Global Slowdown Confirmed By PMIs Missing From Japan To China To Europe; USDJPY Nears 119 Then SlidesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/20/2014 07:00 -0500
The continuation of the two major themes witnessed over the past month continued overnight: i) the USDJPY rout accelerated, with the Yen running to within 2 pips of 119 against the dollar as Albert Edwards' revised USDJPY target of 145 now appears just a matter of weeks not months (even though subsequent newsflow halted today's currency decimation and the Yen has since risen 100 pips , and ii) the global economic slowdown was once again validated by global PMIs missing expectations from Japan to China (as noted earlier) and as of this morning, to Europe, where the Manufacturing, Services and Composite PMI all missed across the board, driven by a particular weakness in France (Mfg PMI down from 48.5 to 47.6, below the 48.8 expected), but mostly Germany, after Europe's growth dynamo, which disappointed everyone after yesterday's rebound in the Zew sentiment print, printed a PMI of only 50.0, down from 51.4 a month ago, down from 52.7 a year ago, and below the 51.5 expected. And just as bad, Europe's composite PMI just tumbled to 51.4, the lowest print in 16 months!
It appears the FX and Precious Metals markets have as much faith in the pre-Swiss Gold Referendum polls as the Scots did before their referendum. The clearly leaked results sparked considerable weakness in gold and silver (and EURCHF surge), but once the data was released, markets began to creep back - perhaps questioning the plausibility of such a big swing in such a short amount of time. This surge was also helped by some unusually frank comments on Russian gold buying from the Russian Central Bank. Gold, Silver, and EURCHF have all recovered the moves with the latter pressing towads cycle lows...
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Back in March we reported of a strange incident that took place just after the Ukraine presidential coup, namely that according to at least one source, "in a mysterious operation under the cover of night, Ukraine's gold reserves were promptly loaded onboard an unmarked plane, which subsequently took the gold to the US." Needless to say there was no official confirmation of any of this taking place, and in fact our report, in which we mused if the "price of Ukraine's liberation" was the handover of its gold to the Fed at a time when Germany was actively seeking to repatriate its own physical gold located at the bedrock of the NY Fed, led to the usual mainstream media mockery. Until now. In an interview on Ukraine TV, none other than the head of the Ukraine Central Bank made the stunning admission that "in the vaults of the central bank there is almost no gold left. There is a small amount of gold bullion left, but it's just 1% of the gold reserves."
To put the events of October 15 in context, here is a 1-minute clip courtesy of Nanex showing the daily history bond market liquidity starting with 2008 and going through November 2014.
“Unconventional measures might entail the purchase of a variety of assets, one of which is sovereign bonds,” the ECB president said in Brussels yesterday in answer to a question during his quarterly testimony to lawmakers at the European Parliament. Draghi and the uber doves appear determined to ignore the failure of QE in both the U.S. and Japan.
Perhaps the biggest shock following last night's completely expected and very predictable (previewed here over a month ago) Japanese slide into triple- (actually make that quadruple) dip recession, is that it took the BTFTripleDip recession algos as long as they did to recover most of the overnight futures losses. Because after surging to 107 on a confused short squeeze kneejerk reaction, the USDJPY subsequently tumbled 150 pips to 105.50 as rationality briefly emerged, and the market wondered for a few brief hours if rewaring the destruction of one's economy is actually a prudent thing. Then, however, when European traders started walking into work, the now default USDJPY levitation on no volume came right back, and with that the correlation algo buying of E-mini futures, no doubt helped by the Bank of Japan itself taking advantage of the CME's ES liquidity rebate program. Because without confidence as expressed by the lowest and only common denominator left - global equities - there is nothing else.
The term “anarcho-capitalism” has, we might say, rather an arresting quality. But while the term itself may jolt the newcomer, the ideas it embodies are compelling and attractive: (1) each human being, to use John Locke’s formulation, “has a property in his own person”; (2) there ought to be a single moral code binding all people, whether they are employed by the State or not; and (3) society can run itself without central direction.
We’ve now created a situation unfortunately in the market where between high frequency trading and algorithms and interference by the planners they can make things happen that looks like everything is OK. And it’s the "OK" part where I think we can really relate to gold not being allowed to go up. Because that's the canary in the coal mine. If gold was above $2,000 we’d all be wondering: What the hell is going on here? And so they haven’t allowed it to happen. However, there is a tremendous imbalance currently seen between global supply and demand for precious metals, and a true price recovery has got to come from the physical market first - or China will continue to buy 60 tons a week until a prodigious upward price correction is forced.
The USDollar continues its slide since 10amET (now unchanged on the week) as Gold and Silver just legged higher once again. Gold is now over $40 off the day's lows and Silver has broken above $16. Increased chatter about the Swiss Gold Initiative is being blamed for now (as EURCHF tests down to 1.2011 - inching ever closer to testing the 1.20 peg. Oddly, last Friday was also a major melt-up day for precious metals. Treasury yields are also plunging as desk chatter notes limited liquidity - also reflected in the stock markets EKG-like moves.
The key event overnight was the release of European Q3 GDP data, which saw Germany averting a recession by the narrowest of margins when following a -0.2% drop in Q2 economic growth, Germany grew by the smallest amount possible in Q3, or 0.1%, in line with expectations, thus averting two consecutive quarters of decline, the technical definition of a recession. The French economy likewise posted a modest increase in Q3, although one wonders how aggressively the data had to be fudged for a country whose PMIs all indicate a -1% or greater contraction. Italy however was less creative with its use of "hookers and blow", and continued its recession with a 3rd negative print, contracting at -0.1% as expected, while Portugal also missed third quarter growth estimates.
Gold dropped to new lows of $1,130 per ounce last week. This is surprising because it doesn’t square with the fundamentals. China and India continue to exert strong demand on gold, and interest in bullion coins remains high. In other words, it doesn’t add up.
"It's important to remember that a little gold goes a long way. If you had 5-10% allocation in your portfolio from 2000 to 2010, you wouldn't have suffered a lost decade" ... “I believe that now is a good time to take advantage of negative short-term trading sentiment,” Wickwire of Fidelity Investments said.
Putting Things In Context ...
Further proof of manipulation of gold and silver prices - if any were needed - came overnight as Switzerland’s financial regulator (FINMA) found “serious misconduct” and a “clear attempt to manipulate precious metals benchmarks” by UBS employees in precious metals trading, particularly with silver.