On Friday, the United States labor department released disappointing employment numbers. These numbers showed that the economy created 155K jobs in November. This was much lower than the 200K that traders were expecting. The private NFP rose by 161K, which was lower than the estimated 200K. The unemployment rate remained at 3.7% while wage growth disappointed. The US unemployment rate rose to 7.6% from the previous month’s 7.4% Average hourly earnings remained unchanged at 3.1%. On a MoM basis, wages grew by 0.2%, which was lower than the consensus estimate of 0.3%. These numbers were a continuation of the negative numbers that were released in the past month. Numbers like jobless claims, confidence numbers, manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs have all disappointed.
In Canada, the employment numbers were better than expected. The employment change in November was higher at 94.4K, which was higher than the previously-released number of 11.2K. The full employment change rose to 89.9K, which was higher than the previous 33.4K while the participation rate increased by 65.4% from the previous 65.2%. The unemployment rate improved 5.6% from the previous 5.8%. These numbers led the Canadian dollar to rise against the USD after weeks of declines.
This weekend, Canada summoned the US ambassador to explain the arrest of the Huawei CFO. This was the first time in a long time that Canada had done this. The country has demanded an immediate release of the CFO of one of the largest Chinese companies. The country has also threatened Canada with severe consequences over her continued arrest. Last week, she attended extradition hearings in Canada. This is the latest move in a complex hostility between the US, China, and Huawei. In the past few months, the US has asked its allies to shun Huawei in their 5G integrations. The country has argued that the company can be infiltrated with Chinese spies. Japan and Australia have all announced that they won’t use the company’s products.
In the United States, Donald Trump announced that the tenure of John Kelly as the Chief of Staff will end at the end of the year. This is the latest White House exit in a tenure that has seen increased departures. In the recent months, Kelly has clashed with a number of officials including the First Lady Melania Trump. This is less than a month before the democrats retake congress in a move that will increase the complexities of the administration as they launch multiple investigations.
Over the weekend, Yellow Vest protests continued in France. The protests started after the country’s president announced a new fuel tax to reduce the use of fossil fuels. He was forced to cancel the fuel tax recently. This did not stop the protests that have rocked major cities in France like Paris. Protesters are also demanding that a controversial tax relief for the wealthy to be rescinded. His approval rating has dropped to below 30% after reaching a high of 50% in 2017.