A few nations may indeed be forced to sell some of their official gold reserves as a result of plunging oil prices. It seems however not likely at this juncture that Russia will be one of them, there is a good chance that Venezuela will eventually be forced to sell some of its official gold holdings. However, the impact - short term psychological impact - on the gold market should be quite limited.
The cards in this deck are not aligned the way they were a half-year ago. An Obama veto of Keystone is no longer a sure thing. Proving once again that crude prices have strange bedfellows.
We don’t see a whole lot of comprehension out there, so let’s try and link the obvious: employment to shale to plummeting oil prices to the debt the shale industry was built on (and which is vanishing). We know, people look at the US jobs report yesterday, and at the stock markets (Europe up some 2% across the board), and think salvation has landed on their doorstep, but the true story really is very different. We’ve been saying for weeks that lower oil prices would not be a boon but a scourge for the US economy, for several different reasons, and this is a big one. The losses to investors, the restructurings and bankruptcies, and perhaps even the bailouts, are a very much interconnected and crosslinked other. There’s no resilience – left – in a system like this, it bets all on red, and that makes it terribly brittle.
About That 2100 S&P Target For 2015, Goldman Was Only Kidding, Now Sees Even More Ridiculous Multiple ExpansionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/06/2014 16:14 -0400
It was just one short month ago when, on the back of the soaring dollar (which has since soared even more), as well as "diminished global GDP growth and lower crude prices", Goldman's David Kostin cut his EPS for 2015 and 2016 from $125 and $132 to $122 and $131. Then, it was just two short weeks ago, the same David Kostin said "we expect the P/E will contract and the index will slip during the second-half of 2015 as the Fed takes its first step in the long-awaited tightening cycle. Our S&P 500 year-end 2015 target of 2100 implies a modest 5-10% P/E multiple compression to 16.0x our top-down 2016 EPS estimate or 14.6x bottom-up consensus earnings estimates." And then, with the S&P now about 20 points away from Goldman's 2015 year end target (and just 120 points from the government-backed hedge fund's 2016 year end target!), the very same David Kostin admits that he was only kidding and that the S&P may in fact rise to a whopping 2300 in the coming year...
When no lesser establishmentarian than Obama's former chief economist Jared Bernstein called for an end to the US Dollar's reserve status, it raised a few eyebrows, but as the WSJ recently noted, the voices discussing how the burden of being the world's reserve currency harms America, more than just Vladimir Putin is paying attention. While some argue that “no other global currency is ready to replace the U.S. dollar.” That is true of other paper and credit currencies, but the world’s monetary authorities still hold nearly 900 million ounces of gold, which is enough to restore, at the appropriate parity, the classical gold standard: the least imperfect monetary system of history.
High-yield credit markets saw spreads widen 12bps on the week and high-yield bond prices fell notably as energy stocks faded after Monday's exuberant dead-cat-bounce. Trannies tumbled today off early exuberance gains, ending the week the biggest loser despite lower oil prices. Today's jobs data sparked initial "good news is bad news" weakness, was ramped to Europe's close then faded with Nasdaq and S&P red post-Payrolls. Treasury yields rose on the day (and week) with dramatic flattening as 2Y-7Y maturities up 17-20bps on the week and 30Y only 7bps higher. 2Y yields exploded 17bps for the worst week since Feb 2011 to Apr 2011 highs. The USDollar closed higher today (up 1.25% on the week) led by dramatic JPY weakness (and EUR fading). Despite USD strength, gold gained 2% on the week and silver +5.4% (best week in 6mo) even as oil lost 0.75% for its lowest close since July 2009. VIX tested down to an 11 handle but closed peeking back into a 12 handle, lower on the week. For the 3rd day of the last 4, internals created a Hindenburg Omen cluster.
It appears the growth-is-back-just-look-at-the-jobs-number meme is not flowing through to the oil complex. WTI just broke below $66.00 (having earlier broken below and bounced back above) and is now down almost 1% on the week having retraced most of Monday's kneejerk dead-cat-bounce. This will be the lowest weekly close since July 2009 and down 9 of the last 10 weeks.
The world economy is slowing down and the authorities are fretting.
- Marchers again swarm New York to protest death at hands of police (Reuters)
- N.Y. Police Chokehold Evidence to Stay Secret as Protests Spread (BBG)
- Obama to announce choice of Ash Carter for defense chief Friday: White House (Reuters)
- Boehner vows to avoid government shutdown with help from Democrats (Reuters)
- Brent Heads for 5-Year Low as Saudi Discounts Spur Competition (BBG)
- Will Cheap Oil Lead to Big Mergers? (WSJ)
- Bank of Russia Ramps Up Ruble Support (WSJ)
- China Bad-Loan Level Seen Understated After Economy Slows (BBG)
- Uber Snags $41 Billion Valuation (WSJ)
Confused why in the lack of any horrible economic news (unless of course someone leaked a worse than expected November payrolls print which would put QE4 right back on the table) futures are higher, especially in the aftermath of yesterday's disappointing ECB conference? Then look no further than the Yen which has now lost pretty much all control and is in freeplunge mode, rising some 25 pips moments ago on no news, but merely as wave after wave of momentum ignition algos now make a joke of the Japanese currency, whose redline of 123 (as defined by SocGen)is now just 240 pips away. At this pace, Japan's economy, which as reported yesterday has just seen a record number of corporate bankruptcies due to the plummeting yen, may well be dead some time next week. Which, with Paul Krugman as its new and improved economic advisor, is precisely as expected. RIP Japan.
Perhaps those sub-$50 Bakken prices tell us pretty much where global prices are ahead. And then we’ll take it from there. With 1.8 million barrels “that nobody needs” added to the shale industries growth intentions, where can prices go but down, unless someone starts a big war somewhere? Yesterday’s news that US new oil and gas well permits were off 40% last month may signal where the future of shale is really located. But oil is a field that knows a lot of inertia, long term contracts, future contracts, so changes come with a time lag. It’s also a field increasingly inhabited by desperate producers and government leaders, who wake up screaming in the middle of the night from dreaming about their heads impaled on stakes along desert roads.
When ISIS dared to steal and sell oil at below market rates, they were dire pirates that needed to be destroyed (and anyone who dared to buy it was pariah). So when, as Bloomberg reports, crude sold at the wellhead in the Bakken shale region in North Dakota fell to $49.69 a barrel on Nov. 28 (according to the marketing arm of Plains All American Pipeline), you know there is an issue in the US Shale industry. As one analyst notes, "to a producer in Wyoming, if Brent’s $70 then I’m at $50, then I have to start asking does it economically make sense to keep drilling, they might start reallocating capital, you might see projects slowed or shut down." So with every expert in financial media clinging to some hope that oil prices can't go down any more surely right? The answer is yes... and have already broken below $50... something that may indicate not just transportation issues, but desparation for crucial liquidity needs.
Today we'll learn more about whether Mr Draghi becomes Super Mario in the near future as the widely anticipated ECB meeting is now only a few hours away. We will do another summary preview of market expectations shortly, but in a nutshell, nobody really expects Draghi to announce anything today although the jawboning is expected to reach unseen levels. The reason is that Germany is still staunchly against outright public QE, and Draghi probably wants to avoid and outright legal confrontation. As DB notes, assuming no new policy moves, the success of today's meeting will probably depend on the degree to which Draghi indicates the need for more action soon and the degree to which that feeling is unanimous within the council. Over the past weekend Weidmann's comment about falling oil prices representing a form of stimulus highlights that this consensus is still proving difficult to build. It might need a couple more months of low growth and inflation, revised staff forecasts and a stubbornly slow balance sheet accumulation to cement action.
B-Dud Explains The Fed’s Economic Coup (Or Why Every Asset Price Influencing Monetary Policy Transmission Is Now Manipulated)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/03/2014 20:30 -0400
The Fed can do only do two concrete things to influence these income and credit sources of spending - both of which are unsustainable, dangerous and an assault on free market capitalism’s capacity to generate growth and wealth. It can induce households to consume a higher fraction of current income by radically suppressing interest rates on liquid savings. And it can inject reserves into the financial system to induce higher levels of credit creation. But the passage of time soon catches up with both of these parlor tricks.