The escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing dominated discussions at the G-7 gathering in France.Politicsread more
The latest round of tariff announcements in the last few days means that by the end of the year, essentially all Chinese goods exported to the U.S. will be subject to duties.China Economyread more
Futures fell after Trump said the U.S. will raise tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese imports, increasing trade tensions.Marketsread more
Tensions stemming from the U.S.-China trade war escalated sharply over the last few days, with much happening as Asian markets were shut down for the weekend.China Economyread more
Clouding the G-7 gathering, which represents the world's major industrial economies, are the tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington and Beijing.Politicsread more
Neither the U.S. nor China wants to be seen as the party that derailed trade talks, says William Reinsch of Center for Strategic and International Studies.World Economyread more
China said Friday it will be resuming 25% duties on U.S. autos, and a further 5% on auto parts and components.Asia Marketsread more
World leaders, environmental groups and celebrities have publicly decried the vast swaths of forest being destroyed by the fires.World Newsread more
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung says the Singapore government has been preparing for the challenge of an aging workforce "for the past 20 years."Employmentread more
Megvii is known for its facial recognition technology and while revenue grew over 350% in 2018, its losses have widened.Technologyread more
Stocks in Asia fell Monday afternoon following an escalation in the U.S.-China trade war late last week.Asia Marketsread more
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, May 6 (Reuters) - Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz on Monday said the housing sector was solid despite a series of challenges and called for a more flexible mortgage market to help make the country's financial system safer.
The central bank has kept interest rates on hold for six months as it studies reasons for a recent economic slowdown. These include the effects of previous hikes on the housing market, tougher mortgage rules and measures introduced to cut speculation in the major cities of Toronto and Vancouver.
"The fundamentals of the Canadian housing market remain solid, and growth will resume once the effects of reduced expectations for house price inflation and the new mortgage guidelines have been absorbed," Poloz said in a speech in Winnipeg.
He made no mention of interest rate policy.
Canada's central bank has raised rates five times since July 2017 but has remained on the sidelines in its last four decisions, including on April 24 when it removed wording around the need for future hikes.
The mortgage system was working well but could benefit from an imaginative approach, Poloz suggested on Monday, such as encouraging more people to take out longer fixed-rate mortgages.
He said 45 percent of all mortgage loans had a fixed rate and a five-year term. Just 2 percent of all mortgage loans issued in 2018 were fixed-rate loans with a term of longer than five years.
Longer terms mean consumers face the risk of having to renew at higher rates less often and also can build up more equity in their homes between renewals.
"I can see how longer-term mortgages can contribute to a safer financial system and more stable economy," he said.
Poloz also said it could be helpful to develop a private market for mortgage-backed securities which could be a more flexible source of long-term funding for uninsured mortgages.
These securities could become another option for investors but would have to be designed carefully. Poloz noted that mortgage-backed securities were at the heart of the sub-prime debacle that preceded the 2008 financial crisis.
Homeowners in Canada cannot currently buy mortgage insurance for houses that cost more than C$1 million or if they are buying a second property. (Writing by David Ljunggren Editing by Paul Simao)