“It’s surreal,”said Gregory Peters, senior investment officer at Prudential Fixed Income "Regarding negative yields he added that “It’s clear that central banks are dominating markets. There’s a race to the bottom. Central banks are the main drivers of this, it’s not fundamental."
European shares advanced, with gains in automakers helping Germany’s benchmark DAX Index turn positive for the year for the first time. Stocks rose around the world, led by emerging-markets, as oil climbed further after its best week since April and traders pushed back bets on higher U.S. interest rates. S&P futures advance and Asian stocks little changed as rising oil prices bolstered investor sentiment.
Real economists, if there were any, looking at the real economic picture would see an economy collapsing into widespread debt deflation and impoverishment. Debt deflation is when consumers after they service their debts have no discretionary income left with which to drive the economy with purchases. The reason that Americans have no income from their savings is that public authorities put the welfare of a handful of “banks too big to fail” above the welfare of the American people. The enormous liquidity created by the Federal Reserve has gone into the financial system where it has driven up the prices of financial instruments. There has been a stock market recovery but not an economic recovery.
The latest custody data from the Fed shows that reserve manager holdings of Treasuries has tumbled by $17 billion in the past week, to the lowest effective level since late 2012. The prevailing hypothesis is that smaller central banks and reserve managers sell US paper to defend their currencies, while OPEC countries such as Saudi Arabia are quietly raising cash in an environment of low oil prices and acute budgetary tightness.
Distortions in financial markets keep growing, as central banks all over the world are desperately intensifying monetary pumping. What is currently happening in various bond markets as a result of this and other interventions is simply jaw-dropping insanity. It is not so much that it defies rational explanation – in fact, all of these moves can be explained. What makes the situation so troubling is the fact that investors seem to be oblivious to the enormous risks they are taking. They are sitting on a powder keg.
Following an unprecedented credit expansion by China, which in the first few months of 2016 injected well over a trillion dollars in total credit, the payback - as previewed here - is coming. As reported earlier, overnight China reported that a swath economic activity, from factory output to investment and retail sales, slowed last month, reflecting renewed weakness in China’s economy, resulting in10Y bond yields dropping to near all time lows.
One day after all three US indexes hit record highs for the first time since December 31, 1999, US equity index futures, European stocks and Asian equities are little changed after the Nikkei jumped on the back of a Yen weakness, while China reported disappointing economic data and the PBOC suggested that the flood of new debt is slowing which pushed Chinese stocks higher by 1.6% on hopes of more stimulus.
Stock market “bulls” should pray that interest rates don’t rise. Don’t blame those poor consumers for not spending – they are spending everything they have and then some. Just one word describes the outcome of that event given the current excessively leveraged consumption based economy of today – disaster.
Last week’s sharp sell-off in JGBs following the BoJ’s decision not to cut rates, renewed investor fears of forced selling by risk parity funds. This was accentuated as it took place roughly one year after last August's notable risk-parity sharp, market-moving deleveraging. So under what conditions could a similar risk-parity blow up take place again? Here is the answer.
Nothing says panic-buy a retail stock like the shuttering of 100 stores (14%) but that is what Macy's is doing. With a loss of $1 billion in revenues from the store closures,it seems like an odd reaction to the decline in sales that CEO Terry Lundgren has blamed on "abnormal weather patterns."
The summer doldrums continue with another listless overnight session, not helpd by Japan markets which are closed for holiday, as Asian stocks fell fractionally, while European stocks rebounded as oil trimmed losses after the the IEA said pent-up demand would absorb record crude output (something they have said every single month). S&P futures have wiped out almost all of yesterday's losses and were up over 0.2% in early trading.
"Zero interest rates and negative interest rates and Europe and Asia are a huge signal that we are almost at the point where central banks have lost their tools to perpetuate a sense of confidence, that things are cyclical.... If you were to apply the Bretton Woods model for valuing money today, gold would be up to $15,000 an ounce..."