during a joint press conference with Tsipras in Greece, Putin warned Romania and Poland they could find themselves in the sights of Russian rockets because they are hosting elements of a U.S. missile shield that Moscow considers a threat to its security. "If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the cross-hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security."
Just when the Greek debt deal appeared certain even if as we reported last night, virtually all the funds from the approved first tranche would go to repaying creditors, the IMF, which has been pushing for more debt relief since last summer, appears read to pull the plug again, following a report that the IMF isn’t officially endorsing the latest Greek debt deal until the board approves new loan program, and according to AFP, the IMF is not ready to add funds to the Greek bailout as it stands now.
- Oil nudges $50 a barrel as investors bet on shrinking overhang (Reuters)
- From hinterland to wonderland: China's 'teapot' refinery boomtowns (Reuters)
- Peter Thiel Has Been Secretly Funding Hulk Hogan's Lawsuits Against Gawker (Forbes)
- China Wants to Set Prices for the World's Commodities (BBG)
- Big Banks Ladle On the Risk (WSJ)
- China Said to Plan Asking U.S. on Timing of Fed Rate Hike (BBG)
The single biggest event overnight was the PBOC's devaluation of the Yuan to the lowest since March 2011, setting the fixing at 6.5693, the highest in over 5 years and in direct response to a stronger dollar, which however if one looks at the DXY remains well below the recent highs in the 100 range, suggesting for China this is only just beggining. However, the fact that there was not more volatility in onshore and offshore overnight FX also comforted the market that at the same time as its was devaluing the PBOC was also intervening in the FX market, thus providing some assurance it would not allow runaway "risk off" sentiment prevail, nor would it promote another blitz round of capital outflows, leading to another gradual levitation in overnight risk.
Yesterday's weak dollar headfake has ended and overnight the USD rallied, while Asian stocks dropped to the lowest level in 7 weeks and crude oil fell as speculation returned that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as next month. The pound jumped and European stocks gained thanks to a weaker EUR.
It wasn't just Japan's PMI which overnight printed at a disappointing 47.6, missing expectations and signaling the sharpest decline in operating conditions since December 2012. Overnight Markit showed that the Chinese credit-induced global slowdown is coming far faster than most (if not Morgan Stanley) expected, when the Eurozone flash PMI printed at 52.9, the lowest level in 16 months. As Reuters put it, this offers "the latest evidence that a strong acceleration in growth in the first three months of the year was only temporary" and likely
- Global stocks see-saw, yields slip as investors get week off to cautious start (Reuters)
- Bayer defies critics with $62 billion Monsanto offer (Reuters)
- Iran has no plans to freeze oil exports, official says ahead of OPEC meeting (Reuters)
- U.S. lifts arms ban on old foe Vietnam as regional tensions simmer (Reuters)
- Anthem, Cigna Privately Bicker as They Seek Merger Approval (WSJ)
The IMF wants debt relief now, but Germany wants the IMF to hold off until Merkel wins reelection. Meanwhile, the Greek depression resumes. These tax hikes are insane. The key question remains: Is the IMF bluffing about debt relief or not?
This gold chart should have Central Banks extremely worried. Why?
Financial and economic prospects for the Eurozone have many similarities to the 1972-75 period in the UK, which this writer remembers vividly. This time, the prospects facing the Eurozone potentially could be worse. The obvious difference is the far higher levels of debt, which will never allow the ECB to run interest rates up sufficiently to kill price inflation. More likely, positive rates of only one or two per cent would be enough to destabilise the Eurozone’s financial system. Let us hope that these dangers are exaggerated, and the final outcome will not be systemically destabilising, not just for Europe, but globally as well. A wise man, faced with the unknown, believes nothing, expects the worst, and takes precautions.
Bank bail-ins remain one of the greatest, but most poorly analysed and understood threats to depositors and savers today. The law of unintended consequences … Fail to prepare, prepare to fail ...
Since the beginning of the year, the greenback has shown it's not almighty after all; and gold - the barbarous relic as some have called it - may be en vogue again? Where are we going from here and what are the implications for investors?
It has been more of the same overnight, as global stocks piggybacked on the strong US close and rose despite the lack of good (or bad) macro news, propelled higher by the two usual suspects: a higher USDJPY and a even higher oil, if mostly early on in the trading session.