USDJPY has rallied 3.5% in 2 weeks on wide expectations that Abe will come into office on Dec 16 and force BOJ into aggressive monetary easing (target 2% inflation). Market as a result has seen one way demand for USDJPY higher options driving skew sharply higher to recent highs. The desk believes that there is significant risk in USDJPY in the next month given event risk (most notably Japan elections/BOJ meeting and US fiscal cliff), but the desk feel that with positions relatively stretched, holiday season looming and the long side of the equation almost solely dominated by short term spec guy that the PAIN TRADE is now likely USDJPY lower from here, at least much more so than what the vol curve currently indicates.
Bullish on metals. Here's why.
Following this week's 'failed' Eurogroup meeting, leaked details suggest a debt-buyback is becoming the corner-piece of the 'new' Troika deal with Greece. The leaking of details (and anticipation by the market) has driven GGB prices up and reduced much of the benefit of the buyback 'boondoggle' but as Barclays notes, "even if the debt buyback enables the IMF and EU leaders to come to an agreement, leading to a Greek resolution in the near term, in the medium-to-long-term Greek debt is not sustainable on realistic macroeconomic assumptions without notable outright haircuts on official EU loans to Greece. Therefore, a successful debt buyback might resolve the Greek debt sustainability issue on paper in the troika report but it will most likely not resolve it in investors’ minds." While there are 'optical' advantages to the buyback, the four main disadvantages outlined below should be irksome to the Greeks (e.g. creditor benfitting over growth-empowering) - which is critical since, as ekathermini notes, a senior finance minister commented "God forbid we should not be close to an agreement on Monday."
An initial lower open in major European cash bourses has been pared despite concern over Greek and a lack of any progress in agreement between Eurozone officials and the IMF. Source comments early on in European trade helped provide renewed optimism that a plan for Greece is edging closer after it was reported that the German Chancellor Merkel told lawmakers Greece's financing hole through 2016 can be filled with combination of lower rates and increased EFSF. The FTSE is under-performing its European peers at the mid-point of trade today as several large cap stocks go ex-dividend, although strength has been seen following the latest Bank of England minutes which showed a less dovish than expected 8-1 vote split to hold fire on QE between the MPC meetings. Following the release of the minutes, a now reduced expectation for asset buys at the December meeting saw upside in GBP/USD in a move away from the 1.5900 handle, and Gilt under pressure, although short-sterling shrugged off the comment that the central bank is unlikely to cut bank rate in foreseeable future.
There are many questions on the minds of weary precious metals investors after enduring the volatile yet range-bound price action of gold and silver over the past year:
- Have the fundamentals for owning gold & silver changed over the past year? No
- What are they? currency devaluation/crisis, supply-chain risk, ore grade depletion
- How should retail investors own gold? Mostly physical metal, some quality mining majors (avoid the indices), and ETFs only for trading
- Is gold in a bubble? No
- Could gold get re-monetized? Quite possibly
- Where is gold flowing? From the West to the East. At some point, capital controls will be put in place
Jeff Clark and Chris Martenson believe everyone should have exposure to gold and silver as a defense for preserving the purchasing power of their weath. The key question is: how much exposure?
The US crashing close yesterday was cushioned in Europe by better than expected (backward-looking) GDP figures in Germany and France. EZ in recession nevertheless. Limited fall-out, albeit lower (equity) levels tested. Periphery okay’ish, then good on better Italian GDP. Spain tag along with limited own dynamics, mainly trailing Risk assessment. EGBs difficult to move lower from here. Watching the US. Someone. Please. Show the way.
"Are You Gonna Go My Way? " (Bunds 1,34% +0; Spain 5,89% -3; Stoxx 2459% -0,6%; EUR 1,279 +50)
See-sawing – and still looking for direction. Open weaker, in line with the US close. Some exuberance ahead of the Italian auction, despite negative figures. Awakening that nothing was justifying this. Re-correction while awaiting the US take of things. With the US opening flattish plus, Europe had a light lift and started tagging along, tick for tick, stuck in a loop. Some more European gloomy news to end the day. Way Down. For the moment mostly an equity move. And cut.
"Way Down" (Bunds 1,34% unch; Spain 5,92% +9; Stoxx 2475% -0,8%; EUR 1,274 +20)
A mere three weeks ago, Nomura's Bob Janjuah forcefully suggested that complacency warranted a tactical risk-off position given the misplaced confidence heading into the plethora of event-risk ahead. It seems, 60 points later, that he is on to something; but this time he is more critically concerned: "Investment decisions based largely on the greater fool theory and predicated by the assumption that central bankers can sustainably and credibly misprice money, supporting a significant misallocation of capital, without any major negative consequences, are in general not good investments."
We expect a return to a skittish environment in markets. We are confident in my prediction for the course of the economy by leveraging simple game theory in handling the upcoming crisis as Congress returns for its lame duck session. “Compromise” reflects a decision from either side that each find unpalatable. Both President Obama and Speaker Boehner would rather shove two sticks in their eyes than move from their hardened stance despite some of the recent rhetoric in favor of bargaining in good faith. As long as the loss of utility from both sides’ digging in their heels is more favorable than conceding to the preferences from those across the aisle, then the game arrives at a Prisoner’s Dilemma. the above matrix concludes that the fiscal cliff virtually guarantees an aggressive selloff for equities until the stop loss for the Democrats and Republicans has been triggered. For example, if the clock hits midnight on New Year’s Eve with the blue chip index at or near its September peak, each faction would feel comfortable standing up to the other well into January.
Europe had wanted a rebound, tried to hold on, panicked, sold off, triggered stops – and recovered as the US, although not rebounding fast and furious, at least held the line. EGB running a little out of steam, although August levels were traded again in Bunds. Periphery eventually tracking Risk, but with no own dynamic. Need to see how things close tonight. No More.
"No More" (Bunds 1,34% -2; Spain 5,81% -3; Stoxx 2481% +0,1%; EUR 1,271)
It would appear Mark Twain's infamous quote that "history does not repeat, but it does rhyme" has never been so apt. The following eight charts suggest the rhythm is getting louder and louder. How is it possible? It's nonsense? Well at the heart of the markets, it is still us humans and our endearing greed, fear, and heuristic biases that drive the flows... trade accordingly. “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” — André Gide
Yesterday’s price action offered a messy preview of what lies around the corner, for the U.S. economy confronts its own Biblical demise, otherwise known as the fiscal cliff, when it slips past its own (Asteroid-less Armageddon-like) zero barrier which we estimate as the December 21 triple witch expiration. To be sure, I do not equate a near guaranteed recession and significant pullback in equities as calamitous as what Mr. Willis et al faced; but in short, the two sides are as far apart as ever as the Democrats will be emboldened by the Election while the GOP will point to roughly 50% of the country, exemplified by the popular vote, who agree with its views. Politicians fail to understand that the markets project forward such that as each faction drags its feet, the damage done to stocks could be substantial. The 12.5% expected earnings estimates for the S&P 500 for the next 12 months remain highly optimistic such that an inevitable reduction would weigh on shares.
Hmmm… Initial rebound after yesterday’s bashing was rather modest, settling on a bit better and awaiting US input. Spain overdid its auction, which looked just good in the sense of being able to say it sold a new bond for size – to its dealers. ECB, happy to have provided the idea of OMT to save the world from simple panic, now going pessimistic (in non-panicky way). It’s just soft out there… It’s the economy, Stupid! And it is weak.
"Bop 'Til You Drop " (Bunds 1,36% -2; Spain 5,84% +16; Stoxx 2479% +0,1%; EUR 1,275)
Today is the 2nd of the long-end UST auctions for the month of November. 16bln 30yrs will be sold to the market at 1pm...largest single DV01 event of the monthly cycle. Can we game the US Govt??
As the Romney bounce was removed last night, German (and European) growth is lowered, AAPL's dominance is questioned, and the 'fiscal cliff' (oh yeah that) comes into focus, is it any wonder equity markets dumped today. Depending on which index you looked at, equities fell the most in a year (or a month) with the Dow and Nasdaq closing below their 200DMA. Gold and Bonds outperformed and S&P futures plunged further after-hours closing below its 100DMA for the first time in over 3 months (as VIX closed at 19% - its highest in 3 months)