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Canadian Dollar Mixed on Disappointing Auto Sales, Rising Energy Prices

June 14, 2019 at 15:47 by Andrew Moran

Canadian coins on Canadian dollar billsThe Canadian dollar is mixed at the end of the trading week, finding direction against several currencies on recent automobile sales data and rallying crude oil prices. The loonie is trying to take advantage of the many dovish comments at the Federal Reserve, further helping the dollar pare its losses in the last week.

According to Statistics Canada, new motor vehicle sales came in at 185,000 in April, down from 187,000 in the previous month. This is also less than the market forecast of 197,000.

This data comes after the statistics agency reported that the new housing price index was flat for the second month in a row in April. The median estimate was a decline of 0.1%.

Manufacturing and retail sales are scheduled for release next week. The consensus is that April manufacturing sales will rise 0.2% and April retail sales will jump 0.5%.

A survey of Canadian exporters found that confidence levels plunged to a seven-year low. According to a study by the Export Development Canada, exporters are not concerned about the disruption caused by US tariffs and trade wars.

Energy prices are helping the loonie to close out the trading week as geopolitical tensions and supply interruptions have been sending crude oil prices higher in the last two sessions. July West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures surged $0.55, or 1.05%, to $52.83 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. July natural gas futures also rallied $0.07, or 2.95%, to $2.40 per million British thermal units (btu).

Oil is crucial for the Canadian economy and any significant movement in the price for a barrel will impact an economy that is having a difficult time growing this year.

Meanwhile, the US central bank’s dovish sentiment regarding the world’s largest economy is giving Canada some relief. Because the Bank of Canada (BOC) has temporarily paused on increases to interest rates, investors have turned sour on the economy. However, since the Fed has decided to not only take a break from rate hikes, but it is also considering cutting rates, some traders are reconsidering their positions.

The USD/CAD currency pair edged up 0.41% to 1.3383, from an opening of 1.3326, at 15:32 GMT on Friday. The GBP/CAD tumbled 0.13% to 1.6865, from an opening of 1.6886.

If you have any questions, comments, or opinions regarding the Canadian Dollar, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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