The USD/CAD represents one of the most traded currency pairs in the world due to the large volume of cross-border trading between the US and Canada. The USD/CAD also belongs to the major forex group as it contains the influential US Dollar, while the Canadian Dollar is considered a commodity currency. Importantly, the pair offers rich volatility, liquidity, and tight spreads that attract online traders from all over.
Read on to learn about the history of the USD/CAD, its benefits and drawbacks, trading strategies and technical analysis, suitable investing times, and more. We also list the best brokers for trading USD/CAD below.
USD/CAD Trading Brokers
- Forex.com - Forex.com maintains its position as a leading FX broker, thanks to the 80+ currency pairs and some of the lowest fees in the industry. EUR/USD spreads come in as low as 0.0 with a $7 commission per $100k. The SMART Signals tool also uncovers forex price patterns from dozens of major markets.
- Interactive Brokers - IBKR presents an extensive range of over 100 major, minor, and exotic forex pairs, surpassing the offerings of nearly all leading alternatives, though not CMC Markets. Forex trading occurs over multiple platforms and boasts institutional-grade spreads starting from 0.1 pips and 20 complex order types, including brackets, scale, and one-cancels-all (OCA) orders.
- NinjaTrader - NinjaTraders supports the trading of popular currencies including the EUR/USD. The software also offers advanced features to streamline the trading experience, including complex order types like market if touched (MIT) and one cancels other (OCO).
- OANDA US - OANDA offers a diverse selection of 68 currency pairs, more than many alternatives. The broker’s in-house platform offers superb day trading capabilities via powerful TradingView charts, including 65+ technical indicators and 11 customizable chart types.
- IG - IG offers an above-average suite of 80+ currency pairs on its proprietary web platform, mobile app or MetaTrader 4, with more advanced charts and forex analysis tools available on the ProRealTime software. Forex spreads are competitive based on tests, starting from 0.1 pips on majors like the EUR/USD.
Trading USD/CAD Comparison
|Forex App Rating
4.9 / 5
|0.08-0.20 bps x trade value
4.3 / 5
|FCA, SEC, FINRA, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB
3.5 / 5
4 / 5
4.9 / 5
|FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA
|Floating from 0.1 pips
2.5 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.3 / 5
|No fee - payouts approx. 80% (Copper)
|National Bank of Georgia
|From 0.0 pips
|From 1.6 pips
3 / 5
|CMA, FSC, FSCA
#1 - Forex.com
Why We Chose Forex.com
Forex.com maintains its position as a leading FX broker, thanks to the 80+ currency pairs and some of the lowest fees in the industry. EUR/USD spreads come in as low as 0.0 with a $7 commission per $100k. The SMART Signals tool also uncovers forex price patterns from dozens of major markets.
"Forex.com remains a best-in-class brokerage for active forex traders of all experience levels, with over 80 currency pairs, tight spreads from 0.0 pips and low commissions. The powerful charting platforms collectively offer over 100 technical indicators, as well as extensive research tools."- DayTrading Review Team
- GBPUSD Spread: 1.0
- EURUSD Spread: 1.0
- EURGBP Spread: 1.0
- Total Assets: 80+
- Leverage: 1:50
- Platforms: MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Forex.com boasts a global reputation with multiple awards and 20+ years experience. Regulated in the US, EU, UK and Canada they provide a huge range of day trading markets, not just forex, and offer competitive fees on a cutting-edge platform. The brand also provides a suite of additional tools, from performance analytics and SMART Signals to advanced charts and strategy builders.
- The $100 minimum deposit requirement makes the broker accessible for beginners
- The proprietary Webtrader is an excellent option for day traders, offering over 80 technical indicators for detailed analysis
- There's a VPS hosting solution for those using automated trading strategies
- It's a shame that there's no copy trading platform for beginners or signal providers
- The investment offering varies between countries
- The $15 monthly inactivity fee is higher than some competitors, including XM which only charges $5
#2 - Interactive Brokers
Why We Chose Interactive Brokers
IBKR presents an extensive range of over 100 major, minor, and exotic forex pairs, surpassing the offerings of nearly all leading alternatives, though not CMC Markets. Forex trading occurs over multiple platforms and boasts institutional-grade spreads starting from 0.1 pips and 20 complex order types, including brackets, scale, and one-cancels-all (OCA) orders.
"Interactive Brokers is one of the best brokers for advanced day traders, providing powerful charting platforms, real-time data, and customizable layouts. Its superb pricing and advanced order options also make it highly attractive for day traders, while its diverse range of equities is still among the best in the industry."- DayTrading Review Team
- GBPUSD Spread: 0.08-0.20 bps x trade value
- EURUSD Spread: 0.08-0.20 bps x trade value
- EURGBP Spread: 0.08-0.20 bps x trade value
- Total Assets: 100+
- Leverage: 1:50
- Platforms: Trader Workstation (TWS), Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
About Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage for experienced traders, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.
- With low commissions, tight spreads and a transparent fee structure, IBKR delivers a cost-effective environment for short-term traders.
- While primarily geared towards experienced traders, IBKR has made moves to broaden its appeal in recent years, reducing its minimum deposit from $10,000 to $0.
- There's a vast library of free or paid third-party research subscriptions catering to all types of traders.; plus, you can enjoy commission reimbursements from IBKR if you subscribe to Toggle AI.
- Support can be slow and frustrating based on tests, so you might find it challenging to reach customer service representatives promptly or encounter delays in resolving issues.
- You can only have one active session per account, so you can’t have your desktop program and mobile app running simultaneously, making for a sometimes frustrating trading experience.
- TWS’s learning curve is steep, and beginners may find it challenging to navigate the platform and understand all the features. Plus500's web platform is much better suited to new traders.
#3 - NinjaTrader
Why We Chose NinjaTrader
NinjaTraders supports the trading of popular currencies including the EUR/USD. The software also offers advanced features to streamline the trading experience, including complex order types like market if touched (MIT) and one cancels other (OCO).
"NinjaTrader continues to meet the demands of active futures traders looking for low fees and premium analysis tools. The platform hosts top-rate charting features including hundreds of indicators and 10+ chart types."- DayTrading Review Team
- GBPUSD Spread: 1.6
- EURUSD Spread: 1.3
- EURGBP Spread: 1.6
- Total Assets: 50+
- Leverage: 1:50
- Platforms: NinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal
NinjaTrader is a US-headquartered and regulated brokerage that specializes in futures trading. There are three pricing plans to suit different needs and budgets, as well as ultra-low margins on popular contracts. The brand's award-winning charting software and trading platform also offers a high-degree of customization and superb technical analysis features.
- NinjaTrader continues to deliver comprehensive charting software for active day traders with bespoke technical indicators and widgets
- You can get thousands of add-ons and applications from developers in 150+ countries
- NinjaTrader is a widely respected and award-winning futures broker and is heavily authorized by the NFA and CFTC
- There is a withdrawal fee on some funding methods
- Non forex and futures trading requires signing up with partner brokers
- The premium platform tools come with an extra charge
#4 - OANDA US
Why We Chose OANDA US
OANDA offers a diverse selection of 68 currency pairs, more than many alternatives. The broker’s in-house platform offers superb day trading capabilities via powerful TradingView charts, including 65+ technical indicators and 11 customizable chart types.
"OANDA remains an excellent broker for US day traders seeking a user-friendly platform with premium analysis tools and a straightforward joining process. OANDA is also heavily regulated with a very high trust score."- DayTrading Review Team
- GBPUSD Spread: 3.4
- EURUSD Spread: 1.6
- EURGBP Spread: 1.7
- Total Assets: 65+
- Leverage: 1:50
- Platforms: OANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist
About OANDA US
OANDA is a popular brand offering exceptional execution, low deposit requirements and advanced charting and trading platform features. The top-rated brand has over 25 years of experience and is regulated by trusted agencies, including the NFA/CFTC. Around the clock support is available for short-term traders, alongside flexible contract sizes and automated trade executions.
- OANDA is a reliable, trustworthy and secure brand with authorization from tier-one regulators including the CFTC
- Seasoned day traders can access industry-leading tools, including an MT4 premium upgrade and advanced charting provided by MotiveWave
- The broker offers a transparent pricing structure with no hidden charges
- It's a shame that customer support is not available on weekends
- The range of day trading markets is limited to forex and cryptos only
- There's only a small range of payment methods available, with no e-wallets supported
#5 - IG
Why We Chose IG
IG offers an above-average suite of 80+ currency pairs on its proprietary web platform, mobile app or MetaTrader 4, with more advanced charts and forex analysis tools available on the ProRealTime software. Forex spreads are competitive based on tests, starting from 0.1 pips on majors like the EUR/USD.
"IG continues to provide a comprehensive package with an intuitive web platform and best-in-class education for beginners, plus advanced charting tools, real-time data, and fast execution speeds for experienced day traders."- DayTrading Review Team
- GBPUSD Spread: 0.9
- EURUSD Spread: 0.8
- EURGBP Spread: 0.9
- Total Assets: 80+
- Leverage: 1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro)
- Platforms: Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand-US offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.
- IG offers an extensive collection of professional and engaging educational resources, including webinars, articles, and analysis
- The ProRealTime advanced charting platform is free as long as certain modest monthly trading activity requirements are met
- As a well-established broker, IG operates under strict regulatory guidelines in multiple jurisdictions, maintaining a high level of trust
- While there is negative balance protection in the UK and EU, there is no account protection or guaranteed stop losses for US clients
- Stock and CFD spreads still trail the cheapest brokers like CMC Markets based on tests
- IG applies an inactivity fee of $12 per month after 2 years, deterring casual investors
Why Trade USDCAD?
The USD/CAD currency pair is the fifth most traded forex pair in the world. With that in mind, it’s probably no surprise that it’s often highlighted on popular trading platforms and exchanges. But why should you invest in USD/CAD?
- Prevalence – It is one of the most traded pairs in the FX market, representing a significant quota of daily trade. The US Dollar is also the world’s leading reserve currency.
- Volatility – As the pair is widely traded, it leads to high volatility, thus, providing tight spreads. This ensures plenty of opportunities to make trades and profit from price fluctuations.
- Resources – With the number of tools available nowadays, short and long-term forecasts are easier to make. Live candlestick charts, for example, help you access real-time and historical graphs with customizable indicators and pivot points. Furthermore, multiple websites give you access to investing forums with ratings on trader sentiment and market outlook. These forums are often full of weekly projections and predictions for today based on multiple data points.
- Exclusivity – The USD/CAD has unique qualities. As neighboring countries, its economies run in parallel, taking away uncertainties from overseeing distant economies. Major economic news is also released on the same day, and both currencies also run under the same North American trading session.
- Volatility – While high levels of volatility can result in winning positions, it can also quickly lead to large losses. Another key factor affecting USD/CAD volatility is major economic news on US non-farm payroll and Canada’s employment reports, released on the same day. This can make the forex pair incompatible with scalping strategies.
- Leverage – Similar to stock trading, leverage can increase profits, but it can also magnify losses. Because of the pair’s volatility, utilizing leverage can be unpredictable. Thus, forecasting ahead to next week or later into 2024 is essential for risk management.
- Automated competition – You can access attractive bid-ask spreads, competitive USD/CAD futures, and ETFs. However, competition nowadays is fierce. Most traders have to compete against sophisticated trading algorithms. Even if you manually analyze and react to the market, you are competing with bots that enter and exit positions immediately when pre-determined criteria have been met.
Influences On Movement
There is a multitude of factors to consider in the USD/CAD relationship. However, the following are key to influencing the currency pair’s conversion rate:
United States Influence
- Balance of trade and investment – Analysts often cite this as the most important influence on the value of the Dollar. The balance of trades represents the difference between what the US exports and imports. A trade deficit can affect the Dollar foreign investor sentiment. On the other hand, if the US imports more than it exports, foreign investors will try to offset the difference by buying Dollar-denominated assets.
- Politics – Political affairs can impact the strength of the US economy, so it is important to keep an eye on the latest news and updates. If financial policies are unstable, investors may lose faith in the economy and resist buying the USD. Confidence in the US presidency, government administration, and congress can also cause investors to flock. Further, tax cuts can fuel consumer spending, improving the economy. On the other hand, tax increases can also lessen budget deficits.
- Economy – A strong economy will raise the confidence of investors. It is helpful to look out for America’s industry and economic indicators. Factors like manufacturing growth, level of outsourcing, employment growth, and wage data can affect the value of the US Dollar.
- Interest rates – Naturally, investors want to capitalize on higher interest rates. Thus, the decisions made by the Federal Reserve Bank are important to monetary policy, which significantly affect the value of the Dollar. These reports can provide an idea of where the currency is headed in the future.
- International trade – When exports exceed imports, it puts upward pressure on the exchange rate. On the other hand, a trade deficit will put downward pressure on the Canadian Dollar.
- Interest rates – Similarly to the USD, higher interest rates in Canada will attract investment. Notably, the decisions to raise or lower interest rates made by the Bank of Canada today can affect the future performance of the CAD.
- Commodity prices – As a commodity currency, it is no surprise that the value of the Canadian Dollar strongly correlates to the world’s live commodity prices. Commodities represent a large share of exports in Canada. Thus when the price of oil rises, its goods become more valuable. With an increase in purchasing power, this movement will be reflected in a higher exchange rate.
What may not be clear when trading on your USD/CAD live chart is the effect of currency correlations. No single pair trades completely independent of other currencies. These relationships varying by dates are known as positive and negative correlations:
- Positive correlation – This means that pairs move in the same direction. For example, popular pairs, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, and EUR/USD, are all positively correlated. This is an outcome of the US Dollar being the counter currency. Any changes to the US Dollar will affect all pairs.
- Negative correlation – When currency pairs move in opposite directions, they are negatively correlated. Popular pairs include USD/CHF, USD/JPY, and USD/CAD. This is a result of the US Dollar being the base currency. Negatively correlated currencies will suit hedging trading strategies.
A USD/CAD trader can use this information to better understand the consequences of movement in certain pairs. But it is important to note that correlations do not always remain stable. For example, USD/CAD had a strong positive correlation with a coefficient of 0.95. However, the relationship deteriorated down to 0.28. Many factors can affect this, such as economic impacts or decisions made by the Fed or BoC.
USD/CAD Trading Strategy
To trade USD/CAD effectively, it takes more than just analyzing signals and keeping up with the latest news and pre-market sentiment. It also takes more than using pip values to your advantage. Below are some useful options and considerations.
When day trading in the forex space, timing is everything. FX trading may be available 24/7, but it doesn’t mean you should buy and sell all day. Instead, you want to trade when the USD/CAD pair is active, with plenty of volume and volatility. The danger is if you trade at the wrong times, the cost of spreads and commissions can cancel out profits.
Trading sessions in Canada and the US coincide, which means longer trading sessions, but it can also mean more profit. Of course, higher trading volumes also make USD/CAD a lot riskier to trade with.
So, when is the best time to day trade USD/CAD? The ideal time is arguably from 08:00 to 17:00 EST, which is the entire North American trading session. During this nine-hour window, trading volumes are at their peak, and you have better leverage.
Interestingly, the pair also sees its greatest daily volatility on a Friday, which can be due to traders adjusting positions ahead of the weekend. Spreads are normally tightest during this window, which can result in the greatest opportunities to generate profits. During this window, forex forums are also active.
All these factors can result in the biggest profit potential. Therefore, you should make sure to check for intraday volatility and invest your trading capital during this time slot.
Buying & Selling USD/CAD
The USD/CAD has a tendency to make solid moves promptly, which follows a considerable period for consolidation. So, live charts and technical analysis will often be needed to succeed in trading this FX pair.
Trading the USD/CAD can be based on some simple technical strategies. For example, you can trade based on bounces from trend lines or support and resistance levels. This steady strategy can supply many small profits over a period of time. On the other hand, traders can opt for a more aggressive strategy that delivers large profits in a short period. This involves watching out for inevitable breakout moves from the pair.
The most intense trading sessions occur at the release of economic reports such as non-farm payrolls, unemployment rates, economic sentiment, manufacturing, and non-manufacturing activity growth. Thus, trading during these events without the help of technical analysis can be done using a proactive, a reactive, or a mixed strategy. Proactive trading involves entering a position ahead of the release of today’s data, for example, and basing your decision on forecasts. A reactive approach involves entering the market after the data is published. Finally, a mixed approach combines the two.
The latest market news updates on the USD/CAD currency pair can quickly impact market sentiment and create price shifts. You can capitalize on the right moments, but only if you understand how the markets reacted historically.
Since this pair is significantly affected by the oil sector, you should be aware of OPEC meetings that involve oil-selling countries like Canada and the USA. These deliberations can help you forecast which currency will have bigger demand in the future. You should also keep an eye on the decisions made by the Fed and BoC. As mentioned before, these two banks make important decisions on interest rates and monetary policy, which have a large effect on the value of the USD and CAD.
Make sure to keep on top of the latest news updates, along with daily, weekly and monthly forecasts. Utilize technical analysis on live charts, the latest spot exchange rate, plus forecasts and forums. The following are some popular resources:
- XE calculates real-time daily exchange rates and quotes
- TradingView provides charting tools, market news, and real-time information on currency conversions
- IG is a leading forex trading platform with excellent tools alongside 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year charts
Before you start live chart investing, it is helpful to have an understanding of the USD/CAD history:
The US Dollar was created during The Coinage Act of 1792, when the United States Congress appointed it as the country’s currency. Paper banknotes were introduced into circulation in the mid-1800s. In 1913, the Federal Reserve Act created the central bank of the US. The USD is still regarded as the world’s unofficial reserve currency after the introduction of the Bretton Woods monetary system in 1944.
On the other hand, in the early 1850s, Canada departed from the colonial pound sterling and shifted to the Canadian Dollar. Until 1970, the CAD was attached to the USD, but it is currently a free-floating currency controlled by the Bank of Canada. It’s also nicknamed as the ‘loonie’, derived from the loon bird that appears on Canadian Dollar coins.
Historical exchange rates of the USD/CAD were affected by key events. The Canadian Dollar reached parity with the US Dollar on September 20, 2007. It had been the first time in close to 31 years. Other points of USD/CAD parity were after the Great Recession when the Federal Reserve had subsequent quantitive easing. The Canadian and US Dollar eventually reached a parity of 0.95.
In fact, most instances of parity were related to periods of financial difficulty in the US or during high oil prices. For example, in 2016, the price of oil slumped to a low, trading at less than $30 per barrel. During this time, the Canadian Dollar hit a record low of 1.46 CDN to the USD.
The US to CAD FX rate between 2008 to 2018 has been anywhere between 0.94 and 1.46. The two have been relatively close in value over the decade. From 2011 to 2012, the CAD was worth more than the USD. This was when the USD/CAD exchange rate briefly dipped below 1.00. Since then, the US Dollar has shown a steady increase in value against the Canadian Dollar, particularly in mid-2015. The US Dollar was also in a general uptrend against most other major currencies during this time.
The influence of oil was felt again during the Covid-19 pandemic when oil prices fell to sub-zero. The CAD/USD rate reached 1.45. Although the CAD has since recovered, the effects can still be felt in 2024. This is in part due to Canadian inflation reaching a 31-year high of 6.7% in March 2022.
Note, the USD/CAD reached an all-time high of 1.62 in January of 2002; and an all-time low of 0.92 in November 2007.
Role Of The USD
After understanding key events in the USD/CAD timeline, it is important to grasp the role of the US Dollar to make future rate predictions.
The United States is the world’s largest economic power, representing almost 25% of the global nominal GDP. The country’s economy is primarily service-oriented, with 80% of its GDP coming from sectors like real estate, transportation, and financial services. Since the USD is the most traded currency in the world, it is affected by many factors. As already mentioned, key influences include the various reports issued by the Fed.
Other major economic indicators are:
- ISM Non-Manufacturing
- Consumer Price Index
- Producer Price Index
- ISM Manufacturing
- Trade Balance
Role Of The CAD
While you might focus your attention on the strength and role of the USD, it is equally useful to consider the role the CAD plays too.
Canada is the fourteenth biggest economy in the world. It closely resembles the United States with its market-oriented economic system, types of production, and high standard of living. Canada’s economy is typically known as a resource-based economy, as it mainly relies on the export of its natural resources such as wood, grain, minerals, and petroleum. Nonetheless, more than two-thirds of its GDP comes from its service sector.
Other major economic indicators are:
- Ivey Purchasing Managers’ Index
- Consumer Price Index
- Unemployment Rate
- Trade Balance
- Retail Sales
Importantly, the 1989 Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the US removed the majority of trading tariffs between the countries. The Bank of Canada is also a major influence on the Canadian Dollar as it enacts policies that promote economic and employment growth. Daily, weekly, monthly, and annual exchange rate charts are available on the BoC website.
Final Word On Trading USD/CAD
The USD/CAD currency pair promises volume, volatility, and tight spreads, which provide plenty of opportunity to yield profits. However, there are many factors to consider, like economic data releases, central bank statements, and the latest market news.
You must be ready to conduct your own expert analysis, utilize interactive daily, weekly and historical charts, trends, and news resources. Make sure to maximize the quality of your trades in the ideal window when the pair is most liquid. You can also invest via trusted OTC brokers such as Pepperstone and Oanda. If you follow the guidelines outlined on this page, you too can go in search of those rich forex profits.
When Is The Best Time To Trade USD/CAD?
The USD/CAD market hours align with the North American trading session between 08:00 and 17:00 EST. This is when the FX pair is most liquid and volatile. Invest your trading capital during these times to improve the quality of trades.
How Much Is 1 USD In CAD?
The USD to CAD exchange rate is always shifting. See a live chart for the latest rate between the two popular currencies.
Is The USD Stronger Than The CAD?
The historical exchange rate of the two is always fluctuating, with both currencies being stronger than the other across various points. However, in the last few years, the US Dollar has maintained a superior position to that of the Canadian Dollar.
Can I E-Transfer USD To CAD?
There are many services available today that allow you to e-transfer USD to CAD and vice versa. For example, TD provides competitive exchange rates and ensures your transactions are processed safely and securely.
Should I Trade With USD/CAD?
When done effectively, the profit potential can be fruitful. This is because USD/CAD provides high volumes and tight spreads. It also features two key currencies, with the US Dollar being the world’s top reserve currency. Investors can make use of simple strategies like trading based on bounces from trend lines or from support and resistance levels. Alternatively, you can opt for more aggressive strategies that deliver large profits in a short space of time. A proactive, reactive, or mixed approach to the news can also prove prosperous during major economic releases.