Despite claiming yesterday's devaluation was a "one-off", The PBOC has devalued the Yuan Fix dramatically for the 2nd day in a row - now 22 handles weaker than Monday's Fix. Offshore Yuan is trading at 4 year lows against the USD. The carnage from this dramatic shift is just beginning as global equity markets (US futures to China cash) are tumbling, US Treasury bond yields are crashing, gold is up, China credit risk is at 2 year highs, and China implied vol has exploded to 4 year highs. Ironically, China's government mouthpeiece Xinhua explains "China is not waging a currency war; merely fixing a discrepancy."
Carry traders just got their fingers burnt by central bankers, again. Just 7 months after The SNB crushed Swiss Franc free-riders, as Bloomberg reports, The PBOC 'surprised' an armada of easy-money-addicts drawn to the Yuan by its stability, potentially wiping out their highly leveraged returns or leading to forced lqiuidations. Twice in 8 months is enough to shake anyone's faith in central bank omnipotence, but as Ben Hunt noted, potentially more crucial to the 'faith-based' investing of today, the Common Knowledge about Chinese growth – what everyone thinks that everyone thinks about Chinese growth – is dramatically changed for the worse today, and it’s a change that will accelerate unless the Narrative shifts.
Recent price volatility in the media sector got us wondering: is “Cord cutting” the home cable box in favor of online entertainment really hitting critical mass?
When a central bank tells you it’s a “one-off” event you may as well take that as a green light!
To help remind readers of what happens when the entire world engages in wholesale currency war, here is a complete list of all the recent FX interventions, courtesy of Stone McCarthy.
How much more devaluation is in store for the CNY? Well, if one believes the PBOC, today's intervention was a "one off." The problem is that just like every central bank in modern history, the Chinese central bank is lying. Here is the truth.
As we first warned in March, and as became abundantly clear over the weekend Beijing had no choice but to join the global currency wars, as the yuan's dollar peg will ultimately prove to be too painful going forward. And sure enough this evening the PBOC weakens the Yuan fix by the most on record.
There is much stunned confusion among Wall Street's "best and brightest" following China's historic Yuan devaluation overnight which was predicted by exactly zero of said best and brightest, just like nobody expected the SNB to give up its own peg to the EUR in January.
Wondering why stocks are surging this morning - aside from Fischer's comments, OPEC rumors, Greek bank recaps, and JPY ignition? Perhaps it is the veritable swarm of professional technical analysts out with notes warning of significant problems ahead. From John Hussman's refined Hindenberg Omen and Carter Worth's "sell stocks, breadth is a problem," to Oppenheimer's warning of "seasonals and weak internals," and Louise Yamada's "stocks are vulnerable, keep cash on sidelines" warning - it appears today's early bounce is as much about contrarian oversold bounce as it is about any macro news. But with 73% of the largest 1000 stocks at least 5% off their highs, stocks remain fragile as they push back towards highs.
Following last week's bad news for the economy (terrible ADP private payrolls, confirmed by a miss in the NFP) which also resulted in bad news for the market which suffered its worst week in years, many were focused on how the market would react to the latest battery of terrible economic news out of China which as we observed over the weekend reported abysmal trade data, and the worst plunge in Chinese factory prices in 6 years. We now know: the Shanghai Composite soared by 5%, rising to 3,928 and approaching the key 4000 level because the ongoing economic collapse led Pavlov's dog to believe that much more easing is coming from the country which as we showed last night has literally thrown the kitchen sink at stabilizing the plunge in stocks.
It makes logical sense that China would understate its gold aspirations. If you had the means to acquire hundreds, or even thousands, of tons of gold, you’d want to do so as stealthily as possible in order to avoid tipping off the market. If your strategic objective was to dramatically boost gold reserves over a period of several years, you wouldn’t want to see the price rise – at least not while you’re still accumulating. And if you had no ethical qualms about interfering in the market, you’d want to rig prices lower so you could obtain more ounces. Chinese officials are more than willing to manipulate markets, whether through subterfuge, deceit, or outright force.
"I’ve just slogged through all ninety-two pages of Donald Trump’s financial disclosure submission to the Federal Election Commission, and I can’t make heads or tails of it. I cannot tell how much Trump is worth, if anything. His empire, if he has one, is as mysterious as his haircut, and as impervious as his skyscraper in Chicago - a gigantic phallic mirror named after himself."
"Any rally that occurs over the next few days from the current oversold condition should be used as a "sellable rally" to rebalance portfolios and related risk."
The #1 question we get after we review correlations every month is “Why are they so high relative to long term historical norms?” Our answer is that Federal Reserve policy has been an unusually important factor in asset prices since 2009. The unusually easy monetary policy since that time (and its planning, implementation, and effect on the economy) has been a powerful unifying story in capital markets. Now, as the Federal Reserve moves to return the economy to a more “Normal” policy stance, correlations should drop. That they have not yet moved convincingly lower is a sign that equity markets may want to see the Fed actually pull the trigger.
Things are getting downright scary in emerging markets as a "triple unwind" in credit, Chinese leverage, and loose US monetary policy wreaks havoc across the space. Between a prolonged slump in commodity prices and a structural shift towards weaker global trade, the situation could worsen materially going forward.