Yesterday, USDCAD dropped from 1.3338 (weekly high Wednesday was 1.3344/49) down to 1.3208 (weekly low Monday was 1.3191/95) before settling near 1.3230/35 in late trade. Bounces were contained by resistance at 1.3250. The CAD was the best preforming currency driven by strong retail sales data and higher oil prices (+~2%). Overnight, the pairing dipped to 1.3210 but spiked to 1.3285 after the 5:30am release of the Canadian inflation data which missed estimates. USDCAD briefly touched 1.3303/08 before falling back towards 1.3260 on broad-based USD weakness and higher oil prices.
European stock markets fell for a third straight day on Thursday, as battered oil prices hovered near seven-month lows hit overnight on worries about a supply glut and falling demand. Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 all slipped 0.3-0.4 per cent as trading in Europe got under way. U.S. and Canadian stocks bucked the trend, but just barely, starting the morning of in positive territory. Sharp falls in oil prices this week have hurt energy stocks and dampened investors' expectations for higher inflation that would pave the way for tighter monetary policies among major central banks. Positive Retail sales in Canada have buoyed the Canadian dollar so far this morning, up almost a cent against its US counterpart.
Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has replaced his cousin as the next in line to the country's throne, a move that consolidates the 31 year old leader's growing power. King Salman, 81, also retroactively reinstated all allowances and bonuses that were canceled or suspended to civil servants and military personnel. Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share Index rose 4.1% by 2.30am after MSCI Inc also opened the way for Saudi Arabian stocks to be included in it gages. At 3:30am PST, Queen Elizabeth II read out Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit-heavy legislative agenda for the next 2 years. Parliament will debate the contents of the speech for a week before holding a vote on it, which May is still not certain to win as she has yet to reach an agreement on forming a government with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party. The pound dropped below 1.26 against the USD for the first time since April in trading this morning as traders see many risks on the horizon.
Yesterday, USDCAD climbed from 1.3210 up to 1.3257 before falling back to 1.3191. The move below 1.3200 was short-lived as a quick 2% reversal in oil prices saw USDCAD bounce back to 1.3230 before holding in a 1.3215-1.3225 range for the balance of the session. Oil prices have continued lower today – down another 3% to a 7 month low. USDCAD has traded higher testing the 1.3280 level a few times with pull-backs limited to 1.3252 thus far. The GBP is the worst performing currency after Bank of England Governor Carney commented that "now was not the time" to raise interest rates. The GBPCAD rate has fallen to a 2 month low – levels not seen since before the snap election call. Currently, the TSX is down 0.65% while the DJIA is roughly unchanged. EURCAD is up 0.20% trading between 1.4728 and 1.4823 – still near 2 month lows.
Steve Brown, Senior Corporate Trader | Stevebrown@vbce.ca
The CAD was the top performer this week after Bank of Canada officials signaled a shift to a more hawkish tone with regards to the Bank of Canada's monetary policy. The BOC had been neutral for the past several months with market expectations of interest rate "lift-off" at some point during the first half of 2018. USDCAD plunged from 1.3470 towards 1.3320 on the news. The down trend continued to 1.3165 before a round of broad-based USD strength took the pairing back up to 1.3300 after Fed Chair Yellen came across more hawkish than anticipated. The U.S. Fed outlook remained largely unchanged from the previous meeting despite recently weak U.S. economic data (U.S. inflation forecasts have missed to the downside for 4 consecutive months). The down trend resumed on Friday with USDCAD falling from 1.3273 down to 1.3209 and holding near the lows into the close.
President Emmanuel Macron's party and its allies won a comfortable majority in the French parliament, securing 350 out of 577 seats in yesterday's second-round vote. While the victory wasn't the landslide some polls had predicted, and turnout was a record low for the vote, it does bolster the young president's legislative agenda. The victory for the year-old movement sees much of the French old guard swept from parliament. Nearly a year after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, negotiations began this morning on that divorce in Brussels with confusion remaining on what the U.K. wants from the breakup. The EU and U.K. teams have a lot of ground to cover, but they have at least agreed on a timetable for talks ahead of today's meeting, with the exit-deal basics due to be complete by December this year, before talks on future trading arrangements can begin.
There's a lot to look forward to when it comes to booking a trip, but something that often gets overlooked is the detailed logistics. However, a little bit of logistics effort upfront can save you a lot of time and money - not to mention, help make sure your trip is much more dream-vacation and much less logistics-nightmare.
One way to easily make that happen is to always carry at least some of the local currency on hand - yes, even if you'll be visiting multiple countries. Currency conversion for travellers isn't too difficult, but there are a few things you can do to optimize your experience and your exchange rate.
Here are three ways travellers can ensure their currency conversion process is smooth, which will ensure many other parts of the trip go smoothly as well.
Yesterday, USDCAD climbed from 1.3225 up to 1.3308 before easing to 1.3260 in the afternoon. The USD made slight gains as Wednesday's Fed decision to leave the future interest rate outlook relatively unchanged from the March meeting despite 4 consecutive months of weaker inflation data caught the market off guard. Overnight, the USD saw some strength during the Asian session after the Bank of Japan maintained its interest policy but the trend changed into the London and North American sessions. Another round of weaker than expected U.S. data and the USD is the worst performing currency today. Despite the Fed's dot plot indicating another rate hike this year, market probabilities of a 3rd hike are at the lowest of the year while U.S. 10 year yields also remain near 8 month lows. After testing 1.3273 last night, USDCAD has made a couple of runs towards yesterday's low near 1.3220.
Stocks fell in Europe and Asia on Thursday as investor concern over the pace of U.S. economic growth overshadowed a widely telegraphed rise in Federal Reserve interest rates that lifted the dollar off recent lows. North American stock have so far followed suit signaling a rocky start on Wall Street after Wednesday's rate hike and another tumble in tech stocks. Euro zone government bond yields rose, reflecting post-Fed moves in U.S. Treasuries, whose yields had earlier fallen after weaker-than-forecast inflation and retail sales data triggered alarm about the underlying health of the U.S. economy.
The increase in the short-term rate by a quarter-point to a still-low range of 1 per cent to 1.25 per cent could lead to higher borrowing costs for consumers and businesses and slightly better returns for savers.
The U.S. Fed is widely expected to announce an interest-rate increase when the central bank releases its latest monetary policy decision today at 11am. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold a press conference to explain the decision 30 minutes after the release, with both the path of future rate increases and how the bank plans to shrink its $4.5 trillion balance sheet likely to hog the limelight. The USD weakened for the 3rd straight day and U.S. treasuries edged higher ahead of the announcement. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for July was trading at $45.92 at 2:50am as data showed U.S. stockpiles increasing and a report from the International Energy Agency predicting production from non-OPEC countries would increase faster than demand next year. The continuing oversupply in the global oil market is well illustrated by the fate of one supertanker, floating idly off the coast of Africa. Basic pay in the U.K. grew at a slower than expected 1.7%, the lowest annual pace for more than 2 years. Wages fell 0.6% after inflation was taken into account. For the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, the data add to the headaches he faces ahead of tomorrow's monetary policy decision. For U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, her attention will remain focused on trying to strike a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionists to keep her Conservative Party in power.
U.S. Federal Reserve policy makers gather in Washington for their two-day meeting against the backdrop of a slide in tech stocks that serves as a warning of how tighter financial conditions may hurt sectors where valuations appear stretched. That sell-off, which centred on Wall Street, abated in Asia and Europe on Tuesday, but there were other flash points in currency and debt markets as the Fed's next move was seen potentially influencing central banks in Canada and China. The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise its benchmark interest rate in a decision scheduled for Wednesday and may also provide more details on its plans to shrink $4.5-trillion of assets it amassed to nurse the economic recovery. The Canadian dollar hit a two-month high after a policy maker said the central bank would assess if it needs to keep rates at near-record lows as the economy grows, while the prospect of the Chinese central bank raising short-term rates has come as its yield curve inverts in a worrying sign for growth.
Steve Brown, Senior Corporate Trader | Stevebrown@vbce.ca
USDCAD spent much of the week between 1.3430 and 1.3520. After testing last week's lows near 1.3425 on Wednesday, a plunge in oil prices sent USDCAD back up above the 1.3500 level where it remained until Friday. A strong Canadian jobs report saw USDCAD fall to 1.3425 and close the week at 1.3463. The GBP was the worst performing currency last week as Theresa May's Conservatives failed to win a majority government. The markets had been pricing in a majority win and the GBP plunged accordingly towards 2 month lows.
It's a major week in the world of central banking. The Federal Reserve is scheduled to announce its policy decision Wednesday, followed by the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank on Thursday, while the Bank of Japan rounds up the week on Friday. Even though the Fed is nearly unanimously expected to hike interest rates this Wednesday, Wall Street strategists have trimmed their estimates for how high 10- year Treasury yields will be at year end. It was a punishing weekend for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, as she raked through the pieces of the electoral gamble that ended up weakening her party, her country's negotiating position, and herself. Today she chairs a cabinet meeting composed of many familiar faces, after she was forced to keep prominent Brexiteers on board to allay any revolt against her leadership. Sterling traders remained caught between interpreting the result as a route to a softer Brexit, or a mess. Consumer spending data showing the 1st year-over-year drop since 2013 didn't help, dragging the currency down by as much as 0.67%. The rout of France's political old guard gathered pace over the weekend, with President Emmanuel Macron's Republic On The Move party poised to command a sweeping majority of seats in the lower house of parliament. The results need to be confirmed in a final round of voting next Sunday, but so far indicate an entirely redrawn political map-amid record low turnout. Meanwhile south of the border, Italy's anti-euro Five Star movement suffered a setback in Sunday's local elections, helping Italian bonds climb alongside OATs.
Yesterday, USDCAD held an uneventful 1.3484 – 1.3522 range before spiking briefly to 1.3534/39 at 2:00pm on the release of the UK exit polls. The conservatives had fewer seats than expected and that sent the GBP down 2 cents. The ensuing USD strength was enough for a brief rally in USDCAD but the pairing returned towards the 1.3510 level. Overnight, USDCAD remained sidelined ahead of the Canadian job numbers. The data was extremely good – best job creation numbers in about 8 months sending USDCAD down towards the lows for the week (and a technical double-bottom) @ 1.3425. The GBPCAD rate dropped to 1.7091, its lowest level in nearly 2 months after having traded up near 1.7850 in early May. The bulk of the GBP losses came in late trade yesterday. Further downside was limited overnight on speculation that despite the uncertainties surrounding a "hung parliament", a softer Brexit may be more likely now. Overall, the GBP and the JPY are the worst performing currencies today while the CAD is the strongest.
European stocks inched higher and the euro and the pound nudged lower, as markets readied for a triple-dose of excitement – an ECB meeting, a British election and testimony by the ex-FBI chief fired by Donald Trump last month. Much has been made of the 'Triple Threat Thursday' but beyond the commentary on the outside risks from those events it was hard to see any real trepidation in prices.
One of Thursday's big scheduled events may not be so momentous after all, if early leaks of James Comey's testimony are to be believed. The fired FBI director will publicly describe conversations with President Donald Trump, but stop short of saying if he thinks the president sought to obstruct a federal probe of Russia's role in the 2016 election, according to a person familiar with his thinking. Still, there are fund managers out there who think that, compared with the high degree of consensus surrounding the ECB's next move, Comey is tomorrow's wildcard. On a related note, Jeff Sessions is said to have offered to resign as U.S. attorney general over growing tensions with the president, according to a person familiar with the matter. Oil has slipped after yesterday's U.S. data showed a large expansion in gasoline stockpiles, offsetting the bullish influence of another decline in crude inventories. Surveys of U.K. voters over the past few weeks have indicated a tightening race for Thursday's election, increasing the chance that Prime Minister Theresa May might not bolster her majority. Traders say that the pound could topple in the event of a hung parliament.
Join us this Sunday, June 11th for a fun filled day at Trout Lake Park! Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. and the event will start at 9:30 a.m., there will be face paint, activities, and snacks at the event. We invite all of you to bring your portable barbeques and have a picnic with us after the walk!
Those of you that are planning on staying for the afternoon, there is a lifeguard on duty at the lake so please feel free to bring your beachwear!
The below link is a map of Trout Lake Park (3300 Victoria Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4M4), highlighting the parking and where the registration will be. The easiest way to get to where our stroll will start is to drive down Broadway, then head south on Victoria and turn left onto 19th Ave until you see the road that goes to the parking. There's also street parking along 19th as well as another parking lot off Victoria.
For those of you who have not yet had a chance to register, our online registration site is still active and we will have onsite registration on Sunday. A donation of $20 can be made in place of the registration fee.
We look forward to seeing you at the 2017 Stroll For Liver!
Steve Brown, Senior Corporate Trader | Stevebrown@vbce.ca
USDCAD opened near 5 week lows but further downside was limited to just 18 pips coming during Monday's holiday session. The pairing pushed higher over the balance of the week although gains were limited to 1.3547 despite a 7% decline in oil prices. The CAD was caught between lower oil prices and a broadly weaker USD due to falling yields (10 year yields hit a 7 month low – down nearly 0.50% from March highs) amidst a string of weaker than expected economic data. Although U.S. June Fed rate hike expectations (increase to 1.25%) are essentially a lock, longer term rate hike expectations have diminished. Global equity markets moved higher for the most part with U.S. indices reaching record highs. The EURO continues to perform well having risen to 16 month highs vs the CAD and 9 month highs vs the USD. The next European Central Bank policy announcement is on Thursday, June 8th. While interest rates are expected to remain near 0, the bond buying program (quantitative easing) could be tapered.