USD/CAD - Slow start Going into Easter Weekend

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It has been a slow start to what is a short week for most traders. Parts of Europe are closed Thursday for "Maundy Thursday”, and then a large swath of the Christian world closes for Good Friday.

FX markets looked like they would get off to "risk-seeking" start thanks to Wall Street’s equity market performance on Friday. The three major indices finished with gains, thanks to better than expected earnings reports from the likes of JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Last week’s better-than-expected China trade data helped to boost investor confidence and suggested that the global growth outlook is improving.

Even U.S. President Trump complaining about the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies didn’t derail sentiment. He tweeted "If the Fed had done its job properly, which it has not, the Stock Market would have been up 5000 to 10,000 additional points, and GDP would have been well over 4% instead of 3%...with almost no inflation. Quantitative tightening was a killer, should have done the exact opposite!” However, it wasn’t anything hadn’t already said before, so the tweet was ignored.

AUD/USD and NZD/USD traded sideways and opened in Toronto unchanged from Friday’s close. Aussie traders are awaiting the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia minutes from April 1. Traders are looking for insight into the direction of interest rates and the timing of a possible rate cut. Kiwi traders are looking ahead to Wednesday’s inflation report.

USD/JPY managed to hang on to most of last week’s gains. Prices traded inside a narrow 111.90-112.08 range and were supported by last week’s rally in US Treasury yields and by improved global growth prospects.

The European FX session was subdued. GBP/USD consolidated last weeks gains which occurred when the European Union grated the UK an extension to article 50. British politicians have until October 31 to determine if they even want Brexit and if so, how they go about satisfying all the parties concerned.

EUR/USD traded quietly in a $1.1300-20 range. Prices are weighed down my bearish technicals and the European Central Bank’s dovish policy stance which was reaffirmed by numerous officials last week. However, prices garnered a little support from the improved risk tone.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices have retraced all their gains since last Thursday, and they opened in Toronto at their overnight lows. Prices have come under pressure because of rising U.S. production and concerns that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries may not extend existing production cuts beyond June.

The Canadian dollar was largely ignored in Asia and Europe and prices traded in a narrow range.

The Bank of Canada’s quarterly Business Outlook Survey is released today. A positive outlook would give the Canadian dollar a lift.

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