Despite the attention-grabbing economic volatility that is dominating headlines, it's important to keep our eye on the energy story firmly in focus. This is especially true as the headlines we regularly read about Peak Oil being dead " are "manifestly false" according to petroleum geologist Jeffrey Brown. As concerning as the fact that global oil production has plateaued over the past decade, despite trillions invested in trying to goose it higher, are Brown's forecasting model for oil exports. His Export Land Model shows how rising internal consumption can swing (and has swung) countries from major exporters to permanent importers within a dizzyingly short period of time.
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Having traded above $46 on Friday, WTI Crude is back to a $43 handle as it appears Iran's price cut, as we detailed here, sparked demand from China and India driving up Iran exports to 1 million barrels per day.
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While any moves in the US stock market ahead of Thursday are largely irrelevant, as only Yellen's statement in 4 days will unleash epic algo buying or short covering (yes, according to JPM the Fed statement is bullish no matter what), it is what happened in China that is concerning, because while we had expected Chinese stocks to go nowhere in particular now that index future trading volumes have plunged by 99% or perhaps rise on hopes of even more easing after the latest terrible economic data, the Shanghai Composite dropped 2.7%, but it was the retail darling Shenzhen Composite which tumbled 6.7% - its worst selloff since August 25, while China's Nasdaq, the ChiNext crashed -7.5%.
Positioning across the world's most-levered financial instruments has never been this crowded. With such extreme positioning across the equity, vol, and bond complex, it would seem no matter what The Fed does in September, there will be blood.
A review of the technical condition of the dollar in the days leading up to the FOMC meeting announcement.
"While we are increasingly convinced that the market needs to see lower oil prices for longer to achieve a production cut, the source of this production decline and its forcing mechanism is growing more uncertain, raising the possibility that we may ultimately clear at a sharply lower price with cash costs around $20/bbl Brent prices."
Perhaps after intervening every single day in the past week (remember that FT piece saying the PBOC would no longer directly buy stocks... good times) in either the stock or the FX (both on and offshore) market, China needed a day off; perhaps even the algos got tired of constantly spoofing the E-mini and inciting momentum ignition, but for whatever reason the overnight session has been oddly uneventful, with no ES halts so far, few USDJPY surges (then again those come just before the US open), and even less violent CNY or CNH moves, leading to virtually unchanged markets in Japan (small red) and China (small green). And while the initial tone in Europe has been modestly "risk off", it is nothing in comparison to the massive gyrations that have become a stape in the past few weeks.
News That Matters
In what appears to be a bid to lure Asian buyers to lock in longer-term supplies, Reuters reports that Iran has cut its quarterly selling price (for its flagship 'light' crude) to its lowest (relative to Saudi) since Q4 2012. According to recent tanker loading data, Iran's oil sales in September are set to hit a six-month low, and this price reduction is just one of the steps taken by the OPEC producer to ramp up output and regain market share lost since U.S. and European sanctions aimed at its nuclear program cut its crude oil exports by more than half.
The lack of leadership to tackle this clear and present danger to Europe's future is truly concerning. Both the migrants and the Europeans might be worse off as a result.
Since the “impossible” global panic in 2008, there have been 10 QE’s in Japan but using the numerical standard which has been applied to the Federal Reserve there may have been as many as 22 or more. What none of those have amounted to is an actual and sustainable economic advance; NONE, no matter how you count them. In very simple fact, the idea that central banks “need” to keep doing them in continuous fashion is quite convincing that at the very least they don’t mean what central bankers think they mean, and perhaps worse that the more they are done and to greater extents the more harm that eventually befalls.
S&P correlation algos: just tracking whatever is going up, tick for tick.
Futures Surge Overnight As Deteriorating Economic Data Unleashes Blur Of Central Bank Interventions And QE RumorsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/10/2015 06:55 -0400
It has become virtually impossible to differentiate between actual central bank intervention, hopes of central bank intervention, and how the two interplay on what was once the "market" but is now merely the place where money printers duke it out every day in some pretense of price discovery set by those who literally print money.