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Why Groundhog Day Could Lift the Loonie

Tuesday, 29 Jan 2013 | 1:15 PM ET
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If you are one of those currency investors who looks to past patterns for clues as to future performance, Camilla Sutton has a pattern you should check out.

Sutton, Scotiabank's chief currency strategist, has tracked the performance of the Canadian dollar in January and February of the last ten years. She wrote in a note to clients that "over the last ten years, eight of the ten Januarys have been marked by CAD weakness; however February has typically reversed the January move, with only two Februarys in the last ten years returning losses against the USD."

The pattern could be a function of several things, Sutton told me, adding that exporters could be hedging or investors could be rebalancing. "Sometimes it is much easier to spot the trends than to explain them," she says. Still, the pattern is there - and several technical indicators Sutton follows suggest 2013 should follow it.

Such as?

The nine and 21-day moving averages are in "buy" territory, Sutton say. So are the moving average convergence/divergence, or MACD, and the directional movement index.

(Learn more: CNBC Currency Class: Trendlines)

Then there is the matter of the Canadian dollar's past correlations breaking down. for example, it used to be the case that risk-sensitive currencies like the Canadian dollar, the Mexican peso, and the Australian dollar would all trade in tandem based on fluctuations in risk appetite.

(Learn more: CNBC Currency Class: Intermarket Analysis)

Recently, however, the Canadian dollar's correlation with the movement of the S&P 500 and the euro have turned negative, and its correlation with the Mexican peso has weakened, Sutton says. "To us this suggests that current trading patterns are temporary and outside of typical patterns."

And with the Canadian dollar having been under pressure lately, that probably means a lift for the loonie.

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Learn more: The essential vocabulary for currency trading is on Key Terms Dictionary. Top currency strategies are broken down for you in Currency Class.

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