Today, we find the latest, and perhaps most innovative attempt to circumvent capital controls yet when a group of Chinese investors has offered to buy AC Milan football club, one of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's most cherished assets. The offer values the club at around 700 million euros including debt, one of the sources said.
In the final day of the week, it has again been a story of currencies and commodities setting stock prices, however instead of yesterday's Yen surge which slammed the USDJPY as low as 107.67 and led to a global tumble in equities, and crude slide, today has been a mirror imoage after a modest FX short squeeze, which sent the Yen pair as high as 109.1, before easing back to the 108.80 range. This, coupled with a 3.5% bounce in WTI, which is back up to $38.54 and up 4.9% on the week as speculation has returned that Russia and OPEC members can reach a production freeze deal on April 17, led to a global stock rebound which will see the S&P open back in the green for 2016.
For Japan, the post "Shanghai Summit" world is turning ugly, fast, because as a result of the sliding dollar, a key demand of China which has been delighted by the recent dovish words and actions of Janet Yellen, both Japan's and Europe's stock markets have been sacrificed at the whims of their suddenly soaring currencies. Which is why when Japanese stocks tumbled the most in 7 weeks, sinking 3.5%, to a one month low of 16,164 (after the Yen continued strengthening and the Tankan confidence index plunged to a 3 year low) it was anything but an April fool's joke to both local traders.
US HY recorded another impressive +$2.01bn (+1.0%) net inflow last week, their 5th consecutive time in the green. Over the last 4 weeks, US HY has gained a net $11.52bn from retail flows, the largest ever in a 4 week span for the asset class. Given the 40% increase in WTI prices since February 11th, improving economic data, and dovish support from the ECB, it is not surprising to us that retail has piled into risk assets and by extension US HY lately
Here are the two most actionable reasons why gold just broke out and soared to $1,260, and is fast approaching levels not seek since January 2015.
- Futures rise as oil gains hold steady (Reuters)
- China promises economic stability as G20, parliament loom (Reuters)
- Obama scolds Senate Republicans for Supreme Court threat (Reuters)
- China Deploys Missiles on Disputed South China Sea Island (WSJ)
- China Ramps Up Rhetoric, Plans New Steps to Juice Up Economy (BBG)
- China Loses Control of the Economic Story Line (WSJ)
Yesterday was the last day for hedge funds to submit their Q4 13-F filings, and the biggest reactions this morning can be found in the stock of Kinder Morgan which rises 9% pre-mkt after Berkshire reported a new stake. Autodesk also gained 2% post-mkt yday after Lone Pine took a new position. Several funds boosted or reported new stakes in JD.com while Jana Partners reported a new stake in Valeant. Both Icahn and Einhorn trimmed their AAPL holdings.
Having opened his position in AAPL in Q3 2013, Carl Icahn's projections, prognostications, and positioning have all lent credence (for CNBC watchers) to buying into the "no brainer" stock. However, it appears the plunge in the stock of the last few months has taken the shine of Icahn's glee as, according to his fund's latest 13F, he dumped 7 million shares (or aound 14% of his position) in Q4 2015. In addition, Greenlight's David Einhorn dumped 44% of his holding in Tim Cook's releveraging firm.
Courtesy mostly of Martin Shkreli, 2015 was a horrible year for Bill Ackman and yet, despite being down -20.5% last year (after being up 11% in early August when his NAV peaked at 29.27), his LPs largely stuck with the white-haired hedge funder. In retrospect they surely regret that because according to the latest update by Pershing Square's website, as of February 9, just 5 weeks into the new year, Bill Ackman is already 18.6% in the hole at a NAV of17.07%, and down over 40% since the fund's recent peak in the last summer.
The ink was not yet dry on the seemingly endless Monsanto-Syngenta on again/off again takeover drama, when moments ago in a shocking development the newswires were lit up with news that a new, and very much unexpected, bidder has emerged for the Swiss pesticides giant Syngenta: China National Chemical Corp, or ChemChina as it is known, which according to WSJ and BBG is set to pay $43.7 billion to acquire a piece of Swiss corporate history.
"This Is Much Larger Than Subprime" - Here Are The Legendary Hedge Funds Fighting The Chinese Central BankSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/31/2016 21:57 -0400
Who are the brave souls who have decided to very openly fight the People's Bank of China? Here is a sample: Soros, Bass, Ackman, Druckenmiller, Tepper, Schreiber, Einhorn, Scogging, and Carlyle, Nexus and many more.
It has been another volatile, illiquid, whipsawed session, driven by the only two things that have mattered so far in 2016, China and oil.... and stop-hunting algos of course.
After the biggest two-day surge in oil in seven years, early in the overnight session both Brent and WTI continued their run for a third day, entering a bull market, 20% up from recent lows hit just last week (still 15% down on the year) when Saudi Arabia spoiled the momentum party after the world’s biggest crude exporter said it’s keeping up investments in energy projects while diesel consumption in China dropped for a fourth consecutive month, signaling an industrial slowdown. And thanks to the near record correlation between equities and oil, global stocks and US equity index futures initially rose only to slide following the Saudi comments.
Cynical short-sellers are targeting some of Wall Street's most famous short-sellers. Amid plunges in the stock prices of David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital and Dan Loeb's Third Point reinsurance entities, Bloomberg reports that bearish investors have piled in pushing short interest (as a percent of shares outstanding) to its highest since 2009.
"we moved to generally “neutralize” our positions by taking on derivative positions to hedge ourselves. We did so mid-morning yesterday and now are comfortable sitting through the Fed’s decision… or “non”-decision as the case may be… later this afternoon."