WTI Hits $45 Handle After Treasury Secretary Lew Says "Doesn't Expect US Crude Production To Decline"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/23/2015 - 09:05
Keeping the narrative dream alive, Treasury Secretary Lew told Bloomberg TV this morning that "lower energy prices are good for the US economy" - seemingly missing the huge surge in jobless claims, the lack of clear gains by firms on lower fuel costs, rig count collapsing, and homebuilder concerns in Shale states. But it was his follow up idiocy that sparked weakness:
*LEW SAYS HE DOESN'T EXPECT OIL PRODUCTION IN U.S. TO DECLINE
*LEW SAYS U.S. CRUDE PRODUCERS CAN HANDLE DECLINE IN OIL PRICES
The reaction - WTI broke quickly to a $45 handle on heavy volume. Perhaps Secretary Lew should tell the firms that are laying off 1000s how to do their jobs if he is so sure that "they can handle it."
With the leads in at least six polls (of between 4% and 10%), Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has come out swining for the anti-EU vote this morning:
- *TSIPRAS SAYS ONLY SYRIZA CAN END GREECE'S CATASTROPHIC COURSE
- *TSIPRAS SAYS WON'T HONOR COMMITMENTS MADE BY PREVIOUS GOVT
- *TSIPRAS SAYS WILL NEGOTIATE WITH EUROPEAN PEERS NOT WITH MERKEL
For now Greek assets remain bid on the glorious awesomeness of Draghi but we suspect - though The ECB gave themn room to negotiate and Djisselblom mentioned the possibility of 'working' with Greece - that if things go as the polls suggest Monday could see more bloodletting in EURUSD (and bank runs in Greece).
We can only imagine how fast the narrative is being re-written as bellwether of "everything is awesome" in America, United Parcel Service missed earnings expectations and lowered guidance and is seeing its shares tumble:
*UPS 4Q PRELIM ADJ. EPS $1.25 , EST. $1.47
*UNITED PARCEL CITES UNDERPERFORMANCE OF U.S. DOMESTIC SEGMENT
Of course, we are sure that with lower fuel prices due to help them 'next' quarter... and Valentine's Day and Easter around the corner, Q1 growth will prove everything is awesome.
- Saudi Arabia’s New King Probably Will Not Change Current Oil Policy (BBG)
- Saudi King’s Death Clouds Already Tense Relationship With U.S. (WSJ)
- Oil Pares Gains as New Saudi King Says Policies Stable (BBG)
- Kuroda Says BOJ to Mull Fresh Options in Case of More Easing (BBG)
- U.S. pulls more staff from Yemen embassy amid deepening crisis (Reuters)
- Putin Said to Shrink Inner Circle as Hawks Beat Billionaires (BBG)
- A Few Savvy Investors Had Swiss Central Bank Figured Out (WSJ)
Any hedge funds that had an even modestly long EUR position are being FXCMed right now.
Euro Crash Continues Sending Stocks Higher, Yields To Record Lows; Crude Stabilizes On New King's CommentsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/23/2015 - 07:03
Today's market action is largely a continuation of the QE relief rally, where - at least for the time being - the market bought the rumor for over 2 years and is desperate to show it can aslo buy the news. As a result, the European multiple-expansion based stock ramp has resumed with the Eurostoxx advancing for a 7th day to extend their highest level since Dec. 2007. As we showed yesterday, none of the equity action in Europe is based on fundamentals, but is the result of multiple expansion, with the PE on European equities now approaching 20x, a surge of nearly 70% in the past 2 years. But the real story is not in equities but in bonds where the perfectly expected frontrunning of some €800 billion in European debt issuance over the next year, taking more than 100% of European net supply, has hit new record level.
As reported earlier, several hours ago Saudi Arabia announced that its 91-year-old King Abdullah had passed away, in the process setting off what may be a fascinating, and problematic, Saudi succession fight which impacts everything from oil, to markets to geopolitics, especially in the aftermath of the dramatic political coup in neighboring Yemen. As a reminder, it is Saudi Arabia whose insistence on not cutting oil production with the intent of hobbling the US shale industry has led to the splinter of OPEC, and to a Brent price south of $50. Which is why today's event and its implications will be analyzed under a microscope by everyone: from politicians to energy traders. Here, courtesy of Ecstrat's Emad Mostaque, is an initial take at succession, the likely impact on oil, then the Saudi market & currency and finally regional politics.
Billionaire Jeff Greene - who flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week - has some words of wisdom for the average American: "America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence. We need to reinvent our whole system of life."
The ongoing 'isolation' of Russia took another turn for the un-isolated-er today when, as Bloomberg reports, China will build a 7,000-kilometer (4,350-mile) high-speed rail link from Beijing to Moscow, at a cost of 1.5 trillion yuan ($242 billion), Beijing’s city government said. The rail-link - which will bring travel time between Beijing and Moscow down from 5 days to 30 hours - signals a 10-year partnership between the two nations and follows the dropping of the French company, Alstom, from the project.
History proves a government can’t be fiscally responsible and the policeman of the world. All great empires were befallen by the inability of resources to keep up with ambition. From Alexander the Great to Rome to the great British Empire, hegemony doesn’t last forever. The U.S. government guarantees security to over 35 countries and has troops stationed in over 146 countries. Does such an astounding presence – completely unmatched by previous empires – really sound all that sensible?
Chinese Stocks Recover From Biggest Plunge In Years As 'Still-Contracting' Manufacturing Industry ImprovesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/22/2015 - 21:12
Following the biggest crash in Chinese stocks in 8 years on Monday (following regulator's crackdown on margin trading), The Shanghai Composite has now retraced all those losses as China's Manufacturing PMI rises and beats modestly (though remains technically in contraction at 49.8 for the 2nd month). HSBC notes marginal domestic demand improvements but employment and prices continued to deteriorate hinting at a continued manufacturing slowdown (which stocks love - bad news is good news). The problem for the reflexive equity market gamblers is that the higher stocks go, the less likely a broad-based RRR cut is to happen. Along those lines, the CNY Fix was weakened by the most in 10 months today and yesterday the first reverse repo liquidity injection in a year as Chinese year-end liquidity concerns once again move front-and-center...
There is virtually nothing which is on the level in today’s financial markets. According to the Fed’s PR firm, Hilsenramp & Blackstone, one quarter of the $7 trillion in bonds issued by euro zone government are trading at negative yields. And this drastic financial repression prevails across the yield curve, not just on the short end. Yes, the juxtaposition is entirely reasonable that a state drifting toward insolvency and/or ruinous taxation should be able to borrow 10-year money at 0.70%. That is, when the fix is in, the central bank printing press is open to buy, the apparatchiks are terrified and one of history’s greatest monetary charlatans is in charge - the speculators have nothing to do but harvest their haul. So now begins the greatest heist since Bernanke bailed out Wall Street in September 2008.
While the rest of the developed world, flooded with re-exported deflation as a result of now ubiquitous money printing, scrambles to print even more money in hopes of stimulating the economy when all it is doing is accelerating a closed deflationary loop (at least until the infamous monetary helicopter drop), China - which still has the most centrally-planned economy in the world even if the US is rapidly catching up - has a more novel way of dealing with the threat of deflation: a massive wage hike across the board for all public workers. Two days ago, at a press conference, the Chinese vice minister of human resources and social security Hu Xiaoyi said that China’s 39 million civil servants and public workers will get a pay raise of at least 60% of their base salaries as part of pension plan overhaul.
It’s already ‘later’. We're living through the period of time when that dawning recognition of limits will finally burst over the horizon, shining a very bright spotlight on a frightening number of our global society's unsustainable practices. The most urgent of them all, as far as everyone reading this is concerned, is the very uncomfortable fact that it is our system of money that is most likely to break first and hardest because its very design demands endless growth, without which collapse ensues. Central bank credibility (as fictitious as that may be) is essential to maintaining the current narrative, BUT central banks are rapidly losing their credibility (which should have happened simply via deductive reasoning a long time ago) and the strains are showing. When credibility in central bank omnipotence snaps, buckle up. Risk will get re-priced, markets will fall apart, losses will mount, and politicians will seek someone (anyone, dear God, but them) to blame.
"King Abdullah’s life spanned from before the birth of modern Saudi Arabia through its emergence as a critical force within the global economy and a leader among Arab and Islamic nations. He took bold steps in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative, an endeavor that will outlive him as an enduring contribution to the search for peace in the region. At home, King Abdullah's vision was dedicated to the education of his people and to greater engagement with the world."