USD/CAD is showing little movement in the Friday session. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.3140. On the release front, Canada releases employment change, which is expected to post a sharp decline of -10.1 thousand. In the US, today’s highlight is Preliminary UoM Consumer Sentiment, with the markets expecting a strong reading of 97.9 points.
US crude stockpiles continue to record surpluses. On Wednesday, Crude Oil Inventories made a splash, soaring 13.8 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The indicator has recorded five straight surpluses, easily exceeding forecasts on each occasion. The huge gain also marked the highest surplus since late October. Crude posted sharp losses on Tuesday, following the release of the API inventories report, which predicted a surplus of 14.2 million, compared to a forecast of 2.38 million. US crude prices are down 2.7 percent this week, as US oil production continues to increase. The EIA says that US production in 2017 will be the highest since 1970, so cuts from OPEC and Russia may not lead to higher oil prices, due to the steady increase in US crude production. The Canadian dollar is sensitive to crude fluctuations, and stronger oil prices would likely boost the Canadian dollar.
Donald Trump didn’t field much of an economic platform during the election campaign, but he did promise a significant fiscal boost through infrastructure spending and tax cuts. This led to a post-election euphoria in the markets and boosted the US dollar. Fast forward to February, and optimism has been replaced by caution and unease, as Trump continues to entangle himself in controversy, both with US trading partners and at home, with the media and Supreme Court. On Thursday, Trump said that the administration was working on a "phenomenal" tax plan, which would be released in a few weeks, although he gave no details. Trump’s plan is expected to lower taxes for both corporations and individuals, although tax reform promises to be a slow and daunting task, as changes to the US tax code can only be made by Congress. Still, the markets are hungry for any movement in this direction, and the dollar could get a strong boost once Trump outlines his tax agenda.