The Russell 2000 is -7.5% from July highs, -3% in 2014, unchanged since last October and year-over-year small-cap performance is the worst since July 2012. Despite three valiant momo-pump efforts to rally stocks to VWAP (to cover institutional sellers), they just kept falling back to bond-market-reality as US equities decoupled lower from JPY after Europe closed. The USD closed unch (after major swings intraday around Europe's close) with GBP strength and AUD/CAD weakness leading it lower on the week. Treasury yields dropped 2-3bps across the curve (down 3-5bps on the week) and all below FOMC levels (30Y -11bps). Gold is now up 0.6% on the week with oil and silver rising modestly. Copper found no bid despite a very slightly better-than-expected China PMI. Financials slipped once again (catching down closer to credit). On the day, the European close signaled risk-off and the ubiquitous Tuesday panic buying in the last hour lifted the S&P to VWAP before a very weak close "not off the lows." Dow down 100+ pts 2 days in row for first time since June.
On one hand today's 2 Year bond auction priced, as expected, at the widest level since April 2011, or 0.589%, on rising concerns that the Fed may, all economic signs to the contrary, raise rates in the coming year. On the other hand, this was arguably the strongest 2 Year auction at this yield, in all of 2014. First, the auction stopped through a substantial 0.6bps through the 0.595% When Issued. Then, the Bid to Cover was a solid 3.564, the second highest of 2014, only lower than February's 3.605. Finally, the internals also were very solid, with Directs taking down 16.11% and Indirects holding 40.91%, the most since March 2014, leaving only 42.98% to the Dealers, which was also the lowest since March.
Just over a year ago, we warned on the very real concerns about corporate bond liquidity drying up and the potentially huge problems associated with that, if and when the Fed ever pulls the rug out from the one-way street of free-money injections. It appears, as Bloomberg reports, having realized, we suspect, that they can't get out of their positions, the world’s largest money manager, Blackrock, believes the corporate bond market is "broken" and in need of fixes to improve liquidity "before market stress returns." Ironically, as we have also explained in great detail, it is this 'broken' market that has enabled corporations to borrow cheap enough to buyback half a trillion dollars of their stock in 2014. As Blackrock concludes, rather ominously, "the risk posed by investors trying to dump bonds after the Federal Reserve raises interest rates is “percolating right under” the noses of regulators."
In the past, they were early, but they were right.
China is slowly moving to dominate the global gold market and it is important to join the dots regarding a few key recent developments in China relating to gold. When the International Board of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) was launched last Thursday September 18 during an evening trading session, it was notable that the first transactions were put through by a diverse group comprising HSBC, MKS (Switzerland), and the Chinese banks, ICBC, Bank of China and Bank of Communications. One encouraging factor about the SGE and the SGE international platform is that there is a lot of physical gold flowing through the Exchange. Therefore, price discovery is not just based on an inverted pyramid of mostly unallocated gold as in London or mostly cash-traded futures paper gold as in New York.
- U.S., backed by Arabs, launches first strikes on fighters in Syria (Reuters, BBG)
- But not all all back: Turkey Bars Kurds From Entering Syria to Fight Islamic State (BBG)
- Dollar Weakens on Airstrikes; Europe Stocks Drop (BBG)
- Ready for Rate Riot? Emerging Markets Set to Follow Fed (BBG)
- White House fence jumper had ammunition, machete in car, prosecutors say (WaPo)
- El-Erian "would have done things differently" (Reuters)
- Eurozone business growth slows in September, PMI survey finds (BBC)
- Shrinking Bond Desks Taken by Journeymen as Masters Fade (BBG)
- Manufacturing Rebound Relieves Growth Concerns in China (BBG)
- Former Trader Quits Playboy Club to Open Own Restaurant (BBG)
European stocks, U.S. equity index futures fall after Euro area PMI for Aug. missed ests., while bond yields for German, Spanish, U.K. debt fall. Copper rises with positive Chinese PMI data, while oil gains as OPEC discusses output cut. European health care stocks among largest underperformers as U.S. plans tighter rules on tax inversion M&A.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) has built a new crystal ball (technically a DSGE model) as part of its efforts to forecast the U.S. economy. In part 1 of a week-long series - to provide some background on the model, its use for policy analysis and forecasting, as well as its forecasting performance - they briefly discuss what DSGE models are and explain their usefulness as a forecasting tool.
Having cautioned investors this morning of the historical tendency for market reversals on September 22nd after hitting all-time highs, UBS' Art Cashin's warning has been echoed by BofAML's Macneil Curry who notes risk assets are set to correct as negative seasonals dominate the S&P500 this week. This is bullish for Treasuries, Curry adds. "Crazy? Maybe, but forewarned is forearmed," as Cashin concludes.
Moments ago, the Goldmanite in charge of the European Central Bank delivered yet another speech, this time seeking to offset some of the hawkish comments over the weekend from his comrades, all of which suggested that no more easing, or public QE, was coming any time soon. It was, as usual, full of the same lies that have pushed European stocks to highs not seen since Lehman even as Europe's economy is now slumping into a triple-dip recession. Here is a choice selection of his comments, properly annotated.
There is a "hard way" of doing, as in fixing, things and then there is... the European way. Below we show how Italy's debt/GDP for 2013 just was "reduced" by 5% making the country appear far more "sustainable" and attractive to debt investors (the ECB?). As Bloomberg reports, Italy’s 2013 public debt was revised to 127.9% of GDP from a previous estimate of 132.6% of GDP, the country’s statistics agency Istat says in report.
While some were wondering if last night's sudden, commodity-liquidation driven selloff would last, most were not, expecting that the perfectly predictable levitation in the USDJPY around a round "tractor beam" number would provide a floor under the market .Sure enough, starting around midnight eastern, the USDJPY BTFDers emerged, oblivious to comments from former BOJ deputy governor Iwata who late last night said the obvious, and what we have been saying since January 2013, namely that a weak yen puts Japan at recession risk, and that a USDJPY in the 90-100 range reflects Japan fundamentals. And, as expected, the 109 level is where the algos have hone in today as a strange FX attractor, which also means that ES has reverse sharper overnight losses and was down just 7 points at last check even as the poundage in the commodity sector continues over rising fears of a sharp Chinese slowdown driven by its imploding housing sector (most recently observed here) without an offsetting stimulus program, following several comments by high-ranked Chinese individuals who poured cold water on any hopes of an imminent Chinese mega-QE or even modest rate cut.
Just one guy's attempt to make sense of what is likely to happen in the coming days.
Russia FinMin Calls For Shift Away From US Treasurys Into BRIC Bonds, Settlement In Non-Dollar CurrenciesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/20/2014 21:43 -0400
it was Russia's finance minister Anton Siluanov who was the designated "bad guy", and as the WSJ reported, Russia is considering diversifying its debt portfolio away from countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow and into the papers of its BRICS partners. Speaking on the sidelines of an annual investment forum in the Black Sea town of Sochi, Mr. Siluanov said the Finance Ministry wants to diversify its investment basket, and is looking for higher yields without too much risks. He said the ministry will consider buying papers issued by Brazil, India, China and South Africa, which along with Russia are known collectively as the Brics countries. "[We would like to] walk away from investing in papers of the countries that impose sanctions against us," Mr. Siluanov said, adding that the reshuffle would be carried out gradually. He didn't elaborate on when the first purchases of Brics debt may take place.