Increasing concerns over deflation will limit any QE tapering in the second-half and set the stage for bonds to outperform stocks once again.
Yesterday, infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden, stuck nearly two weeks in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, finally got some good news: first Nicaragua, then Venezuela (and moments ago Bolivia) broke the rejection letter trend, and in bombastic and very political fashion, offered him asylum (although as with everything in politics nothing is concluded until he is actually on some Latin American beach). However, a question remains: just where is Snowden right now? After all, following his initial public appearance and video with the Guardian and WaPo, there have been virtually no public sightings of him, despite his current location in one of the most public venues in the world: the Moscow airport.
- Egypt Girds for Muslim Brotherhood Protests (WSJ)
- SAC Capital's Steven Cohen Expected to Avoid Criminal Charges (WSJ)
- SAC insider-trading probe could last years (Reuters)
- RBI seen selling dollars around 60.59 levels: dealers (Reuters)
- China signals will cut off credit to rebalance economy (Reuters)
- Egypt army arrests key Muslim Brotherhood figures (BBC)
- Rise in Steel Prices Alarms Buyers (WSJ)
- Draghi-Carney Seek Independence Day Break From Bernanke (BBG)
- Samsung Warns Results Will Miss Forecasts (WSJ)
- Russia Prosecutor Seeks 6 Years in Jail for Putin Critic Navalny (BBG)
While the skeleton crew of market participants are still digesting yesterday's uber-dovish, "forward guidance" conversion by the BOE and ECB, driven in response to the Fed's increasingly tight (at least relatively) monetary policy, they now have month's biggest economic and market catalyst to look forward to. In a day which promises to be rife with illiquidity as the bulk of US market participants are within 100 feet of a sandy beach, we are about to get the number that will shape the market's mood for the next month: will the Fed's tapering planes be strengthened in response to strong NFP, or not. As Deutsche accurately points out, the curveball to throw in is that June-August numbers have tended to be seasonally weak over the whole period we have data (back 70+ years) and again over the last 10 years. Today's number is therefore going to be fascinating. A number between 150-200k is unlikely to change anyone’s opinion on the Fed whereas a number below might start to build a case for a taper delay. Above 200k and the September taper momentum will build. Such a high number (especially in a weak seasonal period) is unlikely to be great for markets but the ECB/BoE might have cushioned some of the hawkish blow for now. For the record the market is expecting 165k on payrolls and 7.5% (DB same) for unemployment. A full NFP preview post is coming shortly.
Whether or not you believe PMs will serve as the ultimate store of wealth as the global fiat monetary system collapses should have absolutely no bearing on making the intelligent decision to remove your financial assets from under the domain and inevitable confiscation of global bankers and their State-run tyrannies. Independence Day is a fine day to start the process of taking back our freedoms from the tyrants that rule over us.
When the official Chinese PMI printed a few days ago we noted the 'odd' fact that several of the key sub-indices were 'missing'. While most put this down to some 'hiccup' or aberration, we wondered at the time what this might mean in a nation that has seemingly gone out of its way to baffle with Schrodinger bullshit for much of the last few 'recovery' years in the face of collapsing electricity production, copper/cement/steel prices, fake trade invoices, and a shadow-banking system so re-hypothecated that even the PBOC has decided enough is enough. Well, as Bloomberg reports, it turns out it wasn't an aberration, but new policy from China's Federation of Logistics and Purchasing which has now officially suspended the release of industry-specific data from the monthly survey of manufacturers. As one analyst put it, "the random absence of official data is disorienting," which is likely exactly the plan.
"China’s direct contribution to global growth is enormous, but perhaps equally as important is its role in generating growth in developed and emerging economies. A slowdown, whether significant or extreme, in the Chinese economy heralds very bad news for asset prices around the world. A growth crisis centered in Asia will further exacerbate the instability and volatility in Japan and have a devastating impact on second derivative marketplaces such as Australia, Brazil and developing markets in South East Asia. The combination of rich valuations and further threats to growth has led us to dramatically reduce risk in the portfolio and actively position ourselves to withstand the uncertainty and instability ahead"
The price of gold fell last week to the $1,200 level. The lemming sentiment in capital markets is uniformly bearish, yet every price-drop brings forth hungry buyers for physical gold from all over the world. Even hard-bitten gold bugs in the West are shaken and frightened to call a bottom, yet it is these conditions that accompany a selling climax. This article concludes there is a high possibility that gold will go sharply higher from here. There are three loose ends to consider: valuation, economic and market fundamentals.
A world that deserves what's coming to it.
And those are just the major headline grabbing issues. Those banking on the market rallying even harder have got a lot of obstacles to overcome.
The algos could have a problem getting out of this one. From Mrs.Watanabe (JPY -170pips, NKY -500 points from highs) getting hammered (and the Hang Seng -5%) to European sovereign bond spreads exploding (Portugal +170bps - biggest spike in 2 years to 8 month highs) and financial stocks collapsing (-4%), safe-havens are heavily bid from gold and silver (+3% from lows) to US Treasuries (10Y dropped 8bps) and global equity markets are taking it on the chin. Not pretty...
- Portuguese bond yields soar amid political turmoil (FT)
- Portugal Resignation Rocks European Markets (WSJ)
- Portugal, Greece risk reawakening euro zone beast (Reuters)
- Egypt’s military chiefs hold crisis meeting as Mursi snubs ultimatum (Al Arabiya)
- Egypt Crisis Deepens as Mursi Refuses to Step Down (BBG)
- Hidden microphone found in London embassy: Ecuador (AFP)
- Health Law Penalties Delayed (WSJ)
- Rise in mortgage rates cut into homebuyer demand last week (Reuters)
- Bolivia angered by search of president's plane, no sign of Snowden (Reuters)
- Olympus ex-chairman gets suspended sentence (FT)
In November 2009 the IMF decided it was an opportune time to authorize the sale of 403.3 metric tons of gold. Very quickly after announcing this China, India, Russia, and some EU central banks piled in snapping up the IMF's offer. The current price of gold is around CNY7,300 per ounce, exactly what it was when China last loaded the boat...
China is so "fine" that it has resorted to the full central-planning manipulation trifecta: first making up data, then deleting data, and now outright censoring anyone who reports the data, especially data which reveals the suddenly illiquid state of the local banking system caught in the middle of the grand Likonomics experiment. FT reports that with (the extensively reported here) cash crunch roiling the Chinese economy, "propaganda authorities have told local media to tone down their reporting to help stabilise financial markets. In a directive written last week and transmitted over the past few days to newspapers and television stations, local propaganda departments of the Communist party instructed reporters to stop “hyping the so-called cash crunch” and to spread the message that the country’s markets are well stocked with money." This is vaguely reminiscent of the US, only there those who describe the ugly truth behind the propaganda wholesale numbers are merely mocked and ridiculed as the tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theory gallery (until such time that one after another "theory" becomes "fact") not censored. At least not yet.
Barclays: "In the short run, such rebalancing and deleveraging point to further downside risks for both economic growth and asset prices, including the exchange rate. Based on an increasingly likely downside scenario, we think Chinese growth could experience a temporary ‘hard landing’, which we would define as quarterly growth dropping to 3% or below, within the next three years."