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Canadian Dollar Outlook: USD/CAD Looks Due for Pop in Volatility

Canadian Dollar Outlook: USD/CAD Looks Due for Pop in Volatility

2020-03-08 04:00:00
Paul Robinson, Strategist

Canadian Dollar Highlights:

  • USD/CAD breakout yet to gain a full head of steam
  • Volatility is low relative to other currencies, could change soon

USD/CAD breakout yet to gain a full head of steam

USD/CAD broke out last week above a key long-term threshold in the form of the 2016 trend-line, and is pressing on staying above the September high at 13382. The big-picture (weekly) chart has a solidly bullish tilt to it. It’s getting the ball rolling that is taking some time.

USD/CAD 3-month implied volatility is at 5.25, which is well below half of what it used to be back during 2016. By comparison to other currencies, even the euro which had been extremely sluggish has an implied vol approaching 7. The lag isn’t seen as lasting long, and with where price is situated it might not be long before we see a much larger move develop.

The channel off the December 31 low is helping keep the intermediate-term pointed higher. Levels to watch on further strength in the week ahead will be the May high at 13565, which is in confluence with a trend-line from May 2017. This might act as a ceiling temporarily, but if we are to see USD/CAD finally get going it might not last long.

Undermining the breakout will require a move back below the 2016 trend-line down near 13200. In the event this happens, then the breakout may have been false and perhaps the volatility expansion will come on the downside. At this time that is seen as a low probability scenario.

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USD/CAD Daily Chart (in breakout territory)


USD/CAD Chart by TradingView

USD/CAD Weekly Chart (macro move higher in the works)


USD/CAD Chart by TradingView

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---Written by Paul Robinson, Market Analyst

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