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Jul 23, 2019

Rosenberg shuts down 80-cent loonie call: ‘There’s no catalyst’

Rosenberg: U.S. is in a mild earnings recession

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A prominent Canadian economist is pouring cold water over a recent call that the loonie could reach 80 cents U.S.

David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff + Associates, told BNN Bloomberg in an interview on Tuesday he didn’t like the argument for a surging Canadian dollar posed by Olivier Korber, foreign exchange derivatives strategist at Societe Generale, last week.  

“I wasn’t too impressed with the reasons because even when the Canadian dollar got up towards 77 cents, and it was getting on the other end towards $1.30, a lot of the good news on Canada was already priced in,” he said.   

Korber cited diverging monetary policy, as the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to cut rates later this month while the Bank of Canada stays on hold, as part of his reasoning behind his 80-cent call. He also said the economic impacts of tariffs would have a greater effect on growth and prices for China and the U.S. than on Canada.   

Rosenberg said he’s neutral on where the Canadian dollar is right now, which was trading at 76 cents U.S. as of 10:10 a.m. ET Tuesday.

“There’s no catalyst, I think, that should cause it to scream higher from here,” he noted.

While Canadian economic data has been strong in the second quarter, recent reports such as the disappointing retail figures released by Statistics Canada last Friday may be an indication that quarterly growth was temporary, Rosenburg added.  

“We may well find that this second-quarter hiccup in growth was just that – a temporary hiccup – and that we’re going to start slowing down in line with the rest of the world,” he said.

“It’s really tough to build a positive Canadian dollar view out of that.”