Eurozone

Global Stocks, US Futures Slide On Mediocre Manufacturing Data, Yen Surge

Following the latest set of global economic news, most notably a mediocre set of Chinese Official and Caixin PMIs, coupled with a mix of lackluster European manufacturing reports and an abysmal Japanese PMI, European, Asian stocks and U.S. stock index futures have continued yesterday's losses. Oil slips for 4th day, heading for the longest run of declines since April, as OPEC ministers gather in Vienna ahead of a meeting on Thursday to discuss production policy. The biggest winner was the Yen, rising 1%, with the USDJPY tumbling overnight and pushing both the Nikkei 1.6% lower and weighing on US futures.

Frontrunning: May 31

  • Major Bourses on Course to End Month Sharply Higher (WSJ)
  • Brent crude lower on strong Middle East oil output (Reuters)
  • Treasuries Lose Their Lead Over Shares as Fed Moves Toward Shift (BBG)
  • Lost Decade for Value Stocks Tests Faithful Who Say End is Nigh (BBG)
  • Iraqi army pause at southern edge of Falluja as IS fights back (Reuters)
  • Risky Reprise of Debt Binge Stars U.S. Companies Not Consumers (BBG)

Futures Flat, Gold Rises On Weaker Dollar As Traders Focus On OPEC, Payrolls

After yesterday's US and UK market holidays which resulted in a session of unchanged global stocks, US futures are largely where they left off Friday, up fractionally, and just under 2,100. Bonds fell as the Federal Reserve moves closer to raising interest rates amid signs inflation is picking up. Oil headed for its longest run of monthly gains in five years, while stocks declined in Europe.

"An Unusual Number Of Known Unknowns" - These Are The Key Event Risks In June

In June there will be "an unusual number of known unknowns from several sources. June 2016 is a month in which the number of event risks is particularly high. In our baseline scenarios we do not see market upsets, but the potential is there: Japanese fiscal policy; meetings of the ECB, Fed and BoJ; new ECB policy implementation; a German Constitutional Court ruling; the UK referendum; elections in Spain; and a decision on the FTT are all thrown into the mix."

Putin Vows Retaliation Over US Missile Shield; Warns Poland, Romania Now In The "Cross Hairs"

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."

IMF "Not Ready" To Add Funds To Greek Bailout As It Stands, Needs More Debt Relief Details

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.

Frontrunning: May 25

  • 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)

Global Stocks, Futures Rally, Ignore Sharp Yuan Devaluation On Hopes Fed Is Right This Time

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.

Stronger Dollar Sends Futures Higher, Oil Lower, Asian Stocks To Two Month Lows

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.

Eurozone Business Growth "Unexpectedly" Slows Down To 16 Month Low

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

Frontrunning: May 23

  • 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)

Despite Depression, Greece Forced To Hike VAT, Add New Taxes

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?

The Eurozone Is The Greatest Danger

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.