The tension to "liberate" Syria is palpable. It took just 24 hours for the US to do an about face on its position on Syria, where yesterday, as Bloomberg reported, "U.S. officials said they haven’t seen conclusive evidence supporting an assertion by Israel’s top military intelligence analyst that Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons against rebels. Secretary of State John Kerry and spokesmen from the White House and the Pentagon said investigations haven’t produced hard proof that Bashar al-Assad’s regime has used toxic chemicals -- a step that President Barack Obama has said would cross a “red line." Fast forward to today, and we get pretty much the opposite opposite: "The United States believes with varying degrees of confidence that Syria's regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale, the White House said on Thursday."
- UK economy shows 0.3% growth (FT)
- Texas University Fund Sold $375 Million in Gold Bars (BBG)
- Spain Jobless Rate Breaches 27% on Recession Woes (BBG)
- Letta calls for easing of austerity policies (FT)
- Italy Led by Letta Brings Berlusconi Back as Winner (BBG)
- Fed Debate Moves From Tapering to Extending Bond Buying (BBG)
- South Korea wants talks with North on shuttered industrial zone (Reuters)
- Republicans advance bill to prepare for debt ceiling fight (Reuters)
- Republicans claim White House failed to warn on severity of cuts (FT)
- Xi meets former US heavyweights (China Daily)
- Next BoE chief Carney says clear framework key to policy success (Reuters)
- Chinese roll out red carpet for Hollande (FT)
After touching multi-year highs amid the exuberance of liquidity sloshing around the world, Oil became too glaring a concern and two weeks of suppression took the only Central-Bank-'Governor' to much more comfortable levels. But, the last week has seen the biggest 5-day jump in WTI in 8 months and today the biggest jump in 5 months. It seems the 'Brent Vigilantes' are back. Equities traded in a very narrow range after yesterday's #HashCrash and eMini volumes were among the lowest of the year. An early afternoon ramp, aided by EURUSD, failed at overnight highs and collapsed back to VWAP as the machines were in charge once again. Treasuries rallied from early morning high yields ending the day lower in yield (TSY yields down 1-2bps on the week against a 30 point rally in the S&P!!) Durable goods dismal data just reinforced Europe's donut and stirred the bad-is-good mantra as Trannies outperformed, but interestingly once again the Dow was unable to break above pre-Boston levels. FX markets were relatively calm for once as gold, silver, and copper all gained. VIX ended up for the day by 0.25vols at 13.75%.
If there was any debate about the global economic contraction, driven largely due to pundits confusing manipulated stock market levitation with this anachronistic thing called the "economy" and fundamentals for the fourth year in a row, all doubts were removed after this morning's manufacturing PMI data out of China, which as reported previously was a big disappointment (sending the Composite firmly into the red for the year down 2.57% to 2184.5) only to be followed by just as disappointing manufacturing and services PMI data out of Germany, which tumbled from 49 and 50.9 to 47.9 and 49.2, respectively, missing estimates of 49.and 51. The composite German PMI tumbled to a 6-month low of 48.8 as a result, meaning the European economic deterioration is just getting started, and at the worst possible time for Merkel several months ahead of her reelection campaign. The end result was a miss in the blended Eurozone Mfg PMI, which dropped from 46.8 to 46.5, even as the less relevant Services component eaked out a small gain from 46.4 to 46.6, on the back of a dead cat bounce in French economic indicators. Bottom line: a contraction in both European manufacturing and services for the 15th consecutive month. Some "recovery."
As Boston and U.S. security agencies congratulate themselves over the apparent neutralization of a pair of Chechens that bombed the Boston Marathon, troubling questions are beginning to arise. First and foremost is, why a pair of Chechens, born in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, apparently committed the attack? For possible answers, one must looks beyond the present and delve into Russia’s and the USSR’s past policies towards Chechnya, and since 1991, U.S. policy in the Caucasus, which since the 1991 implosion of the USSR had a single focus – the exploitation of the Caspian’s massive energy reserves. It is a history that makes for deeply uncomfortable reading, but one that may eventually provide some answers to seemingly intractable questions. The history below, virtually unknown in the US, is deeply known to the Chechens; and while nothing excuses the terrible actions, the US is hardly blameless about the carnage visited on the Tsarnaev's ancestral homeland.
Why the Western Banking Cartel’s Gold and Silver Price Slam Will Backfire - And How You Can Protect Yourself from the BlowbackSubmitted by smartknowledgeu on 04/22/2013 05:27 -0400
Let's get down to the facts of the recent banker gold & silver paper price smash and the lies about the banker gold & silver paper price smash being propagated by the mass media and banking shills like Paul Krugman so everyone can understand why this smash will blow up in the face of the very bankers that executed it at some point down the road. Retail individuals AND global institutions all around the world are finally beginning to understand that physical ownership of gold and silver is how to counter banker fraud & intervention into the gold and silver markets and this realization is going to produce massive blowback.
Correlation is not causation; but coincidence means you're on the right path. Looking at the charts of Stocks, Commodities, and Precious Metals, we wonder just what it was that President Obama said at his 11amET White House meeting last Thursday...
Given the dramatic drops in gold and oil prices over the past few trading sessions, we thought it worth examining which miners and oil producers were most 'at risk' of generating negative cash flows at current and long-term prices. Goldman Sachs looks at 40 oil producers and 25 gold mines to create a complete 'cost curve' in terms of the best indication of what it actually costs to keep operations running. It is quite apparent that ~$85 Crude and ~$1150 Gold are key to the ongoing support for these industries.
Goldman Keeps Gold Short As It Lowers Stop Price, Even As It Is Stopped Out On Commodity Basket For 6% LossSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/16/2013 09:43 -0400
Yesterday, Goldman was stopped out of its inflationary Long Brent reco for a 15.5% loss (for the clients of course, not for the Goldman counterparty traders who made 15.5%). Today, it was time for Goldman to get stopped out on its Commodity Carry Basket, after the firm's 6.0% stop loss was triggered: "Spillover from gold and renewed European and EM macroeconomic concerns also created sharp sell-offs in crude oil and base metals, that were mostly front-end driven, crushing spreads (the carry), as longer-dated prices remained remarkably stable. This stopped us out of our CCB (Commodity Carry Basket) recommendation with the potential loss reaching our 6.0% stop." With gold now trading below the revised stop out target, we will watch to see if Goldman lower its target once more to buy even more paper gold that its clients are furiously selling.
- Investigators hunt for clues in marathon bombing (Reuters)
- Investigators scour video, photos for Boston Marathon bomb clues (Reuters)
- 'Act of Terror' Kills at Least Three, Injures About 140 as Bombs Wreak Carnage on Marathon Crowd (WSJ)
- Brent Crude Below $100 (WSJ)
- Slower China Growth Signals Days of Miracles Are Waning (WSJ)
- Central Banks at Ease Limit Risk Political Backlash (BBG)
- Merkel plans to quit midterm, says author (FT)
- Monte Paschi Prosecutors Seize $2.3 Billion of Nomura Assets (Businessweek)
- Treasuries back on investors’ buy lists (FT)
- J.C. Penney Said to Seek Ways to Separate Real Estate for Cash (BBG)
- Climate scientists struggle to explain warming slowdown (Reuters)
- Putin Calls for Stimulus Plan After Recession Alarm (BBG)
- TIPS in Longest Selloff Since ’08 as U.S. Bancorp Cuts (BBG)
- Venezuela Says Chávez Successor Wins Vote (WSJ)
- China growth risks in focus as first quarter data falls short (Reuters)
- Japan Gets Calls From U.S. to Europe Not to Drive Down Yen (BBG)
- EU Set to Clash on Bank Deal as Germany Sees Treaty Limit (BBG)
- Dish Launches $25.5 Billion Bid for Sprint (WSJ)
- Commodities Tumble, Stocks Slide as China Growth Slows (BBG)
- Top fund managers take home $8bn less (FT)
- Obama Programs Derided by Republicans as Pejorative Entitlements (BBG)
- Gene swapping makes new China bird flu a moving target (Reuters)
- McDonald's Cranks Up The Volume on 'Value' (WSJ)
- UK pension deficits set to rise by £100bn (FT)
There was little in terms of overnight newsflow to spook algos, but the tone is decidedly sour this morning following a lack of either the now traditional Japan or Europen-open buying ramps. The primary reason for this may well be the ongoing decline in the USDJPY which failed to breach the 100 barrier yesterday, coming as close as 99.95 before the Mrs. Watanabe onslaught had to be called off despite some more jawboning from Kuroda whose headlines are now summarily ignored, and which appears to have set a line in the sand for Japan, whose market naturally closed lower following this strengthening in its currency. Similarly troubling was the dip in the SHCOMP which closed down -0.58%, this despite the epic M2 and credit injection reported yesterday: if new liquidity can't send the market higher, what can?
Just because Goldman's track record at predicting the near-future is so fantastic (Abby Joseph Cohen "forecasting" in March 2008 the S&P would close the year at 1500, or about 40% off), the firm that spawned a thousand central bankers and ambassadors, has decided to try its hand at really long-term stock predictions. As in "three years over the horizon" long. And, of course, it's only uphill from here. To wit: "We develop a new framework for forecasting equity returns over the medium term using a consistent approach globally. We extend our forecast horizon to the end of 2015."And the punchline: "With a 2015 horizon all regions look attractive on an absolute basis"
The provincial government in Alberta is mulling new rules that would require the oil industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions tied to oil sands production by as much as 40 percent per barrel. The measure may be part of the federal government's push to allay Washington's concerns about the Keystone XL pipeline. Some of the concern surrounding the production of oil sands, the type of oil designated for the controversial pipeline, is that it's more carbon intensive to produce than conventional oil. Alberta's government has expressed concern that it won't be able to meet its emission targets without new rules, though some in the oil industry may be already ahead of the game. While emissions may be part of the debate over the controversial cross-border pipeline, a financial analysis suggests the Canadian government is looking in the wrong direction.