The economic emergency decree and any measures that the government could take at this point may be too late. After two years of inaction and the recent decline in oil prices, a credit event in 2016 is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid, in our view. After two years of inaction, with depleting external assets and the recent decline in oil prices, a credit event in 2016 may be becoming hard to avoid, in our view.
According to stocks, a half-recession is precisely where the US was as of roughly noon yesterday, when the S&P touched an intraday low of 1812. This represents a 15% drop from the all time high close of 2,131 last summer. It also represents half the post-World War II average peak to trough decline around recession, which amounts to roughly 30%.
Earlier today, we highlighted a dramatic plunge in the Russian ruble which has crashed to record lows against the dollar after staging its steepest two-day decline in nine months. Now, amid the carnage, The Bank of Russia is set to hold an emergency meeting with banks to discuss the FX bloodbath.
The machines are in control. On the day when inventories surge, demand tumbles, production surges, and credit risk spikes, "traders" are panic-buying crude oil with both hands and feet... except they just ran the stops to the post-Iran open...
WTI Crude has ramped into this morning's DOE data back to the scene of the crime from last night's API ugly data dump. With API reporting a build that doubled expectations, DOE reports a 3.6mm build but worse still yet another major (4.6mm barrel) build in gasoline stocks for the largest 3-week build in history. Crude initially tumbled but the algos took over and ramped to yesterday's highs...running stops (but how long will that last?)
“It’s falling faster than any other currency as we see panic selling in the ruble after it breached the 80 per USD level. Some investors are selling at any price,”
Despite the turmoil reverberating across global markets, the ECB kept the depo rate unchanged on Thursday at -0.30%. The focus now turns to the Draghi presser where market participants will be keen on parsing the former Goldmanite’s every word for hints at how the central bank plans to cope with the disinflationary impulse unleashed by sub-$30 crude and the ongoing “adjustment” of the Chinese economy and currency.
- Global Stocks Face Fresh Losses (WSJ)
- European stocks lick wounds after mauling, oil steady (Reuters)
- Hang Seng Index Sinks Below Net Assets for First Time Since 1998 (BBG)
- U.S. Hedge Funds Boast Lower Losses as Markets Tumble Further (NYT)
- Deutsche Bank Drops as Investment Bank Revenue Concerns Mount (BBG)
- Islamic State Uses Syria’s Biggest Dam as Refuge and Potential Weapon (WSJ)
ECB rhetoric likely to focus on collapsing inflation expectations (pictured below), now close to levels where QE1 ECB got announced in Jan 2015. With Oil lower than expected by the ECB for 2016, and oil forward un-anchoring and moving below 50$ (chart below), an higher inflation for the year due to base effects is also harder to see. Rhetoric can include anticipation of deeply negative interest rates and upsized QE, for future meetings.
Things are looking increasingly shaky for central planners around the globe.
Faber warns that the S&P 500, which fell to 1,881 on the 19th of January, could drop to its 2011 low below 1,200.
From the close of the US day session, offshore Yuan began to weaken and despite the largest liquidity injection in 3 years, has tumbled almost 200 pips from the dead-cat-bounce highs, testing the lows once again. This in turn has weighed on crude and dropped Dow futures 140 points off the after-hours highs...
"Household vulnerabilities could be exacerbated by a severe recession that is accompanied by a widespread and prolonged rise in unemployment. This could reduce the ability of households to service their debt and cause serious and broad-based declines in house prices."