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Daily Pulse

Canada

Canada's cannabis companies are experiencing a rush of investment that's making even some participants paranoid. Tilray  Inc., a marijuana company valued at nearly $9 billion, currently trades at a price-to-sales ratio of about 124. That's more than 25 times higher than Amazon Inc. and Apple Inc., the two most valuable companies in the S&P 500. And Canopy Growth Corp.'s  $11 billion-plus market value is on par with Barrick Gold Corp.'s, even though the mining firm, with 18,000 workers, is expected to post 20 times the sales this year as the 1,000-employee cannabis company.

Canadian housing starts declined for a second month in August, adding to evidence that higher borrowing costs are slowing the market. Work started on 200,986 homes last month at a seasonally adjusted annual pace, a decline of 2.3 percent.

United-States

Trade associations representing farmers, retailers and manufacturers are joining forces in a new multi-million-dollar campaign to oppose President Donald Trump's tariffs, in the latest attempt by U.S. business to stop an escalating trade war. Groups lobbying for months to persuade the president that tariffs are the wrong approach have been largely ignored, as Trump slapped duties on billions of dollars of imports from steel to Chinese products. But a new coalition called Americans for Free Trade is joining Farmers for Free Trade to change the direction in Washington by highlighting stories of businesses, consumers and farmers in the heartland negatively affected by the duties.

New York has replaced London as the world's top financial center as Brexit saps the confidence of U.K. industry professionals, according to a survey.

Europe

European equities inched higher as energy shares rose along with crude prices and mining stocks bounced back from their recent sharp sell-off.

Sweden's center-right group of parties says it's ready to work with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven's Social Democrats as the establishment seeks to block the nationalist Sweden Democrats from gaining too much political influence.

Asia

The benchmark MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell for a tenth consecutive day Wednesday, extending its recent decline to almost 5 percent and bringing the loss in value to almost $700 billion this year. And there's a slew of reasons: trade, the U.S. dollar, emerging-market turmoil and the bear market in Chinese stocks to name but a few.

China's policy makers are stuck with the most bearish equity market in years as their attempts to lift sentiment fail to gain traction. The Shanghai Composite Index closed Wednesday within just half a point of its lowest level since 2014, ignoring an article in the Securities Daily expressing support for the market and suggesting value investors should start buying.

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The author

Michel Doucet

Michel Doucet

Vice-President and Portfolio Manager

Michel Doucet

After obtaining a Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Université du Québec in Montréal and his Master’s degree, Michel Doucet began his career as a junior economist at the National Bank head office in Montreal. In 1992 he joined the institutional equities and fixed income group at Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion as an economist and market analyst. Over the years, he has led various projects related to the North American and international economies as well as Canadian public finances. In 1996, the team of institutional economists to which he belongs was ranked first in Canada by Brendan Wood International. In August 1997, Mr. Doucet joined the personal services division of Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion where he served as an economist, fixed income market analyst and vice president. In 2004, he joined the Desjardins Securities full service team as Vice President. He now occupies the roles of fixed income strategist, economist and portfolio manager. He manages the Securities Portfolio Advisory Group, advisor marketing and distribution of financial planning and insurance.

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