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4 June 2024 | FXGT.com

Anticipation Builds for Bank of Canada Rate Cut

USD/CAD in Sideways Consolidation: The USD/CAD pair is in focus after reversing a three-day decline. Despite trading in a consolidation pattern since May, the pair has strengthened to near $1.37 on Tuesday. This shift comes amid weak manufacturing data from both Canada and the US. Additionally, falling oil prices weighed heavily on the CAD, given Canada’s role as a major oil exporter to the US.

Critical Week Ahead: This week is crucial, with two key events grabbing the spotlight: the Bank of Canada’s (BoC) interest rate decision on Wednesday and the release of US Nonfarm Payrolls data on Friday. The events will significantly impact the value of both currencies, ultimately influencing the exchange rate.

Central Bank Divergence: A key factor driving momentum in USD/CAD is the expected divergence in central bank policy. With the BoC widely expected to cut interest rates on Wednesday, while the Fed is expected to hold rates steady, this difference in monetary policy could strengthen the USD relative to the CAD.

BOC Rate Cut Expected: Economists widely anticipate the BoC to reduce interest rates for the first time in years. This move aims to stimulate a slowing Canadian economy, supported by recent data showing declining inflation, increased unemployment, and a GDP growth slowdown. Investors will be keenly watching the BoC’s decision and any guidance on future rate cuts beyond June. A surprise decision to hold rates could temporarily strengthen the CAD, but further cuts remain likely in the future.

Canada’s Cooling Economy: The BoC’s expected rate cut is backed by recent economic data in Canada. Core inflation has fallen significantly, dropping to 1.6% in April from a peak of 6.2% in 2022. Additionally, economic growth reported at 0.4% in Q1 2024, indicating a cooling economy that could benefit from looser monetary policy.

US Manufacturing Contraction: The US Dollar has recently weakened against most major currencies, pressured by a contraction in US manufacturing activity and speculation of Federal Reserve rate cuts. Investors are now looking ahead to Wednesday’s US Services PMI data for further clues on the US economy’s health.

US Jobs Report: Friday’s Nonfarm Payrolls report is a crucial data point for the USD. A stronger-than-expected jobs report could strengthen the USD by easing concerns about a potential recession and potentially delaying anticipated Fed rate cuts. Conversely, a string of weaker data releases throughout the week could lead to a more significant decline in the USD.

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