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USD/CAD  pushed higher last week, climbing over one cent. The pair crossed above the 1.04 line late in the week before closing at 1.0387. The upcoming week has five key releases, including Building Permits and Employment Change. Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.

US employment numbers were mixed   last week, but the greenback showed some broad strength with positive GDP and manufacturing numbers. Canadian GDP met expectations but was tepid, with a small gain of 0.2%.

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

  1. Trade Balance: Tuesday, 12:30. The first release of the week is a key event and could affect the direction of USD/CAD. Canada continues to post small monthly deficits, with the previous release coming in at -0.3 billion dollars.  This trend is expected to continue, as the  August estimate stands at -0.5 billion dollars.
  2. Building Permits: Wednesday, 12:30. This indicator has showed sharp fluctuations, resulting in market estimates which have often been well off the mark. The indicator has posted gains since March, indicating growth in the Canadian construction sector. The markets are expecting a solid reading in August, with an estimate of a 6.2% gain.
  3. Ivey PMI: Wednesday, 14:00. This major index has been above the 50-point level throughout 2013, indicating expansion. However, the previous release dropped  from  63.1 to  55.3 points and missed the estimate of 59.6.  Little change is expected in the upcoming release, with an estimate of  56.3 points.
  4. NHPI: Thursday, 12:30. New Housing Price Index provides a snapshot of activity in the housing industry. The housing inflation index has  posted very slight gains in recent months and recorded a rise of 0.1% in July. This fell short of the estimate of 0.3%. The markets are expecting a rise of 0.3 in the August release, which would be the sharpest gain since July 2012.
  5. Housing Starts: Friday, 12:15. Housing Starts have looked sharp, with the past two readings hitting 200 thousand. These figures handily beat the estimates both times. The markets are expecting a lower reading this time around, with an estimate of 193 thousand. Will the estimate again surprise the markets and surpass the forecast?
  6. Employment Change:  Friday, 12:30. Employment Change has pointed in all directions. After a superb release in June, the indicator remained almost unchanged in July, with a negligible decrease of -0.4 thousand. However, this beat the estimate of -4.2 thousand. The markets are expecting a stronger reading this time around, with an estimate of 6.2 thousand. The Unemployment Rate will  be released at the same time. This indicator has been very steady and the estimate stands at 7.1%, unchanged from last month.

* All times are GMT

USD/CAD Technical Analysis

USD/CAD opened the week at 1.0270 and dropped to a low of 1.0245, breaking through support at 1.0250 (discussed last week). The pair then  climbed above the 1.04 line, touching a high of 1.0402. USD/CAD closed the week at  1.0387.

Live chart of USD/CAD:

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Technical lines, from top to bottom:

We  begin  with resistance at 1.0853. This line  has remained intact  since September 2009.

1.0705 saw a lot of action in  January 2010, but  has quietly provided strong resistance since that time. 1.0652 has been providing resistance since early September 2010.

1.0523 was a peak back in November 2011. It has provided strong resistance since July.

1.0446 was a cap in mid-July. It could see more pressure if the Canadian dollar  continues to lose ground.

1.0340 has reverted to a support role. It is a weak line and could see action early next week.

1.0250 worked as support quite well in March 2013. This line came under strong pressure this week but has some breathing room with USD/CAD climbing to higher levels.

1.0180 provided support for the pair during March, and saw a lot of activity in the first half of June.

The round number of 1.01 was a trough back in July 2012 and switched to resistance afterwards. The line proved its strength several times in 2013, most recently in mid-May.

1.0050 provided support for the pair in May 2013 and in other occasions beforehand. It remains a barrier before parity. The very round number of USD/CAD parity is a clear line of course, and has provided support since mid-February.

0.9910 was last tested in January, which marked the start of a strong US dollar rally which saw USD/CAD climb to the mid-1.03 range.

The final support line for now is at the round number of 0.9800. It marked a low point of a rally by the US dollar in April 2012, and has remained in place since October.

I  am  bullish  on USD/CAD

The US dollar showed some broad strength, as US GDP and manufacturing numbers looked sharp last week. The US economy appears on the right track, but the Canadian economy is having more trouble. The loonie has held its own for quite some time, but last week’s losses could be the start of a rally by the US currency.

Further reading: