Posthaste: – USA DAILY NEWS


Good Morning!

Christmas came early for global markets today with two major risks apparently vanishing overnight.

First with Boris Johnson’s Conservatives landing the biggest U.K. election victory since 1987, uncertainty over a hung parliament and another Brexit delay disappeared.

Second a phase-one trade deal between the United States and China appears to be coming just in time to ward off another round of tariffs on Chinese goods set for this Sunday. Sources say President Donald Trump has signed off on the deal.

As one analyst told Reuters “global investors have been given two of the biggest gifts on their Christmas list.”

And the Santa rally is already underway. MSCI world shares hit record highs this morning, and the pan-European index jumped more than 1%, heading towards 4-1/2 year highs. Sterling has rallied to mid-2018 highs against the dollar and the highest level since 2016 against the euro. U.S. stocks closed at record highs yesterday and futures are climbing this morning. Oil surged to a three-month high.

But before you get too caught up in the holiday spirit, it might be wise to remember that there is many a slip (especially with these two issues) between the cup and the lip.

“China has yet to officially sign off on the deal, and there are still many more complex issues to hash out before peace breaks out,” writes BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri. However, if the rollbacks on trade restrictions do happen he expects it to “add a couple of tenths to U.S. GDP growth next year.”

Nor is Britain out of the woods. Johnson has been cleared to get the U.K. out of the EU by Jan. 31, but the Tories have their work cut out for them trying to reach trade deals, not only with the EU but other countries, in the 11-month transition period. “Don’t remove the phrase “no-deal Brexit” from your lexicon just yet,” said BMO senior economist Jennifer Lee.

Here’s what you need to know this morning:

  • Scott Streiner, chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency will be joined in Ottawa by Transport Minister Marc Garneau to launch the final provisions of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations
  • The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade holds its annual Energy Forum. Speakers include Bryan Cox, president and CEO of the LNG Alliance, Ian Anderson, president and CEO of Trans Mountain, and David Pfeiffer, president of Coastal GasLink.
  • The Ontario Securities Commission holds a hearing into The Catalyst Capital Group Inc.’s application to block a privatization bid for The Hudson’s Bay Co
  • Today’s Data: Canada national balance sheet and financial flow accounts, U.S. retail sales, business inventories

Some fascinating stuff in a recent World Economic Forum report on land use. Half of all habitable land on earth is used for agriculture, and of that the lion’s share (77%) is used for livestock, either through pastures or feed. Yet livestock only produces 18% of the world’s calories and 37% of total protein. Other things I didn’t know: Urban areas such as cities, towns, villages and roads make up only 1% of habitable lands; another 1% is all the fresh water we have. The WEF says expansion of agriculture has been one of humanity’s biggest impacts on the environment. Of the 28,000 species determined to be threatened with extinction on the IUCN Red List, agriculture is listed as a threat for 24,000 of them, the report said. We have come a long way on crop yields though. To produce the same amount of crops as in 1961, farmers today need only 30% as much land.

— Please send your news, comments and stories to — Pamela Heaven @pamheaven

With files from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg