China has moved in the direction of direct intervention in its flagging equity markets, although it appears Beijing will try to orchestrate a “private” sector (whatever that means in China) solution first before going the nuclear route with the central bank’s balance sheet. As Bloomberg reports, the country’s largest brokerages are teaming up to invest nearly $20 billion in “blue chip” Chinese equities.
The referendum on Sunday will likely have a significant impact on the prospects of Greece reaching a new bailout agreement and the immediate future of the governing Syriza party. Following the expiration of the second bailout and the missed IMF repayment on 30th June, Greece has had to impose capital controls while negotiations between the country and its creditors have been put on hold until after the referendum. Eurozone officials have indicated that a “No” vote would likely mean a Greek exit from the currency union although the Greek government sees the vote as only pertaining to the terms of a bailout programme.
European risk has never traded at such an extreme level relative to US risk... ever. But when looking for the best bang for your Greferendum-trading buck - are you better off buying higher vol in Europe or lower US vol? Or, as Goldman Sachs explains below, what are the highest payouts on bets for a rebound...
The Greece impasse set to culminate on Sunday continues to have a massive impact on at least one stock market, unfortunately it is the wrong one, located on a continent which is mostly irrelevant to the future of the Greek people (unless that whole AIIB bailout does take place of course). We are, of course, talking about China which as noted earlier, started off horribly, plunging over 7% with over 1000 stocks hitting 10% limit down, then in the afternoon session mysteriously recovering all losses and even trading slightly higher on the day, before the late selling returned once more, and the Shanghai Composite plunged to close down 5.8%: an unimaginable 20% total roundtrip move!
As one local reporter put it, despite being told not to say anything negative, "the government appeared to have lost its ability to manage the market." Chinese stocks are down 4-5% at the open, pressing new cycle lows with Shenzhen and CHINEXT now down 25% from last week. As The South China Morning Post reports, many investors said the government was at least partly to blame for the collapse because it encouraged them to go into the market - for months, state-owned media have issued daily commentaries to encourage people to load up on shares.
While Carl Icahn's latest ramblings have brought attention to the 'bubble' in high-yield debt, we would note that the HY market has already dramatically diverged from the ongoing bubble in US equities and as we have been discussing for the past year, this is exactly the pattern we saw in 2008. However there is another aspect of the HY market that is flashing red, High yield debt downgrades are the highest since Lehman and the upgrade / downgrade ratio has tumbled to its lowest since the crisis... The last time this happened, Bernanke unleashed QE3 - are we about to see the same in a massive surprise to markets?
While "Greece doesn't matter," the comments by The IMF that Greece needs its debt restructured and thus the creditors' proposals should be implicitly said "Oxi" to, has spooked US equity markets on this quiet illiquid day...
If it was Greece's intention to crush the Chinese stock market instead of Europe's, well - it succeeded. Because despite the PBOC and politburo throwing everything but QE at the stock market, China stocks closed down sharply on Thursday after another wild trading day as investors shrugged off regulators' intensified efforts to put a floor under the sliding market, by cutting trading fees and easing margin rules, which has now crashed 25% in about two weeks wiping out $2.5 trillion of the peak $10 trillion in Chinese stock market cap as of June 14. This ultimately resulted with the Shanghai Composite closing under 4000 for the first time since April.
"The selling pressure so far has mainly come from stock-related borrowings via various unofficial channels where the leverage is much higher," BofAML says of the dramatic sell-off in Chinese equities. On Wednesday, the country's securities regulator moved to reassure markets as the unwind of hundreds of billions in leveraged trades threatens to collapse China's world-beating stock bubble.
So much going on that by the time an article is prepared, everything has changed and it has to be scarpped. But, in any event, here is an attempt to summarize all that has happened in another turbulent overnight session.
Equities Soar As Tsipras Said Ready To Accept Most Of Expired Bailout Offer, European Response MutedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/01/2015 06:19 -0400
It's deja vu all over again.
Just hours after Greece became the first developed country to default to the IMF, as a result being expelled from its existing bailout program, a little before 5am CET news hit that Greek PM Tsipras was willing to concede to virtually all creditor demands, with a few exceptions. As the FT first reported, "Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras will accept most of the bailout creditors’ conditions offered last weekend, but is still insisting on a handful of changes that could thwart a deal according to a letter he sent late on Tuesday night."
The Greek D-(efault) day has arrived, and with it so has quarter-end window dressing for many underwater hedge funds (recall the S&P is now red for the 2015) which means the rumor mill today will be off the charts. And sure enough, less than an hour ago, futures exploded higher as did the EURUSD, following another "report/rumor" of a last minute detente between Greece and the Troika when Greek Ekahtimerini said that "Tsipras is reconsidering the last-ditch offer made by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, sources have told Kathimerini."
At the open, Europe looked in the abyss, and with no help coming from China, it did not like what it saw: And then the answer came from the Swiss National Bank, which stepped in to prevent the collapse just as Europe was opening. Because seemingly out of nowhere, a tremendous bid came in to life the EURCHF, buying Euros (against the CHF and the USD) and selling Europe's last left safety currency. We now know that it was the SNB, the same central bank which is the proud owner of well over $1 billion in Apple stock.
Global equities plunged on Monday as both carbon-based traders and HFTs tried in vain to keep their composure which watching in horror as Greece, the birthplace of Western civilization, quickly became Venezuela. With Europe’s “Lehman weekend” now in the books and as the currency union stares into an uncertain future, the sell side tries to make sense of it all.
What to expect next week.