G20 outcome bolsters sentiment: Market activity was defined by a demonstrable lift in risk appetite yesterday. Stock markets rallied, especially in China, and the S&P500 touched new all-time highs. The Yen dipped, as did the Swiss Franc. The stronger Greenback combined with the lift in global bond yields knocked gold prices down below the $US1400-mark. And oil rallied – boosted, too, by the prospect of coordinated supply controls from OPEC-members at their meeting this week. While the positi
Trump-Tweet #1: US President Trump announced yesterday what had long been assumed: the trade-truce will be delayed, because of the “very productive talks” going on between his administration and Chinese policymakers. Understandably, the formal recognition that tariffs won’t be hiked to 25 per cent (from their current rate of 10 per cent) on $US200bn of Chinese goods stoked risk sentiment. The overall impact wasn’t quite as deep and broad on one might have hoped, however. The reasoning is logical
Broad-based based bounce in stocks: It was a buy the dip day yesterday, judging by price action in global risk-assets. As has been the theme this week, there wasn’t any meaningful macro-news to change market participants behavior. So: an explanation for the (almost) universally solid day for global equities ought to be chalked-up to internal market mechanics. What this may imply for the longer run is a touch obscure. This market is trading much in the way a plane rights-itself after some brief,
Don’t Forget Trade Wars Aren’t Isolated to US-China
Trade wars remain my greatest concern for the health of the global markets and economy. There have been threats in the past where a localized fundamental virus has turned contagious to the rest of the world by unforeseen circumstances – such as the Great Financial Crisis whereby a US subprime housing derivative implosion infected the wider financial markets by destabilized a foundation built on excess leverage throughout the system. When i
The US Yield Curve Flipped Back to Normal, Is the Recession Off?
A lot of attention was paid this past week by the financial media to the inversion of the yield curve. To understand the signal, it is important to define the circumstances. The yield curve is a comparison of the yield – in this case, on US Treasuries – of different durations. Normally, the longer the duration, the higher the yield should be owing to the longer tie-up of exposure. When a curve inverts, we have an atypical circ
The Dow was up 0.11% as positive news from Boeing boosted the index, the Federal Aviation Administration said that the software update to the 737 Max aircraft is "operationally suitable". The S&P increased marginally by 0.05% whilst the Nasdaq gained 0.3%.
Netflix shares have dropped 1% after its earnings report yesterday, after announcing a weaker than expected guidance for Q2 as well as its CMO, Kelly Bennett, announcing her retirement this year. Although, Q1 earnings per share were
G20 Summit goes to plan: Financial market participants will be relieved by the outcome of the Trump-Xi meeting at the weekend’s G20. They’ve effectively received what they’d been expecting: no-deal of course, but a pledge to restart talks and not increase tariffs in the interim. As has been discussed by many, this is likely to be just the latest chapter of what’s going to be an epic tale for US-China relations. And it doesn’t, in the shorter-term, completely remove the headwinds faced by the glo
Stocks wander, bonds rally, oil tumbles: Equity markets edged higher overnight, however activity was generally thin, as fresh news and data proved lacking. Market behaviour suggests global growth concerns have returned to prominence: bond yields fell across the globe, with the yield on the benchmark US 10 Year Treasury note falling below 2 per cent again. Defensive sectors generally outperformed on Wall Street. Oil tumbled, while gold staged a bounce. And the USD was a little weaker, though it w
Global growth the primary issue right now: The monumental tug-of war between improving financial conditions and deteriorating economic conditions continues. On Friday, it was the latter that took home the points, if only this time around. Both variables truly sit diametrically opposed, and as far as market participants are concerned, which force will prevail remains speculative. It’s written into the mixed-messages markets have been signalling in the last several weeks. It must be said, with the
Other central bankers throw their weight around: After the US Fed exited the ring yesterday, some of the world’s other heavyweight central-bankers weighed-in on the global race-to-the-bottom for global interest rates. The BOJ met yesterday, and though they kept their policy entirely untouched, it Governor Haruhiko Kuroda affirmed his commitment to monetary stimulus if necessary. RBA Governor Philip Lowe also delivered a speech, in which he was explicit in his belief that lower interest rates wer
The Euro was nearing a 21-month low yesterday as the ECB was perceived to be dovish after its speech, ahead of US jobs data to be released today. During Thursday's session the EURUSD hit $1.1176, its lowest since June 2017, as the ECB announced it had pushed back the first rate increase to at least 2020 and announced a new round of TLTRO funding for European Banks.
China has reported worse than expected trade data for the month of February. Its dollar-denominated exports fell by 20.7 per
Shares in Asia fell more than 2% amid growing fears that a recession is on the horizon, Japan's Topix was impacted the most as the index dropped 2.5% at the close. The Hang Seng, ASX 200 and the Shanghai Composite followed and all fell by at least 1%.
Numerous reports over the weekend suggested that senior ministers were plotting to oust Theresa May as doing so could enhance support of her Brexit deal, although this has been denied. Mrs May is set to meet cabinet ministers today to update
Waiting, waiting, waiting: Another uneventful night in global markets, traders have apparently occupied themselves positioning for the ramp-up in economic data in the next 24 hours. Equity indices pulled back in North America and Europe, as global safe-have bonds caught a bid. Commodities fell across the board, naturally with the exception of gold, which ticked higher on haven-demand. The G10 currency complex was lifeless, with the Japanese Yen edging higher as the carry trade was unwound on ant
Event risk passes with no surprises: The litany of economic data provided market participants the green-light they were looking for; but so far, the price-reaction, while bullish, has been subdued. Relative to the past 100-days, volume on Wall Street, and a majority of developed markets, has been thin overnight. It’s giving the impression of a stock-market bereft of conviction, as nervousness sets in as the S&P500 edges towards new record highs. Admittedly, much of this phenomenon could be a
We Have Unresolved Trade War Issues Guided by Rumor or Complete Blackout
We closed out this past week to a broad swell in risk appetite. This enthusiasm wasn’t consistent for the global markets throughout the week, however, with most of the asset benchmarks that I follow for scope were struggling until the Friday pop. The exception to the rule was once again the seemingly impervious US equity indices. Whether you were evaluating sentiment for the Dow and S&P 500 through the week or the
Financials drag on the ASX: The ASX200 was legged in the final stages of trade yesterday. It was led by a sell-off in major financial stocks, after a media address made by Australian Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, during which he announced the Liberal government would not pursue the eradication of trailing commissions for financial advisors and mortgage brokers, as prescribed by Kenneth Hayne QC in the final Banking Royal Commission report. It turned what was an otherwise solid day for the ASX200 o
Markets trade-off Friday overhang: Markets traded in something of a vacuum Monday. The themes driving price action were more-or-less those that had determined activity to end last week. The effects of this were pronounced in the Asian session, but much less so in Europe and North America. It stands to reason: Asian markets were still to digest Friday night’s abysmal European PMI figures. That data’s impact is still rippling through the market. Anxieties about global growth and the likelihood for
An uneventful day on Wall Street: A flat, somewhat mixed, and low activity day on Wall Street, market participants seem to be eyeing events later on in the week. After Friday’s Non-Farm Payroll induced rally, traders have apparently looked-down below their feet, realized how far this market has climbed, and decided a fresh-wind is required before scaling to new record-heights. Such a milestone stands only 1-and-a-half per cent away for the S&P500; and sensibly, the market is in no rush to ge
A rocky start to the week: The first day of the week’s trade can be reasonably said to have ended – and it was a tumultuous one. US President Trump’s tweeting of new tariffs on the Chinese economy sparked a level volatility not experienced in the financial markets for several months. It certainly had the effect of waking some (perhaps) complacent market participants from their slumber. And although the panic has abated somewhat, sentiment has been dented again this morning, after an announcement
A “Goldilocks” end to the week: Sentiment was nicely boosted to end the week last week. US Non-Farm Payrolls printed as closely to a so-called "goldilocks" figure for risk assets as you're ever liked to see. The data revealed the US economy added 196,000 jobs last month, against an expected figure of 172,000. It was enough to keep the unemployment rate to its very low levels of 3.8 per cent. But the real kicker for market-bulls was the earnings component: wage growth missed estimates, revealing
The see-sawing market: The one-day-up, one-day-down pattern of trade on Wall Street continues. It’s playing-out so elegantly, it’s almost absurd. Yesterday was a “down” day, as market participants evacuated equity markets to seek shelter in safe-haven government bonds. In contrast to the day prior, breadth has been universally low, with practically every sector in the S&P500 trading lower. The same simple binary that’s driven market activity for weeks is behind this dynamic: a competition be
ASX to keep trading on its own themes: SPI Futures are presently indicating an 18-point jump at the open for the ASX200. Once again, Australian equities look as though they’ll march to the beat of their own drum today. It comes on the back of a reasonably solid day for the ASX yesterday – though admittedly it was another day of relatively low activity. A general driver for the session’s activity was hard to pinpoint, perhaps fortunately, with the market trading much more on the basis of the myri
Amid Extreme (Low) Volatility, Determine Your Approach and the Eventual Change
Volatility continues to sink into extreme levels of doldrums – and this is a theme that all traders should take time to appreciate at regular intervals. Low volatility is a defining feature of a financial landscape. Whether fundamentals catalyze a cascade of value repricing or a technical cue is capable of triggering an avalanche of entry/stop orders is predicated on the conditions first laid out by the depth an
Traders have plenty to catch up on: As one might expect after (effectively) four days-off, there’s plenty of macro-economic news for Australian market participants to catch-up on following the Easter-holiday break. Chinese and Japanese markets have traded without interruption; while the US jumped back in to action overnight. And although price action won’t be the cause of any conniptions across trading floors this morning, there’s still enough information there to inspire a few novel ideas in th
Another Massive Escalation of the US-China Trade Wars
The White House continues to double down on its aggressive posturing against China in a bid to force the county to yield to its demands at the negotiation table. This approach follows a few patterns in economics, sociology and debate whereby the commitment to escalation persists despite growing risks and diminishing return when or if a compromise is struck – such as the ‘escalation of commitment’ behavior. Late this past week, President
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