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New Zealand Terms Of Trade Advance 1.5% In Q2

New Zealand’s terms of trade climbed 1.5 percent on quarter in the second three months of 2017, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday.

That missed forecasts for an increase of 3.0 percent following the downwardly revised 3.9 percent gain in the second quarter (originally 5.1 percent).

Export prices for goods rose 2.4 percent, while import prices for goods rose 0.9 percent.

The services terms of trade fell 4.8 percent.

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MEXICO: Country And US Discuss Bilateral Ties And NAFTA

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray held a meeting with Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State of the United States, to discuss issues on the bilateral agenda, including the Free Trade Agreement of North America (NAFTA) renegotiation and the Hurricane Harvey’s effects in Texas.

Both foreign ministers endorsed their commitment to advance the pending tasks regarding economic development and security. At the regional level, they discussed the situation in Venezuela and the ‘deterioration of democratic conditions’ in the South American country, according to a statement released by the Mexican Foreign Ministry.

Regarding NAFTA, Videgaray said that Mexico’s position “will continue to be constructive, putting the national interest ahead and seeking a positive outcome for the three countries involved.”

Following his meeting with Tillerson, the Mexican foreign minister answered questions from the press. Asked about the possibility of Mexico leaving NAFTA negotiating tables, Videgaray replied that this is not the case yet, but that if the result is not beneficial to the country “of course that Mexico will not continue.”

NAFTA re-negotiations with the United States and Canada are underway amid a confusing environment. Earlier this week, the U.S. President Donald Trump said there was little chance of success in the process, blaming Mexico for the failure in the search for a new deal.

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CHILE: Finance Minister Offers Resignation

Chilean Finance Minister Rodrigo Vald?s said that he offered his resignation to President Michelle Bachelet and she accepted it.

“Some considerations prevent me from continuing to fulfill my role as finance minister. The specific reasons were addressed in the talks I had with the President,” said Vald?s, according to a statement by that Ministry of Finance. “I firmly believe in a progressive project, which seeks more freedom, more equality, and shared development,” said the former official, adding that “some institutions should work better” in Chile.

At the end of the conference, Vald?s asked the press to respect his decision not to answer questions “and return to my life as a citizen, away from the media, from where I hope to continue contributing to the country.”

Vald?s’ resignation comes amid sharp differences between the environment and Economy ministers, Marcelo Mena and Luis Felipe C?spedes, respectively, due to the vote in the Council of Ministers in which the Dominga mining project was rejected. Vald?s supported the project arguing that the Chilean economy needs to grow.

This situation led Bachelet to intervene through her Twitter account, contradicting Vald?s by stating that “Chile needs development to go hand in hand with the care for the environment.”

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ARGENTINA: Cristina Kirchner Says She Can Win The Elections In October

Former Argentinean President and current candidate to the national Senate Cristina Kirchner said that the Unidad Ciudadana coalition, which she represents, could win the October legislative elections.

Kirchner made the comments during a speech after the release of the final results of the primary elections held earlier this month. According to the official results, Kirchner’s Unidad Ciudadana defeated the ruling coalition Cambiemos by 0.21%, a little more than 20,000 votes.

In a speech at Atenas de La Plata club, Kirchner criticized President Mauricio Macri. According to her, the Argentineans are “facing a government with an immense, unprecedented power concentration: the National State, the province of Buenos Aires, the city of Buenos Aires, besides all concentrated private, media, economic, financial and international power.”

“We want to make a call to all the Argentinean people because we do not want the same things to happen again,” she said. “We do not want a class government, which despises the people, the Peronists, the blacks, the workers, the union leaders.”

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China Manufacturing PMI On Tap For Friday

China will on Friday see August results for the manufacturing PMI from Caixin, highlighting a busy day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.

The index is expected to show a score of 51.0, down from 51.1 in July but still above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Japan will see August numbers for consumer confidence, vehicle sales and for the manufacturing PMI from Nikkei, as well as Q2 data for capital spending and company profits.

The consumer confidence index is expected to see a score of 43.5m down from 43.8 in July. Vehicle sales were down 1.1 percent on year in July, while the previous manufacturing PMI score was 52.8. Capex is expected to jump 7.9 percent after gaining 4.5 percent in the previous three months.

Australia will see August results for the Performance of Manufacturing Index from AiG, and also for the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Commodity Price Index.

The manufacturing index had a score of 56.0 in July, while the commodity index jumped 17.1 percent to a score of 114.4.

New Zealand will see Q2 figures for terms of trade, with forecasts suggesting an increase of 3.0 percent following the 5.1 percent jump in the three months prior.

South Korea will release final Q2 numbers for gross domestic product, as well as August data for imports, exports, trade balance and inflation.

GDP is expected to be unrevised from the preliminary reading that suggested an increase of 0.6 percent on quarter and 2.7 percent on year.

Imports are expected to add 16.0 percent, up from 14.5 percent in July. Exports are called higher by 15.8 percent, down from 19.5 percent in the previous month. The trade surplus is pegged at $6.235 billion, down from $10.646 billion a month earlier.

Overall inflation is expected to add 0.2 percent on month and 2.2 percent on year – both unchanged from the July reading. Core CPI was up 0.2 percent on month and 1.8 percent on year in July.

Thailand will see August figures for consumer prices, with forecasts calling for an increase of 0.50 percent on month and 0.38 percent on year. That follows the 0.48 percent monthly increase and the 0.17 percent yearly gain in July.

A number of other countries are scheduled to see August results for their manufacturing PMIs from Nikkei, including Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and Myanmar.

Finally, the markets in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are closed on Friday for Eid-ul-Adha, and will re-open on Monday.

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CHILE: Unemployment Rate Falls To 6.9% Between May And July

Chile’s jobless rate fell to 6.9% between May and July, down 0.1 percentage point from the second quarter of 2017 and 0.2 percentage point from the May to July quarter in 2016, said the country’s statistics office.

The decline in the unemployment rate reflects a 2.2% annual increase in the number of employed people in the quarter until July, which rose faster than the total available workforce (+1.9%). Meanwhile, the number of jobless people decreased by 2.0%.

The participation rate remained stable, at 59.5%, while the employment rate rose by 0.2 percentage point, to 55.4%.

In absolute terms, the number of working people totaled 8,231,570, while the unemployed were 607,190. Chilean workforce totaled 8,838,770 people between May and July.

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COLOMBIA: Government Condemns Alleged ELN Attack Against Oil Pipeline

The Colombian government’s peacemaking team condemned the bombing of an Ecopetrol pipeline in the eastern region of the South American country and accused the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla of the attack.

Juan Camilo Restrepo, Colombia’s chief negotiator, said that “to contaminate water sources, aqueducts, is the most degraded way of practicing terrorism against the civilian population.”

Around 700 families had their access to water services cut after the last attack against the Ca?o Lim?n Cove?as pipeline, occurred on Monday.

“This unfortunate event illustrates the need, in the case of a bilateral ceasefire with the ELN, that is essential that hostilities against the civilian population cease,” Restrepo added.

The Colombian government and the ELN are negotiating a ceasefire before Pope Francis visit to the country, scheduled for the next week. The ELN, however, did not claim or denied the attack so far.

Year-to-date, there have been 43 attacks against the Ca?o Lim?n Cove?as pipeline in the Colombian departments (states) of Arauca, Norte de Santander, Boyac?, and Cesar.

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TSX Jumps On Upbeat News — Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks rallied Thursday after upbeat economic data, strong bank earnings and rebounding crude oil prices.

Canada’s gross domestic product grew at an annualized 4.5 percent pace, the fastest in five years. GDP was up 0.3% in June from May, rising for the eighth month in a row as 14 of 20 industrial sectors grew. Goods-producing industries rose 0.5% while service producing industries edged up 0.2%.

The TSX Composite Index rose 80.47 points to 15,213.64.

TD Bank (TD.TO) earnings per share rose to $1.46 per share in the quarter to June 30, compared with $1.24 a year ago. Analysts had on average expected earnings of $1.36 per share. The stock jumped 3.3%.

Couche-Tard said 19 convenience stores remained closed in South Texas and 71 in the Houston area as of Wednesday.

October West Texas Intermediate rose $1.27, or 2.8%, to settle at $47.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gasoline futures continued to skyrocket.

September gasoline rose 25.5 cents, or 13.5%, to end at $2.140 a gallon, up about 28% for the month. October gasoline rose 14.2 cents, or 5.7%, to $1.779 a gallon.

Dec. gold gained $8.10, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,322.20/oz, the highest in eleven months. Gold was up 4% for the month of August.

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Crude Oil Trims Recent Losses, Gasoline Skyrockets

Crude oil futures surged Thursday, taking back recent losses after the U.S. Energy Department’s release of 1 million barrels a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The move was made in the wake of Hurricane Harvey which has disrupted refinery operations on the Texas coast.

October West Texas Intermediate rose $1.27, or 2.8%, to settle at $47.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Still, oil was down 6% for the month.

Gasoline futures continued to skyrocket.

September gasoline rose 25.5 cents, or 13.5%, to end at $2.140 a gallon, up about 28% for the month. October gasoline rose 14.2 cents, or 5.7%, to $1.779 a gallon.

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