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Canadian Dollar Benefits from Higher Oil Prices, Increased Housing Starts

Published April 10, 2017
  • The US dollar hit a three-week high against a basket of major currencies today after largely shrugging off Friday’s disappointing job numbers; market is focused on the Federal Reserve’s continued efforts to tighten monetary policy
  • Poor weather throughout the month of March in the US Northeast stifled job gains and led to fewer hires in tourism, factories and construction
  • Despite this, job growth averaged 178,000 per month in Q1 2017; investors are more focused on the shrinking US unemployment rate
  • Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak at the University of Michigan 4:10 PM EST; investors will look for comments on whether the increases in average hourly earnings and falling unemployment rates will entice the Fed to hike rates as soon as June 2017
  • Data on Canadian Housing Starts for the month of March came in strong at 254,000 new construction efforts versus an anticipated 215,000; Ontario led much of the growth in what was the highest level since September 2007
  • Oil prices are higher this morning supported by a shut down in Libya’s largest oilfield; the Sharara oil field in Libya ceased production after the pipeline linking it to an oil terminal was blocked
  • Global tensions over Syria and North Korea are also boosting oil prices; markets remain on edge despite a relatively positive meeting between President Trump and Chinese Leader Xi Jinping
  • The euro hovered near one month lows this morning due to pressures of the upcoming French presidential election; polls show that euro-skeptic Marine Le Pen and Centrist Emmanuel Macron are on track to pass the first round of voting and move on to the May 7 final vote