Yesterday's weak dollar headfake has ended and overnight the USD rallied, while Asian stocks dropped to the lowest level in 7 weeks and crude oil fell as speculation returned that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as next month. The pound jumped and European stocks gained thanks to a weaker EUR.
"As SOE restructuring progresses, it will also become more apparent that Chinese banks need to be rescued. We estimate that the total losses in the banking sector could reach CNY8 trillion, equivalent to more than 60% of commercial banks’ capital, 50% of fiscal revenues and 12% of GDP."
Government bonds rose and the yen strengthened as investors weighed the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next increase in interest rates and the outlook for inflation. Commodities slid, led by metals, while stocks in Europe declined. Treasury 30-year yields fell for a third day. The yen rose from near this month’s low. Futures on the S&P 500 also declined after initially jumping higher in thinly traded, illiquid tape.
Not only is China facing a significant risk of an economic hard landing, but, as we have noted on many occasions, the country is also facing what perhaps may be an even greater risk: social unrest. As the economy continues to weaken, and layoffs continue to mount, China has started to relax its own labor rules in order to try and keep everyone happy... for now; as China is experiencing a surge in part-time workers. In order to control costs, but still meet whatever demand comes, Reuters reports factories are now hiring by the day instead of keeping workers around in a full employment contract.
No wonder the Chinese are buying gold hand-over-fist...
"They don’t feel tired and they don’t know fear..."
Somewhere back in the depths of time the world got the idea that easy money - that is, low interest rates and high levels of government spending - would produce sustainable growth with modest but positive inflation. And for a while it seemed to work. But that was an illusion.
Something has changed according to Jeff Gundlach. After claiming that a rate hike is "inconceivable" as recently as a month ago, a stance which he softened somewhat in recent days, Gundlach said that the Fed has changed the conditions required for a potential interest-rate hike this year. Cited by Bloomberg, Gundlach believes that the Fed's thinking has shifted from, 'if the data pattern improves we will have the green light to hike,' to 'unless the data pattern weakens we have the green light to hike.'"
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.
Just as we warned was probable, The PBOC sent a message loud and clear to the newly hawkish Fed following today's surge in the dollar after the minutes were released. With the 2nd biggest daily devaluation since the August collapse, China pushed the Yuan fix against the USD down to its lowest since early February - barely above the January lows. As we warned earlier, the China-Panic trade looms loud now as turmoil appears all that is left to stop The Fed unleashing another round of liquidity-suckiong rate hikes sooner than the market wants.
Once again the fears over China's slowdown, global growth faltering, and the fallacy of US analyst hockey sticks are biting at the ankles of fiction-peddling talking heads. With copper plunging and the USD Index resurgent, as Bloomberg's Mark Cudmore warns, the risk-aversion sparked by China in January is on course for an imminent replay...
Saudi Arabia Admits To A Full-Blown Liquidity Crisis: Will Pay Government Contractors With IOUs, DebtSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/18/2016 11:04 -0400
Now, Saudi economic (and liquidity) problems just spilled out into the open, because Bloomberg reported moments ago, Saudi Arabia has told banks it is considering paying some outstanding bills to contractors with government-issued bonds, citing people with knowledge of matter say. Contractors would be able to hold bond-like instruments until maturity. Bloomberg adds that issuing bonds is one of several options being considered.
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.
We've chronicled extensively the capital flight taking place out of China and into anything that is perceived to hold value as fears that the yuan will devalue persist (here, here, and here). Now we're able to learn just how much individual wealth has been poured into the United States real estate market over the past few years. According to the study (which excludes most purchases by companies and trusts), Chinese buyers have invested a massive $110 billion into the US real estate market between 2010-2015... and it's expected to double by 2020.
The days of global reliance on Chinese demand are soon coming to end as seen by the decline in growth rate, decline in imports, and increase in service sector strength. The implications have already been great as stock markets across the developed world fell into peril when China's GDP growth rate fell below 7 percent. Withdrawal symptoms may last for a while until a recovery in demand alleviates some pressure. But global financial markets will have to adjust to a developed China, and as this "new normal" sets in, it will mean softer demand for commodities. China’s slowing demand for oil will lead to heightened competition for suppliers. For now, it appears that OPEC’s loss is Russia’s gain.