The Canadian dollar is in positive territory on Tuesday. In the North American session, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3400, down 0.39%.
Canada’s retail sales decline
The Canadian consumer was not in a spending mood in September, as retail sales declined by 0.5%, following a 0.4% gain a month earlier. The forecast stood at -0.4%. Core retail sales fell by 0.7%, worse than the consensus of -0.4% and the prior reading of 0.5%. Despite the weak data, the Canadian dollar has managed to post gains today, thanks to a broad US dollar pullback.
The drop in retail sales will put a damper on expectations of a 50-basis point hike at the December meeting, as the Bank of Canada will likely deliver a modest 25-bp hike. Inflation, the bank’s number one priority, remains very high at 6.9%, as the BoC’s aggressive rate-hike cycle is yet to show results. The benchmark rate is currently at 3.75%, and like the Federal Reserve, there’s more life remaining in the current rate-tightening cycle. The BoC is closely monitoring employment and retail sales data, as strong numbers will make it easier for the bank to continue hiking as policy makers look for that elusive peak in inflation.
The recent US inflation report triggered a wave of exuberance, sending equity markets higher and the US dollar on a nasty slide. Investors became more confident that Fed was close to a pivot in its aggressive policy and risk sentiment soared. The Fed has pushed back hard, with Fed members delivering hawkish statements and projections, which has chilled risk appetite and stabilized the US dollar. Fed member Mary Daly weighed in on Monday, stating that inflation remained unacceptably high and projecting that the fed funds rate will peak at 4.75%-5.00%.
- USD/CAD tested resistance at 1.3455 earlier in the day. Next, there is resistance at 1.3523
- There is support at 1.3341 and 1.3218