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Oct 21, 2019

America's Politics | Canada: Trudeau's Liberal Party projected to win Canada General Elections

By Mike HayesUpdated 10:30 p.m. ET, October 21, 2019

Andrew Scheer, now Canada's Conservative leader, is up against a humbled incumbent: Justin Trudeau and his fading political brand.
In a recent Forum Research poll, Scheer's approval rating comes in at just 27 per cent with Trudeau still hanging on to an approval rating 12 per cent higher. It's not hard to figure out why.
Scheer's message during this campaign was simple and stinging: You can't trust Justin Trudeau. But in earnest, he has also had a hard time convincing voters they can trust him.
For one thing, Scheer campaigned as an average Canadian guy. Until it turned out that he is also American. He never told voters he was a dual Canadian and American citizen until just a few weeks ago. He says he is in the process of renouncing his citizenship but still, it's one of the reasons Canadians haven't quite known what to make of this conservative leader.
A devout Catholic, Scheer is both fiscally and socially conservative, but has promised not to change some of Canada's more progressive laws. Although unapologetically pro-life, he is adamant that he will do nothing to change pro-choice laws in Canada. Although unwilling to declare support for gay marriage, he says he won't try to change that law either.
His extreme pragmatism can also leave a confusing message — his backing of the new US, Canada, Mexico trade agreement offers a good example: "It's quite clear that Justin Trudeau did cave to Donald Trump," says Scheer during a campaign press conference in an attempt to swipe at the trade deal, but then repeated that he would approve the deal anyway if elected prime minister.
Keep reading here.

America's Politics | Bolivia Elections: Concern as Bolivia poll results transmission stops

7-9 minutos - Source: BBC

Bolivia's President Evo Morales gestures after casting his vote Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Preliminary results suggest Evo Morales will face his rival in a run-off
There is concern in Bolivia after the electoral authority stopped updating its website showing the preliminary results of the presidential election.
With almost 83.8% of votes verified, incumbent President Evo Morales led with 45.3%, leaving his main rival, Carlos Mesa, in second place with 38.2%.
The partial results suggest Mr Morales does not have the votes needed to win outright and will have to face Mr Mesa in a second round.
The run-off is scheduled for December.

What happened?

The site showing the preliminary results stopped being updated at 83.8% of the votes at 19:40 local time (23:40 GMT) on Sunday,

The failure to update the results caused immediate concern not just with opposition politicians but also with the regional body Organisation of American States (OAS) which has election observers in Bolivia.
The OAS tweeted in Spanish that it was crucial for Bolivia's Supreme Electoral Tribunal to explain why the transmission had been interrupted.
Tribunal president María Eugenia Choque said it had stopped the transmission of the preliminary results because the regional tribunals had started announcing the official results. "We can't have two sets of results at the same time," she said.
However, the official results have not yet been released.

What has the reaction been?

Mr Mesa said the interruption in the transmission of the results was "extremely serious".
"We're not going to allow the manipulation of a result that obviously puts us in a second round," Mr Mesa said in a video he published on Twitter (in Spanish).

Before the transmission was halted, Mr Mesa declared that he had achieved "an unquestionable victory which allows us to say with certainty that we've made it into a second round".

President Morales told cheering supporters he was confident that when votes from rural areas were counted there would be no need for a run-off.

"The rural areas are going to keep guaranteeing this process of change," he said.
"That's why, sisters and brothers, we're going to wait until the last vote is counted to pursue and continue our process of change."

Why is the delay a problem?

Mr Morales is a divisive figure, praised for his social policies but criticised for challenging presidential term limits. He has won all his previous terms in the first round and so the prospect of this election going into a second round suggests he is losing support.
These were the most uncertain elections for Mr Morales, with many people angry with his insistence on running again, our correspondent Katy Watson in La Paz reports.
In a referendum in 2016, Bolivians rejected his suggestion to ditch the presidential term limits.
But his Movement for Socialism (Mas) party took the matter to the constitutional court, which ruled in the president's favour, allowing him to stand for a fourth term.
In order to win outright, a candidate needs 40% with a 10-percentage-point lead over his nearest rival or more than 50% of the vote
Mr Morales has been in power since 2006 and if he wins another term, he will be in power until 2025.

No trust in the system

Analysis by Katy Watson, BBC South America correspondent
The halting of the vote count will play into the hands of Evo Morales critics who forewarned of foul play in these elections.
It is true that the rural votes, when they come in, are likely to go in Mr Morales' favour but to be so sure of triumph before all the votes are in, to his critics does not just smack of arrogance but of fishy politics.
The problem is, since Mr Morales lost the 2016 referendum on term limits and carried on regardless, people no longer trust the system and an explanation probably will not calm nerves.
These next few weeks ahead of a supposed second round are unlikely to be straightforward.

What was the election fought on?

President Morales has been widely praised for growing the Bolivian economy and, at the same time, cutting extreme poverty.

But he has been criticised over his environmental policies, after forest fires that destroyed four million hectares of land in eastern Bolivia.
Many question whether a decree passed by the president, which quadrupled the amount of land farmers are allowed to clear for agricultural production, contributed to the blazes.
Many indigenous Bolivians continue to back him, saying Mr Mesa - who is running for the Civic Community (Comunidad Ciudadana) political alliance - embodies the white Bolivian elite and question his commitment to the poor.
In the election campaign, Mr Mesa argued that with oil and gas revenue declining, Bolivia needed to be "more sensible and rational" in the way it spent its money, especially as the country had a fiscal deficit of 7.8% of GDP.
But his message of curtailing spending has not proven popular with poor voters who have seen steady improvements to their quality of life under President Morales.

U.S. Politics: Trump is 'fully prepared' to take military action against Turkey if needed, Mike Pompeo says

Tucker Higgins

President Donald Trump is prepared to use military force against Turkey over its actions in Syria if “needed,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday as U.S. troops withdrew from the region.
“We prefer peace to war,” Pompeo told CNBC’s Wilfred Frost in a taped interview that aired on “Closing Bell” on Monday. “But in the event that kinetic action or military action is needed, you should know that President Trump is fully prepared to undertake that action.”
The president is under heavy criticism for his decision to withdraw American forces from northern Syria, abandoning the Kurds, who led the ground war against ISIS. The withdrawal precipitated Turkey’s incursion into the border zone earlier this month, which has left more than 120 civilians dead, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Pompeo declined to lay out a red line for what action would prompt a U.S. military response, saying he did not want to “get out in front of the president’s decision about whether to take the awesome undertaking of using America’s military might.”
“You suggested the economic powers that we’ve used. We’ll certainly use them. We’ll use our diplomatic powers as well. Those are our preference,” Pompeo said.
The State Department declined comment on Pompeo’s remarks.
Trump told reporters at a Cabinet meeting on Monday that the U.S. “never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives.”
“We’re not going to take a position. Let them fight themselves,” Trump said.
The U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkey last week following the country’s incursion into Syria’s northern border area, which has been occupied by Kurdish allies in America’s fight against the Islamic State group. Turkey views the Kurds as terrorists.
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence announced that Turkey agreed to a five-day pause in attacks as the U.S. facilitated the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters in the region. Following the completed withdrawal, the U.S. will eliminate its sanctions on the country, Pence said.
The cease-fire agreement was immediately criticized even by the president’s Republican allies in Congress, who said it gave Turkey everything it wanted while abandoning U.S. allies. In the interview, Pompeo defended the agreement, saying he was “fully convinced that that work saved lives.”
“Not only the lives of the [Syrian Democratic Forces] fighters, but the ethnic minorities in the region,” Pompeo said, referring to the Kurdish-led military force.
“Our allies see it the same way. We got real commitments to protect ethnic minorities throughout the region from the Turks in the course of negotiating that statement. I think the work that we did saved lives,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo also sought to distance Trump’s actions in the Middle East with those of his predecessor.
The former Kansas congressman was sharply critical when President Barack Obama appeared to violate his 2012 “red line” in Syria by not authorizing a threatened military strike against the country despite evidence that its forces had used chemical weapons.
Trump had pressed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to invade northern Syria before the Turks moved into the country. In an extraordinarily undiplomatic letter sent Oct. 9, Trump told Erdogan not to be a “tough guy.” But Erdogan reportedly threw the letter in the trash, and the country’s military operation began that day.
Asked whether Trump’s actions mimicked Obama’s, Pompeo said: “It’s fundamentally different.”
He added: “Turkey didn’t — the country that Turkey invaded, they conducted an incursion into, is Syria, a sovereign nation. We worked with Kurdish friends, the SDF up and down the Euphrates River.”
“We jointly took down the threat of the Caliphate of ISIS,” Pompeo added. “It was to the benefit of the SDF, it was to the benefit of the United States of America, and indeed, to the benefit of the world. The commitment that we made to work alongside them we completely fulfilled.”

EU - FX | Currencies: Dollar skids as Brexit optimism lifts pound and euro

3minutos - Source: CNBC

GP: Sterling EU 190912
In this photo illustration, £1 coins are seen with the new £10 note on October 13, 2017 in Bath, England.
Matt Cardy | Getty Images
The dollar was crawling toward its worst month since January 2018 on Monday as intermittent waves of Brexit optimism pushed the pound to a 5-1/2 month high and kept the euro’s bumper October intact.
Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend was forced by his opponents to send a letter to Brussels seeking a delay to Britain’s departure from the European Union as UK lawmakers delayed a vote on a reworked Brexit deal, the currency market reflected tentative hopes that it would eventually be passed. Johnson will again try to put his Brexit deal to a vote in parliament on Monday.
Against the dollar, sterling was last up 0.1% in North American trade, having earlier broken above $1.30 for the first time in 5-1/2 months. The euro was 0.18% higher against the dollar, having also been lifted by Brexit optimism this month by 2.23%.
“Brexit has been doing a lot of the hard work in terms of moving things around,” said Daniel Katzive, head of foreign exchange strategy for North America at BNP Paribas in New York.
“Whereas the impact of Brexit on sterling is obvious, euro-USD’s response to diminished Brexit fears has probably been larger than what we had expected. This suggests that a lot of the weakness in the euro over the previous few months was being driven by Brexit concerns and as those are reducing, we’re seeing the euro get closer to where we think where it should have been all along based on rate differentials.”
The dollar is down 2.1% this month against a basket of six rival currencies which, if it stays that way, would be its worst month since January 2018.
It hovered at $1.115 per euro on Monday but managed to claw up to 108.52 against the safe-haven Japanese yen. The yen has been weak too, having hit a 2-1/2-month low last week.
The dollar has also been falling against a backdrop of weaker U.S. data including disappointing retail sales which fell for the first time in seven months in September as households cut spending on vehicles, building materials, hobbies and online purchases.
“There are definitely some warning signs on the U.S. data front, which I think is also impacting the dollar,” said Katzive.

Bonds | Treasury Yields Report: Treasury yields move higher amid strong earnings, US-China trade optimism

Thomas Franck, Sam Meredith

U.S. government debt yields rose Monday amid strong corporate earnings on Wall Street and upbeat commentary from the White House related to U.S.-China trade relations.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, was higher at around 1.792%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also higher at around 2.288%.
The moves in pre-market trade come as investors continue to closely monitor global trade developments.
On Friday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said Beijing would work with the U.S. to address one another’s trade concerns. China’s chief negotiator in the trade talks also said that stopping the trade war would be good for both countries — as well as the global economy.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has said he hopes a trade deal between the U.S. and China will be signed by the time the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting takes place in Chile in mid-November.
The two economic superpowers reached a limited trade deal last week, in an attempt to end a protracted dispute that has battered financial markets and hammered global growth. Both sides are working toward a comprehensive breakthrough.
The third-quarter earnings season began with a strong start over the last couple weeks, fostering an appetite for risk assets. Companies such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Netflix and others have posted better-than-expected results. To be sure, companies are beating muted estimates.
Analysts polled by FactSet expect overall S&P 500 earnings for the third quarter to have fallen by 4.7%.


US 3-MOU.S. 3 Month Treasury1.669-0.0020.00
US 1-YRU.S. 1 Year Treasury1.5940.0160.00
US 2-YRU.S. 2 Year Treasury1.6230.0470.00
US 5-YRU.S. 5 Year Treasury1.6120.0530.00
US 10-YRU.S. 10 Year Treasury1.8030.0530.00
US 30-YRU.S. 30 Year Treasury2.2930.0450.00

Energy | Oil | Oil Price Closing Report: Oil falls 1% as global demand concerns grow

3minutos - Source: CNBC

GP: Aramco oil facility Saudi Arabia 190719
Aramco oil facility near al-Khurj area, just south of the Saudi capital Riyadh on Sept. 15, 2019.
Fayez Nureldine | AFP | Getty Images
Oil prices fell nearly 1% on Monday after comments from a U.S. official stymied hopes that a U.S.-China trade deal would be reached soon, feeding worries that a slowing global economy would reduce demand for oil.
Brent crude futures settled down 47 cents, or 0.8%, to $58.94 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled 47 cents, or 0.9%, lower at $53.31 a barrel.
Although President Donald Trump has said he would like to sign a deal when he meets his Chinese counterpart at November’s APEC summit, the U.S. commerce secretary said an initial trade deal does not need to be finalized next month.
“The key thing is to get everything right that we do sign. That’s the important element. That’s what the president is wedded to,” Wilbur Ross said, after being asked if he would mind skipping an APEC signing.
Adding to tensions, China is seeking $2.4 billion in retaliatory sanctions against the United States for non-compliance with a WTO ruling in a tariffs case dating back to the era of President Barack Obama, a document showed.
“Traders are still betting on slowing global growth and are convinced that this will lead to an oversupply of oil,” Phil Flynn, senior energy analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in a statement.
On the supply side, Russia, the world’s second-largest oil producer, said on Sunday it did not meet its supply reduction commitment to a global deal in September because of an increase in natural gas condensate output as the country prepared for winter.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other oil producers, an alliance known as OPEC+, agreed in December to cut supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from the start of this year.
“Russia intends to fully comply with the agreed production cut in October, though it is reasonable to doubt whether this will actually be achieved,” Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.
European refinery production in September fell 4% from the previous month and 4.2% year-on-year, data from Euroilstock showed on Monday. Production hit 10.451 million barrels per day (bpd), with output declining across all refined products.
Offering some encouragement, European shares opened slightly higher on Monday as investors remained hopeful Britain would avoid a disorderly exit from the European Union.
Analysts have said any British-EU agreement that avoids a no-deal Brexit should boost economic growth and oil demand.