The Canadian Dollar had a very good week as optimism grew on a NAFTA agreement and incoming economic data held up pretty well. USD/CAD began on Monday at 1.2900 and though it moved up to 1.2940 on the initial stock market rout, this proved to be the high of the week. The pair fell 1 ½ cents by the close of business on Tuesday then extended the move to a low on Friday around 1.2740; its lowest level since the end of February before ending the week at 1.2770. GBP/CAD fell below 1.80 for the first time in three weeks whilst AUD/CAD fell below 98 cents. Overnight in Asia and this morning in Europe, trading in the Canadian Dollar has been pretty subdued though where changed, it is generally a little weaker than Friday’s closing levels.
According to CBC News, China's ambassador to Canada says he hopes Canada will side with his country as "strong defenders of free trade" in the escalating trade battle between his country and the United States. "China hopes that Canada will hold the justice, stand at the right side of history and work with China to safeguard the multilateral trading system," said Ambassador Lu Shaye on TV over the weekend. "I think Canada [taking] a neutral position is a help to China… We know the U.S. is the unique, only neighbour of Canada, and Canada has many problems with the U.S. We have noted that the position of the Canadian government is objective ... It's very good. Naturally, we hope Canada can do more. But we respect the Canadian position. Confronted with the current wave of protectionism set off by the United States, Canada and China should further work together to promote the FTA process between our two sides, and resist trade protectionism with concrete actions. China is willing to initiate the process with Canada at any time."
Away from NAFTA, Friday’s employment report showed Canada's economy added 32,000 new jobs in March, but the jobless rate remained steady at 5.8 per cent. The economy added more than 68,000 full-time jobs last month, but more than 35,000 part-time jobs were lost. For the week ahead, the data focus is mostly on the housing market. Tuesday brings building permits, Thursday is new home prices and Friday is nationwide home sales. Before then, the BoC today releases its quarterly Senior Loan Officer Survey which, as it describes itself, “gathers the perspectives of respondents on price and non-price terms of business lending and on topical issues of interest to the Bank of Canada”. The Canadian Dollar opens in North America at USD/CAD1.2795, AUD/CAD0.9815 and GBP/CAD1.8045.