Canadian Dollar Monthly Outlook November 2018
Economic Outlook and Summary
During the month of October, the Canadian Dollar and economy disappointed following the new United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) being finalized last month. This had been a direct result from the weakness of the USMCA and some stronger labour data being released for the month of September showing volatility from previous months of an increase in jobs of 63K, causing the unemployment rate to drop to 5.9% alongside growth in August GDP. The Bank of Canada (BOC) has also maintained its current hawkish tone on the commodity based loonie as it had raised its overnight rate by 25 basis points to 1.75% in the past month of October. With the USMCA settled the BOC has also hinted at the possibility of a rate hike as the year comes to an end and in the upcoming year as they continue its monetary tightening policy.
In the month of October, the U.S economy showed to gain some strength in comparison to the Canadian loonie as mentioned with the USMCA agreement finalized, and stronger economic data being released through the month. U.S Q3 GDP results came in stronger than expected with 3.5% growth and labour statistics also came in above analyst projections pointing to a strong economy lowering the current jobless rate to 3.7%. The Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) is showing to proceed with gradually normalizing its current monetary policy. The Fed is still also projected to raise interest rates once more before the new year, with a possibility of three more hikes coming in the new year. There are some potential signs of weakness in the U.S, highlighted by some of the ongoing trade tensions between China and the European Union, which once resolved will provide a clearer outlook for the U.S economy.
Recent projections by major Canadian Financial Institutions have indicated an improved outlook for the Canadian economy once again as compared to the previous month. US strength has been substantial over the past couple months with labour and employment figures leading the way as the Fed believes the economy is strong and is trying to aggressively stay on top of its current mandate. Most of these institutions have updated their figures as seen in the chart below, and is showing potential economic stability in the Canadian economy as the current year is coming to an end.
The Canadian Dollar and Bank of Canada
The loonie struggled significantly in the month of October as the US dollar remained relatively strong. The Bank of Canada raised the overnight rate by 25 basis points in October, which could lead to signs of a more aggressive approach to monetary tightening. Although rate spreads were improved the loonie did not respond well due to capital inflows weakening through October. Part of the loonie’s weak performance is due to the lower Canadian oil prices. However, there is some reason for optimism, as rate spreads could improve in the Canadian dollar’s favour.
The USD and the Federal Reserve
The trade-weighted US dollar continues its uptrend by gaining more than 1% in October. Risk aversion did help strengthen the greenback during the month. We expect the feds to recognize the threat of GDP growth and hence reconsider its protectionist measures. Also, positive economic data was released in October which did help the greenback and improve signs of a potential December interest rate hike. However, there is less optimism for the US dollar in 2019 in terms of GDP growth which means we could see a decline in the number of hikes we see in comparison to 2018. Another reason to feel nervous about the US dollar is due normal dollar appreciation and rising inflation since the start of the year. This decline will eventually impact American exporters.
In the month of October oil prices showed strong momentum. Through the month OPEC is also expected to increase oil production per day 30,000 barrels per day as Saudi Arabia is looking to fulfill any oil demand from current Iran sanctions that have been placed by the U.S and will influence global supply, as the commodity linked loonie may lose some traction as prices fall. There are signs of volatility in oil prices surrounding trade tension with the U.S and China which did lead to the downward trend through the month. Currently the price of WTI is sitting around a low $61 level as it ended the month in a significant downtrend. We can continue to watch the price of oil as it’s continual rise will result in a boost for the commodity linked Canadian loonie.
FX Forecast Table November 2018
|2019 – Quarter 1 (USD/CAD)
|2019– Quarter 2 (USD/CAD)
|Royal Bank of Canada
|Bank of Montreal
|Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
|Toronto Dominion Bank
*Figures based on previous month