Back in late September, we posted what Albert Edwards thought at the time was "The Most Important Chart For Investors" which was quite simply, a chart of the USDJPY. Considering the BOJ's overnight move, he was absolutely correct. So for all those who missed it, here it is again, because it explains not only where the Yen is headed next, but why, sadly, this could well be the end of Japan and the mirage of a recovery that has had everybody hypnotized for the past 6 years.
Stocks globally surged, while gold fell sharply today despite renewed irrational exuberance on hopes that the Bank of Japan’s vastly increasing money printing will fill some of the gaps left by the apparent end of Federal Reserve bond buying.
From a market perspective the move today was almost perfectly timed coming on the heels of a Federal Open Market Committee meeting which ended quantitative easing and expose the big difference on future monetary paths between the BoJ and the Fed. There is, however, a dark side to this big move.. telling a story of how central banks, even the desperate ones like BoJ, are and remain one-trick-pony institutions: "this is the final round – Japan was ALWAYS going to give it one more shot – now it happened."
"THE NIKKEI: BLAST OFF!: It shall be very, very hard to do, but the Nikkei is only now just breaking out to the upside and so we should buy it while selling the Yen at the same time. The “hard trade” is always the best trade and it is going to be very hard to buy this market but we have to with 24-25 thousand as a target."
Bwuahahahaha... Nikkei futures halted limit up - over 1100 points post-BoJ (+1400 post-FOMC) as USDJPY tops 112 (up 4 handles post-FOMC) to its highest since Jan 2008.
You know the world's financial markets have become farce when the broad Nikkei 225 stock market of Japan rises 1000 points in 7 hours... The meme that stock 'markets' move on fundamentals not central bank liquidity is officially dead. Let that sink in for a moment...
Two days ago, when QE ended and knowing that the market is vastly overstimating the likelihood of a full-blown ECB public debt QE, we tweeted the following: "It's all up to the BOJ now." Little did we know how right we would be just 48 hours later. Because as previously reported, the reason why this morning futures are about to surpass record highs is because while the rest of the world was sleeping, the BOJ shocked the world with a decision to boost QE, announcing it would monetize JPY80 trillion in JGBs, up from the JPY60-70 trillion currently and expand the universe of eligible for monetization securities. A decision which will forever be known in FX folklore as the great Halloween Yen-long massacre.
UPDATE: Nikkei 225 +1100 points, USDJPY +3 handles to 111.00 post-FOMC,
In a surprise move given all the recent congratulatory bullshit from Abe and Kuroda on breaking the back of Japan's deflation and bring about recovery (forgetting to mention record high misery index, surging bankruptcies and a crushed consumer), the Bank of Japan (by a 5-4 vote) raised its bond-buying program from JPY 70 trillion to 80 trillion... and triple its ETF buying to JPY 3 trillion. This move, on the heels of more confirmation of broader foreign asset purchases in Japan's GPIF sent USDJPY instantly gapping 1 big figure higher to 110.30 and Nikkei futures instantly rose 400 points. S&P futures are also surging. Gold and silver are tanking and TSY bonds are selling off.
Day after day after day this 'market' is manipulated and managed by headlines that memory-less machines read and act upon. Today - yet again - at 210am Japan time, Nikkei news decides it is time to print these headlines:
*JAPAN GPIF TO CUT JAPAN DEBT ALLOCATION TO 35%, RAISE DOMESTIC STOCK ALLOCATION TO 25%: NIKKEI
And sure enough JPY explodes instantly in an attempt to spark momentum. This is not news (it's a constant headline every day since October 19th) as Abe sacrifices his economy and his people's economic future for an uptick in stocks. S&P e-minis just posted the record for most contracts traded in a second!!!
To summarize (even though with liquidity as non-existant as it is, this may be completely stale by the time we go to print in a minute or so), European shares erase gains, fall close to intraday lows following the Fed’s decision to end QE. Banks, basic resources sectors underperform, while health care, tech outperform. Companies including Shell, Barclays, Aviva, Volkswagen, Alcatel-Lucent, ASMI, Bayer released earnings. German unemployment unexpectedly declines. The Italian and U.K. markets are the worst-performing larger bourses, the Swiss the best. The euro is weaker against the dollar. Greek 10yr bond yields rise; German yields decline. Commodities decline, with nickel, silver underperforming and wheat outperforming. U.S. jobless claims, GDP, personal consumption, core PCE due later.
Shinzo Abe has lost his magical touch as Japan's economy is nose-diving again...
As Deutsche Bank observes, the Fed has been wanting to hike rates on a rolling 6-12 month horizon from each recent meeting but never imminently which always makes the actual decision subject to events some time ahead. They have seen a shock in the last few weeks and a downgrade to global growth prospects so will for now likely err on the side of being more dovish than in the last couple of meetings. They probably won't want to notably reverse the recent market repricing of the Fed Funds contract for now even if they disagree with it. However any future improvements in the global picture will likely lead them to step-up the rate rising rhetoric again and for us this will again lead to issues for financial markets addicted to liquidity. And so the loop will go on for some time yet and will likely trap the Fed into being more dovish than they would ideally want to be in 2015.
If yesterday's markets closed broadly unchanged following all the excitement from the latest "buy the rumor, sell the news" European stress test coupled with a quadruple whammy of macroeconomic misses across the globe, then today's overnight trading session has been far more muted with no major reports, and if the highlight was Kuroda's broken, and erroneous, record then the catalyst that pushed the Nikkei lower by 0.4% was a Bloomberg article this morning mentioning that lower oil prices could mean the BoJ is forced to "tone down or abandon its outlook for inflation." This comes before the Bank of Japan meeting on Friday where the focus will likely be on whether Kuroda says he is fully committed to keeping current monetary policy open ended and whether or not he outlines a target for the BoJ’s asset balance by the end of 2015; some such as Morgan Stanely even believe the BOJ may announce an expansion of its QE program even if most don't, considering the soaring import cost inflation that is ravaging the nation and is pushing Abe's rating dangerously low. Ironically it was the USDJPY levitation after the Japanese session, which launched just as Europe opened, moving the USDJPY from 107.80 to 108.10, that has managed to push equity futures up 0.5% on the usual: nothing.