Daily Pulse

Canada

Chevron Corp. would consider selling its 20 per cent stake in a Canadian oil sands mine as its faces investor pressure to do more to curb emissions and fight climate change. The oil producer’s stake in Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s Athabasca oil sands project generates “pretty good cash flow” without needing much capital “but I wouldn’t deem it a strategic position,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Wirth said at Bernstein’s 37th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference. Oil sands are among the most challenged energy assets because of the volume of emissions created when producing crude from mines and from underground wells that require steam injection. Facing increased pressure to cut carbon emissions, multiple international oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and ConocoPhillips have divested of their Canadian oil sands holdings in recent years.

United-States

President This link will open in a new tab. Joe Biden and Republican Sen. This link will open in a new tab. Shelley Moore Capito wrapped up a meeting on a possible infrastructure compromise Wednesday and agreed to speak again in two days. The president and lead GOP negotiator had a “constructive and frank conversation” about a massive proposal to invest in U.S. infrastructure, a White House official said. Biden and the senator from West Virginia entered the day with divergent views both on what should go into a bill and how the government should pay for the plan. The Friday discussion could mark a final effort to move closer to an infrastructure deal before Democrats decide whether to try to pass legislation on their own. The Biden administration This link will open in a new tab. has signaled it wants to see progress in the talks with Republicans by next week.

The world’s largest meat processing company has resumed most production after a weekend cyberattack, but experts say the vulnerabilities exposed by this attack and others are far from resolved. In a statement late Wednesday, the FBI attributed the attack on Brazil-based meat processor This link will open in a new tab. JBS SA to REvil, a Russian-speaking gang that has made some of the largest ransomware demands on record in recent months. The FBI said it will work to bring the group to justice and it urged anyone who is the victim of a cyberattack to contact the bureau immediately. The attack targeted servers supporting JBS’s operations in North America and Australia. Backup servers weren’t affected and the company said it was not aware of any customer, supplier or employee data being compromised. The FBI and the White House declined to comment on the ransom. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday the U.S. is considering all options in dealing with the attack and that President Joe Biden intends to confront Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, about his nation’s harboring of ransomware criminals when the two meet in Europe in two weeks.

Europe

There are signs that Russia’s economy is overheating with annual inflation currently at 5.9%, Anton Siluanov, the country’s finance minister, said Thursday. Consumer price inflation accelerated again in May, rising from 5.5% in April. Earlier this week Russia’s Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina told CNBC that “inflation is accelerating” and that, unlike elsewhere, inflation was not seen as a temporary issue as economies reopened and consumer demand increased. Investors will be looking to the next central bank meeting on June 11 to see what it does next, with speculation mounting that the bank could hike interest rates by as much as 50 basis points from a current level of 5%. The central bank’s inflation target is 4%. On Wednesday, Russia’s central bank issued a bulletin in which it noted that the economy was continuing to grow in the second quarter and that gross domestic product could reach its pre-pandemic level in mid-2021.

Asia

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday, as investors reacted to data out of Australia and China. A This link will open in a new tab. private survey released Thursday showed slowing Chinese services activity growth in May. The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index for May came in at 55.1 on Thursday, lower than the reading of 56.3 in April. Still, that was well above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction. Australia’s retail sales rose 1.1% month-on-month in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data released Thursday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

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.