With the USDJPY repeatedly hitting 116.00 as a result of the same pair of headlines hitting either Reuters, the Nikkei or Sankei every 6 or so hours for the past 3 days, namely that Japan will delay its sales tax hike by almost two years, and that Abe is preparing early elections, perhaps the algos realized they were pricing in the same event about 4 times in one day, and unable to break the 7-year-high resistance level, slid dropping nearly 100 pips to just over 115 at least check, which may well be today's "tractor" level, which in turn has also dragged down both European stocks and US futures. But the thing that made the vacuum tubes really spark is that at a press conference yesterday in Beijing, Abe was quoted as saying that he "has never made any reference to the dissolution of parliament", this came after the chief cabinet secretary Suga saying that the decision on whether or not to go to the polls would be Abe’s only.
With the bond market closed today due to Veteran's Day and the correlation and momentum ignition algos about to go berserk without any parental supervision, it was only a matter of time before some "stray" headline sent first the carry pair of choice, i.e., the USDJPY, and subsequently its derivative, the Emini, into the stratosphere. And sure enough, just before 3am Eastern, it was once again Reuters' turn to leak, only this time not about the ECB but Japan, as usual citing an unnamed "government official close to Abe's office", that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was likely to delay a planned sales tax increase.
- JAPAN MORE LIKELY TO DELAY SALES TAX INCREASE, REUTERS REPORTS
Which of course is a repeat of what Reuters said 2 days ago but since it came on the weekend, the momentum ignition algos didn't notice. The result was an instant surge in the USDJPY, which shortly thereafter touched on 116.00 the highest level in 7 years, and is up now 200 pips since yesterday as the obliteration of Japan's economy proceeds, in turn pushing European stocks, and shortly, the S&P, higher
while the algos would have been delighted to let October 15 slide into the collective memory made obsolete by a constantly rising market (because investors are only truly angry when the market plunges not when it surges) just as the regulators made a mockery of their fiduciary responsibilities in the aftermath of May 6, and now markets are more fragile than ever as HFTs comprise the vast majority of all trades, some appear to be complaining and even, gasp, asking questions how it is possible that the $12 trillion US Treasury market traded like an illiquid Pink Sheets pennystock, or worse, the Nikkei.Here is the WSJ with some of the complaints: “It starts moving faster and faster, and you can’t point to anything."Actually, yes you can.
Following Friday's sticksave, where the usual 3:30 pm ramp brigade pushed futures just barely green into the close despite a miss in the payrolls report which the spin brigade did everything in its power to make it seem that the hiring a few hundred thousand young female waitresses was bullish for the economy, overnight we have seen a listless session, dominated by more USD-profit taking as increasingly more wonder if the relentless surge higher in the Greenback is massively overdone, especially considering that stocks are screaming "worldwide recession" excluding the US, if only for now, because as Goldman explained soaring USD means plunging Oil, means tumbling E&P capex, means lower GDP, means less growth, means lower corporate profits, and so on. That said, we expect the now trivial Virtu JPY momentum-ignition algos to activate shortly, pushing the USDJPY and its derivative, the S&P500, higher in the coming minutes, and certainly before the US market opens in under 3 hours.
The central planners are in a state of fear and panic. They are trying everything and anything to create market validation for their policies, watching with trepidation as their favored economic metrics fail to respond to all of their frenzied efforts. They are so far over the tips of their skis right now that there's nothing they won't do. By the time a central bank is behaving as recklessly as Japan, it's time to edge towards the exit, because the chance of a flash fire in the building has grown uncomfortably high. That is, instead of providing comfort, these most recent moves should invoke greater worry for those of us alert enough to see them for what they are: acts of panic.
European shares fall, reversing earlier gains, with the banks and tech sectors underperforming and basic resources, oil & gas outperforming. Companies including ArcelorMittal, Allianz, Swiss Re, Richemont released results. The Spanish and Italian markets are the worst-performing larger bourses, the U.K. the best. The euro is stronger against the dollar. Japanese 10yr bond yields rise; German yields increase. Furthermore, the pullback in the USD-index from overnight highs has also provided the commodity complex with some upside and thus has seen basic materials and energy name outperform to the benefit of the FTSE 100. Elsewhere, Allianz’s (+4.9%) impressive pre-market report has helped halt the move to the downside for the DAX which trades with modest gains of 0.3%. Fixed income markets continue to hold fire (albeit in marginal negative territory) with volumes exceedingly thin ahead of key risk events. And with that, all eyes move to today's Nonfarm payroll expected to print at 235K, after last month's 248K. Something to keep in mind: the average seasonal adjustment to the October data is almost exactly 1 million, so yet again the fate of the US and global economy, will be determined by an Arima X 13 "fudge factor."
As noted over the past week there has been a massive shortage of precious metals - most notably silver which as of this moment is indefinitely unavailable at the US Mint - as a result of the tumble in the paper price, and following 8 days of sliding and negative 1 month GOFO rates, today the physical metal shortage surged, as can be seen by not only the first negative 6 month GOFO rate since last summer's much publicized gold shortage when China was gobbling up every piece of shiny yellow rock available for sale, but a 1 month GOFO of -0.1850%: the most negative it has been since 2001!
With last night's latest Japanese flash crash firmly forgotten until the next time the trapdoor trade springs open and swallows a whole lot of momentum chasing Virtu vacuum tubes, it is time to look from east to west, Frankfurt to be precise, where in 45 minutes the ECB may or may not say something of importance. As Deutsche Bank comments, "Today is the most important day since.... well the last important day as the ECB hosts its widely anticipated monthly meeting." Whilst not many expect concrete action, the success will be judged on how much Draghi hints at much more future action whilst actually probably doing nothing.
At 12:50pm Tokyo time, Nikkei 225 Index was sitting pretty, up 0.5% for the day. Then came the tumble. Over the next 22 minutes, Nikkei Index lost 1.8% to touch intraday low of 16,725.45. USD/JPY followed suit, but with a lag, based on data compiled by Bloomberg; currency slid from 115.38 to 114.46 during that period, marking 0.8% drop. Japanese banks sold down Nikkei to take some money off the table, given its 8% advance since Oct. 31 when BOJ announced its latest easing, which in turn caused USD/JPY to retreat, according to a Tokyo-based FX sales trader. Nikkei 225 closed down 0.9%, reversing earlier gain of as much as 0.6%
Central Banks shorting Gold and Silver to preserve their status as Masters of the Universe.
Japanese bond yields have crept slowly higher since the big flush on Monday and Nikkei 225 is 2.6% below its highs on Monday seemingly pinned at 17,000. We note this as Abe & Kuroda's currency collapses yet another big figure to 115.00 (up 7 handles in 7 days from pre-FOMC) - the highest in over 7 years. The crucial 120 line in the sand should be crossed early next week at this rate... What was the trigger for tonight's exuberance, we hear you ask, why the Japanese market opening - which sent USDJPY instantly up 40 pips.
While hardly a surprise, the spin for the latest round of overnight BOJ USDJPY-buying exuberance, which sent the pair higher by another 100 pips to a fresh 7 year high of 114.500 and just over 500 pips from the Albert Edwards "line in the sand" 120 and pushed US equity futures higher with it, has been the Republican sweep in the midterm elections which not only solidified GOP control of the House but also gave Republicans outright control of the Senate.
It appears the excitment of US midterm election sparked a "sell-everything-American" strategy today as stocks, bonds, WTI crude, the dollar, Treasuries, and credit all sold off to a lesser or greater amount. Trannies started off liking weak oil prices but faded as WTI could not bounce off multi-year lows but stocks were jolted lower (before v-shape recovering to VWAP) by Mutiny at the ECB (and desk chatter that - as we have warned - QE is not coming). The decouplings continue as high yield presses to 2-week lows and Nikkei futures diverge from USDJPY. The dollar weakened back to unch on the week after Draghi but commodities saw no gains from that as gold, silver, and copper slipped. WTI dropped to as low as $75.85 at 3-year lows. VIX - helped by numeous CBOE 'breaks' today - jerked back below 15 (after trading above 16 briefly).
"Japan is no Zimbabwe. Neither was Israel, yet from 1972 to 1987 its inflation averaged nearly 85%. As its CPI rose nearly 10,000 times, its stock market rose by a factor of 6,500 … Regular readers know that I don’t generally make forecasts, but that every now and then I do go out on a limb. This is one of those occasions. Mapping Israel’s experience onto Japan would take the Nikkei from its current 9,600 [as of October 2010] to 63,000,000. This is our 15-year price target." - Dylan Grice
what is strange is that while traditionally such a major downward growth revision would have been sufficient to send futures soaring - why: because in a world where only central banks are left, it means more central bank global bailouts of course - this time the adverse update actually had the impact of sending futures to their lows of the session, granted just a few tiny points since the market is clearly disconnected with even the most pro forma, non-GAAP version of reality, but the reaction direction was clearly unexpected. Perhaps this is explained by the ongoing devastation in both WTI and Brent, which were trading at $76.70 and $82.50 at last check, both down almost 3% as the plan to use Saudi Arabia to crush Russia has instead backfired and the Saudi princes are now openly looking at destroying the US shale infrastructure, as we forecast in the worst, for Obama, scenario.