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Daily Pulse

Canada

China’s surge in refined copper imports allows it to cover its structural short position in this critical commodity – mostly in its unrefined state – and ensures the stimulus being deployed to revive its economy ahead of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party in July will not falter due to a lack of basic raw materials. BCA Research expects continued resilience in commodities generally into 2021 – particularly in base metals, iron ore and crude oil – as markets realize China’s Communist Party is intent on showcasing its brand of policy-driven, vertically integrated capitalism as the engine of its robust economic growth. As with oil, we expect copper demand will benefit from a weaker USD and stronger global trade. The odds of a COVID-19 vaccine being available by year-end or early 2021 remain favorable, which also will support a revival in demand.

Gold remains an attractive investment as the recent price setback is likely to be short-lived, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

United-States

Oracle Corp. reported quarterly revenue that topped analysts’ estimates on greater demand for its cloud- computing services while businesses are working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. Fiscal first-quarter sales were $9.37 billion. Analysts, on averaged, estimated $9.19 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit, excluding some expenses, was 93 cents a share, compared with analysts’ average estimate of 86 cents.

Yield-hungry investors are increasingly piling into junk bonds, and there’s more up for sale than ever before. An index of U.S. speculative-grade securities is yielding 5.56% – a full percentage point below the 10-year average, but still a handsome alternative to more than $13 trillion of bonds that carry negative yields. Junk-rated issuers are capitalizing on the historically low borrowing costs, selling more than $300 billion of the debt this year for the first time since 2013. Another $30 billion would make 2020 the busiest year ever, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Barclays Plc’s hunt for a new Manhattan location suggests there’s still appetite for a certain kind of office. The British bank is exploring a move to Hudson Yards as it looks for a smaller, more modern building with additional open spaces, a person familiar with the matter said. Barclays is seeking roughly about half the footprint of its Times Square skyscraper, the former building where it has its U.S. headquarters.

Europe

Britain recorded strong economic growth in July as coronavirus restrictions eased, but mounting job losses and the risk of a messy Brexit are threatening a turbulent end to the year. Gross domestic product rose 6.6% from June, when it gained a record 8.7%, with activity being boosted by the reopening of restaurants and bars in early July. However, the country has clawed back little more than half of the output lost during the lockdown, and recovering the rest may prove difficult. While Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said the rebound is “welcome,” the U.K. is facing a triple hit that could force policy makers to increase monetary and fiscal support for the economy. Cases of the virus are rising, the government’s plan to end its furlough program could cause a jump in unemployment, and a disruptive split from the European Union hangs over the outlook.

European Central Bank chief economist Philip Lane warned that the euro’s appreciation this year has dampened the inflation outlook, using tougher language than President Christine Lagarde and signaling that more monetary stimulus might be needed. Inflation will remain negative for the rest of the year and upward revisions in core price growth because of the economic rebound have been “significantly muted” by the stronger exchange rate, he wrote in a blog post on Friday.

Asia

Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers have stepped up efforts to disrupt the U.S. election by targeting the campaigns of President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, a Microsoft Corp. investigation found. Cyber-attacks have also been aimed at political parties, advocacy groups, academics and leaders in the international affairs community, according to a blog post Thursday from Tom Burt, corporate vice president of customer security and trust at Microsoft.

China’s credit growth rebounded to the highest since March, as a surge in government bond issuance and other easing policies continues to take effect and support the recovery.

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.