The latest to join in the skepticism rally is none other than Goldman Sachs strategist Christian Mueller-Glissmann who in the latest "Global Opportunity Asset Locator" report, writes that the "relief rally across risky assets might fade over the near term", warns that "sharp declines in oil prices are likely to weigh on risky assets again", suggests to go to "reduce risk allocation", warns against holding US HY bonds as "the risk/reward is least favourable if oil prices reverse course" and "go to cash" ahead of "expected elevated volatility."
Last week it was all about the ECB, which disappointed on hopes of further rate cuts (leading to the Thursday selloff) but delivered on the delayed realization that the ECB is now greenlighting a tsunami in buybacks (leading to the Friday market surge). This week it is once again all about central banks, only this time instead of stimulus, the risk is to the downside, with the BOJ expected to do nothing at all after the January NIRP fiasco, while the "data dependent" Fed will - if anything - hint at further hawkishness now that the S&P is back over 2,000.
"The ECB needs to surprise this week, not because of markets, but because – given the trend in core inflation – the existing policy mix is behind the curve."- Goldman FX strategist Robin Brooks
"There is a refugee crisis; what could the ECB do? There is climate change; oh, the ECB needs to do something. I have the hiccups; oh, the ECB should do something ... it's crazy. I find this completely ridiculous and irresponsible. But we got ourselves into this" - ECB source.
"Yesterday oil ended in the green despite a very large reported crude inventory build, a reflection of how biased to the downside sentiment and positioning already is. Today, crude started in the read and has been mixed from there but moving higher. And both days, the stocks have lead with energy the best performing subsector in the S&P. Now, there is no doubt that the performance today is TOTALLY short-squeeze led. Though it also shows how negative sentiment and positioning is."
Mario Draghi better put up or shut up at the next ECB meeting as the market is more-than-pricing-in a very significant deposit rate cut (deeper into NIRP). In fact, at -56bps, 2Y German bond yields are the most "priced in" since 2011 (and bear in mind he disappointed in December).
The first big problem, or rather first 9.5 trillion problems: that is how much debt the corporate buyback binge will cost companies over the next 5 years as the debt matures. The second big problem is even more important: the disappearance of virtually all demand from the primary bond market, most certainly in the junk space, and gradually, in investment grade as well.
Today's deflationary report, the worst since the start of Europe's QE, virtually assures another substantial round of policy easing from the European Central Bank on March 10. The question is what the ECB will reveal. Here are the options.
The week was supposed to start off quiet on the macro news front, but the PBOC spoiled that with an unprecedented Monday, Feb 29 RRR cut, its fifth since the start of 2015. In any case, it slowly builds up to the week's biggest event on Friday, when the BLS reports February payrolls and will be hard pressed to find all the seasonal adjustments it needs to cover for not only the lost jobs in the devastated energy sector but, as we reported over the weekend, the sudden dramatic air pocket in Silicon Valley jobs.
- Fight night: Rubio, Cruz gang up on Trump in debate ploy (Reuters)
- Laid Bare in Shanghai: G-20 Tensions Over How to Spur Growth (BBG)
- China Flags Scope for Policy Stimulus, Tweaks Monetary Stance (BBG)
- Global Stocks Rise With Commodities as China Sees Room to Ease (BBG)
- Greece seeks to stem migrant flow as thousands trapped by border limits (Reuters)
"With the introduction of negative rates and the subsequent rise in the Yen, are the Japanese authorities, once again, about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as has happened so many times in the past? The market, today, is clearly hoping the authorities will step in.... whilst QE typically pushed investors out of bonds into riskier assets, negative interest rates could potentially do the exact opposite. "
Spoiler alert: no.
Following a week of crazy volatility, overnight exhausted markets took a breather.
“We have listened to feedback and as a result decided to change the way these cost savings are to be achieved"...