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US Trade Partners Look To Official Announcement from Trump; Canadian Housing Data Surprises Markets

Published March 8, 2018
  • The Bank of Canada kept interest rates steady at 1.25% yesterday, flagging ongoing concerns for the Canadian economy; the central bank stated that recent trade issues with the US and slower growth last quarter are prompting caution in their monetary policy guidance.
  • BoC Governor Stephen Poloz is set to speak in Halifax at 11:00 AM EST to unveil a new $10 bank note. Deputy Governor Timothy Lane will speak at 3:35 PM EST to discuss yesterday’s interest rate decision.
  • Figures on Canadian Housing Starts showed growth in the number of new construction efforts; month-on-month growth in Canadian building permits far exceeded expectations, with growth of 5.6% versus expectations of a -0.3% decline.
  • US President Donald Trump will make a formal announcement today at 3:30 PM EST regarding an executive order for tariffs on steel and aluminum imports; Trump plans to offer Canada and Mexico a 30-day exemption on the tariffs, which are subject to extension based on the progress of ongoing NAFTA talks.
  • President Trump’s recent willingness to compromise has raised hopes that the tariffs will not lead to a greater trade war between the US and its allies; this reversal by Trump came after more than 100 Republican House members signed an urgent letter to the White House pressuring the President to change course.
  • The European Central Bank kept its minimum bid rate  at 0% as expected; ECB President Mario Draghi noted that the bank intends to keep to its plan of easing monetary stimulus.