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Yesterday’s “hawkish taper” by the BoC brought USD/CAD right back to the lows

USD: The focus turns to President Joe Biden’s virtual climate summit with world leaders today. The risk is that that a possible big US announcement may hit fossil fuel exporters and benefit those more exposed to the copper/aluminium story. With the April ECB meeting being the key focus of the day, expect a generally limited impact on the dollar against G10 currencies today.

CAD: Yesterday’s “hawkish taper” by the BoC brought USD/CAD right back to the lows of the past month’s range. Fundamentally, it reinforced the view that the BoC is relatively optimistic on CAD strength justified by strength in the Canadian economy and crude. The question that continues to be asked is how far ahead of the Fed the BoC can realistically move. At the moment the BoC’s expectations are that their conditions for a hike will be met in H2 2022. Three important points to make: (1) the BoC has moved ahead of the Fed before, (2) The Fed is likely to follow suit as it  gains confidence in the recovery and crucially, (3) if the Fed really does keep rates on hold for the next 2.5 years, the BoC’s own models would suggest, all else equal, tighter policy for Canada, as an overheating economy south of the border would be a clear upside risk to the BoC’s own forecasts.

EUR: Most expect the European Central Bank meeting today to have a limited impact on EUR. With the ECB already announcing the front-loading of PEPP purchases in March, there is a little need for the ECB to surprise today or lean against the common currency. Although we don’t expect the ECB to morph into a tailwind for EUR in the coming months, we look for higher EUR/USD this year. Eurozone data is set to improve this quarter as the pace of vaccination picks up and USD recently failing to benefit from the good US economic data, expect EUR/USD to grind higher to 1.25 by summer.

GBP: Continues to show signs of stability, suggesting the worst is over. While we expect GBP/USD to push persistently above 1.40 this quarter, today, it may be too early for that if the EUR/USD reaction to the ECB meeting remains muted.

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