On Friday, the United States Labour department released the jobs numbers which missed analysts’ forecasts. In September, the economy added more than 138K jobs. This was lower than the 185K that traders were expecting and lower than the 230K that ADP had released on Wednesday. The wage growth softened a bit to 2.3% as the unemployment rate declined to 3.7%. This was the lowest level since 1969 and a major victory to Donald Trump. This number followed the number of the jobless claims on Thursday that showed that the claims were at the lowest level in almost 50 years.
On Saturday, the United States senate moved to confirm the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. This was a major achievement of Donald Trump who promised to nominate more conservative judges to the highest court on the land. The vote on Brett was important because of the passions that surrounded his nomination and confirmation. A few weeks after his confirmation hearings, Dr. Blasey Ford released a statement saying that Brett had sexually assaulted her 36 years ago. This lead to a major issue in Washington where most people thought that his nomination was at risk. This weekend, republicans were helped by Democrat Joe Manchin from West Virginia to put Brett at the court.
This weekend, Brazilians went to an election. This was a highly-anticipated election because of the important role Brazil plays to the world economy. It is the eighth largest economy in the world with a GDP of more than $1.7 trillion and a population of more than 207 million people. The election featured the far-right Jair Bolsonaro who was christened Brazil’s Trump. He was competing against Fernando Haddad who represented the establishment. Jair won by 46% which means that there will be a second round election. In recent weeks, Brazil’s economy has been hampered by the strength of the US dollar, the increased levels of corruption, the recent shocks of trade, and the fiscal policy. This year, the Brazilian Real has dropped sharply against the USD.
The long Chinese holiday to celebrate the country’s independence ended today. Today, data from China showed that the services sector had recovered significantly with the Caixin-Markit PMI data rising to 53.1. This was higher than the 51.5 that was released in August. This was a major news for China, which derives most of its GDP from the manufacturing sector. In recent months, Chinese officials have been worried about the threat from the United States. In fact, last week, US vice president Mike Pence talked passionately about the threat China posed to the US.
Over the weekend, there was a major story about a Washington Post journalist who has been critical of Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia. Jamal Khashoggi went missing in Turkey in what many believe is a political assassination. If this is proven to be so, the condemnation from the West will likely be big. In fact, in Washington, there are calls for the Trump administration to cut ties with the oil-rich country.