The Canadian dollar declined against the greenback ahead of Wednesday’s Bank of Canada (BOC) rate decision that is now widely expected to keep rates on hold due to a recent round of softer data. Early in December, rate hike expectations was firmly pricing in a rate hike for the March 6th meeting, now expectations are only seeing a 10% chance of rate rise throughout the summer.
With inflation falling to a 15-month low in January and GDP for the fourth quarter coming in at the slowest pace since the second quarter in 2016, the Bank of Canada will need to have a wait and see approach before resuming their tightening cycle.
Canada’s largest export, crude is having a positive day as optimism grows that a trade deal will be reached by the US and China. Market participants will closely watch Wednesday’s EIA crude inventory data. Current expectations are for a build of 1.2 million barrels, the prior week saw a draw of 8.6 million barrels. We will most likely continue to see imports continue to fall, but we may see that ease up following last week’s drastic decline that was a 23-year low.
Oil prices are currently being supported by improved compliance from Russia and expectations that the OPEC + production cuts will last till the end of the year. The easing of tensions with India-Pakistan conflict are also supporting prices as stability in the region would not disrupt demand. The trend of rising US production however will keep oil’s rally from getting away of itself. The risk-on story will keep oil stable, but ultimately the supply-side will likely cap any major rally.