HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
- Markets continued to adopt a risk-off bias this week, as investors saw through most of the positive domestic data, and remained fixated on the uncertainty surrounding the highly anticipated results of next week’s presidential election.
- Strong data out of the U.S. continued to support our view of a strengthening domestic economy. The employment report was the highlight, with payrolls up by 161k in October, following an upwardly revised gain of 191k in September, while the jobless rate ticked down just below 5%.
- At this point, the American economic dataflow appears to be supportive of a December rate hike. Nonetheless, a lot can change in a few weeks, with next Tuesday’s election result and the impact it has on financial markets/stability remaining top of mind.
Canadian financial markets were buffeted this week by rising uncertainty around the outcome of the U.S. election next week. Falling oil prices worsened the blow, as doubts about OPEC production cuts and a major build in U.S. inventories led to a 10% decline in the benchmark WTI price, bringing it to a five-week low of $45.
- The Federal Government’s Fall Fiscal Update contained lower projections for economic growth and larger budget deficits than in the spring budget. Infrastructure spending remained the focus with the announcement of a Canadian Infrastructure Bank and spending plans carried well into the next decade.
- Policy makers received some good news on the economic front with the release of monthly GDP data for August, which showed a 0.2% increase and marked the third straight month of positive growth.