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Canadian Dollar at Fourteen Month High Against the Greenback

CAD - Canadian Dollar

The Canadian dollar broke through the psychological support level of 1.3000 after thinner holiday trade pushed the petro currency to 14 month high against the greenback after oil spiked on middle east tensions. There was major escalation of U.S Iran tensions last Friday with U.S officials confirming a drone attack on a vehicle convoy at a Baghdad airport which killed Qassem Soleimani, a major Iranian general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, an Iraqi-Iranian military commander. Iran has since vowed revenge against America and has stated that they no longer consider themselves bound by the 2015 nuclear agreement negotiated with the U.S. and other world powers.
On reports of the death of the Iranian general, Oil spiked +5%, with the S&P 500 posting its most significant loss in a month. A search for safe-haven assets drove Gold, JPY, CHF, and Treasuries higher. The Euro also remained elevated against most of its peers (ex-CHF & JPY), including the USD, which is traditionally regarded as having a higher beta to risk-off environments than the former. Oil-linked currencies such as CAD and NOK are in a tug-of-war between the risk-off environment and the benefit from higher oil prices.

Key Movers

The U.S Dollar Index lost 2% in December, attributed mainly to better risk tolerance (U.S-China phase one confirmation) and stabilization of world data, particularly in Europe and Asia. However, new geopolitical risks arising from both the middle east and North Korea regions, are likely to support the USD in the short-term, despite the recent U.S forward indicating data points (PMI’s) hinting to a slow down.

Market participants will be following the release of Canadian employment figures on Friday. The net change in employment for December is expected at 25k vs. the previous release of -71.2K, and the unemployment rate is expected to drop to 5.8% for 5.9%.

Expected Ranges

USD/CAD: 1.2963 - 1.2992 ▼

EUR/CAD: 1.4477 - 1.4539 ▲

GBP/CAD: 1.6961 - 1.7089 ▲

AUD/CAD: 0.8992 - 0.9030 ▼

NZD/CAD: 0.8622 - 0.8667 ▼