Central Banks Intervene, Scramble To Halt Emerging Market "Carnage"; Futures Slide

In the beginning it was cute: the dollar - and bond yields - soared on expectations Trump was going to make inflation great again, thanks to a massive, $5 trillion excess debt-funded fiscal stimulus package,  sending financial stocks into the stratosphere and the Dow Jones to record highs, even as the last two US bond auctions, a 10Y and 30Y were about as dismal as they come, and even as carry trades across the globe imploded on collapsing rate differentials, slamming emerging market currencies, including China, into the ground. It prompted us to muse yesterday if "markets are ignoring EM FX carnage because there will be no trade in the future?"

However, after another night of a soaring dollar, the market no longer ignored the EM FX carnage, and overnight central banks from India to Indonesia stepped in to stabilize their currencies and the yen snapped a five-day losing streak as an Asian market selloff deepened on concern Donald Trump will pursue policies that spur capital outflows from developing economies and weaken their exports.

The yen strengthened against all except one of its 31 major peers on haven demand. As Bloomberg notes, the Indonesian rupiah, Indian rupee and South Korean won were among the worst performers. Trump has signaled he’ll adopt more protectionist trade policies, while introducing fiscal stimulus that’s likely to hasten interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve, providing a shot in the arm for U.S. stocks. The S&P 500 Index gained 0.2 percent Thursday, adding to a 1.1 percent gain on Nov. 9.

“We are seeing carnage in Asian FX markets,” Robert Rennie, head of financial markets strategy at Westpac in Sydney, echoed our commentary. “It’s providing a very strong reminder that the S&P 500 is not the correct barometer of Trump-driven risk aversion -- it’s Asian currencies.


It also led to overdue intervention by central banks in places like Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Singapore.

The rupee sank to a seven-week low of 67.105 per dollar. The rupiah plunged as much as 3% to reach a five-month low of 13,545 against the greenback as emerging-market currencies headed for their worst three-day rout since 2013. The won was 1.2 percent weaker after dropping to a level not seen since June 29.

Indonesia’s monetary authority is already in the market to stabilize the rupiah, and doesn’t see much fund outflows and expects the move to be temporary, Nanang Hendarsah, head of financial market deepening at the nation’s central bank, said in a text message. Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Muhammad Ibrahim said the monetary authority’s role is to continue managing “extreme volatilities in the ringgit with no targeted level.”

Indian state-run banks sold dollars on behalf of the Reserve Bank, according to two Mumbai-based traders, who asked not to be identified. Former Governor Raghuram Rajan had said the central bank intervenes to curb volatility and doesn’t target any particular rupee level.

Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Muhammad Ibrahim said the central bank’s role is to continue managing “extreme volatilities in the ringgit with no targeted level.” Ringgit forwards tumbled even as movements in the spot currency remained restrained after the Malaysian central bank’s comments. One-month non deliverable contracts dropped 2 percent to 4.4595 ringgit per dollar, while the spot rate was down 0.2 percent at 4.2825.

The Singapore dollar climbed Friday, snapping a two-day drop, after the nation’s central bank said it was ready to curb excessive currency volatility if needed. "It’s more a smoothing action because of the velocity of the moves today,” said Jeffrey Halley, a market strategist at Oanda Asia Pacific Pte in Singapore. “They’re not going to try to stand in front of a freight train. We may see more of this going forward. A lot of these emerging markets are going to have quite a lot of work to do vis-a-vis managing their currencies.”

however, the FX carnage may be only just starting: the MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index fell 0.5 percent. China’s yuan was set for its steepest weekly drop since January, when a series of weaker fixings roiled global financial markets. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the currency against 10 major peers, slipped 0.2 percent. It is still up 2.4 percent for the week, the most since May 2015.

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So as US traders get to their desks this morning, they are contending with two different forces: on one hand there is the emerging-markets selloff which deepened amid concern developing economies will face capital outflows and weakening exports once Donald Trump is in The White House; on the other hand there is optimism surrounding his policies spurred gains in commodities and European shares rose, even if it means massive MTM losses for bond investors. More than $1 trillion was wiped off the value of bonds this week, something that’s happened only once before in the last two decades, as Treasuries lost the most since 2009. Shanghai shares entered a bull market, while industrial metals had their best week in more than 25 years.

As of this moment, the caution has spilled over to equities, with MSCI gauges of emerging-market equities and currencies sank to four-month lows since the election of Trump, who pledged to restrict imports and add fiscal stimulus that’s seen hastening interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Developing-nation assets have been roiled since Trump’s surprise win in Tuesday’s vote and central banks in India and Indonesia were said to have intervened Friday in support of their currencies. Futures indicate an 80 percent chance that the Fed will raise rates next month and expectations are building for more increases. Ten-year Treasury yields have climbed above 2 percent for the first time since January amid speculation the president-elect’s plans to cut taxes and boost spending will widen the U.S. budget deficit and stoke inflation.

“There’s been a big rotation out of emerging markets into U.S. dollar assets,” said Jeffrey Halley, a market strategist at Oanda Asia Pacific Pte in Singapore. “An emerging market is a market you can’t emerge from in an emergency. It’s one of the best lessons I’ve ever learnt in 30 years in the market. When everybody runs for the door at the same time, the door’s very small.”

* * *

A quick snapshot of global equities action this morning reveals the MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropping 2% as in early trading. The Jakarta Composite Index tumbled by the most in a year and the Philippine Stock Exchange Index had its biggest loss since January. Shares also declined in Russia, South Africa and Turkey, while benchmarks in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil plunged more than 3 percent in the last session.

Meanwhile, ignoring the "noise" around the globe, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8 percent, and entered a bull market overnight, taking the advance from its Jan. 28 low to more than 20 percent. This quarter’s rally has been led by commodity producers and construction companies as the government boosts spending to bolster growth, driving raw-materials prices higher amid a clampdown on speculation in the housing market. Friday is Singles Day, the Chinese e-commerce event that has morphed into the biggest online shopping event in the world.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.5 percent, headed for its biggest weekly jump since February. Allianz SE jumped by the most in eight months after Europe’s biggest insurer reported a 36 percent increase in third-quarter profit. PostNL NV slide more than 6 percent after rejecting a 2.5 billion-euro ($2.7 billion) takeover offer from Bpost SA.

S&P 500 Index futures were little changed for most of the session, however in the past hours E-minis have stumbled some 0.6% lower, after the underlying benchmark capped a 4 percent weekly advance, its best performance in two years, ahead of a U.S. holiday on Friday.

Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk

  • European equities trim opening gains ahead of the US crossover with the Trump-rally pausing for breath in what has been a blockbuster week
  • The Pound has been flying this morning, with Cable rallying through 1.2600 and attacking offers through towards 1.2700
  • Looking ahead, highlights include University of Michigan Sentiment as well as comments from Fed's Fischer and Williams

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.4% to 2158
  • Stoxx 600 down 0.1% to 338
  • FTSE 100 down 1.2% to 6747
  • DAX up less than 0.1% to 10633
  • German 10Yr yield up 3bps to 0.31%
  • Italian 10Yr yield up 10bps to 2%
  • Spanish 10Yr yield up 8bps to 1.47%
  • S&P GSCI Index up 0.4% to 357.5
  • MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.7% to 136
  • Nikkei 225 up 0.2% to 17375
  • Hang Seng down 1.3% to 22531
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3196
  • S&P/ASX 200 up 0.8% to 5371
  • US 10-yr yieldunchanged at 2.15%
  • Dollar Index up less than 0.01% to 98.79
  • WTI Crude futures down 0.9% to $44.26
  • Brent Futures down 0.5% to $45.60
  • Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,255
  • Silver spot down 0.5% to $18.65

Global Headlines

  • Trump Talks Politics With Obama in ‘Swamp’ He’ll Soon Call Home: Oval Office visit followed by meetings with Ryan, McConnell
  • Trump’s Defense Spending Hike Counts on a Reagan-Era Gimmick: contractors, investors buoyed by prospect of more spending
  • Dollar’s Trump-Inspired Surge Sets Off Intervention Across Asia: Indonesia, India central banks said to buy own currencies
  • Emerging-Markets Rout Deepens as Europe Shares, Commodities Rise: bonds extend selloff in worst week for Treasuries since 2009
  • EU’s Malmstrom Signals Free-Trade Talks With U.S. to Be Frozen: Trump win points to ‘pause’ in talks, EU commerce chief says
  • Germany Lifts Defense Spending in Last-Minute 2017 Budget Boost: higher defense spending includes funds for five small warships
  • Six Candidates Vie to Succeed Zuma as South African ANC Leader: the ruling party will vote for a new leader in December 2017
  • Deutsche Bank May Reach Faster DoJ Deal on Trump, Barclays Says: Democractic DoJ officials may be keen to settle before leaving
  • Alinta Shareholders Reschedule Utility IPO Until Q1 of 2017: decision due to potential for ‘market volatility’ following U.S. election, proximity to Christmas

* * *

Looking at regional markets, we start in Asia, where markets continued to digest the implications of the US election, with financials gaining the most throughout the Asian session, following on from their US counterparts. This came following the news that the Trump transition team are to dismantle the Dodd-Frank act, freeing banks from much of the post-crash regulation. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan finished among the top performers in the US and Japanese finance names followed suit, with heavyweight Nomura finishing the session up around 5%. The Trump factor had the opposite effect on tech stocks however, given their reliance on global trade, foreign skilled workers and offshore labour. The NASDAQ drastically underperformed — and again Asia followed suit with IT taking a hit, particularly chipmakers. This left the Nikkei 225 (+0.2%), and Asian indices in general, a rather mixed picture. China's Vice Premier Ma Kai said that China is to gradually loosen the rules to allow foreign owners to hold over 50% of financial companies.  PBoC set the CNY mid-point at 6.8115 (Prey. 6.7885) and injected CNY 210bIn via 7-day and 14-day reverse repos.

Top Asian News

  • China’s Stocks Enter Bull Market as Economic Growth Stabilizes: Shanghai Composite has climbed >20% from January low
  • Carry Trades Collapse as Emerging-Market Yield Advantage Shrinks: Higher U.S. yields diminish appeal of riskier alternatives
  • Rupiah Plunges Most Since 2011 Prompting Central Bank to Step In: Indonesian currency drops as much as 3%
  • State Bank of India Profit Matches Ests.; Bad Loan Ratio Widens: 2Q net income falls 35% y/y to 25.4b rupees vs est 25.9b
  • Alibaba Nears Sales Record at Half-Time on Singles’ Day: Jack Ma Enlists Scarlett Johansson to boost shopping at event
  • Duterte Says Shift Toward China Will Continue After Trump Win: Philippine leader says the U.S. will remain a friend and ally

In Europe, equity markets are somewhat quieter than they have been this morning with European bourses paring opening gains to trade modestly lower and underperformance in the FTSE 100 (-1.2%) as GBP continues to rally. In terms of sectors, financials and miners continue to outperform and the pharma sector is retracing some of its recent gains. Allianz (+2.8%) are performing well after a stellar earnings report pre-market, this saw profits increase by 38%, while elsewhere, the Trump transition team stated that Trump still aims to dismantle the Dodd-Frank act, freeing banks from much of the post-crash regulation, which has contributed to the extension of gains in the financial sector. Fixed income prices fell significantly with Bunds trading near the psychological 160 level, before finding support here amid touted short covering. Italian yields could also be in the spotlight today with the 10Y above 2% for the first time since Sep'15, as a ratings update expected by S&P although no change is expected. As well as this, Renzi's spat with the EU continues and this morning has seen a slew of supply digested from Italy.

Top European News

  • ECB Sees Lessons for Europe as Trump Win Adds to Economic Risks: Weidmann says ‘pronounced political uncertainty’ hurts growth
  • PostNL Rejects Belgian Bpost’s $2.7 Billion Offer on Price: Dutch mail operator also objects to Belgian state’s stake
  • Bpost May Return With EU6/Share Offer for PostNL: Jefferies
  • UniCredit in Talks With Buyers After Multiple Offers for Pioneer: Poste Italiane, Anima and Cassa Depositi submit joint offer
  • Allianz Profit Rises 36%; Pimco Has First Inflows Since 2013: Pimco attracts a net 4.7 billion euros in third-party assets
  • BMW Labor Chief Urges CEO to Accelerate Electric-Car Rollout: management has been ‘slow’ with decisions to invest: Schoch

In FX, the MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index fell 0.6 percent. Indonesia’s rupiah and South Korea’s won sank more than 1 percent versus the dollar to their weakest levels in more than four months. China’s yuan was set for its steepest weekly drop since January. “Rising U.S. yields will cause volatility in capital flows into emerging markets, and with the Fed still likely to hike rates in December, the risk is for further outflows,” said Khoon Goh, head of Asian research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Singapore. Trump’s plans to revisit trade agreements is “is also a factor,” he said. Malaysia’s ringgit slipped to its lowest level since January, prompting the central bank to say it may intervene at times of extreme volatility. The nation’s economy expanded in the last quarter by more than analysts forecast, data showed Friday. Latin American currencies tumbled Thursday on concern Trump’s administration could usher in a host of protectionist measures after he campaigned on a pledge to protect U.S. workers and companies from unfair trade deals. A trade war would be a blow to economies such as Mexico, which gets 80 percent of its overseas sales from the U.S. and has seen its currency plunge more than 8 percent this week. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 2.5 percent this week, the best performance since May 2015. The yen lost 3.4 percent and the euro slid 2.2 percent. “The dollar is up against most major currencies supported by an upward revision to U.S. interest expectations and focus on President-Elect Donald Trump’s pro-growth and inflationary economic policies,” said Elias Haddad, a senior currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “Trump’s economic policies will force the Fed to raise the Funds rate at a faster pace than otherwise, which is dollar bullish.”

In commodities, the Bloomberg gauge of industrial metals jumped more than 10% this week, the most in data going back to 1991, on optimism Chinese demand will firm at the same time as Trump steps up spending on U.S. infrastructure. Zinc is the highest it’s been since 2011 in London, while copper, aluminum and nickel are at their best levels in more than a year. Gold lost 3.9 percent this week amid expectations inflation and interest rates are headed higher in the U.S. under a Trump administration. Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard on Thursday signaled a December rate increase is likely. Crude oil fell 0.8 percent on Friday to a one-week low of $44.33 a barrel in New York. Prices may retreat amid “relentless global supply growth” unless the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries enacts significant output cuts, the International Energy Agency said Thursday. The group failed last month to agree on quotas for member countries, something that must be done if proposed reductions are to be finalized at a meeting on Nov. 30.

In terms of the day ahead, the economic diary is extremely sparse today in part driven by the Veteran’s Day holiday in the US where the bond market will be shut, but equity markets stay open. Datawise the only notable releases due out is the final revisions to the October CPI report in Germany this morning and the first estimate of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading this afternoon in the US. Away from that we’ve got some Fedspeak with Vice-Chair Fischer scheduled to speak at an event at 1.30pm GMT. EU trade ministers are also due to meet to discuss anti-dumping rules and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which could now be interesting. Aside from that, expect the day ahead to be largely filled once again with Election related headlines and newsflow.

US Event Calendar

  • 9am: Fed’s Fischer speaks in Chile
  • 10am: U. of Mich. Sentiment, Nov. P, est. 87.9 (prior 87.2)
  • 10:50am: Bank of Canada’s Poloz speaks in Santiago
  • 1pm: Baker Hughes rig count

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

You couldn't write the script as after the dust settles on the US election who should be playing each other in a football World Cup qualifier tonight? Yes the US and Mexico. I wonder who will be the first to make a joke about who will build the wall when someone gets a free kick just outside the area!!

Ahead of this it was all about the US and EM yesterday with the buzz words being Trumpflation and Trump Tantrum as bond yields, especially EM, saw an aggressive sell-off even if DM risk generally held up. The good news about the aftermath of the election result is that we're going to get a change in the global policy order away from solely monetary towards fiscal policy. That's encouraging but as Theresa May found out last month, when you've got a lot of debt and you want to expand it further you also need your central bank onside if you're going to start to shift policy successfully. So eventually any government that goes on a fiscal spending spree will ultimately need central banks to be buying bonds to ensure funding costs don't go up prohibitively. So although we think the upcoming policy shift should be a welcome development and provides a better framework for growth in the future, it won't be complete until fiscal and monetary policy are combined and until they are there are risks that the bond market vigilantes threaten the scale of the policy shift.

It's fair to say that yesterday the reflation trade started to shake those most sensitive to higher yields. EM is clearly also impacted by the anti-globalisation side of the Trump victory. Indeed the moves over the last two days have been pretty eye watering. If we start with bonds, the following show yesterday's moves for 10y yields and we’ve included the two-day move in brackets. Hard currency Mexico +40.3bps (+77.8bps), Argentina +42.9bps (+62.3bps), Colombia +37.2bps (+63.1bps) and Brazil +46.2bps (+71.7bps) stand out most of all. That compares to 10y US Treasury yields which were another +10bps higher yesterday and therefore +29.5bps higher over two-days. 30y yields were +10.9bps higher yesterday and so +33.9bps in two-days. It’s worth noting that the longer end of the curve also had to deal with a 30y auction yesterday which showed waning demand, much like the 10y auction the day before. The bid-to-cover yesterday was 2.11 and the lowest since February with the proportion of indirect bidders the lowest in over a year.

In Europe 10y Bunds were +7.1bps (+8.6bps) but in the periphery 10y BTP’s were +14.5bps (+17.6bps) and at 1.897%, are now at the highest level in 14 months. With a little over 3 weeks until the Italy referendum now it’s not a surprise to see the next anti-establishment fears surfacing. Staying on the yield theme, US HY spreads were 12bps wider yesterday but are only 7bps wider in two days, so that asset class has held in relatively OK. In FX the standouts are also in the high yielding EM space. If you were thinking of getting some winter sun then Mexico -3.53% (-10.91%), South Africa -4.76% (-6.56%), Brazil -4.90% (-6.51%) and Colombia -3.68% (-5.22%) is where you’ll get most bang for your buck now. In fact that’s the case even more so for Sterling asset holders. The Pound rallied +1.20% yesterday, and is up +1.43% in two days and is in fact the only G10 currency to have strengthened post the election. This probably reflects the view that the UK could actually be a beneficiary of trade with a Trump presidency and so easing some Brexit concerns, although perhaps the fact that the market is also turning attention to a busy upcoming Eurozone political diary has taken the limelight away from the UK for now.

In equity markets the sentiment remains positive for US stocks. The S&P 500 closed +0.20% and is +1.30% in two-days. Remember though that S&P 500 futures were at one stage limit down -5% so that two-day move is a lot more impressive if you take account of the initial collapse in futures. The Dow, meanwhile, was +1.17% and is +2.65% over two-days. In fact last night the Dow marked a fresh record high. The interesting thing for us however is the huge divergence we’re now seeing at a sector level. Case in point yesterday with financials (+3.70%) being the big outperformer, buoyed by a combination of higher bond yields and expectations of looser regulation. In fact the S&P 500 banks index is up +9.53% in two days and at the highest level since July 2015. Industrials surged +2.02% with the infrastructure spending boost trade already underway while health care stocks were +1.19% with potential lighter regulation also a factor there. In contrast bond proxy sector likes utilities (-2.47%) and real estate (-1.52%) tumbled once again.

The last set of moves to highlight are for metals. Iron ore +4.42% (+8.52%) is now at the highest level in two years. Copper +3.72% (+7.18%) has posted the best back-to-back gain in three years while Aluminium, Lead and Zinc have all surged too.

As we refresh our screens this morning there’s perhaps some signs of a bit of fatigue coming into markets now following a turbulent week. Bourses are certainly a lot more mixed in Asia. The Nikkei (+0.11%), Shanghai Comp (+0.61%) and ASX (+0.21%) are still holding onto gains but the Hang Seng (-1.05%) and Kospi (-0.61%) are much weaker. Credit indices are really struggling however with iTraxx indices in Asia Pacific some 5-7bps wider. Asia sovereign bond markets have mirrored with moves in the treasuries while it’s been a difficult morning for Asia FX. The Indonesian Rupiah in particular was as much as 3% weaker at one stage, prompting the nation’s central bank to intervene to stop the slide.

Moving on. Away from the price action, the newswires are generally filled with questions about which of Trump’s less than concrete policies might we see first put into action. Bloomberg was running a story yesterday suggesting that Trump’s transition team is pledging to dismantle the Dodd-Frank act and replace it ‘with new policies to encourage economic growth and job creation’. Trade is one of the other early contentious subjects amongst politicians with NAFTA being a big talking point in particular, while the FT is also running with a story suggesting that China is looking to rekindle a plan for a rival Asia Pacific trade deal amid expectations that Trump will refuse to ratify the TPP.

Elsewhere, again any news or data away unrelated to the election was very much under the radar. The Fedspeak was probably the most interesting though with both Lacker and Bullard signalling that the Fed still remains very much on course to raise rates next month. Indeed Richmond Fed President Lacker said that ‘in December we’ll be debating another increase, no doubt’ while St Louis Fed President Bullard, while of the view still that only a single rate increase is appropriate, said that ‘I think December would be reasonable time to implement that single rate increase’. Staying with the Fed, yesterday we got confirmation that Fed Chair Yellen will appear before the Joint Economic Committee next week on November 17th. Given the now uncertain outlook of what a Trump presidency means for Yellen, and the Fed composition, this event could be one to watch.

Over at the BoE the latest CBPS holdings data was released yesterday. As of November 9th total holdings amounted to £2.69bn which implies net purchases settled last week of £329m. That puts the average per auction in that weekly period at £110m which is below the £149m since the CBPS started. As we noted in our report last week, the latest data underscores the recent tapering in BoE corporate bond purchases. See the following report from Michal Jezek last week for more on this https://goo.gl/eC7u6o.

Finally, in terms of yesterday’s data in the US initial jobless claims printed at another solid 254k last week which is down 11k from the week prior. The four-week average is now sitting at 160k. Last week’s data also takes the consecutive sub-300k weekly run to 88 weeks now. Meanwhile, the Federal budget deficit narrowed to a much smaller than expected $44.2bn in October (vs. $70bn expected). In Europe yesterday the only data released came from France where industrial production was down a disappointing -1.1% mom in September (vs. -0.3% expected) and so dragging the YoY to -1.1%. The first estimate of Q3 non-farm payrolls in France was however a little better than expected (+0.3% qoq vs. +0.1% expected).

In terms of the day ahead, the economic diary is extremely sparse today in part driven by the Veteran’s Day holiday in the US where the bond market will be shut, but equity markets stay open. Datawise the only notable releases due out is the final revisions to the October CPI report in Germany this morning and the first estimate of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading this afternoon in the US. Away from that we’ve got some Fedspeak with Vice-Chair Fischer scheduled to speak at an event at 1.30pm GMT. EU trade ministers are also due to meet to discuss anti-dumping rules and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which could now be interesting. Aside from that, expect the day ahead to be largely filled once again with Election related headlines and newsflow.