• The Bank is expected to remain on hold. Focus will be on the statement & press conference.
• The BoC has maintained a concerned tone in most of its recent communications.
• Mainly because it wants to avoid triggering a surge in the Loonie by sounding more optimistic.
• Thus it may keep the door open for a near-term rate cut, despite the latest progress in the data.
• Such signals could bring CAD under renewed selling interest.
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Safe havens rally as geopolitical risks take center stage
• JPY & gold rallied yesterday after reports of escalating tension in the Korean peninsula.
• North Korea said it’s ready to “mount a pre-emptive nuclear attack” on South Korea and the US.
• US President Trump tweeted that N. Korea is looking for trouble, and if China doesn’t help, the US will solve the problem alone.
• Expect a risk-off environment as long as this story remains in the market’s spotlight.
• We could see safe havens extending their recent gains, and riskier assets (stocks, AUD, NZD) underperforming.
As for the rest of today’s highlights:
• UK: Employment data for February 09:30 GMT). Unemployment rate is expected unchanged, average weekly earnings (ex. bonus) to have slowed. Could prove GBP-negative.
• Speakers: BoC Governor Poloz will hold a press conference after the rate decision.