Canada’s 43rd Federal Election: Impact On the USDCAD

The 43rd Canada Federal Election holds today and it could have an impact on the USDCAD when voting is done by 10pm ET. But unlike the Canada Federal election of 2015 when the Justin Trudeau-led Liberals swept the Atlantic portion of Canada en route to victory, the situation seems entirely different today. None of the contenting parties in this year’s Canada Federal Election can really claim dominance and the vote may go down to the wire.

Three parties have emerged as the frontrunners: incumbent Trudeau’s Liberals, the NDP led by Jagmeet Singh as well as the Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer. Things looked good for the Liberals until the “blackface” photos of Prime Minister Trudeau, taken close to 2 decades ago, surfaced. Even though Trudeau has apologized for the photos, the scandal they caused has handed his opponents some significant political leverage. A strong electoral debate showing by Singh also sent support for the NDP soaring across the country. Scheer has also been able to consolidate on the traditional Tory holdings, and is looking to wrestle enough support from traditional Liberal strongholds to take power.

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Outlook for the USDCAD

Initial pre-election polls have lowered the odds for an outright victory for any of the top contenders. Without any clear favourites, it is quite difficult to trade the Canadian Dollar (in the USDCAD pairing for example) along or against the lines of any supposed clear poll-favourite.

The 2016 US elections provided a much clearer template and gives us some valuable lessons for the financial markets. There was a clear poll favourite in Hilary Clinton and the outsider candidate who everyone hated to love or loved to hate. It was not a question of who would win or lose, but by what margins. President Trump’s stunning victory provided the kind of market surprise that typically produces market opportunities.

We do not have such a scenario in this year’s Canadian Federal Election. Besides, the events surrounding Brexit and the US-China trade war and subsequent talks seem to have swallowed up other economic indicators and have provided sufficient market distraction from whatever the Canadian Dollar-based assets have to offer.

It is therefore possible that the markets may decide to wait for the final outcome of the vote before deciding on what to do with the USDCAD and other CAD-denominated assets.

Another option is for traders to wait out the Brexit deal headlines and allow their market impact to dissipate, before taking on positions on the USDCAD or other CAD-based assets. This option may lead to a delayed impact of the election outcome on the markets.

The USDCAD is currently trading at 1.3112; a drop of 27 pips for the day. It has broken the 1.31386 support level (23.6% Fibonacci level). Continuation of the downside move will bring the USDCAD in contact with 1.3065 (February 1 and June 28 lows).

A reversal of the current trend would open the door for a retest of 1.3145 (38.2% Fibonacci level and previous support of September 10 acting in role reversal).

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USDCAD Daily Chart; Election Day

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