In the face of stubbornly low crude prices, it's starting to look like the end of the road in the O&G space. As WSJ reports, all of the proverbial fat that can be trimmed has already been trimmed in terms of layoffs and capex. This means further cost savings will have to come from salary cuts because going forward, cutting jobs altogether would imperil companies’ ability to operate.
Some things you CAN see coming, in life and certainly in finance. Quite a few things, actually. Once you understand we’re on a long term downward path, also both in life and in finance, and you’re not exclusively looking at short term gains, it all sort of falls into place. Of course, the entire global economy has been hanging together with strands of duct tape for decades now, but hey, it looks good as long as you don’t take a peek behind the facade, right?
After losing 7% in September, and down 20% for 2015 as of Oct. 1, the question is will Andy Hall be the only hedge fund manager with the distinction to have blown up not once but twice in one year, on the very same bet?
For the past two weeks, the thinking probably went that if only the biggest short squeeze in history and the most "whiplashy" move since 2009 sends stocks high enough, the global economy will forget it is grinding toward recession with each passing day (and that the Fed are just looking for a 2-handle on the S&P and a 1-handle on the VIX before resuming with the rate hike rhetoric). Unfortunately, that's not how it worked out, and overnight we got abysmal economic data first from China, whose imports imploded, then the UK, which posted its first deflation CPI print since April, and finally from Germany, where the ZEW expectation surve tumbled from 12.1 to barely positive, printing at just 1.9 far below the 6.5 expected.
News That Matters
The following table attempts to provide a simple composite measure of which commodities are most exposed to China demand, and which stand to lose (or gain) the most in case of a Chinese economic collapse (recovery).
Wwith oil volatility surging in recent months, oil producers needed to take advantage of a rally, technical or otherwise, and an oil vol lull to reestablish hedges, even if it meant at far lower prices than recent benchmarks. This is precisely what happened in the past week following one of the most torrid surges in the price of oil seen in recent years.
On Friday we said that "it is certain that any volume reductions by Glencore will be promptly taken advantage of by Glencore's competitors, because in a global deleveraging and commodity supercycle repricing, he who cooperates while others defect, always loses the game theory."And just as expected, overnight the world's second biggest mining company, Rio Tinto, warned that it will not cut copper production, saying it would be illogical to hold back output and leave space in the market for higher-cost rivals.
Despite its dubious track record, oil prices are stumbling after Goldman Sachs releases a report calling for oil prices to remain lower for even longer, calling for a drop to $50 within the next 6 months.
- Central Bankers Urge Fed to Get On With Interest-Rate Increase (WSJ)
- Bond Market Casualties Leading Biggest S&P 500 Revival Since '11 (BBG)... on hopes of more easing
- U.S. Patrols to Test China’s Pledge on South China Sea Islands (WSJ)
- Merkel Under Fire: German Conservatives Deeply Split over Refugees (Spiegel)
- Assault Weapons Ban Before U.S. Supreme Court (NBC)
- Hedge Funds Are Playing 'Dangerous Game' With Copper (BBG)
With the "adult supervision" of US markets gone today as bond markets are closed for Columbus day, and the USDJPY tractor beam also missing with Japan also offline for Health and Sports day, stocks took their cues from China where speculation was rife that in lieu of cutting RRR, the PBOC has unleashed even more incremental QE by expanding its Collateral Asset Refinancing Program (CAR). Specifically, the central bank said this weekend it will expand a program allowing lenders to use loan assets as collateral for borrowing from the central bank, opening it up to nine more cities from the program's test in Shandong province and Guangdong. The new areas for the program include Beijing and Shanghai. According to some estimates released several trillions in liquidity into the market, and not only sent government bond futures to new highs, but pushed the Shanghai Composite up over 3% overnight.
Gains in the foreign currencies appears to be mostly short-covering rather than bottom-picking per se. In bigger picture the dollar is consolidating its earlier gains.