With the Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate decision just around the corner, the Canadian Dollar was trending in a softer position against a number of its main currency counterparts. The CAD/GBP exchange rate was trading in the region of 0.5419 while the CAD/USD exchange rate was trading in the region of 0.7979 – down -0.3% on the day’s opening levels. Although oil prices rose this week, the ‘Loonie’ failed to derive much benefit as demand for commodity-driven currencies was limited by a spate of negative data from China – one of the world’s largest economies and a major export market for Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The poor ecostats began with concerning Chinese trade data. The nation’s trade surplus was shown to have narrowed by considerably more-than-forecast due to a sharp slide in exports. Exports fell by -15% on the year in March instead of registering the 10.0% gain anticipated. Imports fell by -12.7% rather than the -10.0% predicted. These figures were followed by sub-par Industrial Production and Retail Sales reports for China. Economists had predicted a 7.0% year-on-year increase in production in March, but the figure actually printed at 5.6%. Similarly, retail sales failed to advance by the 10.9% anticipated but came in at 10.2% on the year.
The final Chinese report, the nation’s growth data for the first quarter, showed expansion of 7.0% on the year, as forecast. While these figures were putting pressure on the Canadian Dollar, the ‘Loonie’ was also feeling the pressure ahead of the Bank of Canada policy announcement. If the central bank opts to cut interest rates, as some economists expect to be the case, the Canadian Dollar may tumble across the board. Investors with an interest in the Canadian Dollar will also be focusing on Canada’s Manufacturing Sales and Existing Home Sales figures. Furthermore, the US Industrial/Manufacturing Production reports may impact ‘Loonie’ trading to a certain extent.