Tag Archives: CAD

Adding to AUD/CAD Ahead of RBA Minutes

We like the Australian dollar ahead of the RBA minutes for a short-term trade and since AUD/CAD has acted as we expected, we’re going to add to our longs here at 1.0295.

 

We bought AUD/CAD on Friday at 1.0248. Read about it here:

 

Our catalyst for buying now is today’s release of the Aug. 2 Reserve Bank of Australia meeting minutes at 0130 GMT . If we remember back to the previous meeting minutes, the RBA came out more hawkish than expected and it led to a 500 pip boost in AUD/USD and 400 pip boost in AUD/CAD in the next two weeks. We expect to see something similar, albeit not as dramatic.

 

We like the trade because we believe there was a lively debate about hiking rates at the meeting. The discussion took place one week after Q2 CPI hit 3.6% y/y (compared to 3.3% in Q1). Officials in the statement emphasized that inflation had peaked but we don’t believe this was a universal sentiment. We also believe upbeat talk about the domestic economy could give AUD a boost.

 

The downside risks relate to offshore activity. The RBA was incredibly smart/lucky not to hike rates ahead of the wave of risk aversion that hit markets just hours after the decision. They noted external risks and, of course, some of those have come to pass. The risk to our trade is that the market will ignore upbeat comments on inflation and growth and recognize that some of the downside scenarios related to offshore developments have come to pass. Any discussion about cutting rates would cripple our trade but we see it as a less than 1% chance.

 

On balance, even if the main downside scenario comes to pass, we don’t see a large scope for AUD to fall.

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Bought AUD/CAD at 1.0248

Technicals were the primary driver for a long AUD/CAD trade I entered Friday. I announced the trade on twitter via FX_Button.

 

Every Friday, shortly before the market close, I take a look at the weekly charts and see if anything jumps out. This turnaround, along with probably reversals in CHF crosses caught my attention. The reversals in CHF look convincing but I’m reluctant to fight the huge upward trend in CHF.

 

Let’s have a look at AUD/CAD weekly chart.

 

AUDCAD Weekly Aug 12
AUD/CAD Weekly One-year

The dragonfly doji reversal pattern is what jumped out. AUD also looks strong against USD but with this trade I minimize the difficult risk on/risk off trade.

 

Breaking down the fundamentals also creates a convincing trade. Despite the furor about the soft AUD jobs data and potential rates cuts this year, we are not yet convinced. The RBA took a small step toward HIKING rates at the last meeting, while warning about potential downside risks off shore. It appears as though some of those risks are coming to pass (esp. in US and Europe) but that, alone, will not be enough for the RBA to cut rates. At the same time, Chinese and Japanese data has been stronger than expected.

 

The same risks apply to Canada. What leaves CAD more vulnerable is that the market is pricing in rate hikes in Canada in the coming six months. With US growth faltering, we highly doubt those hikes are still on the table. If fact, we see the BOC as more likely to cut rates that the RBA.

 

With this trade, we will look to add around 1.03 for an initial target of 1.05. So far the early Asia-Pac trade has been good to us after a curious rally in CAD in the final 30 minutes of trading on Friday but us behind 35 pips almost immediately. Those losses have been recovered with the pair gaining 80 pips so far this week.

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Stocks Have Bottomed But AUD Hasn’t

The S&P 500 will continue to rebound after the post-FOMC rally but forex market risk trades like AUD/USD will underperform as the market adjusts to the zero-growth reality in the United States.

The FOMC decision set off a wild round of trading. In less than two hours, the S&P 500 traded in a 117 point range. Eventually stocks closed at the daily highs and pulled risk trades along for the ride.

Here are some highlights of the FOMC decision:

  • The Fed committed to keeping rates low until “at least through mid-2013”
  • Three FOMC members dissented to ‘mid-2013’ saying they preferred to keep the vague commitment to low rates “for an extended period.”
  • The Fed said growth so far this year “has been considerably slower” than expected. They noted a deterioration in the labor market. There is no longer any mention of “the recovery”. They also noted that temporary factors like the tragedy in Japan account for only some of the recent weakness.
  • Previously, the Fed said it expected the recovery “to pick up” in the coming quarters. It now expects “a somewhat slower” place of recovery. They compounded the downgrade by saying that downside risks have increased.
  • The outlook for inflation was downgraded.
  • The Committee discussed the range of policy tools available to promote a stronger economic recovery… and “is prepared to employ these tools”

The final point was key because it helps explain the rebound in risk assets. It sounds like the Fed has several ideas on how to boost the economy, if need be. The thinking is that after Jackson Hall something will be implemented. This was the course of action with QE2.

To us, a larger factor was the relative value of stocks compared to bonds. After the FOMC, ten-year Treasury yields touched a record low of 2.03%. Dividends on 22 of the 30 stocks in the Dow yield more than 10 years and the average yield is 3.26%. The market tried to bully the Fed into QE3. The Fed didn’t bite (yet at least) so the market took a second look at where it could stash its money and decided risk assets were still a good bet.

That’s the takeaway for the immediate term, but what about the next 4-6 months?

We believe the market is in the process of pricing in a long period of near-zero growth in the US — something akin to the Lost Decade in Japan.

The US government is tapped out and spending cuts will continue no matter the economic state. This will be a headwind to growth, cutting about 0.5% per year from GDP.

The Fed is tapped out as well. There is nothing the Fed can do to lending rates that will stimulate growth. Borrowing rates are next-to-nil and we they don’t have a mandate or the power to get the economy moving.

This scenario may sound negative for stocks but it’s not as bad as it sounds. 1) Companies with solid (A+) ratings can borrow at extremely low  rates. 2) The worldwide economy is growing, booming in some places. Multinationals are making a larger and larger portion of their revenues abroad.

In the forex market, this doesn’t translate into the ‘risk trade’. Slower US growth will hurt commodities more than corporate profits so commodity currencies will underperform. CAD is especially vulnerable because a) rate hikes are priced in. b) Canada is highly integrated with the US. c) raw commodity exports are a large part of the Canadian economy. d) Canadian house prices are overvalued.

The first thing to break down will be the carry trade. This has already begun and will continue as AUD/USD falls to 90-cents. The Canadian dollar will be the next to decline. Traders will increasingly look to emerging market currencies.

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The Bank of Canada Will Hike, Look to Buy CAD

The Canadian dollar jumped after May CPI hit the highest rate in eight years. The Canadian dollar trailed AUD and NZD despite the miss as Canadian bank economists held onto predictions of no hike at the July 19 meeting. Some continue to forecast no hikes this year, noting gas prices have been down since the report. As traders, we think the money lies in establishing longs ahead of the decision at an opportune time. First, the BOC is hyper-conscious of inflation expectations (like Trichet) and terrified of allowing them to creep up at all. Second, it’s an unpredictable central bank and will not foreshadow a hike with a code word like “strong vigilance.” Third, there is no meeting in August, so the BOC will have to wait until Sept. 7 to move and policymakers may feel that they will sleep better through the summer holidays with a pre-emptive move. The clincher may come with Thursday’s report on April GDP; a 0.1% contraction is expected. With a flat or positive reading you will see the stubborn Canadian bank economists begin to shift their tone.

 

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