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USD / CAD – Canadian Dollar struggling

– Canadian dollar missing out on improved risk sentiment.

– UK markets closed today.

– USD dollar starts the week on the defensive.

USDCAD: open 1.3676, overnight range 1.3672-1.3698, close 1.3687, WTI $78.92, Gold, $2321.18

The Canadian dollar joined the “sell-the-greenback” party on Friday but left early. The US dollar dropped against the major G-10 currencies subsequent to the weaker than expected US employment report. USDCAD plunged to 1.3610 from 1.3689 when the nonfarm payrolls data showed the US only gained 175,000 jobs in April. The forecast was for a gain of 243,000 jobs which was sharply lower than the upwardly revised 315,000 gained in March. Average hourly earnings slowed to 0.2% m/m (0.3% in March) while the unemployment rate increased to 3.9% from 3.8%. The news revised speculation that the Fed would cut rates and perhaps earlier than expected.

The Canadian could not hang on to its post-NFP gains and USDCAD rallied to close the day at 1.3687, higher than where it started. Part of the reason is that although the Fed is likely to cut rates, it is in no hurry, while policymakers at the Bank of Canada are itching to decrease rates at the June 5 meeting.

The recent slump in crude prices is not helping the Canadian dollar either. WTI traded in a $78.03-$79.07/b range overnight. Prices climbed off session lows after Saudi Arabia announced it was increasing prices for most of its customers.

Asian equity markets traded positively following the lead from Wall Street. Australia’s ASX 200 gained 0.70% supported by a sharp rally in China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 index which gained 1.48% after reopening from a week-long holiday. European bourses are higher except for the UK FTSE 100 index which was closed. S&P 500 futures are up 0.32%.

EURUSD traded in a 1.0755-1.0776 range supported by broad US dollar weakness and weaker than expected Eurozone PPI data.

GBPUSD climbed in a 1.2538-1.2585 range in thin trading as UK markets were closed. The Bank of England is expected to leave rates unchanged at this week’s meeting and indicate that rates will stay at current levels for a while longer.

USDJPY traded in a 152.80-154.01 range but gains were capped by ongoing intervention fears, a lower US 10-year Treasury yield (actual 4.73%) and by downtrend resistance at 155.60.

AUDUSD drifted in a 0.6605-0.6630 range with local markets closed for Labour Day. Tomorrow, the RBA is expected to remind markets that they are content to monitor incoming data and leave rates unchanged.

There are no US or Canadian economic reports today.

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