Traders remained hopeful that U.S.-China trade negotiations will culminate
with a deal when President Donald Trump meets with China’s Xi Jinping in
the next couple of weeks. Meantime, U.S. trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer
announced that a 25% tariff increase on US$200 billion of Chinese goods
would not go into effect on March 2 as planned.
A closely-watched gauge of U.S. manufacturing activity fell again in
February, raising some concern of a developing slowdown in U.S. economic
growth. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing purchasing
managers index slipped to 54.2 in February from 56.6 in January. Any
reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector, but the index has been
dropping steadily since reaching a high of 60.8 last summer.
Still, U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 2.6% annual pace in the fourth
quarter of 2018, indicating continuing solid economic growth, despite an
environment of rising rates, a partial government shutdown in December, and
a steep correction in stock markets in the fourth quarter. For the year,
the U.S. economy grew a respectable 2.9%.
Canada’s GDP, on the other hand, stalled in the fourth quarter, growing at
a near-invisible 0.4% from the third quarter (a 1.6% annual rate), as the
energy sector suffered from a steep drop in crude oil prices. For 2018
overall, Canada’s economy expanded 1.8%.
* iA Clarington launches liquid alt and international equity mutual
iA Clarington Investments
on March 1 debuted two new mutual funds.
iA Clarington U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund
is a long/short, active U.S. equity mandate sub-advised by MacKay Shields
LLC, and targets broad exposure in the U.S. equity market.
iA Clarington International Equity Fund
Managed by Industrial Alliance Investment Management Inc., the fund invests
in industry-leading companies outside of Canada and the U.S., using a
growth-at-a-reasonable-price (GARP) investment style.
* Franklin Templeton debuts multi-asset ETF portfolios.
on Feb. 28 launched of three new mutual fund portfolios providing access to
active asset allocation through a combination of active, smart beta, and
passive ETFs across multiple asset classes and geographies.
Franklin Conservative Income ETF Portfolio
invests primarily in ETFs that hold Canadian, U.S., and international
equity and fixed-income securities. It aims for a balance between long-term
Franklin Core ETF Portfolio
provides a balance between long-term capital appreciation and income by
investing in ETFs that hold Canadian, U.S., and international equity and
Franklin Growth ETF Portfolio
aims for long-term capital appreciation with some income through a
diversified mix of ETFs that hold Canadian, U.S., and international equity
and fixed income securities.
The portfolios will be co-managed by Franklin Templeton veteran managers
Ian Riach and Michael Greenberg.
* Horizons launches preferred share ETF.
Horizons ETFs Management (Canada)
Horizons Laddered Canadian Preferred Share Index ETF (TSX: HLPR), which began trading on Feb. 27. The ETF tracks the Solactive Laddered
Canadian Preferred Share Index (Total Return) of Canadian preferred shares
that generally have an adjustable dividend rate.
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