A non-bombastic look at the week ahead in the capital markets.
The US Dollar took down Oil, commodities, even emerging market currencies. Stocks will be next. The first REAL sign that the 2008 Crash was coming occurred when the US Dollar began to skyrocket in the summer of 2008.
The Fed and other Central Banks are trying to maintain the illusion that they have everything in control by talking about interest rates, but the reality is that the US Dollar carry trade is ABOVE $9 trillion in size. That is almost as large as ALL of the money printing that occurred between 2009 and 2013.
The bust of Aussie boom-towns, collapse of the mining industry, dramatic capital outflows, and a bursting housing bubble all have one thing in common, according to billionaire hedge fund manager Crispin Odey - "China is everything to Australia in lots of ways." Simply put, he tells The Australian Financial Review, economies dependent on China for income, including Australia, are headed for recession and central banks will not be able to able to come to the rescue because they have exhausted the arsenal of policy weapons. "We've got a very old-fashioned recession which is spreading across the world," and Australian banks face a tough time ahead too because there are indications bad debt risks are rising.
No catalyzing event - China CPI modestly hotter than expected and Aussie confidence weak - but FX markets are fast in the Asia session with USDJPY surging above 122.00 for the first time since July 2007 and EURUSD dropping below 1.08 as USD strength dominates (up 1.65% from payrolls). Japanese stocks have decoupled from USDJPY's rally and are down notably and despite the USD strength, WTI crude has jumped (perhaps on news of Iraqi forces taking back an oil field near Tikrit). Gold is falling as Offshore Renminbi weakens. All in all - markets are turmoiling for no good reason...
Hedge funds are still useful for one thing: observing where the fast money herd is parked, and doing precisely the opposite in advance of the herd dispersing. Because in a market as illiquid as this one, any and all fast, sudden moves by even the smallest group of traders results in dramatic price movement outliers.
Dollar extends gains, defies doom and gloomers again.
Dalian Iron Ore prices have been cut in half in the last year (which must mean over-supply and not under-demand, right?). Amid China's growth target cut, Iron Ore prices there have crashed to below $60 - a record low - and that is having dramatic impacts across many regions. As we recently noted, Aussie gold miners are producing desperately to generate cashflow, but despite the booming housing market in some areas, as Reuters reports, the drop in iron ore and coal prices (the nation's 2 biggest exports) have led former boom towns to bust as "reality comes into the marketplace."
Amid a booming housing market (home prices +14.4% YoY), and busting economy (PMI 44.2 from 55.1 2014 peak), Australia's Gold output in 2014 surged 4% to its highest since 2003. As Mining.com reports, the world's no.2 gold-producing nation (after China) has been forced to increase the grade of ore they were targeting and push their processing plants even harder, and mining consultants Surbiton Associates warns "it's not all good news."
Financial systems that seem robust are more often than not inherently fragile - China is no exception!
"What’s Going On" - Traders Stumped As HFTs Frontrun Last Night's Australia "Surprise" Rate DecisionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/03/2015 09:46 -0400
Yesterday at 10:30pm eastern, or alternatively today at 2:30pm local time, Australia's central bank unexpectedly did not cut its key interest rate, keeping it at 2.25% even as the majority of economists had predicted a rate cut. However, not everyone was surprised. Just a minute before the official announcement at bottom of the hour sharp, the AUD surged by 0.6%, rising from 0.7774 to 0.7822, suggesting that at least one algo and likely more, had advance knowledge of the unchanged decision, as shown in the chart below.
The US dollar firmed at the end of last week. Does this mean the bull market has resumed after the consolidatig its gains in February?
Technical outlook in the week ahead for the dollar, 10-year yields, oil and S&P 500.