Futures Slide As Quad-Witching Has A Violently Volatile Start After Massive BOJ FX Headfake; Oil TumblesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/18/2015 06:49 -0500
Following the latest BOJ statement, the market found itself wrongfooted assuming the BOJ was actually launching another episode of easing, sending the USDJPY soaring, until suddenly the realization swept the market that not only was the incremental action not really material, but even Kuroda spoke shortly after the announcement, confirming that "today's decision wasn't additional easing." The result was one of the biggest FX headfakes in recent days, perhaps on par with that from December 4 when EUR shorts were crushed, as the biggest carry pair first soared then tumbled and since the Yen correlation drives so many risk assets, also pulled down not only Japanese stocks but US equity futures.
It is widely assumed that the gold price must decline when the Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates. It seems logical enough: gold has no yield, so if competing investment assets such as bonds or savings deposits do offer a yield, gold will presumably be exchanged for those. There is only a slight problem with this idea. The simple assumption “Fed rate hikes equal a falling gold price” is not supported by even a shred of empirical evidence.
"The party's over and bond investors who always tend to be more sober types, realize this and have headed for the exits whereas equity investors are so intoxicated they haven't realized that the music has stopped. Equity investors are still gyrating around the dance floor - just as in 1999 and 2007... I believe the Yellen Fed will soon be treated with the same contempt the Greenspan Fed was in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. And they will deserve it."
Heading into the Fed's first "dovish" rate hike in nearly a decade, the consensus was two-fold: as a result of relentless telegraphing of the Fed's intentions, the hike is priced in, and it will be a "dovish" hike, with the Fed lowering its forecast for the number of hikes over the next year. Consensus was once again wrong on both accounts: first the rate hike was far more hawkish than most had expected (see previous post), and - judging by the surge in Asian, European stocks and US equity futures - the "market" simply is enamored with such hawkish hikes which will soon soak up trillions in liquidity from the financial system.
The day has come when the boxed-in Fed has no choice: with the vast majority of the market expecting a rate hike, Yellen has to deliver or suffer a crushing confidence blow like no other. And deliver she will, with expectations that said hike will be "as dovish as possible." For now however, the market is desperate to convince itself that just as more easing and more QE were bullish for the market, so rate hikes are just as bullish. Recall from late 2013: "tapering is not tightening," then the 2015 version of this refrain is "tightening is not tightening."
With economic growth currently running at THE LOWEST average growth rate in American history, the time frame between the first rate and next recession will not be long. For investors, there is little “reward” in the current environment for taking on excess exposure to risk assets. The deteriorating junk bond market, declining profitability and weak economic underpinnings suggest that the clock has already begun ticking. The only question is how much time is left.
Just hours before the FOMC sits down in the Marriner Eccles to discuss just how it will announce the first rate hike in 9 years, 7 years to the day after it cut rates to zero, it got the best gift from the BLS it could have asked for: core inflation rose precisely the amount the Fed wanted from a year ago, ot 2.0% on the dot, the highest annual core CPI increase in the past year. Why the jump? "About two-thirds of this increase is accounted for by the shelter index, which rose 3.2 percent over the span."
The start of the Fed's most eagerly awaited two-day policy meeting in years has finally arrived with the market expecting Yellen to announce the first 25 bps rate hike in 9 years tomorrow with nearly 80% probability, and so far US equity futures are enjoying a last minute relief rally, while emerging market stocks rose for the first day in ten after the longest losing run since June. Europe's Stoxx 600 Index has also rebounded from a five-day losing streak, the worst in over four months.
While this may well be the most important week for capital markets in the past 9 years, when the Fed is widely expected to hike rates on Wednesday, precisely 7 years to the day since it cut rates to zero, here are the other key events to watch out for.
It was a relatively calm overnight session in which European stocks wobbled modestly, Japan was up, China was down following its weakest fixing since 2011 as the PBOC continues to aggressively devalue since the SDR inclusion (stoking concerns capital outflows are once again surging), EM stocks stocks were weak and the dollar was unchanged ahead of today's retail sales data and next week's Fed meeting, and then suddenly everything snapped.
Charles Gave: "I Cannot Remember A Time When Less Thinking Has Ever Been Done In The Financial Markets"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2015 09:48 -0500
"What I find most hilarious is that some serious commentators have been pontificating at considerable length about what the market’s participants think. These days, some 70% of market orders are generated by computers, and many of the rest by indexers. And computers do not think... I cannot remember a time when less thinking has ever been done in the financial markets, which is why I find today’s financial markets infinitely boring."
- Charles Gave
After Vicious Rollercoaster Session, Global Stocks Flat, US Futures Stage Tepid Rebound In Illiquid ChaosSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2015 06:53 -0500
After yesterday's rollercoaster session in both the S&P and in oil, where initially stocks soared alongside oil, only to promptly tumble as stops were taken out and as the refiners' inventory strategy was exposed after the DOE's latest weekly numbers were released, it has been a quieter session so far, though maybe not for China where stocks jumped at the open only to fizzle and close at the lows in what appears to be ever less intervention by the market manipulating "National Team."
Following a roudy session in Congress that nearly dissolved into "chaos," the Brazilian Supreme Court suspended impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff until December 16. Meanwhile, annual inflation rose to 10.5% in November, the highest in 12 years as the country's stagflationary nightmare continues unabated.
Overnight market action has largely been a continuation of Tuesday's key themes with European stocks falling as a selloff in mining companies extended to a 7th day, even as metals prices rose and crude oil rallied modestly from a six-year low after yesterday's API crude inventory draw. U.S. equity futures have rebounded from modest declines, as emerging-market shares extended their losing streak to a 6th day while Asian stocks dropped to 2 month lows.
One can choose to ignore all these charts. However, many of them suggest eery similarity to 2007/2008 in structure. And if this structure plays out the so called "Santa" rally may not be all that it's cracked up to be. The cumulative message of all these charts: Things are far from well.