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Daily Pulse

Canada

Candidates promising home-buyer incentives during Canada’s election campaign risk igniting already lofty prices without tackling the critical issue of supply, a real estate firm warns. Even with consistent economic conditions and no new housing policy changes, home prices will rise by 1.5% in the fourth quarter to an aggregate C$632,226 over the same period last year, according to a report Thursday by Royal LePage.

United-States

The White House is looking at rolling out a previously agreed currency pact with China as part of an early harvest deal that could also see a tariff increase next week suspended, according to people familiar with the discussions. The currency accord, which the U.S. said had been agreed to earlier this year before trade talks broke down, would be part of what the White House considers to be a first-phase agreement with Beijing. It would be followed by more negotiations on core issues like intellectual property and forced technology transfers, the people said. The internal deliberations come as a team of Chinese negotiators, led by Vice Premier Liu He, arrived in Washington to resume trade talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin starting Thursday. It’s the first face-to-face talks between senior officials since July.

The Trump administration plans to soon issue licenses allowing some American companies to supply nonsensitive goods to the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, according to people familiar with the matter, a step that could cool tensions between the United States and China as trade talks resume this week. In a meeting last week, President Trump gave the green light to begin approving the licenses, which will allow a select few American companies to bypass a ban his administration placed on Huawei this year.

Europe

Turkish troops began a major incursion into Syria late Wednesday, hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan formally announced the beginning of a military offensive into the northeastern part of the neighboring country The military advance, code-named “Peace Spring,” came three days after President Donald Trump said the U.S. wouldn’t stand in the way. Turkey says the operation is meant to force back Kurdish militants controlling the border area and target Islamic State militants. Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which has been trained and armed by the U.S. in its fight against jihadists, say their fight against the Islamic State now has to come to a stop due to Turkey’s operation.

Boris Johnson will meet his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar for crucial talks over lunch as the U.K. and European Union seek a way through the Brexit impasse with time running out to reach a deal. While neither side is brimming with optimism, Ireland’s government said an agreement was “not impossible,” though wide gaps remain.

Asia

Hong Kong is facing its first recession since the global financial crisis, with little prospect of an immediate recovery as the city confronts its most violent protests in decades. The economy in Hong Kong contracted in the second quarter, almost certainly in the third quarter and the data are still deteriorating. The question is how deep and prolonged the pain will be. Once Asia’s manufacturing powerhouse before the rise of mainland China, Hong Kong’s freewheeling consumer and finance-led economy is highly vulnerable to a collapse in confidence that has been delivered by the turmoil. The city’s government has struggled to make the case that it has the policy tools to arrest the slide while the unrest continues.

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.