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USD/CAD Range Vulnerable to Fresh Fed Rhetoric, Slowing U.S. GDP

USD/CAD Range Vulnerable to Fresh Fed Rhetoric, Slowing U.S. GDP

David Song, Strategist
USD/CAD Range Vulnerable to Fresh Fed Rhetoric, Slowing U.S. GDPUSD/CAD Range Vulnerable to Fresh Fed Rhetoric, Slowing U.S. GDP

Fundamental Forecast for CAD: Neutral

The preliminary 4Q U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report may produce near-term headwinds for the greenback and spur a near-term decline in USD/CAD should the data print show a meaningful downward revision in the growth rate. Even though the advance print highlighted an annualized 0.7% rate of growth for the last three-months of 2015, the updated figures are expected to show the economy growing a marginal 0.4%, and the ongoing slack in private-sector activity may encourage the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to endorse a wait-and-see approach at the March 16 interest rate decision amid the uncertainty clouding the economic outlook.

With Fed Vice-Chair Stanley Fischer, Governor Jerome Powell and Governor Lael Brainard on tap to speak next week, the fresh batch of central bank rhetoric may also spur increased volatility in the exchange rate as market participants speculate the timing of the next rate-hike. However, the central banks officials may refrain from saying anything new as the FOMC is scheduled to release its updated forecasts next month, and a more of the same from the Fed officials may produce a limited market reaction ahead of the GDP report as USD/CAD retains the range-bound price action from earlier this month.

In turn, the failed attempt to test the opening monthly range may keep USD/CAD confined within 1.3638 to 1.4102 as market participants continue to weigh the next move by the FOMC, but the near-term holding pattern in the exchange rate may give way should the key event risks spark a material shift in the monetary policy outlook. - DS

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