Feb. 8, 2019

CANADA

  • Alberta lost 16,000 jobs in January (lost 14,600 full time and 900 part time), second consecutive decline.
    • Unemployment rate 6.8% vs 6.4% M/M
    • Edmonton unemployment rate 6.4% vs 6.3% M/M
    • Calgary unemployment rate 7.3% vs 7.5% M/M
  • Canada added 66,800 net new jobs in January vs 5,000 expected.
    • Unemployment rate 5.8% vs 5.7% M/M
    • Private sector added 111,500, largest gain since 1976
    • Y/Y wage gain 1.8% vs 1.5% in December
    • Goods sector (including resources, agriculture, construction) lost 32,000 while service (including trade, professional services and public administration) added 99,000.
    • Ontario added 41,000 jobs, Quebec 16,000 and BC 8,700
  • Canadian residential mortgage growth is at the slowest pace since 2001, increasing 3.1% in December Y/Y, down 50% from 2016.
  • Metro Vancouver’s composite home price fell 4.5% in January, down 8% from June 2018 and the largest decline since May 2013.
  • Finance Minister Bill Morneau appears to be considering allowing 30-year insured mortgages as part of the next Federal budget.

ENERGY

  • American ethanol can enter China, tariff free, if it is blended with at least 40% Asian-produced fuel, circumventing the 70% Chinese tariffs. American companies are now shipping ethanol to Malaysia to take advantage of this loop hole.
  • French oil group Total has evacuated its’ remaining staff from Venezuela and its’ bank accounts there have been blocked as a result of US sanctions.
  • More than 20 tankers loaded with 9.6 million barrels of Venezuelan oil are anchored off the US Gulf Coast as a result of US sanctions.

TIDBITS

  • Death of Quadriga crypto currency ‘exchange’ CEO, Gerald Cotten, has left more than $190 million behind multi-level computer encryption and not accessible by investors. BC securities regulators stated that they don’t have jurisdiction over this ‘exchange’.
  • President Trump said he won’t meet Chinese President Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline.
  • US 30 year mortgage rate is 4.41% (10 month low) and home-equity loans 6.8% (the highest since 2008).
  • 1/3 of Himalayan glaciers will melt by the end of the century due to climate change according to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.
  • FamilyTree DNA has granted the FBI access to nearly 2,000,000 genetic profiles (doubling FBI data), the first time a commercial testing company has voluntarily given a law enforcement agency access to user data.
  • Tesla owners have been complaining that extremely cold weather is a drain on their battery range, both while parked and driving.