USD/CAD - Canadian Dollar Consolidating Quietly

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The Canadian dollar is consolidating last week’s gains in a quiet start to the week. The currency benefited from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s dovish testimony to the U.S. Congress. The combination of Powell’s remarks and the minutes of the June 19 Federal Open Market Committee meeting reinforced market sentiment that not only were U.S. rates being cut on July 31, but another rate cut may follow, as early as September.

President Trump has been a vocal critic of Powell and the Fed’s monetary policy. The President may be trying to neutralize Powell by his nomination of two dovish candidates to the Fed board. Dovish Fed concerns led to widespread U.S. dollar selling last week, and the greenback is modestly softer in early Toronto trading this morning.

In Asia, a slate of China economic reports gave AUD/USD and NZD/USD a boost. China Q2 Gross Domestic Product rose 1.6% q/q, surpassing expectations for a 1.5% gain, and June Retail Sales rose 9.8%, compared to 8.3% which was predicted. However, Producer and Import Prices were down 0.5%, slightly tarnishing the day’s data.

USD/JPY was confined to a tight 107.81-108.10 range as Japan was closed for a holiday. Prices were undermined by a modest retreat in U.S. Treasury yields.

EURUSD hovered around major resistance in the $1.1270 area. Traders are torn between buying the single currency because of the dovish Fed outlook and selling it due to fears of renewed monetary easing by the European Central Bank. Traders are also concerned about how the U.S. will respond to Turkey (a NATO member) purchasing a missile system from Russia.

GBP/USD rallied last week after failing to break support at $1.2440. However, that rally has stalled under the weight of ongoing “no-deal Brexit” concerns. The outlook is muddled due to leadership changes in the European Union and the U.K.

Traders are keeping a close eye on European Union efforts to save the Iran nuclear deal. The United States unilaterally revoked the deal after accusing Iran of treaty violations, which Iran denied. Iran has suggested it would resume complying with the original terms if it can continue to sell its oil on the global market. Traders fear that the negotiations could go "pear-shaped" triggering an oil crisis and shift into safe-haven currencies.

Iran/U.S. tensions have underpinned oil prices. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is trading in Toronto at $60.36/barrel, just below its overnight peak. Prices got an added boost from supply disruption concerns stemming from Tropical Storm Barry which shut down several US drilling rigs.
The U.S. and Canadian data calendars are empty today. Canadian dollar price action will be dictated by broad U.S. dollar and WTI price moves.

Rahim Madhavji is the President of KnightsbridgeFX.com, a Canadian currency exchange that provides better rates than the banks to Canadians
Learn how KnightsbridgeFX can help you save up to 2% when buying or selling US dollars compared to your Canadian bank’s rates – click here to compare bank rates