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USD/CAD  posted strong gains  at the end  of  the week, as the  pair  rose about 160 points last week.  There are only three releases this week, highlighted by Core Retail Sales. Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.

Canadian releases looked sluggish last week, and the Canadian dollar paid the price. Manufacturing Sales posted a decline, and Core CPI and CPI figures fell below their estimates. As well, Wholesale Sales missed the forecast. US releases were not strong last week, and Unemployment Claims was a disappointment. However, the week did end on a high note  as the UoM Consumer Sentiment rose sharply, posting a six-month high.

Updates: USD/CAD started the week trading steadily around 1.0280, as some financial centers in Europe as well as the Canadian market are closed. The US Federal Reserve is awaited.    USD/CAD continued dropping after the  not-enough hawkish statements from Evans, an FOMC member that didn’t make any QE-tapering statements. The pair fell to 1.0230. BOC Governor Mark Carney speaks in Montreal on Tuesday. The markets are waiting for Canadian Core Retail Sales and Retail Sales, which will be released on Wednesday. USD/CAD has edged higher, as the pair trades at 1.0277. Will USD/CAD muster enough momentum to push past the 1.03 line? Canadian retail  sales disappointed: they remained flat and core sales dropped by 0.2%. This sent USD/CAD a bit higher. And then came Bernanke.  Ben Bernanke triggered a big drama:    at first,  he stated that it would be premature to withdraw stimulus as this would hurt the recovery, and the USD dropped. However, when asked,  Bernanke mentioned that the Fed could taper, and the dollar rallied hard. USD/CAD dropped as low as 1.0250 and then climbed very quickly to 1.0340. Update: USD/CAD is at a nearly one year high, after breaking important downtrend resistance. The Canadian dollar couldn’t resist the greenback’s strength and USD/CAD crossed the peak of 1.0360. It is now trading at levels last seen in early June 2012. It also broke an important resistance line that exists since 2011. The markets are waiting for two key US releases later on Thursday – Unemployment Claims and Core Durable Goods Orders. USD/CAD has edged higher, trading at 1.0379. With the US dollar putting strong pressure on the loonie, we could see the 1.04 line fall shortly. Despite better than expected US jobless claims and even better new home sales, the dollar is falling, correcting previous gains. USD/CAD fell to support at 1.03, after failing to break 1.04. USD/CAD is on the rise again, after the dollar correction seems to be over. 1.0333 is the current level. US durable goods orders are eyed.

US durable goods orders come out better than expected. USD/CAD seems to be range bound between 1.03 and 1.0360.

USD/CAD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:  USD CAD Forecast May 20-24

  1. BOC Governor Mark Carney Speaks: Tuesday, 16:45. Governor Carney will be leaving the BOC and taking over as head of the BOE in July, so his remarks can affect the pound as well as the Canadian dollar. Carney will be addressing the Board of Trade in Montreal.
  2. Core Retail Sales: Wednesday, 12:30. This is the only market-mover release this week. This key indicator excludes automobile sales, which tend to be quite volatile, and are included in Retail Sales. The key indicator has looked good over the past two readings, posting gains of 0.5% in March and 0.7% in April. The estimate for the upcoming reading stands at just 0.2%. Will the indicator surprise the markets with another strong gain?
  3. Retail Sales: Wednesday, 12:30.  This important  indicator of consumer spending has  also looked sharp in recent readings, and rose 0.8% in the previous reading. The  markets are bracing for a substantial drop in the indicator, with a forecast of a  weak gain of 0.2%.

* All times are GMT


USD/CAD Technical Analysis

Dollar/CAD started the week  at 1.0122 and  touched a low of 1.0081, as support at 1.0050 (discussed last week) held firm.  The pair then shot higher, pushing above the 1.03 level as it reached a high of 1.0313. Dollar/CAD closed the week at 1.0281.

[do action=”tradingviews” pair=”USDCAD” interval=”60″/]

Technical lines, from top to bottom:

With USD/CAD making strong gains last week, we begin at higher levels. 1.0758 is a strong resistance line, which has held firm since  April 2010. 1.0652 has been providing resistance since early September 2010. This marked a peak as USD/CAD went on a steep slide, falling as low as the 95 line.

1.0523 was a peak back in November 2011 and is minor resistance. 1.0446 was the peak that the pair recorded in June 2012 and is a key line on the upside.

1.0340 was the peak during March 2013 and its position strengthens at the moment. Consequent rises failed to reach this line, and this could be a bearish sign. 1.0285 replaces the round 1.03 line – the pair found resistance at this line during April 2013. The pair  was testing this line as we wrapped up the week.

1.0250 was a peak before the pair moved below parity a long time ago, and worked as support quite well in March 2013. It is back in a support role, and could see more activity if the Canadian dollar rebounds. 1.0180 provided support for the pair during March, and is back in this role after this week’s strong gains by the US dollar.

1.0125 gave its support to the pair during April 2013 and remains important.  1.01 was a trough back in July, and switched to resistance afterwards. The line proved its strength several times in 2013.

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 the battle was very clear to see at the beginning of August 2012 and also in 2013. It is a clear separator.

0.9950 provided some support for the pair during November and worked as resistance earlier.  0.9910 remains the chart after serving as a bottom border for the pair in November 2012. It already managed to work as weak resistance in December 2012.

0.9880 showed that it is a clear separator in October 2012, and continues to provide strong support.

I  am  neutral  on USD/CAD

The US dollar has  shown broad strength against the major currencies, including the loonie, Canada’s weak inflation numbers underscore trouble in the Canadian economy, and further weak numbers will weigh on the Canadian currency. At the same time, the US economy is improving (at least in terms of jobs), and this is positive for Canada, which is heavily dependent on the US for its own economic well being. Also the  price of oil  supports the loonie.

 Further reading: