Wall Street Banks Warn Downturn Is Coming

Societe Generale SA

 

  • HSBC, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley say end of market boom is nigh
  • Breakdown in trading patterns is signal to get out soon

HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley see mounting evidence that global markets are in the last stage of their rallies before a downturn in the business cycle.

Analysts at the Wall Street behemoths cite signals including the breakdown of long-standing relationships between stocks, bonds and commodities as well as investors ignoring valuation fundamentals and data. It all means stock and credit markets are at risk of a painful drop. Continue reading

“It Was A Deer In Headlights Moment”: Japan Dumps Most US Treasuries Since May 2013

 

With the December monthly TIC data due out this week, bond traders will be closely watching if the selling of US Treasuries by foreign accounts, and especially central banks, which as we have repeatedly shown for the past several months has hit record levels…

However, this time the surprise may not be China, but its nemesis across the East China Sea, Japan. Continue reading

European Central Bank gold reserves held across 5 locations. ECB will not disclose Gold Bar List.

Table 1: Central bank FX and Gold transfers to the ECB, January 1999

 

The European Central Bank (ECB), creator of the Euro, currently claims to hold 504.8 tonnes of gold reserves. These gold holdings are reflected on the ECB balance sheet and arose from transfers made to the ECB by Euro member national central banks, mainly in January 1999 at the birth of the Euro. As of the end of December 2015, these ECB gold reserves were valued on the ECB balance sheet at market prices and amounted to €15.79 billion. 

The ECB very recently confirmed to BullionStar that its gold reserves are stored across 5 international locations. However, the ECB also confirmed that it does not physically audit its gold, nor will it divulge a bar list / weight list of these gold bar holdings.

Questions and Answers

BullionStar recently put a number of questions to the European Central Bank about the ECB’s gold holdings. The ECB Communications Directorate replied to these questions with answers that appear to include a number of facts about the ECB gold reserves which have not previously been published. The questions put to the ECB and its responses are listed below (underlining added): Continue reading

What Happens When the U.S. Dollar Is No Longer A Hedge Fund Hotel?

Risks for a further squeeze lower for the greenback, says Bank of America.

In the wake of last week’s dovish decision from the Federal Reserve, investors have been throwing in the towel on the U.S. dollar.

But Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s proprietary positioning data suggests there’s still another major shoe to drop for the greenback. In a note to clients, FX Strategists Myria Kyriacou and Athanasios Vamvakidis illustrate that hedge funds’ long position in the U.S. dollar remains substantial relative to the past 12 months and to other investors. Continue reading

Goldman Asks, Is The Bundesbank “Ominously” Trying To Sabotage The ECB’s QE?

Goldman previously argued that the weak activity reading rattled a market that had been operating on a core thesis of strong US growth. The resulting uncertainty caused Bund yields and EUR/$ to rise, with the DAX also selling off on the day. Since then, something more ominous has come into play…

One clue has been the communications ping pong from the ECB. On May 18, Executive Board member Coeure said “the rapidity of the reversal in Bund yields is worrisome,” citing it as another example of “extreme volatility in global capital markets.”

ECB President Draghi sent the opposite message on Jun. 3, saying “one lesson is that we should get used to periods of higher volatility,” followed on Jun. 10 by Executive Board member Coeure stating that “the ECB does not intend to counter [Bund] volatility in the short term.”

Goldman took a dim view of all this in our last FX Views, even if a charitable interpretation is that President Draghi basically sent a dovish message on Jun.10 and simply didn’t want to signal “activism” in the face of short-term volatility. Continue reading

Did the Fed Just Enter the Currency Wars?

(Bloomberg) — The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting last month have foreign-exchange traders wondering whether Janet Yellen has joined the currency wars.

Central bankers from Europe to Australia have engaged this year in bouts of rate-cutting oneupmanship, leaving the U.S., and possibly Britain, as the only developed nations seen as likely to raise borrowing costs in 2015. The dollar climbed to its strongest in more than a decade as a result, prompting billionaire Warren Buffett and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President Gary Cohn to question whether the Fed can now increase rates without damaging the U.S. economy. Continue reading

How Many More “Saves” Are Left in the Central Bank Bazookas?

The master narrative of the global economy shifted six years ago from “China will push global growth for decades to come” to “the central banks can push global growth for decades to come.”

Time after time we’ve witnessed enfeebled global markets jolted out of terminal declines by central bank pronouncements and new money-printing policies. Never mind that the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Mario Draghi had no concrete proposals in hand when he announced the ECB would “do whatever it takes” to save the European Union from the financial consequences of its reckless abandonment of risk management; the mere announcement was enough to trigger a massive reversal in global markets. Continue reading

After Francs Comes Dollar: Greenback Might Skyrocket Soon

https://i1.wp.com/cdn1.img.sputniknews.com/images/101717/70/1017177057.jpg

 

After the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has undermined global confidence in regulators, any sudden action by the US Fed might trigger a feverish buyout of the dollar, pushing its FX rate sky-high, demolishing the entire architecture of international trade in goods and services.

MOSCOW, January 21 (Sputnik), Kristian Rouz — The recent shock to the currencies markets, having come from Switzerland on 15 January, when the franc appreciated by 23% in a single-day trading session, has badly damaged the international financial stability, with capital leaving the Eurozone and investors feverishly buying out gold and US bonds. Such a dramatic change in FX rate of one of the global reserve currencies has triggered major debt risks worldwide, from Eastern European mortgages to Russia’s burden of excessive corporate debt. Now, across the Atlantic, the robust economic growth and market optimism in the US have spurred the anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike, inevitably triggering the dollar to strengthen. Continue reading

Russia Just Pulled Itself Out Of The Petrodollar

Back in November, before most grasped just how serious the collapse in crude was (and would become, as well as its massive implications), we wrote “How The Petrodollar Quietly Died, And Nobody Noticed“, because for the first time in almost two decades, energy-exporting countries would pull their “petrodollars” out of world markets in 2015.

We added that in 2014 “the oil producers will effectively import capital amounting to $7.6 billion. By comparison, they exported $60 billion in 2013 and $248 billion in 2012, according to the following graphic based on BNP Paribas calculations.”

The problem was compounded by its own positive feedback loop: as the last few weeks vividly demonstrated, plunging oil would lead to a further liquidation in foreign  reserves for the oil exporters who rushed to preserve their currencies, leading to even greater drops in oil as the viable producers rushed to pump out as much crude out of the ground as possible in a scramble to put the weakest producers out of business, and to crush marginal production. Call it Game Theory gone mad and on steroids. Continue reading

China Prepares To Bailout Russia

Earlier this evening China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange’s (SAFE) Wang Yungui noted “the impact of the Russian Ruble depreciation was unclear yet, and, as Bloomberg reported, “SAFE is closely watching Ruble’s depreciation and encouraging companies to hedge Ruble risks.” His comments also echoed the ongoing FXFX reform agenda aimed at increasing Yuan flexibility which The South China Morning Post then hinted in a story entitled “Russia may seek China help to deal with crisis,” which which noted that Russia could fall back on its 150 billion yuan ($24 billion) currency swap agreement with China if the ruble continues to plunge, that was signed in October. Furthermore, two bankers close to the PBOC reportedly said the swap-line was meant to reduce the role of the US dollar if China and Russia need to help each other overcome a liquidity squeeze. Continue reading