Daily Currency Update

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A crash in financial markets and crude oil sends the Loonie to a 3-year and 4-month low versus the Yen.

CAD - Canadian Dollar

Crude oil crashed more than 30 percent after Russia ignored pressure from OPEC allies to cut crude oil production. Saudi Arabia, the other major player in the OPEC, asked for a cut of 1.5 million barrels a day, but Russia did not agree. Russia is inflexible, probably because it is able to afford a lower crude oil price based on the economic austerity it has applied over the last few months. The breakup of the OPEC and alliance triggered an all-out price war, with both Russia and Saudi Arabia poised to flood the market with cheap oil. As a consequence, the Loonie fell almost 6 percent versus the Japanese Yen, and 2.60 percent against the the U.S. dollar at one point during the overnight trading session (the worst decline since 2016).

A few minutes ago, housing starts in Canada were released and came in at 210k in February, above the estimated 206.5k and below the 214k in January.

The USD/CAD pair is trading a 1.3652 at the time of this writing, but it touched an intraday high of 1.3766 last night at 21:45 EST. The following key resistance level would be 1.3793. We, as market participants, wonder if the Loonie needs to continue to weaken further, given the high degree of oil exports as a percentage of Canada’s goods exports.

Key Movers

The Japanese Yen jumped to its highest level in more than three years, while U.S. Treasuries surged on demand for haven assets as the plunge in oil prices sent another shock wave through the world economy. Market participants also piled into the Swiss Franc, which touched a four-year high against the greenback, while the currencies of oil exporting countries, such as Norway, Mexico and Canada, were hammered. At the same time, the Australian dollar saw its biggest intraday loss since 2008. The Norwegian Krone hit the lowest level against the Greenback since 1985 after Saudi Arabia decided to slash official crude selling prices and increase output, which sparked the worst sell-off in oil since the U.S. war in Iraq in 1991.

The collapse in the price of crude oil will likely create another disinflationary force for the global economy, which will bring even more room for central banks to continue easing and pumping money into their economies and support an already sluggish global growth.

Expected Ranges

USD/CAD: 1.3385 - 1.3700 ▲

EUR/CAD: 1.5268 - 1.5635 ▲

GBP/CAD: 1.7520 - 1.7935 ▲

AUD/CAD: 0.8950 - 0.9025 ▲

NZD/CAD: 0.8550 - 0.8700 ▲