Going into the last BoC meeting short-term interest rate markets were split between a 50 and 75 bps rate hike. In the end, the BoC hiked by only 50bps and flagged some concerns about slowing growth which weighed on the CAD in the immediate aftermath.
The BoC’s concerns
The Bank of Canada flagged areas sensitive to rising interest rates like the housing sector. The BoC noted that housing activity has fallen sharply and household spending is falling. Furthermore, in the released statement prior to the Q&A BoC’s Macklem stated that the tightening phase will draw to a close, ‘but not there yet’. He added that they expect growth to fall in the next few quarters. As a balance to this statement, the BoC still stated that policy interest rates will need to rise further to counter elevated inflation. The Council also repeated that the bank’s preferred measure of inflation (core) is not showing meaningful signs of price pressure easing.
So, this means the BoC is starting to start thinking about slowing the path of rates. This is a more dovish stance from the BoC and should allow the CAD to weaken somewhat over the medium term. After the rate statement, Governor Macklem highlighted that he expected a ‘significant slowing of the economy to occur’.
In terms of the USDCAD, it may be trickier to pick a direction. If the Federal Reserve starts to hint that it too will be slowing down then the USD could find itself experiencing a period of weakness too. A GBPCAD long may be an option as the battered GBP recovers on the reassurance of a new fiscally prudent PM.