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BOC rate hike looms but how will CAD react?

The Bank of Canada is due to increase interest rates to 1.75% at the conclusion of its meeting today. This will be an easy decision thanks to an improving economy and the fact that Canada finally secured a trade deal (USMCA) with its two southern neighbours. However, will this be enough to lift the Canadian Dollar? Given the recent soft inflation figures and falls in oil prices, investors are wondering whether the BOC will err on the side of caution about future rate hikes. Read our full BOC preview, written by my US colleague Matt Weller, HERE.

EUR/CAD for CAD bulls, USD/CAD for CAD bears

If the BoC is overall more hawkish than expected then the Canadian dollar ‘should’ go up today, while a dovish central bank could weigh heavily on the commodity currency. If the BOC is more dovish then we would favour looking for bullish setups on the USD/CAD, with the US dollar still being among the strongest of currencies out there. However, in the event of a hawkish surprise, we would favour looking for bullish opportunities on CAD against a weaker rival, such as the euro, which has been hit by Italian and Brexit concerns and today by soft Eurozone PMI data, reducing the prospects of a hawkish surprise from the ECB’s press conference on Thursday.

USD/CAD testing bear trend

The USD/CAD’s technical outlook hasn’t changed much from Matt’s preview, with price still testing the top of its bearish channel off the July highs around the 1.31 handle. As mentioned, if the BOC turns out to be more dovish than expected then the USD/CAD could break higher. However if the central bank is more dovish then the USD/CAD could certainly resume its bearish trend, although in this case we would favour looking for bearish setups on the EUR/CAD instead.

Source: eSignal and FOREX.com.

EUR/CAD could drop to new 2018 low on hawkish surprise

The EUR/CAD, meanwhile, has been making a series of lower lows and lower highs since topping out around 1.6150 in March. Rates have dropped to a low so far this year of 1.4760. In the event of a hawkish surprise, we wouldn’t be surprised if it were to hit a new low for the year below this level. At the time of writing, the EUR/CAD was testing liquidity just below short-term support at around 1.4930, so there was a possibility for a rebound towards 1.5000 resistance ahead of the BOC rate decision. The key resistance area is around 1.5060-1.5140. In the event rates go above this zone then we would be on bullish alert, although technically the downward trend wouldn’t be over unless rates go on to make a high above the most recent peak at 1.5320.

Source: eSignal and FOREX.com.

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