Bank of Canada Expected to Hike on Wednesday

The US dollar is mixed against majors on Tuesday. The JPY has lost as risk appetite is back in vogue with investors and the GBP has risen after the market digested the resignations of pro-Brexit members of Theresa May’s government. The Bank of Canada (BoC) will publish its rate statement on Wednesday, July 11 at 10:00 am EDT. The market has priced in a 96 percent chance of an interest rate hike. BoC Governor Stephen Poloz will host a press conference where he could offer further insight into the decision or hedge if market reaction is too extreme in his view.

  • Bank of Canada (BoC) expected to hike rate by 25 basis points
  • US Weekly crude inventories forecasted to drop after API drawdown of 6.8M barrels
  • Bank of England (BoE) Governor Carney to speak in Boston

Loonie Awaiting Bank of Canada Decision
The USD/CAD gained 0.05 percent on Tuesday. The currency pair is trading at 1.3114 ahead of the central bank meeting. Monthly Canadian GDP data at the end of June surprised to the upside and with a positive business outlook added to a strong jobs report the Canadian central bank will be looking to close the gap with the U.S. Federal Reserve funds rate. Fed members have signalled that more rate lifts are coming and two have already been priced in. The BoC is in no hurry to hike, but there is pressure to act later in the second half of the year if it decides to hold in July.


usdcad Canadian dollar graph, July 10, 2018

While the lift in interest rates will not be a surprise, there is more anticipation for what BoC Governor Stephen Poloz has to say. Hawkish comments from BoC Governor Stephen Poloz earlier in the month taken into consideration for the meeting, although the market is forecasts more dovish remarks given the uncertain global trade scenario. If Poloz maintains a neutral to hawkish there could be a sharp movement in the currency.

Commitment of Trades (CoT) data out of the CFTC shows large investors are bearish on the currency, which could create a short squeeze scenario all depending on what Poloz ends up communicating to the market.

The Canadian economy had a solid start to 2017, but the pace kept slowing down as the Trump administration attacks on trade were gaining steam. The uncertainty about trade made the start of 2018 a difficult one for the loonie and until recently the worst performer against the USD from major currencies.

Elections in Mexico and the upcoming midterms in the US make a NAFTA renegotiation less likely this year, which minimizes but does not take out of the equation an end of the trade deal. Fundamental indicators in Canada have improved giving the central bank some room to close the gap between the US and Canadian interest rates.

Yen on the Back Foot as Risk Appetite Returns

The USD/JPY lost 0.38 percent in the last 24 hours. The currency pair is trading at 111.27 a six month high for the USD against the JPY. The yen is a preferred safe haven during times of uncertainty, but as investors seek returns they quickly sell the Asian currency. Trade war fears have waned this week and emerging markets have been the biggest winners at the expense of the JPY.



Pound Rises as PM May Survives Leadership Challenge

The GBP/USD gained 0.18 percent on Tuesday. Cable is trading at 1.3279 on the midst of Theresa May fighting for a soft Brexit and her job. On Friday it all seemed to have worked out with little opposition for her plans of an orderly divorce with the EU that allowed the UK to have access to the single market. Hard Brexit backing members of the cabinet started resigning over the weekend. The pound started to drop as Boris Johnson resigned and concerns rose of a confidence vote against PM May. The fact that May has survived a leadership challenge and some encouraging comments out of Brussels have boosted the currency.



The Conservative party remains divided, but the Eurosceptics do not have enough fire power to topple May so for now a soft Brexit is the only viable strategy. May has the support from Michael Gove, but if that were to change it could mean her ouster, with Gove a likely replacement.

Market events to watch this week:

Wednesday, July 11
10:00am CAD BOC Monetary Policy Report
10:00am CAD BOC Rate Statement
10:00am CAD Overnight Rate
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
11:15am CAD BOC Press Conference
11:35am GBP BOE Gov Carney Speaks
Thursday, July 12
7:30am EUR ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts
8:30am USD CPI m/m
8:30am USD Core CPI m/m

*All times EDT
For a complete list of scheduled events in the forex market visit the MarketPulse Economic Calendar

U.S. Trade Deficit Is Wider Than Any Month or Year Since 2008

The U.S. trade deficit widened to the biggest monthly and annual levels since the last recession, underscoring the inherent friction in President Donald Trump’s goal of narrowing the gap while enjoying faster economic growth.

The deficit increased 5.3 percent in December to a larger-than- expected $53.1 billion, the widest since October 2008, as imports outpaced exports, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday. For all of 2017, the goods-and-services gap grew 12 percent to $566 billion, the biggest since 2008.

The trend may extend into this year: Solid consumer spending and business investment — assuming they hold up amid the recent stock-market rout — will fuel demand for foreign-made merchandise. While improving overseas growth and a weaker dollar bode well for exports, Trump’s efforts to seek more favorable terms with U.S. trading partners remain a work in progress, and his tax-cut legislation may cause the deficit to widen further.

One of the central themes of Trump’s presidential campaign was a pledge to level the playing field for American workers. In his first State of the Union address last week, Trump promised to “fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.” The president recently placed tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, sparking concern the U.S. may prompt trade wars.

With two of Trump’s main targets, China and Mexico, the imbalances worsened in 2017. America’s merchandise-trade gap with China, the world’s second-biggest economy, widened 8.1 percent in 2017 to a record $375.2 billion.

Nafta Talks

The goods-trade deficit with southern neighbor Mexico increased 10 percent last year to $71.1 billion, the highest since 2007. The administration is currently renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, and Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the pact.

U.S. merchandise exports to China and Mexico in 2017 were the highest on record — and so were imports.

For the full year, total U.S. exports rose 5.5 percent to $2.33 trillion, while imports climbed 6.7 percent to a record $2.9 trillion. Both showed the biggest gains since 2011.

The December goods-and-services gap was wider than the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg for $52.1 billion.

Exports rose 1.8 percent to $203.4 billion in December from the previous month, led by record shipments of capital goods and gains in industrial supplies and materials. Imports advanced 2.5 percent to $256.5 billion, boosted by record U.S. purchases of consumer goods, capital goods and food products.

The monthly figures add to details for the fourth quarter, when trade was a substantial drag on the economy, and show how a widening deficit may mitigate any gains in the pace of expansion in 2018. Net exports subtracted 1.13 percentage points from gross domestic product growth, which registered an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the October-December period.

Other Details

  • After eliminating the influence of prices, which renders the numbers used to calculate GDP, the December goods-trade deficit widened to $68.4 billion from $66.5 billion in the prior month
  • For all of 2017, the real petroleum gap of $95.9 billion was the narrowest in records going back to 2003, as real petroleum exports rose to a record high; the non-petroleum goods deficit of $740.7 billion was the widest on record
  • Exports and imports of goods account for about three-fourths of America’s total trade; the U.S. typically runs a deficit in merchandise trade and a surplus in services
  • Bloomberg