Gold futures saw a massive $1.5 billion liquidation in one minute yesterday which had all the hallmarks of a "non profit" liquidation - a large seller trying to manipulate gold futures lower rather than maximise profits.
In a surprising rejection of Ben Bernanke, BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda said that there will be no helicopter money in Japan, amid increasing speculation over monetary and fiscal policy in the world’s third-largest economy. Given the current institutional setting, there is "no need and no possibility for helicopter money," Kuroda said in a BBC Radio 4 program that was broadcast Thursday. “At this moment, the Bank of Japan has three options with quantitative and qualitative easing with negative interest rates."
After a head-scratching S&P500 rally - which not even Goldman has been able to justify - pushed stocks to new all time highs with seemingly daily record highs regardless of fundamentals or geopolitical troubles, overnight US equity futures dipped modestly, tracking weak European stocks as demand for safe haven assets including U.S. Treasuries and gold rises. Asian stocks outside Japan fall. Crude oil trades near $45 a barrel.
"In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straight-way was lost" Dante Alighieri "There is a fifth dimension beyond which is known to man...is the middle ground between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge", Twilight Zone
Having panciked briefly on Friday night on news of a Turkish coup, which has since not only failed but been cast away as speculation rises that it was staged and designed to give Erdogan even more authoritarian power, markets have moved on and are now focusing on the main overnight event which was the surprising $32 billion bid by Japan's SoftBank for U.K.’s semiconductor giant ARM which has sent comparable semis higher in European trading and pushing the Stoxx Europe 600 Index up by 0.6%, after surging 3.2% last week. After sliding sharply on Friday, US equity futures are up 0.1% in early trading.
The tremendous rally of the past 4 days that has sent global stocks soaring in recent days has finally been capped and European shares, S&P futures are all modestly lower following a deadly terror attack in Nice, France. Meanwhile Asian stocks rose as Chinese economic data beat estimates, with Q2 GDP rising by 0.1% more than the estimated 6.6% on the back of stronger housing data.
It appears the machines were not expecting Mark Carney to disappoint this morning. When the Bank of England decision hit at 7amET, US equities instantly tumbled but VIX flash-crashed to almost an 11 handle, before reversing almost instantly back above 13. Having run all the stops lower, it appears the machines have run out of VIX stomping ammo as stocks roll over at the open...
The global meltup continues with the S&P set to open at new all time highs, some 20 points higher from yesterday's close, however the driver for the latest rally is not so much the imminent BOE announcement which is expected to cut rates by 25 bps from 0.50%, but a dramatic surge in the USDJPY just after 1am Eastern when Bloomberg revealed more details about Ben Bernanke's masterplan for Japan's helicopter money.
The idea (now being pushed by a surprising number of people who ought to know better) that governments should take advantage of historically low interest rates to “invest” with borrowed money has an obvious fatal flaw. That is, accumulating even more negative or zero-rate debt will make it functionally impossible to raise rates to “normal” levels, which is to say levels where markets can once again function as mechanisms for moving savings into productive investments. It’s not a stretch to call this the end of capitalism and the beginning of a new Dark Age.
Following last night's surprising inventory builds (from API), DOE once again totally dismissed the headline with a 2.55mm draw. However, the numbers are all over the place with major builds in gasoline (1.2mm) and distillates (+4.058mm - the biggest in six months). Last week's plunge in crude production (Alaska-driven) was followed by a 0.6% surge in production this week - biggest since Oct 2015. Crude prices had extended their post-API losses into the DOE data, kneejerked higher on the hesadline then plunged on production and distillates.
In an otherwise quiet overnight session, which among other things saw Germany sell 10Y Bunds with a zero coupon and a negative yield (-0.05%) for the first time ever (despite being uncovered with just €4.038BN sold below the €5.00BN target) anyone hoping for a confirmation that China will be able to prop up the world economy once more, was left disappointed when earlier this morning China reported June exports and imports that once again dropped substantially in dollar terms as soft demand at home and abroad continued to weigh on the world’s largest trading nation.