USD/CAD reverses to upper 1.2700s, probes 1.2800 after strong US jobs data and amid risk-off flows

USD/CAD reversed sharply higher on Friday to test 1.2800 following strong US jobs data and amid a broadly risk-off tone.
Currently, USD/CAD is up about 0.7% on the day and 1.5% versus multi-week lows printed on Thursday under 1.2600.

USD/CAD reversed sharply higher on Friday after the release of what traders described as a bumper US labour market report boosted the US dollar and amid a distinctly risk-off market tone weighed on the more risk-sensitive Canadian dollar. The pair started the session underneath 1.2700, but at one point had rallied as much as 0.9% to nearly test 1.2800. At current levels in the 1.2760s, USD/CAD trades with gains of about 0.7%on the day, with the pair now trading about 1.5% above multi-week lows printed on Thursday underneath 1.2600. The loonie is not performing nearly as bad as its European counterparts like GBP, EUR or SEK, which continue to suffer amid fears about the war in Ukraine and its economic consequences, which are most likely to be felt most acutely in Europe.

Equally though, the loonie has somewhat surprisingly failed to keep pace with the likes of other commodity-linked G10 currencies like the kiwi and Aussie as oil prices look to end a historic week on the front foot. Since the end of February, 1.2800 has offered strong resistance which was only really broken one time when Russia surprised global markets with his invasion of Ukraine slightly more than one week ago. As long as commodity prices continue to surge, and many commodity strategists fear that this is likely to be the case as evidence of severe disruptions to Russian exports continues to mount, USD/CAD may well remain capped under recent highs.

Following a much stronger than anticipated February Canadian Ivey PMI survey release earlier on Friday and a smaller than expected decline in Labour Productivity in Q4, focus turns to official Canadian labour market data scheduled for release next Friday. Another factor that should work in favour of the loonie in the coming months is the more hawkish BoC, which hiked interest rates by 25bps earlier in the week, and strong economic data is expected to underpin this stance. But US Consumer Price Inflation data for February, out next Thursday, poses upside risks to the US dollar and thus USD/CAD and should also be taken into account.


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