With chatter that over $3 billion has been thrown into the FX market to buy Turkish Lira, it appears the central bank is losing control quickly and Turkish stocks are tumbling. The Turkish Lira collapse almost 400 pips this morning to around 2.30 to the USD - an all-time record low as the combination of corruption, social unrest, and Fed taper are seeing hot money outflows faster than the Turkish Central bank can keep control.
*TURKISH LIRA WEAKENS PAST 3.15 AGAINST EURO; WEAKENS TO NEW RECORD 2.3029 PER DOLLAR
This is the biggest tumble in the Lira in almost 5 months as the Istanbul 100 (stocks) drops 2.9% - its biggest drop in a month; and Turkish bond yields are backing up to 2-year highs.
Wondering why Herbalife is down over 12% in the past few minutes? Wonder no more: moments ago Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey, who apparently has a morbid interest in protein shakes - more so than the FTC - asked for more information about the business practices of nutrition company Herbalife. Markey sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and to Herbalife itself to try an obtain more information, his office said in a news release on Thursday. The take home from all of this? Senator Edward Markey has an advance invite to the Pershing Square holiday ball.
NAR chose to blame the weather in keeping with the rest of the nation as it cited "cold" in the Northeast and Midwest for the 4th miss on existing home sales in a row and the lowest level of sales since October 2012. What is ironic is that while the always independent NAR proclaims weather to blame for the miss (despite Midwest condo sales up 14%!?), it crows that December sales were the strongest for a December in 7 years. The median home price rose 9.9% Year-over-year (so half that of China's). NAR sums it up: "we lost some momentum toward the end of 2013 from disappointing job growth and limited inventory..." It would appear home sales are catching down to the collapse in mortgage applications as the fast-money cash-buyers have stepped away for now...
"What will drive this "strength"? More of the same I suspect – any weakness in earnings will be ignored (virtually all of last year's equity market gains were NOT earnings or revenue growth driven, but were rather virtually all multiple expansion driven), any bad economic data will be ignored – the weather provides a great cover, and instead markets will I think see (one last?) reason to cheer the Fed and/or the BOJ and/or the ECB and/or the PBoC.... The only real "success" of these current policies is to create significant investment distortions and misallocations of capital, at the expense of the broad real economy, leading to excessive speculation and financial engineering. If I am right about the final outcome over 2014 and into 2015, the non-systemic three-year bear market of early 2000 to early 2003 may well be a better "template". Of course the S&P lost virtually the same amount peak-to-trough in both bear markets, and in real (as opposed to nominal) terms actually lost more in the 2000/03 sell-off than in the 2007/09 crash." -Bob Janjuah
News that India may be folding on its capital controls had sent gold and silver surging this morning but following this morning's collapse in emergency claims benefits in the US (expected, but still shocking), precious metals are extending gains, Treasury yields are tumbling, and the USD is well offered. US and German stocks are also cracking lower (with chatter of a flash-crash in Germany's DAX). The more likely driver of all this weakness is that Nomura (or some large Japanese BoJ proxy) lost the 104 USDJPY anchor...
Gold Surges On Speculation India May Ease Import Restrictions; China Reports Gold Reserves UnchangedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/23/2014 09:15 -0400
Over the past year India's attempt to impose price controls on gold imports has only achieved one thing: forced citizens to find ever newer and more creative means of smuggling gold. It has gotten so bad Indians are now smuggling the yellow metal through Pakistan, on airplanes, and has now even surpassed the illegal drug trade. Which perhaps is why the biggest news in the commodity space overnight was the appeal by India's Congress party chief, Sonia Gandhi - widow to Rajiv - to the government asking for a cut in the record import duty on gold and for other restrictions to be eased, television channel CNBC Awaaz said citing sources that it did not identify. Reuters adds that "the coalition government, led by Congress, is considering easing restrictions, which include a 10 percent import duty and a rule that says 20 percent of all imports must leave the country as exports, government sources told Reuters earlier this month. India used to be the world's biggest buyer of bullion until the government introduced the curbs in order to contain a record current account deficit."
- Gross Told El-Erian ‘Hell No’ Seeking to Stop Departure (BBG)
- How Caterpillar got bulldozed in China (Reuters)
- Davos Bankers Struggle to Convince Elite That Markets Are Safer (BBG)
- Lucrative Role as Middleman Puts Amazon in Tough Spot (WSJ)
- Arctic Air Blankets Northern U.S. as Texas to Get Snow (BBG)
- Lenovo buys IBM's server business in China's biggest IT acquisition (Reuters)
- SEC judge bars "Big Four" China units for six months over audits (Reuters)
- U.S. Accuses Security Background Check Firm of Fraud (WSJ)
- RIP BOE forward guidance: Bank of England rate rise is 'still some way off' - Fisher (Reuters)
As we first reported one week ago, the first shadow default in Chinese history, the "Credit Equals Gold #1 Collective Trust Product" issued by China Credit Trust Co. Ltd. (CCT) due to mature Jan 31st with $492 million outstanding, appears ready to go down in the record books. In turn, virtually every sellside desk has issued notes and papers advising what this event would mean ("don't panic, here's a towel", and "all shall be well"), and is holding conference calls with clients to put their mind at ease in the increasingly likely scenario that there is indeed a historic "first" default for a country in which such events have previously been prohibited. So with under 10 days to go, for anyone who is still confused about the role of trusts in China's financial system, a default's significance, the underlying causes, the implications for the broad economy, and what the possible outcomes of the CCT product default are, here is Goldman's Q&A on a potential Chinese trust default.
Following last night's surprise event, which was China's HSBC PMI dropping into contraction territory for the first time since July, which in turn sent Asian market into a tailspin, the most relevant underreported news was a speech by International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara who said that "As long as steady progress is being made toward the 2% target, we do not see a need for additional monetary accommodation in Japan." He added that while exit from unconventional monetary policy "is still very likely some way off for the euro area and Japan, I believe that the moment to start planning is now." This warning - an echo of prcisely what we said yesterday - promptly roiled the Yen, sending it far higher and sending the EMini futures sliding by over 10 tick in no time: a drop from which they have not recovered yet.