James Steel, chief commodities analyst at HSBC in New York continues to be constructive on gold in the medium and long term and sees gold rising to $1,600/oz in the second half of 2013.
There can be no doubt that the global growth, earnings, incomes and fundamental story remains very subdued. But at the same time financial markets, hooked on central bank ‘heroin’, have created an enormous and – in the long run – untenable gap between themselves and the real economy’s fundamentals. This gap is getting to dangerous levels, with positioning, sentiment, speculation, margin and leverage running at levels unseen since 2006/2007. ‘Tapering’ is going to happen. It will be gentle, it will be well telegraphed, and the key will be to avoid a major shock to the real economy. But the Fed is NOT going to taper because the economy is too strong or because we have sustained core (wage) inflation, or because we have full employment - none of these conditions will be seen for some years to come. Rather, we feel that the Fed is going to taper because it is getting very fearful that it is creating a number of significant and dangerous leverage driven speculative bubbles that could threaten the financial stability of the US. In central bank speak, the Fed has likely come to the point where it feels the costs now outweigh the benefits of more policy.
Demand isn’t there at the moment in the economy. Production isn’t being utilized. Any monetary policy will only be temporarily of benefit to the market and keep them happy (as it has done for six months).
It was less than 24 hours after we warned that the Chinese "liquidity shortage" had hit an all time high, as a result of the PBOC's intransigence to inject liquidity into a financial system roiled by Bernanke's and Kuroda's offshore hot-money flows, that things got worse when early in the Chinese trading session we learned that the PBOC experienced its first liquidity drainage failure in 23 months, when the Chinese Finance Ministry failed to sell over 30% of the debt offered at auction - the direct result of a cash squeeze currently ravaging the country's banks. The ministry sold 9.53 billion yuan ($1.55 billion) of 273-day bills, less than the 15 billion yuan target, according to Chinabond, the nation’s biggest bond-clearing house. Agricultural Development Bank of China Co. raised 11.51 billion yuan in a sale of six-month bills last week, less than its 20 billion yuan goal.
- As Goldman's money-printing tentacle Carney arrives, everyone else leaves: Tucker to Leave BOE (WSJ)
- So much for pent up demand: Refinancings Plunge as Bond Yields Rise (WSJ)
- Singapore Censures 20 Banks for Attempts to Rig Benchmark Rates (BBG)
- Behind the Big Profits: A Research Tax Break (WSJ)
- While working for spies, Snowden was secretly prolific online (Reuters)
- Turkey to Await Ruling on Park as Erdogan Meets Protesters (BBG)
- Iran votes for new president, Khamenei slams U.S. doubts (Reuters)
- NSA revelations, modified wheat cast a pall on U.S. trade talks with Europe (WaPo)
- Euro zone inflation subdued as employment keeps falling (Reuters)
Thursdays may be the new Tuesdays (if only this week), but so far Fridays are still just Fridays, and no mysterious overnight levitation is here to open the market 0.5% higher. The Nikkei 225 retraced a fraction of Thursday’s losses overnight as the positive close on Wall Street and a dovish interpretation of Hilsenrath’s WSJ piece yesterday allowed the Japanese indices to recover from the worst levels of the week. USD/JPY has pared Thursday’s bounce and trades lower as the Bank of Japan’s minutes showed one member of the board proposing the advantages of limiting the bank’s QQE program to just two years in order to avoid financial imbalances. Overnight in China, as we warned yesterday, the liquidity situation got even worse, when the PBOC's attempt to drain liquidity failed to sell some 30% of the planned 15 billion yuan in 273-day bills (more on this shortly), leaving the banks screaming Uncle and on the verge of a full-blown liquidity crisis: we expect rumors, and news, of more banks failing to roll over overnight liquidity to hit the tape shortly.
Gluskin Sheff's David Rosenberg has ten nagging concerns...
We are trying to remember when the last time the BOJ minutes were important for global risk assets, and are drawing a blank. That's how messed up the financial markets have become. That said, here are the highlights from the BOJ's May minutes which appear to have spooked the Nikkei some 10 minutes ahead of the open.
- HIGHER VOLATILITY MAY ACCELERATE JGB SELLING - Remember the "VaR shock?"
- L-T RATE RISES DUE TO WEAK YEN, HIGHER OVERSEAS RATES - And higher overseas rates due to weak yen, also known as a Circular iteration
- FEW MEMBERS: BOJ SHOULD WATCH FED POLICY EFFECT ON JAPAN YIELDS - We have several non-lemmings
- ONE MEMBER:MUST KEEP FISCAL DISCIPLINE TO ENSURE BOND STABILITY - And a dissenter
And perhaps that quotes that spooked the market:
- ONE MEMBER: TIMELINE SEEMED TO BE INCREASING BOND VOLATILITY - i.e., the longer it goes on, the more we lose control
- FEW MEMBERS: BOJ SHOULD WATCH FED POLICY EFFECT ON JAPAN YIELDS - Get to work, Mr. Chairman
Nikkei down 200 in minutes.
Emerging from a hearing with NSA Director Keith Alexander, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), the senior Democrat on the panel, said Snowden simply wasn't in the position to access the content of the communications gathered under National Security Agency programs, as he's claimed. "He was lying," Rogers said. "He clearly has over-inflated his position, he has over-inflated his access and he's even over-inflated what the actually technology of the programs would allow one to do. It's impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do... I hope that we don't decide that our national security interests are going to be determined by a high-school dropout who had a whole series of both academic troubles and employment troubles," Rogers said.
When it comes to the validity, accuracy and honesty of government-sourced data, sadly there is much to be desired in the time of the New Normal, when governments have made it very clear they will resort to any measure to boost confidence - from the wealth effect to flagrantly doctoring economic (dis)information. Luckly for now at least, the private sector provides a somewhat credible alternative, although even that is rapidly being subsumed by the government apparatus (see ADP morphing into BLS-lite). Still, it is a useful data point for those who still care about the anachronism known as "fundamentals." So in order to supplement the retail data disclosed earlier which according to some was the "most important retail spending" report in years, one useful counterpoint is sales data as disclosed by credit card processors such as MasterCard (sadly often hiding behind subscription paywalls). Here are some highlights of what a parsing such a recent report reveals, courtesy of Bloomberg.
"The Market Would Have Collapsed" Had The PBOC Drained: Chinese Liquidity Shortage Hits All Time HighSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/13/2013 09:41 -0400
Those who have been following our coverage of the bipolar Chinese liquidity situation (most recently here and here) are well aware of the unique position the world's fastest (if only on paper) growing economy finds itself in: on one hand, it is the target of massive external hot money flows from both the Fed and the BOJ, which are pushing select inflation in the country higher, manifesting itself best in the real-estate market now higher for 12 consecutive months. On the other hand, the local banking system is in such dire need of liquidity, that not only have various short-term SHIBORs soared to multi-year highs but as Market News reported last week, China Everbright Bank failed to repay 6b yuan ($977m) borrowed from Industrial Bank on time yesterday because of tight liquidity, leading to “chain effect” borrowing in the market overnight and almost ushering in the first bank failure in China. The unprecedented liquidity shortage in China is seen best on the overnight SHIBOR chart below which just hit an all time high. In a nutshell there is zero free liquidity in the system. So what would have happened if the PBOC had continued on its merry way of withdrawing liquidity from the interbank market? Very bad things. “If the PBOC sold repos or bills today, the market would have collapsed.”
Repossessions! Home repossessions in the USA increased by 11% in May. Foreclosure filings (default notices and scheduled auctions as well as repossessions) were also up by 2.3% (148, 054) according to a report just published today by RealtyTrac.
- Global shares pummeled, dollar slumps as rout gathers pace (Reuters)
- Hong Kong to Handle NSA Leaker Extradition Based on Law (BBG)
- Lululemon chairman sold $50 million in stock before CEO's surprise departure (Reuters)
- Companies scramble for consumer data (FT)
- Traders Pay for an Early Peek at Key Data (WSJ)
- When innovation dies: Apple looking at bigger iPhone screens, multiple colors (Reuters)
- Washington pushed EU to dilute data protection (FT)
- Japan-U.S. drill to retake remote island kicks off (Japan Times)
- EM economies in danger of overheating, World Bank says (FT)
- Don't forget the Indian crisis: Chidambaram seeks to quell concerns over rupee (FT)
In the brief but tempestuous fight between Abe and the "deflation monster", the latter is now victoriously romping through an irradiated Tokyo, if last night's epic (ongoing) collapse in the Nikkei is any indication: down 6.4%, crushing anyone who listened to Goldman's "buy Nikkei" recommendation which has now been stopped out at a major loss in three days, and now well in bear-market territory, it would appear that a neurotic Mrs. Watanabe is finally with done with daytrading the Pennikkeistock market, and demands Shirakawa's deflationary, triumphal return to finally clam the market. Only this time the Japan's selling tsunami is finally starting to spill, if not to the US just yet (it will) then certainly to Asia, where the Shanghai Composite which was down 2.7%, and is once again well down for the year, and virtually all other Asian stock markets. Except for Pakistan - the Karachi Stock Exchange is an island of stability in the Asian sea of red.
This week, the US Ministry of Propaganda presented a patently absurd gem of a news article in which it equated a growing percentage of US workers quitting their jobs in April as a sign that Americans’ confidence in the US economy is returning.