Global stocks declined broadly, led by European equities which fell for the first time this week while currency markets continued their subdued tone even as the recent 4-day rally in the USD appears to have topped out, as investors took to sidelines ahead of the Jackson Hole meeting which begins tonight. Japanese and Chinese stocks had suffered modest drops in Asia. S&P 500 Index futures slipped 0.2%, continuing yesterday's modest selloff.
In a rerun of yesterday's overnight session, European indexes trade higher while US index futures were modestly in the green, set to propel the S&P 500 to new all time highs. Emerging Market dropped the most in three weeks alongside commodities, as today the market was predisposed hawkishly on a US rate hike ahead of Yellen's Friday speech, pushing the US dollar higher and oil resumed its pre "anonymous sources" headlines slide.
Action this week by Illinois' biggest public pension fund to lower its expected rate of return, could "cripple" the state's already fragile finances, Governor Rauner has warned. "If the (TRS) board were to approve a lower assumed rate of return taxpayers will be automatically and immediately on the hook for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in higher taxes or reduced services... the unforeseen and unknown automatic cost increases would have a devastating impact."
Remember the shale gale and Saudi America? The scale of those outlandish delusions has now dwindled to plays in a few counties in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Saudi Permian. It’s a race to the bottom as investors double down on the tight oil companies that can still tell a growth story.
So far US banks have escaped the recent Libor surge, but the higher funding costs and shrunken market are hitting Japanese banks particularly hard, as they have been sourcing as much as a third of their U.S. dollar liquidity in the short-term U.S. market. Japanese banks have about $125 billion to $150 billion of CP and CDs maturing before the end of September.
Chinese Treasury futures tumbled overnight, posting their sharpest fall in three months, after the local market was spooked when the PBOC surprised bondholder by hinting it could avoid broad easing and instead may bring back a far less powerful tool.
Things are so absurd in the Eurozone that the ECB is buying private placement debt with little regard for safety. In turn, private equity companies issue debt simply because they know in advance the ECB will buy it. It’s a startling example of how the market is adapting to extremes of monetary policy, and it’s a safe conclusion the experiment will not end well.