The Canadian dollar is steady on Friday in what should be a busy day. In the European session, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3670, down 0.12%. Canada releases the August job report later today, with the markets braced for a decrease of 6,400 in employment.
The US dollar has been on a tear against the major currencies since mid-July. The Canadian dollar has slumped, losing about 450 basis points during that span. The Canadian economy hasn’t been able to keep pace with its southern neighbor, and that was made painfully clear as GDP contracted by 0.2% in the second quarter, below expectations.
The deterioration in economic growth is a result of a weak global economy as well as the Bank of Canada’s steep tightening cycle. After back-t0-back increases, the BoC opted to pause at this week’s meeting and held the benchmark cash rate at 5.0%. Governor Macklem likes to use the term “conditional pause”, which means that a break from rate hikes will depend on economic growth and inflation levels.
At this week’s meeting, the BoC’s rate statement was hawkish, warning that inflation was too high and not falling fast enough. This was a signal that the door remained open to interest rate increases. Macklem was more explicit on Thursday, stating that further rate hikes might be needed to lower inflation and warning that persistently high inflation would be worse than high borrowing costs.
The markets are more dovish about the BoC’s rate path, given that the economy is cooling and the central bank will be wary about too much tightening which could tip the economy into a recession. The markets have priced in a 14% probability of a rate hike at the October meeting.
- USD/CAD is testing resistance at 1.3657. The next resistance line is 1.3721
- 1.3573 and 1.3509 are providing support