USD/CAD Remains Confined In Familiar Range Above 1.3600, Eyes On Powell, Fedspeak

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  • USD/CAD consolidates near 1.3635 in Wednesday’s early Asian session.
  • Fed’s Powell said ”more good data" could open the door to rate cuts. 
  • The weaker Canadian employment data has spurred the BoC rate cuts expectation. 

The USD/CAD pair remains capped within a narrow trading range around 1.3635 during the early Asian session on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the USD Index (DXY) consolidates its gains past the 105.00 hurdle as traders await the second semi-annual testimony by Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell, along with speeches by the Fed’sMichelle Bowman and Austan Goolsbee.

On Tuesday, Fed’s Powell delivered the Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report and responded to questions before the Senate Banking Committee on the first day of his Congressional testimony. Powell said that holding interest rates too high for too long could affect economic growth. He further stated that "more good data" could open the door to interest rate cuts as recent data indicated that the labor market and inflation are continuing to cool. 

The US central bank has kept the Fed's federal fund rate in a range of 5.25%-5.50% since July of 2023, the highest in 23 years after inflation hit its highest level since the early 1980s. According to data from the CME FedWatch Tool, investors are now pricing in 74% odds of a Fed rate cut in September, up from 71% last Friday. However, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members at their June meeting indicated just one cut this year. The expectation of a Fed rate cut might exert some selling pressure on the US Dollar (USD) in the near term. 

On the other hand, the weaker-than-expected Canadian labour market data has triggered speculation about the Bank of Canada (BoC) rate cut. The country’s Unemployment Rate rose to 6.4% in June from 6.2% in May. A National Bank economist said that the Unemployment Rate in Canada might hit or exceed 7% this year if the BoC doesn’t make interest rate cuts “sooner than later.”

Elsewhere, crude oil prices decline for the third consecutive day as hurricane-driven supply concerns dwindled and geopolitical jitters remained subdued. Nonetheless, the rebound of oil prices might lift the commodity-linked Canadian Dollar (CAD) as Canada is the major crude oil exporter to the United States.

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