With Europe back from Easter break, we are seeing a modest continuation of the dollar strength witnessed every day last week, which in turn is pressuring oil and the commodity complex, and leading to some selling in US equity futures (down 0.2% to 2024) ahead of today's main event which is Janet Yellen's speech as the Economic Club of New York at 12:20pm, an event which judging by risk assets so far is expected to be far more hawkish than dovish: after all the S&P 500 is north of 2,000 for now.
With European markets closed across the continent on Monday as the Easter holiday continues, overnight Asia was busy with China Shanghai Composite letting off some steam, and closing down 0.7% at session lows on concerns the Shanghai and Shenzhen home bubble have been popped by the politburo, Japan was a different story with the Yen sliding following a report by the Sankei newspaper that Abe will announce in May his intention to delay the planned levy hike, coupled with additional reports that Japan will unveil a major fiscal stimulus (and just on Friday Abe said he is "not thinking at all about supplemental budget" at this time).
While Georgia has been caught up recently in a major pipeline competition, with Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran all making a play for the action in this small, strategically located energy-transit hub, some men in the central Georgian village of Ruisi have been busy with a pipeline project of their own.
Following yesterday's dollar spike which, which topped the longest rally in the greenback in one month, the prevailing trade overnight has been more of the same, and in the last session of this holiday shortened week we have seen the USD rise for the fifth consecutive day on concerns the suddenly hawkish Fed (at least as long as the S&P is above 2000) may hike sooner than expected, which in turn has pressured WTI below $39 earlier in the session, and leading to weakness across virtually all global risk assets.
What happened? It's possible the Fed has seen the market reaction and become alarmed by the complacency. It's true, the probabilities for even a June rate hike—let alone April--declined dramatically in the face of the Fed meeting. That may have alarmed the Fed, and so some members may feel the need to keep the markets more alert.
Following two days of rangebound moves, where Monday's modest market rebound was undone by the Tuesday just as modest decline (despite the early surge higher on the latest "bullish for stocks" European terrorism), overnight equity action continued to be more of the same, and as of this moment S&P 500 futures were unchanged, while European stocks were modestly higher. But while equities remain surprisingly uneventful despite loud warnings by both JPM and Goldman now that another bout of volatility and equity downside is coming, in FX there has been a substantial change, one which has seen the US dollar rise for a fourth day, the longest winning streak in a month, driven by the latest round of hawkish Fed jawboning courtesy of the Chicago Fed's Charlie Evens yesterday, which in turn has pushed down prices of oil, gold and copper.
This morning's Brussels suicide attacks have led to risk-off sentiment across European asset classes, with Bunds higher and equities firmly in the red, although if the Paris terrorist attacks of November are any indication, today's tragic events may be just the catalyst the S&P500 needs to surge back to all time highs. FX markets have also been dominated by events in Brussels, with USD and JPY strengthening, while EUR and GBP softening throughout the European morning.
At the same time as the PBOC was cautioning about the dangers of excess debt (just as it injected a record amount of loans into the financial system), China's central bank warned about dangers from a stock market bubble, and perhaps just to assure the bubble gets even bigger, at the same time China eased on margin debt limits, in the process sending Chinese stocks soaring higher by 2.2%, and pushing the Shanghai Composite over 3000 for the first time in months as China now appears set to attempt another housing bubble "soft landing" while at the same time restarting its housing bubble.
Correlation does not necessarily imply causation. But during the 113-year stretch of time from 192 to 305 AD when Rome's currency collapse was accelerating, an astonishing amount of Roman emperors (84%) were either brutally murdered or assassinated.
Decades of relentless brainwashing in the West have convinced the vast majority of our populations that there is no longer a place or role in our modern economy for Perfect Money. What is continually forgotten beneath the veneer of our cultural arrogance is that the rest of the world, and the vast majority of humanity’s population, have a fundamentally opposite perspective regarding the world’s only Perfect Money. In the East, China and Russia are relentlessly accumulating gold, observing a “rule” which is now forgotten by the arrogant oligarchs of the Corrupt West: the Golden Rule. He who has the gold makes the rules.
- Dow's Freakish Bounce Makes Investors Whole, Can't Erase Doubts (BBG)
- R.I.P. Dollar Rally as Dovish Fed Spurs Worst Slump Since 2011 (BBG)
- Global Currencies Soar, Defying Central Bankers (WSJ)
- Oil hits 2016 high above $42 on production and demand outlook (Reuters)
- The U.S. Is Exporting Its Oil Everywhere (BBG)
- Hillary Clinton’s Allies Launch Plan to Undercut Donald Trump Now (WSJ)
It may be option expiration day (always leading to abnormal market activity) but it remains all about the weak dollar, which after crashing in the two days after the Fed's surprisingly dovish statement has put both the ECB and the BOJ in the very awkward position that shortly after both banks have drastically eased, the Euro and the Yen are now trading stronger relative to the dollar versus prior. As DB puts it, "the US Dollar has tumbled in a fairly impressive fashion since the FOMC on Wednesday with the Dollar spot index now down the most over a two-day period since 2009" which naturally hurts those countries who have been rushing to debase their own currencies against the USD.
“Statistics can be used to say anything.” Numbers don’t lie – people do.
In the aftermath of the Fed's surprising dovish announcement, overnight there has been a rather sudden repricing of risk, which has seen European stocks and US equity futures stumble to roughly where they were when the Fed unveiled its dovish surprise, while the dollar collapse has continued, sparking deflationary fears resulting in treasury yields plunging even as gold soars, all hinting at another Fed policy error. So was that it for the Fed's latest intervention "halflife"? We don't know, but we expect much confusion today over whether even the Fed has now run out of dovish ammunition.