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Brexit Scaremongering Taken To New Level With Threat Of "Year Long Recession"

The last few weeks have seen 'Project Fear' taken to all new levels by the UK establishment as doom-mongering over a possible Brexit conjure images of post-apocalyptic movies. UK PM Cameron and Chanceller Osborne's latest op-ed tirade warns of 800,000 jobs lost and an "immediate year-long recession" if the Brits exercise their democratic right to vote for sovereignty over tyranny. Judging from the polls, which show Brexit odds tumbling, the fear-mongery is working, however, the markets disagree as forward volatility measures near 2016 highs.


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The Wildest Predictions For Oil Prices In 2016

One reality in the markets is that despite the best efforts of analysts and traders, no one ever knows with any degree of certainty what will happen to the price of an investment in the future. Oil exemplifies that premise right now. All year there has been a tremendous amount of discrepancy in predictions for oil prices with some commentators looking for prices of $10 a barrel and others expecting prices near $100.


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Fed's Williams Says "I Don't Know What We'll Do In June"

Some were concerned earlier today, when SF Fed's John Williams said that he sees about 2-3 rate hikes in 2016, followed by another 3-4 in 2017, suggesting a grand total between 5 and 7 more rate hikes over the next 18 months. However, those fears were promptly dissiptated when as Williams himself admitted during the reporter Q&A, he - like virtually everyone else at the Fed - has no idea what he is talking about.


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Panic-Buyers Lift WTI Crude Back Over $48

Because... fundamentals...


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US Manufacturing PMI Collapses To 2009 Lows (As Fed Readies Rate Hike?)

So much for the huge China credit impulse spreading around the world. After this morning's extremely disappointing European data, US Manufacturing's flash PMI for May printed a disappointing 50.5 - its lowest since 2009.Under the surface the state of American manufacturing is even more disastrous as Markit notes, output is falling for the first time since the height of the global financial crisis, with factories hit by slowing growth of order books and falling exports.


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The "Doom Loop Is Coming Back" - Deutsche Bank Sees "No Further Upside For European Stocks"

"In January, we projected that the Fed rate hike would lead to increased financial stress and falling equity markets; this, we argued, would lead the Fed to turn more dovish, which – in turn – would allow equities to rebound. This has played out. Yet, the Fed relent has been partial – and the latest FOMC minutes point to increasing risks that we will re-enter the “doom loop” from a more hawkish Fed to a stronger dollar, lower oil prices, higher HY credit spreads and lower equity markets."


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Never Been Richer - Investors Are Paying Historically High Multiples For Sales

By any measure, DM Americas stocks aren’t cheap, as it seems that lack of global demand has driven up investors risk tolerance when it comes to sales.


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Key Events In The Coming Week

Following last week's lull in global macro, it’s a busy start to the week in which we get the latest deluge of global flash PMIs, while the US economic calendar is loaded with New Home Sales data, Trade Balance, Initial Claims, UMichigan sentiment and the revised US Q1 GDP print on Friday. But perhaps the most expected event will be Yellen's speech on Friday at Harvard's Radcliffe, where the Fed chairman is expected to reveal some more hints on the upcoming rate hike.


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France Hit By Gas Shortages, Rationing After Refinery Workers Go On Strike

In the aftermath of the French labor law reform, local refinery workers have launched a strike to hit the government where it hurts the most. Protesters have blocked deliveries to gas stations from at least half of France's eight refineries, and workers at three Total refineries have voted to halt all output by Tuesday. The effect was immediate: as an IEA analyst observed, "there is a noticeable fuel shortage in the North West and North of the country, including parts of the greater Paris region."


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The BDC Consolidation Begins: Ares Buys American Capital For $3.4 Billion

Back during the last bubble, Business Development Corporation (BDC) pioneer American Capital was one of the hottest business models (and most desired companies to work for). However, when the bubble burst, so did the company's stock price, as well as its reputation, and in the past 9 years the company failed to see its stock price recover anywhere near the levels seen during the last bubble. Which is perhaps why moments ago in a dramatic move shaking up the BDC space, ACAS announced it would sell itself to another BDC titan, Ares Capital in a deal worth $3.4 billion.


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Eurozone Business Growth "Unexpectedly" Slows Down To 16 Month Low

It wasn't just Japan's PMI which overnight printed at a disappointing 47.6, missing expectations and signaling the sharpest decline in operating conditions since December 2012. Overnight Markit showed that the Chinese credit-induced global slowdown is coming far faster than most (if not Morgan Stanley) expected, when the Eurozone flash PMI printed at 52.9, the lowest level in 16 months. As Reuters put it, this offers "the latest evidence that a strong acceleration in growth in the first three months of the year was only temporary" and likely


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RANsquawk WEEK AHEAD AND 1 MONTH TO UK REFERENDUM VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE - MAY 23RD

· Fed speak will garner significant attention this week as we move closer to the June rate decision and with recent data and rhetoric suggesting a hike is a genuine possibility

  • Brexit remains in focus in the UK, with last week seeing GBP/USD fluctuate by around 2.5 points as a `remain` victory continues to look more likely

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Frontrunning: May 23

  • Global stocks see-saw, yields slip as investors get week off to cautious start (Reuters)
  • Bayer defies critics with $62 billion Monsanto offer (Reuters)
  • Iran has no plans to freeze oil exports, official says ahead of OPEC meeting (Reuters)
  • U.S. lifts arms ban on old foe Vietnam as regional tensions simmer (Reuters)
  • Anthem, Cigna Privately Bicker as They Seek Merger Approval (WSJ)

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Trade With Japan Collapses: Exports Decline 7th Month, Imports Plunge Most Since 2009

Abenomics was back in the spotlight tonight. Global trade with Japan has collapsed. Exports are down and imports are down even more. The result is an unexpected rise in Japan’s trade surplus, yet another failure of abenomics.


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Futures Fade Early Bounce, Slide In Illiquid Tape As Yen Rises, Oil Drops

Government bonds rose and the yen strengthened as investors weighed the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next increase in interest rates and the outlook for inflation. Commodities slid, led by metals, while stocks in Europe declined. Treasury 30-year yields fell for a third day. The yen rose from near this month’s low. Futures on the S&P 500 also declined after initially jumping higher in thinly traded, illiquid tape.


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