Global financial and commodity markets are warning that the US Dollar is in for a bout of trouble, warns BofAML's Macneil Curry. Across asset classes, Curry points out that Gold was the first to make its low against the US Dollar, doing so back on Dec-15. The second market to turn against the US Dollar was US Treasuries, with Ten year note futures turning bullish back on Dec-26. Currently, the FX market - most specifically GBP - is breaking out and pressuring the US Dollar. Finally, the Japanese stock market continues to suffer, putting downward pressure on USDJPY and thus US Dollar weakness.
Silver gained a stunning 7% this week - its biggest week in 6-months - and gold up over 4% as precious metals handily outperformed US equities (despite the latter being bathed in the glory of a media-gloating low-volume melt-up). Nasdaq is now up 1.7% on the year and broke to new highs not seen since Dec 2000. There was a clear effort to get the more critical S&P 500 to unch in 2014 but it failed - despite slamming VIX to 13.5% (and STVIX to record lows). High-beta Nasdaq and Russell outperformed on the week and Trannies lagged. The USD drifted lower from Wednesday with GBP (+2%, best week in 8mo.) and EUR strength the biggest drivers but notably equities disconnected from JPY carry after 1030ET. Treasury yields slid higher today and ended the week 2bp (30Y) to 6bps (5Y and 10Y) on the week. Healthcare and Utilities are the massive outperfomers in stocks in 2014 - that must be good right?
So far the overnight session has been a replica of yesterday, with the all important carry trade once again fizzling overnight during Japan trading hours, and dipping as low at 101.60 before staging a modest rebound to the 101.8 level. We expect the "invisible" 102.000 USDJPY tractor beam to be again engaged shortly and provide market support and/or levitate stocks higher as the now standard selling in Japan, buying in the US trade pattern repeats. On the other hand, US equity futures appear to have decoupled from the pure carry trade, and instead latched on to USD weakness and EUR strength following European Q4 GDP data, which came at 0.3% on expectations of 0.2%, up from 0.1%. Considering the constant adjustments to the European definition of GDP, at this point Mongolia would have been able to demonstrate growth if it was in Europe (but apparently not Greece which once again missed GDP expectations with Q4 GDP of -2.6% vs Exp. -2.0%). Expect ES and USDJPY to recouple shortly, as they always do - the only question if the recoupling will take place lower or higher.
It seems Janet has some work to do on her "communications". Judging by today's follow-through on dismal retail sales data (and a miss for claims), stocks, bonds, and gold screamed higher (and the USD lower) suggesting an increasing crowd does not believe the QEeen's "stay the taper course" meme. The S&P 500 rallied 25pts off early lows - practically in a straight-line, dislocated from JPY-carry, dislocated from bonds, and coupled almost perfectly with gold after Europe close. Nasdaq is up 6 days in a row and back near multi-year highs (+1.5% in 2014) as "most shorted" stocks were ripped 2.5% higher intraday. Gold closed back above $1,300 (outperforming on the week and since Taper); Treasury yields tumbled 6-7bps; and the USD Index dropped 0.5% led by EUR and GDP strength. VIX traded under 14% briefly. Bad news is great news once again. This is the Nasdaq's best 6-day run in 27 months.
First it was bail-ins and now it's the “personal pensions savings” of the European Union's citizens that could be used to help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis.
Dennis Gartman, already humiliated beyond any hope of reputation salvage in the media, appears to be refocusing his keen talents and acute sense of extrapolating instantaneous market momentum 1 millisecond into the future, to a renewed direct exposure in the capital markets. And while hoping that market junkies have forgotten the epic disaster that was his last foray into ETF-land with ONN and OFF, Gartman today announced that he is now launching his signature shtick as a brand new ETF: gold... in non-dollar terms.
Apart from a 45-minute period from 1030ET to 1115ET (POMO) of totally failed momentum ignition, US equities and USDJPY were once again perfectly coupled leaving the Dow and S&P in the red today and the rest practically unchanged on dismally low volumes. Treasuries continue to slide with yields now 5bps (30Y) to 10bps (5Y) higher in the last 2 days (the worst 2 days for 5Y in almost 2 months). The USD ended practically unchanged on the week (once again) as EUR weakness (Coeure comments on negative rates) offset GBP strength (Carney comments). VIX traded down to 14.02% intraday (and the term structure is very steep and complacent once again). Gold (new 3-month highs) and silver surged intraday but the afternoon saw selling even as bonds, stocks, and the USD weakened. Dow remains below 16k.
Yellen confirmed that the U.S. recovery is fragile and said more work is needed to restore the labor market. She signalled the Fed’s ultra loose monetary policies will continue and the Fed will continue printing $65 billion every month in order to buy U.S. government debt.
After initially sending the all important USDJPY carry pair - and thus all risk assets - into rally mode, the initial euphoria over manipulated Chinese trade data (see China Trade Puzzle Revived as Hong Kong Data Diverge), has all but fizzled and at last check the USDJPY was sliding to its LOD, approaching 102 from the wrong side. That, and a statement by the ECB's Coeure that the ECB is "very seriously" considering a negative deposit rate (and that the OMT is ready to be used even though it obviously isn't following the latest brewhaha from the German top court) have so far defined the overnight session, the latter having sent the EUR sliding across all major pairs.
Gold has rallied another 1.2% today and touched resistance at $1,294/oz during Yellen's first testimony to Congress. Gold is testing resistance between $1,294/oz and $1,300/oz. A close above $1,300 should see gold quickly rally to test the next level of resistance at $1,360/oz.
The flow of gold from west to east is confirmed as China reports huge increase in recorded imports.
After Friday's surge fest on weaker than expected news - perhaps expecting a tapering of the taper despite everyone screaming from the rooftops the Fed will never adjust monetary policy based on snowfall levels - overnight the carry trade drifted lower and pulled the correlated US equity markets down with it. Why? Who knows - after Friday's choreographed performance it is once again clear there is no connection between newsflow, fundamentals and what various algos decide to do. So (lack of) reasons aside, following a mainly positive close in Asia which was simply catching up to the US exuberance from Friday, European equities have followed suit and traded higher from the get-go with the consumer goods sector leading the way after being boosted by Nestle and L'Oreal shares who were seen higher after reports that Nestle is looking at ways to reduce its USD 30bln stake in L'Oreal. The tech sector is also seeing outperformance following reports that Nokia and HTC have signed a patent and technology pact; all patent litigation between companies is dismissed. Elsewhere, the utilities sector is being put under pressure after reports that UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey urged industry watchdog Ofgem to examine the profits being made by the big six energy companies through supplying gas, saying that Centrica's British Gas arm is too profitable.
The poor jobs number today saw gold surge from a low of $1,256.55/oz to a high of $1,272/oz prior to being beaten lower back below $1,258/oz. This is the second incident of peculiar trading on the COMEX this week which is fueling manipulation suspicions.
It's that time again, when a largely random, statistically-sampled, weather-impacted, seasonally-adjusted, and finally goalseeked number, sets the mood in the market for the next month: we are talking of course about the "most important ever" once again non-farm payroll print, and to a lesser extent the unemployment rate which even the Fed has admitted is meaningless in a time when the participation rate is crashing (for the "philosophy" of why it is all the context that matters in reading the jobs report, see here). Adding to the confusion, or hilarity, or both, is that while everyone knows it snowed in December and January, Goldman now warns that... it may have been too hot! To wit: "We expect a weather-related boost to January payroll job growth because weather during the survey week itself - which we find is most relevant to a given month's payroll number - was unusually mild." In other words, if the number is abnormally good - don't assume more tapering, just blame it on the warm weather!
Today the lingering problems of the "emerging" world and concerns about the Fed's tapering take a back seat to what the European Central Bank may do, which ranges from nothing, to a rate cut (which sends deposit rates negative), to outright, unsterilized QE - we will find out shortly: with 61 out of the 66 economists polled by Bloomberg looking for no rate changes from the ECB today it virtually assures a surprise . However, despite - or perhaps in spite of - various disappointing news overnight, most notably German factory orders which missed -0.5% on expectations of a +0.2% print, down from 2.4%, the USDJPY has been supported which as everyone knows by now, is all that matters, even if it was unable to push the Nikkei 225 higher for the second day in a row and the Japanese correction persists.