After a muted end to August, September started off on the strong foot overnight following a surprising beat in China's official manufacturing PMI print, which rose above 50 to the highest level in almost two years. That, together with a record rebound in the UK PMI, bolstered investor confidence, fueling gains in stocks and industrial metals. The dollar advanced against most of its peers while bonds retreated before Friday’s payrolls report.
With all eyes on today's jobs report, where consensus expects a 180K payrolls gain, European, Asian stocks and S&P futures all rise amid a surge in government debt as markets digest the BOE's "kitchen sink" easing for a second day. But please don't overthink it. In deja vu fashion, Bloomberg summarizes the action simply as "stocks rose around the world on speculation central bank stimulus measures will support the global economy." We've heard that just a few times before.
In a mostly quiet session, European and Asian stocks rose, pushed higher by financial stocks and the USDJPY which initially dipped on some hawkish comments by BOJ deputy governor Iwata, only to rebound later in the session, lifting the Nikkei 1.1%, while the Stoxx 600 rose 0.4% led higher by the banking sector. S&P futures are unchnaged after yesterday's last hour ramp. The key event is the BOE decision due in half an hour.
Following last Friday's shocking weak US GDP print, Asian stocks jumped to an 11 month high on reduced prospects of a near-term rate hike, while the region also digested mostly encouraging in conflicting Chinese PMI data. European bank stocks initially rose following the release of the 2016 stress test then declined, tempering gains in global equity indexes, amid investor skepticism over the usefulness of stress-test results and weaker oil prices.
If yesterday's selloff had a specific catalyst, namely some of the worst consumer retail earnings seen in years, it merely undid the Tuesday rally which levitated global risk with no fundamental driver, aside for a 200 pip spike in the USDJPY. Some central bankers may even say it was a "magical" levitation. Fast forward to the overnight session when following a muted Asian session, it was once again up to the "magical" USDJPY to send stocks well into the green without any actual catalyst whatsoever, but what merely appears to have been another "magical" intervention session by the BOJ.
While there was no unexpected overnight central bank announcement unlike yesterday's surprise by the RBA which unleashed volatility havoc in the FX market, which promptly spilled over into all asset classes, overnight stocks around the world saw another leg lower without a tangible catalyst, while EM currencies fell to a one-month low after two Fed presidents raised concern investors had become too complacent in their belief that U.S. interest rate raises will stay on hold. Or perhaps all that is happening is that after ignoring Trump, the market is starting to finally price in the possible reality of the Donald in the White House (although as Jeff Gundlach pointed out, Trump would be a far better president for the economy and the market than Hillary or Bernie).
It didn't take much to fizzle Friday's Japan NIRP-driven euphoria, when first ugly Chinese manufacturing (and service) PMI data reminded the world just what the bull in the China shop is leading to a 1.8% Shanghai drop on the first day of February. Then it was about oil once more when Goldman itself said not to expect any crude production cuts in the near future. Finally throw in some very cautious words by the sellside what Japan's act of NIRP desperation means, and it becomes clear why stocks on both sides of the pond are down, why crude is not far behind, and why gold continues to rise.
In the wake of Bill Ackman's verbal jousting with Charile Munger, WSJ has taken a look at what many consider to be the myth behind Warren Buffett's "folksy" demeanor. As it turns out, it's best to do as Buffett does, not as he says.
"I have a problem with Berkshire’s ownership of Coke,” Ackman told an audience of about 200 people. “Coca-Cola has probably done more to create obesity, diabetes on a global basis than any other company in the world. "You have some of the best marketing in the world and a lot of happy skinny people drinking it in the advertising."
For those eager to cut to the chase and curious if overnight we have had another standard USDJPY ramp levitating US equity futures on low volume, the answer is yes. And since the USDJPY carry was patient enough, it managed to trigger the 2100 ES stops and as of this moment the futures were comfortably on the politically-correct side of 2100.