Asian stocks rose, led by Hong Kong, while European shares and U.S. equity-index futures are little changed. Euro, yen climb as the dollar posted an unexpected loss following some serious fireworks out of China, which intervened in funding market to crush offshore Yuan shorts.
After Ford warned that North American auto sales had reached a plateau a few months ago, December 2016 sales blasted through that plateau to reach all-time record highs with a seasonally adjusted selling rate of 18.4mm units.
The world has gotten so used to ultra-low interest rates that even economists and money managers seem to be shocked by what happens when rates start creeping back towards normal levels. Some of the mini-bubbles that formed in an essentially free-money environment are now starting to leak.
"Markets don’t have a purpose any more - they just reflect whatever central planners want them to. Why wouldn’t it lead to the biggest collapse? My strategy doesn’t require that I’m right about the likelihood of that scenario. Logic dictates to me that it’s inevitable..."
India continues to stagger from bad to worse followinhg Modi's demonetization. With just 35% of ATMs nationwide operational, Goldman warns the shortage of cash continues to incentivize the use of alternate payments, including extension of informal credit and a return to barter systems. Addtionally, the slowdown in activity is dramatically reflected in lower tax collections and discounts offered by luxury car companies.
Global stocks extended the longest winning streak since September, with Asia up 0.8% and Europe rising 0.7% while bonds and credit markets strengthened amid hopes that the European Central Bank will prolong quantitative easing, while optimism an Italian bailout of Monte Paschi will prevent European bank contagion, has pushed European financial stocks higher. US equity futures were little changed.
With full penetration rates, increasing vehicle useful lives and the threat of autonomous vehicles increasing utilization rates, it's difficult to see how "normalized" auto sales aren't substantially lower than the current run-rate of 18mm.
China's President Xi Jinping called Donald Trump and told him that cooperation was the only choice for relations between the world's two largest economies, with Trump saying the two had established a "clear sense of mutual respect". "The facts prove that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the United States," China Central Television (CCTV) cited Xi as saying.
US Index futures, together with European and Asian shares surged after the FBI cleared Hillary Clinton one last time of her handling of emails as secretary of state which it repeated wasn’t a crime. Oil, gas rise, together with most industrial metals; the yen and Swiss franc retreated with gold, silver and other flight to safety assets.