European equities are seen firmly in the green at the North-American crossover, with outperformance noted in the peripheral bourses. Overnight news from the Eurogroup has confirmed that the EFSF/ESM rescue funds will be given the powers to intervene in the secondary bond markets, easing sentiment towards the European laggard economies. Gains are being led by a particularly strong technology sector, with the riskier financials and basic materials also making solid progress. Asset classes across the board in Europe are benefiting from risk appetite, with the Bund seen lower and both the Spanish and Italian 10-yr yields coming below their key levels of 7% and 6% respectively. The moves follow a spurt of activity in Europe with a number of factors assisting the way higher.
SSDD. Europe has a late night conference, regurgitates stuff, gives no details, makes lots of promises, peripheral bonds tighten only to blow out, etc, etc, etc. Seen it all before. Unlike a week ago, Spanish bonds, when Spanish bonds ripped by 1%, this time we can barely muster a 25 bps move tighter, with the 10 year "down" to 6.82%. It was 6.25% a week ago. Expect the blow out as has been empirically proven time and again. Hint: there is no magic money tree nor is there a magic collateral tree.
The price of Brent crude oil has jumped rapidly back over $100 (above Friday's highs) on news of a complete shutdown of Norway's oil production after labor talks failed. Coupled with more hopes and dreams of the so-far ineffectual Chinese monetary policy easing, it seems that all the bullish lower-oil-prices-as-a-tax-cut arguments become entirely reflexive as every time we see oil prices drop on global growth questions, so the central bank puts provide just the ammo to remove that benefit as they BTFD in every correlated risk asset - and Oil seems the 'cheapest' of those in the last few weeks.
European equities have been grinding lower throughout the European morning, with basic materials seen underperforming following the release of a multi-month low Chinese CPI figure, coming in at 2.2%, below the expected 2.3% reading. The focus in Europe remains on the Mediterranean periphery, as weekend reports from Spanish press suggest that the heavily weighted Valencia region may be pressed into default unless it receives assistance from the central government. The sentiment is reflected in the Spanish debt market today, with the long-end of the curve showing record high yields, and the 10-yr bond yield remaining elevated above the 7% mark. News from an EU council draft, showing that Spain is to be given extra time to meet its deficit targets did bring the borrowing costs off their session highs, but they do remain stubbornly high at the North American crossover. The gap between the core European nations and their flagging partners continues to widen, as Germany sell 6-month bills at a record low of -0.0344%. As such, the 10-yr government bond yield spread between the Mediterranean and Germany is seen markedly wider on the day.
Between Clinton's 'prices to be paid' and Obama's new trade-war, is it any wonder the Chinese have decided to escalate their 'more-than-rhetoric' from bartering away from the USD. After ignoring the sanctions and then receiving their exemption, PressTV reports tonight that China is to invest in developing north and south Iranian oil fields (which will produce 700,000 barrels per day of crude). One of the oil fields, Azadegan, has one of the world’s largest oil deposits, with in-place oil reserves estimated at 42 billion barrels - enough to tide China over a for a while - as Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi adds after 10-15 years of negotiations the decision has finally (and coincidentally very timely) been reached as "the Chinese side has started its activities by investing USD 20 billion in the oil fields".
UPDATE: Sell-off gathering pace now. WTI lagging a little more now at $84.6 -$1.2 and ES back at this week's lows as Gold has retraced all its knee-jerk gains
The initial knee-jerk reaction is a closing of the hope-gap between stocks and gold as S&P 500 e-mini futures are down 6pts or so from pre-NFP and Gold is up $11. Treasury yields are dropping relatively fast to the lows of their recent range under 1.56%. For now modest reactions in IG and HY credit (but markets are thin there this week). The USD is just a little weaker and WTI crude is limping lower but not spectacularly. European sovereign spreads are back at their highs.
In the ongoing story of confusing (as even the US has now said Syria was in its right to defend itself) yet continuing Turkish provocation, whereby a Turkish jet was shot down after entering Syrian airspace, resulting in immediate NATO-wide escalations and fighter jets being scrambled every single day since, the latest news is that the pilots who had been hoped to be alive, have been found dead.
US Military Re-Surging In Persian Gulf As Turkey Scrambles Jets For Third Day And Iran Fires Medium-Range MissilesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/03/2012 08:34 -0500
US military "surge" is back in the Persian Gulf + Iran fires medium-range missiles + Turkey scrambles jets for third day in a row = $100+ Brent
After two days of solid gains, European equities continue the upward trend and are seen higher at the North American crossover, with the Basic Materials sector leading the way, followed by financials. The moves in equities follow overnight reports from Chinese press, once again calling for the PBOC to slash their RRR, as well as expectations that this Thursday both the ECB and the BoE will conduct monetary easing, possibly boosting future commodity demand. In the fixed income markets, the European 2s/30s curve continues to see bear-steepening following last night’s announcement from the Dutch Central Bank that has changed Dutch insurers’ Solvency II interest rate curve; modifying the maturities in which the firms must hold assets towards the longer-end. Today also saw official confirmation from the Irish debt agency that they are to return to capital markets with T-bill issuance on July 5th, their first return to the market since 2010. Investor reaction to this news is evident in the shorter-end of the Irish yield curve, where the 2-yr bond yield spread against their German counterpart is firmly indicating the risk of returning to the market; currently wider by around 20bps.
What goes down, must come up. In this case crude, which is soaring on news out of FARS that Iranian lawmakers have drafted a bill proposing a blockade of the Straits of Hormuz for oil tankers heading to sanctions supporters, i.e., embargo countries. Naturally, if implemented, this would mean an almost inevitable military retaliation on behalf of the "western world." Then again, this is not the first time Iran has postured with a blockade. If indeed willing to follow through, it surely mean Iran has at least implicit whisper support of Russian and Chinese support when the situation inevitably escalates.
A confluence of factors is forming a perfect storm for the oil market to face some major headwinds for the next 5 years.
Following a 3-sigma fall yesterday, WTI crude has rebounded exuberantly amid the European ecstacy and the Iran Oil Embargo. Up almost 9% from late yesterday's lows (a 6-sigma jump), it appears yet another squeeze is in play (perhaps from demand-pull on the back of Hillary's unyielding national policy - oh yeah apart from China and Singapore). While the WSJ notes: "There's no material price premium from the Iran issue", it seems the potential for an epic short-squeeze - as Iran's largest importer of Oil (cough China cough) is now exempt (and continuing to hoard) leaving refiners potentially tight on supply - as macro tail-risk is seemingly removed from the downside by the 'nothing' summit we just experienced.
European equities are seen modestly higher at the midpoint of the European session, with the utilities and financials sectors leading the way higher. As such, the Bund is seen lower by around 40 ticks at the North American crossover. The closely-watched Spanish 10-yr government bond yield is seen lower on the day, trading at 6.85% last, as such, the spread between the peripheral 10-yr yields and their German counterpart has been seen tighter throughout the European morning. Issuance of 6-month bills from the Italian treasury passed by smoothly, selling EUR 9bln with a higher yield, but not an increase comparable with yesterday’s auction from the Spanish treasury. The decent selling from Italy today may pave the way for tomorrow’s issuance of 5- and 10-year bonds, which will be closely watched across the asset classes. Data of note has come from Germany, with the state CPIs coming in slightly higher than the previous readings, proving supportive for the expectation of national CPI to come in flat at 0.0% over the last month.
In a market in which horrible data leads to upward stock spikes, what can one expect but a directionless market for now: after all today's biggest pending disappointment, the durable goods orders due out in an hour, has not hit the tape yet sending stocks soaring. Newsflow out of Europe is more of the same, summarized by the following BBG headline: 'MERKEL SAYS EURO BONDS ARE THE ‘WRONG WAY." We for one can't wait for the algos to read into this as more bullish than Eurobonds only over her dead body. Perhaps that explains why despite the constant barrage of abysmal economic data, capped by today's epic collapse in MBS mortgage applications plunging 7.1% or the most since March despite record low mortgage yields, futures are once again green. In summary: the usual Bizarro market which has by now driven out virtually everyone.
- France to Lift Minimum Wage in Bid to Rev Up Economy (WSJ)... weeks after it cut the retirement age
- Merkel Urged to Back Euro Crisis Measures (FT)
- Monti lashes out at Germany ahead of summit (FT)
- Italy Official Seeks Culture Shift in New Law (WSJ)
- Migrant workers and locals clash in China town (BBC)
- Romney Would Get Tough on China (Reuters)
- Bank downgrades trigger billions in collateral calls (IFRE)
- Gold Drops as US Data, China Speculation Temper Europe (Bloomberg)