Oops, EU-Canada deal scrapped, Saudis turn to Tech and China’s 6.7% GDP

Posted on Posted in Weekly Recap

Politics

After seven years of negotiations, the CETA trade deal between the EU and Canada may be scrapped following its rejection from the Belgian region of Wallonia. The staunchly socialist region claims the deal fell short of social and environmental standards.

Clinton leads by 5 heading in the final two weeks of the US presidential elections following the 3rd and final presidential debates. Controversy emerged as Donald Trump said that he might not accept the result of the election, citing widespread fraud in the election process.

Germany’s Angela Merkel hosted Vladimir Putin along with other EU leaders at a summit in Berlin. Russia’s involvement in the war in Syria has further strained relations with Europe and Angela Merkel has called for further rounds of sanctions. This is the first of such meeting since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Leaders of the BRICS countries have met in the Indian state of Goa. Apart from India, the BRICS economies have suffered from the fall in commodity prices. India and Russia have announced deals in energy and defence worth billions of dollars.

200 countries have agreed to phase out the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons used in cooling and air-conditioning units which contribute to global warming. Large concessions were made to China and India.

Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga troops have begun the long expected operation to recapture Mosul from Islamic State with US support. At least 1 million civilians are estimated to still reside in the city. Regional commentators are concerned over the sectarian skirmishes that may occur as well as the potential entrance of Turkey in the battle.

 

Business  

China’s GDP grew by 6.7% in the 3rd quarters, exactly the same as the 1st and 2nd quarters, raising suspicion on how the national accounts are tallied. Perceived as evidence of a stabilising economy by the government, the growth target was hit by expanding credit, up by 16% this year. China’s corporate debt has also increased to $18 trillion, which officials are trying to rein in by allowing firms to swap debt they owe to banks for shares.

Inflation in the UK rose to 1% in September, highest in the country since 2014. The rise is mainly attributed to the increasing costs of transport and hotels/restaurants. A household-finance index published by HIS Markit reported a 22 month high in expected future inflation and a 3 month low in the financial outlook for the coming year.

The continued sell-off of UK ten-year government bonds continues, pushing the yield to its highest point since the Brexit vote in June. Other countries’ bond yield have also increased following forecasts of future inflation.

Saudi Arabia’s first international bond sale has raised an emerging market record of $17.5 billion. The country has turned to global markets to finance a budget deficit caused by the depressed oil price.

The increase of bond trading has led America’s largest banks to report high earnings in the 3rd quarter. Bank of America’s net profit rose to its highest level since the financial crisis to $5 billion. Investors are repositioning themselves in anticipation of higher interest rates and uncertainty over Brexit.

US lawmakers and both presidential candidates have raised questions about AT&T’s deal to buy Time Warner, a merger worth $85.5 billion. A senate committee responsible for competition will hold a hearing in November.