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Daily Pulse

Canada

Setting aside the boost that oil prices are giving Canadian stocks Monday, there’s also another piece of good news for bulls: foreigners are piling back into the country’s equity market. After four months of net outflows, overseas investors returned with almost C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) of capital in July, according to a report from Statistics Canada.

Canadian 90-day delinquency rates for non- mortgage debt climbed in 2Q to 1.12%, Equifax Canada reported Tuesday.

Saudi Aramco could take months to fully restore output at its giant Abqaiq plant with oil analysts saying that damage at the facility is more severe than originally thought. Crude futures are holding close to yesterday’s level as investors await a clearer picture of supply disruption and worry about future attacks in the region. One thing seems almost certain: President Donald Trump would have little political support in Washington if he were to order strikes on Iran.

United-States

Bill Gates, who knows a thing or two about antitrust investigations, doesn’t think it’s a good idea to break up the biggest U.S. tech companies as some politicians have suggested. The Microsoft Corp. co-founder and former chief executive officer battled the Justice Department for years in the late 1990s in a bruising antitrust case. At issue was the software giant’s bundling of its Internet Explorer browser to Windows as a way to maintain its dominance in PC operating systems. Ultimately Microsoft remained intact.

President Donald Trump said his administration will enter into an initial trade accord over tariffs with Japan in the coming weeks while Tokyo warned any final deal must include assurances that Washington won’t slap new duties on $50 billion of Japanese automobiles.

Europe

Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy goes to the Supreme Court, as judges begin three days of hearings on his decision to suspend Parliament. It’s a landmark case that not only threatens to undermine his position as prime minister, but could also force him to recall the legislature, giving opponents of a no-deal Brexit more time to pass laws directing when or how the U.K. leaves the European Union.

AbbVie Inc., BMW AG and Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA are among a bevy of issuers selling bonds on Tuesday, as the promise of new central-bank asset purchases holds down borrowing costs. Drugmaker AbbVie is offering two euro notes totaling about 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion), as U.S. companies close in on a record year for single-currency bond sales. BMW also has a dual-tranche deal, while Greek phone company OTE is selling a single note, according to people familiar with the sales, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak about them.

Asia

Bank of Japan officials think lowering the negative interest rate, if they chose to do so in the coming months, wouldn’t backfire in financial markets because investors are aware of the possibility, according to people familiar with the matter. While most officials wouldn’t be drawn on when the BOJ might act, some of the officials see little need to rush into taking action given recent stability in financial markets and continuing robust demand in Japan, the people said. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has repeatedly said cutting the negative rate is an option should the BOJ need to give more support to the economy and prices, and this has heightened awareness among investors, the people said. About three quarters of economists polled by Bloomberg said they expect the BOJ to leave policy unchanged at its two-day meeting ending Thursday, after favorable market movements in recent weeks. Yet more than 80% of the economists said they think the BOJ’s next step will be to add monetary stimulus, given the U.S.-China trade war, a dimming outlook for global economic growth and a sales tax hike in Japan that could hurt the economy.

China’s restrained approach to easing spooked financial markets Tuesday, with stocks and the yuan dropping the most in weeks. The Shanghai Composite Index retreated 1.7%, its biggest decline in more than two months, to close below the psychologically important 3,000 level. The onshore yuan fell 0.37%, the most in three weeks, to 7.0950 a dollar as of 5:23 p.m. in Shanghai. The yield on China’s 10-year government bonds rose for a sixth day. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index lost 1.2%.

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.