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Bearish Credit Suisse Forecasts Bank of Canada Rate Cut, Weak Loonie



Forecasts for a Bank of Canada interest-rate cut this year are building.

Credit Suisse Group AG joined Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc in forecasting easier monetary policy, possibly as early as next month, amid sluggish Canadian growth and slower-than-expected inflation. The Swiss bank has penciled in a quarter-point cut to the central bank’s 0.5 per cent overnight target rate and cut its forecasts for the Canadian currency.

The possibility of a rate cut started to creep up after the BOC said on Sept. 7 that risks to inflation had “tilted somewhat to the downside.” That shift was ratified by data last week showing the country’s inflation rate fell to a 10-month low in August, trailing even the lowest forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

“The language in the recent statement and in recent interviews suggests they might be preparing for a possibility of a rate cut,” Alvise Marino, a foreign-exchange strategist at Credit Suisse in New York, said by phone Wednesday. “Now the data needs to support that, and so far, since that latest development, data has been on the dovish side, inflation in particular.”

Still, a median of economists surveyed by Bloomberg see the BOC staying on hold this year and through much of 2017. Traders agree. The likelihood of a BOC rate cut by year end was at 18 per cent on Thursday, up from 10 per cent at the beginning of September, according to Bloomberg data based on overnight index swaps. The bank’s next announcement is on Oct. 19.

Credit Suisse expects the Canadian dollar to weaken to $1.35 per U.S. dollar in the next three months, compared with its previous forecast of $1.32. It also sees the loonie trading at $1.35 in a year from now, against its previous call of $1.34.

The Canadian dollar weakened 0.1 per cent to $1.3099 per U.S. dollar at 11:08 a.m. in Toronto. The loonie rallied 0.9 per cent on Wednesday after OPEC agreed to limit crude production, which sent oil prices soaring. The currency is expected to weaken to $1.32 by the end of the year, according to forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.

David Watt, chief economist at HSBC Bank Canada, who admits his call for an October cut is aggressive, says he’s “unconvinced of the underlying trends in the Canadian economy.”

Canada’s main inflation rate decelerated to 1.1 per cent in August from 1.3 per cent in the month prior, while core inflation, which measures consumer prices excluding eight volatile items, slowed to a two-year low of 1.8 per cent from July’s 2.1 per cent, Statistics Canada said. Both readings lagged the lowest forecasts in Bloomberg economist surveys, and analysts predicted overall prices would accelerate on the month instead of slowing.

Government bonds rallied in response with the yield on 10-year notes touching 0.95 per cent on Wednesday, the lowest since July.

“The slowdown in inflation was surprising. And that really, really got the market nervous again,” said Brian D’Costa, a co-founder of a Toronto-based hedge fund Algonquin Capital Corp. A cut from the BOC is not his base-case scenario, but the bank is closer to a cut than to a hike, he said.

Toronto-Dominion Bank on Wednesday said it was closing its long position on two-year federal government bonds it had entered on Sept. 2, saying they’d become “marginally too expensive,” after yields dropped about nine basis points, Andrew Kelvin, the bank’s senior fixed-income strategist, said in a note on Wednesday. Kelvin expects the BOC will stay on hold until “early” 2019.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz last week urged the country’s policy makers to press ahead with efforts to remove trade restrictions and spend more on infrastructure in order to boost sluggish long-term growth. In a speech this week, Poloz said “it will take three to five years for the economy to restructure itself.”

Comments from Poloz in the last couple of weeks suggest the Bank of Canada is still in a “wait-and-see mode,” said Dana Peterson, a New York-based economist at Citigroup Global Markets, who expects a cut in the fourth quarter. “The outlook for Canada is pretty poor.”

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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