In a quiet start to the week following last week's surprisingly strong rebound which followed a stronger than expected jobs report (perhaps to demonstrate that good news is once again good news), Japan stocks continued to sink as the USDJPY dropped to fresh lows, while commodities declined for a fifth day as the supply glut from crude to copper weighed on prices, dragging down commodity currencies. European equities rose, rebounding from a one-month low.
Just as the rally was supercharged by short sellers abandoning their positions, the oil markets are at risk of snapping back in the other direction in the next few weeks as net-long positions are undone. If speculators start to get the sense that the market is changing directions, they will start to unwind their net-long positions. But, of course, these things tend to move quickly. Once the herd starts to see the market heading down, a stampede for the exits could ensue.
"Key commodities markets such as oil and copper already face overhangs of excess production capacity and inventories, but also now face another obstacle in the recovery process, that of positioning which is now approaching bullish extremes. The risk for commodities is that investors seek to liquidate long positions quickly and in unison, with potentially highly negative consequences for prices." Look out below...
With Europe back from Easter break, we are seeing a modest continuation of the dollar strength witnessed every day last week, which in turn is pressuring oil and the commodity complex, and leading to some selling in US equity futures (down 0.2% to 2024) ahead of today's main event which is Janet Yellen's speech as the Economic Club of New York at 12:20pm, an event which judging by risk assets so far is expected to be far more hawkish than dovish: after all the S&P 500 is north of 2,000 for now.
At the same time as the PBOC was cautioning about the dangers of excess debt (just as it injected a record amount of loans into the financial system), China's central bank warned about dangers from a stock market bubble, and perhaps just to assure the bubble gets even bigger, at the same time China eased on margin debt limits, in the process sending Chinese stocks soaring higher by 2.2%, and pushing the Shanghai Composite over 3000 for the first time in months as China now appears set to attempt another housing bubble "soft landing" while at the same time restarting its housing bubble.
If it looks like a crash, smells like a crash, acts like a crash, is it a recovery? Here's the hard hitting evidence that you just won't find anywhere else. Just don't shoot the messenger! BoomBustBlog style research is back with a vengence.
At this point, one wonders why any central banker would chase down the NIRP rabbit hole only to find themselves the protagonist in the latest retelling of "Krugman in Wonderland," but alas, the experiment continues. The only question now is this: will the FOMC take the plunge? Here's a chronological list of Fed NIRP commentary.
Suddenly, what was until incomprehensible - a Valeant default - appears all too likely: under its loan agreements, Valeant has until March 30 to file audited financial reports. If it fails to do so, it then has 30 days before lenders can demand accelerated repayment. Needless to say, Valeant would be unable to fund such a loan acceleration without rapidly selling off key assets in a liquidation firesale, although there even exist limits on just how many assets Valeant can sell.