Volatility, loss of confidence and central bank impotence stalk the capital markets. Gold pulls back in an expected retrenchment. Equity markets are still digesting what the world looks like. Absence of a strong Chinese domestic economy. A developing economy losing its easy credit. Oil prices adjusting to demand levels indicative of economic activity and, most tragically, the continuing proxy wars fought in the middle east as warmongers continue to slaughter innocent civilians.
How the Hong Kong trading floor played a pivotal role...
Bottom line, our conversations with investors suggest yields in the 20 – 25% context could be attractive enough to draw in marginal capital – although several investors noted that is reasonable for triple C risk excluding commodities. In short, we're not there yet.
"So back to the original question WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. Simple? Recognize the problem. It is not oil, it is not in the banks..it is a run on central bank liquidity, especially dollar based and there needs to be much more ($) liquidity.... Cash shd be charged interest -- put the micro chip in large denom notes/tax cash withdrawals.. encourage spending not saving."
Simply put, either large cap Financials are cheap, or the entire U.S. equity market is still overpriced. Their precipitous decline year to date means markets fear they are both the transmission mechanism for a global slowdown/recession to come and a primary victim of that event.
"The biases of momentum investing and passive indexation have resulted in valuation distortions across assets as well as equity segments including Technology. Over the past years this trend has picked winning assets, sectors, and stocks often with less regard to fundamental valuation and more regard to momentum and extrapolated growth. We believe that 2016 may result in a reversion of this trend.... Even if this rebalancing comes as a result of market volatility and broader equity declines, long term it will benefit capital markets and the efficient allocation of capital."
There is a new element to the latest European selloff, one which turned vicious just minutes after Europe opened for trading this morning with not just commercial banks (who are now all subject to bail-ins courtesy of the BRRD) being dumped with the Deutsche Bank water, but peripheral spreads and equity markets have all joined in. And moments ago, the Athens stock market just dropped to the lowest level since 1990, while the Greek banking index just crashed over 21% to a new all time low.
The Number Everyone's Been Waiting For: Chinese Reserves Plunge By $100BN - What Does It Mean For Markets?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/07/2016 21:22 -0400
As it stands now what is really happening with the biggest risk factor to commodity, credit and capital markets, remains a mystery, and instead of getting some much needed clarity from China's January reserve number, the world's traders and investors will now have to wait for the February reserve update one month from now to learn if China has managed to slay its capital outflow demons, or if these were just getting started.
It seems monetary policy is exhausted and the next exogenous lever to pull would be political fiscal initiatives. If/when they fail to stimulate demand, there would be only one avenue left – currency devaluation. If/when confidence in the mightiest currency wanes, we would expect the US dollar to be devalued too - not against other fiat currencies, but against a relatively scarce Fed asset.
Is it time to panic yet?
When looking at the current state of the Chinese economy it is important to note what happened leading up the ongoing predicament.
"More monetary stimulus, wherever it is in the world, isn’t the answer for a global economy still trying to find a new growth path. Pay attention to bonds and ignore the sirens of the stock market."
"Based on current valuations, the prices of most stocks don’t appear to have factored in a recession scenario, ‘hence the downside should we see a recession could be rather severe',... the shares of most companies could still fall another 50% or more from current levels."
"HY primary markets are all but shut except for very high quality issuers. And if this trend continues for a while (the probability of which in our opinion is very high), we could envision a world where enterprises, big and small, find it harder to acquire financing across all industries, leading to widespread defaults, even outside of commodities."
"Speculators (like hunters) sense wounded prey, and already bets are being laid on a riyal devaluation. Although it is possible Saudi Arabia can afford to maintain its oil regime and U.S. dollar peg, this will come will escalating costs, financial and political, and one suspects the Saudi citizenry is not big on sacrifices."