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The IMF has downgraded its global growth forecast to 3.5% from 3.7% in its October outlook, partly due to the negative impact of U.S. and China tariff increases. Risks to economic growth are “tilted to the downside,’’ citing the threat of a widening trade war, Brexit and a steeper-than-anticipated slowdown in China.  According to the report, "Financial conditions have already tightened since the fall. A range of triggers beyond escalating trade tensions could spark a further deterioration in risk sentiment with adverse growth implications, especially given the high levels of public and private debt." (SA)
 
Google has been fined €50 million by France’s data protection watchdog for breaching European Union online privacy rules, the biggest such penalty levied against a U.S. tech company. France’s National Data Protection Commission, says Google violated rules requiring information about data collection to be transparent and did not go far enough in getting valid user consent to gather data for targeted advertising. The French action could signal the opening shot of potentially several regulatory actions as officials wield Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation. (FT)
 
The US is reportedly set to proceed with a formal request to extradite Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, currently out on bail in Vancouver. Meanwhile, 12 former ambassadors to China have published an open letter urging the release of two Canadians suspiciously detained in the country in the wake of the arrest. (WSJ)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.

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