Canadian Dollar Steady ahead of FOMC Minutes, US Job Data Disapppoints

Fundamental analysis of Forex market

The Canadian dollar has inched lower in Thursday trading. Currently, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3123, down 0.17% on the day. On the release front, employment data is in the spotlight. ADP nonfarm payrolls ticked lower, coming in at 177 thousand. This was well short of the estimate of 190 thousand. Unemployment Claims climbed to 231 thousand, higher than the estimate of 225 thousand. Later in the day, ISM Nonfarm Manufacturing PMI is expected to drop to 58.3 points. As well, the FOMC will release the minutes of the June policy meeting. On Friday, we’ll get a look at key employment data on both sides of the border. The U.S releases official nonfarm payrolls and wage growth and Canada publishes employment change and the unemployment rate.

Investors are keeping an eye on the FOMC minutes from the June meeting, which will be published later on Thursday. The minutes could be a market-mover, as the Federal Reserve raised rates at the meeting for the second time this year. How many more hikes will we see in 2018? Policymakers appear split between three and four moves, as the U.S economy is booming, but the threat from escalating trade tensions has the Fed concerned. Investors will be looking for clues from the minutes as to Fed monetary policy in the second half of 2018. If the minutes are hawkish, the dollar could see some gains during the North American session.

Canada’s manufacturing sector continues to expand. Canadian Manufacturing PMI improved to 57.1 in June, the highest level since the survey started in 2010. The strong numbers are all the more impressive, given the deadlocked NAFTA negotiations and recent tariff spat between Canada and the United States. The Bank of Canada meets on July 11 for a policy meeting, with the odds of a quarter-point hike now at 80%, up from 55% just last week. Canada will release key employment numbers on Friday, and a strong showing could cement a rate hike and boost the Canadian dollar.