Natural Gas

Dazed And Confused: Futures Tumble Below 200 DMA, Oil Near $40, Soaring Treasurys Signal Deflationary Deluge

It is unclear what precipitated it (some blamed China concerns, fears of rate hikes, commodity weakness, technical picture deterioration although  it's all just goalseeking guesswork) but overnight S&P futures followed yesterday's unexpected slide following what were explicitly dovish Fed minutes, and took another sharp leg lower down by almost 20 points, set to open below the 200 DMA again, as the dazed and confused investing world reacts to what both the Treasury and Oil market signal is a deflationary deluge. Indeed, oil is about to trade under $40 while the 10Y Treasury was last seen trading at 2.07%. Incidentally, the last time oil was here in March of 2009, the Fed was about to unleash QE 1. This time, so called experts are debating if the Fed will hike rates in one month or three.

Greek Liquidation Sale Begins: German Company Wins Privatization Bid For 14 Greek Regional Airports

A German company, airport operator FRAPORT won the bid to operate and maintain 14 regional airports, considered to be top of the top in Greece. With an offer of 1.23 billion euro, the consortium of Fraport-Slentel (a unit of Greek energy group Copelouzos) won the bid to lease the regional airports for 40+10 years. Among the 14 regional airports are those on most popular tourist Greek islands like Mykonos, Rhodes, Kos, Santorini and Corfu. It is the first privatization deal under SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government and the biggest privatization deal in Greece since beginning of the crisis and the bailout programs in 2010.

Frontrunning: August 18

  • China stocks slump 6 percent on fears of further yuan depreciation (Reuters)
  • U.S. Lacks Ammo for Next Economic Crisis (Hilsenrath)
  • Emerging Markets Extend Slide as Commodities Fall; Pound Jumps (BBG)
  • China yuan to move both ways, more 'adjustments' unlikely: central bank economist (Reuters)
  • Playing Chinese markets is as simple as 'follow the leader' (Reuters)
  • PBOC Injection Shows China Worries About Outflows (WSJ)
  • Russia Fails to Soothe Oil Concerns as Citi Joins Ruble Bears (BBG)

Producer Prices Rise More Than Expected; Rent Increases Trump Energy Drag

Across the board, Producer Prices printed hotter than expected. PPI ex food and energy rose 0.3% MoM - the biggest jump since November, however, Final Demand PPI YoY remains negative for the 7th month in a row. Most notably, over 40% of the July increase in the index for final demand services is attributable to prices for guestroom rental, which jumped 9.9%. The bottom line - there is enough here for the doves and the hawks, though the headline data definitely gives The Fed ammo to hike in September.

Malaysia Meltdown: Asian Currency Crisis 2.0 Sends Ringgit, Stocks, Bonds Crashing

When China went the "nuclear" devaluation route earlier this week, everyone knew things were about to get a whole lot worse for an EM currency basket that was already reeling from plunging commodity prices, slumping Chinese demand, and the threat of an imminent Fed hike. With some Asian currencies already falling to levels last seen 17 years ago, some analysts fear that an Asian Financial Crisis 2.0 may be just around the corner. That rather dire prediction may have been validated on Friday when Malaysia’s ringgit registered its largest one-day loss in almost two decades, as stocks plunged and bond yields rose.

Stock Futures Lower Despite Overnight Calm In Ongoing Currency Wars

After a week of relentless FX volatility, spilling over out of China and into all other countries, and asset products, it was as if the market decided to take a time-out overnight, assisted by the PBOC which after three days of record devaluations finally revalued the Yuan stronger fractionally by 0.05% to 6.3975. And then, as a parting gift perhaps, just as the market was about to close again, the Chinese central bank intervened sending the Onshore Yuan, spiking to a level of 6.3912 as of this writing, notably stronger than the official fixing for the second day in a row. In fact the biggest news out of China overnight is that contrary to expectations, the PBOC once again "added" to its gold holdings, boosting its official gold by 610,000 ounces, or 19 tons, to 1,677 tones.

PBoC Falls On Yuan Grenade With "Forceful" Overnight Presser

Between a rather alarming three-day plunge and rampant accusations that Beijing entered the global currency wars solely to export China’s deflation and prop up its flagging economy, the PBoC had apparently seen enough. Cue an ad hoc, "forceful" press conference. Here is the full breakdown.

Risk On Despite Third Chinese Devaluation In A Row As PBOC Jawbones, Intervenes In FX Market

With everyone now focused on what China's daily Yuan fixing will be ever night, there was some confusion why last night the PBOC decided to devalue the CNY by another 1.1% to 6.4010, despite its promise that the devaluation would be a "one-off" event, taking the 3 day devaluation to just about 4.5%. However, subsequently in a press conference, central bank vice-governor Yi Gang said that the PBoC will continue to step in when the market is ‘distorted’, that there is no economic basis for the Yuan to fall continuously and that it will look to keep the exchange rate ‘basically stable’. The Vice-Governor also said that the PBoC will closely monitor cross-border capital flows and that reports suggesting the Central Banks wants to see the currency depreciate 10% are ‘groundless’. Which is ironic considering after just 3 days, the PBOC is already half the way there!

"It's A Friggin' Mess": The Pentagon Sums Up Syria Fight

The violence in Turkey has escalated meaningfully over the past 48 hours as the country's crackdown on "terrorists" gathers steam and as Washington and Ankara ready a "comprehensive" plan to take the fight to ISIS in Syria. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister met with his Russian counterpart in Moscow where the two argued about the fate of Bashar al-Assad, while al-Qaeda refused to back the US and Turkey's "ISIS-free zone" because they believe it serves only to advance Ankara's narrow political interests. In short: "It's a friggin' mess."

Third Time's The Charm? Greece Agrees To Bailout Amid Rampant Skepticism

After what were described as "marathon" negotiations, Greece and its creditors have agreed to the terms of the country’s third bailout program. Although some remain optimistic, the general consensus seems to be that, as Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said over the weekend, "we should just admit that this isn't going to work."

Goldman Hires Former Head Of NATO To Deal With DONG Scandal

Goldman has truly outdone itself with this one: in addition to purchasing the former Danish PM, and by implication, the current PM and his former fin-min protege, and assuring the DONG scandal quietly goes away, Goldman just hired the former head of NATO: from 2009 to 2014 Anders Fogh Rasmussen served as  the 12th Secretary General of NATO.