UPDATE: Sure enough - *COLE SAYS MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS TO VOTE FOR SENATE BILL ... and the market is rallying
Following Monday's fiscal-cliff-gasm in markets in the US, the Australian stock market is the first indication of the post-cliff on-again-off-again reaction to the reality that is a stymied House and stubborn Senate. Some are noting the fact that it is 'up' as a signal of confidence - however, given its 'catch-up' nature, it is actually signalling considerably less confidence than US stocks showed at their close. Why is this important? Because all that matters is the market...
"Everyone knows once the markets open tomorrow our courage drops in direct proportion to the market fall," said one Republican lawmaker
Of course, this could all change based on the next flashing red headline.
The US dollar is sporting a softer profile today. It had initially extended its gains after recovering in North America yesterday. In Japanese candlestick terms the euro and sterling had recorded "shooting stars", in essence opening on their highs and finishing on their lows. Additional profit-taking was seen in Asia, earlier today. The euro was pushed below its 20-day moving average for the first time since Dec 11. Sterling fared better but still extended yesterday's losses. However, in the European morning, both currencies have recovered to move back into yesterday's ranges.
The price action can be attributed to thinning market conditions and the recovery of the yen. Indeed, "sell the rumor buy the fact" gains in the yen, may have pressured the other currencies as cross positions were also unwound. The dollar has stabilized after slipping through the JPY84.20 area to trade below the previous day's low for the first time since Dec 10.
Well that did not take long. T+2 days from his re-election, Shinzo Abe has summarily unbudgeted himself. As Kyodo News reports, the sphincterially-challenged wild-man has decided to scrap the country's spending cap for the annual budget. Previously capped at a measly JPY71 trillion (excluding debt-servicing costs) in an effort to create some pretense of fiscal discipline, the new Keynesian has unilaterally decided that moar is better. Not exactly helping, though perhaps exactly what the currency-war-inflaming Abe might like, the trade balance plunged yet again (to -JPY953bn from -JPY540bn) from - setting a new all-time record negative average as the implicit capital flight continues. JPY weakness has resumed but it is the collapse in JGBs that will be worrying people - the biggest 5-day run-up in 10Y JGB yields in over 13 months.
The US dollar moved lower over the past week against the major currencies, with the notable exception of the Japanese yen. The greenback's technical tone has deteriorated. The euro and sterling appear to have convincingly broken above significant down trend lines. With the holiday season upon us, there seems to be no compelling technical reason not to look for a continuation of dollar weakness into the end of the year. Few are incentivized to fight the trend.
The extent of the Fed's easing, and the implication of its guidance, suggests an even more dovish posture than the expansion of QE3+ (remember it was purposely open-ended, unlike QE1 and QE2). While the euro zone economy appears to be contracting this quarter at a slightly faster pace than in Q3, the slowdown in the US is more dramatic. Growth may be more than cut in half from the 2.7% annual pace seen in Q3. The fiscal cliff is the main cause of consternation at the moment. Although there is private negotiations taking place, the public posturing is what investors have to guide them, and it is not particularly flattering.
After extending recent losses in Asia, the US dollar stabilized in the European morning.
The US dollar's recent losses are being extended at the start of the new week. The announcement of the details of the Greek bond buy-back scheme has triggered a sharp rally in peripheral bond yields, while the euro area Nov manufacturing PMI is reported at 8-month highs, even if still below the 50 boom./bust level at 46.2. The euro has completely recouped the knee-jerk losses scored in thin activity just before the weekend when Moody's announced a cut in the ratings for the EFSF, which follows its recent downgrade of France.
Our assessment of macro fundamentals leave us inclined to favor the dollar on a medium term basis. However, we continue (seehereandhere) to recognize that near-term technical considerations favor the major foreign currencies, but the yen.
Pathway to depression.
It wouldn't be the New Normal if the basket case that is Europe, and its amusingly named "Union", didn't somehow manage to trip over itself. This is precisely what happened last night at the European finance ministers meeting after IMF head Lagarde and pathological liar and chair of the Europe's mostly broke Finance Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, openly disagreed with each other, an event even the FT called a "feud" after they proposed two alternative visions for Greece, one which envisioned the 120% debt/GDP debt target goal pushed forward to 2022 (for Juncker), and on the other hand, IMF, which has been humiliated enough with its horrible predictions, and which refuses to budge from its 2020 Greek target. Per the FT: "In a rare breach, Mr Juncker told a post-meeting press conference the target would be moved to 2022, prompting Ms Lagarde to insist the IMF was sticking to the original timeline. When Mr Juncker again insisted it would be moved – “I’m not joking,” he said – Ms Lagarde appeared exasperated, rolling her eyes and shaking her head. “In our view, the appropriate timetable is 120 per cent by 2020,” Ms Lagarde said. “We clearly have different views.” Officials will meet again November 20 in an effort to reach agreement, Mr Juncker said. Despite the delay, officials insisted Greece would not default on Thursday, when Athens must make a debt payment of about €5bn without the benefit of international aid." Nothing like total coordination and organization within a monetary union that may not exit if Greece does not make its November 16 bond payment, which it likely will, by issuing debt and forcing the ECB to accept it as eligible collateral so that Greece can roll the maturity. And concluding this hilarious incident was Juncker's statement this morning that there is "no real dispute" with the IMF. When it gets serious...
- Scope of Sandy's devastation widens, death toll spirals (Reuters)
- On Staten Island, cries for help replaced by a loss for words (Reuters)
- China responds to Japan’s provocation (FT)
- Japan governments open to compromise to avoid “fiscal cliff” (Reuters)
- It's Global Warming, Stupid (Businessweek)
- Sharps says there is "Material Doubt" about its ability to survive (Bloomberg)
- Thomson Reuters operating profit slips, trading faces pressure (Reuters)
- Germany's Schaeuble says debt reduction is global task (Reuters)
- The Luxury Repo Men (Businessweek)
- Deutsche Bank Faces Top Surcharge as FSB Shuffles Tiers (Bloomberg)
- Storm over ‘Lagarde list’ intensifies (FT)
- Greek, European Officials Dispute Budget Reprieve (WSJ)
- Rivals part ways over economy (FT)
S&P futures are being crushed overnight. Currently trading below the levels of September 5th Draghi comments (back under 1400) and -11pts from the close. AUD is weak, Treasuries are modestly bid (as is the USD) and commodities are rolling over. The catalyst? We see four things: 1) Delayed reaction to global supply chain implications of an AAPL outlook cut (and/or overseas holders hedging) as well as some missed earnings in China; 2) Major Aussie quasi-bank Banksia (yes, its really called that!) hitting the skids (a la Northern Rock) bringing fear that Australia is entering 2008-mode USA; 3) a NYT article which could be inferred as a direct attack on the Chinese political faction (exposing Wen Jiabao's hidden billions); and/or 4) a realization that at 14-plus x P/E multiples, the US equity markets are not pricing in anything the kind of possible pain a fiscal cliff scenario (or Romney-ite in the Fed) might bring. Of course, the need for a narrative is irrelevant, the most net long position since 2008 is unwinding (for now) but by the time we wake for New York's morning, things could have reversed once again.
Today Europe awakes to yet another Eurozone summit, one at which such topics as Greece, Spain, the banking union project or a economic/budgetary union will have to gain further traction, if not resolution. In fact Greece could hardly wait and has already launched it latest 24 hour strike against austerity. The same Greece which demands a 2 year, €30 billion extension from Europe to comply with reform, a move which Europe has/has not agreed to as while the core have said yes to more time, all have refused to fund Greece with any more money. Alas the two are synonymous. As SocGen predicts unless there is some credible progress today, all the progress since the September ECB meeting, which has seen SPGB 10 Year yields decline from 690 bps to sub 550 bps, may simply drift away. And as everyone knows, there is never any progress at these meetings, except for lots of headlines, lots of promises (the Eurozone June summit's conclusions have yet to be implemented) and lots of bottom line profits by Belgian caterers. Elsewhere, Spain sold 3, 4 and 10 year bonds at declining yields on residual optimism from the pro forma bailed out country's paradoxical Investment Grade rating. In non-hopium based news, Spanish bad loans rose to a record 10.5% in August from 10.1% previously while the oldest bank in the world, Italy's Banka Monte dei Paschi was cut to junk status. All this is irrelevant though, as no negative news will ever matter again in a centrally-planned world. Finally the only real good news (at least until it is revised)came out of the UK, where retail sales posted a 0.4% increase on expectations of a 0.2% rise from -0.2%.
We are now entirely used to the daily mini-flashes in US equities as algos lose their stabilizer and run one way or another. Recently we noted the same algos-gone-wild had hit the India stock exchange. Tonight, the HFT-bug has moved to Australia, where the open - which just happens to be option expiration - saws a number of major equities (including several of the banks - e.g. ANZ and CBA) get smashed instantaneously higher (by 5-7%) at the open - only to plummet back to normalcy soon after. The cuplrit - it would appear to us - is a market-clearing wipe-out of all resting stops above the multi-year highs that the stocks were at the edge of. Regulatoirs are 'investigating' though their first comment was "it is certainly nothing to do with the trading system." As the Sydney Morning Herald notes a market participant: "Either that or an algorithm has gone haywire, a mistake has been made, or these trades are deliberate.' Either way, do we have an orderly market?"
In a post entitled 'Mugabenomics: Inflation in UK Higher than in Zimbabwe,' Guido Fawkes points out how the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable once warned that Quantitative Easing (QE) was “Mugabenomics.” This was prior to coming to power and a swift u-turn which would make even the most slippery politician proud. Remember when Vince Cable warned that Quantitative Easing (QE) was “Mugabenomics”? Vince flip-flopped on that even before he joined the coalition. Guido Fawkes then reminds its readers about the time when George Osborne said “Printing money is the last resort of desperate governments when all other policies have failed.” Alas as the blog rightly warns, "In government Osborne has overseen the printing of more money than any other Chancellor in British history. A quarter of the national debt – all this government’s overspending – has been bought by the Bank of England via QE." “So it is not a shock that inflation in Zimbabwe (3.63%) is now lower than inflation in the UK (3.66%, August 2011-July 2012).” Those who have been warning about this monetary madness for some years are gradually being proved right
Technical indicators such as MACD, RSI and STO show that silver is slightly overbought short term.
However, silver can remain overbought in the short term as was seen in silver’s rally in 2011 when silver nearly doubled by surging from below $27/oz to nearly $50/oz in just 3 months - from January 27th 2011 to April 28th 2011.