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Stocks Desperate To Put Ukraine In Rearview Mirror But More Russian Sanctions Loom

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Following the overnight ramp in various JPY crosses (dragging equity futures higher, and the Nikkei up 0.8%) it is as if the market is desperate to put all of last week's geopolitical events in the rearview mirror, and while yesterday there were no economic events of note, today's CPI and existing home prints should provide at least some distraction from the relentless barrage of one-line updates on Ukraine and Gaza. Still, that is precisely where the biggest risk remains, with an emphasis on the possibility of more Russian sanctions, this time by Europe.

Today will likely see more headlines on the situation as EU foreign ministers meet as well as the Russian Security Council. Watch out for headlines from all angles. Perhaps the most market-friendly outcome is that EU leaders talk very tough but do not agree on intensifying sanctions against Russia. Reuters thinks that despite all the tough talk, the EU is unlikely to punish Russia beyond the speeding up of the imposition of already agreed individual sanctions. A summit of EU leaders on July 16, the day before the airliner was downed, agreed the EU would punish Russian companies that help to destabilize Ukraine. According to Reuters, diplomats said Tuesday's meeting in Brussels was still not expected to go much further than agreeing on the people and possibly companies to be hit with asset freezes under the framework agreed last week. Previously, they had only said they would decide on the list by the end of July. Citing unnamed diplomats, Reuters said moving towards more sweeping economic sanctions could only be decided by heads of government. The next scheduled summit of EU leaders is on August 30, though EU members could call for another emergency meeting.

An unknown element today will be the Dutch, who have previously advocated caution in imposing sanctions against Russia, but are likely going to be a large swing factor today. The Netherlands previous caution with respect to Russia was perhaps to due to its significant economic ties, but they will be forced into action given the loss of life they have experienced in the MH17 tragedy. In terms of the Russian Security Council meeting, not a lot has been reported on what to expect from this. Putin will chair the meeting to discuss "issues connected with safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation," the Kremlin said in a statement on Monday.

Turning to Asia, we’re seeing a tentative but positive tone to trading ahead of today's events which include the EU foreign ministers meeting, US CPI and a number of important corporate earnings. There are solid gains being recorded across the Hang Seng (+1.15%), HSCEI (+1.5%) and Japan has return from holidays with a 0.8% gain in the Nikkei. There is an interesting article on Bloomberg today, suggesting that there is a rift within the Bank of Japan’s board with respect to the ability of the central bank to meet its inflation target. According to the article, a majority of the nine members disagree with Kuroda’s view that the BoJ’s QQE program is sufficient to get 2% inflation, and most conclude it cannot be done without government steps to raise Japan’s growth potential, citing unnamed sources. USDJPY is broadly unchanged today. Elsewhere Indonesia remains a focus with official election results to be announced later today. IDR continues to rally and is a further 0.3% stronger today while Indonesian USD sovereign paper is trading stronger.  MSCI Asia Pacific up 0.6% to 147.8; Nikkei 225 up 0.8%, Hang Seng up 1.7%, Kospi up 0.5%, Shanghai Composite up 1%, ASX up 0.1%, Sensex up 0.9%.

Equity markets in Europe shrugged off the lower close on Wall Street as the strong performance from Asia-Pacific equities prompted a gap higher at the open, with the energy and materials sectors outperforming on a recent rebound in commodities prices. Earnings in Europe have been received favourably, with ARM Holdings (ARM LN), IG Group (IGG LN) and Actelion (ATLN VX) outweighing a poor update from Credit Suisse (CSGN VX), who have been forced to close their commodities trading unit in order to offset losses prompted by US tax fines. 17 out of 19 Stoxx 600 sectors rise; basic resources, oil & gas outperform; retail, media underperform. 73.2% of Stoxx 600 members gain, 24.8% decline. Eurostoxx 50 +0.5%, FTSE 100 +0.6%, CAC 40 +0.3%, DAX +0.5%, IBEX +0.5%, FTSEMIB +0.6%, SMI +0.2%

Today’s calendar looks more interesting than that of the last 24 hours. The EU foreign ministers’ meeting starts at 8:30am London time this morning. Ahead of that we have some European corporate earnings with Credit Suisse (which were a bigger miss than expected) and Norsk Hydro’s results. Today’s US earnings calendar today features results from a number of megacaps including the likes of McDonalds, Coca-cola Co, Verizon (before the open) and Apple and Microsoft (after-market). A major focus today is on US CPI. Consensus is +2.1% YoY and +2.0% in headline and core respectively. There is also existing home sales today. Both pieces of data have the capacity to move treasury markets. Hungary’s central bank also holds its rate meeting today.

Market Wrap

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 1967.7
  • Stoxx 600 up 0.5% to 339.7
  • US 10Yr yield up 1bps to 2.48%
  • German 10Yr yield up 1bps to 1.16%
  • MSCI Asia Pacific up 0.6% to 147.8
  • Gold spot down 0.4% to $1307.5/oz

Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk and Bloomberg

  • EUR/USD approached YTD lows at 1.3477 this morning, after July’s support at 1.3491 was broken. Real money supply and strong demand for USD/CHF lifted the USD-index to six week highs as thin trade exacerbated price action
  • All eyes on Brussels as the EU foreign affairs presser is expected to unveil further sanctions on the Russian arms and dual-use industrial goods sector
  • US earnings calendar thick and fast today, with Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Lockheed Martin and Altria all due today
  • Treasuries decline, led by 7Y and 10Y notes as global stocks rally; 5/30 curve touches new 5-year tight in overnight trading.
  • EU governments labored to identify more Russian businesspeople and companies to sanction and pressed Putin to speed a probe into the downing of Malaysian Air flight MH17 or face isolation
  • 54% of jobs in the EU are at risk of advances in computerization, according to a study by economist Jeremy Bowles published by Bruegel, a Brussels-based research organization.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Kerry put the onus on the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers to halt two weeks of fighting with Israel that has killed more than 600 people, the overwhelming majority of them Palestinians
  • Credit Suisse said it will exit commodities trading as a $2.6b fine to settle a U.S. tax investigation pushed the Swiss bank to its biggest quarterly loss since 2008
  • Texas Governor Rick Perry said he will send as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to help secure the border with Mexico; about 57,000 unaccompanied minors have arrived at the border since October, double the total from fiscal 2013
  • U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s lawsuit challenging an Obamacare provision subsidizing health insurance for members of Congress and their aides was dismissed by a judge who found the lawmaker failed to show he’d been harmed
  • Sovereign yields mostly higher. Euro Stoxx Banks +1.54%. Asian and European stocks equities gain, U.S. stock futures rise. WTI crude and copper higher, gold declines

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: CPI m/m, June, est. 0.3% (prior 0.4%)
    • CPI Ex Food and Energy m/m, June, est. 0.2% (prior 0.3%)
    • CPI y/y, June, est. 2.1% (prior 2.1%)
    • CPI Ex Food and Energy y/y, June, est. 2% (prior 2%)
    • CPI Core Index SA, June, est. 238.227 (prior 237.776)
    • CPI Index NSA, June, est. 238.535 (prior 237.9)
  • 9:00am: FHFA House Price Index m/m, May, est. 0.2% (prior 0.0%)
  • 10:00am: Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, July, est. 5 (prior 3)
  • 10:00am: Existing Home Sales, June, est. 4.99m (prior 4.89m)
    • Existing Home Sales m/m, June, est. 2% (prior 4.9%) Supply

ASIAN HEADLINES

The Nikkei 225 (+0.84%) managed to pull back the majority of Friday’s losses after yesterday’s market closure, with Chinese and Hong Kong markets (Shanghai Comp +1.02%, Hang Seng +1.69%) benefiting from the PBoC choosing not to drain liquidity overnight.

FIXED INCOME

Fixed income markets trade softer, with strong equity markets weighing, as Bund futures continue to retreat from contract highs at 148.49 printed on Friday. Furthermore, relatively poorly received (bid/cover 1.84 vs. prev. 2.04) Gilt supply (circa 30K Gilt futures contracts) has pressed prices lower. Italian and Spanish 10yr yield spreads trade slightly tighter, as markets take a favourable view on consolidation in the Italian banking sector, after Banca Carige unveiled plans to offload assets. Barclays Prelim Pan Euro Agg Month-end Extension +0.11y (Prev. month 0.09y, 12m ave. 0.08y), Prelim Treasury Month-end Extension +0.08y (Prev. month 0.08y, 12m ave. 0.09y)

EQUITIES

Equity markets in Europe shrugged off the lower close on Wall Street as the strong performance from Asia-Pacific equities prompted a gap higher at the open, with the energy and materials sectors outperforming on a recent rebound in commodities prices. Earnings in Europe have been received favourably, with ARM Holdings (ARM LN), IG Group (IGG LN) and Actelion (ATLN VX) outweighing a poor update from Credit Suisse (CSGN VX), who have been forced to close their commodities trading unit in order to offset losses prompted by US tax fines.

FX

EUR/USD tripped stops on the way through 1.35 to hit the lowest level since February at 1.3481, with real money supply weighing on the currency as USD/CHF buying lifted the USD-index by almost 0.2%. Traders now eye a base in EUR/USD at the yearly lows of 1.3477, with analysts at IFR noting talk of option barriers at 1.3475 and 1.3450.

COMMODITIES

Oil trades slightly higher ahead of the NYMEX open as continued instability in the Middle-east and eastern Europe keeps a floor under prices. Nonetheless, expectations of a resumption of shipping from Libya’s Brega oil port could keep a cap on Brent price action. Precious metals markets have fallen alongside fixed income, as EU sanctions on Russia are seen sparing the resources and commodities sectors. Near-term focus shifts to the API crude oil inventories due after market and the August WTI option expiries due at the pit close

* * *

DB's Jim Reid Concludes the Overnight Summary

Ever since news broke that Thursday's tragic plane crash may have been caused by a missile fired by pro-Russia separatists I've felt that this story was an incredibly dangerous one for global stability and also the global economy. However most of these major geopolitical events do eventually pass even if concerns heighten so maybe the market is correct to be relatively sanguine. Will this be another such occasion? In my mind the market is not assigning a high enough probability of this situation escalating to uncomfortable levels but the reality is the most likely outcome is that it doesn't. Therein lies the dilemma of investing. Do you position for the most likely outcome along with the crowd or do you stand more alone and position for the lower probability but higher impact outcome. Over a career you'll probably get higher overall returns with the latter strategy but you may have more uncomfortable moments explaining and surviving frequent small under-performance. Also trading liquidity is shallow enough at the moment, especially in assets like cash credit, that it doesn't necessary pay to try to capture short-term moves. So we're not changing our recommendations at the moment but it’s fair to say we feel uneasy at developments over the past few days.

Indeed the newsflow continues in this story with no signs of an imminent solution or escalation yet. However with Russia seemingly not keen on accepting the West's version of events, President Obama putting some pressure on them yesterday afternoon and EU foreign ministers meeting today there is a real possibility of a ratcheting up of sanctions on Russia later this week – including possibly more hard-hitting “level 3” sanctions. The US may find it economically easier to deal with this outcome than Europe though. On a client call yesterday (call replay details included at the end), DB’s Yaroslav Lissovolik, DB’s Head of Research (Russia) discussed Putin’s likely next actions and commented that opinion polls in Russia are suggesting war fatigue, with two thirds against continued support for the pro-Russian separatists. Given this there is a chance that Putin may wish to de-escalate the situation if possible, although Yaroslav noted that Putin may decide to escalate the situation further in the near-term in order to de-escalate at a later point. Also on the call was Frank Kelly, DB’s geopolitical go-to man, who gave his view on the US position. After watching Obama’s press conference yesterday he sees the White House’s position as giving Putin the opportunity to save face and help de-escalate the situation before the stepping up of sanctions. For example Frank thinks we need to see Putin call for a ceasefire and take actions to support it and/or help secure the MH17 crash site. If these actions aren’t forthcoming he believes the US will announce further sanctions on Russia.

As we mentioned earlier, today will likely see more headlines on the situation as EU foreign ministers meet as well as the Russian Security Council. So watch out for headlines from all angles. Perhaps the most market-friendly outcome is that EU leaders talk very tough but do not agree on intensifying sanctions against Russia. Reuters thinks that despite all the tough talk, the EU is unlikely to punish Russia beyond the speeding up of the imposition of already agreed individual sanctions. A summit of EU leaders on July 16, the day before the airliner was downed, agreed the EU would punish Russian companies that help to destabilize Ukraine. According to Reuters, diplomats said Tuesday's meeting in Brussels was still not expected to go much further than agreeing on the people and possibly companies to be hit with asset freezes under the framework agreed last week. Previously, they had only said they would decide on the list by the end of July. Citing unnamed diplomats, Reuters said moving towards more sweeping economic sanctions could only be decided by heads of government. The next scheduled summit of EU leaders is on August 30, though EU members could call for another emergency meeting.

An unknown element today will be the Dutch, who have previously advocated caution in imposing sanctions against Russia, but are likely going to be a large swing factor today. The Netherland’s previous caution with respect to Russia was perhaps to due to its significant economic ties, but they will be forced into action given the loss of life they have experienced in the MH17 tragedy. In terms of the Russian Security Council meeting, not a lot has been reported on what to expect from this. Putin will chair the meeting to discuss "issues connected with safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation," the Kremlin said in a statement on Monday.

So we may get a short term relief rally if the EU foreign ministers meeting ends today with no concrete steps towards further sanctions – but this doesn’t take away from the fact that we still face a potentially dangerous threat to global stability. Following yesterday’s speech from Obama, we saw a small relief rally as the US president said he still preferred a diplomatic resolution for Ukraine and did not announce any level 3 sanctions. Some also highlighted that Obama chose to discuss the situation in the Middle East first, before the Ukraine/Russia crisis, and was perhaps trying to play the situation down a touch. Either way, US equities bottomed just before Obama’s comments, and from there the S&P500 recovered around 0.33% to close at -0.23% on the day. Rates closed marginally stronger (10yr yield at 2.47%, -1.5bp) although yields also bottomed shortly before Obama spoke and traded upwards towards the end of the NY session. However, this didn’t stop the US30yr yield (3.26%, -3bp) closing at its lowest level in more than a year.

Turning to Asia, we’re seeing a tentative but positive tone to trading ahead of today's events which include the EU foreign ministers meeting, US CPI and a number of important corporate earnings. There are solid gains being recorded across the Hang Seng (+1.15%), HSCEI (+1.5%) and Japan has return from holidays with a 0.96% gain in the Nikkei. There is an interesting article on Bloomberg today, suggesting that there is a rift within the Bank of Japan’s board with respect to the ability of the central bank to meet its inflation target. According to the article, a majority of the nine members disagree with Kuroda’s view that the BoJ’s QQE program is sufficient to get 2% inflation, and most conclude it cannot be done without government steps to raise Japan’s growth potential, citing unnamed sources. USDJPY is broadly unchanged today. Elsewhere Indonesia remains a focus with official election results to be announced later today. IDR continues to rally and is a further 0.3% stronger today while Indonesian USD sovereign paper is trading stronger.

As we noted in last Friday’s EMR, one corner of the fixed income market worth watching closely is US high yield. The Fedchair has warned repeatedly that she sees worrying signs in the HY market and last week’s flow data from Lipper suggested that perhaps US retail investors are beginning to take heed of those warnings. According to Lipper, retail-cash outflows from HY funds in the week ended July 16 were the single largest one-week redemption in 11 months. The latest EPFR data also confirmed the same, with their data showing that retail investors’ redemptions from US HY funds hit 57 week highs for the week ending July 16th. ETFs were the major contributing factor to that week’s outflows and yesterday we saw the major US high yield ETFs resume their downward moves in price. The iShares iBoxx High Yield ETF closed 0.17% lower (its 9th down day in the last 12 sessions). In addition, the ETF’s 10-day average premium to NAV is now in negative territory (i.e. trading at a discount to NAV), which last occurred last summer. So certainly some evidence of retail selling of the HY asset class. Something to watch over the next few weeks.

On a separate but somewhat related theme, the US Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to vote tomorrow on a plan that may require some money market funds to float the value of their fund’s shares, rather than sticking to the norm of a fixed $1 per share. If the five-member commission on July 23 votes for the plan, institutional money market funds would float the value of their fund’s share price, thus creating a potentially sensitive situation where these perceived low-risk funds could “break the buck”, i.e. trade lower than $1/share. The SEC is also considering the introduction of withdrawal restrictions and exit fees on these funds. Similar to the HY situation described above, in a world accustomed to central bank liquidity, it’s difficult to understand how markets will behave if flows go the other way and perhaps the SEC’s proposals to introduce “gates” on redemptions is a reflection of that unknown.

Today’s calendar looks more interesting than that of the last 24 hours. The EU foreign ministers’ meeting starts at 8:30am London time this morning. Ahead of that we have some European corporate earnings with Credit Suisse and Norsk Hydro’s results. CS is expected to report a negative headline earnings number following recent settlements with US regulators, but as is usually the case of late; markets will be more interested in the underlying earnings. Today’s US earnings calendar today features results from a number of megacaps including the likes of McDonalds, Coca-cola Co, Verizon (before the open) and Apple and Microsoft (after-market). A major focus today is on US CPI. Consensus is +2.1% YoY and +2.0% in headline and core respectively. There is also existing home sales today. Both pieces of data have the capacity to move treasury markets. Hungary’s central bank also holds its rate meeting today.

 

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Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:06 | 4987094 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Dear Obama,

If you were such a BSD, you'd sanction Gazprom.

 

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:32 | 4987118 william shatner
william shatner's picture

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28MrASx-RiM&feature=youtu.be

BUSTED! Ukraine Caught Trying to 'Frame Russia' for Shooting Down Malaysia Flight MH17!

 

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:43 | 4987139 sunnydays
sunnydays's picture

Hacked emails from U.S. embassy to Ukraine General calling for false flag so U.S. can join with military against Russia.  the emails were proven to be real. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWfrfxerKp0

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 08:17 | 4987182 medium giraffe
medium giraffe's picture

As evidence of such disgusting treachery comes to light, I do wonder if we might yet see the entire house of cards collapse as all of the false flags and criminals acts are dragged into the light. 

Perhaps our leaders should worry less about their re-elections, and more about their impending imprisonment.

 

 

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 09:17 | 4987429 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Perhaps our leaders should worry less about their re-elections, and more about their impending imprisonment.

With everything we witnessed mg just within the last 13 years of the police state with the Pat Act(s) and NDAA, if the public was that concerned we would have seen prison or death for all of them based on their voting records for Martial Law and illegal wars.

Truth is "John and Jane Q" don't give a rats ass until they lose all their money which we know is about to happen, or the draft lottery gets reinstated. But you need a reason to go to war -so we know the next "big surprise" is in the works after this MH-17 rouse continues to tank and they have to whip up another one!

Will they have time before it all implodes?... Living in interesting times indeed!

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:12 | 4987099 jubber
jubber's picture

HK up 500, DAX up 100 FTSEMIB up 300 IBEX UP 150 US futures basically ATH's bar russell and of course Gold smashed to pieces, although BRENT is up substantially as the market ignores the renewed carnage in Libya

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:19 | 4987106 SlipStitchPass
SlipStitchPass's picture

They will manipulate this market until there is nothing left. It will end in complete catastrophy. We are in the Orwellian nightmare.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:26 | 4987108 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Only thing between us and DOW 18K....is a nuclear holocaust.

 

I'll take 3 Big Macs and some stawks.....stick it on my EBT.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:25 | 4987111 Millivanilli
Millivanilli's picture

Russia is Evil™  

Started right before the Olympics.   Just like a bad ad campaign.  

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:30 | 4987119 wonderatitall
wonderatitall's picture

...and the "bare" is loose, hide your golf clubs

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:34 | 4987126 Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

"Started right before the Olympics".  I remember back in December and January it would make the CBC (Canada Broadcast) news main stories when some cross country skier, luger or speedskating bitch would tweet something about Putin being a homophobe I started getting worried.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:27 | 4987116 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Obama is a one man Smoot Hawley act.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:37 | 4987131 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

"Anyone, anyone?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhiCFdWeQfA

 

What the hell is a Laffer Curve?

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:42 | 4987138 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

It was like a class full of Obamas.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:31 | 4987125 smacker
smacker's picture

"Reuters thinks that despite all the tough talk, the EU is unlikely to punish Russia beyond the speeding up of the imposition of already agreed individual sanctions."

If EU countries decide to punish Russia, hopefully they'll tell us all for doing what. At this point I have seen zero evidence from Washington/Westminster that comes close to proving anything, let alone that Putin orchestrated the downing of MH17.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:34 | 4987130 Bill of Rights
Bill of Rights's picture
BRICS Bank capital might not be held in US dollars’

 

Nothing found for Brics-Bank-Capital-Might-Not-Be-Held-In-Us-Dollars # U85Kybga9Dd

 

“If you convert rand to US dollars and then to yuan there are costs involved, so if we convert rand directly into yuan that will reduce costs,” he said.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:41 | 4987136 Hindenburg...Oh Man
Hindenburg...Oh Man's picture

NASDAQ e mini going nuts pre market. 14+ year highs. insanity. On what?? iPhone orders?

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:53 | 4987149 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Consider it to be marketing.  Wall street has a lot of garbage to sell.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:52 | 4987148 christiangustafson
christiangustafson's picture

The JPY daily chart is a special piece of sheer madness.

What we have here is a right-angled triangle that should complete by breaking upwards.  It wants to break through resistance and head upwards, in a sharp deflationary unwind of Japan.

But as long as it does not, for every tick they can shit on the Yen and knock it down again, they keep the carry trade in play and pretend that it all somehow works.  

As long as Japan is not finally falling to pieces, it all somehow works.  

So it keeps on keeping on.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 08:36 | 4987248 toros
toros's picture

Stocks Desperate lol

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 08:39 | 4987260 TabakLover
TabakLover's picture

Core CPI under forecast.  Grandma Yellen give ZH the finger!

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 11:48 | 4988169 TheRideNeverEnds
TheRideNeverEnds's picture

the market has reached escape velocity, there is no turning it back now. 

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!