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USD/CAD Tumbles Below 1.3400, Hits Lowest Since September Amid Sustained USD Weakness

15 December 2023 Written by Feng Zhou  Senior Market Analyst Feng Zhou

The USD/CAD pair has experienced a significant downturn, plunging to a near three-month low amidst a confluence of factors driving the US Dollar’s (USD) weakness. As of the early European session on Friday, spot prices hover around the 1.3385 region, marking a 0.15% decline for the day. This downward trajectory is fueled by a bearish sentiment surrounding the USD, making the pair vulnerable to further losses.

A key driver of the USD’s weakness is the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) recent dovish stance. Earlier in the week, the Fed signaled the end of its aggressive monetary tightening policy, indicating at least three rate cuts of 25 basis points each in 2024. This pivot has resulted in the USD Index (DXY), which gauges the USD against a basket of currencies, diving to over a four-month low.

Additionally, the prevailing risk-on mood, evidenced by the continued rally in global equity markets, applies further pressure on the safe-haven USD. Consequently, this environment contributes significantly to the downward momentum of the USD/CAD pair. However, the optimism was somewhat tempered by recent robust US macroeconomic data that pointed to a resilient economy. This data cast some doubts on the likelihood of an early policy easing by the Fed in March 2024. Despite this, the modest recovery in US Treasury bond yields had a limited impact in bolstering USD bulls' confidence.

On the Canadian side, Crude Oil prices, a critical factor influencing the commodity-linked Canadian Dollar (Loonie), show reluctance to build on the recovery move seen over the last two days. This recovery came after touching the lowest level since late June earlier in the week. Nevertheless, Oil prices are set for their first weekly gain in two months, bolstered by a bullish forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Oil demand for the coming year.

This optimistic outlook for Oil continues to underpin the Loonie, reinforcing the downward pressure on the USD/CAD pair and setting the stage for potential further declines in the near term. Market participants are now shifting their focus to the upcoming US economic releases, including the Empire State Manufacturing Index, Industrial Production data, and flash PMI figures for December. These data, along with the ongoing dynamics in the Oil market, are expected to create short-term trading opportunities for the USD/CAD pair.

In summary, the USD/CAD pair’s trajectory is marked by sustained selling pressure against a backdrop of the Federal Reserve’s dovish shift and a generally optimistic global market sentiment. The upcoming economic data from the US, coupled with ongoing trends in the Oil market, will likely influence the pair's movements in the short term, providing traders with critical insights and potential opportunities.

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