Canadian double-feature Friday preview: Contradicting expectations lay the ground for a choppy reaction


  • Canada publishes retail sales and inflation that are set to rock the loonie.
  • Contradicting expectations set the stage for a volatile reaction.
  • The Canadian Dollar found some stability, for now, allowing the data to move it freely.

Canadian Inflation figures for June and Retail Sales for May are published simultaneously on Friday, July 20th, at 12:30 GMT. There are no parallel US publications, leaving the stage for these figures to move the USD/CAD.

Expectations from June's inflation figures are relatively upbeat: an acceleration in the Consumer Price Index from 2.2% YoY to 2.5% accompanied by a monthly increase of 0.3%, also quicker than 0.1% reported in May. Core CPI, which is no less critical, carries expectations for acceleration from 1.3% to 1.4% YoY, and also here, a monthly advance of 0.3%, after a slide of 0.1% in the previous month. 

Energy prices are on the rise and so is headline inflation all over the world. The expected acceleration makes perfect sense and should not impact the loonie. However, the projections for an increase in Core CPI do not seem to have a substantial basis. In the recent past, core inflation fell short of expectations, including those of the Bank of Canada.

Core inflation is, therefore, a weak spot. High expectations may result in a disappointment and may weigh on the C$.

On the other hand, projections for retail sales are quite modest. After a plunge of 1.2% in April, headline sales are predicted to remain unchanged in May. However, after such a significant drop, an increase has higher chances than just stagnation. 

Excluding autos, sales are projected to bounce by 0.5% after a slide of 0.1% beforehand. These expectations seem more logical and have better chances of being realized. Nevertheless, headline sales have a bigger impact on the loonie. 

USD/CAD

All in all, core inflation has a probability of disappointing while headline sales may surprise to the upside. If these two things happen, the reaction may be choppy, yet limited. The figures can offset each other. For a more meaningful outcome for the USD/CAD.

How is the pair positioned? The Canadian Dollar is under pressure for quite some time but has found some calm in the summer sun. There has been no significant news related to trade, the most sensitive topic for Canada, which heavily relies on the US. No news is good news for the loonie, allowing it to recover. 

The Bank of Canada recently raised rates and also maintained the bullish bias. On the other hand, oil prices are slipping. 

All in all, the picture is balanced, allowing the USD/CAD to adequately react to the data. 

More: How to trade the Canadian Retail Sales with USD/CAD

Information on these pages contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Markets and instruments profiled on this page are for informational purposes only and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy or sell in these assets. You should do your own thorough research before making any investment decisions. FXStreet does not in any way guarantee that this information is free from mistakes, errors, or material misstatements. It also does not guarantee that this information is of a timely nature. Investing in Open Markets involves a great deal of risk, including the loss of all or a portion of your investment, as well as emotional distress. All risks, losses and costs associated with investing, including total loss of principal, are your responsibility.

Analysis feed

Latest Forex Analysis

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD retreats on the hawkish Fed cut

EUR/USD is trading closer to 1.10 after the Fed cut rates but signaled no further rate reductions. The bank acknowledged the strong labor market and robust consumption. However, it is worried about investment.

EUR/USD News

GBP/USD: Rising wedge at the top inflates downside risk

GBP/USD portrays a short-term rising wedge bearish formation while trading near 1.2475 during the Asian session on Thursday. One-week-old rising wedge surrounding monthly tops questions buyers.

GBP/USD News

USD/JPY pops 20 pips on the as expected Fed

USD/JPY is currently trading at 108.32 following the FOMC, travelling between 108.08 and 108.33 but is virtually flat on the day as the Fed lowered rats as expected by 25 basis points.

USD/JPY News

Australian Employment Preview: The Fed and then the RBA

Higher unemployment could set the stage for RBA cuts. Employment is expected to increase by 10,000 in August after July’s addition of 41,100. Federal Reserve rate decision and economic projections in the background

Read more

Gold drops on strength in the Greenback following a dubious Fed rate cut

Gold prices have dropped on the Federal Reserve decision whereby no real assurance of more cuts down the line were presented. However, the door has been left open which limits the downside potential in this move.

Gold News

Forex Majors

Cryptocurrencies

Signatures