Invesco Canada blog

Insights, commentary and investing expertise

Fed maintains a slow and steady approach

The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (the Fed) raised the target Fed Funds Rate by 0.25% to a range of 1.25%-1.50% at today’s meeting. This is the third rate hike this year, although the first one since the Fed announced it was reducing the size of its balance sheet at the September meeting.

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Interest rate outlook: Bank of Canada to pause

After raising the target overnight rate 0.25 percentage points at each of the previous two meetings, the Bank of Canada (BoC) kept the rate unchanged at its meeting on October 25, 2017. While growth has remained strong, it has slowed from the second quarter and the BoC appears ready to give its two previous rate hikes time to filter through the economy before taking further action. Additional uncertainty around the breakdown in North American Free Trade Agreement trade negotiations leaves the BoC cautious regarding future hikes. The Canadian 10-year yield appears to have peaked for the moment and yields have several reasons to fall from current levels, in our view.

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Interest rate outlook: Bank of Canada likely to raise rate again

The Bank of Canada (BoC) has hiked interest rates at two consecutive meetings, bringing the overnight benchmark rate to 1.00%.1 GDP growth and employment trends remain strong, while inflation has stayed below the BoC’s 2.0% target. The Canadian 10-year government bond yield has followed an upward trend after hitting its lows in the second quarter. We believe higher rates are likely.

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Fed balance sheet normalization at last

The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (the Fed) held interest rates steady at Wednesday’s meeting, with a target range of 1% – 1.25%. After preparing the markets over the last several meetings, the Fed finally announced they would begin their long-awaited balance sheet reduction plans in October 2017.

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Fed balance sheet normalization at last

Interest rate outlook: BoC moves firmly into hawkish camp

The Bank of Canada (BoC) has moved firmly into the hawkish camp, with a rate hike to 1% this month, leaving the market expecting one more rate hike this year. The benchmark rate was raised to 0.75% in July.1 Recent economic data continues to surprise to the upside.

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Surprise hike from hawkish BoC

In a move that surprised the market, the Bank of Canada (BoC) hiked the target overnight rate to 1% at today’s monetary policy meeting. This is the second hike in a row for the BoC. The market was not expecting the next rate hike until the Bank’s October meeting.

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Currency outlook: CAD rally continues

The Canadian dollar has rallied significantly this year following the Bank of Canada’s (BoC) switch to a hawkish tilt. The combination of reasonably strong growth and the expressed intent of the BoC to remove both emergency rate cuts from 2015 left the market covering shorts in the Canadian dollar. The extreme rally has left the currency susceptible to a short-term retracement, in our view.

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Interest-rate outlook: Long-term U.S. rates now more dependent on global monetary policy

After hitting lows for the year in June, 10-year government bond yields rose to a two-year high of 1.89% in July,1 as the Bank of Canada (BoC) unsurprisingly increased its benchmark rate from 0.50% to 0.75%.2 The accompanying statement was upbeat as well, brushing off softer inflation numbers as temporary. The BoC’s optimism will probably keep the possibility of another rate hike alive at each of its upcoming meetings. We expect interest rates in Canada to rise from current levels, but we are looking for signs that rates may have topped out in the short term.

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Currency outlook: Strong global growth drives central bank policy convergence

The Canadian dollar has been in a slow decline over the last year. While the Bank of Canada increased the benchmark interest rate, as expected, by 0.25% (to 0.75%) at its July meeting, oil prices appear to have peaked for the year due to increased U.S. oil production, presenting a headwind for the currency.1 We are neutral on the Canadian dollar, and concerns about overleveraged Canadian consumers leave us looking for opportunities to short the currency.

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Up, up and away: BoC hikes rate

Following recent upbeat comments, the Bank of Canada (BoC) announced today that it would hike the overnight target rate to 0.75% from 0.50%. This is the first rate hike since 2010, as the BoC has become confident that the current “above potential growth” will continue, leading it to take back one of two emergency rate cuts enacted in 2015.

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Interest-rate outlook: Expect rising rates in Canada

In June, Canadian 10-year government bond yields bounced off their lowest levels of the year, to 1.63%, as first quarter growth came in above expectations and central banks express confidence that monetary policy has accomplished it’s goal.1 The Bank of Canada (BoC), in particular, is less worried about uncertain U.S. trade policy and another substantial drop in oil prices, and becoming worried that excess capacity is beginning to dwindle. Their optimism may prove to be premature as inflation remains very low, so we are watching its stance closely. We expect interest rates in Canada to rise from current levels.

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Currency outlook: Strong global growth mixed for U.S. dollar

The Canadian dollar has been in a slow decline over the last year, but has shown strength recently. As growth rebounded in the first quarter, the Bank of Canada (BoC) appears to be becoming concerned that excess capacity may be declining faster than they would like. While oil prices appear to have peaked for the year due to U.S. oil production, there has been little effect on the currency. We remain underweight the Canadian dollar due to the overleveraged Canadian consumer, but we are monitoring the recent hawkish BoC rhetoric closely.

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Full steam ahead: Fed hawkish, hikes rates

The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (Fed) hiked its key interest rate by 0.25% today, to a target range of 1% – 1.25%. While the hike was fully expected by the market, recent inflation prints, such today’s May CPI falling by -0.1%, had left an expectation this would be a dovish hike. As it turns out, the Fed announcement was hawkish as it formally announced the details of their balance sheet normalization.

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Will U.K. election surprise lead to “softer” Brexit?

One year after the Brexit referendum and two years after the Scottish independence referendum, U.K. voters have surprised the country and the markets once again, with a dramatically different election outcome than suggested by almost every poll: Instead of an enlarged Conservative Party majority, which Prime Minister (PM) Theresa May wanted to see, the result of the June 8 general election is a “hung parliament” – no party controls a majority.

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Looking beyond the active-passive debate

Recently, one of Invesco’s funds – Trimark International Companies Fund – was singled out for praise as an example that true active management can outperform. While the kudos were well-deserved for the team, it appeared as part of a commentary that was otherwise unsympathetic to active management.

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Interest-rate outlook: Excess pessimism in U.K.

During the recent rate rally, the Canadian 10-year government bond yield held at 1.45% and has bounced slightly from there, but still remains at the lower end of its recent range.1 Economic data has tapered off from the strong rebound seen in the first quarter and the Bank of Canada continues to keep monetary policy on hold. The U.S.’s recently imposed tariffs on Canadian softwood exports raised concerns about broader trade implications. In addition, a Canadian subprime mortgage lender has experienced a liquidity drain, drawing attention to an area of the mortgage market that is not typically in the news. We would expect Canadian yields to remain supported in any sell-off.

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Currency outlook: Continued CAD volatility

The Canadian dollar weakened significantly in April, breaking out of its one-year range. A combination of factors contributed to the weakness. Higher U.S. oil production and lower oil prices have put pressure on the Canadian currency. The announcement of U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood exports has also been a factor. Third, the recent liquidity problems of a Canadian subprime mortgage lender have played a role. Despite the recent strength in the latter half of May, we believe weakness in the Canadian dollar is likely to continue.

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