The Canadian dollar was slightly ahead of its US counterpart in the first trading session of the week. The CAD got a boost coming back from the Easter long weekend to the news of higher industrial production in China that beat expectations with a 7.6 percent gain. The Chinese GDP also improved on the forecast with a 6.9 gain. Commodity currencies improved based on the data out of China ahead of a week with few meaningful economic indicators, but plenty of political risk heading into the French elections on Sunday.
Oil prices fell as profit taking took place as crude has been on an upward trajectory and continues to be supported by comments from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on the success of the production cut agreement. The group of oil producers will meet in Vienna this weekend and sure to be in the agenda is the extension of the deal. Canadian and US producers have benefited from improved pricing, as they are not part of the cut and have raised the number of rigs in service.
The USD/CAD lost 0.091 percent in the last 24 hours. The currency is trading at 1.3314 on a thin trading market as the Easter holiday is still in effect in some regions. The US dollar has been weaker against all majors, except the JPY, on comments from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin that confirmed that the failure to introduce healthcare reform will have a negative impact on proposed tax reforms targeted to get before congress before August.
The loonie will trade on little Canadian fundamental data with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to be released on Friday, April 21 and forecasted to show a gain of 0.4 percent.
Energy prices lost 0.394 percent on Monday trading. The price of West Texas is trading at $52.55 after some investors decided to close longs after three weeks of gains. US production has put pressure on the rise of crude, but the OPEC has offset that with comments of a possible extension of the production deal that stabilized prices last year and got into effect in January of 2017.
Compliance was a huge question mark last year, but as numbers by the OPEC show all producers are close to full compliance. Russia is one of the nations that could do better, while Saudi Arabia is picking the slack by over cutting.
Oil prices have also been bid by the rise in geopolitical risk and potential disruptions to energy supplies. US Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea today about testing the resolve of President Trump.
Gold lost 0.293 percent in the last 24 hours. The price of the yellow metal is trading at $1,283 after the appetite for risk has returned to markets slowly as more markets rejoin the trading cycle after the Easter holiday. Gold has traded as high as $1,295 in the session and thanks to geopolitical events triggering a flight to safety it could easily break above the $1,300 price level ahead of the French elections where a too close to call polls and the two round system creating a lack of interest could end up triggering another wave of anxiety.
Market events to watch this week:
Tuesday, April 18
8:30am USD Building Permits
Wednesday, April 19
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
Thursday, April 20
8:30am USD Philly Fed Manufacturing Index
8:30am USD Unemployment Claims
11:30am GBP BOE Gov Carney Speaks
12:30pm GBP BOE Gov Carney Speaks
1:15pm USD Treasury Sec Mnuchin Speaks
Friday, April 21
4:30am GBP Retail Sales m/m
8:30am CAD CPI m/m
Saturday, April 22
All Day OPEC Meeting
Sunday, April 23
All Day French Elections
*All times EDT