USD/CAD Outlook May 14-18

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The Canadian dollar surrendered to the might of the greenback for a second week in a row. Will the strong Canadian jobs help the loonie withstand the storm? Inflation data and the G8 meetings are the major events this week. Here’s an outlook for the Canadian events and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.

Canada gained 58.2K jobs, most of them full time jobs, while seeing an expansion in the participation rate. These splendid news joined positive housing data, which was surprisingly good last week with a surge of 4.7% in Building Permits during March, while housing starts for April also improved with an upbeat pace rising to 244,900 units in April, from 214,800 units in March, Will the Canadian housing market help boost Canadian economy?

Updates: The strong employment numbers last week couldn’t keep the loonie below the parity level, as USD/CAD moved up, trading at 1..0014. The next release is Manufacturing Production, on Wednesday. The pair is unchanged, trading at 1.0009. We could see some movement following the release of US CPI and Retail Sales data later on Tuesday. The loonie lost ground, as the unstable situation in Greece and weaker oil prices are weighing on the currency. USD/CAD is on the rise, and was trading at 1.0091. The markets are waiting for the release of Manufacturing Sales later on Wednesday. Manufacturing Sales sparkled, jumping 1.9%. The markets had predicted a modest increase of 0.4%. The good news didn’t help the loonie, however, as USD/CAD continued to push upwards. The pair was trading at 1.0143, its highest level since late January. There are several more releases this week, with the most important being Core CPI, which will be released on Friday.

USD/CAD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:USD/CAD Chart May 14 18 2012

  1. Manufacturing Sales: Wednesday, 12:30. Canadian manufacturing sales dropped 0.3% in February amid weakness in the automobile industry. This reading was in line with prediction following a 1.3% decline in January. Overall, sales fell in 11 of 21 industries equal 64% of manufacturing. 0.5%
  2. Foreign Securities Purchases: Thursday, 12:30.  Foreign investors increased their purchases of Canadian securities in February after a brief slowdown in January. Total foreign investment surged to C$12.5 billion ($12.5 billion) from a divestment of C$4.3 billion in January, the biggest monthly purchase of bonds since May 2010. Foreign Securities Purchases is expected to reach C$9.34 billion.
  3. Wholesale Sales: Thursday, 12:30. Wholesale sales jumped 1.6% in February to $48.5 billion, after a 1.1% drop in January. Analysts predicted a drop of 0.1%. The biggest rise occurred in the automobile industry where sales rose 2.7%. An increase of 0.4% is expected now.
  4. BOC Review: Thursday, 14:30. In its last review in February, the Bank of Canada warned again about the increase in household debt rising since 2000. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty also warned Canadians they will pay higher borrowing costs in the future. The housing market surge has moderated due to higher borrowing costs.
  5. Inflation data: Friday, 12:30.Canada’s inflation increased less than predicted  in March due to slower price pressures for food and energy. CPI increased by 0.4% following the same rise in the previous month. Economists expected CPI to rise 0.5%. Meanwhile, Core CPI increased 0.3% following 0.4% gain in February in line with expectations. This sift rise was caused by lower electricity prices. Both CPI and Core CPI are expected to gain 0.3%.
  6.  G8 Meetings: Fri.-Sat. President Obama will host the 2012 G8 Summit at Camp David from May 18-19. The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum comprised of the eight of the world’s most industrialized nations, aimed discuss key topics and provide solutions for global issues. The G8 includes Canada,France,Germany,Italy,Japan,Russia, theUnited Kingdom and theUnited States. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will represent Russia at the G8 summit instead of PresidentVladimir Putin who is required to finalize appointments to his cabinet in Russia.

* All times are GMT.

USD/CAD Technical Analysis

$/C$ started the week with a confirmation of the break above the 0.9950 line (mentioned last week). It then moved forward and reconquered parity. It stopped around the 1.0050 line, before falling and closing at 1.0001 – almost perfect parity.

Technical lines, from top to bottom:

We start from a higher point this time. 1.0423 is the high line that capped the pair towards the end of 2011 and remains far in the distance. The round number of 1.03 was resistance at the beginning of the year.

1.0263 is the peak of surges during the last quarter of 2011, but was damaged after the move higher. It’s far at the moment. The round figure of 1.02 was a cushion when the pair dropped in November, and also the 2009 trough. It is weaker now but remains pivotal.

1.0143 was a swing low in September and worked as resistance several times afterwards. In the battle lines around parity, 1.0050 was tough resistance in April 2012 and also in May. Very close by, 1.0030 capped the pair twice in March 2012 but is weaker now after working only temporarily in May.

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.

The round number of 0.98 is key support that was tested twice during the downfall. It’s strong. The next line is 0.9736, which provided support during August 2011.

The veteran 0.9667 line worked as support at the beginning of 2011 and then for several months during the spring. It is a very clear and strong line on the chart.

I remain bearish on USD/CAD.

A second consecutive month of impressive job gains certainly supports the loonie. In addition, the stability of the US economy is also critical for Canadian demand. As long as oil doesn’t fall too much, there’s room for more gains for the Canadian dollar.

Further reading:

Get the 5 most predictable currency pairs

About Author

Anat Dror – Senior Writer

I conceptualize, design and create multi-lingual websites. Apart from the technical work, my projects usually consist of writing content for these sites in English, French and Hebrew.

In the past, I have built, managed and marketed an e-learning center for language studies, including moderating a live community of students.

I’ve also worked as a community organizer