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Currency gains continue for oil exporters

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Market Insight – Foreign Exchange - Currency gains continue for oil exporters he recent unrelenting rise in oil prices from their trough

Market Insight – Foreign Exchange – Currency gains continue for oil exporters

Oil strength buoys CAD and NOK

The CAD and NOK have risen 9.4%* on average against the US Dollar in 2016, closely tracking the recent unrelenting rise in oil prices from their trough in February (see Figure 1). The rally comes despite both the Bank of Canada (BoC) and the Norges Bank outlining concerns over the health of their respective domestic petroleum industries and the impact of weaker global environment on national exports. While in the longer term these issues could pose risks, in the very near term it is likely that oil prices will continue to display strength and boost the CAD and NOK further.

Figure 1: Crude rally lifts oil currencies

ETFS1

(click to enlarge)

Latest oil move justified

Unlike previous rallies which have been purely speculative, the latest leg up in oil prices appears more sustainable, having being driven, at least in part, by improving fundamentals. In its latest report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggests that its long held belief that the global oil market will balance by the third quarter of this year is starting to take shape. US oil supply cuts appear to be gathering momentum, global demand remains robust and further production increases from the OPEC oil cartel look increasingly unlikely (see Figure 2, ETFS Commodities Research: Oil rally has legs).

Downward trend looks strong

From a technical perspective the current downward trend in the USD/CAD and USD/NOK appears well established, with the 50 daily moving average (DMA) crossing below the 100 DMA last month* for both pairs, a typically bearish indicator. For the CAD the current trend has also been reaffirmed by net speculative positioning, which has turned positive for the first time in over three years as an increasing number of investors start to acquire long exposure.

Figure 2: Global oil market to balance

ETFS2

(click to enlarge)

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