This past Saturday October 8th, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko “Peter Pan” Kuroda delivered some prepared remarks on its new QQE with yield control (see here and here) at the Brookings Institute in Washington DC. The conference was attended by "luminaries" like Jeffries’ David Zervos, Princeton economist and Hillary supporter Alan Blinder, as well as many members of the press.
"If the great Marty Zweig taught us all decades ago never to fight the Fed, then we are to learn today never to fight the collective force of the central banks in aggregate either, but should instead see this as a wind at the stock market’s collective back."
What was most striking in the latest Triennial BIS survey, was the shrinkage in FX trading by hedge funds and proprietary trading firms which fell by more than 30% over the past three years. The shrinkage in the share of FX trading by these investors is likely the result of regulatory pressures and FX rigging investigations which caused significant retrenchment by FX prop desks.
One week after RealVision brought us the latest Jeff Gundlach interview, in which the DoubleLine bond king explained why he is now "100% net short", on Friday Grant Williams interviewed Jim Rogers, in which George Soros' former partner (the two co-founded the Quantum Fund in 1973), is about as gloomy, warning "the next time the world comes to an end, it's going to be a bigger shock than we expect."
In a rerun of yesterday's overnight session, European indexes trade higher while US index futures were modestly in the green, set to propel the S&P 500 to new all time highs. Emerging Market dropped the most in three weeks alongside commodities, as today the market was predisposed hawkishly on a US rate hike ahead of Yellen's Friday speech, pushing the US dollar higher and oil resumed its pre "anonymous sources" headlines slide.
"... it's very difficult to see where the next step is except what I'm concerned about mostly, is stag-flation, meaning I think we're seeing the very early signs of inflation beginning finally to pick up as the issue of deflation fades.... we're in a situation now where looking at the interest rate levels that we're looking at and the inflation rates we're looking at, it's very clear that we're going to be moving reasonably shortly into a wholly different phase."
It never ceases to amaze how vastly different the investment styles of gold paper vs physical traders are: while we have documented previously how the latter tend to buy progressively more the lower the price, "investors" in paper-derivatives such as ETFs and ETPs are quite the opposite, where only momentum matters. Once a reflexive buying spree is unleashed, paper buying begets even more paper buying. Nowhere is this more evident than in today's daily report of ETF Securities, where "inflows into gold ETPs of US$263mn on Friday 1st July were at their highest since inception."
"The status quo in Europe is over. We will have to get used to this. Political risk has risen, and we will be dependent on central bank interventions, the calmness of markets, and measured political decision-making to keep the world's economic growth momentum and thus support risk assets."
High-net-worth individuals in Switzerland kept 21.4% of their assets in cash and cash equivalents in the first quarter of 2016, down a substantial 25% from 28.2% a year earlier. "Because clients are not receiving any interest, they're looking for alternative investment opportunities," said Tobias Wolf, senior manager at Capgemini Consulting.
"Both Barclays Electronic Trading Desk and Barclays Voice Spot Trading Desk will endeavour to operate as close to normal levels of service as the Disrupted Market Conditions allow. However, taking into account the potential Disrupted Market Conditions during the EU Referendum Period, Barclays has decided to impose certain restrictions on its electronic and voice FX Stop Loss order offering during this period and would like to highlight certain matters with respect to Disrupted Market Conditions."
As the BOJ continues to load up on Nikkei ETFs in hopes that the rest of the market will be faked out and buy Japanese equities, Mrs. Watanabe continues to be a nemesis. In addition to being in the market for DM government bonds, Japanese investors are also piling into Nikko Asset Management's Global Robotics Equity Fund, which would be fine with the BOJ, except that only a third of the fund is allocated to Japanese equitites.