What Do Metal Prices Tell Us About The Future Of The Stock Market?

In short? Nothing good.

As the following chart from Morgan Stanley indicates, metal prices tend to be a good predictive indicator of global industrial production. The disturbing finding is that on a year over year basis, metal prices have just gone materially negative for the first time since the Great Financial Crisis, which means global IP is set to follow...

... this in turn means that the upcoming negative IP print will reverberate across all markets, as IP tends to correlate tightly to Global Manufacturing (PMI) data. More importantly, PMI tends to correlate quite closely to global equities...

In other words, for those who still believe in logical, causal relationships (even in a time of ubiqutous central planning) unless something drastically changes to push fundamental demand of metals higher, one could say that the outlook for equities is not good.

Which in turn boils down to another very simple relationship: either China - the biggest marginal setter of metals prices - stimulates, or the world gets it. And a few trillion yen here and there by the BOJ just isn't going to cut it, especially when the schizophrenic Europeans are deleveraging at the sovereign level with one hand, elsewhere called for some reason "austerity" (was "reversion to the mean-ity" taken?) while demanding that the central bank to pick up the slack by levering up (even as the Fed keeps mum in an election year). Ironically it is precisely the asset bubbles created by monetary authorities that are spilling over into China and forcing it to keep a lid on ultimate demand, which in turn is why those few strategists who still think in 2+2=4 terms are quite skeptical the recent melt up on horrendous European and US economic news will last more than a few days.


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