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USD/CAD - Canadian Dollar Slide Continues After Weak GDP

Mar. 05, 2018 9:18 AM ETUUP, UDN, FXC
Dean Popplewell profile picture
Dean Popplewell

By Kenny Fisher

The Canadian dollar has posted losses in the Monday session. Early in the North American session, USD/CAD is trading at 1.2959, up 0.58% on the day. On the release front, there are no Canadian events. In the US, today's key indicator is Non-Manufacturing PMI, which is expected to dip to 58.9 points. On Tuesday, Canada releases Ivey PMI.

Canada's economy slowed down in January, as GDP posted a weak gain of 0.1%, matching the estimate. On an annualized basis, growth in the fourth quarter was 1.7%, considerably lower than the Bank of Canada's most recent projection of 2.5%. With the Fed expected to raise rates up to four times in 2018, the BoC will be pressed to match rate hikes with its southern neighbor, or risk having the Canadian currency head lower. Currently, the BoC is projecting only two rate hikes in 2018. Strong growth has propelled the BoC to raise rates three times since July, but there are some factors weighing against a rate hike before May. First, fourth quarter expansion may fall short of the BoC's forecast of 2.5%. As well, the future of NAFTA remains unclear, as negotiations between Canada, Mexico and the US have floundered. If the US decides to pull out of NAFTA, the repercussions on the Canadian economy could be significant, and the BoC will have to delay any plans to raise rates.

Canadian policymakers continue to look with growing alarm at protectionist moves by the Trump administration. Negotiations on NAFTA have not shown much progress, as a seventh and final round of talks are underway in Mexico City. As if the headache of a possible blowup of NAFTA wasn't bad enough, the Canadian government now has to deal with the stiff imports that President Trump is set to apply to steel and aluminum imports. With

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Dean Popplewell profile picture
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.

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