This is the current USD-CAD mid-market exchange rate. The Total Cost of buying foreign currency in the above table is calculated as the sum of all fees and the exchange rate margin, which is the difference between the provider's exchange rate and the mid-market USD-CAD exchange rate.
Whenever you are researching a particular exchange rate you are actually interested in two currencies as the value of a currency must always be quoted relative to a second currency.
So it follows that if you are determining the best time to transact, in this case the USD vs CAD, you should pay attention to both United States Dollar and Canadian Dollar news and forecasts.
26-January-19: 2018 was a reasonable year for the dollar. Measured by the US Dollar Index, the greenback appreciated by 4 percent, which was much better than 2017’s 10 percent loss. It was, though, something of a stuttering end to 2018 and the dollar has had mixed fortunes in early 2019.
In December, after lifting US interest rates to 2.25-2.5 percent, the Fed lowered its expectations for future hikes due to so-called “cross currents” (China, Brexit, trade wars etc.). Skepticism among analysts over future Fed hikes has for some time been the main reason for dollar pessimism for 2019, but now, there is also the prospect of a US economic slowdown to contend with.
“A slowdown in the economy is likely to weigh on USD particularly in the second half of this year,” a CIBC researcher said in January.
Of the same opinion was an expert at ING, who argued that the dollar is soon to “embark on a gradual long-term bearish trend.”
January’s extended US government shutdown also has dollar-negative ramifications. Not only is the shutdown likely to hit first-quarter GDP growth, disagreements within Congress bode poorly for the future of potentially inflationary fiscal spending.
7-February-19: January was a fantastic month for the Canadian dollar. A gain of 4 percent relative to the US dollar took USD/CAD away from 19-month highs near C$1.365 into the low C$1.31s.
A recovery in the oil market has played a big part in the loonie’s 2019 recovery. By the time of this report, oil had gained nearly $12 per barrel, or 23 percent, on 2018 lows. The price of oil remains vital to Canada’s economy; it had fallen by as much as 40 percent in the October-December period.
Going forward, risks to the Canadian dollar include, of course, oil, and the return of global trade tensions.
Towards the end of 2018, Goldman Sachs predicted a strong energy market rebound in 2019 — more so than has already been realised — and this would underpin Canada’s currency.
In February, Westpac reaffirmed its view that the Canadian dollar would be an outperformer in 2019. Canada’s growth picture is more secure than those of the eurozone, UK or Australia, Westpac believes, and as a result, the Bank of Canada will be more hawkish this year relative to other G10 central banks, driving CAD appreciation.
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