Overnight Australia finally admitted it has succumbed to the global economic weakness plaguing the rest of the world when in a "surprise" move, Australia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in a year to a record low and left the door open for further easing to counter a wave of disinflation that’s swept over the developed world. The move sent the local currency tumbling and local stocks climbing. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens and his board lowered the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 percent Tuesday, a move predicted by just 12 of 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The announcement has, not surprisingly unleashed havoc across FX markets and broadly pushed global mood into its latest "risk off" phase.
Despite surging commodity prices in China - which must be real and represent demand growth and price increases, right? - Aussie core inflation slowed to the weakest on record as headline prices unexpectedly fell last quarter (CPI -0.2%). RBA Rate-cut odds tripled instantly sending AUD down over 1.2% (its biggest drop in 2 months). Perhaps, just perhaps, that collossal credit injection in Q1 via China did not make it into the AsiaPac economy after all and merely fueled a speculative frenzy in commodities that merely "looks" like a recovery?
One day after stocks were this close from hitting new all time highs on what have been either ok earnings, if looking at non-GAAP data, or atrocious earnings, based on GAAP, and where any oil headline is now immediately translated as bullish by the oil algos, so far futures are relatively flat, while European stocks were at their moments ago in anticipation of the latest ECB announcement due out in just one hour. However, unlike last month's "quad-bazooka", this time the market expects far less from Draghi. “Having pulled put the monetary bazooka in March, the market is sensibly expecting no further policy measures from the ECB,”
In recent days, we have observed a distinct trading pattern: a ramp early in the US morning, usually triggered by some aggressive momentum ignition, such as today's unexplained pump then dump in the EURUSD with stocks rising after the European open, rising throughout the US open, then peaking around the time the US closed at which point it is all downhill for the illiquid market. So far today, the pattern has held, and after trading flat for most of the overnight session, with Europe initially in the red perhaps on disappointment about the Italy bank bailout fund, a bout of early Europe-open associated buying pushed US futures up, following the first rebound in the USDJPY after 7 days of declines which also helped the Nikkei close 1.1% higher.
Over time, Bubble Economies become increasingly vulnerable to economic stagnation, Credit degradation and asset price busts. Bubbles are fueled by Credit excesses that distort risk perceptions and resource allocation. Credit and asset price inflation will incentivize speculation, another key dynamic ensuring misallocation and malinvestment. In the end, Bubbles redistribute and destroy wealth. Major Bubbles will tear at the threads of society.
As this unfolds, your biggest risk isn’t the crashing stock market or the crashing bond market. Your biggest problem, and also the one most people just don’t see, is political. Your government is by far the most serious threat to your money and wellbeing.
We look at the AUD/USD Currency Cross in this video. Will the AUD get back to parity with the USD?
The biggest question on all traders' minds will be whether the bear market short squeeze that sent the S&P higher by 130 points in 6 days, is finally over - with most global market rolling over and with US equity futures unable to find their solid early morning footing, it may finally be time to cash out of the bear market rally which so many predicted, and which GSBank yesterday may have top-ticked with perfection.
Biggest Short Squeeze In 7 Years Continues After Bullard Hints At More QE, OECD Cuts Global ForecastsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/18/2016 08:00 -0400
Just when traders thought that the biggest and most violent 3-day short squeeze in 7 years was about to end a squeeze that has resulted in 3 consecutve 1%+ sessions for the S&P for the first time since October 2011, overnight we got one of the Fed's biggest faux-hakws, St. Louis Fed's Jim Bullard, who said that it would be "unwise" to continue hiking rates at this moment, and hinted that "if needed", the most natural option for the Fed going forward would be to do further Q.E.
The recent reversal is definitely positive. Both false breakouts and false breakdowns often turn out to be reliable trend change signals. An additional bonus in this case was that the initial breakdown has induced widespread capitulation. Contrary to the immediately preceding rally attempt, the current one has been a “scared rally” so far. The mainstream financial press is still busy penning obituaries on gold, which is generally a good sign as well.
CAT confirmed the flow through from its depressed retail sales picture when it announced that not only did revenue tumble by 23% to $11 billion, but it missed already deeply cut estimates of $11.4 billion, leading to a 111% collapse in operating profit which from $1.1 billion turned into a $114 million loss in the quarter. To be sure, the company tried to pull an Alcoa and stuff massive restructuring charges in the quarter amounting to $689, boosting non-GAAP EPS by $0.89 to $0.74, however one can simply ignore this latest accounting fudge attempt.
Gold retains a key role of a major diversifier in well-structured retail investment and pension portfolios ... core defensive and hedging properties vis-à-vis global currencies and fixed income, as well as oil and a range of other commodities.
European shares tumbled, wiping out gains from a two-day rally, Asian stocks slid and the cost of insuring corporate debt rose as investor concern over global growth prospects resurfaced. U.S. equity-index futures pared gains of as much as 0.9 percent. Government bonds rose, with yields falling to records in Japan and China amid anxiety over the world economy. U.S. crude prices stabilized after dropping below $30 a barrel on Tuesday to touch the lowest since 2003 as Iran moved closer to boosting exports.
While most hedge funds will be glad to close the books on a year in which they once again dramatically underperformed a market which hugged the flatline courtesy of just a few stocks (even as most stocks posted substantial declines) and where "hedge fund hotels" such as Valeant suffered dramatic implosions, a handful of traders generated impressive returns for their investors and made billions by going against the herd.