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USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Dips, US Consumer Confidence Next

The Canadian dollar has posted losses in the Friday session, erasing the gains from the Thursday session. Currently, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3197, up 0.31% on the day. There are no Canadian releases on the schedule. In the U.S, the key event is UoM Consumer Sentiment, which is expected to dip to 98.1 points.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell gave the U.S economy a solid report card on Thursday. In a radio interview, Powell said that the economy is “in a really good place”, pointing to President Trump’s massive tax cut scheme and increased spending as key factors in boosting economic growth. Powell did not address monetary policy and said he was uncertain as to the effects of the current trade disputes which has embroiled the U.S and its trading partners. The Fed will likely press the rate trigger in the second half of the year, but it is an open question as to whether we’ll see one hike over the next six months. The Fed is projecting growth of 2.8% in 2018, compared to 2.3% in 2017. Powell will be in the spotlight next week when he appears for his semi-annual testimony before Congress.

After weeks of hints, the Bank of Canada pressed the rate trigger on Wednesday. The hike of 25 basis points raised the benchmark rate to 1.50%, its highest level since December 2008. The Bank followed up with a hawkish rate statement, as policymakers noted that the economy continues to operate close to capacity. The BoC has upwardly revised its growth forecast for Q2 from 2.5% to 2.8%, and projected inflation to climb to 2.5%, before falling to 2% in the second half of 2019. As for the escalating trade war, the BoC said that U.S tariffs on steel and aluminum and retaliatory tariffs by Canada would lower economic growth. However, the effect of the tariffs would be modest, due to strong global demand and high commodity prices. Despite the rate hike and hawkish comments from the BoC, the Canadian dollar lost ground against the greenback on Wednesday.

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