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The Canadian dollar made significant gains and is only 28 pips away from parity, as the US dollar was on the retreat. Gross Domestic Product is the highlight of this week. Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.

Last week: Canadian retail sales rose less-than-expected in May gaining 0.3% amid larger sales volume and food purchases.   However May’s release came after   0.6% decline in April. Meanwhile Core sales excluding motor vehicle and parts climbed 0.5% beating expectations for a 0.1% gain. On the whole, these are good results which will hopefully contribute to the GDP this week.

Updates: The loonie has been creeping towards  the parity line, as  USD/CAD was trading at 1.0037.  Canadian GDP, a key indicator, will be released on Tuesday. USD/CAD is choppy, as the loonie moved closer to the parity line. The pair was trading at 1.0017. GDP came in with a very modest 0.1% gain, slightly below the estimate of 0.2%. Manufacturing Indexes were a big disappointment. RMPI sagged by 4%, surprising the markets, which had forecast a much more moderate decline of 1.5%. This was the sharpest decline in over one year. IPPI was also well below the market forecast of 0.6%, posting a 0.3% decline. This was the first reading in negative territory since January. USD/CAD remains steady, trading at 1.0018. After trading in the 1.0050 range, the loonie has edged downwards. USD/CAD was trading at 1.0029.

USD/CAD  daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:USD/CAD Forex Chart July 30 August 3 2012

Let’s Start

  1. GDP: Tuesday, 12:30.The Canadian expanded 0.3% in April following a 0.1% gain in March, amid rising production. Economists predicted a slower growth of 0.2%. The mining and oil and gas extraction sector grew 2.7%, mining excluding oil and gas extraction, jumped 3.1%, wholesale transportation and warehousing services also contributed to this rise. An expansion rate of 0.2 is predicted this time.
  2. RMPI  / IPPI: Tuesday, 12:30. In May, the Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI) remained unchanged in April as price increases for automobiles, lumber and other wood products were offset by sharp decline in petroleum and coal products. The Raw Materials Price Index (RMPI) dropped 1.0%, mainly due to lower prices for crude oil following a 2.05 decline in the previous month. IPPI is expected to rise 0.6% while RMPI is predicted to grow by 1.7%.

* All times are GMT.

USD/CAD  Technical  Analysis

Dollar/C$ started the week with a move upwards, conquering the 1.02 line  (discussed  last week)  for a short time. This didn’t last and the pair then descended and fell down to 1.0028. The break of the 1.0030 line  is not confirmed yet.

Technical lines, from top to bottom:

1.0750 was the peak of ranges several times in the past few years, and is a very important line. 1.0660 was last seen in September 2011, but this line was also a long running swing high several times beforehand.

1.0523 was a peak back in November and is minor resistance. 1.0460 capped the pair in June 2012 and also had a minor role in the past. It is now high resistance.

1.0360 was a pivotal line in June 2012 and is now significant resistance. It proved its strength in June 2012. The round number of 1.03 was resistance at the beginning of the year and now returns to this role. It worked perfectly well during June – over and over again, until finally being run through.

1.0245 served as a separator for the move up when the pair rallied in May 2010 and regains some strength now, thanks to capping the pair in July 2012, twice during this month The round figure of 1.02 was a cushion when the pair dropped in November, and also the 2009 trough. It remains a distinct separator after working as such in July.

1.0150 was a swing low in September and worked as resistance several times afterwards. It was challenged in June 2012. and served as a separator in July 2012. This line is somewhat weaker at the moment.

1.0066 was key support before parity. It’s strength during July 2012 was clearly seen and it gave a fight before surrendering. 1.0030 is another line of defense before parity after capping the pair earlier in the year. The move below this line is not confirmed yet.

The very round number of USD/CAD parity is a clear line of course, and the battle is renewed after the recent climb.  Under parity, we meet another pivotal line at 0.9950. It served as a top border to range trading in March 2012 and later as a line in the middle of the range.

0.99, the round number is now present on the graph after capping the pair in May 2012.  0.9840 provided support for the pair during September and was reduced to a minor line now.

Lower, 0.9725 worked as strong support back at the fall of 2011. The last line for now is 0.9667, which was another strong cushion in the past.

Downtrend Channel

As you can see on the graph, the pair is trading in a downwards channel that began at the beginning of June. Downtrend support is more significant than downtrend resistance. It’s important to note that the pair is close to support now.

I remain bearish on USD/CAD.

This is a very interesting week: no QE3 in the US could help the US dollar, while a strong move from Draghi in Europe could help the Canadian dollar. The tipping point in favor of the C$ is the GDP figure, which will likely show that Canada is outperforming.

Further reading: