The collapse of China's economy will have serious implications for India, the country's top investment banker warns. With exports in free fall and the government caught between fiscal retrenchment and the need to keep the economy afloat, it could be a rough year for the country Goldman swears will be a top economic performer in 2016.
The risk of a fracture in risk markets when lower liquidity meets forced selling, is high in our view. Should this weakening of spread sectors in fixed income continue, we will see a further rally in Treasuries – back in Aug/ Sep, 10y USTs broke below 2%, and there is no reason we can’t get there later this month.
While some central banks prefer to stealthily 'manage' their markets, a bid here, a stick-save there, today's epic intervention, short-squeeze, carry-trade-carnage in Offshore Yuan is the most visible hand yet in the new normal world of central planning. USDCNH is now down over 850 pips on the day - a record 1.25% strengthening in the offshore Yuan...
Maybe because not enough people caught the dire warning the first time, moments ago Bloomberg reported that Han Jun, the deputy director of China’s office of the central leading group for financial and economic afairs, spoke at an event at the Chinese consulate in New York and practically reiterated the anonymous source's warning practically verbatim. To wit: "There won’t be a strong economic stimulus and people shouldn’t expect a V-shape recovery; instead long period of L-shape growth path is likely" said Han, who participated in the drafting of China’s latest five year plan.
Another algo-induced stop-run has tried and failed to maintain its gains this morning as Morgan Stanley becomes the latest (after Goldman) to join the "oil in the $20s is possible" bandwagon. Despite hopeful bullishness from Andy Hall who sees production destruction leading (an industry that couldn’t function at $50 certainly can't function with prices below $40) inevityably leading to higher prices, Morgan Stanley warns, "in an oversupplied market, there is no intrinsic value for crude oil. The only guide posts are that the ceiling is set by producer hedging while the floor is set by investor and consumer appetite to buy. As a result, non-fundamental factors, such as the USD, are arguably more important price drivers."
Yuantervention overnight steadied the Chinese currency and despite a plunge in Asian equities, stabilized US equities thanks to an incvessant bid for USDJPY. However, this morning has seen PBOC's Ma crawl out from under the desk to attempt to calm investor panic with two-faced comments about the nation's new FX regime. Noting that PBOC will focus on stability of Yuan vs their new CFETS basket, Ma then back-handedly said two-way volatility was expected to increase (in a clear nod to stopping carry traders piling on). Of course, the crude oil algos loved it and surged, USDJPY jumped, but for now US equities and bond are unimpressed.
Just 11 days into 2016, Goldman has been stopped out of one of its 6 "top trades for 2016" following a 5.4% loss on its "long large-cap US banks" trade as these "relatively well-priced, trading just above book value" assets turned out to be relatively unwell priced...
- David Bowie, musical legend behind Ziggy Stardust, dies at 69 from cancer (Reuters)
- With No Powerball Winners, Jackpot Grows to Estimated $1.3 Billion (ABC)
- Stock Gains Short-Lived as Chinese Volatility Hurts Oil, Metals (BBG)
- China's yuan spikes higher, but stocks tumble (Reuters)
- Arch Coal Files for Bankruptcy (WSJ)
- Yuan Loan Rates Soar in Hong Kong as PBOC Halts Currency's Slide (BBG)
- China stocks close down at lowest level since September (Reuters)
- Fed Eyes Margin Rules to Bolster Oversight (WSJ)
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).
Somebody had to do something...
As China’s leaders figure out that pegging the yuan to the dollar while quintupling their debt in five years was a colossal mistake, they are, apparently, concluding that the only way out is a sudden, sharp currency devaluation...
Ming Pao, the most influential Chinese newspaper in Hong Kong, reports that Shanghai residents are lining up at local banks to sell Yuan for Dollars over fears of even more Yuan devaluation.
We believe there is a chance of disruption and highly illiquid conditions in the forex market during the coming weeks (and/or months). Please be aware that market gaps tend to occur over the weekend – that is, currencies trade at prices considerably distant from previous levels.
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.