- ECB Starts Buying German, Italian Government Bonds Under QE Plan (BBG)
- Creditors Reject Greece's Reform Proposals (BBG)
- Is Apple Watch the Timex digital watch of the Internet era? (Reuters)
- Tesla shedding jobs in China as sales target missed (Reuters)
- Malaysia Airlines says expired battery on MH370 did not hinder search (Reuters)
- Gunmen kill more than 12 Islamic State militants in eastern Syria (Reuters)
- GM Plans Share Buyback, Averting Proxy Fight (WSJ)
- Wisconsin capital marked by third day of protests after police shooting (Reuters)
It was not all smiles and jokes as Mario Draghi's European QE officially launched in Europe, with Greece leaving the proverbial turd in the monetary punch bowl.
"Commodity pricing is vastly more important than most people actually realize," explains former CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton, warning that "beginning around 2007 the rise of computer driven trading algorithms changed the rules, and the markets have not been the same since." Chilton is sympathetic to the perception many frustrated and bruised investors have about the manipulation of the precious metals markets - on record saying that the large short position concentrations have been outrageous. Why not the CFTC directly? Sadly, the former CFTC boss notes, "regulators by and large aren't listening to average people."
The availability and cost of floating storage, and the magnitude of the crude oil contango will be critical in helping form the price path of oil," Soc Gen says. If that's the case, we could see crude go far lower over the coming months.
"Low oil prices threaten the ability of inefficient, corrupt states to service their debts and may curtail the government spending that keeps the masses content. This may in turn ignite demands for a fairer distribution of these dwindling oil proceeds and, possibly, regime change."
"Today, if you own an asset, say stocks or a home, and it went up in price, you do not perceive it as permanent. You fear it could go back down and you spend none of that money. You are not going to alter your investment decisions or your business decisions. That is why the QE-programs did not work. The goal of the Fed was to push up asset prices. With that in mind, they do not want asset prices to go down because they think it will create a reverse wealth effect. QE has been all about pushing up markets and they are not going to throw that to the wind.... By pushing up asset prices ECB president Draghi is going to make the same mistake as the Fed."
Dollar extends gains, defies doom and gloomers again.
In the early hours of this morning, yet another oil-carrying freight train derailed. Canadian National Railways says a fire continues to burn after a train carrying crude oil derailed in Northern Ontario (near Gogama). As yet no injuries have been rported and a team of specialists are on the scene. This is the fourth derailment for CN Rail in Northern Ontario this year.
When Q1 results start to roll in for E&P companies, expect to see massive writedowns across the board as industry balance sheets will no longer benefit from calculating PV-10 based on inadequate SEC accounting rules.
Following last week's slowing in the pace of rig count, crude prices dropped and then spiked, and it makes today's data under more scrutiny. At around $49.50, WTI prices have round-tripped back almost perfectly to the scene of the crime before today's rig count data hit. The total oil rig count dropped almost 6%, down 75 to 1,192 meaning a re-acceleration of the rig count decline and the 2nd biggest drop since 1993. WTI prices popped on the news and are fading back now...
When the better-than expected headline data hit, stocks briefly questioned its reality then plunged. Bond yields initially tumbled (before the number had hit newswires) but once it did, they soared back higher (now up 6-8bps on the day). Crude plunged, bounced, and re-plunged as most commodities are notably lower amid the surge in the US Dollar. Good news, it appears is really bad news as a boxed-in Fed will be forced to raise rates.
- 5 Things to Watch in February’s Jobs Report (WSJ)
- Draghi Declares Victory for Bond-Buying Before It Starts (BBG)
- Apple Pay Sign-Ups Get Tougher as Banks Respond to Fraud (WSJ)
- As World’s Hottest Economy Unravels, Nigerians Feel the Squeeze (BBG)
- EU discontent over French budget deal's 'political bazaar' (Reuters)
- Foreign Takeovers See U.S. Losing Tax Revenue (WSJ)
- Goldman Shareholders’ Hope for Bigger Payout Dashed by Fed (BBG)
- Europe Stocks Headed for 31% Surge This Year Amid QE, Citi Says (BBG)
- Dollar revs up for jobs data, euro bonds rally on ECB (Reuters)
The question stands: how much longer will the Fed allow the ECB to export its recession to the US on the back of the soaring dollar, and how much longer will the market be deluded that "decoupling" is still possible despite a dramatic bout of weakness in recent US data. Look for the answer in today's BLS report, which - if the Fed is getting secound thoughts about its rate hike strategy in just 3 months - has to print well below 200,000 to send a very important message to the market about just how much weaker the US economy is than generally perceived. For now, however, the ECB is getting its way, and the question of just how much European QE is priced in, remains open, with peripheral bond yields dropping to new all time lows for yet another day, while the EURUSD has plunged to fresh 11 year lows, sliding below 1.094, and making every US corporation with European operations scream in terror. Looking at markets, US equities are just barely in the red, coiled to move either way when the seasonally-adjusted jobs data hits.
Shares outstanding in the U.S. Oil Fund are nearing record levels even as the premium between the second- and first- month contract has ballooned to a four-year high.