A veteran Bay Street strategist believes the Canadian dollar could go as high as 90 cents U.S. over the next two years, despite long-term concerns for the global economy.
Despite a long-term target as low as 55 cents U.S. for the loonie, Davis Rea Chief Strategist John Johnston told BNN on Monday that he sees the currency trending upward before slumping to long-term lows.
“I think we’re going to see a bit of cyclical rebound in commodity prices and I think with that the Canadian dollar is more likely to head towards 90 cents than it is towards that 55-cent target on a one-to-two year view,” Johnston told BNN.
The Canadian dollar closed at 76.92 cents U.S. on Friday, its lowest close of the week.
“I’m seeing clear signs that the [economy] is inflecting up and we’re getting a bit of a reacceleration here and that suggests to me that over the next six-to-twelve months we’re going to see firmer demand for commodities against the backdrop of more significant supply with some adjustments for the recent price weakness,” he said.
Johnston pointed to the mid-1980s as historical precedent for his current predictions; remembering January 1986 when the Canadian dollar hit 70 cents U.S. only to rebound in the following years. He sees commodity prices allowing the loonie to once again settle in a higher range in the coming months.
“I think we’re in a window certainly for the next six-to-12 months where I think that plays out,” he said. “Stronger Canadian dollar, commodity prices moving up into a higher trading range.”
However, he maintained his gloomy long-range global predictions.
“I think it’s more likely that after a couple years of bouncing around we’re going to see a global recession at some point. I think that’s on the horizon,” Johnston said. “I don’t know exactly when that is. It’s not something I’m worried about on a 12-month view.”
“But just like in 1990, ’91, ’92, we had a global recession and that brought commodity prices down and the Canadian dollar back down … we’ll have that again at some point.”