Tomorrow's ECB meeting "looks set to be sleepy" according to Saxo Bank's Mads Koefed as Draghi is largely cornered into confirmation he will do "whatever it takes" and some additional details on the corporate bond purchase plan. Most of the sell-side's research suggests the same, as Bloomberg notes, ECB will probably leave the door open for further cuts if needed; but any downside risk for the euro is seen limited, as Draghi stays on hold by reinforcing its dovish stance after the mix of easing measures announced in March with some defense of the efficiency of his policies after recent criticism by Germany.
Sunday’s producer meeting is all about nothing no matter what agreement might be forged. At best, the agreement will be, as Russia’s energy minister has stated, a gentlemen’s affair, with no binding commitments, no concrete next steps beyond having a review meeting, and no procedure for moving to production cuts.
Recall all those tankers we have profiled before on anchor next to the Iran shore? They have finally started to move.
In another quiet overnight session, the biggest - and unexpected - macro news was the surprise monetary easing by Singapore which as previously reported moved to a 2008 crisis policy response when it adopted a "zero currency appreciation" stance as a result of its trade-based economy grinding to a halt. As Richard Breslow accurately put it, "If you need yet another stark example of the fantasy storytelling we amuse ourselves with, juxtapose today’s Monetary Authority of Singapore policy statement with the storyline that the Asian stock market rally intensified on renewed optimism over the global economy. Singapore is a proxy for trade and economic growth ground to a halt last quarter." The Singapore announcement led to a sharp round of regional currency weakness just as the dollar appears to have bottomed and is rapidly rising.
Only in the new normal of manic algos and goal-seeked short-squeezes could actual news that Iran is undercutting OPEC by slashing prices to maintain market share be out-followed by hopefulness driven by upbeat comment from Janet Yellen (because she has nailed everyting so far) and more chatter about a production freeze (which makes no sense whatsoever given the Iran news). For now, WTI is trading above $39.50 ahead of today's rig count data, back at 2-week highs.
As the growth mirage fades (and short-squeeze ammo runs out), so crude and copper carnage is reappearing. Amid its biggest plunge since early Jan, Copper is now down 10 of the last 12 days and crude is plunging back towards it 50-day moving average. Amid this bloodbathery, precious metals are bid as Saxo Bank sees Gold "heading back to its highs and beyond."
Unlike yesterday's overnight session, which saw some subtantial carry FX volatility and tumbling European yields in the aftermath of the TSY's anti-inversion decree, leading to a return of fears that the next leg down in markets is upon us, the overnight session has been far calmer, assisted in no small part by the latest China Caixin Services PMI, which rose from 51.2 to 52.2. Adding to the overnight rebound was crude, which saw a big bounce following yesterday's API inventory data, according to which crude had its biggest inventory draw in 2016, resulting in WTI rising as high as $37.15 overnight
In a quiet start to the week following last week's surprisingly strong rebound which followed a stronger than expected jobs report (perhaps to demonstrate that good news is once again good news), Japan stocks continued to sink as the USDJPY dropped to fresh lows, while commodities declined for a fifth day as the supply glut from crude to copper weighed on prices, dragging down commodity currencies. European equities rose, rebounding from a one-month low.
"Obama’s job was to talk like a marxist, but act like a robber baron. In this regard, his reign has been an unprecedented success." So are you ready to stop being suckers and take back the country?
The recent weakness in Silver has done nothing to dissuade precious metal 'hoarders' from buying-the-dip. Silver ETF holdings rose 846 metric tons in March (so far) - the biggest jump since August 2013 - to the highest since April 2015. And all of this buying has occurred as prices dropped to one-month lows, as it seems - like China and Russia - taking advantage of lower precious metal prices amid the collapse of central bank credibility around the world.
Update: SOME OPEC MEMBERS WON'T ATTEND DOHA MEET: EL-BADRI
Despite everything that could go wrong at Doha, oil prices are maintaining the new “high” on hopes of an output freeze, even if only at January levels. "Any such deal would still not be a game changer. It would really just maintain the excess supply that is now in place," warns one analyst, adding that it’s more about what they say than what they actually do in Doha.
Today Janet Yellen and the FOMC will go back to square one and try to reset global expectations unleashed by the ill-fated December rate "policy mistake" hike, when at 2pm the Fed will announce assessment of the economy, even if not rate hike is expected today. Just like in December the Fed will be forced to telegraph that it is hiking rates as a signal of a strengthening US, and global, economy where "risks are balanced" and hope that the subsequent global reaction will not be a rerun of what happened in January and February when confusion about the Fed's intentions led to a global market rout.
On Monday, everyone was giddy that the rally is back on. Less than two days later, the dour fatalism of some HFT algo stop hunting price action and a few comments by the Saudi oil minister, and the markets have remember than nothing has changed and that nothing has been fixed. But at least the biggest shorts squeeze in 5 years is finally over.
The real question for investors is to ask yourself: Is this merely the latest "extend and pretend" maneuver, which is about to happen again with Draghi coming full online in March and the BOJ doing another desperate action and the Fed backing down. Or is it the end of the debt cycle? That is the trillion-dollar question right now.
Ponzi schemes are as old as time.