USD/CAD: Trading the Canadian Ivey PMI Index Feb 2012


The Canadian Ivey PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) is an important leading indicator, based on a survey of purchasing managers from a range of sectors in the economy. As the PMI comes out at the beginning of each month, analysts and traders look closely at the index readings for any hint of a market trend. A reading which is higher than the market forecast is bullish for the Canadian dollar.

Here are all the details and 5 possible outcome for USD/CAD.

Published on Monday at 15:00 GMT.

Indicator Background

The PMI is based on a comprehensive survey of purchasing managers, who are surveyed about business conditions and their expectations as to how the economy will perform. A reading above 50 indicates that the economy is growing, while a figure below 50 signifies economic contraction.

The index has been rising steadily for the past two months, and recorded a reading of 63.5 in January. This was its highest reading since June 2011, and was well above the market forecast of 57.5. The markets are predicting that the index will drop to 57.8 this month. Will the index again surprise the markets with a strong reading?

Sentiment and technical levels

A stronger US economy means a greater appepetite for imports, which is good news for both the Canadian economy and the looney. As well, tension with Iran could lead to another spike in oil prices, which would help push up the Canadian dollar. So, the overall sentiment is bearish on USD/CAD prior to this release.

Technical levels, from top to bottom: 1.0143, 1.0070, 1.00, 0.99, 0.9830, 0.9780 and 0.9736.

5 Scenarios

  1. Within expectations: 59.5 to 67.5: In this case, USD/CAD may fluctuate slightly within range, with a small chance of breaking higher.
  2. Above expectations: 67.6 to 72.0: An unexpected higher reading can send the pair below one support level.
  3. Well above expectations: Above 72.0: The chances of such an outcome are low. Such a scenario would push USD/CAD downwards, and a second support level might be broken as a result.
  4. Below expectations: 55.0 to 59.4: A smaller than forecast gain would create pressure on the loonie and one resistance line could be broken.
  5. Well below expectations: Below 55.0 points: A very poor reading cannot be ruled out. In this case, USD/CAD could break two or more resistance lines.

For more about the Canadian dollar, see the USD/CAD forecast.

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About Author

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.

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