With US markets closed for the Memorial Day holiday, and some of the key European markets likewise shuttered for public holiday including the UK, Germany and Switzerland, it is difficult to find where one can observe or trade the weekend's newsflow, which is once again centered on developments in Europe, where on Sunday Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party suffered its worst result in a municipal election in 24 years while Greece continues to threaten with default 5 some years after it should have officially pulled the plug.
With HFT algos now firmly entrenched in FX markets we weren't surprised to learn that volatility is rising, bid-ask spreads are blowing out, and liquidity is vanishing. Expect things like last October's algo-driven, Fed-assisted Treasury flash crash to become par for the course in FX markets as well, with harrowing USD, EUR, JPY, [fill in the blank] ramps and flash crashs becoming the norm and leaving panicked central bankers desperately trying to figure out what happened after the fact.
It looks like US dollar's two-month downside correction ended. Is the bull market resuming?
"China... across the board... is preparing for something big in currency markets... The world has an unease about the dollar system... former President Hu of China said 'the dollar is a product of the past'."
We have all read the latest crop of media articles challenging gold’s investment relevance. The typical approach to bearish gold analysis is to attribute hypothetical fears to gold investors, and then point out these concerns have failed to materialize. Sprott believes the investment thesis for gold is a bit more complex than simplistic motivations commonly cited in financial press. We would suggest gold’s relatively methodical advance since the turn of the millennium has had less to do with investor fears of hyperinflation or U.S. dollar collapse than it has with persistent desire to allocate a small portion of global wealth away from traditional financial assets and the fiat currencies in which they are priced.
Futures Flat With Greece In Spotlight; UBS Reveals Rigging Settlement; Inventory Surge Grows Japan GDPSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/20/2015 07:00 -0400
The only remarkable macroeconomic news overnight was out of Japan where we got the Q1 GDP print of 2.4% coming in well above consensus of 1.6%, and higher than the 1.1% in Q4. Did it not snow in Japan this winter? Does Japan already used double, and maybe triple, "seasonally-adjusted" data? We don't know, but we do know that both Japan and Europe have grown far faster than the US in the first quarter.
The Greek mess has lit a fire under Gold again, which appears to have bottomed in both the Euro (blue) and the Japanese Yen (red). The one exception is Gold priced in US Dollars mainly because the US Dollar has been so strong for much of the last 9 months.
With each passing year the currency fell in value to ever more absurd depths until by November 1923 an ounce of gold - which had cost 170 Marks only five years previously - was trading at 87,000,000,000,000 Marks per ounce. Silver saw similar price gains (see chart) - or rather to put it more accurately silver too remained a store of value and maintained purchasing power as the currency collapsed.
Explaining all that is wrong with the fraudulent US "jobs recovery" using the case study of Japan.
The Economist is a quintessential establishment publication. Keynesian shibboleths about “market failure” and the need to prevent it, as well as the alleged need for governments to provide “public goods” and to steer the economy in directions desired by the ruling elite with a variety of taxation and spending schemes as well as monetary interventionism, are dripping from its pages in generous dollops. The magazine has one of the very best records as a contrary indicator whenever it comments on markets. While gold hasn’t yet made it to the front page, but the Economist has sacrificed some ink in order to declare it “dead” (or rather, “buried”).
Dollar downmove still seems corrective in nature. Fed hike in September still seems most likely scenario. Taalk of US recession is over the top when unemployment, broadly measured is falling and weekly initial jobless claims are at new cyclical lows.
"To end our discussion of the forex markets, we think it is time to return to an old friend: long of the English speaking currencies/short of the Yen and we shall do so en masse this morning" - Gartman, May 12
Marc Faber Contrarian Bet Against Market Consensus - US Treasuries
Special thanks to Dr. Marc Faber for giving us permission to publish excerpts from his May Gloom Boom & Doom Report.
Monetizing the entirety of gross government bond issuance and amassing an equity portfolio worth just shy of $100 billion on the way to cornering the entire ETF market may come across as insanely irresponsible even in a world that is now defined by insanely irresponsible central banks, but Haruhiko Kuroda does not care because when it comes to QE and the financing of governments via central bank-assisted ponzi schemes, no one does it like the BoJ.