North America

  • 2020-07-24 02:12

    BEIJING (MNI) - Any decoupling between the U.S. and China is "selective" and driven by Washington's attempts to slow China's moves to upscale its manufacturing sector, according to a senior advisor with a think-tank affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    The moves come largely in areas such as hi-tech, but this was "not an area of close cooperation between China and the U.S.

  • 2020-07-23 17:52

    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Fed's balance sheet remained on an even keel over the last week, data released Thursday showed, as "Main Street" lending stalled.

    The Fed's portfolio grew USD6 billion to USD6.96 trillion. Growth in Treasuries and MBS were mostly offset as liquidity swaps kept rolling off.

    Holdings of Treasuries increased by USD13 billion and holdings of mortgage-backed securities grew by USD22 billion.

    FX swaps continued to roll off, with a weekly decrease of USD33 billion to USD122 billion, down from highs of USD450 billion in late May.


    The Fed's Main Street facility grew by USD2 million over the prior week, the data showed when controlled for Treasury contributions.

  • 2020-07-22 11:00

    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Home buyers flooded the U.S. market in June and sales of existing homes surged by 20.7%, the strongest single-month percent increase on records going back to 1968, according to data released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors.

    U.S. existing home sales reached a monthly sales pace of 4.72 million in June, up from an unrevised 3.91 million pace in May, though that is still down 11.3% from a year earlier.

    "The housing market is hot. Red hot," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told reporters Wednesday on a conference call.

  • 2020-07-17 14:24

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada bought a record CAD8.4 billion of federal bonds this week as Governor Tiff Macklem pledged aggressive QE to underpin a tepid economic recovery, growing the balance sheet to an unprecedented CAD540 billion.

    Federal bond holdings grew to CAD182 billion as of July 15, figures from the Ottawa-based bank posted on Friday showed.

  • 2020-07-16 15:53

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada may surpass a statutory debt limit by at least CAD150 billion this year, even with a special exclusion of borrowing used to tackle Covid-19, the Parliamentary Budget Office said Thursday.

    Legislation that took effect November 2017 set a debt limit of CAD1.168 trillion for the government and state-owned companies. That authority extends for three years, meaning Finance Minister Bill Morneau needs to recommend a new ceiling by November of this year and could just recommend a higher one.

    Bond and bill sales are surging in line with Morneau's July 8 fiscal snapshot showing a record CAD343 billion deficit this fiscal year.

  • 2020-07-15 13:07

    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. Senate will begin debate next week on a fifth coronavirus response bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday, as he forecast tough negotiations with Democrats who are seeking a broader aid package.

    "I was just talking to the Secretary of the Treasury on the way over here this morning and I expect to begin to lay out to my colleagues in the Senate a proposal," he said, "probably next week and begin discussing with my colleagues and our Senate Democrat opposition."

    The legislation will likely be more contentious than the previous four coronavirus aid bills.

  • 2020-07-15 11:07

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Following is the opening statement from BOC Governor Tiff Macklem's press conference Wednesday in Ottawa:

    Good morning.

  • 2020-07-15 10:06

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Following is the text of Wednesday's Bank of Canada decision from Ottawa:

    Bank of Canada will maintain current level of policy rate until inflation objective is achieved, continues program of quantitative easing

    The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of 0.25 percent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 0.5 percent and the deposit rate is 0.25 percent. The Bank is also continuing its quantitative easing (QE) program, with large-scale asset purchases of at least $5 billion per week of Government of Canada bonds.

  • 2020-07-15 10:00

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Following are highlights of the Bank of Canada's July Monetary Report, published Wednesday from Ottawa.

    --"The Bank of Canada expects a sharp rebound in economic activity in the reopening phase of the recovery, followed by a more prolonged recuperation phase, which will be uneven across regions and sectors."

    --"Markets generally interpret QE as a signal that rates will likely be at the lower bound for an extended period."

    --"The Bank has committed to continue buying at least $5 billion of Canadian government bonds each week until the recovery is well underway."

    --Global "risks appear to be tilted to the downside, largely because of the potential for a second wave of the virus."

    --"In Canada, a much weaker scenario could crys

  • 2020-07-14 09:57

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Almost one-fifth of Canadian firms said they can survive for less than six months based on current revenues before having to look at cutting staff or filing for bankruptcy, according to a Statistics Canada survey published Tuesday.

    Half of firms said revenues had dropped by at least 30% in April from a year ago, and a third said revenue was down at least 50%.

    The survey was taken through June and found 15% of firms planned to add workers over the next three months, while 66% expected their payrolls to remain unchanged. May and June were months where employment rebounded by more than 1 million people as many industries re-opened, but remained 1.8 million below pre-pandemic levels.