China

China

China, Russia Unveil First-Ever Mediterranean Joint Naval Exercise

Sabre-rattling much? For the first time in history, Chinese and Russian navies will begin a significant joint naval exercise in The Mediterranean Sea in mid-May. As RT reports, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng, "The aim is to deepen both countries' friendly and practical cooperation, and increase our navies' ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats," but diplomatically added "these exercises are not aimed at any third party and have nothing to do with the regional situation." Against a background of this week's "upgraded Japan-American military relationship" following Abe's visit to Obama, as one analyst notes, "the geopolitical significance of its exercising alongside Russia will not be lost on the U.S. and NATO."

Frontrunning: May 1

  • Record month ends in pain as biotech, small-caps, Apple tumble (BBG)
  • Japan inflation rises for first time in nearly a year (WSJ)
  • US Navy starts to accompany ships in strait where Iran seized cargo carrier (WSJ)
  • Russia may be readying for new Ukraine offensive: NATO commander (Reuters)
  • Big banks use loophole to avoid ban (WSJ)
  • China April official PMI shows factories struggling to grow (Reuters)
  • CME suspends traders for alleged Sarao-like manipulation (BBG)

Futures Flat As Global Markets Closed For May Day

Holidays in Europe and Asia left things quiet overnight after some traders used the last day of April to frontrun the old "sell in May and go away" market adage. Market closures also kept the Chinese day trading hordes from using a tiny beat on the official manufacturing PMI print as an excuse to pile more money into the country's equity mania, while Japanese shares ended mostly unchanged as investors fret over when the BoJ will deliver the next shot of monetary heroin. In the US we'll get a look at ISM manufacturing and the latest read on consumer confidence as we head into the weekend.

The Pentagon's "Long War" Pitches NATO Against China, Russia, & Iran

Whatever happens with the nuclear negotiations this summer, and as much as Tehran wants cooperation and not confrontation, Iran is bound to remain - alongside Russia - a key US geostrategic target. What the Pentagon - with customary hubris - does not see is Moscow and Tehran easily identifying the power play; the US government's hidden agenda of manipulating a "rehabilitated" Iran to sell plenty of oil and gas to the EU, thus undermining Gazprom.

When Will Apple Stop Screwing The US Economy?

Apple is the Ty Cobb of corporate America. Like Cobb, Apple has set some impressive records. Nine years, a trillion dollars in sales, and almost no taxes paid. Apple risks having a legacy of tainted success and isolation.

Albert Edwards On What Happens Next: "More QE - Everywhere!"

"The Q1 US GDP data was a major disappointment to the market as business investment declined due to the intensifying US profits recession. Only the biggest inventory build in history stopped the economy subsiding into a recessionary quagmire. The US economy is struggling and the Fed will ultimately re-engage the QE spigot. Talk is growing that China will soon be doing the same as local authorities struggle to issue debt. But this week we want to focus on Japan, having just made my fist visit to that fine nation for over a decade! Japan, the third largest economy in the world, is also in trouble (see chart below) and will soon be increasing its off-the-scale QE programme to an out-of-this-world QE programme." - Albert Edwards

Frontrunning: April 30

  • Marchers protest police violence in Baltimore, New York (Reuters)
  • Majority of Financial Pros Now Say Greece Is Headed for Euro Exit (BBG)
  • Greece signals concessions in crunch talks with lenders (Reuters)
  • Greece, Euro-Area Partners Target Deal by Sunday (BBG)
  • Iglesias Says EU Risking Right-Wing Backlash With Greek Pressure (BBG)
  • Student-Loan Surge Undercuts Millennials’ Place in U.S. Economy (BBG)
  • Majors’ Quandary: Why Drill for Oil When They Can Buy Somebody Else’s? (WSJ)

Equity Futures Spooked By Second Day Of Bund Dumping, EUR Surges; Nikkei Slides

The biggest overnight story was neither out of China, where despite the ridiculous surge in new account openings and margin debt the SHCOMP dipped 08%, or out of Japan, where the Nikkei dropped 2.7%, the biggest drop in months, after the BOJ disappointed some by not monetizing more than 100% of net issuance and keeping QE unchanged, but Europe where for the second day in a row there was a furious selloff of Bunds at the open of trading, which briefly sent the yield on the 10Y to 0.38% (it was 0.6% two weeks ago), in turn sending the EURUSD soaring by almost 200 pips to a two month high of 1.1250, and weighing on US equity futures, before retracing some of the losses.

New Saudi King Consolidates Power To Maintain Current Oil Policy

Less than four months into his reign, Bloomberg reports that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is consolidating power with a major reshuffle of succession lines and government officials. "The new king has proved consistent in his determination to elevate members of his close family to key positions," noted one analyst. As the world’s top oil exporter plays a more prominent role in the region’s power struggles, it apears Salman wants family close. Oil policy is unlikely to change, notes Bloomberg's Julian Lee, as this brings younger men into top government positions, paving way for transfer of power to new generation of princes.

1,100 Foreign Donors To Clinton Foundation Never Disclosed & Remain Secret

The reason this is a politically explosive revelation is because the Clinton Foundation promised to disclose its donors as a condition of Hillary Clinton becoming secretary of state. Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the Clinton Foundation signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Obama White House agreeing to reveal its contributors every year.

It hasn’t.

Meanwhile, In Baltimore

The Baltimore riots may have calmed down but their aftermath remains, and nowhere is it more tangible than what is taking place in Orioles Park right now.

EUR Strength Sparks DAX Rout To 7-Week Lows

It appears Draghi's gonna need a bigger bazooka... The last 2 days have seen the biggest drop in 5 months for the German stock market. DAX is now back at 7-week lows as EUR strengthens above 1.11 as the YoY rise in European lending has prompted fears of an early taper (and The Fed looks set to be on hold for longer) and fast money has moved on to China amid Grexit fears. Peripheral bond spreads are weak again - especially Portugal.