Relentless deterioration meets stunning overcapacity.
After a brief hiatus during which central banks refrained from stimulating their economies by the only way they know how, i.e., devaluing their currency through monetary policy, moments ago Singapore broke ranks when its central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, unexpectedly eased monetary policy and drew a line against further appreciation when it announced that it would move to zero-percent appreciation in its currency.
"It’s a story of intrigue, corruption and multiple murders, stretching from the streets of Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, to Switzerland, France and the US as well as Hong Kong and Singapore, all the way to Australia’s doorstep."
The worldwide rush to build liquefaction capacity has the characteristics of speculative bubbles and gold rushes of past centuries. In the case of the developing LNG glut, the blame must probably be shared by overambitious promoters and prestigious but imprudent energy experts.
With the Yen soaring (and USDJPY plunging) some 10% in 2016, in the process crushing the tightly correlated Nikkei and leading to such outcomes as the largest Asian clothes retailer slashing profits by a third in just 4 months due to the strong currency, everyone has been wondering i) why is the BOJ waiting to intervene when it had no problems unleashing NIRP when the USDJPY was about 1000 pips higher and ii) when will it intervene again?
Nomura's Bob "The Bear" Janjuah: "The Question Is What Would Be Necessary For The Fed To Do QE Or NIRP"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/07/2016 20:32 -0400
"My view is still that the Fed does not actually do anything more than jaw-bone until or unless the S&P500 cash index is into the 1500s and the outlook for growth, employment and inflation get significantly worse – perhaps with the unemployment rate inching higher not lower.... I am also even more convinced now that we are about 10 months through a multi-year bear market that likely won’t bottom until late 2017 or early 2018. This will be a stair-step decline with all the strength to the downside punctuated by occasional (very) violent bear market counter-trend rallies driven by short covering, hope and residual belief in policymakers"
Ever since the USDJPY breached the 110 support level three days ago for the first time in 17 months, the pressure on this all important FX carry cross has been rising, and then overnight, following the latest bout of recurring and increasingly ignored jawboning by various Japanese officials, the Yen soared, with the USDJPY plunging first below 109 and then moments ago dropping as low as 108.02 before rebounding modestly, dragging US equity futures lower with it.
Unlike yesterday's overnight session, which saw some subtantial carry FX volatility and tumbling European yields in the aftermath of the TSY's anti-inversion decree, leading to a return of fears that the next leg down in markets is upon us, the overnight session has been far calmer, assisted in no small part by the latest China Caixin Services PMI, which rose from 51.2 to 52.2. Adding to the overnight rebound was crude, which saw a big bounce following yesterday's API inventory data, according to which crude had its biggest inventory draw in 2016, resulting in WTI rising as high as $37.15 overnight
In a quiet start to the week following last week's surprisingly strong rebound which followed a stronger than expected jobs report (perhaps to demonstrate that good news is once again good news), Japan stocks continued to sink as the USDJPY dropped to fresh lows, while commodities declined for a fifth day as the supply glut from crude to copper weighed on prices, dragging down commodity currencies. European equities rose, rebounding from a one-month low.
Two days ago we brought you excerpts from a Huffington Post investigative report on Unaoil, a previously obscure Monaco company that allegedly functions as a kind of Bribery Incorporated for state actors looking to curry favor with the world’s oil exporters. On Friday, acting on a request from the UK's Serious Fraud Office, police in Monaco raided Unaoil's offices along with the homes of the family at the heart of the controversy.
For Japan, the post "Shanghai Summit" world is turning ugly, fast, because as a result of the sliding dollar, a key demand of China which has been delighted by the recent dovish words and actions of Janet Yellen, both Japan's and Europe's stock markets have been sacrificed at the whims of their suddenly soaring currencies. Which is why when Japanese stocks tumbled the most in 7 weeks, sinking 3.5%, to a one month low of 16,164 (after the Yen continued strengthening and the Tankan confidence index plunged to a 3 year low) it was anything but an April fool's joke to both local traders.
Gold's 16.1% surge in Q1 2016 ias the best start to a year since 1974. Overall, this is the best quarter since Q3 1986 and is the best performing major commodity of the year. Gold rallied this year as it cemented its status as a store of value amid financial market turbulence and concern about the global economy, which led to speculation that the Federal Reserve would pause on tightening monetary policy in the U.S. Having seen BlackRock's gold ETF halted due to inability to meet physical demand, it appears pet rocks and barbarous relics are 'worth' something after all.
Anybody paying into a pension or trying to manage an endowment that needs to be there in 30 or 40 years (or forever, as is the case for university endowments) needs to understand that projections based on prior rates of economic growth are fantasies, hatched when we had the luxury of pretending there were no energy limits. The restructuring of our energy economy, if taken under our own terms and on our own timelines, will utterly crush traditional economic growth as we’ve come to know and love it.
If we continue to put garbage in, we are going to continue to get garbage out, and that is the cold, hard reality of the matter.