Fitch

US Futures Fall, European Stocks Rise As Stronger Dollar Sends Oil Lower

European stocks rose and US S&P futures fell after the dollar strengthened following the latest hawkish comments from Fed vice-chair Stanley Fischer signalled that a 2016 rate hike is still being considered and again boosted speculation that US rates will rise this year. The rising dollar pressured commodities and notably oil, which dropped 2% breaking a 7 days stretch of increases; emerging markets retreated. 

"It’s Surreal" - Negative Yielding Debt Rises To Record $13.4 Trillion

“It’s surreal,” said Gregory Peters, senior investment officer at Prudential Fixed Income "Regarding negative yields he added that “It’s clear that central banks are dominating markets. There’s a race to the bottom. Central banks are the main drivers of this, it’s not fundamental."

Global Stocks Rise, US Futures Near All Time Highs As Flood Into Emerging Markets Continues

European shares advanced, with gains in automakers  helping Germany’s benchmark DAX Index turn positive for the year for the first time. Stocks rose around the world, led by emerging-markets, as oil climbed further after its best week since April and traders pushed back bets on higher U.S. interest rates. S&P futures advance and Asian stocks little changed as rising oil prices bolstered investor sentiment.

Insanity, Oddities, And Dark Clouds In Credit-Land

Distortions in financial markets keep growing, as central banks all over the world are desperately intensifying monetary pumping. What is currently happening in various bond markets as a result of this and other interventions is simply jaw-dropping insanity. It is not so much that it defies rational explanation – in fact, all of these moves can be explained. What makes the situation so troubling is the fact that investors seem to be oblivious to the enormous risks they are taking.  They are sitting on a powder keg.

Buffett Exits Entire Credit Default Swap Exposure, As Citi's Appetite For Derivative Destruction Surges

It was considered one of the bigger paradoxes for years. Back in 2003, Warren Buffett famously dubbed derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction” and yet over the next several years went ahead and entered a number of the contracts, including both equities and credit, ostensibly by selling CDS to collect up monthly premiums. However, at least when it comes to CDS, after several years of Berkshire trimming its credit derivative exposure, it is now completely out. Meanwhile, Citi is loading up on any CDS it can find...

The Stock Market's Big Lie: "I'll Take The Under"

One of the biggest “lies” in the financial world is that if you just invest your money in the markets over the long-term, you will average 7, 8 or 10% a year. Asset-gatherers don't give enough credence to the long-term effects of the “when” you start your investing cycle. The primary problem is that investors DO NOT have 100-years to invest BEFORE their disbursement cycle begins. Unfortunately, with stock valuations pushing the second highest level in history, forward return expectations (before inflation, taxes, and expenses) are extremely low.

Why Is High-Yield Energy Debt Decoupling From Oil?

Various analysts believe that the close correlation between the junk bonds and crude oil - which have been together for quite some time - has now decoupled. Is this relationship really over, or is this parting of ways only a temporary separation?

European Bank Stress Test Preview: What To Expect And How To Trade It

While the main event in today's European bank stress test was leaked moments ago, when Monte Paschi board member Turicchi said that the bank has finalized a bank consortium for a critical capital hike, suggesting that contrary to last minute jitters the bank has found the needed number of willing banks to provide €5 billion in fresh capital it needs resulting in the bank's 3rd bailout in the past 2 years - this one courtesy of the private sector - there may still be some surprises.

Yen Soars, Stocks Slide After Kuroda Says "No Need Or Possibility For Helicopter Money"

In a surprising rejection of Ben Bernanke, BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda said that there will be no helicopter money in Japan, amid increasing speculation over monetary and fiscal policy in the world’s third-largest economy. Given the current institutional setting, there is "no need and no possibility for helicopter money," Kuroda said in a BBC Radio 4 program that was broadcast Thursday. “At this moment, the Bank of Japan has three options with quantitative and qualitative easing with negative interest rates."

So What Did The ECB Buy? "In Short, Almost Everything"

"So what did they buy? In short, almost everything. The ECB bought “topical” credits such as VW, Glencore and EdF. They showed little concern with taking credit risk by buying a range of low-BBB names. They bought “high yield” credits such as Telecom Italia and Lufthansa. They bought corporate bonds from US, UK and Swiss companies, and ironically, the ECB’s most popular purchase has been Deutsche Bahn – an issuer where bond yields are the most negative."

Piling On To The "Surreal" Response To Turkish Turmoil: Here Comes The Central Bank

In less than half an hour, the Turkish central bank will steal the public spotlight, if only very briefly, from Erdogan when it announces whether it will cut rates by 50 bps, 25 bps, (or - less likely - it won't cut at all). But in light of the recent stunning transformation in the country's political landscape, does this decision really matter? According to the market yes; according to Bloomberg's Richard Breslow, it is simply one more indication of how surreal the response to the Turkish turmoil has become.

Helicopter Money - The Biggest Fed Power Grab Yet

The Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester is a clueless apparatchik and Fed lifer, who joined the system in 1985 fresh out of Barnard and Princeton and has imbibed in its Keynesian groupthink and institutional arrogance ever since. So it’s not surprising that she was out flogging - albeit downunder in Australia - the next step in the Fed’s rolling coup d’ etat...“So it’s my view that [helicopter money] would be sort of the next step if we ever found ourselves in a situation where we wanted to be more accommodative." It’s the ultimate in 'something for nothing' economics.

"All-Time-Highs"

"...central bankers seem to view elevated security valuations as “wealth.” The longer this fallacy persists, the worse the subsequent fallout will be. I have little doubt that future generations will look at the reckless arrogance of today’s central bankers no differently than we view speculators in the South Sea Bubble and the Dutch Tulip-mania. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism by which historically-informed pleas of “no, stop, don’t!” will penetrate their dogmatic conceit. Nor can we change the psychology of investors."

With Over $13 Trillion In Negative-Yielding Debt, This Is The Pain A 1% Spike In Rates Would Inflict

There is now $13 trillion of global negative-yielding debt. And, as the WSJ writes, even a small increase in interest rates could inflict hefty losses on investors. With the 2013 "taper tantrum" the Fed sparked a selloff as it discussed ending its bond-buying program known as quantitative easing. A repeat "would be very painful for a lot of people" said J.P. Morgan. This is just how painful.