Canadian Dollar Will Still Fall To 59 Cents U.S. But Just Later, Forecaster Says

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As the loonie hit its highest level since last summer on Wednesday, the currency analyst who predicted it would hit 59 cents U.S. in 2016 says it will still happen — just not this year.

David Doyle of Macquarie Group — whom Bloomberg Business calls the top forecaster of the Canadian dollar — is pushing back his call for when he sees the loonie dropping to an all-time low.

The loonie is flirting with the 80-cent U.S. mark, closing at 79.05 cents on Wednesday, the highest level since July 2015. It was boosted by a rally in oil prices.

canadian dollar
The Canadian dollar has gained back all of its losses for this year, and was around nine-month highs above 79 cents U.S. this week, but analyst David Doyle still sees a 59-cent dollar in the years ahead. (Chart: Xe.com)

“We have published a couple of reports where we pushed out the timeline for when we think we will get to US$0.59,” Doyle said, as quoted at the Financial Post. “It’s no longer likely in the next couple of years.”

‘The worst of both worlds’

Doyle now sees the loonie hitting that low point somewhere within the next five years, but he sees the currency ending this year around 72 cents U.S. — about seven cents lower than where it was trading on Wednesday. And he doesn’t think that a higher dollar is particularly good for Canada.

“The challenge that the economy faces right now is it’s in a state that we’ve described as being potentially the ‘worst of both worlds' scenario,” he told Bloomberg last week.

That’s because oil prices have risen from around US$30 a barrel to around US$40 a barrel, causing the loonie to rise. That harms Canadian exporters, but at the same the higher oil price isn’t high enough to boost spending in Canada’s oil patch, he said.

“So where’s the growth going to come from?” he asked.

Doyle’s point echoed one made by CIBC senior economist Benjamin Tal last week, when he argued that a $30 barrel of oil is better for Canada than a $40 one, because the lower loonie that comes with a $30 barrel is better for exporters.

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