As Saudi Arabia readies a Syrian ground invasion, there are competing accounts of just who destroyed 9 targets in Aleppo on Wednesday. While The Pentagon says Moscow hit the city's two main hospitals, The Kremlin claims two US Air Force A-10 attack planes carried out the strikes which raises the following question: is the US set to conduct airstrikes in support of the rebels, thus marking a fresh and exceptionally dangerous escalation of hostilities in the country?
In a replay of yesterday's idiotic opening action, WTI crude spiked on Saudi troops headlines - running stops to yesterday's close - only to dump back below $27 once again...
Following remarks that are identical to those from yesterday, today Yellen will conclude her semi-annual testimony, this time by presenting her vision about the economy and the path of future rate hikes to the Senate Banking Committee. Surprises, if any, will come during the Q&A.
2Y yields crashed 10bps overnight - the biggest plunge in yields since September's FOMC fold on rate-hikes. The rest of the Treasury bond complex also saw yields crash with 10Y flash-crashing 20bps - amid collapsing liquidity - at its deepest. Then - as if by magic - a sudden crazed Yen seller appeared and lifted all risk boats (and bond yields) "off the lows." One wonders how long this 'intervention' will last...
Gold has reached, and so far held, notable resistance around $1200. However, as Goldman notes, there’s scope to extend much higher over time.
Here is, courtesy of Nanex, a forensic market-level look at the key events that took place so far this morning:
Initial jobless claims dropped notably last week (from 285 to 269k) but the overall trend (away from the noise) appears in tact. The smoother4-week average remains near 12-month highs and as Goldman notes weakness is widespread - "there is only limited evidence that the rise in claims is due to distress in the energy sector." Continuing claims dropped modestly to 2.239mm but, as Goldman adds, "the persistence of the recent move suggests more might be going on, and we are treating the increase as more than just noise."
Disgruntled employee (maybe he was mad that the kingdom rolled back fuel subsidies) or excuse to invade Syria? We'll see.
"Whatever it takes" is not enough, it would appear as the fragility and interconnectedness forced upon the European banking/sovereign finance ponzi has rapidly come home to roost for Draghi and his followers. Peripheral bond risk has flipped from "hold your nose" buys to panic sells with Portugal risk exploding 200bps in the last week. As the European banking system's credit risk rises 2012-crisis-like, it seems belief in a bigger bazooka is fading fast.
"Worse than Lehman" is how one European bond market trader described the carnage this week as the brief respite that ECB monetization and debt-buyback rumors provided yesterday have morphed into utter destruction this morning. European (and US) banks are a sea of contagious red with Deutsche Bank the tip of the collapse spear. Credit risk on Deutsche has exploded this morning with Sub CDS trading up 85bps to a record high 540bps... eerily reminiscent of the pre-Lehman bankruptcy week in 2008.
Time to panic now?
- Gold Roars to One-Year High as Turmoil Drives Safe Haven Demand (BBG)
- Banking Stocks Pummeled in Europe (WSJ)
- Dollar, stocks plunge sparks scramble for safety (Reuters)
- Nymex Crude Slips Below $27 a Barrel (WSJ)
- No Respite for S&P 500 as U.S. Stock Futures Join Global Selloff (BBG)
The currency wars continue unabated as does the developed world's experiment with negative rates as the Riksbank moves further into NIRP, cutting the repo rate by 15 bps to -0.50%. "Uncertainty regarding global developments is still high, with low inflation and several central banks pursuing more expansionary monetary policy [and] Swedish monetary policy must relate to this," the bank said.
Just like two days ago, when for the first time since 2011 the BOJ intervened directly in the USDJPY market, moments ago Kuroda's trading desk once again decided to sell a boatload of Yen, with the key carry pair trading at 111.25 and threatening to take out the 110 support, in the process sending the USDJPY higher by 175 pips in a matter of seconds to just above 113.
"Trying to divine the end of the rout is difficult given the globe is in the midst of a series of tightly intertwined, self-reinforcing, and correlated trades and narratives (i.e. oil slumps and drags inflation down with it which prompts CBs to ratchet up accommodation which sinks banks which crushes general market sentiment and the overall price declines tighten financial market conditions and scares corporate execs and actual economic activity begins to deteriorate)."