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USD / CAD - Canadian Dollar awaiting jobs data

- Canada expected to gain 18,000 jobs.

- Better-than-expected UK data underpins GBP.

- US dollar opens lower-Gold and MXN outperform.

USDCAD: open 1.3684, overnight range 1.3672-1.3691, close 1.3679, WTI $79.85, Gold, $2372.82

The Canadian dollar rallied yesterday on the back of broad US dollar weakness sparked by the US weekly jobless claims data. Claims rose by 22,000 which was far higher than expected and renewed the Fed rate cut debate. However, the results are questionable as the rise in claims coincided with the annual NY city school spring break. Bus drivers and other school workers are allowed to claim benefits which may have skewed the data.

Furthermore, rate cut chatter seems rather premature. San Francisco Fed President and FOMC voter Mary Daly seems to think so .She said that “There’s considerable uncertainty about what the next few months of inflation will be and what we should do in response.” She went on to say that “It’s far too early to declare that the labor market is fragile or faltering,”

Canada’s job market is in focus. Employment is expected to rebound to an18,000 gain from last months 2,200 loss, while the unemployment rate rises to 6.2% from 6.1% The results should not derail Bank of Canada June rate cut expectations.

EURUSD inched higher in a 1.0772-1.0787 range supported by renewed hopes for more aggressive Fed rate cuts but recent Fed-speak and next Wednesday’s US inflation report will limit upside.

GBPUSD rallied from 1.2446 to 1.2528 after the Bank of England left rates unchanged and hinted that rate cuts were on the agenda. Today’s UK GDP report muddied the waters. The economy grew at 0.4% in March, well above the 0.1% expected and February’s GDP result was revised higher (0.2% from 0.1% m/m). Traders marginally downgraded June rate cut odds to 48% from 55% yesterday.

USDJPY traded sideways in a 155.26-155.79 range. Gains were capped by the slightly lower US 10-year Treasury yield to 4.445% from 4.56%). The Eco watchers survey was the weakest in 18 months. Current conditions dropped to 47.4 from 49.8 in March and the outlook index (future activity) dropped to 48.5 from 51.2 in March.

AUDUSD traded in a 0.6600-0.6623 range as prices consolidated Thursday’s rally. KPMG economists are forecasting progressively weaker economic growth throughout the year due to falling housing investment, inventories, and government fixed capital investment.

US Michigan Consumer sentiment is on tap.