In the grand scheme of things, the amount of trade that Canada does with Saudi Arabia is not that much for either country, however, this is where the bark is worse than the bite. Canada can live without the oil it imports from Saudi, but it has become the whipping boy in the world of global politics. Saudi Arabia gets the most media attention with the least damage to its economy and its getting its message across.
Markets hate uncertainty, even in the smallest amount, and while this spat continues, the Canadian dollar will suffer, as there is the potential of a domino effect if other countries who support Saudi Arabia were to follow suit with their own trade disputes.
Canada July housing starts declined to an annualized rate of 206,314 from 246,200 in June. Expectations for July starts were for an annualized pace of 220,000.
USD 1.3022, 1.3018, 1.2991 1.3058, 1.3071, 1.3077
USD-CAD has dropped back to the lower 1.3000s after posting a two-week high at 1.3126 yesterday. We advise buying USD-CAD given the renewed pressure on oil prices and given the evident strong prevailing fundamentals of the U.S. economy, which is underpinning expectations for the Fed to hike two more times before the year is out. Support comes in at 1.3008-10, and resistance at 1.3100.
EUR-USD has settled below the five-session peak that was seen yesterday at 1.1628. There is a view in markets that the U.S. currency will tend to firm as trade tensions with China ratchet higher, and while the recent lift in global stock markets has cooled this narrative, a fresh escalation in the trade way could rekindle risk aversion and demand for the U.S. currency. We still remain bearish of EUR-USD. The relative strength of the U.S. economy should be showcased by incoming data, which in turn should girder the Fed’s course to further tightening (we expect two more 25 bp hikes in the Fed funds rate this year, one in September and another in December). Market participants are also facing two wildcards in Europe that carry potential to disrupt the EU applecart; one stemming from the evolving populist political landscape in Italy, and another being the palpable risk for there being a no-deal Brexit scenario. EUR-USD has resistance at 1.1597-00. The June low at 1.1508, which is the lowest level seen since July 2017, provides a downside waypoint.
USD-JPY recovered above 111.0 during the London AM session after printing a two-week low at 110.70 during the Tokyo session. EUR-JPY and other yen crosses have seen a similar down-and-up price action. A 2% rally in the main Chinese equity indexes helped lift risk appetite in broader markets, hinged partly on expectations for fiscal stimulus and partly on Beijing’s announcement of a new government body to oversee the development of the nation’s tech sector. This backdrop saw the Yen’s safe haven premium unwind a little. Overall, for USD-JPY, we still place greater odds for there being a downside breakout that a sustained rally as we expect the Sino-U.S. trade war to continue to escalate. USD-JPY has a series of daily lows that were seen during the latter part of July between 110.58 and 110.76, which now mark a key support zone.