Daily Pulse

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Canada

Statistics Canada will say today how the job market fared in May as lockdowns to slow the pandemic continued to keep many businesses closed. The economy lost 207,000 jobs in April as a spike in COVID-19 cases led to renewed public health restrictions and the unemployment rate rose to 8.1 per cent. With many of those lockdowns continuing into May, RBC senior economist Nathan Janzen expects the report today to show another loss of jobs. Another loss, or even a small gain, would still leave the job market short of its pre-pandemic levels. Statistics Canada reported last month that the loss in April left the country short about 503,100 jobs, or 2.6 per cent below levels in February 2020 before the pandemic. The agency said the actual gap would be closer to 686,000 jobs after accounting for population growth during the pandemic.

United-States

With G-7 officials likely to This link will open in a new tab. back a U.S. proposal for a minimum corporate tax rate this weekend, analysts have highlighted how it could help form alliances on geopolitical issues in the years ahead. Many European officials have for a long time called for joint approach to taxation, even in countries like Ireland where some major U.S. tech giants are headquartered. Essentially, the argument has been that in order to fix internal differences among the 27 EU nations, the best outcome would be to find a common method to tax on an international setting. President Joe Biden has now given hope to such a policy, supporting a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%. The question at this point is not so much whether there will be a deal in this regard, but when it will be confirmed. The rules are not only expected to have an impact on taxation, but also on other fronts, including on how the U.S. deals with China.

Europe

Regulators in the U.K. and the EU launched formal competition investigations into This link will open in a new tab. Facebook on Friday. The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said it is investigating whether Facebook is abusing a dominant position in the social media or digital advertising markets through its collection and use of ad data. Meanwhile, The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said it was opening a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Facebook breached its rules “by using advertising data gathered in particular from advertisers in order to compete with them in markets where Facebook is active such as classified ads.” The investigation will also seek to determine whether the link between the main Facebook social network and Facebook Marketplace, its buying and selling service, is in breach of EU competition rules. Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s executive vice president, said in a statement that Brussels will look at whether the data Facebook uses gives it an unfair advantage.

Asia

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday, as the Reserve Bank of India held steady on interest rates. Shares in India were lower in Friday trade, with the This link will open in a new tab. Nifty 50 declining 0.41% and the BSE Sensex falling 0.51%, as of 1:49 p.m. local time. The moves came after the Reserve Bank of India on Friday announced its decision to keep interest rates steady. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.25%.Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba slipped 0.28% on Friday. The losses came despite Alibaba-affiliate This link will open in a new tab. Ant Group receiving approval to operate a consumer finance company. That marked a major positive development for Ant in the forced restructuring of its business months after its highly anticipated debut was abruptly shelved.

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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.