Daily Currency Update

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Vaccine uncertainties create further unknowns

CAD - Canadian Dollar

For the second day in a row, a potential COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial was paused due to safety concerns and illustrated the importance safety trials play in developing new treatments. Demand for the Canadian dollar waned with equity markets.

Eli Lilly followed Johnson & Johnson when it suspended its clinical trial for an antibody therapy. The suspensions were for unrelated reasons. Of course, President Donald Trump had hailed the Lilly treatment as a “cure.”

And US political headlines continued to influence markets. In the run up to the 2020 presidential election, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to pause the country’s census, and essentially brought it to an end. The census, not a key factor in the election, did provide dependable demographic data for policy makers. It provided political and budgetary allocations for the next ten years. And in Washington DC, the Supreme Court’s next potential judge, Amy Coney Barrett, said in yesterday’s confirmation hearings that she would not be the President’s “pawn.”

Key Movers

Following further negotiations between the UK and the EU, Chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that there was not enough progress made to “enter the tunnel.” The tunnel is a Brussels-coined term for intensified Brexit negotiations intended to take place between small teams from the UK and EU. Later in the day a French minister connected with the negotiations said that a no deal was more likely. Alongside this, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey also discussed the possibility of changes to UK monetary policy, including an interest rate cut. These two factors created further uncertainty for Sterling. GBPUSD fell from a high of 1.3060 to 1.2865. GBPEUR also fell over a cent from a high of 1.1077 to 1.0966.

The Australian Dollar drifted below 0.72 through trade on Tuesday, hampered by broad based US dollar strength and concerns over escalating tensions with China. The AUD corrected lower through the domestic session following reports importers in China had been told to stop buying Australian coal, raising concerns that rising political tensions will hurt key exports. While clarification suggests the ban reflects protections for China’s coal sector and quota limits, the wind in the AUD sails had faded. A souring in risk demand compounded the move.

Expected Ranges

EUR/CAD: 1.539 - 1.545 ▼

GBP/CAD: 1.691 - 1.715 ▼

AUD/CAD: 0.939 - 0.943 ▼

USD/CAD: 1.311 - 1.315 ▲