Following yesterday's Yen surge in the aftermath of the disappointing BOJ announcement, the pain for USDJPY long continued, with the key carry pair tumbling as low as 106, the lowest level since October 2014 before stabilizing around 107, and is now headed for its biggest weekly gain since 2008, which in turn has pushed the US dollar to to its lowest close in almost a year as signs of slowing growth in the U.S. dimmed prospects for a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase. As a result, global stocks fell and commodities extended gains in their best month since 2010.
Less than one week after the BOJ floated a trial balloon using Bloomberg, that it would reduce the rate it charged some banks which set off the biggest USDJPY rally since October 2014, we are back where we started following last night's "completely unexpected" (for everyone else: we wrote "What If The BOJ Disappoints Tonight: How To Trade It" hours before said "shock") shocking announcement out of the BOJ which did absolutely... nothing. "It’s a total shock,” Nader Naeimi, Sydney- based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors told Bloomberg. "From currencies to equities to everything -- you can see the reaction in the markets. I can’t believe this. It’s very disappointing."
For those who thought that the world's biggest company losing over $40 billion in market cap in an instant on disappointing Apple earnings, would have been sufficient to put a dent in US equity futures, we have some disappointing news: with just over 7 hours until the FOMC reveals its April statement, futures are practically unchanged, even though the Nasdaq appears set for an early bruising in the aftermath of what is becoming a disturbing quarter for tech companies. Instead of tech leading, however, the upside has once again come from the energy complex where moments ago WTI rose above $45 a barrel for the first time since November after yesterday's unexpected 1.07 million barrel API inventory drawdown.
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?
We're gonna need more money-printing. Consumer Confidence dropped in April to 94.2, missing expectations of 95.8 and hovering at its lowest in 2 years. In fact, the current level is relatively unchanged since the end of QE3, despite all the recent surges in stocks as the post-2009 94% correlation between the S&P 500 and confidence is breaking down rapidly and ruining The Fed's animal spirits' party. Most crucially, income growth expectations are tumbling as The Conference Board suggests American consumers "do not foresee any pickup in momentum."
With the Fed decision just one day away, followed the very next day by the increasingly more irrational BOJ, stocks had no desire to make significant moves and overnight's boring session was the result, as European stocks and U.S. index futures rose modestly but mostly hugged the flatline while Asian declined 0.2% for a third day as raw-material shares declined and Tokyo equities slumped before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week. China’s stocks rose the most in almost two weeks, up 0.6% but failed to rise above 3000 on the Shanghai Composite, in thin trading.
There is no smell here: metal has none. There is no noise, either, on account of the vaults’ thick concrete walls. What there is, however, is one of the world’s most important traded assets. Deals are still done in gold in almost every country in the world. Its price is a crucial barometer for consumer confidence. Prices rise when markets are uncertain, and before US elections – like now.
A story of sinking moral, economic hazard, ballooning debt debt, runaway inflation and scandals!
From 2011 (Jackson Hole) to 2015 (end QE3) everything was awesome for The Fed's 'trickle-down optimism' plan. As stocks rose so consumer confidence lurched higher as the artfice of equity market 'wealth' smoke-and-mirror-ed the population to believe that even if stuff wasn't awesome now, it soon would be. That has now ended... and as the following 'death cross' shows - Yellenomics is over.
Gold and bond prices dropped and stocks popped as yet another open-mouth operation went underway this evening from none other than Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren. Ahead of next week's FOMC meeting, and just days after another Fed president said no April hike, Rosengren spewed firth that "I don't think financial markets have it right." Of course, what this preacher means is that while stock markets are perfectly efficient (and correct), bonds and rate futures areclearly inefficient and "investor outlooks for Fed rate hikes are too pessimistic," because "the US economy is fundamentally sound."
Has something gone wrong? Absolutely.
We were wrong: several minutes ago when we documented the collapse in the Gallup Economic confidence, we said that "we look forward to the UMich confidence report to beat expectations when it is released in just a few minutes." Moments ago the official print came out and it was not pretty: sliding from 91 to 89.7, not only did the print miss expectations of a rebound to 92.0, but was the lowest print since September 2015. The reason for the drop? Consumers reported a slowdown in expected wage gains, weakening inflation-adjusted income expectations, and growing concerns that slowing economic growth would reduce the pace of job creation.
- U.S. readies bank rule on shell companies amid 'Panama Papers' fury (Reuters)
- Co-Founder of Mossack Fonseca Defends Law Firm at Center of ‘Panama Papers’ (WSJ)
- Fed's Cautious Approach on April Rate Hike Raises Stakes for June (BBG)
- Dollar sinks again after Fed remains cautious (Reuters)
- New Tax Rules on Inversion Deals Are Met With Protest (WSJ)
- Fed Chairs Since 1979 Offer Peek Into Central-Bank Philosophy (BBG)
Government efforts to tackle a glut of vacant housing in China by spurring home lending have triggered a bigger problem: a surge in risky subprime-style loans that is generating alarm. Home buyers in China normally put down a third of the cost of a new property upfront. But a rapid rise in buyers borrowing for their down payments—an echo of the easy credit that cratered the U.S. housing market and sparked the financial crisis—has led authorities to clamp down
Like the “little Dutch boy,” the Fed currently has a finger stuck in every hole of the dike. The only question is how long is it before the Federal Reserve runs out of “fingers” to plug the next leak?