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USD/CAD continued its range trading, and bounced off downtrend resistance. BOC Business Outlook Survey and Inflation data are the highlights of this week. Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD.

Last week, Canada’s trade deficit contracted to $1.3 billion in August amid a sharp drop in imports. Imports fell 3.1% to $38.8 billion while exports edged down 0.1% to $37.5  billion. Canada usually  posted a trade surplus up to the global recession in 2008, but this measure does not have a coherent value with clear indications.

Updates:USD/CAD  Manufacturing Sales and Foreign Securities Purchases will be released later on Tuesday. The markets are expecting both indicators  to post  better numbers than the previous release. The loonie is edging downwards, as USD/CAD was trading at 0.9847.

USD/CAD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:USD/CAD Forex Chart October 15 19 2012

  1. BOC Business Outlook Survey: Monday, 14:30. The BoC’s Business Outlook Survey conducted in July show Companies were less optimistic concerning sales growth for the next 12 months. Only 15% believed sales would pick up, 15% les than in April. Though investment plans remained the same at 24%. All in all, the Canadian economy is aiming at a modest growth pace over the medium term, with controlled inflation.
  2. Mark Carney speaks: Monday, 19:20. BOC Governor Mark Carney is due to speak inNanaimo. The speech will be followed by a press conference. Volatility could be expected.
  3. Foreign Securities Purchases: Tuesday, 12:30. Foreign Securities Purchases rebounded from the C$7.757 billion selloff of Canadian securities in July when foreign investors acquired C$6.671 billion Canadian securities in August. Canadian investors continued to increase holdings of foreign securities. Another rose to C$8.72 billion is expected.
  4. Manufacturing Sales: Tuesday, 12:30. Manufacturing sales dropped 1.5% in July after a downwardly revised fall of 0.8% in the preceding month. This was the third decrease in five months. The main declines occurred in production of transportation equipment, including aerospace products and motor vehicles. These weak figures suggest the growth forecast in the third quarter will fall short of the BOC’s prediction of a 2.3% expansion rate. A gain of 0.5% is expected this time.
  5. Wholesale Sales: Thursday, 12:30. Canadian wholesale sales unexpectedly declined by 0.6% in July following a 0.3% drop in June suggesting a slowdown across most sectors. The decline was lower than the 0.2% drop predicted by analysts. The largest drop in sales occurred in the food, beverage and tobacco. An increase of 0.2% is forecasted.
  6. Inflation data: Friday, 12:30. The Bank of Canada’s core Consumer Price Index, excluding volatile items, increased by 0.3% in August, in line with predictions, though 0.1% lower than the year to year rise of 1.7% in June. Meanwhile headline CPI increased 0.2%, missing expectations for a 0.4% increase, following a 0.1% decline in the preceding month. CPI is expected to grow by 0.3% while Core CPi is predicted to gain 0.4%.

* All times are GMT.

USD/CAD Technical Analysis

USD/C$ traded on low early in the week and then made an upwards move. It briefly breached the 0.9817 line (mentioned last week) before falling back under 0.98.

Technical lines, from top to bottom:

1.0066 was key support before parity. It’s strength during July 2012 was clearly seen and it gave a fight before surrendering. Now, it is somewhat weaker. 1.0030 is another line of defense before parity after capping the pair earlier in the year. The move below this line is not confirmed yet.

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.  Under parity, 0.9950 is now the top border of the range, similar to a role it played in March 2012. It also worked well as resistance in August 2012, in more than one occasion.

0.99, the round number capped the pair in May 2012, was a pivotal line in the middle of the range during the summer of 2012. It is backed by 0.9880.

0.9817 was a stubborn peak in September and is now significant resistance. It is a weaker line at the moment. Lower, 0.9725 worked as strong support back at the fall of 2011 and showed its strength once again in October 2012.

0.9667, which was another strong cushion in June 2011 is the next line.  The round number of 0.96 provided some support back in 2011 and is minor now.

Further below we find 0.9550, which worked as resistance when the pair traded in low ground. 0.9450 also provides some support on the way down.

The ultimate line of support is 0.9406, which was the bottom in 2011 and the lowest since the financial crisis broke out.

Downtrend Resistance

Since the middle of June, downtrend resistance caps the pair. The pair touched the line two times since then, including in October, thus making it significant resistance. Another attempt to get closer was seen in October 2012.

I am bearish on USD/CAD.

There is still room on the downside thanks to the  excellent Canadian jobs report  More support for the loonie came from the stabilization in oil prices, which rose after  three consecutive weeks of drops.  On the downside, fears about global growth take their toll.

 Further reading: