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Futures, Oil Tumble As Attention Turns To Coming Recession, Powell Senate Testimony

Futures, Oil Tumble As Attention Turns To Coming Recession, Powell Senate Testimony

Tuesday’s euphoric market mood has U-turned into sheer…

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Futures, Oil Tumble As Attention Turns To Coming Recession, Powell Senate Testimony

Tuesday's euphoric market mood has U-turned into sheer despair with most of yesterday's gains gone overnight as attention turns to the coming US recession (now made official by Bill "The Fed Should Crush Donald Trump" Dudley who just published an Op-Ed "The US Economy Is Headed for a Hard Landing") and as traders await Jerome Powell before Senate testimony. S&P 500 futures declined 1.2%, down 45 points to 3,722 while Nasdaq 100 futures were down 1.5% by 715 a.m. in New York, indicating more declines for heavyweight technology stocks, which have already been hammered by rising rates.  Treasury yields and oil both slumped while the broader commodity sector tipped back toward pre-war levels, as traders increasingly price in a recession.


Optimism evaporated that policy makers can achieve a soft landing as they navigate a course of aggressive monetary tightening to tame inflation. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is expected to reinforce the commitment to fighting price pressures when he speaks in front of US lawmakers Wednesday even as a growing number of banks warn that the Fed chair is pushing Biden's economy into a recession. Previewing Powell's appearance before the Senate Banking Committee as part of the Fed’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report, DB economists write that they expect him to reiterate the same themes he gave at his post-meeting press conference last week, where he signaled that they’d likely be deciding between 50bps and 75bps at the July meeting. Fed funds futures are currently implying that another 75bps move is more likely, with +71.8bps currently priced in, but don’t forget that there’s still plenty yet to happen ahead of that meeting in just over a month, including the subsequent CPI release and jobs report for June, and as we found out at the last meeting, it’s not implausible that unexpected data releases throw the previous guidance off course.

“Overall, we have a very cautious outlook for equity markets and we would be sellers of all rallies,” said Marija Veitmane, senior strategist at State Street Global Markets. “We continue to see strong inflation and central banks determined to crush it, even if the price for that is economic slowdown.”

Meanwhile, fears about the economy spread to commodities, putting oil in line for a monthly loss: “Markets are flip-flopping between recession fears and inflation fears,” UBS Wealth Mgmt chief economist Paul Donovan said in a note. “Today it is recession fears.”

In premarket trading, major US technology and internet stocks were lower in premarket trading, poised to snap the two-session rising streak amid mounting concerns of a global recession. Stocks related to cryptocurrencies fell as the price of Bitcoin briefly slipped below $20,000 after rebounding strongly on Tuesday. Alibaba and other US-listed Chinese stocks pare losses in premarket trading after a Bloomberg News report that Jack Ma’s Ant may apply to become a financial holding company as soon as this month. Other notable premarket movers:

  • La-Z-Boy’s (LZB US) shares jumped as much as 8.9% with KeyBanc saying that the furniture maker’s sales and EPS remain strong. The company reported adjusted earnings per share for the fourth quarter that beat the average analyst estimate.
  • Precision BioSciences (DTIL US) shares jump as much as 40% in US premarket trading amid a collaboration and license agreement with Novartis effective June 15.
  • Ormat Technologies (ORA US) shares fell 4.6% in postmarket trading on Tuesday after the company said it will offer $350 million aggregate principal amount of Green Convertible Senior Notes due 2027 in a private offering to institutional buyers.
  • Equity Residential (EQR US) stock may be in focus as it was raised to outperform from sector perform at RBC on the view that the apartment owner is well placed to weather a downturn.
  • Keep an eye on Cigna (CI US) shares as Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to overweight from equal-weight. The brokerage also downgraded Anthem to equal-weight from overweight.
  • Watch Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG US) shares as they were downgraded to equal-weight from overweight at Wells Fargo, which said there’s “just not much to get excited about” for the stock in the second half of the year.

US equities have been roiled in the past few months amid worries that aggressive monetary tightening by the Fed would spark an economic recession. The S&P 500 is in a bear market after a rout that erased almost $2 trillion from the benchmark last week, and is tracking declines of nearly 9% in June alone. Fed Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin said the central bank should raise rates as fast as it can without causing undue harm to financial markets or the economy. 

Elsewhere, Joe Biden plans call on Congress to enact a gasoline tax holiday to cool soaring pump prices and alleviate the pressure on consumers. The move is expected to do nothing at all for gas prices.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was down 1.6% after rallying for three days in a row; the Euro Stoxx 50 dropped as much as 2.3%, Italy’s FTSE MIB underperforms.  The FTSE 100 outperformed as the pound weakened after UK inflation rose to a fresh four-decade high in May after broad increases in the cost of everything from fuel and electricity to food and beverages. Risk assets slumped with most European cash equity indexes erasing the week’s gains as recession fears, hot inflation data and energy concerns weigh on sentiment. Miners, energy and autos lead broad losses across all Stoxx 600 sectors. Here are the biggest European movers:

  • European mining stocks sink as a selloff in iron ore worsened amid signs of weakening global demand, while steel shares were pressured by downgrades from JPMorgan. Rio Tinto dropped as much as 3.6%, Glencore -6.1%, Salzgitter -15%, ArcelorMittal -8.2%, Voestalpine -11%
  • Umicore shares plunged as much as 17% after the materials technology company announced plans to spend EU5b by 2026, “meaningfully” higher capital expenditure than Jefferies had expected.
  • Saipem shares tumble as much as 19% after the company set terms for a EU2b capital hike, offering about 2 billion new shares at EU1.013. The subscription period will run from June 27 through July 11, with the final results to be announced on July 15, according to terms seen by Bloomberg.
  • Samhallsbyggnadsbolaget i Norden and Swedish real estate peers added to months of declines as European equities resumed their selloff, with fresh concerns about the possibility of recession. SBB falls as much as 13%, Sagax -6%, Fabege -4%, Castellum -3.7%
  • Kone shares drop as much as 7.5% after the Finnish elevator manufacturer was downgraded at Goldman Sachs and Berenberg, which both cited headwinds from China and the impact of slowing economic growth.
  • Energy stocks are among the worst-performing sectors as oil slumps amid concerns about the US economy, while the Biden administration is set to step up its fight against higher gasoline prices. Shell declines as much as 4.6%, TotalEnergies -4.6%, Repsol -5.1%
  • Accor shares drop as much as 3.8% after the hospitality company said it entered into exclusive negotiations to sell a 10.8% stake in Ennismore for EU185m.
  • JD Sports shares gain as much as 5.2%. The company reported FY results that are in line overall with consensus expectations, and the market should be reassured that the sneaker seller’s recent performance is still on track, according to RBC.
  • NatWest shares gain as much as 4% after the stock was raised to buy from hold at Jefferies, which said its re-rating potential is now more obvious. The UK government also extended its plan to sell more of its stake in the group by a year.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks resumed their slide Wednesday as renewed fears of a crackdown hit Chinese technology shares. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped as much as 1.7%, cutting short a rebound in the previous session. TSMC, Alibaba and Tencent were the biggest drags, with a gauge of Chinese tech firms in Hong Kong falling more than 4%. Shares of online drug sellers slumped on a report that Beijing may ban third-party platforms from offering medicines over the internet.

Elsewhere, a sub-gauge on the region’s information tech companies headed for the lowest close since September 2020 amid growing worries over a global recession. South Korea’s benchmark slumped 2.7% as the tech-heavy market continued to face selling pressure amid foreign outflows. The Asian stock benchmark is hovering near a two-year low as the prospect of a slowdown in the US driven by aggressive interest-rate hikes unsettle investors. Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said Tuesday that a recession in the US looks likely in the near future, adding to the growing drumbeat of warnings. “Markets are still looking for the catalyst for a more sustained rebound as headwinds surrounding tightening financial conditions,” said Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte, adding that gains from any technical rebound may be capped by some wait-and-see sentiments. After falling more than 18% this year, a technical indicator is suggesting the MSCI’s Asian benchmark has reached oversold levels and may be poised for a reprieve. Investors will now shift their focus to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony on monetary policy to Congress later Wednesday, which may provide further clues on inflation and rates outlook. 

Indian markets snapped a two-day advance as growing concerns of slowing global growth potentially leading to a recession dragged down world equity markets.  The S&P BSE Sensex dropped 1.4% to 51,822.53 in Mumbai, while NSE Nifty 50 Index fell by an equal measure. Reliance Industries, a major drag on both the key gauges, declined 3%, its biggest plunge since May 9.  All of the 19 sectoral indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. slipped, led by a measure of metal companies. All but four of 30 companies in the Sensex declined.  All major stock markets, including Asia, traded lower as investors fear that aggressive monetary tightening moves by global central banks could lead to an economic downturn. “Traders are advised to keep a hedge position, while investors should focus on stock selection,” according to Religare Broking analyst Ajit Mishra. The monsoon’s progress, a correction in oil prices and currency movements will be important factors to watch for the Indian stock market’s outlook, he said. 

In rates, havens were re underpinned with major yield curves bull-steepening. A Treasury rally was led by the front-end of the curve, following wider gains across gilts after UK May inflation matches median estimates, trimming expectations for more aggressive BOE rate hikes. US yields richer by 10bp-6bp across the curve with front-end-led advance steepening 2s10s by ~2bp, 5s30s by ~4bp; 10-year yields around 3.20%, richer by nearly 8bp on the day, while gilts outperform by additional 6bp in the sector. Short-dated gilts outperform, richening ~13bps in 2s after another hot inflation print. Gilts lead bunds, Treasuries higher, with traders pulling back from wagers on three 50 basis-points hikes by year end after UK inflation accelerated in line with estimates in May. MPC-dated OIS rates pare back some of the more aggressive pricing seen in recent days. German 10y yields fall 10bps to near 1.67%, Treasury 10-year yield eases ~6bps to near 3.22% ahead of Fed Chair Powell’s semi-annual testimony on monetary policy. Peripheral spreads widen, with long-dated BTPs underperforming. 

In FX, early in the session we saw a push toward the dollar, which subsequently was partly faded, but in any case it snapped two days of losses to rise by around 0.2% and the greenback advanced versus all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen. JPY and CHF were the strongest performers in G-10 FX, NZD and AUD underperform. Antipodean currencies and the Norwegian krone were the worst performers and each of them fell by more than 1% against the greenback. The euro traded near $1.05 after dropping to a day low of 1.0469 in early European trading. The yen rebounded after making a fresh multi-decade low versus the greenback. The yen not only held the lead in short-term realized volatility, but traders also bet that it won’t lose its crown any time soon. Demand for low-delta exposure in the Japanese currency is by far the highest among the Group-of-10 peers, with Antipodean and Scandinavian currencies trailing.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate tumbled to $104 a barrel, with prices falling alongside other raw materials including copper. WTI sunk as much as 5.7% before recovering back above $104. Base metals trade poorly; LME tin falls 4.9%, underperforming peers. Spot gold falls roughly $8 to trade near $1,825/oz. Concerns about a broad economic slowdown are eclipsing the fallout from the war in Ukraine and signs of still-tight supply. 

Bitcoin is pressured and briefly dipped again below the USD 20k mark, to a trough of USD 19.95k. Though, it remains someway from last week's USD 17.5k low.

Looking at the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be Fed Chair Powell’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Other central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin, Evans and Harker, as well as BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. Otherwise, data releases include UK and Canadian CPI for May, as well as the European Commission’s preliminary consumer confidence indicator for the Euro Area in June.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 1.7% to 3,702.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 1.6% to 401.86
  • MXAP down 1.7% to 156.08
  • MXAPJ down 2.3% to 517.35
  • Nikkei down 0.4% to 26,149.55
  • Topix down 0.2% to 1,852.65
  • Hang Seng Index down 2.6% to 21,008.34
  • Shanghai Composite down 1.2% to 3,267.20
  • Sensex down 1.2% to 51,918.86
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.2% to 6,508.54
  • Kospi down 2.7% to 2,342.81
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 1.69%
  • Euro down 0.2% to $1.0509
  • Brent Futures down 3.8% to $110.24/bbl
  • Brent Futures down 3.9% to $110.18/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,825.23
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.23% to 104.67

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

 

A more detailed summary of Global Markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia-Pac stocks were subdued after the risk-on mood from Wall Street waned overnight amid pressure in commodities and with global markets lacking any fresh macro catalysts. ASX 200 pared early gains as resilience in energy and defensives was offset by losses in tech and financials. Nikkei 225 was indecisive after the Japanese currency bounced off its weakest level since 1998. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were subdued amid ongoing COVID woes as Macau closed most public services through to Friday and with the Chinese city of Zhuhai also shutting entertainment venues in some areas, while there was some encouragement for the property sector with Chinese property developers planning to meet with banks regarding relief measures in July.

Top Asian News

  • Chinese property developers are planning to meet with banks regarding relief measures in July, according to Shanghai Securities News.
  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s struggle to revive China’s economy under the zero-Covid policy championed by President Xi Jinping has spurred rumours of rifts between the country’s top two leaders and considerable speculation over succession plans, according to SGH Macro Advisors.
  • BoJ April meeting minutes stated board members agreed on no change in the BoJ's stance of taking additional easing steps as needed and a member noted that rising raw material costs would hurt the economy so they must keep powerful monetary easing. Furthermore, it was stated that Japan's monetary policy challenge is to address too-low inflation, unlike in western economies, while a member said it is inappropriate to change the monetary policy stance as Russia's invasion of Ukraine added to the downside risks for Japan's economy.

European bourses are subdued, Euro Stoxx 50 -1.9%, as Tuesday's positivity waned in the APAC session as commodities slipped in relatively limited newsflow. Unsurprisingly given this dynamic, the Basic Resources and Energy sectors are the European laggards, amid broader cyclical pressure. Stateside, futures are in-fitting with the above action, ES -1.4%, where participants are awaiting the first session of testimony from Chair Powell, newsquawk primer available here. Ant Group is reportedly to apply, as soon as this month, for a key financial license, via Bloomberg citing sources. Toyota (7203 JT) expects global vehicle production in July to be around 800k. China's CPCA says domestic car rales rose 39% in the week to June 13th Y/Y, +55% M/M, via Reuters.

Top European News

  • UK PM Johnson is of the view that the government must win its battle with the rail unions and is prepared for the stand-off to last months, according to The Times.
  • Italy is reportedly preparing EUR 3bln of aid to curb energy bills, according to la Repubblica
  • Italian Foreign Minister Di Maio quit the 5-Star Movement (5SM) to set up a new group, according to Reuters.

FX

  • Dollar regains bullish momentum on risk dynamics ahead of Fed testimony; DXY on a firmer footing, but capped ahead of 105.000 within 104.950-430 range.
  • Yen also in demand as a safe haven as sentiment sours, USD/JPY reverses course from around 136.71 to sub-136.00 at one stage.
  • Kiwi and Aussie undermined by risk-off mood, with latter also hampered by heavy decline in iron ore; NZD/USD hovers above 0.6250 and well below 1bln option expiries at 0.6300, AUD/USD capped around 0.6900.
  • Loonie, Nokkie and Peso ruffled by collapse in WTI and Brent crude, USD/CAD rebounds towards 1.3000, EUR/NOK tests 10.5000 and USD/MXN straddles 20.1800.
  • Euro holds around 1.0500 and 10 DMA close by amidst hawkish ECB vibe, Pound pivots 1.2200 after somewhat mixed UK inflation data.

Central Banks

  • ECB's de Guindos says he expects inflation to ease after the summer but stay near current levels in the coming months; Governing Council is yet to discuss details of the anti-fragmentation tool. New tool should be different from the prior OMT tool as the circumstances are different, will also differ from APP and PEPP.
  • Norwegian Gov't names Paal Longva as Deputy Norges Bank chief.

Fixed Income

  • Bonds bounce firmly as risk sentiment turns bearish again on global inflation and recession concerns.
  • Bunds up to 144.87 before fading after a reasonable 2038 German auction.
  • Gilts top out at 111.89 and largely ignored mixed UK inflation metrics vs consensus.
  • 10 year T-note hovers closer to 116-19 overnight peak than 115-28+ trough pre-Fed chair Powell and 20 year supply plus other Fed speakers.

Commodities

  • WTI and Brent are, alongside broader commodities, pressured with fresh catalysts somewhat thin and focused on known themes.
  • Currently, they are lower by over 4% on the session and ahead of Biden's announcement on gas prices; though, if implemented, such measures could serve to push demand and ultimately prices higher.
  • US President Biden will deliver remarks on gas prices at around 14:00EDT/19:00BST on Wednesday and will call on Congress to implement a suspension to the federal fuel tax.
  • Subsequently, multiple Democratic sources said that the effort to to suspend the federal gas tax for three months stands almost no chance of passing, according to Politico.
  • IEA warns Europe to prepare for a complete shutdown of Russian gas exports and that governments should keep ageing nuclear plants open and take other contingency measures, according to FT.
  • World Steel says global steel output -3.5% Y/Y in May at 162.7mln tonnes (prev. -5.1% Y/Y in April); China crude steel output -3.5% Y/Y to 96.6mln tonnes (prev. -5.2% Y/Y in April).
  • Spot gold is softer in-line with other metals, though the magnitude is more contained given its haven allure; broader action that sees LME Copper clipped despite the expected commencement of Chile strike action.

US Event Calendar

  • 07:00: June MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 6.6%

Central Bank Speakers

  • 09:00: Fed’s Barkin Speaks to West Virginia Chamber of Commerce
  • 09:30: Powell Delivers Semi-Annual Testimony Before Senate Panel
  • 12:00: Fed’s Barkin Speaks to the Federal City Council
  • 12:50: Fed’s Evans Discusses Economic Outlook
  • 13:30: Fed’s Harker and Barkin Discuss the Economic Outlook

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Whilst the question of whether we’re about to face a recession is still dominating markets, risk assets posted a sharp rebound yesterday as the US got back from holiday. In fact by the close of trade, the S&P 500 (+2.45%) had put in its strongest daily performance in nearly a month, with every sector higher on the day and energy (+5.13%) doing most of the legwork. Even though the chart book showed that before yesterday the S&P was on course for the worst H1 since 1932 we did show in the CoTD (link here) that the top 5 H1 declines over the last 90 years were all followed by strong H2 performance. Before you think it's safe to come out from behind the sofa, S&P futures are around -1% lower this morning as the recession narrative makes a bit of a comeback. European futures are indicating that yesterday's gains (STOXX 600 +0.35%) will be eradicated which could end a three day winning streak. Oil prices are lower overnight with Brent Crude futures weakening -3.23% to $110.95/bbl while WTI futures are down -4.69% at $105.46/bbl amid a push by US President Joe Biden to bring down soaring fuel costs by calling for a temporary suspension of the 18.4-cents a gallon federal tax on gasoline. The demand destruction narrative is making a comeback in Asia as well.

Today's big event is Fed Chair Powell's appearance before the Senate Banking Committee as part of the Fed’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report that they deliver to Congress. According to our US economists, they expect him to reiterate the same themes he gave at his post-meeting press conference last week, where he signalled that they’d likely be deciding between 50bps and 75bps at the July meeting. Fed funds futures are currently implying that another 75bps move is more likely, with +71.8bps currently priced in, but don’t forget that there’s still plenty yet to happen ahead of that meeting in just over a month, including the subsequent CPI release and jobs report for June, and as we found out at the last meeting, it’s not implausible that unexpected data releases throw the previous guidance off course.

With all that to look forward to, Treasuries built on their selloff from last week, with the 10yr yield up +4.9bps to 3.27% as it echoed the higher yields we’d seen in Europe the previous day. In Asia, US 10yr yields (-1.89 bps) have dipped back down to 3.25%. They haven't had much in the way of Fedspeak to go off over the last 24 hours, although Richmond Fed President Barkin (a non-voter this year) said he “didn’t have a problem” with Powell’s guidance for the decision next month, and that he was in favour of the 75bps hike they did. Those moves in Treasuries also led to a steepening in the curve, with the 2s10s slope up +3.4bps to 7.2bps as they edged slightly further away from the inversion territory that they’ve briefly fallen into twice this year now. In Europe there was more of a divergence between core and peripheral yields however, and those on 10yr bunds (+2.2bps) closing at a post-2014 high, just as those on BTPs fell by -1.2bps.

Some of the most significant news over the last 24 hours has been on the FX front, where the Japanese Yen fell to a fresh low for the 21st century of 136.71 per US Dollar this morning before bouncing back to 136.20 as I type. You’ve got to go all the way back to 1998 for the last time the currency was trading at a weaker level though. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida did not seem too concerned about BoJ monetary policy divergence and the impact on weakening the yen, saying in a debate policy needed to remain easy, perhaps lending more political support to the BoJ’s policies.

Stocks across Asian markets are trading lower this morning, with the Kospi (-1.89%) the largest underperformer followed by the Hang Seng (-1.26%) after a two-day winning streak earlier this week. Markets in mainland China are also sliding with the Shanghai Composite (-0.33%) and CSI (-0.62%) both weak. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.04%) gave up its early gains, hovering just above the flatline as I type. Bitcoin is at $20,332 in Asian trading.

Here in the UK, gilts underperformed their counterparts elsewhere in Europe following remarks from BoE Chief Economist Pill that they would act “more aggressively” if required. In response, 10yr gilt yields rose +5.0bps to reach a fresh post-2014 high of 2.65%. Overnight index swaps are continuing to price in 50bp moves by the BoE at the next 3 meetings, with a path that would leave Bank Rate above 3% by year-end.

There were also reports that former Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was considering leaving Mario Draghi’s coalition. While Draghi’s party would still likely retain a majority in both chambers of Parliament, it would leave a very narrow path to push through legislation to fix the economy or to resist dissent from coalition members – a theme all too familiar to Senate Democrats in the US.

There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, although US existing home sales fell broadly as expected to an annualised rate of 5.41m in May (vs. 5.40m expected), which is their lowest level since June 2020 as the numbers were recovering after the initial wave of the pandemic.

To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be Fed Chair Powell’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Other central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin, Evans and Harker, as well as BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. Otherwise, data releases include UK and Canadian CPI for May, as well as the European Commission’s preliminary consumer confidence indicator for the Euro Area in June.

Tyler Durden Wed, 06/22/2022 - 07:52

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Bonds

Bitcoin nears worst monthly losses since 2011 with BTC price at $19K

Bitcoin price action will seal monthly losses over 40% for the first time in 11 years if it closes at $19,000.
Bitcoin (BTC) drifted…

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Bitcoin price action will seal monthly losses over 40% for the first time in 11 years if it closes at $19,000.

Bitcoin (BTC) drifted further downhill into the June 30 Wall Street open as United States equities opened with a whimper.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

U.S. dollar returns to multi-decade highs

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView followed BTC/USD as it abandoned $19,000 to hit its lowest in over ten days.

Bulls failed to preserve either $20,000 or $19,000 at the hands of limp U.S. stock market moves, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index down 1.8% and 2.6% respectively at the time of writing.

At the same time, the U.S. dollar once again staged a comeback to fix a trajectory toward twenty-year highs seen this quarter.

The U.S. dollar index (DXY) was above 105.1 on the day, coming within just 0.2 points of its highest levels since 2002.

U.S. dollar index (DXY) 1-day candle chart. Source: TradingView

"The US dollar (DXY) looks set to test highs last seen in December 2002 as the short-term downtrend is broken convincingly amid risk markets' continued crumble," researche and trader Faisal Khan summarized on Twitter.

Data on inflation meanwhile once more suggested the worst could be behind the market.

As Cointelegraph reported, however, central banks began to acknowledge that the low rates seen before COVID-19 may never return.

Bulls' worst month in 11 years

With the majority of on-chain metrics now at historic lows, price data hinted how far BTC could theoretically go in a bear market increasingly unlike the rest.

Related: No flexing for Bitcoin Cash users as BCH loses 98% against Bitcoin

Should it close at current levels of $19,000, BTC/USD would seal monthly losses of over 40% for June 2022.

That would make it the worst June ever and the heaviest monthly losses since September 2011, data from TradingView and on-chain monitoring resource Coinglass confirms. 

Even March 2020 and the 2018 and 2014 bear markets were less severe on monthly timeframes. 40% drops were last seen when BTC/USD traded at $8.

BTC/USD monthly returns chart. Source: Coinglass

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Stocks, Cryptos Tumble To Close Out Catastrophic First-Half

Stocks, Cryptos Tumble To Close Out Catastrophic First-Half

It was supposed to be a 7% ramp into month-end on billions in pension fund residual…

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Stocks, Cryptos Tumble To Close Out Catastrophic First-Half

It was supposed to be a 7% ramp into month-end on billions in pension fund residual buying.

Instead, it ended up being more or less the opposite, with crypto-led liquidations dragging futures and global markets lower, and extending Wednesday losses after central bankers issued warnings on inflation and fueled concern that aggressive policy will end with a hard-landing recession, which increasingly more now see as being 2022 business, an outcome that now appears assured especially after yesterday's disastrous guidance cut from RH, the second in three weeks!

Recession fears and inflation woes may be prolonged by today's PCE deflator report. The consumer price gauge favored by the Fed may have picked up to 6.4% last month from 6.3%. Personal income growth probably edged up but Bloomberg Economics highlights an anticipated decline in real personal spending as a major worry.

Meanwhile, China’s economy showed further signs of improvement in June with a strong pickup in services and construction, even if the latest Chinese PMI print came slightly below expectations. Also overnight, Russia said it withdrew troops from Ukraine’s Snake Island in the Black Sea after Ukraine said its forces drove Russian troops from the area.

In any case, with zero demand from pensions so far (even though the continued selling in stocks and buying in bonds will only make the imabalnce bigger), overnight Nasdaq 100 contracts dropped 1.8% while S&P 500 futures declined 1.3%, and cryptos crumbled, with bitcoin dragged back below $19000 and Ether on the verge of sliding below $1000. The tech-heavy gauge managed to end Wednesday’s trading slightly higher, while the S&P 500 fell for a third straight day. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 1.9%. Treasuries gained, the dollar was steady and gold declined and crude oil futures edged lower again.

Which brings us to the last trading day of a quarter for the history books: the S&P 500 is set for its biggest 1H decline since 1970 and the Nasdaq 100 since 2002, the height of the dot.com bust. The Stoxx 600 is set for the worst 1H since 2008, the height of the GFC. 

Traders have ramped up bets that the global economy will buckle under central bank tightening campaigns -- and that policy makers will eventually backpedal. The bond market shifted to price in a half-point rate cut in the Federal Reserve’s benchmark rate at some point in 2023. On Wednesday, during the annual ECB annual forum, Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his counterparts in Europe and the UK warned inflation is going to be longer lasting. A view that central banks need to act fast on rates because they misjudged inflation has roiled markets this year, with global stocks about to close out their worst quarter since the three months ended March 2020.

“Markets are worried about growth as central bankers continue to emphasize that bringing down inflation is their overriding objective, and that it may take time to bring inflation down,” said Esty Dwek, chief investment officer at Flowbank SA. “We still haven’t seen total capitulation in markets, so further downside is possible.”

Meanwhile, the cost of insuring European junk bonds against default crossed 600 basis points for the first time in two years on Thursday.

And speaking of Europe, stocks are also down over 2% in early trading, with all sectors in the red. DAX and CAC underperform at the margin with autos, consumer discretionary and banking sectors the weakest within the Stoxx 600.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today:

  • Uniper shares slump as much as 23% after the German utility withdrew its outlook and said it was discussing a possible bailout from the German government following Russia’s move to curb natural gas deliveries.
  • SAP sinks as much as 6.5% after Exane BNP Paribas downgraded stock to neutral from outperform, saying it sees risks on demand side in the near term as software spending decisions come under increased scrutiny.
  • Sanofi shares decline as much as 4.5% after the French drugmaker said the FDA placed late-stage clinical trials of tolebrutinib on partial hold in US because of concerns about liver injuries.
  • European semiconductor stocks fell, following peers in the US and Asia lower amid growing concerns that the industry might face a downturn soon as chip stockpiles build. ASML drops as much as 3.4%, Infineon -4.1%, STMicro -3.1%
  • Norsk Hydro shares slide as much as 6% amid metals decline and as DNB cuts the stock to sell from hold, citing concerns about rising aluminum supply.
  • Stainless steel stocks in Europe fall, with Morgan Stanley saying the settlement on the latest ferrochrome benchmark missed its expectations. Outokumpu shares down as much as 6.6%, Aperam -7.2%, Acerinox -4%
  • Saab shares jump as much as 8.4%, after getting an order worth SEK7.3b from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration for GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft.
  • Orsted shares rise as much as 2.5%, before paring some of the gains. HSBC raises to buy from hold, saying any further downside for the wind farm operator looks limited.
  • Bunzl shares rise as much as 2.6% after the specialist distribution company said it now expects very good revenue growth in 2022.
  • Grifols shares rise as much as 7.8% after slumping on Wednesday, as the company says that the board isn’t analyzing any capital increase “for the time being.”

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell for a second day as tech-heavy indexes in Taiwan and South Korea continued to get pummeled amid concerns over the potential for aggressive monetary tightening in the US to rein in inflation.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 1.2%, dragged down by technology shares including TSMC, Alibaba and Tencent. Taiwan slid more than 2%, while gauges in Japan, South Korea, Australia dropped more than 1%.  Stocks in mainland China rose more than 1% after the economy showed further signs of improvement in June with a strong pickup in services and construction as Covid outbreaks and restrictions were gradually eased. Traders are also watching Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Hong Kong, his first time outside of the mainland since 2020. 

Asian stocks are struggling to recover from a May low as the threat of higher US rates outweighs China’s emergence from strict Covid lockdowns and its pledge of stimulus measures. While mainland Chinese stocks led gains globally this month, the rest of the markets in the region -- especially those heavy with technology stocks and exporters -- saw hefty outflows of foreign funds.  “Investors continue to assess recession and also inflation risks,” Marcella Chow, JPMorgan Asset Management’s global market strategist, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “This tightening path has actually increased the chance of a slower economic growth going forward and probably has brought forward the recession risks.” Asian stocks are set to post a more than 12% loss this quarter, the worst since the one ended March 2020 during the pandemic-induced global market rout.

Japanese stocks declined after the release of China’s data on manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs that showed slower than expected improvements.  The Topix Index fell 1.2% to 1,870.82 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei declined 1.5% to 26,393.04. Sony Group contributed the most to the Topix Index decline, falling 3.4%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 531 rose and 1,574 fell, while 65 were unchanged. “Although China is recovering from a lockdown, business sentiment in the manufacturing industry is deteriorating around the world,” said Tomo Kinoshita, global market strategist at Invesco Asset Management China’s Economy Shows Signs of Improvement as Covid Eases.

Indian stock indexes posted their biggest quarterly loss since March 2020 as the global equity market stays rattled by high inflation and a weakening outlook for economic growth.  The S&P BSE Sensex ended little changed at 53,018.94 in Mumbai on Thursday, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 0.1%. The gauges shed more than 9% each in the June quarter, their biggest drop since the outbreak of pandemic shook the global markets in March 2020. The main indexes have fallen for all but one month this year as surging cost pressures forced India’s central bank to raise rates twice and tighten liquidity conditions. The selloff is also partly driven by record foreign outflows of more than $28b this year.  Despite the turmoil in global markets, Indian stocks have underperformed most Asian peers, partly helped by inflows from local institutions, which made net purchases of more than $30b of local stocks. “Investors worry that the latest show of central bank determination to tame inflation will slow economies rapidly,” HDFC Securities analyst Deepak Jasani wrote in a note.  Fourteen of the 19 sector sub-gauges compiled by BSE Ltd. fell Thursday, with metal stocks leading the plunge. The expiry of monthly derivative contracts also weighed on markets. For the June quarter, metal stocks were the worst performers, dropping 31% while information technology gauge fell 22%. Automakers led the three advancing sectors with 11.3% gain.

Australian stocks also tumbled, with the S&P/ASX 200 index falling 2% to close at 6,568.10, weighed down by losses in mining, utilities and energy stocks.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.8% to 10,868.70

In rates, treasuries advanced, led by the belly of the curve. German bonds surged, led by the short-end and outperforming Treasuries. US yields richer by as much as 5.4bp across front-end and belly of the curve which outperforms, steepening 2s10s, 5s30s by 2bp and 2.8bp; wider bull-steepening move in progress for German curve with yields richer by up to 13.5bp across front-end with 2s10s wider by 3.5bp on the day. US 10-year yields around 3.055%, richer by 3.5bp. Money markets aggressively trimmed ECB tightening bets on relief that French June inflation didn’t come in above the median estimate. Bonds also benefitted from haven buying as stocks slide. Month-end extension flows may continue to support long-end of the Treasuries curve. bunds outperform by 7bp in the sector. IG issuance slate empty so far; Celanese Corp. pushed back plans to issue in euros and dollars, most likely to next week, after deals struggled earlier this week. Focal points of US session include PCE deflator and MNI Chicago PMI. 

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady as the greenback traded mixed against its Group-of-10 peers. The yen advanced and Antipodean currencies were steady against the greenback. French inflation quickened to the fastest since the euro was introduced. Steeper increases in energy and food costs drove consumer-price growth to 6.5% in June from 5.8% in May . Sweden’s krona swung to a loss. It briefly advanced earlier after the Riksbank raised its policy rate by 50bps, as expected, signaled faster rate hikes and a quicker trimming of the balance sheet. The pound rose, snapping three days of losses against the dollar. UK household incomes are on their longest downward trend on record, as the nation’s cost of living crisis saps the spending power of British households. Separate figures showed that the current-account deficit widened sharply to £51.7 billion ($63 billion) in the first quarter. The yen rose and the Japan’s bonds inched up. The BOJ kept the amount and frequencies of planned bond purchases unchanged in the July-September period. The Australian dollar reversed a loss after data showed China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index rose above 50 for the first time since February in a sign of improvement in the world’s second largest economy.

Bitcoin is on track for its worst quarter in more than a decade, as more hawkish central banks and a string of high-profile crypto blowups hammer sentiment. The 58% drawdown in the biggest cryptocurrency is the largest since the third quarter of 2011, when Bitcoin was still in its infancy, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

In commodities, WTI trades a narrow range, holding below $110. Brent trades either side of $116. Most base metals trade in the red; LME zinc falls 3.1%, underperforming peers. Spot gold falls roughly $3 to trade near $1,814/oz. Bitcoin slumps over 6% before finding support near $19,000.

Looking to the day ahead now, data releases include German retail sales for May and unemployment for June, French CPI for June, the Euro Area unemployment rate for May, Canadian GDP for April, whilst the US has personal income and personal spending for May, the weekly initial jobless claims, and the MNI Chicago PMI for June.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 1.2% to 3,775.75
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 1.8% to 406.18
  • MXAP down 1.0% to 158.01
  • MXAPJ down 1.1% to 524.78
  • Nikkei down 1.5% to 26,393.04
  • Topix down 1.2% to 1,870.82
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.6% to 21,859.79
  • Shanghai Composite up 1.1% to 3,398.62
  • Sensex up 0.2% to 53,136.59
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 2.0% to 6,568.06
  • Kospi down 1.9% to 2,332.64
  • Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,814.91
  • US Dollar Index little changed at 105.04
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 1.42%
  • Euro little changed at $1.0443
  • Brent Futures down 0.4% to $115.85/bbl

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • The surge in the dollar has set Asian currencies on course for their worst quarter since the 1997 financial crisis and created a dilemma for central bankers
  • French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the EU can deliver the global minimum corporate tax with or without the support of Hungary, circumventing Budapest’s veto earlier this month just as the bloc was on the brink of a agreement
  • German unemployment unexpectedly rose, snapping 15 straight months of decline as refugees from the war in Ukraine were included in those searching for work
  • The SNB bought foreign exchange worth 5.7 billion francs ($5.96 billion) in the first quarter of 2022 as the franc sharply appreciated against the euro and briefly touched parity in March
  • The ECB plans to ask the region’s lenders to factor in the economic hit of a potential cut off of Russian gas when considering payouts to shareholders
  • European stocks were poised for their biggest drop in any half-year period since 2008, as investors focused on the prospects for economic slowdown and stubbornly high inflation in the region
  • New Zealand will enter a recession next year that could be deeper than expected, Bank of New Zealand economists said after a survey showed business sentiment continues to slump

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia-Pac stocks were varied at month-end amid a slew of data releases including mixed Chinese PMIs. ASX 200 was dragged lower by weakness in energy, miners and the top-weighted financials sector. Nikkei 225 declined after disappointing Industrial Production data and with Tokyo raising its virus infection level. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were somewhat mixed with Hong Kong indecisive and the mainland underpinned after the latest Chinese PMI data in which Manufacturing PMI printed below estimates but Non-Manufacturing PMI firmly surpassed forecasts and along with Composite PMI, all returned to expansion territory.

Top Asian News

  • NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said China's growing assertiveness has consequences for the security of allies, while he added China is not our adversary, but we must be clear-eyed about the serious challenges it presents.
  • US blacklisted 5 Chinese firms for allegedly helping Russia in which Connec Electronic, King Pai Technology, Sinno Electronics, Winnine Electronic and World Jetta Logistics were added to the entity list which restricts access to US technology, according to WSJ.
  • Japan's government cut its assessment of industrial production and noted that production is weakening, while it stated that Japan's motor vehicle production declined 8% M/M and that industrial production likely saw the largest impact of Shanghai's COVID-19 lockdown in May, according to Reuters.
  • Tokyo metropolitan government will reportedly increase COVID infections level to the second-highest, according to FNN.

It’s been a downbeat session for global equities thus far as sentiment deteriorates further. European bourses are lower across the board, with losses extending during early European hours. European sectors are all in the red but portray a clear defensive bias. Stateside, US equity futures have succumbed to the glum mood, with the NQ narrowly underperforming.

Top European News

  • Riksbank hiked its Rate by 50bps to 0.75% as expected, and said the rate will be raised further and it will be close to 2% at the start of 2023. Bank said the balance sheet its to shrink faster than previously flagged, and suggested that policy rate will increase faster if needed. Click here for details.
  • Riksbank's Ingves said inflation over forecast probably not enough for Riksbank to hold extra policy meeting in summer. Ingves added that if the situation requires a 75bps hike, then Riksbank will carry out a 75bps hike.
  • Orsted Gains as HSBC Upgrades With Shares Seen ‘Good Value’
  • Aston Martin Extends Losses as Carmaker Reportedly Seeking Funds
  • Climate Litigants Look Beyond Big Oil for Their Day in Court
  • Ukraine Latest: Putin Warns NATO on Moving Military to Nordics

FX

  • DXY extends on gains above 105.00, but could see more upside on safe haven demand and residual rebalancing flows over fixes - EUR/USD inches towards 1.0400 to the downside.
  • Yen regroups as yields drop and risk sentiment deteriorates to compound corrective price action.
  • Franc unwinds some of its recent outperformance and Loonie lose traction from oil ahead of Canadian GDP.
  • Swedish Crown unable to take advantage of hawkish Riksbank hike in face of risk aversion - Eur/Sek stuck in a rut close to 10.7000.
  • Pound finds some underlying bids into 1.2100 and Kiwi at 0.6200, while Aussie holds above 0.6850 with encouragement from China’s services PMI that also propped the Yuan.

Fixed Income

  • Bonds on bull run into month, quarter and half year end - Bunds top 148.00 at best, Gilts approach 113.50 and 10 year T-note just a tick away from 118-00.
  • Debt in demand on safe haven grounds rather than duration as curves steepen on less hawkish/more dovish market pricing.
  • Italian supply comfortably covered to keep BTP futures propped ahead of US PCE data and yet another speech from ECB President Lagarde.

Commodities

  • WTI and Brent front-month futures are resilient to the broader risk downturn, and firmer Dollar as OPEC+ member members gear up for what is expected to be a smooth meeting.
  • Spot gold is uneventful but dipped under yesterday's low, with potential support at the 15th June low at USD 1,806.59/oz.
  • Base metals are softer across the board amid the broader risk profile. Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures were on track for quarterly losses.
  • Ship with 7,000 tonnes of grain leaves Ukraine port, according to pro-Russia officials cited by AFP.

US Event Calendar

  • 08:30: June Initial Jobless Claims, est. 229,000, prior 229,000
  • 08:30: June Continuing Claims, est. 1.32m, prior 1.32m
  • 08:30: May Personal Income, est. 0.5%, prior 0.4%
  • 08:30: May Personal Spending, est. 0.4%, prior 0.9%
  • 08:30: May Real Personal Spending, est. -0.3%, prior 0.7%
  • 08:30: May PCE Deflator MoM, est. 0.7%, prior 0.2%
  • 08:30: May PCE Deflator YoY, est. 6.4%, prior 6.3%
  • 08:30: May PCE Core Deflator YoY, est. 4.8%, prior 4.9%
  • 08:30: May PCE Core Deflator MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.3%
  • 09:45: June MNI Chicago PMI, est. 58.0, prior 60.3

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

We’ve just released the results of our monthly EMR survey that we conducted at the start of the week. It makes for some interesting reading, and we’re now at the point where 90% of respondents are expecting a US recession by end-2023, which is up from just 35% in our December survey. That echoes our own economists’ view that we’re going to get a recession in H2 2023, and just shows how sentiment has shifted since the start of the year as central banks have begun hiking rates. When it comes to people’s views on where markets are headed next, most are expecting many of the themes from H1 to continue, with a 72% majority thinking that the S&P 500 is more likely to fall to 3,300 rather than rally to 4,500 from current levels, whilst 60% think that Treasury yields will hit 5% first rather than 1%. Click here to see the full results.

When it comes to negative sentiment we’ll have to see what today brings us as we round out the first half of the year, but if everything remains unchanged today we’re currently set to end H1 with the S&P 500 off to its worst H1 since 1970 in total return terms. And there’s been little respite from bonds either, with US Treasuries now down by -9.79% since the start of the year, so it’s been bad news for traditional 60/40 type portfolios. Ultimately, a large reason for that has been investors’ fears that ongoing rate hikes to deal with inflation will end up leading to a recession, and yesterday saw a continuation of that theme, with Fed Chair Powell, ECB President Lagarde and BoE Governor Bailey all reiterating their intentions in a panel at the ECB’s Forum to return inflation back to target.

In terms of that panel, there weren’t any major headlines on policy we weren’t already aware of, although there was a collective acknowledgement of the risk that inflation could become entrenched over time and the need to deal with that. Fed Chair Powell described the US economy as in “strong shape”, but one that ultimately requires much tighter financial conditions to bring inflation back to target. Year-end fed funds expectations remained steady in response, down just -0.7bps to 3.45%. However, further out the curve the simmering slower growth narrative continued to grip markets and sent 10yr Treasury yields -8.2bps lower to 3.09%, and the 2s10s another -1.1bps flatter to 4.7bps. In line with a tighter Fed policy path and slower growth, 10yr breakevens drove the move in nominal yields, falling -8.2bps to 2.39%, their lowest levels since January, having entirely erased the gains seen after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when it peaked above 3% at one point in April. Along with 2s10s flattening, the Fed’s preferred measure of the near-term risk of recession, the forward spread (the 18m3m – 3m), similarly flattened by -5.7bps, hitting its lowest level in nearly four months at 154bps. And thismorning there’s only been a partial reversal of these trends, with 10yr Treasury yields (+1.3bps) edging back up to 3.10% as we go to press. Over in equities, the S&P 500 bounced around but finished off of its intraday lows with just a -0.07% decline, again with the macro view likely skewed by quarter-end rebalancing of portfolios. The NASDAQ was similarly little changed on the day, falling a mere -0.03%.

In terms of the ECB, President Lagarde said on that same panel that she didn’t think “we are going back to that environment of low inflation” that was present before the pandemic. But when it came to the actual data yesterday there was a pretty divergent picture. On the one hand, Spain’s CPI for June surprised significantly on the upside, with the annual inflation rising to +10.0% (vs. +8.7% expected) on the EU’s harmonised measure. But on the other, the report from Germany then surprised some way beneath expectations, coming in at +8.2% on the EU-harmonised measure (vs. +8.8% expected). So mixed messages ahead of the flash CPI print for the entire Euro Area tomorrow.

As in the US, there was a significant rally in European sovereign bonds, with yields on 10yr bunds (-10.7bps), OATs (-10.7bps) and BTPs (-16.0bps) all moving lower on the day. Equities also lost significant ground amidst the risk-off tone, and the STOXX 600 shed -0.67% as it caught up with the US losses from the previous session. That risk-off tone was witnessed in credit as well, where iTraxx Crossover widened +21.5bps to a post-pandemic high. At the same time, there were further concerns in Europe on the energy side, with natural gas futures up by +8.06% to a three-month high of €139 per megawatt-hour, which follows a reduction in capacity yesterday at Norway’s Martin Linge field because of a compressor failure.

Whilst monetary policy has been the main focus for markets lately, we did get some headlines on the fiscal side yesterday too, with a report from Bloomberg that Senate Democrats were working on an economic package that had smaller tax increases in order to reach a deal with moderate Democratic senator Joe Manchin. For reference, the Democrats only have a majority in the split 50-50 senate thanks to Vice President Harris’ tie-breaking vote, so they need every Democrat Senator on board in order to pass legislation. According to the report, the plan would be worth around $1 trillion, with half allocated to new spending, and the other half cutting the deficit by $500bn over the next decade.

Overnight in Asia we’ve seen a mixed market performance overnight. Most indices are trading lower, including the Nikkei (-1.45%) and the Kospi (-0.81%), but Chinese equities have put in a stronger performance after an improvement in China’s PMIs in June, and the CSI 300 (+1.62%) and the Shanghai Comp (+1.31%) have both risen. That came as manufacturing activity expanded for the first time in four months, with the PMI up to 50.2 in June (vs. 50.5 expected) from 49.6 in May. At the same time, the non-manufacturing climbed to 54.7 points in June, up from 47.8 in May, which also marked the first time it’d been above the 50 mark since February.

Nevertheless, that positivity among Chinese equities are proving the exception, with equity futures in the US and Europe pointing lower, with those on the S&P 500 (-0.28%) looking forward to a 4th consecutive daily decline as concerns about a recession persist.

When it came to other data yesterday, the third estimate of US GDP for Q1 saw growth revised down to an annualised contraction of -1.6% (vs. -1.5% second estimate). Separately, the Euro Area’s M3 money supply grew by +5.6% year-on-year in May (vs. +5.8% expected), which is the slowest pace since February 2020.

To the day ahead now, data releases include German retail sales for May and unemployment for June, French CPI for June, the Euro Area unemployment rate for May, Canadian GDP for April, whilst the US has personal income and personal spending for May, the weekly initial jobless claims, and the MNI Chicago PMI for June.

Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 07:58

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Eurodollar Futures Interpretation Is Everywhere

Consumer confidence in Germany never really picked up all that much last year. Conflating CPIs with economic condition, this divergence proved too big…

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Consumer confidence in Germany never really picked up all that much last year. Conflating CPIs with economic condition, this divergence proved too big of a mystery. When the German GfK, for example, perked up only a tiny bit around September and October 2021, the color of consumer prices clouded judgement and interpretation of what had always been a damning situation.

From GfK back then:

The growing consumer optimism signals that consumers here consider the German economy on course for recovery, although the momentum is somewhat more moderate than expected a few months ago. A stable labor market also contributes significantly to the high level of economic expectations.

The words just don’t match the data; when the quote above was written and released, the headline estimate for consumer sentiment in Germany had just ticked above zero for the first time since the coronavirus debacle in 2020.

Sounds terrific, but that wasn’t really meaningful, just another technically-correct phrase which only agreed with the inflation narrative on its narrowest surface. The index remained well below each and every pre-2020 estimate.


It has been (widely) assumed this was only temporary, that Germany’s then-accelerating consumer price indices represented a true picture of recovery, if only too much of one. From that, you’d presume normality just a few more months ahead.

On the contrary, it’s been downhill – way downhill – ever since. And the downslope began months before Russia went foraging for Ukrainian luster. In other words, as consumer (and producer) prices in Germany started their current climb, consumer confidence reversed into what is today an epic collapse – not only the GfK.

Like Americans, Germans have never been more pessimistic. As of today’s forecast for the month of July, GfK has it a record low.

What happened to “high level of economic expectations?” Complete and total mirage, mainstream pundits and the like convincing themselves that “stimulus” works, that CPIs are a result of economic activity rather than gross imbalances, ultimately the failure to see the world as it had truly been.

The entire global economy never recovered, not even close, and then the full weight of the worldwide supply shock (because it wasn’t American “money printing”) slammed down before Putin went full-on stupid.


Just as the hapless ECB begins to grow hawkish wings (I am very close to retracting my apology to Ms. Lagarde, though not entirely surprising), Europe’s economy falls apart. That region’s “inflation” was always going to be “transitory”, too, even if most people don’t have the patience to wait more than a year for it to be fulfilled.

The day’s other “shocking” news was Germany’s HICP advance for June 2022. It fell month-over-month; dropped, declined. The headline CPI, which is calculated a little differently from the harmonized HICP, gained only 0.1% month-over-month.

This could be nothing more than short-term noise, just as the situation had been last November the last time the CPI gained so little on a monthly basis. But that’s the thing; there’s a vast difference between now and last November, as German consumers will attest.

When consumer prices rebounded December and after, consumers weren’t yet so downtrodden. They are now, and then some.


And not just consumers, business expectations are falling fast, too, which only threatens the labor market Europe-wide; planet-wide.

To that end, Germany’s deStatis put the preliminary June year-over-year CPI gain at 7.6% compared to 7.9% during May. That was the other “shock”, an actual decelerating annual rate which had been widely expected (consensus was 8.0%) to further rise. This despite a god-awful, economy-crushing 38% year-over-year increase and contribution from energy (and 12.7% y/y for food).

Services prices were the primary reason, a huge macro uh-oh for all those inflation hawks to now digest. Except maybe the ECB which is following Jay Powell’s path toward yet another embarrassing turnaround.

Time will tell whether or not Europe or Germany’s June price reading proves temporary, or it actually does represent the start of the other side of supply shock transitory.

We know which way markets are currently betting globally. All those out there who said you couldn’t rely on especially the Treasury market because the Fed bought bonds during its QE’s, somehow spoiling and tainting good, relevant, validated information. Now these disbelievers are seeing their flippant (frankly irrational) dismissals of the curve thrown right back at them by the current flood of uniformly gross data.

Add the growing prospect for falling CPIs Europe and beyond, no rate hikes ever required.

But it had never been just USTs, had it? That’s what the Fed (Lagarde) Cult would also attempt, to limit their scope to just Treasuries while leaving unexplained how and why Treasuries were thoroughly corroborated up and down the market spectrum. Even by what were not too long ago the darlings of “store of value” “inflation” protection, crypto and real estate.

Digital currency prices started downward around October and November, too. Random coincidence? Not a chance.

I mean, that’s also exactly when eurodollar futures flattened into inversion.


The whole thing has been corroborated from one side to the next, from top to bottom, across geographical boundaries and from one market to another. This data is just confirming what has been increasingly priced in for over a year.

That’s the thing now, though. Markets have moved on from “if” and “when” to now “how bad.” Eurodollar futures, much more difficult to try to impeach (especially given history, recent history), inverted in whites at the December 2022 contract says Jay Powell is nearing certainty to get embarrassed this year. We can easily infer what that would mean for the ECB and Christine Lagarde (maybe just maybe, depending on timing, sparing her the same humiliation).

What would it take across the global system to turn Jay Powell from ultra-hawk (ostrich) to rate cutting dove? And do it in a matter of months!

The data we see here would be a start. But it’s not just here, it is everywhere.

Irony of irony, GfK stands for Growth from Knowledge. Here now, neither.

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