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Canadian Dollar Stronger on ‘Hawkish Hold’ at Bank of Canada

Poloz and the Canadian Dollar

The Bank of Canada’s April policy meeting has resulted in a stronger Canadian Dollar.

The Canadian Dollar rose after the Bank confirmed that much of the economic data coming out of Canada seen since the last MPR had been stronger than expected.

The Bank of Canada announced they are holding their key interest rate at 0.50% but markets are betting that an interest rate rise has been moved forwarded on the basis of what they heard today.

“Under our baseline outlook for growth and potential, the economy will absorb its excess capacity sometime in the first half of 2018, a bit sooner than we projected in January,” read a statement from the BoC.

The BoC also noted that ”speculative forces are at work” in the red-hot Canadian housing sector; a hint that the Bank sees risks in the sector.

This week’s Housing Starts data hit levels not seen since 2007 and we warned that the Bank would take notice at today’s meeting.

However, to ensure the Canadian Dollar and rates do not rise too aggressively the Bank did opt to keep a balanced tone.

“Exports and investment are still weaker than one would expect at this stage of the business cycle, even though growth in the global economy has also surprised on the upside. So, we do not yet see the well-balanced base that would give us assurance that growth is on a solid footing,” read a statement released by the Bank.

Poloz even confirmed that another rate cut is still an option.

“With an eye to dampening down expectations for a rate hike in the next couple of quarters, the central bankers stressed that too much of the recent acceleration has come from sources it sees as unsustainable. It’s not faster growth that we need to see in the Bank’s view, but growth in the right places,” says Avery Shenfeld at CIBC World Markets in reaction to the event.

So while there is nothing too juicy for CAD bulls to poke their horns into, there is just enough to give the currency a nudge higher.

The USD/CAD exchange rate fell to 1.3292 having been as high as 1.3341 earlier in the day.

The GBP/CAD fell to 1.6625 having been as high as 1.6690 earlier in the day.

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