The Canadian dollar continues to show little movement, as USD/CAD edged lower this week, closing at 1.0843. This week has a host of key releases, highlighted by Building Permits and Employment Change. Here is an outlook on the major events and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.
US Unemployment Claims bounced back with a strong release, and consumer confidence continues to trade at high levels. However, GDP surprised the markets with a sharp contraction in Q1. Canadian growth was sluggish, as GDP posted a small gain.Updates:
- Trade Balance: Wednesday, 12:30. This indicator is directly linked to currency demand, as foreigners must purchase Canadian dollars in order to pay for exported goods. In April, the indicator slipped to $+0.1 billion, well off the estimate of $+0.4 billion. The markets are expecting the downturn to continue, with the May estimate standing at $-0.2 billion.
- BOC Rate Statement: Wednesday, 14:00. The Bank of Canada will release its overnight rate in a statement on Wednesday. The rate has been pegged at 1.00% for almost four years, and with low inflation and weak economic growth, it’s a fairly safe bet that the BOC will not make any changes this month to the benchmark interest rate.
- Building Permits: Thursday, 12:30. Building Permits shows strong volatility, resulting in estimates that are often off the mark. In April, the indicator posted a second straight decline, coming in at -3.0%. This was way off the estimate of +3.9%. The markets are expecting at turnaround in May, with an estimate of 1.4%. Will the indicator surprise the markets and beat the forecast?
- Ivey PMI: Thursday, 14:00. The indicator has been hovering in the mid-50 range throughout 2014, indicating solid expansion, as the 50-point level separates contraction from expansion. The April reading came in at 54.1 points, and the markets are counting on good news for the May release, with the estimate standing at 58.6 points. If the indicator can meet or beat the estimate, we could see the Canadian dollar gain some ground.
- Employment Change: Friday, 12:30. Employment Change is one of the most important economic indicators and can have a major impact on the movement of USD/CAD. The indicator looked awful last month, coming in at -28.9 thousand. This was far short of the estimate of 12.8 thousand. The markets are expecting better news in May, with an estimate of 12.3 thousand. Will the indicator follow suit with a strong release? The unemployment rate has been dropping in 2014, with the past two readings at 6.9%. No change is expected in the upcoming release.
- Labor Productivity: Friday, 12:30. Labor Productivity is released every quarter. The indicator surprised the markets last month, posting a strong gain of 1.0%, its sharpest increase since March 2010. This beat the estimate of 0.6%. The estimate for the May release stands at 0.7%.
USD/CAD Technical Analysis
USD/CAD opened the week at 1.0871 and touched a high of 1.0886, as resistance at 1.0945 (discussed last week) remained intact. The pair then retracted to a low of 1.0822, as support at 1.0815 held firm.
Live chart of USD/CAD:
Technical lines, from top to bottom:
We begin with resistance at 1.1369. This line was breached in October 2008 as the US dollar posted sharp gains, climbing as high as the 1.21 level. This line has remained steady since July 2009.
1.1124 remains a strong resistance line. It has held firm since late March.
The psychological barrier of 1.10 saw a lot of action in April and has strengthened as a strong resistance line.
1.0945 held firm as USD/CAD was unable to move into 1.09 territory.
1.0815 remained in place in a support role as the pair dropped slightly late in the week. It is a weak line and could see action early in the week.
1.0737 was a cap in mid-2010, before the US dollar tumbled and dropped all the way into 0.93 territory.
1.0660 saw a lot of activity in the second half of December and continues to provide strong support.
1.0526 has been a strong support line since late November.
1.0422 is the final support level for now. It was a key support line in mid-November.
I am bullish on USD/CAD
US numbers have been generally positive, with some bumps along the way. Unemployment Claims looked strong in the past release, and if Nonfarm Payrolls continues to improve, the US dollar could tag along for the ride and post gains.
- For a broad view of all the week’s major events worldwide, read the USD outlook.
- For EUR/USD, check out the Euro to Dollar forecast.
- For the Japanese yen, read the USD/JPY forecast.
- For GBP/USD (cable), look into the British Pound forecast.
- For the Australian dollar (Aussie), check out the AUD to USD forecast.
- USD/CAD (loonie), check out the Canadian dollar.