May 17, 2019

WELCOME

We’re excited to be adding to the Angus Watt Advisory Group! Chris Schoonderwoerd, CFP®, Investment Advisor, has joined us, bringing over 20 years of experience! He and his associate, Kira March, are great additions and are a terrific fit with our group’s culture of trust, clarity and heart.

CANADA

  • Senate:
    • Canadian Senate committee rejected Bill C-48 (BC Tanker Ban); full Senate will now vote on the bill.
    • Canadian Senate committee recommends 200 amendments to Bill C-69; full Senate will now vote on the amended bill.
  • Statscan says the number of temporary workers (including contract jobs) has jumped by 50% in the last 20 years while permanent employees are up 33%.
  • Record low 10-year fixed rate mortgage (3.24%) now offered by HSBC.
  • It now takes 101 months to save for a 10% down payment on a house in Toronto; Montreal 36 months, Vancouver 416 months, Edmonton 31 months, Calgary 35 months.
  • BC announced a public inquiry into money laundering.

ENERGY

  • International Energy Agency (IEA) reduced global oil demand 90,000 barrels/day for 2019 to 1.3 million barrels/day.
  • IEA says US oil output (expected increase of 1.7 million bpd 2019) will offset falling exports from Iran and Venezuela.
  • Russia wants to participate in any OPEC+ output hike.
  • Saudi Arabia temporarily halted its main cross-country oil pipeline after a drone attack damaged pumping stations. Saudi blamed Iran backed rebels in Yemen.

THE WEEK IN TRADE

  • US is removing the metals tariffs on Canada and Canada is removing the retaliatory tariffs on the US. This will happen in the next 2 days.
  • President Trump is putting 25% tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods including children’s clothing, toys, mobile phones and laptops.
  • In retaliation, China is increasing tariffs on $60 billion of US goods.
  • China cancelled orders for 3,247 metric tonnes of US pork, largest cancellation in over a year.
  • President Trump is going to provide an additional $15 billion in aide to US farmers, bringing total farm aid to $27 billion.
  • White House barred companies deemed a national security threat from selling to the US and banned Hauwei Technologies and 70 affiliates from buying parts and components from US companies without US government approval.
  • China signaled they are not interested in resuming trade talks with the US until the US shows they are ‘sincere’. China is increasing economic stimulus domestically.
  • President Trump is giving the EU and Japan 180 days to agree to a deal that would ‘limit or restrict’ imports of autos and parts into the US in return for delaying tariffs.

TIDBITS

  • US 2018 births fell to 11.58 babies per 1,000 people, the lowest in 32 years.
  • Alabama senate approved a near total ban on abortion setting up a Supreme court challenge.
  • Facebook is raising pay for thousands of contractors from $15/hour to $20-22/hour.
  • Germany has opened an ‘electric highway’ that connects hybrid trucks to overhead wires allowing them to recharge while traveling.
  • World’s first all-electric vertical takeoff and landing taxi (5 seat aircraft) has been unveiled in Germany.
  • Fully autonomous farm equipment is now becoming commercially available; savings on costs of chemicals and seeds.