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Daily Pulse

Canada

The outlook for global oil markets has grown “even more fragile” as a resurgent pandemic derails the recovery in demand, the International Energy Agency said. The IEA, which advises major economies, trimmed forecasts for fuel consumption for the rest of the year and predicted that oil inventories – which rebounded to record levels in July – won’t subside as sharply as anticipated.

GardaWorld is appealing to investors in U.K. security-services rival G4S Plc to help force management to the negotiating table after making an unsuccessful bid worth about 2.9 billion pounds ($3.7 billion). An all-cash offer of 190 pence a share would be of “clear and immediate benefit” to shareholders, customers, employees and members of the company’s pensionschemes, Montreal-based Garda said in a statement on Monday. G4S reiterated its opposition to the move, saying the bid significantly undervalues the company.

Canada’s largest lenders are warning Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government it doesn’t have carte blanche to run massive budget deficits, even though there’s some room for additional spending in the next couple of years.

United-States

A troubling pattern emerged as most of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s employees worked from home to stem the spread of Covid-19: productivity slipped. Work output was particularly affected on Mondays and Fridays, according to findings discussed by Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon in a private meeting with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analysts. That, along with worries that remote work is no substitute for organic interaction, is part of why the biggest U.S. bank is urging more workers to return to offices over the coming weeks.

Oracle Corp.’s closely watched bid for TikTok’s U.S. operations will not only have to pass a U.S. national security review, it’s also going to need to win the blessing of President Donald Trump. The U.S. government will undertake a two-track national security review of Oracle’s TikTok proposal this week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday. The deal, if finalized, would create what Mnuchin called “TikTok Global.” He added that the unit would have its headquarters in the U.S. and create 20,000 jobs – potentially a move to sweeten the deal as Trump faces what promises to be a hotly contested presidential election in November.

Europe

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to renege on part of the Brexit divorce deal passed its first hurdle in Parliament late Monday after a bruising debate in which senior members of his own party denounced the move. The House of Commons passed the Internal Market Bill in its first main vote by a comfortable 77 votes, allowing it to go through to the next stage in the parliamentary process on Tuesday. The prime minister said the proposed legislation, which will rewrite part of the withdrawal agreement, is “essential” to maintain the U.K.’s economic and political integrity. Since Johnson's decision to revisit the agreement, the European Union has threatened legal action and called on him to withdraw the bill by the end of the month

Asia

Sony Corp. has cut its estimated PlayStation 5 production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to around 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip for the new console, according to people familiar with the matter. Close rival Microsoft Corp. last week revealed aggressive pricing for its two next-generation consoles, the $299 Xbox Series S and $499 Xbox Series X, putting added pressure on Sony. During summer, the Tokyo-based electronics giant had boosted orders for the console's components, anticipating a demand boost amid the pandemic.

China’s economic recovery from Covid-19 accelerated, spurred by a rebound in consumption as virus restrictions eased and larger-than-expected gains in industrial output. Retail sales rose for the first time this year in August, by 0.5% from a year earlier, while industrial production expanded 5.6%, against a forecast of 5.1%. In the first eight months, retail sales slid 8.6%, industrial production advanced 0.4%, and fixed-asset investment was 0.3% lower than the same period in 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday. The data show the world’s second-largest economy in recovery from the first-quarter slump, in stark contrast to nations still struggling with virus outbreaks, lockdowns and economic contraction. In China, fiscal stimulus and surprisingly strong exports first boosted industrial output. Now, the return to growth in retail spending shows private demand is also starting to claw back losses earlier in the year.

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.