Less than one week after the BOJ floated a trial balloon using Bloomberg, that it would reduce the rate it charged some banks which set off the biggest USDJPY rally since October 2014, we are back where we started following last night's "completely unexpected" (for everyone else: we wrote "What If The BOJ Disappoints Tonight: How To Trade It" hours before said "shock") shocking announcement out of the BOJ which did absolutely... nothing. "It’s a total shock,” Nader Naeimi, Sydney- based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors told Bloomberg. "From currencies to equities to everything -- you can see the reaction in the markets. I can’t believe this. It’s very disappointing."
A favorite question during the bear market was: what will it take to bring mining back to life?
If there was a sign that nothing else matters but central bank largess, this was it. The moment The Bank of Japan statement hit and proclaims "unchanged" a vacuum hit USDJPY and Japanese stocks. Reflecting that Japan's economy has "continued a moderate recovery trend" which is utter crap given the quintuple-dip recession, Kuroda and his cronies said they will "add easing if necessary" and apparently that is not now. Not so much as a higher ETF purchase or moar NIRP.. and the aftermath is carnage - NKY -1000 points and USDJPY crashed to a 108 handle!!
The biggest argument for a BOJ disappointment is that with the G7 meeting in Japan in on month on 26–27 May 2016, it’s unlikely that Japanese policymakers will want to draw attention yet again to the idea that they are in the business of manipulating the JPY lower. After all the most recent G20 meeting once again confirmed that absent "disorderly moves" in the Yen, the US would frown on any attempt to dramatically manipulate its currency lower.
Update: Risk on is fading fast with bonds & bullion topping stocks
The kneejerk - USD up, stocks down, bonds down - reaction has faded and with The Fed statement pitching its dovish tent back in domestic concerns while keeping a hawkish eye on global developments. The Long bond is back in the green but it appears machines are busier running oil stops higher and dumping gold. Rate hike odds rose but very modestly from 21% pre- to 23.5% post-FOMC.
Federal Reserve officials are virtually certain to hold interest rates steady when their meeting ends today but they could try to send a message to markets and outside observers about what likely comes next. With no press conference scheduled after this week’s meeting and no new economic forecasts to be released, all the attention will be focused on their words and the market is more aware than ever that the Fed doesn’t act in a vacuum. As Bloomberg's Richard Breslow notes, The Fed is hopeful (that their always-wrong forecasts come true this time) but they're also scared to death on the consequences.
Is gold, often scoffed at as being an unproductive asset, more productive than cash? If so, what does it mean for asset allocation?
The recovery was always hollow or shallow, for a short time in 2014 it just came in a more appealing package; so appealing, the mainstream never looked beyond that cover. With 2015 a wreck and 2016 looking at best more of the same, they just keep right on reciting all the past cliches because to admit the actual circumstances is just too traumatic.
For those who thought that the world's biggest company losing over $40 billion in market cap in an instant on disappointing Apple earnings, would have been sufficient to put a dent in US equity futures, we have some disappointing news: with just over 7 hours until the FOMC reveals its April statement, futures are practically unchanged, even though the Nasdaq appears set for an early bruising in the aftermath of what is becoming a disturbing quarter for tech companies. Instead of tech leading, however, the upside has once again come from the energy complex where moments ago WTI rose above $45 a barrel for the first time since November after yesterday's unexpected 1.07 million barrel API inventory drawdown.
This afternoon Jeffrey Gundlach held one of his periodic interviews with Reuters' Jenna Ablan in which he said that the selloff in Treasurys is over and that investors looking to purchase Treasuries in the wake of the bond market's sell-off - if one can call a move in the 10Y to 1.91% a selloff - are making a prudent move. "I think it is a reasonable strategy to start legging into the Treasury market."
Japan has proven that decay can be stretched into decades, but it has yet to prove that gravity can be revoked by central bank monetary games.
With the Fed decision just one day away, followed the very next day by the increasingly more irrational BOJ, stocks had no desire to make significant moves and overnight's boring session was the result, as European stocks and U.S. index futures rose modestly but mostly hugged the flatline while Asian declined 0.2% for a third day as raw-material shares declined and Tokyo equities slumped before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week. China’s stocks rose the most in almost two weeks, up 0.6% but failed to rise above 3000 on the Shanghai Composite, in thin trading.
Update: after widening by 2bps earlier, Malaysia CDS is now +4 at 167bps and starting to move as macro "analysts" finally catch up on the entire story and comprehend the implications.
Malaysian CDS rose to near 3-month highs and the Ringgit has spiked over 300 pips - back near recent lows - after the Malaysian slushfund government investment fund 1MDB is reportedly in default. This is exactly the scenario we laid out last week that initially sent the currency lower and CDS higher, as the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund has by all appearances started a potential waterfall default on Malaysian sovereign debt (due to cross-default triggers at the sovereign).
Zero (or negative) interest rates around the world have practically destroyed any reasonable expectation of savings. Simply put, saving money guarantees that you will lose after adjusting for inflation, at a time when the US government’s finances have never been more precarious. Crazy. Buying ‘risk free’ bonds, dumping money in a mutual fund, and waiting for the government pension to kick in just won’t produce the results that it used to.
"For traders, just when they were promised an end was in sight, policy divergences would become tradable and correlations would weaken, the nightmares keep coming. The problem is, that despite all of the emphatically reasoned analysis, no one really believes anything. And it may not pay to. The distortions are just too great.... Think it was a big deal to be threatened with a Treasury portfolio sell-off? Wait until it’s the S&P 500."