18 September 2023
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is returning home by train after a week-long visit to Russia that included talks with President Vladimir Putin. According to North Korea’s state news agency KCNA, the visit marks an era of friendship and cooperation between North Korea and Russia,. However, concerns remain about the growing military ties between the two nations, with South Korea and the United States viewing such cooperation as a violation of UN sanctions against North Korea. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called it “illegal and unjust” and emphasised international unity in response.
- Goldman Sachs strategists believe that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise interest rates at its October 31-November 1 meeting. They expect positive developments in the labor market, improved inflation data, and potential economic challenges in Q4 to lead more members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to opt for no further rate hikes this year. However, they expect the Fed’s “dot plot” to show that a narrow majority of 10-9 members are still considering another hike to maintain flexibility. Some major investors, like J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Janus Henderson Investors, believe the Fed may have completed its rate hike cycle. Futures markets suggest a high probability of no rate change in September and approximately a 72% chance of no change in October-November.
- Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland acknowledged that the country’s affordable housing crisis, which is affecting the government’s popularity, won’t be resolved quickly, even if construction reaches an 80-year high. The government has been under scrutiny as inflation and rising home prices become key concerns. Freeland emphasized the need for collaboration between the federal government, provinces, cities, the private sector, and non-profit organizations, recognizing that tackling this issue requires a long-term commitment, not just weeks or months, but years. To address the crisis, the government is taking measures such as elemenating the 5% federal consumption tax on the construction of new rental housing and urging cities to take more action on the matter.