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US Unemployment Down; Trump Looks to Start Talks with China

Published February 9, 2017
  • USD unemployment claims came in at 234,000 versus 249,000 expected; claims have been below 300,000, a level associated with a healthy labor market, for 101 straight weeks
  • Bank of Canada’s deputy governor, Lawrence Schembri, will speak at 11:35 AM EST this morning on “Getting to the Core of Inflation”; economists are expecting dovish comments from the speech
  • President Donald Trump aimed to reignite relations with China yesterday in a personal letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping; the letter stated that he looks forward to working with Xi and forming a “constructive relationship that benefits both the US and China”
  • Trump and Xi have not directly spoken since Trump took office on January 20; the new president had promised to label China as a ‘currency manipulator’ within the first 100 days of office
  • Britain’s House of Commons has given final approval to a bill that authorizes the UK government to start exit talks with the European Union without attaching extra conditions
  • The House of Lords will now review and debate several amendments to the bill; this house has the power to delay – but not derail – the Brexit process
  • Should the bill come into law by March 7, UK Prime Minister Theresa May will have full power to invoke Article 50 (an action that would begin the two-year process of leaving the EU) by her March 31 deadline
  • The Bank of New Zealand shocked investors earlier, signaling any rate hikes might be at least two years away; the Kiwi is down almost a full percentage point today

Chart (1) US Unemployment Since 2007