US and Japanese stocks began to fall the moment the bell rang in NYC on the end of the US day-session. By the times futures closed 15mins later, the S&P had already lost 6 points and the exuberance in the Nikkei had snapped back to USDJPY reality (100 points off its highs). As the evening progressed the dead-cat-bounce died with US and Japanese stocks tumbling to day-session lows. Dow futures are down 110 from the highs; S&P futures are down 16 points from the US session highs; and Nikkei futures - not helped by the 19th month in a row of falling YoY base wages - are testing 14,050, having dropped 300 points from the highs and removed all day-session gains. Stocks are re-crisis-ing as USDJPY tests back towards 101.
US (and Japanese) stocks began their dead-cat bounce around the European open tracking USDJPY (once again) and rising in reverse order of yesterday's selloff as Nikkei, Trannies, Nasdaq and so on (in order) recovered around 25-35% of yesterday's losses. For Fibonacci-watchers, S&P futures ticked 38.2% retracement and stalled and VWAP was support all day. Credit markets did not buy it and stocks caught down to them. Silver, having underperformed since the taper, outperformed today back over $19.50 and +1.7% on the week as gold slipped modestly today (but +0.8% on the week). Treasuries sold off modestly leaving yields -2-3bps on the week. AUD stength and JPY weakness supported stocks but the USD flatlined ahead of tomorrow's ECB meeting. MUB, the Muni ETF, was smashed lower on the Puero Rico junking (and that triggered a quick waterfall in stocks) but that was quickli BTFD'd. VIX fell an impressive 2.9 vols to 18.5%.
The 10Y yield closed below its 200-day moving average and should test down to 2.47% in the short-term; and Citi's FX Technicals believes the Dow will test its 55-week moving average at 15,214, S&P 500 at 1,707; and Gold's consolidation/correction is over - the uptrend has resumed.
- Global makets plunge (Reuters)
- Goodbye Mrs. Watanabe - Japan Sees Worst Developed-Stock Rout as Nikkei 225 Drops (BBG)
- Who could have possibly predicted this - Firms Pinched by Pressure to Hold Down Their Prices (WSJ)
- RBA Shifts to Neutral as It Signals Comfort With Aussie’s Level (BBG)
- Fractures Emerge Between Obama, Congressional Democrats (WSJ)
- Brazil suffers record trade deficit (FT)
- El Salvador fisherman washes up in Marshall Islands after year adrift (Reuters)
- Apple Quietly Builds New Networks (WSJ)
- One-year prison sentence for 21-year-old Twitter user who glorified terrorists (El Pais)
It is still all about the Yen carry which overnight tumbled to the lowest level since November, dragging the Nikkei down by 4.8% which halted its plunge at just overf 14,000, only to stage a modest rebound and carry US equity futures with it, even if it hasn't helped the Dax much which moments ago dropped to session lows and broke its 100 DMA, where carmakers are being especially punished following a downgrade by HSBC of the entire sector. Also overnight the Hang Seng entered an official correction phase (following on from the Nikkei 225 doing the same yesterday) amid global growth concerns and has filtered through to European trade with equities mostly red across the board. Markets have shrugged off news that ECB's Draghi is seeking German support in the bond sterilization debate, something which we forecast would happen a few weeks ago when we pointed out the relentless pace of SMP sterilization failures, with analysts playing down the news as the move would only add a nominal amount of almost EUR 180bln to the Euro-Area financial system. Elsewhere, disappointing earnings from KPN (-4.3%) and ARM holdings (-2.5%) are assisting the downward momentum for their respective sectors.
UPDATE: Nikkei 225 Futures back under 14,000 - down 15% from Dec 31st high; USDJPY back under 101.00
Despite the hope-driven exuberance exhibited immediately post the Abe/Kuroda show, the USDJPY-pumping stock-momentum fest has ended - abruptly. Japan's Nikkei 225 has lost all its gains and is now trading below US day-session lows (3-month lows) but it is the broader TOPIX index (more akin to the S&P 500) that is collapsing. Down almost 5% on the day (its biggest drop since the May collapse), the TOPIX is at 4-month lows. The TOPIX Real Estate index just hit a bear-market - down 20% from Dec 31st highs. Japanese sell-side shops are in full panic desparation mode as "suggestions" that a sub-14,000 Nikkei will prompt an acceleration of Japan's QQE money-printing idiocy. This is getting ugly fast.
With Japanese stocks down 13.6% from their 12/31 highs, the big guns just hit the tape to try to save the day:
- *ABE:BOJ WILL MAKE APPROPRIATE DECISION ON EXIT STRATEGY
- *ABE: NOT EASY TO CHANGE 'DEFLATIONARY MIND'
- *KURODA: BOJ CAN CONDUCT APPROPRIATE EXIT POLICY AS NEEDED
- *KURODA: BOJ EASING HAS HAD INTENDED IMPACT SO FAR
Following Amari's earlier "markets are over-reacting" jawboning, so far this is having little to no effect. USDJPY is actually fading back lower and perhaps stunningly Japanese 20Y bond yields and stocks are back at the same levels seen in May 2013 (1 month after the BoJ unveiled QQE). Time for some Depends Mr. Abe.
Equities have the worst day of the year and really no exchange around the globe was left out. Now every one on our screen is down YTD. For US markets, today was the worst day since last June. Overall, while today was active, it was still an orderly session. We did have some interest to buy topside options... Serious pain in risk assets lent a bid to US treasuries as yields continue to retreat from their New Years’ day highs.
The Nasdaq plunged by the most in over 8 months today and broke all the way back to unchanged from the December taper decision of the Fed. All major US equity indices are now negative from the time the Fed decided to slow its flow of free money. The Dow closed below its 200DMA for the first time since December 2012. The S&P 500 closed the furthest below its 100DMA since QE3 started. USDJPY was in charge and everything was higher or lower beta off of that as it broke 102 early then 101 later in the day (with the Nikkei -700 points from the day's highs). Treasuries rallied around 5bps to fresh 7-month low yields for 30Y. Gold and Silver surged, adding 1% on the day as the USD lost 0.25% on the day (led by the 1% strength in the JPY). VIX smashed to 14 month highs over 21%. Credit deteriorated but stocks are catching down.
It's just getting worse for global interconnected, correlated markets where every expression of risk is the USDJPY, and of course for the Nikkei and for Japan's PM Abe, who is now on strict Imodium watch. Should the USDJPY tumble to double digit range, we are officially in "global central banker intervention is imminent" territory. And yes, for those asking, there is nothing quite as efficient as the "fair value" of stocks being determined by currency stop losses at even, round numbers.
Many fear that a decline of between 1,500 to 2,000 points in the Nikkei to raise doubts about 'Abenomics' (i.e., hoary inflationism combined with deficit spending). We are still wondering what Abenomics is supposed to achieve. With a graying population and consequently a shrinking work force, inflationary policies seem especially ill-conceived in Japan. Maintaining the market's calm is predicated on the belief that the inflationary policy pursued by Abe/Kuroda will actually fail. Moreover, Japan's government can simply not afford higher borrowing costs, as 25% of its tax revenue is already going toward merely servicing interest costs on its current outstanding debt. In other words, Japan's government bond market is a glaring example of a Ponzi scheme and only a rising stock market maintains the media's complicitness in this mirage.
It's not just Japanese stocks that are in trouble. The Dow Industrials futures just lost 15,500 - the lowest level since the debt-ceiling lows mid-November and down over 1000 points from 2013's closing highs. The terrible ISM print triggerd wholesale buying in bonds and bullion and selling of stocks and the USD as the Dow broke below its 200DMA. VIX has hit 20% this morning and credit markets still suggest the S&P is 60-70 points rich.
Alarms are going off in assorted plunge protecting offices, now that the USDJPY has breached the 102.000 "fundamental" support level, below which the Yen can comfortably soar to sub 100.000 in perfectly even 100 pip increments. The first trading day of February has brought another weaker session across Asia though some equity indices such as the KOSPI (-1.1%) are in catch-up mode given they were shut towards the back-end of last week. Over the weekend, the Chinese government published its latest official manufacturing PMI which showed a 0.5pt drop to 50.5, a six-month low, and consistent with consensus estimates. DB’s Jun Ma believes there was some element of seasonality affecting this month’s result including the fact that Chinese New Year started at the end of January (vs February last year), anti-pollution measures in the lead up to CNY and efforts to control government consumption around the holiday period. The official service PMI was released overnight (53.4) which printed at the lowest level since at least 2011. The uninspiring Chinese data has not helped market sentiment this morning, with the Nikkei plunging -2% and ASX200 once again under pressure. S&P500 futures have fluctuated around the unchanged line this morning although if support below the USDJPY fail solidly, then watch out below. Markets in Mainland China and Hong Kong remain closed for Lunar New Year.
USDJPY opened the evening under 102 with JPY holding its losses until aroun 1700ET when it broke back above the crucial level. S&P futures and USDJPY recoupled for a few hours but are now decoupling faster than the Seahawks and Broncos (S&P -1pt, USDJPY +30 pips). The catalyst for the disconnect (which Japan's Nikkei is also following) was weakness in Chinese data. Following Aussie PMI's lowest print in 5 months, China's Services PMI printed at its lowest on record and its biggest 3 month slide in 16 months. Japan's Nikkei 225 is now down 10% in 2014 and 7 of the last 8 days and 20Y JGB yields are testing 9-month lows.