If it wasn’t for last Friday afternoon’s key US Non-Farm Payroll data, which showed that the world’s leading economy had generated a mammoth 243,000 new jobs in January.
Foreign Currency Market Update – GBP / CAD Update
The GBP CAD exchange rate showed signs of a revival over the past seven days, as it continued to edge higher off its mid-January low of 1.5545. The high point of the week came on Friday lunchtime, when the pair traded as high as 1.5869, its highest level since January 9th. However, rates in the 1.58s did not hold for long and GBP CAD had dropped back into the 1.56s once again before Friday’s close.
Last week’s session saw the release of a raft of disappointing Canadian data. Tuesday afternoon’s GDP figures revealed that Canada’ economy had shown a monthly contraction of 0.1% in November. Analysts had been expecting the number to show month-on-month growth of 0.2%, following October’s 0.0% reading. The soft tone of Canadian data was continued at midday Friday, when the latest Canadian labour market numbers showed that there had been a surprise increase in the country’s level of unemployment from 7.5% in December, to 7.6% last month. Meanwhile, there was a mixed bag of UK data releases over the past seven days. On a positive note, UK PMI Manufacturing and Services sector surveys convincingly beat analysts’ expectations. On the debit side, the latest PMI Construction sector survey disappointed and there was weaker than anticipated UK mortgage approval and house price data, pointing to a softening in Britain’s key housing sector.
*Denotes the importance of the data item *** being the highest level.
** Wednesday afternoon sees the release of Canadian Housing Starts data for January. A slight drop off from December’s 199,900 is expected.
** Thursday morning sees the release of the latest UK Industrial and Manufacturing Production figures. Industrial Production figures are expected to show an annualised contraction of 3.1%, while analysts expect the Manufacturing Production data to show a return to growth for the sector, following November’s negative figure.
** Thursday morning also sees the release of December’s UK Visible Trade Balance numbers. A deficit of some £8.6bn is expected.
*** The key UK data release this week comes at lunchtime Thursday, when the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee announces its interest rate/asset purchase scheme decision. An upping of the current £275bn allocated by the Bank to its QE programme would be likely to damage the Pound.
** The closely-watched NIESR GDP Estimate for the UK is released on Thursday afternoon. If the monthly figure for January beats December’s counterpart number of 0.1%, then Sterling will be supported.
If it wasn’t for last Friday afternoon’s key US Non-Farm Payroll data, which showed that the world’s leading economy had generated a mammoth 243,000 new jobs in January, then the GBP CAD rate could had made a convincing run at the significant 1.6000 level before close of business on Friday. Canadian data releases during the week suggested that the country’s export-driven economy is showing signs of a slowdown, as global austerity measures start to bite, dampening demand for the raw materials which Canada trades in abundance. The positive US jobs data served to reassure investors that the economic situation may be improving in the States, which remains Canada’s key export market. For the time being, at least, GBP CAD appears to have rejected its near-term low of 1.5545. A continued failure by eurozone policy makers to deal with the region’s debt dilemma could cause global investor sentiment to dip, pushing the pair back towards the 1.6000 level. Conversely, in the absence of any key Canadian data releases this week, an improvement for global stock markets could see the risk-sensitive Canadian Dollar strengthen, sending GBP CAD back towards the mid-1.50s.
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