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A combination of GDP, a rate decision and employment figures promise an exciting week for the Canadian dollar. Here’s an outlook for the Canadian events and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.

USD/CAD graph with support and resistance lines marked. Click to enlarge:

canadian dollar forecast

An improvement in the current account and the temporary relief that the markets felt on Thursday helped the loonie recover from new lows. This week, it’ll be mostly about Canadian figures. Let’s start:

  1. GDP: Published on Monday at 12:30 GMT. After a few strong months, especially a strong growth rate in Q4, Canada’s monthly GDP rose by only 0.3% last month, disappointing the markets. A return to stronger growth is expected now – 0.5%. This figure is for March, thus completing the data for the first quarter. The loonie will shake around this release.
  2. RMPI: Published on Monday at 12:30 GMT and overshadowed by the GDP release. Canada’s oil export is a significant part of the country’s economy. Prices of raw materials are expected to rise b 1.1%, stronger than last month. Note that the data relates to April. The drop in oil prices will be reflected in the next release.
  3. Rate decision: Published on Tuesday at 13:00 GMT. Mark Carney made it clear last month – the interest rate is going to rise. The big question is if it will happen now, or in the next decision due on July 20th. On one hand, the recent drop in the Canadian dollar’s value make it easier for the BOC to raise the rates now. On the other hand, the recent turmoil might make it a bad timing. Any decision, whether its a rise to 0.5% or an unchanged value of 0.25%, will rock the loonie. It’s also important to note the BOC Rate Statement concerning future moves. This will provide a forecast for future moves.
  4. Employment data: Published on Friday at 11:00 GMT. After a whopping rise of 108,700 jobs last month, more than 4 times the early expectations, a modest rise is expected this time – 20,700, similar to job gains in previous months. In the past, huge leaps boosted the loonie, but now the trend is different, and a disappointment can send it way down. The unemployment rate also exceeded expectations last month, dropping to 8.1%. Another drop to 8% is expected now. An unchanged value won’t be too bad.
  5. Building Permits: Published on Friday at 12:30 GMT. This figure is slightly overshadowed by the American release of the Non-Farm Payrolls. Also here, a big leap was seen last month – 12.2%. This corrected 4 straight months of drops. A correction in the other direction is predicted now – a drop of 1.6%.
  6. Ivey PMI: Published on Friday at 14:00 GMT. This important  gauge  from the Richard Ivey Business School closes the week. The past two months saw positive surprises, with the index reaching 58.7 points. Economists forecast another rise to 59.6 points, but the global trouble, could make the 175 purchasing mangers more cautious this time. A drop won’t be a surprise.

USD/CAD Technical Analysis

The pair began the week with strong action – it rose and stopped at the 1.0850 resistance line – the highest levels in 6 months. The loonie then recovered going under the important 1.0750 line, and after aiming for 1.04, it closed just under 1.0550.

USD/CAD now trades between 1.0550, which is a minor resistance line that played a role in recent weeks, and the strong support line of 1.04, which had a role both as a support line and as a resistance line many times in recent months. Note that some lines have been modified since last week’s outlook.

Looking down, the next line of support under 1.04 is 1.02 – this was the 2009 low, and it also played an important role in April – when USD/CAD broke under it, the road to parity was open. Below, the ultimate line is parity. There are further support lines on the road, but they’re too far now.

Looking up, 1.0750, which was the top border of a long-term range, is still a strong resistance line. It’s break in the past week was temporary. The next line, 1.0850, proved to be valid, as it stopped the upwards movement now.

Even higher, 1.1130 worked several times as a resistance line, and will come in handy if the pair jumps above 1.0850. The next line is 1.1470, but that’s to far now.

I continue being bearish on USD/CAD.

As tensions eased in Europe, the Canadian dollar re-enjoyed its good fundamentals. This week, major Canadian events should give it another boost, perhaps opening the road to USD/CAD parity once again.

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