Canadian Dollar Fundamental Forecast: Neutral
- Canadian Dollar gained as relatively dovish Fed boosted stocks and crude oil prices
- Focus next week shifts to economic data with US-China trade deal pushed back for now
- Both local and US economic data may beat estimates, S&P 500 might struggle to rise
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The Canadian Dollar rose this past week as a relatively dovish Fed sunk the US Dollar, boosted stocks and crude oil prices. At home, the Loonie didn’t spend much time noticing a better-than-expected GDP report. Despite the beat in the YoY rate for November 2018 (1.7% versus 1.6% expected), growth was at its slowest in two years. The MoM one contracted 0.1% which was in-line with estimates.
Probabilities of a Bank of Canada hike simultaneously dropped after the cautious tone from the FOMC meeting. Overnight index swaps were pricing in a 15.9% chance of a BoC hike by July 2019, down from almost 40% confidence at the beginning of this past week. Yet, the Loonie still stood relatively strong, which speaks directly to what it was focusing in the interim: sentiment.
There has been a noticeably strong inverse correlation between USD/CAD and both the S&P 500 and crude oil since October. The latter two have spent most of January recovering as markets grew doubtful of a hawkish Federal Reserve and optimistic about a deal between the US and China to end the trade war. With an outcome on the latter being pushed back for the “near future”, the focus shifts to economic data.
After all, both the Fed and the BoC are quite data-dependent and arguably the most hawkish of the major central banks (albeit that has diminished somewhat as of late). Next week contains Canadian employment data. Economic statistics out of the country has been tending to outperform relative to economists’ expectations, opening the door to an upside surprise.
The same also holds true in the United States. As such, the first estimate of Q4 GDP and PCE core (the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation) may also surprise better. With that in mind, the Canadian Dollar fundamental forecast will look neutral. On a side note, the S&P 500 and market sentiment could be running out of room to keep rallying which may reverse gains in oil prices and bode ill for CAD down the road.
--- Written by Daniel Dubrovsky, Junior Currency Analyst for DailyFX.com
To contact Daniel, use the comments section below or @ddubrovskyFX on Twitter