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USD/CAD Continues to Eye March Price Gap Ahead of Canada Employment

USD/CAD Continues to Eye March Price Gap Ahead of Canada Employment

David Song, Strategist

Canadian Dollar Talking Points

USD/CAD holds near the monthly low (1.3468) as the Bank of Canada (BoC) keeps the benchmark interest rate at the “effective lower bound of ¼ percent” in June, but the update to Canada’s Employment report may influence the exchange rate as the economy is expected to shed 500K jobs in May.

USD/CAD Continues to Eye March Price Gap Ahead of Canada Employment

USD/CAD extends the series of lower highs and lows from the start of the month as the BoC announces that the “Bank is reducing the frequency of its term repo operations to once per week, and its program to purchase bankers’ acceptances to bi-weekly operations.”

Image of BoC interest rate

The decision suggests the BoC led by Tiff Macklem will scale back the dovish forward guidance as the central bank emphasizes that “any further policy actions would be calibrated to provide the necessary degree of monetary policy accommodation required to achieve the inflation target.”

Image of DailyFX economic calendar for Canada

It remains to be seen if the update to Canada’s Employment report will influence the monetary policy outlook as the economy is expected to shed 500K jobs in May, while the jobless rate is projected to hit 15%, which would mark the highest reading since the data series began in 1976.

The ongoing deterioration in the labor market may put pressure on the BoC to further support the economy as “the level of real GDP in the second quarter will likely show a further decline of 10-20 percent,” but Governor Macklem and Co. may carry out a wait-and-see approach over the coming months as “the Bank expects the economy to resume growth in the third quarter.”

In turn, the BoC may continue to rule out a negative interest rate policy as “the Bank’s programs to improve market function are having their intended effect,” and the central bank may alter the forward guidance at the next meeting on July 15 as the “decisive and targeted fiscal actions, combined with lower interest rates, are buffering the impact of the shutdown.”

With that said, the Canadian Dollar may continue to outperform its US counterpart as the Federal Reserve prepares to have the Municipal Liquidity Facility along with the Main Street Lending Program up and running in June, and the pullback from the yearly high (1.4667) may continue to evolve as USD/CAD snaps the range bound price action from April.

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) highlights a similar dynamic as the indicator tracks the downward trend from May, but the bearish momentum may abate over the coming days as the oscillator struggles to push into oversold territory.

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USD/CAD Rate Daily Chart

Image of USD/CAD rate daily chart

Source: Trading View

  • Keep in mind, the near-term rally in USD/CAD emerged following the failed attempt to break/close belowthe Fibonacci overlap around 1.2950 (78.6% expansion) to 1.2980 (61.8% retracement), with the yearly opening range highlighting a similar dynamic as the exchange rate failed to test the 2019 low (1.2952) during the first full week of January.
  • The shift in USD/CAD behavior may persist in 2020 as the exchange rate breaks out of the range bound price action from the fourth quarter of 2019 and clears the October high (1.3383).
  • However, recent price action suggests the pullback from the yearly high (1.4667) will continue to evolve as USD/CAD takes out the April low (1.3850),and the exchange rate may continue to exhibit a bearish behavior in June as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) extends the downward trend from the previous month.
  • Will keep a close eye on the RSI as it flirts with oversold territory, but the bearish momentum may abate over the coming days if the oscillator fails to hold below 30.
  • Need a break/close below the Fibonacci overlap around 1.3440 (23.6% expansion) to 1.3460 (61.8% retracement) to fill the price gap from March, with the next area of interest coming in around 1.3290 (61.8% expansion) to 1.3320 (78.6% retracement).
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--- Written by David Song, Currency Strategist

Follow me on Twitter at @DavidJSong

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.