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Canada adds net 157,100 jobs in Sept, unemployment rate falls to 6.9%

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The Canadian economy added a net 157,100 jobs in September, all of them accounted for by full-time positions, and the jobless rate fell to 6.9%, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast the economy would gain 65,000 jobs in September and for the unemployment rate to fall to 6.9% from 7.1% in August.

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Market reaction: CAD/

COMMENTARY

JIMMY JEAN, CHIEF ECONOMIST AT DESJARDINS GROUP

“It’s a pretty good jobs report. You look at full time employment and that’s really a very pleasant number — nearly 200,000, so that’s very strong metrics. It’s very positive.”

“It’s very solid and shows that Canada is doing well in that fourth wave. We are inching towards having fully recovered the pandemic losses unemployment. Job vacancies are very high, so that’s also very constructive for hiring going forward.”

“The Bank of Canada has yesterday alluded to the job market returning back to health, so I think it sets the stage for potentially them switching to reinvestment phase on QE.”

DEREK HOLT, VICE PRESIDENT OF CAPITAL MARKETS ECONOMICS AT SCOTIABANK

“I think it reinforces expectations for the Bank of Canada to shift gears to the reinvestment phase of its QE programs with the upcoming meeting. We’re now at a full recovery on jobs, but with still a fairly modest amount of slack leftover (in other areas).

“Full-time strong job growth drove a pretty large gain in hours worked of over 1%, so that’s very good for GDP and that suggests a recovery as well… not only in terms of Q3, but also the way the math hands off to Q4, so, overall, a very good report.”

“We went through a bit of a disappointment in the first half with the negative revisions to GDP and a mild contraction in the second quarter… (Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem) is still generally on the optimistic side… He’s emphasizing a rebound in the second half, and all these numbers that we’re getting now tend to reinforce that – GDP, jobs, hours worked. We’re on the upswing now.”

ANDREW KELVIN, CHIEF CANADA STRATEGIST, TD SECURITIES

“We had a big increase in the participation rate which is very good to see. Even with the big increase in the participation rate obviously we had the unemployment rate fall.”

“The Bank of Canada is still going to want to see more improvement from here because their goal isn’t just to get back to the pre-pandemic jobs number it was to get back to the pre-pandemic employment population ratio. So they are going to see a little bit more work to be done in order to get back to where they would see trend employment … but it is obviously very encouraging, particularly in light of some of the softer prints we saw earlier in Q3 across a variety of metrics.

“It’s a sign the economy continues to recover.”

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith, Steve Scherer and Maiya Keidan; Editing by Denny Thomas)

Business

Dollar set for another week of losses even as Fed tapering looms

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The dollar was heading for a second week of declines on Friday as sentiment stayed tilted towards riskier assets, while an intervention by the Australian central bank put a halt to the Aussie dollar’s recent surge.

The dollar index was last at 93.733, little changed in Asian hours but off 0.24% on the week, as it continues its fall from a 12-month high of 94.565 hit in earlier this month.

It had managed to stem losses on Thursday, bouncing on better U.S. jobs and housing data, but the rally petered out on Friday morning in Asia, where risk sentiment was boosted news that beleaguered developer China Evergrande Group has supplied funds to pay interest on a U.S. dollar bond, averting a default.

But traders are still trying to assess whether the dollar has scope to fall further, or if this is a temporary blip on a march higher.

“People are wondering whether we are at an inflection point, as the dollar has been weakening and that doesn’t really fit with the broader narrative that global growth is cooling and the Fed is on the path to tapering, which should be supportive for the dollar,” said Paul Mackel, global head of FX research at HSBC.

On Friday, benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields were at 1.6872%, slightly off from Thursday’s multi-month high of 1.7%, as markets continue to prepare themselves for an announcement by the Federal Reserve that it will start to wind down its massive bond buying programme, which is widely expected for November.

Mackel said part of the reason for the dollar’s weakness had been strong performances by currencies from most commodity exporting countries.

These were quieter on Friday, however, as traders took profits, analysts said, and energy prices softened.

Brent crude, which had risen above $86 dollars a barrel on Thursday, continued its tumble and was last at $84.10.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7475, off Thursday’s three-month top, as the boost to the China-exposed currency from Evergrande’s news was outweighed by action from the Reserve Bank of Australia to stem a bond sell off, as well as the pause in energy price rises.

The RBA said on Friday it had stepped in to defend its yield target for the first time in eight months, spending A$1 billion ($750 million) to dampen an aggressive bonds sell-off as traders have bet on inflation pulling forward rate hikes.

Also affected by energy prices, the Canadian dollar slipped to C$1.2352 per U.S. dollar, off Thursday’s C$1.2287, a level last seen in June.

The British pound paused for breath at $1.3798, off a month peak hit earlier in the week, to which it had been carried by growing expectations of an interest rate hike to combat rising inflationary pressures.

The euro was little changed at $1.1627, while the yen wobbled within sight of its multi-year lows, with one dollar worth 114.01 yen, compared with 114.69 earlier in the week, a four-year low.

China’s yuan eased against the dollar on Friday after the FX regulator warned of possible action if the currency market is hit by greater volatility following its recent rally. But the yuan still looked set for the biggest weekly gain since May.

Bitcoin was at $63,928, a little off Wednesday’s all-time high of $67,016

 

(Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Sam Holmes and Kim Coghill)

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Economy

UN sets up trust fund for 'people's economy' in Afghanistan – The Globe and Mail

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A general view ahead of an aid conference for Afghanistan at the United Nations in Geneva on Sept. 13.DENIS BALIBOUSE/Reuters

The United Nations said on Thursday it had set up a special trust fund to provide urgently needed cash directly to Afghans through a system tapping into donor funds frozen since the Taliban takeover in August.

With the local economy “imploding”, the aim is to inject liquidity into Afghan households to permit them to survive this winter and remain in their homeland, it said.

Achim Steiner, the U.N. Development Programme’s (UNDP) administrator said Germany, a first contributor, had pledged 50 million euros ($58 million) to the fund, and that it was in touch with other donors to mobilize resources.

Some 97% of Afghan households could be living below the poverty line by mid-2022, according to UNDP.

“We have to step in, we have to stabilize a ‘people’s economy’ and in addition to saving lives we also have to save livelihoods,” Steiner told a news briefing.

“Because otherwise we will confront indeed a scenario through this winter and into next year where millions and millions of Afghans are simply unable to stay on their land, in their homes, in their villages and survive,” he said.

The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that Afghanistan’s economy was set to contract https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/afghanistans-economic-collapse-could-prompt-refugee-crisis-imf-2021-10-19 up to 30% this year and this was likely to further fuel a refugee crisis that would affect neighbouring countries, Turkey and Europe.

The Taliban takeover saw billions in central bank assets frozen https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/un-chief-liquidity-needed-stem-afghanistan-economic-humanitarian-crises-2021-10-11 and international financial institutions suspend access to funds, although humanitarian aid has continued. Banks are running out of money, civil servants have not been paid and food prices have soared.

Steiner said the challenge was to repurpose donor funds already earmarked for Afghanistan, where the Taliban, the de facto authorities, are not recognized internationally. The fund allows the international community to be “confident enough that these funds are not meant as government-to-government funding”, he said.

VIRTUALLY NO LOCAL CASH

The U.N. has discussed the programmes with the Taliban, he said, noting that 80% of the micro-businesses being helped were led by women.

“Our greatest challenge right now is that there is a economy in which there is virtually no domestic currency in circulation,” Steiner said, adding that the U.N. wanted to avoid foreign currencies dominating, which would undermine the economy.

“Our intent is to find ways very quickly in which we can convert international support into local currency in order to be able to stimulate local markets, local livelihoods. This is how you keep an economy alive,” he said.

Kanni Wignaraja, director of UNDP’s regional bureau for the Asia Pacific, said that cash would be provided to Afghan workers in public works programmes, such as drought and flood control programmes, and grants given to micro-enterprises. Temporary basic income would be paid to the vulnerable elderly and disabled, she said.

The UNDP had costed activities to be covered over the first 12 months at approximately $667 million, she said.

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Economy

Province Invests in Midland Automotive Parts Manufacturer to Boost Local Economy – Government of Ontario News

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Province Invests in Midland Automotive Parts Manufacturer to Boost Local Economy  Government of Ontario News



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