We are going to need more "whatever it takes." And with Draghi's efforts to shove sovereign bonds down the throat of Europe's banks, the sovereign-to-financial linkage is now systemically as worrisome as it has ever been...
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...
Great timing for a short-squeeze rumor? With Chipotle due to report what is likely to be ugly earnings after the bell today, CNBC reports (citing Dow Jones) that the CDS may declare an end to the E.Coli outbreak today. This, as we suggested last night, has ripped stocks 4-5% higher (to one-week highs) squeezing shorts.
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.
Having urged "don't panic" just 4 short months ago, it appears Nigeria just did just that as the global dollar short squeeze forces the eight-month-old government of President Muhammadu Buhari to beg The World Bank and African Development Bank for $3.5bn in emergency loans to help fund a $15bn deficit in a budget heavy on public spending amid collapsing oil revenues. Just as we warned in December, the dollar shortage has arrived, perhaps now is time to panic after all.
"We believe that the current environment is not a normal cyclical downturn but a fundamental shift in the operating environment for these commodities. As a consequence, a wholesale recalibration of ratings in the mining industry is deemed necessary. " - Moody's
The PBOC FX intervention team continue to be busy in offshore Yuan this week as for the 4th time in 3 days, a mysterious panic-buyer lifted CNH between 5 and 10 handles higher for no good reason other than to show George Soros (and Bill Ackman) who is boss (i.e. drive away the shorts). In keeping with the recent "stability" the Yuan fix was flat but another 340bn Yuan was injected - except China CDS pushes to Aug 2015 wides indicating severe stress and suggesting devaluation looms.
Following the afternoon weakness in US equities, Offshore Yuan has been limping lower into the fix, not helped by comments from a MOFCOM researcher that "China is able to withstand currency fluctuations" implicitly warning carry traders to stay away and suggesting the dollar's dominance would not last long. CNH is now at 3-week lows against CNY, over 300pips cheap - which prompted the major short squeeze last time. Chinese stocks are modestly lower but more worrying is the 7-day slide in Chinese corporate bond yields - the most in 2 months - hinting perhaps that the last bubble standing is bursting.
Moody's took the global energy sector to the woodshed, placing 175 global oil, gas and mining companies and groups on review for a downgrade due to a prolonged rout in global commodities prices that it says could remain depressed indefinitely. Here are the 69 US, 19 Canadian and 13 European companies (the full list of all global companies can be found here) that just Moody's black list, a grand total of 101 companies which now face a downgrade threat on just about $540 billion in total debt.
Venezuela's crude oil basket price collapsed to as low as $20.20 yesterday, according to the socialist utopia's President Maduro. Having already "passed the point of no return," Maduro rages that OPEC producers appear to be "finally waking up" to what they have unleashed noting that, according to him, Russia's Putin has agreed to "work on oil price issues."
We have seen this pattern before, and it did not end well. While the most mainstream indications of China's "stability" are droned on about as indicating some level of control (i.e. Yuan volatility suppression), the fact is that no matter how hard China tries to centrally plan the entire world, segments of the credit market are screaming "uncontained."
The economic emergency decree and any measures that the government could take at this point may be too late. After two years of inaction and the recent decline in oil prices, a credit event in 2016 is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid, in our view. After two years of inaction, with depleting external assets and the recent decline in oil prices, a credit event in 2016 may be becoming hard to avoid, in our view.
Let’s just say that if you are focused on domestic North American issues…you are missing the point.
Italian bank stocks are crashing (with BMPS down 40% year-to-date) as Reuters reports that investors are growing increasingly nervous about how the sector will cope with lower interest rates and a 200 billion euro ($218 billion) pile of loans that are unlikely to be repaid. The broad banking sector is down 4% with stocks suspended, and in light of this bloodbath, Italian regulators have decided in their wisdom, to ban short-selling of some bank stocks (which has driven hedgers into the CDS market, spking BMPS credit risk).
Glencore's 2021 bonds just hit a 5 year low, taking out the September crash levels, and trading at about 64 cents on the dollar. Following the recent junking of Noble Group which has sent its stock price to 12 year lows and hitning that a bankruptcy is now virtually inevitable, we expect Glencore to be junked any minute, with the ensuing cascade of margin and collateral calls testing just how "systematically unimportant" the world's largest commodity traders really are.