The can is no longer rolling along. Instead, it has come to a near halt, with central bankers and government policymakers desperate to give it another boot. Watch out!
Moments ago, US equity futures tumbled to their lowest level in the overnight session, down 22 points or 1.1% to 1924, following both Europe (Eurostoxx 600 -1.8%, giving up more than half of yesterday's gains, led by the banking sector) and Japan (Nikkei -2.2%), and pretty much across the board as DM bonds are bid, EM assets are all weaker, oil and commodities are lower in what is shaping up to be another EM driven "risk off" day. Only this time one can't blame the usual scapegoat China whose market is shut for the long weekend.
By monetizing more than the entire Japanese budget deficit, the BOJ is running of out willing sellers. Without those, Japan's QE, just like that of the ECB, will grind to a halt. Better yet, this creates a vicious loop, because with every passing month, the inevitable D-Day when the BOJ has no more TSYs on the offer gets closer, which in turn will force those who bought stocks to sell in anticipation of the end of QE, and to seek the safety of bonds themsleves, in effect precipitating the next inevitable Japanese stock market crash.
With China closed today, the usual overnight market manipulation fireworks out of Beijing were absent but that does not meant asset levitation could not take place, and instead of the daily kick start out of China today it has been all about the ECB which as we previewed two days ago, is expected - at least by some such as ABN Amro - to outright boost its QE, while virtually everyone else expects Draghi to not only cut the ECB's inflation forecast, which reminds us of the chart which in March we dubbed the biggest hockeystick ever (we knew it wouldn't last) but to verbally jawbone the Euro as low as possible (i.e., the Dax as high as it will get) even if the former Goldmanite does not explicitly commit to more QE.
While many continue to debate if what with every passing day increasingly looks like a global recession, one from which the US will not decouple no matter how many "virtual portfolio" asset managers claim the contrary, there are those who without much fanfare are already taking proactive steps to avoid the kind of fallout that the markets have hinted in the past month of trading, is inevitable. Some such as Calstrs: the nation's second largest pension fund with $191 billion in assets (smaller only than Calpers), which as the WSJ reports is "considering a significant shift away from some stocks and bonds amid turbulent markets world-wide." According to the WSJ, it will move as much as $20 billion, or 12% of the fund’s stock portfolio, into other assets, including Treasurys.
China Stocks Fail To Close Green Ahead Of National Holiday Despite Constant Intervention, US Futures ReboundSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/02/2015 06:51 -0400
Since today was the last day of trading for Chinese stocks this week ahead of the 4-day extended September 3 military parade holiday to mark the 70th anniversary of the allied victory over Japan, and since Chinese stocks opened to yet another early trading rout coupled with the PBOC's biggest Yuan strengthening since 2010 as we observed earlier, there was only one thing that was certain: massive intervention by the Chinese "National Team" to get stocks as close to green as possible. Sure enough they tried, and tried so hard the "hulk's" green color almost came through in the last hour of trading and yet, despite the symbolic importance of having a green close at least one day this week ahead of China's victory over a World War II foe, Beijing was unable to defeat the market even once in the latest week which will hardly bode well for Chinese stocks come next week.
Chinese Stocks Open Down Hard As PBOC Strengthens Yuan By Most Since 2010 & Default Risk Hits 2-Year HighSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/01/2015 21:21 -0400
Chinese stocks are opening lower: SHANGHAI COMPOSITE INDEX FALLS 4.6% TO 3,020.84 AT OPEN as PBOC fixes Yuan stronger for the 4th day in a row - the most in 5 years.
China credit risk has spiked to 2-year highs as traders increase positions dramatically.
While the market's attention overnight was focused on China's crumbling manufacturing and service PMI, data which was already hinted in the flash PMI reports earlier in August, the real stunner came not from China but from South Korea, which last night reported an unprecedented 14.7% collapse in exports, far worse than the -5.9% consensus estimate, and more than 4 times worse than July's 3.4%. The number is critical because not only do exports account for about half of South Korea's GDP but because it also happens to be the first major exporting country to report monthly trade data. That makes it the perfect barometer of global trade flows, or as the case may be, the canary in the global trade coalmine. It also confirms what we reported just one week ago when we said that "Global Trade Is In Freefall."
Gold rose 3.5% in August as stocks globally saw sharp falls on growing concerns about the Chinese and the global economy.
Just like the last time when Chinese flash PMI data came out at the lowest level since the financial crisis, so overnight when both the official Chinese manufacturing and service PMI data, as well as the Caixin final PMI,s confirmed China's economy has not only ground to a halt but is now contracting with the official manufacturing data the lowest in 3 years and the first contraction in 6 months, stocks around the globe tumbled on concerns another major devaluation round by the PBOC is just around the corner with the drop led by the Shanghai Composite which plunged as much as 4% before, the cavalry arrived and bought every piece of SSE 50 index of China's biggest companies it could find, and in a rerun of yestterday sent it to a green close, with the SHCOMP closing just -1.23% in the red. So much for the "no interventions" myth. We wonder which journalist will take the blame for today's rout.
US & China Stocks Are Plunging After PMI Hits 6.5-Year Low, PBOC Strengthens Yuan Most Since Nov 2014Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/31/2015 23:21 -0400
Following China's official PMI print at a 3-year low, Caixin's PMI collapsed to 47.3 - the lowest sinec March 2009. Despite another CNY150bn liquidity injection (but the biggest strengthening of Yuan since Nov 2014 and a financial conditions tightening in FX trading), China, US, and Japanese stocks are plunging... SHCOMP -4%, Dow -280, NKY -340
Yesterday, the FT triumphantly proclaimed: "Beijing abandons large-scale share purchases", and that instead of manipulating stocks directly as China did last week on Thursday and Friday, China would instead focus on punishing sellers, shorters, and various other entities. We snickered, especially after the Shanghai Composite opened down 2% and dropped as low as 4% overnight. Just a few hours later we found out that our cynical skepticism was again spot on: the moment the afternoon trading session opened, the "National Team's" favorite plunge protection trade, the SSE 50 index of biggest companies, went super-bid and ramped from a low of 2071 to close 140 points higher, ending trading with a last minute government-facilitated surge, and pushing the Composite just 0.8% lower after trading down as much as -4.0%.
Update: So much for the "no more intervention" - CHINA SAID TO ORDER BROKERAGES TO BOOST STOCK MARKET SUPPORT
A busy weekend in Asia was dominated by mayhem in Malaysia, and witch-huntery in China. Chinese authorities began a wide-scale crackdown on rumor-mongerers, arrested journalists, and even detained a regulator for insider trading, as they lifted loan caps on the banking system at the same as withdrawing (verbally) support for the stock market. China strengthen the Yuan fix by 0.15% to 6.3893 - this is the biggest 2-day strengthening of the Yuan fix since Nov 2014. Then just to rub some more salt in the wounds, Goldman cut China growth expectations to 6.4% and 6.1% respectively for the next 2 years. Chinese stocks are opening modestly lower (SHCOMP -3.3%).
Two years ago, when we first profiled Japan's mysterious "Mister Watanabe" daytrader - aka CIS - we thought it may just all be a hoax. But, as his claims this week that he made $34 million trading the panic on Monday - "I do my best work when other people are panicking," Bloomberg reports, CIS - who claims JPY20bn AUM, has become a cult figure among Japan’s tight-knit community of day traders. Notorious for lines like "Not even Goldman Sachs can beat me in a trade," CIS drops some knowledge this week on how he has become so successful... "Buy stocks that are being bought, and sell stocks that are being sold." Just don't tell Cramer.