Yen

Bank Of Japan Said To Start Preparing For Losses On Its "Huge" Debt Holdings Once QE Ends

While it most likely is just the usual Friday (past) midnight trial balloon by the Nikkei, a media outlet that has promptly become the BOJ's mouthpiece (recall a week ago the new owner of the FT reported that Abe would delay his 2017 sales tax increase, only to see the premier backpedal when the reaction in the USDJPY was not quite as desired), moments ago the Japanese publication reported that the Bank of Japan will "likely set aside funds for the first time to prepare for losses on its huge holdings of Japanese government bonds should the central bank end its monetary easing policy in the future."

Two Things Are Bothering A Bearish Dennis Gartman

"We are net short of equities here in our account, although we are not materially so. We’ve only a few positions on: we are long of gold in EUR and Yen terms via GEUR and GYEN; we are long of a small bullish derivative of gold in US dollar terms and we are “short” of the market via derivatives positions. There are only two things that bother us..."

Frontrunning: May 20

  • Lacking new ideas, G7 to agree on 'go-your-own-way' approach (Reuters)
  • Japan's Aso tells G7 FX stability vital, no competitive devaluations (Reuters)
  • Snubbed by West, Russia rolls out red carpet for Asian leaders (Reuters)
  • The Fed Has Something to Prove to Wall Street (BBG)
  • Trump's Supreme Court list: all conservative, some provocative (Reuters)
  • Nasdaq Raises Lawsuit Threat Over SEC’s IEX Speed-Bump Plan (WSJ)

Futures Rise As Fed Fears Subside; Global Stocks Rebound From Six Week Lows

It will be fitting, not to mention symmetric, if stocks which yesterday closed at 7 weeks lows and red for the year, end the week the same way they started it: with a rally on no news, just more hopes that oil (which as recently as two years ago none other than Chair Yellen said said would be be "unambiguously good" if lower) will continue rising. While US markets ended yesterday's trading on a sour note, that weakness has failed to spread to the rest of the world, and global shares rebounded from a six-week low as crude and commodity prices recovered, while the yen weakened on reduced demand for haven assets.

Global Stocks Slide, S&P Set To Open Red For The Year As Hawkish Fed Ignites "Risk Off"

After yesterday's algo-driven mad dash to close the S&P green both for the day and for the year following Fed minutes that came in shocking hawkish, the selling has continued overnight, led by the commodity complex as rate hike fears have pushed oil back down some 2% from yesterday's 7 month highs, which in turn has dragged global stocks lower to a six-week low, while pushing bond yields higher across developed nations as the market suddenly reprices the probability of a June/July rate hike.

Copper Slides To Three Month Low Despite Flat Futures, Oil; Dollar Rise Continues

After two violently volatile days in which the market soared (Monday) then promptly retraced all gains (Tuesday), the overnight session has been relatively calm with futures and oil both unchanged even as the BBG dollar index rose to the highest level since April 4. This took place despite a substantial amount of macro data from both Japan, where the GDP came well above the expected 0.3%, instead printing 1.7% annualized, which pushed stocks lower as it meant the probability of more BOJ interventions or a delay of the sales tax hike both dropped. Meanwhile, in China we got proof of the ongoing housing bubble when new property prices were reproted to have soared 12.4% Y/Y in April, which in turn pushed the local stock market to two month lows amid concerns the rampant housing bubble sector could divert funds from stocks. Yes, China is trading on the "risk" one bubble will burst another bubble.

Frontrunning: May 16

  • European Stocks Fall as Chinese Economic Data Disappoint (WSJ)
  • Oil Climbs to Highest Since November as European Shares Retreat (BBG)
  • Yen weakens on Japan intervention talk before G7 meets (Reuters)
  • Wall Street’s Bond Forecasters Splinter as Fed Credibility Wanes (BBG)
  • Amazon to Expand Private-Label Offerings—From Food to Diapers (WSJ)
  • Oil prices rise on Nigerian outages, Goldman forecast (Reuters)

Traders Stumped By Sudden Flash Crash In Chinese H Shares

Just around 2:14am local time (2am EDT), Asian traders were surprised to observe in the Chinese market something which until recently had been a purely development market phenomenon: a flash crash. A sudden plunge by Chinese stocks in Hong Kong had traders scrambling to find a trigger for the slump that coincided with a surge in futures volumes.

Futures Flat Despite China Scare As Oil Rebounds Over $47

The main risk over the weekend was that markets, which have now dropped for three consecutive weeks the longest negative streak since January, would focus their attention on the latest batch of negative Chinese economic news released over the weekend, which missed expectations across the board, most prominently in Retail Sales and Industrial Production, and following Friday's disappointing new credit loan data, would sell off as the Chinese slowdown once again becomes a dominant concern. However, after some initial weakness, the risks were all but gone when first the USDJPY jumped on another round of deflationary Japanese economic data which led to renewed hopes of more BOJ easing and a jump in the USDJPY and thus US futures.

The Endgame

There is a growing fear in financial and monetary circles that there is something deeply wrong with the global economy. Publicly, officials and practitioners alike have become confused by policy failures, and privately, occasionally even downright pessimistic, at a loss to see a statist solution. It is hardly exaggerating to say there is a growing feeling of impending doom. In short, growing evidence of price inflation and stagnant production can be expected to materially increase the risk of a global banking and currency meltdown. The best escape-route is ownership of anything other than purely financial assets and fiat currency deposits. No wonder the price of gold, which is the soundest of moneys, appears to have entered a new bull market.

Is A "Lehman-Style Shock" Coming: Abe Announces Sales Tax Delay

Over the past few months Abe insisted that he would not delay the consumption tax increase for a second time, explaining repeatedly that the increase would go ahead "unless a global economic contraction or a Lehman-style market shock jolted Japan's economy." Inquiring minds want to know if a Lehman-style economic contraction is about to hit Japan because moments ago Nikkei just reported what many had expected for months, to wit: "Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to postpone a consumption tax increase set for next April, judging it to threaten efforts to pull the world's third-largest economy out of deflation."