Moments ago we presented a contrarian thesis from Greg Peters of how markets would react to a Leave vote (and by impliocation, Remain). Next, we go back to a more conventional model of how assets would react, and present "a roadmap for the 'Day After'" from UBS, which seeks to answer the question "at what level would we buy or sell each key asset class in either a Remain or a Leave scenario?" It then show ranges of the potential near-term market reactions.
Despite the exuberant rally in stocks following the dreadful murder of UK lawmaker Jo Cox last week, investors are anything but convinced that everything is awesome. As polls show the Brexit vote remains very evenly-matched, so traders have piled into short-term VIX protection (covering the next few days) spiking from 11 to 22 in the last week. This is the widest spread to 'normal' VIX since the August crash following China's turmoil-inducing currency devaluation.
"The problem is not only economic, but also linguistic. For years now, it can be argued, the Fed’s role has extended from inflation and growth to stability of the markets and shifted towards maintaining symbolic order. Since the moment when unwind of the stimulus became the main theme, Fed has been acting increasingly as a symbolic authority. This is the reality of the virtual -- the real effects produced by something which does not fully exist. In this way the Virtual acts as the stable focal point around which all elements circulate."
With two polls being unleashed on the markets today indicating the largest lead for Brexit over Bremain yet with regard the UK referendum, it seems FX traders at least have begun to wake up to the short-term uncertainties a "leave" vote may entail. A short-term measure of expected price swings for the pound climbed for a third week as traders sought protection as two-week implied volatility, a period that covers the June 23 voting date, closed at its highest on record today.
As Goldman warns in a note overnight, "Large equity drawdowns often mark the end of an equity cycle and tend to coincide with a recession or financial market/geopolitical shock or a combination, which tend to result in a sharp equity correction driven by a decline in both earnings and valuations." As it turns out, Goldman thinks precisely such a "drawdown" is coming...
The two most important questions by far, those whose answer will determine not only the near term return of the S&P, but also global equity markets as well as that all-important commodity, oil, are the following: Can the oil price hold up even as the dollar rises; and, Can the CNY depreciate without hurting asset prices? Here is Deutsche Bank's attempt at an answer.
"With it now taking 6.5 units of debt to produce 1 unit of GDP, additional gains from the lending channel are limited, in our view. China data already suggest diminishing returns from a flagging stimulus. Our China economic activity indicator (MS-CHEX) is at 3% versus 10% last month, while property sales in top cities have slowed to 15%Y in the first two weeks of May compared to 55%Y in April. If we think China growth softens again over the summer, the question for markets is how far ahead of this prices react. The risks are rising that the time is now."
With stocks the biggest beneficiary of the late January "Shanghai Accord", it stands to reason that the US Dollar was the biggest loser. Sure enough, overnight the WSJ writes that the "powerful rallies that have lifted stocks, crude oil and emerging markets for the past three months have one important thing in common - the falling dollar - and investors are growing anxious that it could prove to be the weak link." But is a strong dollar about to make another appearance and unleash the next leg lower in risk assets?
We cannot be sure what shape the next crisis will take, although it seems likely that it will be yet another “deflation scare”, mainly caused by falling asset prices. However, we do know what the last crisis of the current system will look like. It will entail a crumbling of the public’s faith in fiat money and the institutions that issue and administer it.