, another low from 2010.

The distinctive line of USD/CAD parity is also resistance, although after it was crossed many times, its significance is reduced.  Moving up, 1.0060 is the highest level in the past months and is a minor line of resistance up above parity.

Even higher is 1.0140, which worked as resistance in December and also as support in several occasions beforehand.  The last line on the upside for now is 1.0280 also served in both directions, taking the role of resistance in the last encounter.

Looking down, there aren’t too many lines down there. 0.96 is only minor support after working as a stepping stone during the big fall of USD/CAD in November 2007. It’s followed by the round number of 0.95.

The record 0.9056 line is still far in the horizon, but USD/CAD is moving lower steadily.

I remain bearish on USD/CAD.

Apart from the solid growth seen in Canada, the loonie also gets a boost from the improving labor market in the US. Also commodity prices support a stronger Canadian dollar. This advance of the loonie is slow, but persistent.

Another note, the Canadian dollar also advances against other currencies, with CAD/JPY being the big winner.

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