Japan

Frontrunning: February 4

  • Arab World Unites to Condemn ‘Barbaric’ Death of Jordanian Pilot (BBG)
  • Jordan hangs two Iraqi militants in response to pilot's death (Reuters)
  • As Oil Prices Climb, Some Harbor Doubts (WSJ)
  • Taiwan plane cartwheels into river after take-off, killing at least 19 (Reuters)
  • Seven dead as commuter train hits car near New York City (Reuters)
  • Apollo’s 600% Profit on Oil Company Leaves Rivals Behind (BBG)
  • Greece's rock-star finance minister Yanis Varoufakis defies ECB's drachma threats  (Telegraph)

Market Wrap: Equity Futures Subdued On Oil, Energy Profit Taking Following Latest Crude Inventory Surge

Following the torrid surge in crude in the past 4 days, overnight oil price have taken a step back - if only until the "newer normal" 2:30pm ramp into the Nymex close -  with both Brent and WTI down nearly 3%, with yesterday's latest API inventory data showing another massive crude build when it was released after the close, which in turn is pressuing futures modestly if decidedly, and not even the surprise PBOC RRR-cut (which many had seen as likely if only in advance of the liquidity sapping Chinese New Year) which hit the tape an hour ago managed to push ES into the green, at least for now. Curiously, not even the now standard low volume levitation in the USDJPY in recent trading has had any impact on US futures, which appear to have found a new correlation regime for the time being, one which tracks what oil does more than any other asset class.

Is The Bank Of Japan Losing Control? JGB Yields Surge Most Since 2003

UPDATE: You know it's getting bad when Abe and Kuroda double-team the confidence-inspiring headlines: KURODA: BOJ'S BOND PURCHASES HAVEN'T FACED PROBLEMS, DON'T THINK JGB LIQUIDITY HAS PARTICULARLY FALLEN

Japanese government bond yields continue to surge. The last 7 days have seen yields on long-dated JGBs soar at the fastest pace since 2003 - accelerating after the most recent (weakest bid-to-cover in 19 months) bond auction. Following the 18th month in a row of negative YoY real cash earnings (1 short of the record 19 months in a row from 2008/9), Japanese bond yields are surging to their highest since early December. Is The BoJ losing control?

These Were The Best Performing Assets In Volatile January

Much was said about the outperformance of the Nikkei relative to other asset classes in various months in 2014. Outperformance in Yen terms that is: for 2014 the Nikkei was actually down in USD terms. However, somehow we doubt if as much will be said about January's best performing asset - again, in local currency terms - which was the Russian stock market. Actually, come to think of it, we doubt anything will be said in the mainstream media about January's two best performing assets in USD terms either: silver and gold.

Futures Rebound Continues As "Greece Concession" Story Picked Up By European Desks, Oil Rises

The rally that was sparked by yesterday's late-day FT report had all but fizzled overnight, replaced by more concerns about the state of the global economy when Austrialia's central bank surprised the world (just 9 of 29 analysts had expected this move) by becoming the 15th in a row to ease in 2015 (the list: Singapore, Europe, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, India, Turkey, Egypt, Romania, Peru, Albania, Uzbekistan and Pakistan, Russia and now Australia), cutting the cash rate to an all-time low of 2.25%, and sparking more concerns about a global currency war or rather USD war against every other currency, when the USDJPY algos woke up again, and did everything they could to re-defend the critical 117.20 level in the USDJPY which has proven critical in supporting the market in recent weeks, once again using the Greek "softening tone" story as the basis for the ramp as Europe woke up, which in turn sent the DAX promptly to new all time highs, while the Athens stock market surged by 9% at last check.

Asian Markets In Turmoil - Weak Japanese Bond Auction; Surprise Aussie Rate Cut; India Holds Rates, Cuts Reserve Ratio

UPDATE: *INDIA'S CENTRAL BANK KEEPS BENCHMARK POLICY RATE AT 7.75%, CUTS SLR TO 21.5% OF NDTL FROM 22%

UPDATE: Dow Futs -80 points, S&P Futs -9pts

Following the 15th surprise rate cut of 2015 (Singapore, Europe, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, India, Turkey, Egypt, Romania, Peru, Albania, Uzbekistan and Pakistan, Russia and now Australia), the Aussie Dollar has cratered to its lowest since May 2009 against the US Dollar at 0.7650 (and bond yields crashed by the most since 1997 to record lows). Aussie stocks kneejerked higher (on an extremely dovish RBA statement) but are fading (as are Chinese stocks). Perhaps even more concerningly indicative of the central banks losing control, following this morning's weak Japanese auction (or more properly expressed - BoJ monetization farce), USDJPY (under 117), Japanese stocks (down 350 points from US session highs), and JGBs (yields up 6-8bps) are all being sold.

Real Estate Socialism

The fundamental problem with real estate is cost.  The average household, whether renters or homeowners, is allocating too much of its income to housing.  As a result, public policies are likely to continue in the direction of more subsidies, such the Federal Reserve’s manipulation of long term rates, and more regulations, such as eviction and foreclosure prevention, and rent controls.  Real estate, could become a lot less “real” in the foreseeable future. As the market has witnessed since 2007, the Government could dictate the conditions of real estate ownership, even when it was not the lender.  Today, it is in full control. 

Market Wrap: Futures Attempt Bounce On Sudden Rebound In Crude

The overnight session had been mostly quiet until minutes ago, when unexpectedly WTI, which had traded down as low as the mid $46 range following the weakest Chinese manufacturing data in two years, saw another bout of algo-driven buying momentum which pushed it sharply, if briefly, above $50, and was last trading about 2.6% higher on the day. In today's highly correlated market, this was likely catalyzed by a brief period of dollar weakness as well as the jump of EURCHF above 1.05, within the rumored corridor implemented by the Swiss National Bank, which apparently has not learned its lesson and is a glutton for a second punishment, after its hard Swissy cap was so dramatically breached, it hopes to repeat the experience with a softer one around 1.05. Expect to see even more FX brokers blowing up once the EURCHF 1.05 floor fails to hold next.

The Euro Tragedy & Its Consequences For Gold

Until now, central banks have restricted monetary policy to domestic economic management; this is now evolving into the more dangerous stage of internationalisation through competitive devaluations. The gold price is an early warning of future monetary and currency troubles, and it is now becoming apparent how they may transpire. The ECB move to give easy money to profligate Eurozone politicians is likely to have important ramifications well beyond Europe, and together with parallel actions by the Bank of Japan, can now be expected to increase demand for physical gold in the advanced economies once more.

USDJPY Tumbles, BofA Stopped Out: New "Tom Stolper" Crowned

Moments ago, in the illiquid Sunday night pre-market, BofA's "Stolper" was just stolpered stopped out as the USDJPY just tumbled well below 117 on concerns about Greece and the biggest Chinese economic slowdown in 2 years, dropping to the lowest level since the SNB announcement in just 3 trading days after Curry's initial recommendation, which incidentally is a record short period of time for a "Stolpering", even the original Tom Stolper. So here's to you, MacNeil Curry: keep those "recos" coming because in the absence of illegal chatrooms and muppet slayers it was getting a little difficut to make riskless profits day in and out.

Invasion Of The "Zombie Crazies"

With the European Central Bank in QE mode, stocks should be catching a bid. Instead, they seem to be following commodities – down. But who knows? The situation is so crazy that only a disabled person could understand it. Why do we say that? Because a report released last week told us that one out of every three people on Social Security’s disability program is a mental defective. In Washington, DC, the rate of nuttiness among the disabled is even higher – 42%. No surprise there. Who better to understand what is going on in the financial world than a crazy person? Fortunately, America’s zombies are going crazy in ever-greater numbers.