European and Asian shares rose again and S&P futures were little changed, as world stocks were set for a weekly gain and held near 16-month highs on Friday, while the euro steadied after swings following the European Central Bank’s decision to extend its stimulus program.
It would be nice if we could figure out a way to make our economy last forever, but it is doubtful that we can. Ultimately, the battle between diminishing returns and increased complexity seems likely to be settled in a way that causes the economy to collapse.
"I sometimes feel like ‘The Grim Reaper’, scouring the research savannah in a ghoulish quest to harvest bad news with a forceful sweep of my scythe. Imagine then my perverse delight when our credit team produced what is one of the scariest charts I have seen for a very long time." = Albert Edwards
"Withdrawal of monetary accommodation would also accentuate the problem of a strong USD, uncover geopolitical complacency, and remove the lid from market volatility. In fact, our view is that further withdrawal of monetary accommodation would likely lead to turmoil in financial markets."
There’s seemingly no stopping the equity side of the “Trumpflation” trade in what may be developing into an epic year end blow-off top. The euphoria which took the S&P 500, Russell 2000 and the Transports to all-time highs yesterday, and the Dow to less than 500 points away from 20,000 carried over into Asian stocks (+0.8%) as they followed bullish trend, while European stocks rose for a fourth day.
"The rich will pay what they need to escape harassment; the rest will suffer." Global financial repression picks up steam, led by India. After declaring large denomination notes illegal, India now targets gold. It’s not just gold bars or bullion. The government has raided houses, no questions asked, confiscating jewelry.
It appears that devaluing your currency against by over 10% in a year against your major trading partners does have some affect (albeit delayed). China Exports (in Yuan terms) grew at 5.9% in November (the fastest growth since March) (well ahead of the expected 1% decline). Imports, however, also soared (by 13%) in Yuan terms. However, in USD terms, Imports rose by the most since Sept 2014 (and exports managed a small rise) as China's trade surplus slipped and missed expectations. Offshore Yuan is strengthening modestly on the print.
Blackrock's chief multi-asset strategist summed up tomorrow's anxiously awaited ECB meeting best by noting that "what’s priced into markets is a fully fledged extension of the [bond-buying] program," but warns that, thanks to a muted reaction to the Italy vote and recent encouraging data, "there’s a significant chance the ECB disappoints markets." As bond traders bet on a six-month QE extension, Citi warns, anything less will be seen as hawkish and send EUR surging.
Moody's has cut Italy's long-term senior unsecuredd government debt rating outlook from 'stable' to 'negative', leaving it at Baa2 for now. Citing "slow and halting progress" on economic and fiscal reform in Italy, noting that reduction in Italy’s large debt burden will be further postponed given subdued medium-term growth prospects, recent fiscal slippage.
A US F/A-18 Hornet military jet stationed at the Iwakuni base in the Yamaguchi prefecture, crashed in Japan, NHK reported citing the country’s Defense Ministry. The plane crashed around 6:40pm local time in the Kochi Prefecture, the report said, adding that the pilot survived.
"After a year in which reality has managed to surpass even seemingly unlikely calls, 2017 may be a wakeup call which sees a real departure from the 'business as usual'..." Will this be the year when China exceeds growth expectations, Brexit turns into Bremain, the Mexican peso soars and Italian banks turn out to the best performing equity asset class?