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.
The news unfortunately just keeps getting worse for customers and creditors of Northwest Territorial Mint. The prominent bullion dealer located near Seattle, Washington filed for bankruptcy court protection at the end of March. The losses of customers who never received delivery of orders plus the losses of other creditors could be as high as $50 million, according to news reports.
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.
A more corruptible and lopsided mechanism for price discovery has never been devised.
After recent (and in some cases very dramatic) bearish conversions by the likes of JPM, BofA, Citi and UBS, the only bank that steadfastly held a bullish view on stocks during the recent market squeeze higher was Goldman Sachs. Not any more.
After issuing a record $1 trillion in combined bank and shadow loans in the first quarter which just like during the financial crisis provided a short-term catalyst for global growth (and sent China's debt/GDP to new all time highs) China's dramatic debt issuance binge is about to hit a brick wall. The reason: combined new loans in April by the Big Four state-owned banks were more than halved from March's level.
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With the collapse of China's smoke-and-mirrors commodity bubble comes the post-mortem as the horde of Chinese gamblers flood from one government-appointed market to another as the American dream of get-rich-quick schemes appears to have been adopted by the burgeoning middle classes now disillusioned with real work. As Bloomberg reports so shockingly, from the Dutch tulip craze of 1637 to America’s dot-com bubble at the turn of the century, history is littered with speculative frenzies that ended badly for investors; but rarely has a mania escalated so rapidly, and spurred such fevered trading, as the great China commodities boom of 2016..."you have far too much credit, money sloshing about, money looking for higher returns."
The overnight session has been one of alternative weakness and strength: it started in China where stocks tumbled 2.8% to a two month low following some unexpected warnings in the official People's Daily newspaper and poor trade data. Concerns about China, however, were promptly forgotten and certainly not enough to keep global assets lower, with European stocks gapping higher at the open and rallying from a one-month low, driven by a "surprising" surge in the USDJPY which has moved nearly 200 pips higher since its post-payrolls low. Another driver is the jump in oil, which rallied just shy of $46 a barrel, buoyed by Canadian wildfires that are curbing production and speculation that the Saudi Arabian oil minister succession will be bullish for oil prices.
"There has been an awakening..."
It appears Russia is close to taking the next big step towards de-dollarization and killing the petro-dollar as Vladimir Putin's "dream" of ruble-based pricing of its domestically-produced oil is on the verge of realization. SPIMEX (The St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange) is actively courting international oil traders to join its emerging futures market, which as Bloomberg reports, is designed "to create a system where Russian oil is priced and traded in a fair and straightforward way."
Ever wondered where the United States imports its oil from? Howmuch.net came out with some infographics to show that from 2000 to 2015. What we would highlight here is the notable shift from the U.S. depending heavily on Middle East countries and Mexico, to depending more on America's neighbor to the north, Canada.
The recent decline in the U.S. Dollar has people wondering where it might stop; its chart suggests right here is as good a spot as any.
For the moment, silver’s intermediate-term bull market remains in force, albeit with a record level of bearishness on the part of the “smart money”.