As Mideast Tensions Soared, Traders Bet On Another Plunge In Oil Prices: Here's Why

That wasn't supposed to happen. In the not so distant past, a dramatic escalation in tensions between OPEC nations (in this case Iran and Saudi Arabia) would have led to a spike in crude oil prices. However, as futures opened Sunday night, the brief rally in oil prices was met with selling pressure and instead of buying calls, traders loaded up on $30 puts. The oil market's different this time - here's why...

Stocks Resume Rout After Massive Chinese Intervention Fails To Lift Shanghai, Calm Traders

After yesterday's historic -6.9% rout in the Shanghai Composite, which saw the first new marketwide circuit breaker trading halt applied to Chinese stocks (on its first day of operation), many were wondering if the Chinese government would intervene in both the once again imploding stock market, as well as China's plunging and rapidly devaluing currency. And, after the SHCOMP opened down -3%, the government did not disappoint and promptly intervened in both the Yuan as well as the stock market, however with very mixed results which global stocks took a sign that the "national team" is no longer focused solely on stocks, and have resumed selling for a second consecutive day. 

Angola's Currency Collapses To Record Low As "Hyperinflation Monster" Looms Over Africa

Just two weeks ago we warned of the looming "hyperinflation monster" in Africa with the continent appearing to be running out of dollars as some of Africa’s largest economies, including Nigeria, Angola, Ethiopia and Mozambique, are restricting access to the greenback to protect dwindling reserves. Specifically we warned of Angola's already-soaring inflation hampering its ability to 'adjust' its currency towards its black market 'reality'. But that did not stop the central bank devaluing Kwanza by 15% over the weekend - the most since 2001 - to record lows as crude prices crush their economy and the flow of USDs.

Saudi Default, Devaluation Odds Spike As Mid-East Careens Into Chaos

On the heels of a tumultuous weekend that saw Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran after the Saudi embassy was torched by protesters angry at the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, CDS spreads for the kingdom have blown out to six-year wides while the implied odds of the riyal peg finally breaking are hitting new record highs.

Dow Dumps 450 Points (Back Below 17,000) As Crude Oil Crashes Into Red

Dispppointing drops in China and US Manufacturing PMIs, combined with a record glut, appears to have trumped Mid-East tensions and sent WTI plunging back into the red. This has triggered another round of selling in US equities, sending The Dow down 450 points and back to a "16" handle...

What Really Happened In 2015, And What Is Coming In 2016...

A lot of people were expecting some really great things to happen in 2015, but most of them did not happen.  But what did happen? A global financial crisis began during the second half of 2015 threatens to greatly accelerate as we enter 2016. This is what the early stages of a financial crisis look like, and the worst is yet to come.

Dow Futures Dump 300 Points From New Year's Eve Highs As China Crashes

With China closing the morning session limit down (and Yuan collapsing), US equity futures are extending their losses (even though crude futures are holding some of their gains). The initial knee-jerk jump as crude rose on Saudi tensions has been entirely erased and Dow Futures are now down 300 points from New Year's Eve highs... Happy New Year.

It's On: Saudi Arabia Severs Diplomatic Ties With Iran, "Does Not Care" If It Has Angered White House

Earlier today, as Iranian police struggled to disperse protesters gathered outside the Saudi consulate in Mashhad, we said that Saudi Arabia and Iran may be on the verge of a historic diplomatic crisis after demonstrators burned the Saudi embassy in Tehran on Saturday evening. Sure enough, just hours later, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Ahmad Al-Jubeir announced that Riyadh has cut diplomatic ties with Tehran

Crude Oil Opens Above $38, Takes Out 1-Week Highs

With hedge fund short positions near record highs and speculators at their least bullish in almost five years, oil prices have spurted higher in the early trading as the diplomatic gloves come off in The Middle East. Despite record levels of crude inventory around the world, WTI Crude is trading above $38, up over 3% from its $37.07 close on New Year's Eve. Algos ran the stops above last week's highs ($38.32) but for now prices are not as excited as many would have expected. Brent, for now, is outperforming and trade 45c rich to WTI.

Derailed? What Rail Traffic Tells Us About The U.S. Economy

Rail volumes provides a mixed picture of the US economy at this point: oil & gas and mining-related sectors are taking a real beating, some consumer sectors seem to be holding up and there are signs of weakness in the housing sector. 2016 should witness some type of a resolution here.

What Does The Future Hold For Negative Rates In Europe? Goldman Answers

While the market might have been disappointed by the ECB’s “underdelivery in December, it came as a relief for the Riksbank, the SNB, the Norges Bank, and the Nationalbank who are effectively forced to cut each time the ECB eases or risk seeing upward pressure on their respective currencies. That dynamic has led to a veritable race to the Keynesian bottom with Norway as the last man standing in terms of conducting monetary policy with rates above zero. As we enter the new year, a number of questions remain regarding Europe's headlong plunge into NIRP-dom.