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Media and LatAm Navel Gaze: April 10, 2017

Mark Kollar,  Ligia Vela-Reid

Buttons have been pushed. The Trump White House launched a well-televised airstrike (in cinematic detail) on Syria following the suspected chemical attack by Assad that killed 85 people (also well televised in gory detail). The action seemed to be covered as much for intent (Russia, China, N Korea threat? Diversion from current administration issues?) as for global impact.

Elsewhere:

  • Trump team met with the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago (China published full-page ads produced by Xinhua News Agency preceding the meetings setting the “positive tone” of the events) amid lots of talk;
  • The US unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in April, from 4.7 percent in May, a significant decline to a level not seen in a decade, while US employers slowed hiring by adding 98,000 jobs nonetheless, giving the Fed no doubt some confidence to continue raising rates amid signs of a strong economy (interesting that in a very news heavy cycle right now, the usually over-reported data seemed to take second billing.);
  • The Fed will begin selling off part of its $4.5 trillion portfolio of securities, a tightening move in and of itself as supply hits the market;
  • Fed official Jeffrey Lack (Richmond Bank president) stepped down after saying he was involved in a leak of confidential information in 2012, in an unexpected move that shamed the central bank (and others);
  • The Dow ended the week basically flat, closing Friday at 20,656;
  • Advertisers dropped their support of the O’Reilly Factor show on Fox amid new allegations against Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment, apparently forcing the most widely watched cable news show cut 15 minutes early this week;
  • Twitter sued the US to protect the name of an account that has been critical of Trump -- let the digital privacy debate continue;
  • Kendall and Pepsi met cute, then didn’t; and
  • Smartass supreme, Don Rickles, died.

LatAm Gaze:

  • Argentina attracted $116.8 billion (almost six times more than it expected) from an amnesty on unregistered funds held abroad, boosting fiscal revenue that might help it meet the budget deficit target for a second consecutive year.
  • A newspaper in the Mexican border city of Juárez has announced that it is shutting down because the unpunished killings of journalists in the country.
  • In Chile signs of a weak labor market continue, as unemployment rates continue to rise and wages decrease, which have had the biggest fall since 2010.
  • According to EPFR Global, emerging market equity and bond funds saw another $4 billion in net inflows in the latest week, as the first quarter comes to an end, flows as a percentage of assets were most favorable for Brazil among large fund categories.
  • In Peru, Protec, a subsidiary of CMPC received a $13.5 million fine for price manipulation in conjunction with Kimberly Clark, leading to a 20% price increase of toilet paper and other tissue products from 2005-2014.
  • The Chinese company Shanghai Gorgeous will be investing $1.8 billion in Panama to execute two megaprojects, including “Panama Colón Container Port” and “Gas to Power Panama.”
  • Traders boosted their bets on a Venezuela default as state oil company known as PDVSA faces a $2 billion bond payment next week.
  • End of Week Market Updates
    • Merval (Argentina):   +   2.28 %
    • Bovespa (Brazil):        -   0.60%
    • IPSA (Chile):              +   2.19%
    • IGBC (Colombia):       +   0.25%
    • IPC (Mexico):             +   1.65%
    • BVL (Peru):                +  0.55% 

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