Global Risk Off: China Reenters Bear Market, Oil Tumbles Under $30; Global Stocks, US Futures GuttedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/15/2016 06:57 -0500
Yesterday, when looking at the market's "Bullard 2.0" moment, which in many ways was a carbon copy of the market's response to Bullard's "QE4" comments from October 17, 2014 until just a few minutes before the market close when suddenly selling pressure appeared, we said that either the S&P would soar - as it did in 2014 - hitting all time highs just a few months later, or the "Fed is now shooting VWAP blanks." Judging by what has happened since, in what may come as a very unpleasant surprise to the "the market is very oversold" bulls, it appears to have been the latter.
European shares tumbled, wiping out gains from a two-day rally, Asian stocks slid and the cost of insuring corporate debt rose as investor concern over global growth prospects resurfaced. U.S. equity-index futures pared gains of as much as 0.9 percent. Government bonds rose, with yields falling to records in Japan and China amid anxiety over the world economy. U.S. crude prices stabilized after dropping below $30 a barrel on Tuesday to touch the lowest since 2003 as Iran moved closer to boosting exports.
After two months of sharp currency devaluation, the market was carefully watching last night's China trade data to see if the Yuan debasement had led to a positive trade outcome to the world's second largest economy, and as reported last night, it was not disappointed when China reported a December trade surplus of $60.09 billion from $54.1 billion in November, as a result of exports beating expectations and rising 2.3%, the first increase since June, while imports declined by just 4%, the smallest drop since 2014 despite China importing a record amount of oil, or 33.2 million tons, in December.
Russia has just taken significant steps that will break the present Wall Street oil price monopoly, at least for a huge part of the world oil market. The move is part of a longer-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, today the Achilles Heel of the Russian economy.
Risk is now everywhere. If you invest in the markets, there is risk of temporary or permanent loss of capital. Even if you do nothing and simply hold cash in a bank, there is bail-in risk and financial repression. This is our reality now...Nothing is risk-free in this system of chaos. In a way, today’s mad scientist central bankers have engineered financial dinosaurs back into our time. They think they can control the system. But judging just from the first chaotic week in financial markets so far in 2016, life is finding a way.
Initially both European stocks and US equity futures were grateful that China has picked at least one asset class to prop up overnight, and rose in an extremely illiquid market with European shares gaining for first time in 4 days, as S&P futures rise even as the MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index just fell to the lowest level in more than 4 years. However, as of moments ago the Stoxx 600 had faded all its earlier gains and was trading near the flatline, as an algo takes out all stops on the top and bottom once more, and looks set to move on to US futures shortly.
Chinese stocks are trading at the lows of the day after Overnight HIBOR rates (Hong Kong's interbank borrowing rate) exploded a stunning 939bps to a record high 13.4%. It is clear that banks are utterly desperate for liquidity and/or are extremely concerned about one another's counterparty risk. This has dragged HSCEI down 5% (to its lowest since Oct 2011).
It was an ominous beginning to what is poised to be a most tumultuous year. Market participants are quickly coming to appreciate that China does in fact matter. Few understand why. Most – from billionaires to fund managers to retail investors – will “Do Nothing.” This has worked just fine in the past – repeatedly. Not understanding and not doing anything will be detriments going forward.
An unseen bubble at the heart of the financial system is deflating with unknown consequences. When bubbles deflate, and here we are talking about one in the hundreds of trillions, bad debts are usually exposed. Even though much of the reduction in outstanding OTC derivatives is due to consolidation of positions following the Frank Dodd Act, much of it is not. When free markets reassert themselves, and they always do, the disruption promises to be substantial. We appear to be in the early stages of this event. If so, demand for physical gold can be expected to escalate rapidly as a financial crisis unfolds.
"After suffering the worst start to a new year in history, the U.S. stock market has entered correction territory which is defined by a drop of 10% from its old high. The following "hateful eight" charts pretty much speak for themselves... This doesn't bode well for U.S. stocks which are now in the riskiest position since the bull market started seven years ago."
The sole focus of gold in dollar terms and the 10% fall of gold priced in dollars has led to some negative comment about gold's annual fall, the "third year of losses."
For most investors, the major story of 2015 was the expectation and eventual fulfillment of a rate hike, signalling the start of tightening monetary policy in the United States. This policy is divergent to those of other major central banks, and this has translated into considerable strength and momentum for the U.S. dollar. Despite this strength, the best performing currency in 2015 was not the dollar. In fact, the top currency of 2015 is likely to be considered the furthest thing from the greenback.
If there’s one thing to take away from this year’s developments in markets and economies so far, it’s that they are all linked, they’re all part of the same thing. If you can’t see that, you’re not going to understand what’s happening. It’s tempting to see this as a China problem, but first of all there is no China problem that will not of necessity also gravely affect the west , and second of all when you read, just to name an example, that America’s new jobs pay 23% less than the jobs they replaced, it’s just plain silly to believe that the economy is doing well, let alone recovering.
- Weakness in the Canadian Economy driving its currency lower
- Inverse relationship between commodity prices and USDCAD exchange rate
- Why there could be a reversal in trend
How did the Canadian currency reach a twelve year low?
The US Dollar reached a recent high against CAD at 1.41081 on January 6th a level not seen since August 2003. The general bull trend the green back has been in picked up momentum since talk begun by the Fed of a return to higher interest rates.