Remember the story of “The Philosopher’s stone?” In a nut shell it was an alchemical substance capable of turning worthless metals into gold. Today, much like those of yore, central bankers across the globe are engaging in that never-ending quest for the ability to turn the worthless – into the precious. And to the ill-informed it seems they have indeed achieved it. That is, as long as you wrap it in the same cloth as found in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” For if not – the naked truth becomes appalling clear. And it ain’t pretty.
S&P 500 futures are set to open at new all time highs, with global stocks rallying as the yen weakened and the Nikkei soared on speculation Japan is about to unveil the first instance of "helicopter money"-lite, as well as due to a continuation of better-than-expected U.S. jobs data. Further speculation that Italy's (and Europe's) insolvent banks will be bailed out has further boosted sentiment.
In a session where bleary-eyed traders followed the all-night tragic developments out of Dallas and initially sold off risk assets, it is good to see that some normalcy prevailed with the traditional post Europe-open futures ramp, which was further assisted by the successful resolution of the Dallas standoff, which has pushed futures modestly higher ahead of today's main event for markets, the June payrolls report due in under two hours.
After yesterday's afternoon surge in US stocks, facilitated by the "uncertain" Fed's FOMC Minutes, today the rest of global market are playing catch up with European stocks rebounding from one week lows, snapping the longest losing streak in three weeks, as well as Asia where most stock markets climbed, led by gains among energy producers as crude prices advanced, while a stronger yen weighed on Japanese shares.
Brexit is just a symptom of the disease eating away at the fabric of our global economy. Lehman’s collapse was not the cause of the 2008 worldwide financial crisis. It was just the excuse for something that was going to happen no matter what. Bad debt, bad bankers, bad regulators, bad politicians, media cheer leading, and a willfully ignorant populace were a toxic combination – and it’s worse today.
The British Pound is now down almost 14% from pre-Brexit spike highs at 1.5018, crashing to 1.3000 for the first time since June 1985. Goldman Sachs sees this renewed leg of weakness extending down to 1.20 within 3 months...
The festering wound involving Italian banks in general and Italy's third largest bank Monte Paschi, just got worse yet again, as the bank which suddenly everyone is focused on extends yesterday’s 14% drop, and is halted in Milan trading after falling 7%, once again dragging down European bank stocks with it, and this time US equity futures are starting to notice.
A war of words broke out between Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the ECB's Mario Draghi, after the Italian premier dared to criticize Draghi for not having done more to resolve Italy's banking woes when he held a key Treasury job in Rome in the 1990s. "And if people had the strength and intelligence to keep politics out of the banking system a bit before we did it ... we would not have had cases like Monte dei Paschi di Siena." Slowly but surely, the facade of coolness and calmness if rapidly coming off...
In today's US holiday-impacted session, the biggest overnight story was the dramatic surge in precious metals, which saw silver briefly soar above $21 following a Chinese short squeeze sending the metal as much as 7% higher overnight, its biggest one day gain since December 1, 2014. As we reported overnight, silver touched a two-year high and gold rallied for a fourth day after the Brexit vote spurred demand for havens. The catalyst is familiar: speculation central banks in some of the world’s leading economies will step up monetary stimulus in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
"By dumping the responsibility for the heavy lifting for growth on central banks, we have ended up with asset bubbles, rampant speculation, lack of investment in productivity and in the real economy, significant levels of financial engineering to artificially boost earnings, and merely the (now failed) hope that “trickle down” still works. The outcome has been almost unprecedented levels of rising inequality in the global economy. I suspect that it is this inequality that was behind a fair chunk of last week’s Brexit outcome and which has driven the rise of extremism across other important nations/blocs."
Whether it is due to the conclusion of quarter-end window dressing, or due to a more poor manufacturing data out of China overnight, but the new quarter is starting off poorly for risk with Europe flat and US equities lower, while the scramble for safety means that bond yields across the developed world just hit new all time lows as precious metals are surging once again on ongoing speculation central banks will do anything to keep markets propped up and buy up even more assets.
"As gamma exposure turned significantly short on Monday 6/27, it also contributed to a larger squeeze up on Tuesday and Wednesday (please note, these were even more prominent on 8/26 and 8/27 than this week)... We maintain the view that we have not yet seen the highs of VIX due to Brexit and related risks. The points discussed above suggest equity markets face elevated risk in the days and weeks ahead."
Trading trends are pretty slow and that is a function of disbelief/skepticism in the recent rebound (there is a lot of doubt that the SPX will wind up getting off this easy from the referendum and thus people are reluctant to chase).