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USD / CAD - Canadian dollar fading

- Global markets in limbo until US inflation data, Thursday

- WTI inches higher on escalating Red Sea tensions.

- US dollar opens mixed after quiet overnight session.

USDCAD: open 1.3371-75, overnight range 1.3366-1.3397, close 1.3392, WTI $72.21, Gold, $2035.01

The Canadian dollar is suffering from boredom. USDCAD has bounced inside a 1.3340-1.3415 range so far this week, and that is not likely to change until tomorrow with the release of the US inflation data for December.

The data is critical for the outlook for US interest rates. Traders are expecting 150 bps of rate cuts in 2024, while the FOMC’s Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) suggests only 75 bps of cuts is likely. Core CPI is expected to have risen 3.8% compared to the 4.0% seen in November. A sharply lower result will be bullish for equities and bearish for the US dollar. On the other hand, a higher than expected result would boost the greenback and sink equities.

That’s not all. The case for a Fed rate cut in March deteriorated after the nonfarm payrolls report and the ISM services data gave conflicting information. The bottom line is that the US labor market may be too strong to allow the Fed to lower rates.

There are reports that Honda is considering an $18.4 billion auto plant investment in Alliston, Ontario, where they already have operations.
The Japanese company may be attracted to Canada after the Federal and provincial governments ponied up $28.2 billion in grants to Volkswagen and Stellantis. After all, the Federal government has money for everything, except Canadian health care and housing.

West Texas Intermediate chopped about in a $71.67-$72.72/barrel range and failed to make much headway despite rising tensions in the Red Sea and a steep decrease in US crude inventories. British and American warships shot down about 20 missiles fired at Red Sea shipping by Houthi rebels. The American Petroleum Institute reported a 5.2 million barrel drop in crude stocks for the week ending January 5.

EURUSD chopped around within a 1.0923-1.0955 band overnight, reaching the upper limit in New York, supported by ECB's François Villeroy hinting at rate cuts once inflation stabilizes at 2%.

GBPUSD remained steady, opening at the same level as yesterday, with traders waiting for the forthcoming US inflation data for rate clarity.

USDJPY traded in a 144.31-145.29 range. Japanese labor data indicated low wage inflation, which suggests that there is no immediate need for BoJ policy tightening.

AUDUSD traded in a 0.6680-0.6714 band with weakness after Australian CPI numbers reversed by the NY open.

The US and Canadian data calendars are empty.