There's no masking the facts. As Reuters reports, one Chinese factory is expecting Donald Trump to beat his likely U.S. presidential rival Hilary Clinton in the popularity stakes..."I think in 2016 this mask will completely sell out," said factory manager Jacky Chen, indicating a Trump mask.
Not only is China facing a significant risk of an economic hard landing, but, as we have noted on many occasions, the country is also facing what perhaps may be an even greater risk: social unrest. As the economy continues to weaken, and layoffs continue to mount, China has started to relax its own labor rules in order to try and keep everyone happy... for now; as China is experiencing a surge in part-time workers. In order to control costs, but still meet whatever demand comes, Reuters reports factories are now hiring by the day instead of keeping workers around in a full employment contract.
- Crude's Losses Drag Ruble, Loonie Lower; Stocks Pare Their Drop (BBG)
- Grand Oil Bargain Is Victim of Saudi Arabia's Iran Fixation (BBG)
- Both Parties’ Presidential Front-Runners Increasingly Unpopular (WSJ)
- It's up to you, New York: state takes center stage in election campaign (Reuters)
- Rousseff Hangs by a Thread After Losing Impeachment Vote (BBG)
- China March home prices rise at fastest rate in two years, top cities boom (Reuters)
As we wrote early yesterday when we summarized the outcome of the first day of China's People's Congress, China failed to deliver any of the major stimulus programs the market was expecting. So what exactly did China announce on its first day of the National People's Congress. Read on to find out...
“Keeping the previous language would be very disappointing and would be viewed as either complacent or reflecting policy paralysis. [They need to] man up and tell member countries that monetary policy should be accompanied by fiscal expansion.”
While the world was following the tragic events unfolding on Friday night in France where hundreds of innocent civilians were killed or injured, an important economic development took place at the IMF, whose staff and head Christine Lagarde, officially greenlighted the acceptance of China's currency - the Renminbi, or Yuan - into the IMF's foreign exchange basket, also known as the Special Drawing Rights. Here are the initial early responses by various Wall Street analysts.
PBOC strengthens Yuan by most since Nov 2014
The message from China was heard loud and clear from the IMF meetings in Lima: The United States [Fed] "should assume its global responsibilities" given the dollar's status as reserve currency; "now is not the time to raise rates."
Four months after the UK opened the membership floodgates and dealt Washington a humiliating political blow, China has officially launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
We, like Bloomberg's Richard Breslow, were bemused this weekend by the communiques from the wisest men in the room at the G-20 meeting. On one side of their mouths they warned of "excessive risk-taking," in markets noting that there were "mounting economic risks" also. On the other hand, stories continue to print of US equity strength implying optimism over global growth - despite the ongoing collapse in consensus GDP expectations. However, away from this hope and fear, it was the almost coordinated responses of the PBOC (Chinese Finmin Lou Jiwei signaling not to get carried away with stimulus expectations), ECB (Visco saying may not need additional QE step since EUR had dropped 'enough'), and finally the BOJ (Iwata saying Abenomics misunderstood, USDJPY 90-100 'fair); all dashing market expectations of a smooth hand over from a feckless Fed to a free-printing rest-of-the-world. Stocks (and carry) responded by selling off.
While some were wondering if last night's sudden, commodity-liquidation driven selloff would last, most were not, expecting that the perfectly predictable levitation in the USDJPY around a round "tractor beam" number would provide a floor under the market .Sure enough, starting around midnight eastern, the USDJPY BTFDers emerged, oblivious to comments from former BOJ deputy governor Iwata who late last night said the obvious, and what we have been saying since January 2013, namely that a weak yen puts Japan at recession risk, and that a USDJPY in the 90-100 range reflects Japan fundamentals. And, as expected, the 109 level is where the algos have hone in today as a strange FX attractor, which also means that ES has reverse sharper overnight losses and was down just 7 points at last check even as the poundage in the commodity sector continues over rising fears of a sharp Chinese slowdown driven by its imploding housing sector (most recently observed here) without an offsetting stimulus program, following several comments by high-ranked Chinese individuals who poured cold water on any hopes of an imminent Chinese mega-QE or even modest rate cut.
China is already Iran’s largest trading partner and oil customer and Iran is China’s third largest oil provider... and this week Iran and China’s Defense Ministers vowed to boost military ties following a meeting in Beijing on Monday. Chinese officials noted that "common views over many important political-security, regional and international issues, Beijing assumes Tehran as its strategic partner."
“Isn’t it now time for China to abandon the concept of a growth target?”
Another morning melt up after a less than impressive session in China which saw the SHCOMP drop again reversing the furious gains in the past few days driven by hopes of more PBOC easing (despite China's repeated warning not to expect much). A flurry of market topping activity overnight once again, with Candy Crush maker King Digital pricing at $22.50 or the projected midpoint of its price range, and with FaceBook using more of its epically overvalued stock as currency to purchase yet another company, this time virtual reality firm Oculus VR for $2 billion. Perhaps an appropriate purchase considering the entire economy is pushed higher on pro-forma, "virtual" output, and the Fed's capital markets are something straight out of the matrix. Despite today's pre-open ramp, which will be the 4th in a row, one wonders if biotechs will finally break the downward tractor beam they have been latched on to as the bubble has shown signs of cracking, or will the mad momo crowd come back with a vengeance - this too will be answered shortly.
Spending just $3.33 on US-produced goods every year by every person in the USA would create 10,000 jobs. We obviously don’t have that much money to spend or we don’t care
If there was one thing that the market was demanding after last night's disappointing March HSBC manufacturing PMI, which has now fallen so low, local market participants are convinced a stimulus is imminent (despite China's own warnings not to expect this), and sent both the SHCOMP and the CNY surging, it would have been further weak data out of Europe, where the other possible, if not probable, "QE-stimulus" bank is located now that the Fed is in full taper mode. It didn't get precisely that however there was a step in the right direction when overnight the Euro area Composite Flash PMI eased marginally from 53.3 to 53.2 in March, largely as expected. The country breakdown showed a narrowing of the Germany/France Composite PMI gap owing to a notable (3.7pt) increase in the French PMI while the German PMI eased somewhat (1.4pt). On the basis of past correlations, a Euro area Composite PMI of 53.2 is consistent with GDP growth of around +0.4%qoq, slightly stronger than our Current Activity Indicator (+0.35%qoq).