The markets were following a rollercoaster night for the Japanese Yen, when after several media headlines Abe was said to have announced a stimulus package that would be more than JPY28 trillion, sending Japanese stocks higher 1.7% while the USDJPY spiked but well off overnight highs, pushing risk assets higher. Europe and US futs were also in the green on optimism from AAPL's earnings, but all eyes will be on today's FOMC announcement.
“Prolonged stagnation, cultural upheavals and policy failures are combining to shake the balance between democratic legitimacy and global order...The candidacy of Mr. Trump is a result. Those who reject the chauvinist response must come forward with imaginative and ambitious ideas aimed at reestablishing that balance... Our civilization itself is at stake.”
With all eyes now focused on Gasoline inventories, API's report surprised with a modest draw (-420k) but a considerablyless than expected draw in Crude (-827k vs -2mm exp) and major build at Cushing (+1.4mm vs 750k exp). Crude had faded into the close after testing stops at $43, and extended losses after the API data hit.
Economic principles explain why the Saudis began, in late 2014, to pump crude as fast as they could – or close to as fast as possible. In fact, there is a good reason why the Saudi princes are panicked and pumping.
The financial and economic world in 2016 is, more than anything, a confidence game (pun intended). The year started with confidence severely shaken, so gasoline (as one real economic variable) and hiding intervention (the further hint of desperation) are more likely to have lasting negative effects than effusive but unbacked mainstream praise for the nth year in a row.
A month ago we warned of the looming hyperinflation coming to Nigeria (as well as much of Africa). It appears, following the central banks' rate hike to a record 14% (reach for yield anyone) in an attempt to stall the ongoing currency collapse, that Emefiele is worried, warning of "concern over headline inflation spike." Perhaps most worrying though, amid the chaos, Emefiele advised depositors in banks "to go about your business," adding that there was "no need to panic or worry." Hhhmm..
While USDJPY notched down and Oil had been slipping, stocks suddenly lurched lower, gapping to yesterday's lows on heavy volume. As one veteran trader exclaimed "what the f**k was that?" as no obvious catalyst sprung up, unless of course this morning's series of economic "beats" was sufficiently good to be bad for stocks and raise the dreaded rate hike specter.
With WTI now down over 17% from its mid-June highs, and energy stocks just beginning to wake up to the 2015-analog collapse, fears are rising that once again low oil prices are not 'unequivocally good' for stocks or the economy. Between record speculative long positioning in futures, the fundamental strength of the dollar and surge in gasoline inventories remain the big overhangs (along with rising storage levels at Cushing as demand begins to fade seasonally).
In a turbulent session for FX, the Yen soared as much as 1.4%, the most in three weeks, after Finance Minister Aso says the government will "leave actual policy measures to BOJ", sending the Nikkei lower by 1.4%. European stocks and U.S. equity index futures are little changed despite the slide in the key carry pair as the Fed starts its two day meeting.
Refiners are shifting to yet another desperate attempt to delay the inevitable market equilibrium point by switching from summer to winter blend as demand for the former has disappointed. The problem is that by doing so early, stocks of winter blend will fill that much sooner, and absent some miraculous surge in demand in the winter months, the moment when the price of oil tumbles has merely been postponed for a few months while assuring that the drop - when it comes - will be much more acute.