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Canadian Wholesale Trade Falls by 0.5%; Oil prices Slide to Start the Week

Published August 21, 2017
  • Canadian wholesale trade fell by 0.5 percent in June after eight consecutive monthly increases, led largely by lower sales of food, beverages, tobacco, and motor vehicles. Forecasts were for an increase of 0.6%, and though the negative print could indicate lower consumer spending expectations, the decline from May is relatively modest, and still higher than June last year
  • USA, Canada and Mexico concluded their first round of talks on Sunday to revamp the NAFTA trade pact, vowing to keep up a blistering pace of negotiations that some involved in the process said may be too fast to bridge deep differences
  • Markets are still digesting Steve Bannon’s exit, and what this means for Trump’s top economic advisor Gary Cohn who is appalled at Trump’s response to Charlottesville.  Cohn’s exit would be another serious blow to the prospects of getting any meaningful tax reform passed through Congress
  • The TSX slumped 0.5% last week alongside mixed U.S. economic data, ongoing turmoil in the White House and sluggish oil prices. Energy was the big drag, down 2.2% on the week
  • Oil prices drifted lower to start the week after spiking on Friday on reports that the hydrocracking unit at Exxon’s Baytown, Texas refinery shut down. Crude prices continue to be impacted by concerns over rising production in the U.S.
  • The Federal Reserve’s annual central banking conference is in Jackson Hoyle, Wyoming on Friday. ECB’s president Mario Draghi’s speech will be watched closely after the bank recently began laying groundwork to taper its monetary stimulus program. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is also scheduled to speak; she is not widely expected to give new guidance on policy after the minutes of the latest Fed meeting pointed to concerns among policymakers over sluggish inflation