Copenhagen

Chinese Stocks Plunge, Asia At 4 Year Lows But PBOC Currency Intervention Pushes US Futures Higher

Initially both European stocks and US equity futures were grateful that China has picked at least one asset class to prop up overnight, and rose in an extremely illiquid market with European shares gaining for first time in 4 days, as S&P futures rise even as the MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index just fell to the lowest level in more than 4 years. However, as of moments ago the Stoxx 600 had faded all its earlier gains and was trading near the flatline, as an algo takes out all stops on the top and bottom once more, and looks set to move on to US futures shortly.

Futures Jump After Friday Drubbing, Despite Brent Sliding To Fresh 11 Year Lows, Spanish Political Uncertainty

In a weekend of very little macro newsflow facilitated by the release of the latest Star Wars sequel, the biggest political and economic event was the Spanish general election which confirmed the end of the PP-PSOE political duopoly at national level.  As a result, there was some early underperformance in SPGBs and initial equity weakness across European stocks, which however was promptly offset and at last check the Stoxx 600 was up 0.4% to 363, with US equity futures up nearly 1% after Friday's oversold drubbing. In other key news, the commodity slide continues with Brent Oil dropping to a fresh 11-year low as futures fell as much as 2.2% in London after a 2.8% drop last week.

With Expectations Sky High, Draghi Prepares To Whip Out Bazooka But Beware Water Pistols

Mario Draghi is on deck Thursday morning and market expectations could scarcely be higher. In fact, Draghi is widely expected to execute the Keynesian trifecta, i) a rate cut, ii) expansion of QE, and iii) extension of QE duration. The ECB has indeed gained a reputation for over-delivering, but as SocGen puts it, "with high expectations comes a high risk of disappointment." 

More Energy Companies Accused Of Downplaying Climate Change

Obviously, oil, gas, and coal companies are not going away (at least those not near bankruptcy), but low prices are not the only existential threat facing the industry. The political movement to act on climate change is picking up steam, and the legal case against ExxonMobil perfectly illustrates that growing threat.

Futures Rebound On Latest Chinese Intervention, Renewed Hopes For "Moar From Mario"

Without a rerun of last Friday's Chinese stock market rout, European traders could focus on what "really matters", namely how much of the ECB's upcoming 20 bps rate cut and €20 billion QE expansion (with Commerzbank saying Draghi may even hint at Europe's QE3) is priced in, and whether the ECB's actions are just modestly priced in, or more than fully, and just how big the "sell the news" event will be.The result: the Euro falls to a new 7 month low, the dollar spot index hits a new all time high, and European stocks and US futures stage another remarkable overnight comeback on the usual low volume levitation and central bank intervention.

Guest Post: Is The Pope's Dream Our Totalitarian Nightmare?

Some high-profile commentators think they smell a Marxist clothed in white papal robes, who dreams of redistributing the world's wealth. Pope Francis insists that he has little interest in Marxism and that his political advocacy against materialism, capitalism, greed and idolatry are largely religious in nature but with the UN poised to strong-arm member nations to sign on to an impossible globalist agenda that will require a total shift of the world's wealth, and a restructuring of international politics and economics with a one-world government and a universal religion at the steering wheel. Even to the Pope's admirers, that sounds a less like peace and love and more like a utopian totalitarian nightmare.

George Soros Warns Washington To "Mend Relations With China" Or Face World War 3

"Both the US and China have a vital interest in reaching an understanding because the alternative is so unpalatable," Soros wrote in an article for the New York Review of Books, with the danger imminent if Chinese economic reforms fail forcing President Xi Jinping to "foster some external conflicts to keep the country united and maintain himself in power." These "conflicts" would present themselves in the form of a Sino-Russo alliance which could draw the entire world into war.

Bond Rout Continues: Bunds Rise Above 1%; 30Y "Golden Crossed"; Kuroda Sends Yen Soaring

After a Chinese session which following the MSCI failure to include Chinese stocks in its EM index, if only for the time being, was largely a dud with Shanghai stocks actually dropping by 0.1% after a late day selloff, eyes turned to Europe, which once again did not disappoint and where the bond rout continued apace, with the 10Y Bund yield spiking just after the European open, and rising above 1.05%, the widest level since September 19, before recouping some losses and trading just around 1.00% at last check.