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USD / CAD – Canadian Dollar rises as Middle East tensions fall.

– Risk appetite turns positive.

– Oil prices slide while equities rise.

– USD opens on a mixed note with commodity currencies outperforming.

USDCAD: open 1.3723, overnight range 1.3715-1.3754, close 1.3748, WTI $81.64, Gold, $2361.12

The Canadian dollar squeezed out gains overnight with USDCAD falling from 1.3754 to 1.3715 in early NY. As usual, it is a US dollar driven move and had nothing to do with Canadian data.

The Canadian dollar is still sharply lower from where it was at the beginning of the month partly because the Bank of Canada hinted that a rate cut was possible as early as June despite the Federal government tabling a very stimulative budget. The government thought it was a good idea to increase spending dramatically but levying higher taxes to offset their largesse.

The Canadian dollar is grinding out gains despite crude oil prices sliding lower. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell to 80.72 from 82.12 after the weekend passed without an escalation in the Iran-Israel hostilities.

The Fed’s preferred inflation measure, the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index, is released Friday. Traders will be unlikely to be involved until the data is released, leaving Wall Street price action to dictate FX direction.

EURUSD drifted in a 1.0647-1.0671 band due to lowered geopolitical tensions. EURUSD upside appears limited due to widespread expectations that the ECB will cut rates at its June meeting.

GBPUSD fell from 1.2393 to 1.2333 after remarks by BoE Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden on Friday. He spoke of his confidence that inflation is easing, which reinforced speculation of a rate cut sooner rather than later.

USDJPY was steady in a 154.45-154.79 band. BoJ Governor Kazuo Ueda said that monetary policy will remain stimulative but warned of intervention risks if the yen continued to slide.

AUDUSD traded in a 0.6414-0.6455 range with prices supported by the improvement in risk sentiment.

Canada New Housing Price Index and Raw Materials Price Index are due.

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