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Pound Hits 9-Month High Versus Canadian Dollar, as CA Retail Sales Dip

Market CommentaryPound Hits 9-Month High Versus Canadian Dollar, as CA Retail Sales Dip
The pound to Canadian dollar interbank exchange rate has hit 1.7754 in the past day, its highest since May 4th 2017, as Canada
The pound to Canadian dollar interbank exchange rate has hit 1.7754 in the past day, its highest since May 4th 2017, as Canada’s retail sales unexpectedly dipped -0.8% in December. Image credit: Andrew Hildebrand.

by Peter Lavelle

Welcome to Pure FX’s latest update of the pound to Canadian dollar interbank exchange rate.

This tells you when it’s a favourable time to exchange pounds to Canadian dollars, for your money transfer!

Sterling jumps versus the loonie! The pound to Canadian dollar interbank exchange rate has hit 1.7754 in the past day, its highest in 9 months, or since May 4th 2017.

The pound has lifted against the Canadian dollar, because Canada’s retail sales unexpectedly dipped -0.8% in December, said Canada Statistics yesterday, the sharpest fall since March 2016.

This has weakened the loonie dollar, because this -0.8% fall in retail sales was below both financial market forecasts for a +0.2% rise, plus November’s brighter figure of +0.3%.

The CA dollar has lost out, in particular because sales at Canada’s electronic stores fell -9.1% in December, while sales in general merchandise shops also tumbled by -5.3%.

This has weighed on the loonie dollar, because with weaker retail sales, it’s thought that Canada’s economy grew by just +2.0% in Q4 2017, below hopes for +2.5% GDP.

This has dragged down the Canadian dollar, because if Canada’s economy slowed between October and December last year, this bodes ill for Canada’s GDP growth for 2018 too!

CA dollar slides, as Bank of Canada less likely to hike interest rates

What’s more, the pound has also hit this 9-month high versus the Canadian dollar, because it’s thought that the Bank of Canada (BoC) is less likely to hike interest rates next month.

According to financial markets, there’s now a 96% chance that the BoC will keep interest rates at 1.25% when it next meets on March 7th, thereby dragging down the Canadian dollar.

It’s thought that Canada’s central bank will hold borrowing costs at 1.25%, because Canada’s retail sales unexpectedly shrank in December by -0.8%, thus weakening the CA dollar too.

Furthermore, the BoC also looks set to keep interest rates steady in March, as Canada’s wholesale sales also surprisingly fell, by -0.5% in December, so holding down the loonie dollar too.

The Canadian dollar weakens when the Bank of Canada keeps interest rates steady, because lower interest rates make investing in Canada’s assets less profitable for money managers.

Given all this, the pound to Canadian dollar interbank exchange rate has hit this 9-month high, and could rise further!

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Please bear in mind, this article is Pure FX’s opinion only and does not constitute advice. Moreover, the exchange rates referred to in this article are the interbank rates, which are the rates at which banks and financial institutions buy and sell currency to each other. Therefore these exchange rates cannot be accessed by individuals or SMEs, and are not the same rates that Pure FX can offer. To get a free exchange rate quote, call us on +44 (0) 1494 671800, or email peter.lavelle@purefx.co.uk.

References

1. Fergal Smith, “Canadian dollar hits two-month low as December data disappoints”, February 22nd 2018, TheGlobeAndMail.com, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/inside-the-market/market-updates/canadian-dollar-hits-two-month-low-as-retail-sales-fall/article38062504/
2. Reuters Staff, “Canada’s December retail sales fall in blow to fourth quarter growth forecast”, February 22nd 2018, CA.Reuters.com, https://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN1G61PY-OCATP

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