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Daily Pulse

Canada

Oil rose as industry data showed a decline in American stockpiles, countering speculation that the ouster of U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton may lead to a less hawkish approach on Iran and Venezuela. Futures added as much as 1.6% in New York, after dipping 0.8% on Tuesday. The American Petroleum Institute reported a 7.23 million-barrel weekly drop in crude inventories, according to people familiar with the figures. That’s a steeper decline than forecast in a Bloomberg survey, ahead of government data due later Wednesday. Oil is still down about 12% from its peak in April as a deepening trade dispute between the U.S. and China dents the outlook for global demand.

United-States

President Trump overcame formidable odds and discouraging poll numbers to win the White House in 2016. More than a year out from the 2020 election, it appears he might have to repeat that performance to win a second term, according to a Washington Post-ABC News survey. The new poll tested Trump against five potential general election challengers, and in four of those cases, the president trails, significantly or modestly. He does worst against former vice president Joe Biden, but also runs well behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and slightly behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.).

The U.S. Federal Reserve should get interest rates down to “zero, or less,” and then start to refinance its debt, President Donald Trump said in early Wednesday tweet. “No Inflation! It is only the naïveté of Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve that doesn’t allow us to do what other countries are already doing,” Trump continued in post, attacking Fed Chairman Jay Powell. “A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of ’Boneheads.’”

Europe

Angela Merkel rejected growing calls at home and abroad to fend off a crisis with increased spending, saying that the problem wasn’t a shortage of money for investment. Merkel told parliament on the second day of its budget debate that there were sufficient investment projects in the pipeline that needed to be fast-tracked. Her speech comes after Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on Tuesday said Germany would stick to a balanced budget but was ready to act in moments of a crisis.

Orange SA has entered the bond market for the second time in about two weeks, taking advantage of investors’ search for yield to sell hybrid notes for refinancing. The deeply subordinated 500-million euro ($551 million) issue is initially marketed with a coupon of 2.125% to 2.25%. Some proceeds will be used to refinance about 500 million euros of 4.25% hybrid notes, which have a first call date in February. France’s biggest phone company has rejoined a corporate-bond sale rush as companies lock in ultra-low borrowing costs before potential risks such as Brexit and an economic slowdown. Orange sold 2.5 billion euros of senior unsecured bonds across three tranches on Aug. 28. The deal included a seven-year note that priced with a negative yield.

Asia

China announced a range of U.S. goods to be exempted from 25% extra tariffs put in place last year, as the government seeks to ease the impact from the trade war without lifting charges on major agricultural items like soybeans and pork. Pharmaceuticals and lubricant oil are among exclusions to levies on imports announced by the Ministry of Finance on its website on Wednesday. The exemptions, effective from Sept. 17 to Sept. 16 2020, will cover 16 categories of products worth about $1.65 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations based on China’s 2018 trade data.

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.