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Daily Pulse

Canada

Canada was looking for a way out of a $13 billion deal to export armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a televised interview Sunday."We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia," Trudeau told CTV on Sunday, without elaborating. Amid growing international outrage over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the government has been reviewing the planned sale of the armored vehicles made by London, Ontario-based General Dynamics Land Systems, a unit of U.S.-based General Dynamics Corp.Trudeau's administration has said it wouldn't issue new export permits during its review of the deal, which was signed by the previous government.The Canadian leader had indicated previously that his government's hands were somewhat tied by the contract, saying it could cost C$1 billion ($747 million) to cancel it.

United-States

President Donald Trump and Congress have five days left to agree on must-pass spending legislation, or they risk leaving Washington for the holidays with a big chunk of the federal government shuttered.Only one major sticking point remains: Trump's demand for $5 billion to build a wall at the border with Mexico. Democrats insist on spending no more than $1.37 billion on border fencing, and the president said last week he would be "proud" to shut the government if it will force them to give in to his demands.Lawmakers have discussed various scenarios but so far they've been unable to reach agreement with Trump. With time running out until funding expires on Friday night, the dispute could lead to a prolonged closure, a temporary spending deal, a long-term agreement -- or something in between.

Europe

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is pushing back against Cabinet colleagues who are trying to take control over the direction of Brexit after her deal ran into a wall of opposition.Some of May's ministers are calling for Parliament to get the chance to vote on what happens next, with a series of indicative ballots on the options available, including potentially a second referendum. The U.K. is due to leave the EU in three months' time but there's so far no sign that the British Parliament will accept the divorce terms May has negotiated with the bloc. Without a deal, Britain will fall out of the EU on March 29 in a chaotic split that threatens to hit the pound, crash house prices and cause disruption for millions of citizens and businesses.

Asia

China's bond futures slid on concern that front-loaded issuance from local authorities next year will increase supply pressure. The most active contracts on 10-year sovereign debt fell as much as 0.36 percent to the lowest intraday level since Nov. 13, while the yield on similar-maturity China Development Bank bonds surged 6 basis points. News of the increase in debt supply in early 2019 sent rates higher, as "supply of treasury bonds and local debt at the beginning of the year tends to be relatively low," said Wu Sijie, a senior trader at China Merchants Bank Co. in Shanghai. Faced with a slowing economy and a protracted trade dispute with the U.S., China is looking to bolster growth.

The author

Michel Doucet

Michel Doucet

Vice-President and Portfolio Manager
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.