On April 28, Zero Hedge presented what was unmistakable evidence of manipulation by spoofing in the gold market in "Dear CFTC: Here Is Today's Illegal "Spoofing" In Gold Futures." Two days later, the CME said it bas suspended two traders for placing precisely the trade we profiled previously intending to manipulate the gold market. Dear CME - you are welcome. Now if only you pursued all those other documented instances of S&P futures manipulation with the same speed and resolve...
The Saudi bombing of Yemen is another flash point and will deepen tensions between the U.S., NATO allies and Russia and indeed China. Geopolitical risk remains high and the region remains a powder keg that is likely to explode as has already been seen in Syria and much of North Africa.
For now, EIA still estimates that total U.S. crude oil production will fall in May. But we think the current oil prices are enough to get the shale E&Ps excited.
As hopeful US investors buy everything oil-related on the back of a lower than expected crude build this week (after the biggest build in 30 years the week before), The Kingdom has stepped up overnight and ruined the dream of supply-restrained price recovery as it announced a surge in production output in March to yet another record high. The nation boosted crude output by 658,800 barrels a day in March to an average of 10.294 million a day, which as Bloomberg notes, is about half the daily production from the Bakken formation. WTI Crude prices have slipped by around 2% from yesterday's NYMEX Close ramp highs as it appears Saudi Arabia is not willing to just let this effort to squeeze Shale stall.
As market participants slowly make their way back to trading desks around the post-Easter world, and especially the US where a truncated session on Friday morning ended in tears for anyone hoping for a 2015 US recovery following an abysmal March nonfarm payrolls print, they find that unlike on previous occasions, the equity futures liftathon is nowhere to be found this morning, with the S&P set to resume trading in the red for 2015. Away from Greece, whose future remains in limbo, the biggest development over the holiday weekend was a Goldman note in which the central-bank friendly firm said that "the right policy would be to put hikes on hold for now."
The exuberance of illiterate Chinese citizens knows no bounds as Shanghai Composite surges once again to record-er highs (now up over 15% in March alone) with some modest give back off the highs of the day. Japanese stocks on the other hand have folded like a cheap lawn-chair, giving up all their US session gains and down over 200 points from the US cash close. A similar pattern is seen in crude oil which has retraced most of the idiotic NYMEX close ramp.
Because nothing screams un-broken and un-rigged market like a completely unjustified $1+ spike in the world's most important commodity as it nears the NYMEX close, just because at the very same instant every algo decided to frontrun every other algo.
Banks and insolvent governments desperate for cash likely also dislike safety deposit boxes as they are a means for people to protect and grow wealth and protect themselves from bail-ins and deposit confiscation. A percentage of box holders also store cash and bullion.
Presented with no comment aside from WTF!
Quad-witching days are volatile on normal days, so in an environment of virtually zero liquidity, in which the market careens from one extreme to another simply based on whether the Fed utters one single word, in which volatility across asset classes is soaring, and in which it is all about igniting algo momentum, today's quadruple withicng should be memorable, which is good since there is virtually no macro data today to speak of.