Market Outlook for the Canadian dollar
In the March-April period (to April-20), the Canadian dollar traded mostly sideways relative to USD, between C$1.33 and C$1.34; it was stable against EUR, at C$1.50, but against AUD it neared 15-week lows, at C$0.957.
Unlike other oil-sensitive currencies, the Canadian dollar has failed to take advantage of a thriving oil market, with the market’s attention instead turned towards the global economic slowdown and the Canadian housing market, which, according to the IMF, is now as risky as it was during the 2007-08 financial crisis.
Forecasters at RBC expect further sideways price action until mid-year, after which the loonie probably weakens modestly towards C$1.36 to the USD by year-end.
CIBC is also predicting C$1.36 per USD in December, and sees further weakness to C$1.40 sometime in 2020 — C$1.40 is an exchange rate last seen in February 2016.
Foreign Exchange News
The Swiss franc continued its shocking run of form on Tuesday, slipping against the euro to its weakest level in 6 months.
Updated: 23 Apr, 2019
HSBC has reaffirmed its US66¢ year-end forecast for the Australian dollar, thereby signalling an upcoming 8 percent slide in the world’s fifth most traded currency.
Updated: 22 Apr, 2019
What is arguably Southeast Asia’s most important exchange rate, Singapore dollar-Malaysian ringgit, leapt on Thursday to its highest level since November 2017, driven by FTSE Russell’s decision to reconsider Malaysia’s inclusion in an important bond index.
Updated: 18 Apr, 2019
The Australian dollar is forecast to climb to US$0.74 in the coming months, supported by a commodities boom that has seen the price of Australia’s largest export, iron ore, climb to a 5-year high.
Updated: 15 Apr, 2019
Market Outlook for the US dollar
In the third week of April the Dollar Index was rallying strongly towards the mid-97s, slightly below major resistance at 97.70, a break of which would be massively positive for the greenback. The index was up 1.7 percent year-to-date.
The dollar’s strength comes in spite of a dovish surprise in March from the Federal Reserve, which ditched two interest rate hikes from its 2019 projections. Fortunately for dollar holders, the rest of the world has problems and other important central banks also turned dovish, removing much of the incentive for selling USD.
Bloomberg research warned in April of potential for a large upcoming move in the US dollar, up or down. Over the past quarter-century, three prominent troughs in the JPMorgan Global FX Volatility Index were followed by dollar moves over 6-month periods worth 10-15 percent. The index was trading in mid-April at a 5-year low.
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Market Outlook for the British pound
Update 14-April: The pound hovered between US$1.30 and US$1.31 (in line with 3-month averages) after the EU granted the UK a Brexit extension until the end of October. No-deal risk is gone for now and anything is possible, including a new British prime minister, a general election and/or second referendum.
Experts at MUFG said in April that sterling would likely trade between US$1.30 and US$1.34 until more clarity emerged.
If an election is called, the pound could depreciate to US$1.24, a UBS analyst said, due to “heightened uncertainty” (the opposition Labour party is consistently ahead in the polls).
Goldman Sachs said in April that sterling was set for a “big finish” (higher) once the gridlock in the UK parliament ends and a deal is agreed and certainty found.
Earlier this year, currency analysts at HSBC estimated that the pound would be valued at levels near US$1.10 in the event of no-deal, near US$1.45 with a deal and at US$1.55 if Brexit is cancelled.
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Market Outlook for the Euro
Against the dollar, the euro remains weak. At $1.12 in early April, the euro was barely above March’s 21-month low of $1.118. Against the pound, it traded at £0.86 (a level it never sank to in 2018), but it fared better against the Australian dollar, with EUR/AUD rates in line with 2018’s average, at A$1.578.
Euro weakness has been driven by Brexit uncertainties and has followed March’s meeting of the ECB, at which the central bank said it will not raise interest rates until 2020 as part of an effort to lift the eurozone economy out of this “period of continued [economic] weakness.”
Forecasts: ING analysts wrote in March that they expect the low-yielding euro to continue to depreciate against USD over the coming months; ANZ said it saw rates falling as low as $1.08 by mid-year; Danske Bank said the euro would trade between $1.12 and 1.16 at year-end.
For EUR/GBP, Nordea Research thinks a no-deal Brexit will put £0.95 in play, a Norway-type Brexit (“Norway plus”) or permanent customs union will lead to £0.81-0.83, and Theresa May’s deal should see £0.83-0.84.
Fintech FX News
Remittances to low and middle-income countries reached a record high last year, the World Bank has said. Average transaction costs remain high, with an average of 7 percent paid to transfer $200 or equivalent.
Updated: 20 Apr, 2019
TransferWise is now officially offering PayNow as a funding option for users in Singapore, the company has announced.
Updated: 29 Mar, 2019
Citigroup’s announcement this week of plans to develop its own consumer-payments platform is the latest indication of a fightback by the banking establishment against fintech rivals that threaten its most lucrative markets.
Posted: 27 Mar, 2019
Fintech hotshot Revolut has written to millions of its customers to warn that new verification documents will be needed in the event of a no-deal Brexit; it has also called on the UK government to get serious about post-Brexit tech visas.
Updated: 25 Mar, 2019
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