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Daily Pulse

Canada

Gold and silver will rally to records as central banks loosen policy and currencies from the dollar to the euro get debased, according to the London-based manager of the Merian Gold & Silver Fund, who says the push to all-time highs will draw in a powerful wave of investment demand. Both metals will be boosted as the Federal Reserve and other policy makers cut interest rates and employ additional stimulus, Ned Naylor-Leyland, manager of the $423.6 million fund, said in an interview. The jump will attract further allocations on investors’ rising fear of missing out, or FOMO, he said.

Suncor Energy Inc. plans to spend C$1.4 billion ($1.1 billion) to make its Oil Sands Base Plant more efficient at a time when growing production is stymied by a lack of export pipelines. Canada’s largest oil sands producer said it will build two electricity-making cogeneration units that use heat from the base plant’s existing operations to help offer 800 megawatts of generating capacity to Alberta’s power grid while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to Chief Executive Mark Little. The move should create C$250 million a year of incremental cash flow, he said by phone. The units will replace existing coke-fired boilers that have been in operation for nearly half a century.

United-States

For only the second time since the financial crisis, the U.S. 30–year Treasury yield has been dipping intermittently below the dividend yield of the S&P 500 Index in the past month. To understand how uncommon this is, it’s worth noting that before March 2009, 30-year Treasuries had paid investors more than S&P 500’s dividend yield for at least 30 years. Yet the two yields have been trading at similar levels since mid-August, the first such situation since July 2016.

President Trump is ending a tumultuous summer with his approval rating slipping back from a July high as Americans express widespread concern about the trade war with China and a majority of voters now expect a recession within the next year, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The survey highlights how one of Trump's central arguments for reelection –the strong U.S. economy – is beginning to show signs of potential turmoil as voters express fears that the escalating trade dispute with China will end up raising the price of goods for U.S. consumers. The poll also shows a schism between Americans' continued positive ratings of the economy and fears of a downturn, with far more saying Trump's policies have increased chances of a recession than decreased it. Trump's approval rating among voting-age Americans stands at 38 percent, down from 44 percent in June but similar to 39 percent in April, with 56 percent now saying they disapprove of his performance in office. Among registered voters, 40 percent say they approve of Trump, while 55 percent disapprove.

Europe

After Parliament blocked his Brexit strategy, and then refused to give him the election he wanted, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is promising to work for a deal with the European Union. Monday night saw the British premier suffer his sixth consecutive defeat in a vote in the House of Commons, after his attempt to get approval for a snap poll was rejected for a second time.

Germany is sticking to a balanced budget but is ready to act with "many billions" should its economy and that of Europe head into recession, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said. In a speech to parliament Tuesday, Scholz confirmed Germany’s long-standing zero-deficit policy would stand for next year’s budget and allow already high investments to increase further.

Asia

China removed one more hurdle for foreign investment into its capital markets almost 20 years after it first allowed access. Global funds no longer need approvals to purchase quotas to buy Chinese stocks and bonds, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement on Tuesday. It removed the $300 billion overall cap on overseas purchases of the assets, about two-thirds of which remain unused.

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.