As the country's leaders search the world for funding, and in spite of the seemingly acquiescent removal of barriers from the government buildings by the police, the situation in Ukraine appears to growing more out of control:
- *UKRAINE'S TOP PROSECUTOR SAYS PROTESTS VIOLATE LAW
- *PROTESTS ENTAIL 'SEVERE CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY:' PROSECUTOR
- ARMED MASKED MEN SEIZE KIEV PARTY HEADQUARTERS OF JAILED OPPOSITION LEADER YULIA TYMOSHENKO-EYEWITNESS
- TYMOSHENKO PARTY SPOKESWOMAN SAYS RAIDERS TOOK COMPUTER SERVER, BLAMES POLICE; POLICE DENY INVOLVEMENT
As we warned previously, the nation's funding situation remains "precarious" and headlines will crow of consiliatory discussions, this action appears to be anything but - as perhaps the Ukrainian elite fear the same kind of "success" that the people's coup in Thailand appears to be having. Ukraine's CDS has reached its highest in 4 years.
The US data flow is relatively light which is typical of a post-payrolls week but it’s worth noting wholesale inventories on Tuesday and retail sales on Thursday. Importantly US House and senate negotiators are supposed to come to an agreement on a budget before the December 13th deadline. A lot of optimism has been expressed thus far from members of congress, and there are reports that a budget deal will be unveiled this week.
Everywhere you look these days, central planning just can't stop reaping failure after failure. First it was Japan's Q3 GDP rising just 1.1%, well below the 1.9% in the previous quarter and the 1.6% expected, while the Japanese current account posted its first decline since of €128 billion (on expectations of a JPY149 billion increase) since January. What's worse, according to Asahi, Abe's approval rating tumbled to 46% in the current week, down from the low 60s as soon as early 2013, while a former BOJ member and current head of Japan rates and currency research, Tohru Sasaki, said that the high flying days of the USDJPY (and plunging of the JPY respectively) is over, and the USDJPY is likely to slide back to 100 because the BOJ would not be able to expand monetary easing by enough to repeat this year's "success." He definitely uses that last word rather loosely.
Now that Athens' Syntagma square has been put on indefinite hiatus since everyone has finally figured out the game between Greece and Athens (Greece grudgingly promises to reform but doesn't, at the same time Troika grudgingly threatens to cut off funding for Greece unless reforms are implemented but doesn't... even as the fate of the people gets worse), a new square has emerged as the focal point in the fight for (and against) Europe - Kiev's Independence Square.
- EU Fines Financial Institutions Over Fixing Key Benchmarks (Reuters)
- Euro-Area Economic Growth Slows as Exports, Consumption Cool (BBG) - someone has a very loose definition of growth
- Ukraine Officials Scour Globe for Cash as Protests Build (BBG)
- Oops: Franklin Boosted Ukraine Bet to $6 Billion as Selloff Began (BBG)
- Japan Plans 18.6 Trillion Yen Economic Package to Support Growth (BBG) - or about 2 months of POMO
- How Peugeot and France ran out of gas (Reuters)
- Iran threatens to trigger oil price war (FT)
- Abe Vows to Pass Secrecy Law That Hurts Cabinet’s Popularity (BBG)
- Brazil economy turns in worst quarter for 5 years (FT)
- Australia’s Slowdown Suggests RBA May Need to Do More (BBG)
- Biden calls for trust with China amid airspace dispute (Reuters)
While there was a plethora of macro data (starting with some ugly numbers out of Australia which clobbered AUD pairs overnight), China HSBC Services PMI dipping slighlty from 52.6 to 52.5, Final Eurozone PMI Services (printing at 51.2 up from 50.9 and beating expectations of the same on an increase in German PMI numbers from 54.5 to 55.7 and a decline in French PMI from 48.8 to 48.0), Eurozone retail sales declining by 0.2%, on expectations of an unchanged print, and much more (see below), perhaps the most important news of the day came from Japan which many expect will be the source of much more easing in the coming months and thus serve as marginal lever to push global fungible markets higher. However, not only did various BOJ officials for the first time in a while talk down expectations of a QE boost, but the head of the Japan GPIF said that it doesn't need to sell JGBs right now as it would "rock markets" and that instead can achieve its targeted 52% weighing as bonds mature, that it may buy foreign bonds instead to raise weighting to core target (as the Fed buys Japan bonds?), and that it will be very difficult for Japan to hit the BOJ's inflation target in 2 years. Is Japan already getting cold feet on rumors of more QE and did it realize there are only so many assets it can monetize. If so, watch out below on the EURJPY which has now priced in about 700 pips of expected BOJ QE boosting in early 2014.
Ongoing anti-regime demonstrations in Ukraine are weighing on investor's risk perceptions as CDS spike to near three-year highs today (up over 100bps). At a minimum developments lower president Yanukovich's chances of remaining in power beyond the spring 2015 elections and possibly undermine his hold on power earlier, further decreasing the likelihood of sizeable financial support from Russia. With Moody's earlier comments on the nation's "precarious external liquidity" position; as Goldman warns, with even higher political uncertainty ahead, an acceleration of capital outflows might also follow and while they think the authorities will eventually turn to the IMF to avoid a disorderly sell-off of the currency, recent events arguably raise the risks to that view. However, the capital outflows are already having an impact as Reuters notes, Russian banks are considerably exposed as Ukrainian banks should deposit runs escalate.
Putin Announces Russia Not Involved In Ukraine Unrest, Says Local Events Are Not A "Revolution" - Live StreamSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/02/2013 12:27 -0500
While events in the Ukraine continue down a very slippery path, and just a few short minutes ago the Prime Minister Azarov fired the Kiev chief of Police who got into hot water over the weekend for various clips showing Police brutality in dealing with demonstrators, one specific party that is keeping a very close eye on the ongoing developments is Russian leader Vladimir Putin who scored a major victory over Europe when he managed to realign the Ukraine away from the EU and sign a trade pact with the "European bread basket" nation, an event which according to the prevailing narrative the main reason for the surge in civil discontent as hundreds of thousands took to the streets over the weekend. As such, it is important to keep track of news not only from Kiev but also from Moscow. One such update which came moments ago was the following:
- President Vladimir Putin has said Russia respects any choice made by Ukraine, Dmitry Peskov tells Bloomberg in Yerevan, Armenia.
- Russia not in talks with Ukraine on loans, bailout
- Russia not involved in current unrest in Ukraine: Peskov
This came just hours after Putin stated that events unfolding in Ukraine should not be described as a revolution, but were rather more reminiscent of a “pogrom.”
With Ukraine's CDS spiking and the protests growing ever more violent, the government is oddly honest:
- *AZAROV SAYS KIEV PROTESTS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL: INTERFAX
- *AZAROV SAYS GOVT AWARE OF PLAN TO SEIZE PARLIAMENT BUILDING:IFX
- *AZAROV SAYS UKRAINE ASKING WEST FOR HELP TO CALM PROTESTS: IFX
Of course, the only voice that matter is still calm:
- *PUTIN SAYS CRISIS IN UKRAINE WILL SUBSIDE
Is that a directive or a statement...?
Previewing the rest of this week’s events, we have a bumper week of US data over the next five days, in part making up for two days of blackout last week for Thanksgiving. Aside from Friday’s nonfarm payroll report, the key releases to look for are manufacturing ISM and construction spending (today), unit motor vehicle sales (tomorrow), non-manufacturing ISM (Wednesday), preliminary Q3 real GDP and initial jobless claims (Thursday), as well as personal income/consumption and consumer sentiment (Friday). Wednesday’s ADP employment report will, as usual, provide a preamble for Friday’s payrolls.
The following seven minutes of mayhem look eerily reminiscent of the violent pre-ambles to the middle-east's recent coups or non-coups. As anti-government protesters demonstrated against the shunning of a European trade agreement (President Yanukovych - "I will not allow any serious economic losses and decline of living standards"); the clashes became ever more violent as the police cracked down. Following heavyweight boxing champion (and opposition leader) Vitali Klitschko's call for a new government - "our main task is Yanukovych’s resignation. But the first step is the resignation of Azarov’s government" - the clashes left at least 265 people injured. The crackdown followed Interior Minister comments that they "won’t allow Ukraine to become another Libya or Tunisia, where uprisings toppled governments in recent years." Of course, the main difference is the Ukraine is now squarely under Putin's sphere of influence.
As reported yesterday, in the aftermath of the violent crackdown on a pro-Europe rally, and the resulting call by the opposition for president Yanukovich's resignation through nationwide strikes, the situation in the Ukraine is increasingly more unstable. Moments ago Reuters reported that Ukrainian nationalist protesters broke into Kiev's city hall and were occupying at least part of the building during mass protests that drew several hundred thousands out on the streets to protest the government's decision to forego an EU deal. Nationalist leader Oleh Tyahniboh told Interfax that representatives of his party had taken over the building. "Today literally 40 minutes ago, our boys took the Kiev Council," he told crowds on Kiev's Independence Square.
Ukraine President Explains Relations With Russia Using Body Language, While Local Violence EscalatesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/30/2013 11:00 -0500
A week ago Europe was furious, and Putin once again glorious, after Europe's "bread basket", the Ukraine, under president Yanukovich decided to terminate its pro-European stance, and instead in a very symbolic shift, chose Moscow as its future trading partner hub. "This is a disappointment not just for the EU but, we believe, for the people of Ukraine," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement. Yanukovich said he had declined to sign the EU pact as the cost of upgrading the economy to meet EU standards was too great and that economic dialogue with Russia, Ukraine's former Soviet master, would be revived. Today, tensions in the Ukraine finally spilled over when following the break up of a pro-Europe protest by local police, the opposition announced it would call a countrywide general strike to force the resignation of president Viktor Yanukovich.
Yesterday, Ukraine was faced with a historic choice: "go West" by signing a new trade pact with the European Union and align against its former master the USSR... or "East", and go back, at least symbolically, to mother Russia. To Europe's shocked amazement, the Ukraine picked "East" in yet another very visible win for Vladimir Putin in what has just been the former KGB spy's year. Sure enough, Putin spokesman's welcomed "the desire to improve and develop trade and economic cooperation" with a "close partner". Europe on the other hand, was shocked and appalled at this unprecedented snub: "This is a disappointment not just for the EU but, we believe, for the people of Ukraine," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement. Ah yes, because Europe's unelected dictators are so concerned with the popular choices of wayward "democracies."