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Canadian Dollar to Face 4Q GDP, Bank of Canada Rate Decision

Canadian Dollar to Face 4Q GDP, Bank of Canada Rate Decision

2010-02-26 23:48:00
David Song, Currency Strategist
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A Bloomberg News survey shows all seven of the economists polled anticipate the BoC to keep rates steady in March as policy makers aim to encourage a sustainable recovery, while investors are pricing a zero percent chance for a rate hike according to Credit Suisse overnight index swaps as Governor Mark Carney pledges to hold borrowing costs at the record-low throughout the first-half of the year. However, market participants expect the central bank to normalize policy this year and speculate Mr. Carney to announce a further reduction of its emergency lending program next week as Deputy Governor David Longworth sees financial conditions improving “significantly.” As a result, if the central bank increases its willingness to remove its unprecedented measures at a faster pace and sees scope to hike rates later this year, hawkish comments following the rate decision would certainly drive the Canadian dollar higher as investors weigh the outlook for future policy.

Nevertheless, as the USD/CAD maintains the broad range carried over from the previous year, we may see the pair continue to trend sideways over the following week if the BoC maintains its pledge to keep rates low over the coming months. At the same time, Governor Carney held a weakened outlook for long-term growth during a speech earlier this month and said the “new normal” for real growth is likely to average 2.0%, and the comment suggests that the interest rate will certainly not rise to pre-crisis levels over the medium-term as productivity “has been relatively disappointing in recent years.” - DS

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