Hong Kong home prices tumbled the most since July 2013, and after a 12 year upcycle, prices are now down a whopping 10% from the recent peak four short months ago. But not only has the Hong Kong housing bubble burst, it has done so in spectacular fashion: as quoted by the SCMP, the local Centaline Property Agency estimates that total Hong Kong property transactions in January were on track to register the worst month since 1991, when it started compiling monthly figures. In other words, the biggest drop in recorded history!
With an ever-increasing horde of hedge fund "speculators" daring to confront The PBOC, here is how they are placing theirs bets on Yuan devaluation...
"The Fed should, given recent events, simply admit its error of pre-emptively raising rates before both its employment and inflation mandates had been met, and reduce the Federal Funds rate back to zero, pending further improvements in the economy. Certainly, the Federal Reserve risks its credibility by admitting an error, but that is a far better outcome than risking recession by not doing so"
China's mid-tier banks are piling up exposure to the riskiest subset of borrowers at a time when economic fundamentals are deteriorating on a near daily basis. Meanwhile, this exposure is being carried on a line item that allows the banks to avoid provisioning for the losses that will almost certainly materialize in the not-so-distant future. At one bank, this one line item is larger than the entire Philippine banking system.
There will be two key themes for investors seeking to shake off the abysmal "as goes January" blues: buybacks, which are set to return in February, and central banks, which are poised to do absolutely nothing to calm investor nerves in the next 4 weeks.
Escape velocity has failed...
"We originally looked for up to half of past losses to be recovered. We believe that we are perhaps 2/3rds of the way through the bounce, and would look to start fading it within days. We stick to the overriding view that one should use any strength as an opportunity to reduce equity allocation."
After last week's relatively quiet, on macro data if not central bank news, week the newsflow picks up with the usual global PMI survey to start, and end the week with the US January payrolls report.
"When one of the world’s key economic inputs, oil prices, can rally 30% but still be down on the month, then investors may have a valid reason to be scared."
- Stocks cautious after rocky China data, bonds fly high (Reuters)
- Oil falls on China data, fading prospect of OPEC action (Reuters)
- Republican Vote in Iowa Caucus Hinges on Newcomer Turnout (WSJ)
- When Trump tells supporters not to donate, they mostly listen (Reuters)
- Goldman Sachs Employees Shift to Rubio as Bush Support Fades (BBG)
- Four Theories on How Oil Has Hypnotized the Global Stock Market (BBG)
It didn't take much to fizzle Friday's Japan NIRP-driven euphoria, when first ugly Chinese manufacturing (and service) PMI data reminded the world just what the bull in the China shop is leading to a 1.8% Shanghai drop on the first day of February. Then it was about oil once more when Goldman itself said not to expect any crude production cuts in the near future. Finally throw in some very cautious words by the sellside what Japan's act of NIRP desperation means, and it becomes clear why stocks on both sides of the pond are down, why crude is not far behind, and why gold continues to rise.
"Cash had a pretty good run for 4,000 years or so. These days, though, notes and coins increasingly seem declasse: They're dirty and dangerous, unwieldy and expensive, antiquated and so very analog.... Much depends on the details, of course. But this is a welcome trend. In theory, digital legal tender could combine the inventiveness of private virtual currencies with the stability of a government mint."
Following Kuroda's panic policy measures from Friday, JGB yields continue to collapse across the curve (though notably 30Y is selling off - is someone actually concerned about long-term survival risk?). 2Y Yields have collapsed all the way to BoJ's -10bps rate, 5Y is plunging - now close to -9bps, and 10Y has dropped 20bps to just over 6bps... with BofA warning a negative 10Y rate looms. However, Japan is not having all the excitement as China's margin debt (driver of all animal spirits) dropped again today - making this the longest losing streak in history as China's stock market investors continue to leave the levered building screaming fire.
"This Is Much Larger Than Subprime" - Here Are The Legendary Hedge Funds Fighting The Chinese Central BankSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/31/2016 20:57 -0500
Who are the brave souls who have decided to very openly fight the People's Bank of China? Here is a sample: Soros, Bass, Ackman, Druckenmiller, Tepper, Schreiber, Einhorn, Scogging, and Carlyle, Nexus and many more.
After an almost unprecedented surge in credit (total social financing) and over-invoicing enabled a bounce in China's PMI data in December, both Manufacturing and Services data tumbled in January, confirming South Korean trade data. While manufacturing continues its contraction (dropping to 49.4, the weakest since Aug 2012), it is non-manufacturing's plunge from a one-year high "transition is happening, see" narrative to practically the weakest print since 2008. But apart from that all that, China is "stabilizing" according to officials.