US equity markets have given up almost all of yesterday's irrational exuberance ramp gains in a perfect echo of last week's Wednesday/Thursday debacle. Bond yields are plunging - also retracing all of yesterday's losses (with 2Y -5bps since Friday now). Europe is suffering most as EUR strengthens (as it was the most popular carry trade against China), driving USD weakness and sending European stocks lower (DAX is dumping almost 3%). And finally commodities are seeing Crude and copper crushed as PMs bounce...
If yesterday it was the turn of the upside stop hunting algos to crush anyone who was even modestly bearishly positioned in what ended up being the biggest short squeeze of 2015, then today it is the downside trailing stops that are about to be taken out in what remains the most vicious rangebound market in years, in the aftermath of the Chinese currency devaluation which weakened the CNY reference rate against the USD by the most on record, in what some have said was an attempt by China to spark its flailing SDR inclusion chances, but what was really a long overdue reaction by an exporter country having pegged to the strongest currency in the world in the past year.
Following last week's bad news for the economy (terrible ADP private payrolls, confirmed by a miss in the NFP) which also resulted in bad news for the market which suffered its worst week in years, many were focused on how the market would react to the latest battery of terrible economic news out of China which as we observed over the weekend reported abysmal trade data, and the worst plunge in Chinese factory prices in 6 years. We now know: the Shanghai Composite soared by 5%, rising to 3,928 and approaching the key 4000 level because the ongoing economic collapse led Pavlov's dog to believe that much more easing is coming from the country which as we showed last night has literally thrown the kitchen sink at stabilizing the plunge in stocks.
"They'll Blame Physical Gold Holders For The Failure Of Monetary Policies" Marc Faber Explains EverythingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/09/2015 19:00 -0400
"The future is unknown and we are not dealing with markets that are free markets anymore...now we have government interventions everywhere. [But] in the last say twelve months, I have observed an increasing number of academics who are questioning monetary policies. That's why I think they will take the gold away and go back to some gold standard by revaluing the gold say from now $1000/oz to say $10,000 dollars. An individual should definitely own some physical gold. The bigger question is where should he store it? because... the failure of monetary policies will not be admitted by the professors that are at central banks, they will then go and blame someone else for it and then an easy target would be to blame it on people that own physical gold because - they can argue - well these are the ones that do take money out of circulation and then the velocity of money goes down - we have to take it away from them... That has happened in 1933 in the US."
It makes logical sense that China would understate its gold aspirations. If you had the means to acquire hundreds, or even thousands, of tons of gold, you’d want to do so as stealthily as possible in order to avoid tipping off the market. If your strategic objective was to dramatically boost gold reserves over a period of several years, you wouldn’t want to see the price rise – at least not while you’re still accumulating. And if you had no ethical qualms about interfering in the market, you’d want to rig prices lower so you could obtain more ounces. Chinese officials are more than willing to manipulate markets, whether through subterfuge, deceit, or outright force.
"This is the big concern because we keep on thinking that lower energy prices are somehow good for the economy. That can't be, because energy prices or commodity prices in general don't drive economic growth. Economic growth drives commodity prices. So there are a lot of telltales out there that this drop in oil prices, this drop industrial metal prices, this is not good. It's a canary in the coal mine that something is not right in the global economy. And that is a concern for us all."
Here comes today's main event, the July non-farm payrolls - once again the "most important ever" as the number will cement whether the Fed hikes this year or punts once again to the next year, and which consensus expects to print +225K although the whisper range is very wide: based on this week's ADP report, NFP may easily slide under 200K, while if using the non-mfg PMI as an indicator, a 300K+ print is in the cards. At the end of the day, it will be all in the hands of the BLS' Arima X 12 seasonal adjusters, and whatever goalseeked print the labor department has been strongly urged is the right one.
Things are getting downright scary in emerging markets as a "triple unwind" in credit, Chinese leverage, and loose US monetary policy wreaks havoc across the space. Between a prolonged slump in commodity prices and a structural shift towards weaker global trade, the situation could worsen materially going forward.
It has been more of the same in the latest quiet overnight session where many await tomorrow's NFP data for much needed guidance, and where Chinese markets opened weaker, rose during the day, then went through a mini rollercoaster, then sold off in the afternoon. The Shanghai Composite and HS China Enterprises indices finished down .9% and .3%, respectively. Trading volume continued to be very subdued, running at half the thirty day average as some 20 million "investors" have pulled out of the market to be replaced with HFTs such as Virtu. But while stock action has been muted, the story of the night so far is oil and the energy complex broke out of a tight overnight range early in the European session to continue yesterday's downward trend, seeing WTI Sep'15 futures fall below the USD 45.00 handle after yesterday's DoE crude oil inventories saw US crude output rise by 0.552%. As of this moment oil was trading at $44.72, just pennies above the low print of 2015.
The Fed’s zero interest rate policy has provided a subsidy to investors for the past 7 years. The lure of easy profits from cheap money was wildly attractive and readily accepted by investors. The Fed “put” gave investors great confidence that they could outperform their exceptionally low cost of capital. These implicit promises by central banks encouraged trillions of dollars into ‘carry trades’ and various forms of market speculation. Complacent investors maintain these trades, despite the Fed’s warning of a looming reduction in the subsidy, and despite a balance sheet expected to shrink in 2016. It has been a risk-chasing ‘game of chicken’ that is coming to an end. Changing conditions have skewed risk/reward to the downside. This is particularly true because financial assets prices are exceptionally expensive...There are warning signs and visible market stresses beyond those mentioned yesterday.
Futures Rebound On Ongoing Dollar Strength; Commodities Rise, China Slides, Greek Banks Continue PlungingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/05/2015 06:51 -0400
In many ways the overnight session has been a mirror image of yesterday, with the dollar accelerating its Lockhart-commentary driven rise, which curiously has pushed ES higher perhaps as a result of more USDJPY correlation algos being active and various other FX tracking pairs. Indeed, the weak yen is all that mattered in Japan, where the Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) rose amid JPY weakness, despite opening initially lower as index heavyweight Fast Retailing (-4.5%) reported a 2nd consecutive monthly decline in Uniqlo sales. Elsewhere in mirror images, China slid 1.7%, undoing about half of yesterday's 3.7% jump, and is now down for 4 of the past 5 days.
After a lukewarm start by the Chinese "market", which had dropped for the past 6 out of 7 days despite ever escalating measures by Beijing to manipulate stocks higher, finally the Shanghai Composite reacted favorably to Chinese micromanagement of stock prices and closed 3.7% higher as Chinese regulators stepped up their latest measures by adjusting rules on short-selling in order to reduce trading frequency and price volatility, resulting in several large brokerages suspending short sell operations. At this pace only buy orders will soon be legal which just may send the farce of what was once a "market" limit up.