Another expression long forgotten in the arrogant West: pride cometh before a fall.
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Today Janet Yellen and the FOMC will go back to square one and try to reset global expectations unleashed by the ill-fated December rate "policy mistake" hike, when at 2pm the Fed will announce assessment of the economy, even if not rate hike is expected today. Just like in December the Fed will be forced to telegraph that it is hiking rates as a signal of a strengthening US, and global, economy where "risks are balanced" and hope that the subsequent global reaction will not be a rerun of what happened in January and February when confusion about the Fed's intentions led to a global market rout.
Large amounts of aluminum traded on the London Metal Exchange over the past couple of years "have at times been in the hands of a dominant position holder." Citing sources at commodity trading houses, warehouses, producers, brokers and banks "one such position holder is U.S. bank JPMorgan."
Was that it for the great February/March bear market rally?
While Asia was up on China's bad data, and Europe was higher again this morning to catch up for the Friday afternoon US surge, US equity futures may have finally topped off and are now looking at this week's critical data, namely the BOJ's decision tomorrow (where Kuroda is expected to do nothing), and the Fed's decision on Wednesday where a far more "hawkish announcement" than currently priced in by the market, as Goldman warned last night, is likely, in what would put an end to the momentum and "weak balance sheet" rally.
Less than 24 hours after European stocks tumbled on initial disappointment by Draghi's announcement that rates will not be cut further, mood has changed dramatically and the result has been that after "reassessing" the ECB kitchen sink stimulus, risk has soared overnight with both Asian and European stocks surging. As of this moment European bourses are all broadly higher led by banks, with the DAX and FTSE both up over 2.7%, while the Stoxx 600 is higher by 2.3% as of this writing.
Everything from iron ore to copper to the Baltic Dry Index to stocks to bat guano is rallying. The problem is not a single rally passes "the sniff test:" is the rally the result of changing fundamentals, or is it merely short-covering and/or speculative hot money leaping from one rally to the next? Every one of these rallies is bogus, a travesty of a mockery of a sham of price discovery, supposedly the core function of markets. What shift in fundamentals drove this rally? Higher profits? No, profits are declining, especially once the phony adjustments are stripped away. Is the global economy strengthening? Don't make us laugh!
Global stocks and U.S. equity futures are fractionally higher (unchanged really) this morning (despite China's historic NPL debt-for-equity proposal) as traders await the main event of the day: the ECB's 1:45pm CET announcement, more importantly what Mario Draghi will announce during the 2:30pm CET press conference, and most importantly, whether he will disappoint as he did in December or finally unleash the bazooka that the market has been desperately demanding.
With China's Plunge Protection Team having intervened and set a positive spin on another poor session, traders put declines in Asia behind them as European markets rose along with U.S. index futures and commodities. European shares advanced for the first time in three days on speculation the region’s central bank will ramp up monetary stimulus on Thursday. A gauge of raw materials rebounded from its biggest selloff in a month, buoyed by gains in oil and copper. Furthermore, the previously noted selloff in Japanese government bonds - one which triggered circuit breakers and which some speculated may have been precipitated by the BOJ itself - dragged Treasuries and German bunds lower, gold fell a second day and the euro dropped versus most of its major peers.