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The Canadian dollar  did not have an eventful week,  and was almost unchanged  at week’s end,  as USD/CAD closed just above the 1.11 line.  This week’s highlights are Manufacturing Sales, Core CPI and Core Retail Sales. Here is an outlook on the major events and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.

In the US, retail sales numbers met expectations, while Unemployment Claims dropped to a three-month low. There were no major events out of Canada last week.

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USD/CAD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:   AUDUSD Forecast Mar. 17-21

  1. Foreign Securities Purchases: Monday, 12:30. This event is linked to currency demand, as foreigners need Canadian dollars to purchase Canadian securities. The indicator lost ground in January, with a disappointing reading of -$4.28 billion. This was the first decline since July, and was nowhere near the estimate of +$9.97 billion. The markets are anticipating better news in January, with an estimate of +$3.24 billion.
  2. Manufacturing Sales: Tuesday, 12:30. This is the first key event in a busy week. The indicator sagged last month, posting a decline of 0.9%, its worst performance since May. The markets are expecting better news for February, with an estimate of 1.1%. Will the indicator meet or beat this rosy prediction?
  3. BOC Governor Stephen Poloz Speaks: Tuesday, 15:55. Poloz is scheduled to speak at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. Analysts will be listening carefully for any hints as to future monetary policy.
  4. Wholesale Sales: Wednesday, 12:30. Wholesale Sales is an important gauge of consumer spending, which is a critical component of economic growth. The indicator looked sluggish in January, coming in at -1.4%. This missed the estimate of -0.5%. The markets are anticipating a strong turnaround in February, with an estimate of 1.2%.
  5. Core CPI: Friday, 12:30. Core CPI is considered more reliable than the well-known CPI, since the former removes the most volatile items that can distort the trend. The index posted a modest gain of 0.2%, edging above the estimate of 0.1%. The forecast for February stands at 0.5%, which  would be the best reading we’ve seen in almost a year.
  6. Core Retail Sales:  Friday, 12:30. Core Retail Sales excludes automobile sales, which tend to be volatile and distort the trend. It is the primary gauge of consumer spending and can have a major impact on the movement of USD/CAD. The indicator looked awful in January, posting a decline of 1.4%. This fell well short of the estimate of 0.2%. February is expected to bear better news, with the estimate standing at 0.9%.
  7. CPI:  Friday, 12:30. CPI is an important gauge of consumer inflation and is carefully monitored by analysts. Inflation has been stubbornly low, and last month’s modest gain of 0.3% was the highest since last February. However, the markets are expecting an improvement in February, with the forecast standing at 0.6%.
  8. Retail Sales:  Friday, 12:30. Retail Sales had a January to forget, posting a decline of -1.8%. This was well short of the estimate of -0.5%. The markets are expecting an upswing in February, with an estimate of 0.8%.

*All times are GMT.


USD/CAD Technical Analysis

USD/CAD  started the week at 1.1090 and  touched a high of 1.1154.  The pair then retracted and dropped to a low of 1.1044, as support at  the round number of 1.10 (discussed last week)  held firm.  USD/CAD  closed the week at 1.1105.

Live chart of USD/CAD: [do action=”tradingviews” pair=”USDCAD” interval=”60″/]


Technical lines, from top to bottom:

We  begin  with resistance at 1.1617. This line  marked a high point for the pair in July 2009, at which time the Canadian dollar posted  a rally in which USD/CAD dipped below the 0.94 line.

1.1535 provided key support back in early 2007. It has been a resistance line since July 2009.

1.1369 fell in October 2008 as the US dollar posted  sharp gains, climbing as high as the 1.21 level.

1.1124 is the next line of resistance. The US dollar broke above this line before retracting. It begins the week as a weak resistance line which could see some further activity early in the week.

The key psychological barrier of 1.10  had a quiet week for a change.  It remained firm as the pair lost ground late last week and remains in place in a support role.

1.0945 continues to provide the pair with strong support.

1.0853 is the next support line. 1.0723 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.

The final support line for now is 1.0523.  It  was a peak back in November 2011 and has provided support since late November 2013.


I am bullish on USD/CAD

The Federal Reserve  will likely  trim QE this week and this vote of confidence in the US economy could give the greenback a lift. In Canada, the markets are expecting better news from CPI and retail sales releases, after a  lackluster January. If these releases fail to meet their estimates, the Canadian dollar could take a hit.

Further reading: