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Canadian dollar lower on one, two punch from ugly GDP and dropping oil prices

By MoneyWay | Mar 1, 2019

The Canadian dollar weakened as much as 1.3285 on Friday morning, Canada’s fourth quarter GDP, or the broadest measure of goods and services produced in an economy, rose only 0.1% in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, Statistics Canada said, reflecting a weakening housing market, softer oil prices and the effect of both on consumer confidence. This unexpected drop has now put the Bank of Canada in the position of not being able to hike interest rates in the near term. The bank is due to announce its next interest rate decisions on March 6. Bank of Canada Governour Poloz had warned last week in particular about the housing market, business investment levels and global trade uncertainty.

Adding the Canadian dollar’s woes, oil fell over 2.5% on Friday, as bearish U.S. manufacturing data stoked concerns over global energy demand growth. The ISM manufacturing activity index in February sank to the lowest since November 2016, and was below expectations. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures fell $1.11 to $56.11 a barrel by 11:15 a.m. EST (1615 GMT). The contract had earlier hit a high of $57.88.  Global benchmark Brent crude futures for May fell $1.26 to $65.05 a barrel, after earlier touching a session high of $67.14.

Currently             Close                     Range

USDCAD               1.3275                   1.3172                   1.3130-1.3280

EURCAD               1.5099                   1.4976                   1.4921-1.5108

GBPCAD               1.7552                   1.7468                   1.7357-1.7576

                                                                                Prior                      Actual

CA:   Gross Dom Product Q4, 2018             0.5%                      0.1%     

                                                Y/Y                         1.9%                      1.6%

         Monthly GDP December                     -0.1%                     -0.1%

                                                Y/Y                         1.7%                      1.1%

US:   Personal Income Jan M/M                 1.0%                      -0.1%

         Consumer Sentiment Feb                   95.5                        93.8

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