Release Explanation: This report covers the number of new residential Starts reported on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis. The report act as a leading indicator on housing market sentiment and the overall economy because they have an important influence on new & existing home sales, employment, retail sales, durable goods orders and GDP as new additions are fitted out with fixtures and fittings. A currency will eventually be affected by these numbers as they are the first phase in the home construction process.

Trade Desk Thoughts: According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), housing starts in Canada were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 134,600 in February, down 12.31% from January. Single family starts fell 11% to 44,500 (SAAR) while multiple starts, which include condominiums, row houses and other non-detached units, fell by 17.5% to 63,000 units (SAAR).

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased 0.5% to 150,100 units in December. Urban multiple starts increased 3.2% to 87,400 units, while urban single starts eased 5.1% to 62,700 units in December. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 27,200 units in December.

Preliminary figures indicate that there were only 6,598 actual starts of all types of housing in February, down by 53.75% from 14,268 actual starts in February, 2008. The number of multiple dwelling starts in urban areas fell by 61.10% to 3,575 in February from 9,192 a year earlier.

Forex Technical Reaction: The cad (USD/CAD) has been rising in overnight trade even as crude gained 17 cents, and has recently reached the highest level since August 2004.