Connect with us

Bonds

Futures Reverse Early Losses As Walmart Beat Sparks Relief Buying

Futures Reverse Early Losses As Walmart Beat Sparks Relief Buying

US stock futures drifted modestly lower after hitting a 4-month high just…

Published

on

Futures Reverse Early Losses As Walmart Beat Sparks Relief Buying

US stock futures drifted modestly lower after hitting a 4-month high just above 4,300 during Monday's session, boosted by solid earnings and a guidance boost from Walmart, as attention turned back to lingering worries about the path of economic growth, how long until the NBER admits the US is in a recession and how Fed policy ties the room together. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 were down less than 0.1% by 7:45 a.m. ET. 

Gains in technology stocks on Monday spurred the broader benchmark equity index to its highest since May, with investors shrugging off terrible Chinese economic data. Crude oil reversed some of its recent sharp losses amid economic headwinds that clouded the demand outlook and prospects for an increase in supply. The greenback settled higher after fluctuating between gains and losses, while bitcoin traded above $24K. Chinese stocks listed in the US declined in premarket trading after a Reuters report that Tencent would liquidate its $24BN stake in Meituan to appease Beijing, sparking concerns it would do the same to its other investments.

Among notable movers in premarket trading, Snowflake fell 3.5% after Tiger Global Management cut its position in the software firm for the first time in eight quarters, according to latest 13F filings. Chinese stocks listed in New York fell in premarket trading following the Tencent report. Pinduoduo Inc. lost 4%, while JD.com Inc. declined 2.2%. Zoom Video Communications slid 3% after Citigroup Inc. downgraded its recommendation on the stock to sell from neutral, seeing “new hurdles to sustaining growth.”  Here are some other notable premarket movers:

  • Big-box retailers gain in premarket trading after Walmart said it sees a full-year adjusted EPS decline of 9% to 11% -- less steep than its previous projection for a decline of 11% to 13% -- following a stronger-than-expected earnings report for the second quarter.
  • Zoom VideoCommunications (ZM US) down 3% in pre-market trading as Citi cuts its recommendation on the stock to sell from neutral, saying it sees “new hurdles to sustaining growth,” including growing competition from services like Microsoft Teams and macro-related pressures hitting customers.
  • Bird Global (BRDS US) shares drop 6.4% in premarket trading after the electric vehicle company on Aug. 15 posted second-quarter results that showed a wider net loss than the same period a year earlier.
  • Chinese stocks in US fall in premarket trading following a report that Tencent plans to sell all or much of its stake in food delivery company Meituan, in an effort to appease Beijing and lock in profits.
  • Alibaba (BABA US) -2.2%, Nio (NIO US) -1%, Baidu (BIDU US) -1.8%
  • Compass (COMP US) analysts at Barclays and Morgan Stanley cut their price targets on the real estate brokerage after it reduced its full-year guidance and announced plans to cut costs. The shares plunged 12% in US postmarket trading on Monday.
  • Ginkgo Bioworks (DNA US) shares jump as much as 23% in US premarket trading after the cell programming platform operator’s revenue for the second quarter beat estimates.
  • Snowflake (SNOW US) drops 3.5% in premarket trading after Tiger Global Management cut its position in the software firm for the first time in eight quarters, according to latest 13F filings.

“The lack of clear direction is driving the markets up and down,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, wrote in a note. “Yesterday’s data softens the case for the continuation of the steep recovery, and throws the foundation of a period of consolidation, and perhaps a downside correction.”

A sharp drop in New York state manufacturing, the second-worst reading since 2001, along with the longest streak of declines since 2007 in homebuilder sentiment, sparked another round of "bad news is good news" and boosted hopes that the Fed may slow interest-rate hikes. However, it was soon outweighed by fears of a recession and belief among some traders the Fed could still press ahead with its tightening irrespective of a slowdown. 

US stocks have been rallying since mid-June on optimism that corporate earnings are holding up even with higher prices and weakening consumer sentiment. The market also has gotten a boost from speculation that the Fed will slow the pace of interest rate increases after cooler-than-expected inflation data. While some strategists, especially those at JPMorgan, suggest the rebound could extend until the end of the year as investors turn less bearish, others including Michael Wilson at Morgan Stanley have said disappointing earnings are likely to spark another selloff in stocks.

As a result of the recent frenzied positional rally, four weeks of gains have pushed more than 90% of S&P 500 members above their 50-day moving averages. That’s been a good omen in the past, with stocks showing gains of 5.7% on average in the following three months and rising 18% in the 12 months after the signal. Negative returns have been a rare exception, with stocks falling only twice. “While this is not a necessary condition for the end of the bear market, it would increase our confidence that a rally back to the old highs will come before a return to the June lows,” Jeff Buchbinder, a strategist at LPL Financial, wrote in a note on Monday.

On the other hand, Skylar Montgomery Koning, senior global macro strategist at TS Lombard, said the bar for the Fed to stop its hiking cycle was high. “The market is betting not only that inflation comes down to a level that the Fed is comfortable with, but that the Fed reaction is timely,” she said on Bloomberg Television. “It may take until we get a 75-basis point hike in September or the new set of dot projections, and that may have to be what makes the market narrative shift.”

  • European bourses are firmer across the board after a relatively constructive APAC handover, the Euro Stoxx 50 rising +0.4%, though off best levels post-ZEW. IBEX outperforms, adding 1.1%. Miners, telecoms and utilities are the strongest performing sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today:
  • Delivery Hero shares jump as much as 14% after the firm projected 7% q/q growth in gross merchandise value in 3Q, in- line with expectations and putting the firm on track to meet its FY targets
  • Glencore and other European miners outperform the broader market after BHP posted its highest ever FY profit and said it will push ahead with growth options
  • Philips rises as much as 3.6% after its CEO Frans van Houten said he would step down in October, with the current head of the company’s Connected Care division, Roy Jakobs, taking over
  • Watches of Switzerland jumps as much as 7.1%, reaching the highest since June 7, after the watchmaker published a first-quarter trading update. Analysts found the update to be solid
  • Jyske Bank gains as much as 9.1% after the Danish lender reported 2Q pretax profit that topped Citigroup’s estimate by more than 20%, with Citi noting provisions came in well above expectations
  • DFDS climbs as much as 8.7% after the Danish logistics company published 2Q results that beat consensus estimates and boosted its FY22 revenue forecast, RBC writes in a note
  • Pandora drops as much as 8%, the most in more than three months, after the jewelery maker reported Ebit before significant items that missed the average analyst estimate
  • Sonova and other European hearing aid makers lead losses on the Stoxx 600 after the firm and Danish peer Demant cut their guidance, with analysts flagging negative consensus revisions
  • Straumann plunges as much as 14%, the most intraday since May 2020, after the oral care company announced 1H results and reaffirmed its guidance for the year
  • Hemnet falls as much as 16% after the Swedish property ad company offered 8 million shares at SEK147 a share in a secondary offering announced on Monday after markets closed
  • Hargreaves Lansdown declines as much as 1.8% after Credit Suisse downgraded its recommendation to neutral from outperform due to the personal investment firm’s valuation

Earlier in the session, Asian equities fell as investors weighed growth risks in the region against the probability of a slower pace of US interest-rate increases. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 0.4%, and is poised to snap a four-day winning streak. Hong Kong shares fell the most, with Meituan among the biggest drags on the regional gauge after Reuters reported that Tencent intends to sell all or much of its $24 billion stake in the food-delivery giant to appease Beijing. Across Asia, energy shares slid as oil prices fell on rapidly cooling US manufacturing that followed weaker-than-expected Chinese data Monday -- offsetting gains in materials and utilities shares. After improving sentiment pushed up the region’s stocks for four straight weeks, markets are looking ahead to minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting due Wednesday for hints on its rate-hike trajectory. Closer to home, China’s surprise interest-rate cut on Monday did little to allay concerns over the property sector and the broader slowdown from Covid restrictions. Economists and state media are calling for additional stimulus, which could aid a rally in Chinese stocks and Asian peers.

“While the downside surprises across the economic calendar suggested that growth conditions have clearly worsened, market participants seem willing to ride on optimism” that the Fed may shift to a looser policy stance sooner with easing inflation, Jun Rong Yeap, market strategist at IG Asia said in a note. Japan’s benchmarks dropped while gauges in the Philippines, Malaysia and India rose. Indonesian shares were higher after President Joko Widodo said in his annual budget speech that he aims to narrow next year’s deficit to below 3% of gross domestic product for the first time since 2019.

Japanese stocks edged lower as investors remained on the lookout for signs of an economic slowdown in the US and China. The Topix Index fell 0.2% to 1,981.96 at the market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 was virtually unchanged at 28,868.91. SoftBank Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s decline, decreasing 2.6% after Elliot Management sold off almost all of its position in the company. Out of 2,170 stocks in the index, 908 rose and 1,138 fell, while 124 were unchanged. 

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6% to close at 7,105.40, its highest level since June 8. BHP, the largest-weighted stock in the benchmark, was among the top performers Tuesday after its full-year profit exceeded analysts’ expectations. Challenger slumped after announcing a strategic review of Challenger Bank. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5% to 11,847.15.

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced a third day as the greenback was steady to higher against all of its Group-of-10 peers. The euro touched an almost two-week low of $1.0125 after German ZEW expecations index came in lower than forecast. Aussie recovered a loss after the Reserve Bank’s August minutes failed to bolster bearish views, only to resume its slide in the European session. Australia’s central bank signaled further interest-rate increases would come in the period ahead, while restating it will be guided by incoming economic data and the inflation outlook. The yen was steady in the Asian session only to slip in the European session. China’s onshore yuan fell to the lowest since May, tracking Monday’s losses in the offshore unit. The nation’s central bank didn’t push back strongly against the currency weakness through its daily reference rate on Tuesday but traders are watching if its stance would change in case the yuan selloff deepens. USD/CNY rose as much as 0.3% to 6.7978, the highest since May 16; USD/CNH falls 0.1% to 6.8113 after surging 1.2% on Monday

In rates, Treasuries were mixed, pivoting around a near unchanged 10-year sector with the curve flatter as long-end outperforms. Bunds and gilts underperform with the latter following stronger-than-forecast UK wage figures for June. US yields cheaper by up to 2bp across front-end and richer by 1.5bp in long-end of the curve -- 2s10s, 5s30s spreads subsequently flatter by 1.7bp and 2.7bp on the day; 10-year yields around 2.79% and near unchanged, outperforming both bunds and gilts by over 1bp. 

European bonds fall, with the yield on German 10-year up about 2bps, while gilts 10-year yield rises ~3bps following stronger-than-forecast UK wage figures for June. . Both are trading within Monday’s range. Peripheral spreads are mixed to Germany; Italy and Spain widen, Portugal tightens. Italian 10-year yield rises ~7bps to 3.04%. Australian and New Zealand bonds extended opening gains amid concerns over economic growth. Japanese government bonds rallied as a smooth five-year auction and concerns over global economic slowdown encouraged buying.

In commodities, WTI traded within Monday’s range when crude futures fell around 5% over the previous two sessions. Besides economic worries, investors are also facing the prospect of rising supply as demand moderates. Libya is pumping more and Iran is edging closer to reviving a nuclear deal that will likely see higher crude flows. On Tuesday, oil reversed recent losses however, and rose more than 1% to over $90 as the prospect of an "imminent" Iranian deal once again faded; Iran responded to the EU's draft nuclear deal and expects a response in the next two days, according to a source cited by ISNA. It was also reported that an adviser to the Iranian negotiating delegation told Al-Jazeera they are not far from an agreement and chances of reaching a nuclear deal are very high. Iran's response to the draft EU JCPOA text will probably fail to satisfy Western parties, particularly the US, according to Iran International; Iran wants further provisions around economic guarantees above the one-year exemption reportedly being offered. Elsewhere, spot gold falls roughly $4 to around $1,775/oz. Base metals are mixed; LME tin falls 1% while LME zinc gains 1.9%.

Looking to the day ahead, data releases from the US include July’s industrial production, capacity utilization, housing starts and building permits. In the UK, there’s unemployment for June, Germany has the ZEW survey for August and Canada has July’s CPI. Elsewhere, we’ll get earnings releases from Walmart and Home Depot.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,295.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 443.91
  • MXAP down 0.3% to 163.03
  • MXAPJ little changed at 529.75
  • Nikkei little changed at 28,868.91
  • Topix down 0.2% to 1,981.96
  • Hang Seng Index down 1.0% to 19,830.52
  • Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,277.89
  • Sensex up 0.5% to 59,751.63
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.6% to 7,105.39
  • Kospi up 0.2% to 2,533.52
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 0.91%
  • Euro down 0.2% to $1.0140
  • Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,774.93
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.18% to 106.74

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Tencent-Backed Giants Dive on Report of $24 Billion Meituan Sale
  • Oil Extends Losses on Global Slowdown and Chance of More Supply
  • Babylon Said to Mull Take-Private Not Long After SPAC Deal
  • Chipmakers’ Pandemic Boom Turns to Bust as Recession Looms
  • Apple Lays Off Recruiters as Part of Its Slowdown in Hiring
  • FAA Warns of Monday Evening Delays at NYC Area Airports
  • Wong Says Singapore Must Compromise Over Law on Sex Between Men
  • ‘Broken’ Barclays ETN Soars to 33% Premium With Issuance Halted
  • Trump Executive Weisselberg in Plea Talks to Resolve Tax Case
  • US Congress Pushes Biden Toward Risky Confrontation With China
  • Twitter Must Give Musk Data, Documents From Ex-Product Head
  • Next Singapore PM Warns US, China May ‘Sleepwalk Into Conflict’
  • Apple Sets Return-to-Office Deadline of Sept. 5 After Delays
  • Tiger Global, Yale Cut Stocks Last Quarter as Markets Tumbled
  • Druckenmiller Sold Big Tech in Bear Market as Soros Dove Back In
  • A Century of Fed Crises Holds Secrets to Fight Future Recession
  • Compass Stock Slumps as CEO Reffkin Plots Out More Cost Cuts

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia-Pac stocks were mostly positive as the region followed suit to the gains on Wall Street but with upside limited as economic slowdown concerns lingered. ASX 200 traded higher amid a deluge of earnings and with the index led by the mining sector including BHP shares after the industry giant reported a record FY underlying net and dividend. Nikkei 225 lacked direction amid the absence of any major fresh macro drivers and alongside a choppy currency. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were initially kept afloat by support-related optimism with developers encouraged after reports that China is considering issuing government-guaranteed bonds to provide liquidity to certain developers, while PBoC-backed press noted that China needs additional policy stimulus to increase economic growth. However, the Hang Seng later pulled back ahead of the European open to slip below 20k.

Top Asian News

  • China's NDRC said macro policies should be strong, reasonable and moderate in expanding demand actively, while it will roll out practical measures to support starting up businesses and job employment, according to Reuters.
  • PBoC-backed Financial News front page report stated that China needs additional policy stimulus to increase economic growth, while Securities Times suggested the recent surprise PBoC rate cut could be the first in a series of measures to stabilise growth.
  • China is to consider issuing government-guaranteed bonds to provide liquidity to certain developers.
  • RBA Minutes from the August 2nd meeting stated the board expects to take further steps in the process of normalising monetary conditions in the months ahead, but is not on a pre-set path and seeks to do this in a way that keeps the economy on an even keel. The minutes also reiterated that members agreed it was appropriate to continue the process of normalising monetary conditions and that inflation was expected to peak later in 2022 and then decline back to the top of the 2%-3% range by the end of 2024.
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics will begin publishing a monthly CPI indicator with the first publication on October 26th to coincide with the release of the quarterly CPI data, while it added that quarterly CPI will continue to be the key measure of inflation.
  • China is reportedly to enhance policy to increase new births, will boost housing support for those with additional children, via Bloomberg.

European bourses are firmer across the board after a relatively constructive APAC handover, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%, though off best levels post-ZEW. US futures are in contained ranges and pivoting the unchanged mark at this point in time, ES -0.2%; HD and WMT in focus. Home Depot Inc (HD) Q1 2023 (USD): EPS 5.05 (exp. 4.94), Revenue 43.79 (exp. 43.36bln); confirms FY22 guidance.

Top European News

  • Delivery Hero Sees Path to 2023 Profit Powered by Asia Unit
  • Pandora Sells Lab-Grown Diamonds in US as Mined Ones Dropped
  • UK Real Wages are Falling at Their Fastest Pace on Record: Chart
  • Hearing Aid Makers Plunge After Sonova, Demant Cut Guidance
  • DFDS Gains on Guidance Upgrade; RBC Sees Future Growth Potential
  • Turkey Limits Resales of Newly Bought Cars by Dealers

FX

  • DXY breaches last week’s peak as Treasury yields rebound and Yuan weakens further amidst Chinese growth concerns, index up to 106.860 vs 106.810 on August 8, USD/CNY and USD/CNH approach 6.8000 and 6.8200 respectively.
  • Euro stumbles after unexpected deterioration in German ZEW economic sentiment and Pound slips following mixed UK jobs and wage data, EUR/USD down to 1.0125 and Cable low 1.2000 area.
  • Yen and Franc retreat as risk sentiment improves and bonds back off, USD/JPY tops 134.00 and USD/CHF above 0.9500.
  • Kiwi cautious ahead of RBNZ, but Aussie holds up better post-RBA minutes flagging more hikes, NZD/USD eyes bids into 0.6300 and AUD/USD hovers just under 0.7000.
  • Loonie underpinned awaiting Canadian CPI as crude prices stabilise to a degree, USD/CAD straddles 1.2900.

Fixed Income

  • Debt futures retreat further from Monday's lofty levels in corrective price action and as broad risk sentiment improves.
  • Bunds down to 156.07 having been closer to 157.00, Gilts to 116.52 vs 116.99 earlier and 117+ yesterday, T-notes to 119-19 from almost 120-00.
  • UK 2029 and German 2027 supply snapped up amidst given some yield concession.

Commodities

  • Crude benchmarks pressure, but off worst levels and well within yesterday's ranges, as the EU receives Iran's response to the JCPOA draft.
  • Initial indications are that a deal is in reach, though, caveats/unknowns remain in focus - particularly the US' response.
  • EIA said US oil output from top shale regions in September is due to increase to the highest since March 2020, according to Reuters.
  • Iran sets September Iranian light crude OSP to Asia at Oman/Dubai + USD 9.50/bbl, via Reuters.
  • Major European zinc smelter (Nyrstar Budel) reportedly to shut due to elevated energy costs, via Bloomberg; will shut as of September 1st.
  • Spot gold under modest pressure as the USD lifts, but still near the 50-DMA while base metals recoup from Monday's data-driven pressure.

US Event Calendar

  • 08:30: July Housing Starts, est. 1.53m, prior 1.56m
    • July Housing Starts MoM, est. -2.0%, prior -2.0%
    • July Building Permits, est. 1.64m, prior 1.69m, revised 1.7m
    • July Building Permits MoM, est. -3.3%, prior -0.6%, revised 0.1%
  • 09:15: July Industrial Production MoM, est. 0.3%, prior -0.2%
    • July Capacity Utilization, est. 80.2%, prior 80.0%
    • July Manufacturing (SIC) Production, est. 0.3%, prior -0.5%

DB's Henry Allen concludes the overnight wrap

Here in the UK we’ve had quite a historic weather spell recently. Last month was the driest July in England since 1935, and a new record temperature just above 40°C was also recorded. But as this dry spell finally comes to an end, there are now weather warnings about thunderstorms over the coming days. My wife and I discovered this to our cost on our evening walk yesterday, when we hadn’t packed an umbrella and got soaked. One thing I hadn’t realised until watching the news the other day was that healthy grass actually absorbs water much quicker than parched grass – I had assumed like humans that the grass that’s been without water for days would drink it up rapidly. So while I’m not paid to give you my bad hunches on how weather works, the risk now is that the water just runs off the hard ground and leads to flooding. Let’s hope we can catch a break from this in the days ahead.

Markets were also struggling to catch a break yesterday thanks to a succession of disappointing data releases that brought the risks of a recession back into focus. That marks a shift in the dominant narrative over the last couple of weeks, when there had actually been a small but growing hope that central banks might be able to execute a soft landing, not least after the much stronger-than-expected US jobs report for July. But ultimately, a number of leading indicators are still moving in the wrong direction, and yesterday’s releases served as a reminder that hard landings have historically been the norm when starting from a position as unfavourable as the present one.

In terms of the specifics of those data releases, the more negative tone was set from the outset by the Chinese data we mentioned in yesterday’s edition, which showed that retail sales and industrial production for July had been weaker than expected by the consensus. But we then also got the Empire State manufacturing survey for August, which plunged to -31.3 (vs. 5.0 expected), thus also marking its worst performance since the GFC apart from April and May 2020 during the Covid lockdowns. Lastly, we then had the NAHB’s housing market index for August, which similarly fell to its lowest level since May 2020 at 49 (vs. 54 expected). That marked its 8th consecutive move lower, which comes against the backdrop of one of the most aggressive Fed tightening cycles in decades, with housing one of the most sensitive sectors to rate hikes.

Growing fears of a slowdown led to a decent risk-off move across multiple asset classes, but one of the places that was most evident was in oil prices, where both Brent crude (-3.11%) and WTI (-2.91%) underwent sizeable declines on the day. In fact on an intraday basis, Brent crude traded at $92.78 per barrel at its lows, which exactly matches its previous intraday low on August 5, and prior to that you’ve got to go back before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February for the last time that oil prices were trading lower. That decline in oil prices was offered further support by the latest developments on the Iran nuclear deal, where Iran sent its response to the European Union’s proposed text to revive the deal. While the specific contents of the response are unknown, it’s been reported by the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency that Iran expects a response back from the EU within the next two days, so there could be tangible progress this week. Furthermore, Iran’s foreign minister said that an agreement with the US could be reached in the coming days. That trend towards weaker oil prices has continued this morning as well, with Brent crude down a further -0.87% at $94.27/bbl, and WTI down -0.62% at $88.86/bbl.

Whilst oil prices fell back yesterday, the seemingly inexorable move higher in European natural gas continued, with futures up +6.79% on the day to €220 per megawatt-hour, which is just shy of their March peak at €227. Prices have been bolstered by the latest European heatwave, which has seen rivers dry up and caused issues with fuel transportation, further compounding the continent’s existing woes on the energy side. That gloomy backdrop saw Germany’s government announce a levy of an extra 2.419 euro cents per kilowatt hour for natural gas, which comes as policymakers are hoping that measures to reduce demand will help the continent get through the winter. Meanwhile, German and French power prices for next year rose to fresh records yesterday, rising +3.67% and +3.24% respectively.

In light of the decline in oil prices and the more general risk-off tone, sovereign bonds rallied on both sides of the Atlantic yesterday, and yields on 10yr Treasuries came down -4.3bps to 2.79%. Inflation breakevens led the bulk of that decline amidst the moves lower in commodity prices, with the 10yr breakeven down by -2.9bps, whilst the 2s10s curve (+2.1bps) remained firmly in inversion territory at -40.0bps, even as it underwent a modest steepening. For Europe there were even larger declines in yields yesterday, with those on 10yr bunds (-8.8bps), OATs (-8.1bps) and BTPs (-6.5bps) all moving lower on the day, which came as investors moved to price in a less aggressive ECB hiking cycle over the coming months, with the June 2023 implied rate down by -9.9bps on the day. In overnight trading, yields on 10yr USTs (-0.9bps) have posted a further decline to 2.78% as we write.

One asset class that didn’t fit this pattern so well were equities yesterday, as they pared back their earlier losses to move higher on the day, building on a run of 4 consecutive weekly moves higher. In the US, the S&P had opened -0.54% lower, but reversed course to end the session up +0.40%, which brings its advances from its recent low in mid-June to more than +17% now. It was a fairly broad-based advance across sectors, and the NASDAQ posted a similar +0.62% gain as well, whilst in Europe, the STOXX 600 (+0.34%) also strengthened in the afternoon to post a 4th consecutive daily advance.

Those moves in US and European equities have been echoed in Asia this morning, with the Hang Seng (+0.12%), Shanghai Composite (+0.24%), CSI (+0.13%) and the Kospi (+0.31%) all edging higher in early trade. The main exception is the Nikkei (-0.08%), which has lost ground modestly after reaching a 7-month high in the previous session. That said, there are signs that equities may be losing momentum as well this morning, with futures on the S&P 500 (-0.12%) and the NASDAQ 100 (-0.12%) both pointing lower following their strong run of gains recently.

To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include July’s industrial production, capacity utilisation, housing starts and building permits. In the UK, there’s unemployment for June, Germany has the ZEW survey for August and Canada has July’s CPI. Elsewhere, we’ll get earnings releases from Walmart and Home Depot.

Tyler Durden Tue, 08/16/2022 - 08:20

Read More

Continue Reading

Bonds

Druckenmiller: “We Are In Deep Trouble… I Don’t Rule Out Something Really Bad”

Druckenmiller: "We Are In Deep Trouble… I Don’t Rule Out Something Really Bad"

For once, billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller did…

Published

on

Druckenmiller: "We Are In Deep Trouble... I Don't Rule Out Something Really Bad"

For once, billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller did not say anything even remotely controversial when he echoed what we (and Morgan Stanley) have been warning for a long time, and said the Fed's attempt to quickly unwind the excesses it itself built up over the past 13 years with its ultra easy monetary policy will end in tears for the U.S. economy.

“Our central case is a hard landing by the end of ’23,” Druckenmiller said at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha Investor Summit in New York City Wednesday. “I would be stunned if we don’t have recession in ’23. I don’t know the timing but certainly by the end of ’23. I will not be surprised if it’s not larger than the so called average garden variety.”

And the legendary investor, who has never had a down year in the markets, fears it could be something even worse. “I don’t rule out something really bad,” he said effectively repeating what we said in April that "Every Fed Hiking Cycle Ends With Default And Bankruptcy Of Governments, Banks And Investors" "

He pointed to massive global quantitative easing that reached $30 trillion as what’s driving the looming recession: “Our central case is a hard landing by the end of next year", he said, adding that we have also had a bunch of myopic policies such as the Treasury running down the savings account, and Biden's irresponsible oil SPR drain.

Repeating something else even the rather slow "transitory bros" and "team MMT" know by now, Druckenmiller said he believes the extraordinary quantitative easing and zero interest rates over the past decade created an asset bubble.

“All those factors that cause a bull market, they’re not only stopping, they’re reversing every one of them,” Druckenmiller said. “We are in deep trouble.”

The Fed is now in the middle of its most aggressive pace of tightening since the 1980s. The central bank last week raised rates by three-quarters of a percentage point for a third straight time and pledged more hikes to beat inflation, triggering a big sell-off in risk assets. The S&P 500 has taken out its June low and reached a new bear market low Tuesday following a six-day losing streak.

Druckenmiller said the Fed made a policy error - as did we... repeatedly... last summer - when it came up with a “ridiculous theory of transitory,” thinking inflation was driven by supply chain and demand factors largely associated with the pandemic.

“When you make a mistake, you got to admit you’re wrong and move on that nine or 10 months, that they just sat there and bought $120 billion in bonds,” Druckenmiller said. “I think the repercussions of that are going to be with us for a long, long time.”

“You don’t even need to talk about Black Swans to be worried here. To me, the risk reward of owning assets doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Druckenmiller said.

Commenting on recent events, Druck was more upbeat, saying “I like everything I’m hearing out of the Fed and I hope they finish the job,” he said. Now, the tightening has to go all the way. “You have to slay the dragon.” The problem is that, as the BOE demonstrated with its QT to QE pivot today, it's impossible to slay the dragon and sooner or later every central banks fails.

What happens then? According to Druck, once people lose trust in central banks - which at this rate could happen in a few weeks or tomorrow - he expects a cryptocurrency renaissance, something which may already be starting...

... and not just there, but in the original crypto - gold - as well...

Excerpts from his interview below:

Tyler Durden Wed, 09/28/2022 - 12:26

Read More

Continue Reading

Economics

Interest rates, the yield curve, and the Fed chasing a Phantom (lagging) Menace

  – by New Deal democratThere’s a lot going on with interest rates in the past few days.Mortgage rates have increased above 7%:This is the highest…

Published

on

 

 - by New Deal democrat

There’s a lot going on with interest rates in the past few days.


Mortgage rates have increased above 7%:



This is the highest rate since 2008. Needless to say, if it lasts for any period of time it will further damage the housing market.

The yield curve has almost completely inverted from 3 years out (lower bar on left; upper bar shows a similar curve in April 2000, 11 months before the 2001 recession):



As of this morning, the curve is normally sloped from the 3.12% Fed funds rate up through the 3year Treasury, which is yielding 4.22% (which, as an aside, is a mighty tasty temptation to buy medium maturity bonds). Beyond that, with the exception of the 20 year Treasury, each maturity of longer duration is yielding progressively less. If this is like almost all recessions in the last half century, the short end of the yield curve will fully invert (i.e., Fed funds through 2 years as well) before the recession actually begins. Although I won’t show the graph, the yield curve *un*-inverted before the last two recessions even began, immediately or shortly after the Fed began to lower rates again.

On the issue of rents, house prices, and owners equivalent rent, Prof. Paul Krugman follows up on the fact that OER is a lagging measure. Today he touts the monthly decline in new rental lease prices as possibly signaling a downturn in inflation:





He’s referring to the “National Rent Index” from Apartment List, which Bill McBride has also been tracking. Because it tracks rents in only new or renewed leases, it picks up increases or decreases more quickly than those indexes that measure all rentals (including those that were renewed, e.g., 9 months ago).

I don’t think the index is quite the signal Paul Krugman does, because it is not seasonally adjusted, and rents typically decrease in the last 4 months of each year:



Here is the cumulative yearly index for each of the past 5 years:



The -0.1% non-seasonally adjusted decrease in September this year is on par with that of 2018, and less of a decline in September 2019 or 2020. For the first half of this year, rents were increasing at a faster, and accelerating, rate compared with 2018 and 2019. Since June have rent changes been comparable with (and not more negative than) those two years.

I thought I would take a look at Apartment List’s rental index and compare it with the Case Shiller house price index:



Note that house prices broke out to the upside YoY beginning in late spring 2020, while apartment rents did not do so until early 2021. There were rent increase moratoriums in place during the pandemic, which may have affected that comparison. Still, it is cautionary that for the limited 5 year comparison time we do have, house price indexes moved first.

Finally, what would the Fed have done if it had used the Case Shiller index instead of owners equivalent rent in its targeted “core inflation” metric?

Via Mike Sherlock, here’s what the “Case Shiller [total, not core] CPI” looks like through last month:



Here’s another way of looking at the data, comparing the monthly % changes in the Case Shiller national house price index (blue), owners equivalent rent (red, right scale), and core CPI (i.e., minus food and energy) (gold, right scale):



Rent + owner’s equivalent rent are 40% of core inflation. Unsurprisingly, core inflation tends to track similarly to OER. But between May 2021 and May 2022, OER only averaged +0.4% monthly, whereas the Case Shiller index increased 1.5% on average monthly. If 40% of core inflation increased at 1.5% monthly instead of 0.4% monthly, core inflation would have on average been +0.4% higher each month for that entire year.

In other words, the Fed would have had a much earlier warning that an upsurge in core inflation was not going to be “transitory.” 

By contrast, during the last 3 months of the period through July that we have house price index data, OER has averaged +0.4%, whereas house prices have increased on average +0.6%. This would have brought core inflation down by -0.1% each month. If we use the last two months, OER is +0.6% and house prices have been unchanged. Core inflation would have been -0.3% lower in June and July.

In fact, if the trend of the last several months continues, by year end OER is going to be higher than house price appreciation on a YoY as well as m/m basis. And while OER has been increasing, house price indexes have been decelerating. 

In other words, if the Fed keeps raising rates, it is most likely chasing a phantom menace, a lagging indicator which leading measures for which will have already peaked and come down sharply.

Read More

Continue Reading

Government

Futures Rebound From 2022 Low After Bank Of England Panics, Restarts Unlimited QE

Futures Rebound From 2022 Low After Bank Of England Panics, Restarts Unlimited QE

With everything biw breaking, including an explosive move…

Published

on

Futures Rebound From 2022 Low After Bank Of England Panics, Restarts Unlimited QE

With everything biw breaking, including an explosive move in bond yields in the UK, 10Y yields rising above 4.00%, and Apple "suddenly" realizing there was not enough demand for the latest iteration of its iPhone 5, it was only a matter of time before some central bank somewhere capitulated and pivoted back to QE, and this morning that's precisely what happened when the BOE delayed the launch of QT and restarted QE "on whatever scale is necessary" on a "temporary and targeted" (lol) basis to restore order, which sent UK bond surging (and yields tumbling the most on record going back to 1996 erasing an earlier jump to the the highest since 1998)...

... the pound first surged before falling back as traders realized the UK now has both rate hikes and QE at the same time, the dollar sliding then spiking, the 10Y US TSY yield dipping from 4.00%, the highest level since 1998, and stock futures spiking from fresh 2022 lows, but then fizzling as traders now demand a similar end to QT/restart of QE from the Fed or else they will similarly break the market.

Needless to say, the BOE has opened up the tap on coming central bank pivots, and while the market may be slow to grasp it, risk is cheap here with a similar QE restarted by the Fed just weeks if not days away. Indeed, look no further than the tumbling odds of a November 75bps rate hike as confirmation.

As if the BOE's pivot wasn't enough, there was also a barrage of company specific news: in premarket trading, the world's biggest company, Apple tumbled 3.9% after a Bloomberg report said the company was likely to ditch its iPhone production boost, citing people familiar with the matter. Shares of suppliers to Apple also fell in premarket trading after the report, with Micron Technology (MU US) down -1.9%, Qualcomm (QCOM US) -1.8%, Skyworks Solutions (SWKS US) -1.6%. Other notable premarket movers:

  • Biogen shares surged as much as 71% in US premarket trading, with the drugmaker on track for its biggest gain since its 1991 IPO if the move holds, as analysts lauded results of an Alzheimer’s drug study with partner Eisai.
  • Lockheed drops as much as 2.3% in premarket trading as it was downgraded to underweight at Wells Fargo, which is taking a more cautious view on the defense sector on a likely difficult US budget environment into 2023.
  • Mind Medicine slid 35% in premarket trading after an offering of shares priced at $4.25 apiece, representing a 31% discount to last close.
  • Watch insurers, utilities and travel stocks as Hurricane Ian comes closer to making landfall on Florida’s Gulf coast.
  • Keep an eye on southeastern US utilities including NextEra Energy (NEE US), Entergy (ETR US), Duke Energy (DUK US), insurers like AIG (AIG US), Chubb (CB US), as well as airline stocks
  • Netflix (NFLX US) was raised to overweight from neutral at Atlantic Equities, the latest in a slew of brokers to turn bullish on the outlook for the streaming giant’s new ad- supported tier, though the stock was little changed in premarket trading

In other news, Hurricane Ian became a dangerous Category 4 storm as it roars toward Florida, threatening to batter the Gulf Coast with devastating wind gusts and floods.

European stocks dropped for a fifth day as Citigroup strategists said investors are abandoning the region at levels last seen during the euro area debt crisis. Miners underperformed as the strong dollar and concerns about demand for raw materials sent commodity prices to the lowest level since January. Retail stocks slumped, with the sector underperforming declines for the broader Stoxx 600, as concerns mount about a consumer spending crunch. UK retail stocks are particularly weak amid Britain’s market meltdown and after online clothing retailer Boohoo issued a profit warning. Boohoo cut its guidance for the year, with soaring energy and food bills stopping consumers from splashing out on clothes and shoes; peers including Asos (-7.5%) and Zalando (-3.5%) sank. Here are the biggest European movers:

  • Roche gains as much as 6.5% in early trading, most since March 2020 after Eisai and partner Biogen said their drug significantly slowed Alzheimer’s disease. Roche partner MorphoSys rises as much as 22%. BioArctic jumps as much as 171% in Wednesday trading, its biggest intraday rise since 2018; the Swedish biopharma company is a partner of Eisai
  • Sanofi shares rise as much as 2.2% after saying it sees currency impact of approximately 10%-11% on 3Q sales, according to statement.
  • Burberry rises as much as 4.5% as analysts welcome the appointment of Daniel Lee, formerly of Bottega Veneta, to succeed Riccardo Tisci as creative director at the luxury designer.
  • Retail stocks slide, with the sector underperforming declines for the broader Stoxx 600, as concerns mount about a consumer spending crunch. Boohoo slumped as much as 18% after cutting its guidance for the year, with soaring energy and food bills stopping consumers from splashing out on clothes and shoes; peers fell, with Asos down as much as 9.4% and Zalando -4.3%.
  • Financial sectors including banks, real estate and insurance were the worst performers in Europe on Wednesday as hawkish comments from Fed officials stoked concerns over the economic outlook. HSBC fell as much as 5.3%, Barclays 6%, and insurer Aviva 7.9%
  • Norway unveiled a plan to tap power and fish companies for 33 billion kroner ($3 billion) a year to cover ballooning budget expenditures, sending salmon farmers’ stocks falling. Salmar down as much as 30%, Leroy Seafood dropped as much as 26%, and Mowi slid as much as 21%
  • Truecaller, which offers an app to block unwanted phone calls, falls as much as 23% in Stockholm after short seller Viceroy Research says it’s betting against the stock.

Adding to concerns, Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing predicted a severe downturn in the lender’s home region and said the volatility whipsawing markets will continue for another year as central banks tighten rates to fight inflation, while ECB President Christine Lagarde said borrowing costs will be raised at the next “several meetings,” with several Governing Council  members favoring a 75 basis point hike in October.

Meanwhile, natural gas prices in Europe surged after Russia said it may cut off supplies via Ukraine and the German Navy was deployed to investigate the suspected sabotage to the Nord Stream pipelines. Putin moved to annex a large chunk of Ukrainian territory amid a string of military setbacks in its seven-month-old invasion.

Asian shares also fell: Japanese equities slumped after the latest hawkish comments from Fed officials on raising interest rates in order to bring inflation down. The Topix fell 1% to close at 1,855.15, while the Nikkei declined 1.5% to 26,173.98. Toyota Motor Corp. contributed the most to the Topix decline, decreasing 1.6%. Out of 2,169 stocks in the index, 943 rose and 1,137 fell, while 89 were unchanged. “From here on, U.S. CPI inflation will be the most important factor,” said Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management. “Now that the FOMC meeting is over, we will be getting a good amount of statements from Fed officials, and wondering what kind of statements will come out.”

Key equity gauges in India posted their longest stretch of declines in more than three months, as investors continued to sell stocks across global markets on worries over economic growth.  The S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.9% to 56,598.28 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index fell by an equal measure. The indexes posted their sixth-consecutive decline, the worst losing streak since mid-June. Fourteen of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined. Metals and banking stocks were the worst performers. Healthcare and software firms gained.  Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank contributed the most to the Sensex’s decline. Reliance Industries has erased its gain for the year and is headed for its lowest close since March. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 12 rose, while 18 fell

In FX, the dollar’s rally brought losses to other currencies, including the euro and onshore yuan, which tumbled to its weakest level since 2008. A regulatory body guided by the People’s Bank of China urged banks to protect the authority of the yuan fixing after the onshore yuan fell to the weakest level against the dollar since the global financial crisis in 2008, amid an incessant advance in the greenback and speculation China is toning down its support for the local currency.  The yen remained near the key 145 mark versus the dollar and within sight of levels that have drawn intervention from Japan. Speculation the sliding yen will compel Japan to intervene further, potentially funded by Treasuries sales, weighed on US debt.

“The fact we have such a strong increase in US yields is attracting flows into the US dollar,” said Nanette Hechler-Fayd’herbe, chief investment officer of international wealth management for Credit Suisse Group AG. “As long as monetary and fiscal policy worldwide are really not coming to strengthen their own currencies, we should be anticipating a very strong dollar.”

In rates, Treasury yields fell, following a more aggressive bull flattening move across the gilt curve, after Bank of England announced it would step into the market and buy long-dated government bonds, financed with new reserves. The Treasury curve remains steeper on the day however, with front-end yields richer by 7bp and long-end slightly cheaper. US session focus on 7-year note auction and a barrage of Fed speakers scheduled.  Treasury 10-year yields around 3.93%, richer by 1.5bp on the day and underperforming gilts by around 25bp in the sector -- gilts curve richer by 3bp to 50bp on the day from front-end out to long-end following Bank of England announcement. US auctions conclude with $36b 7-year note sale at 1pm, follows soft 2- and 5-year auctions so far this week

In commodities, WTI trades within Tuesday’s range, falling 0.5% to around $78.14. Spot gold falls roughly $11 to trade near $1,618/oz. 

Looking to the day ahead, there are an array of central bank speakers including Fed Chair Powell, the Fed’s Bostic, Bullard, Bowman, Barkin and Evans, ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Kazimir, Holzmann and Elderson, as well as BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Dhingra. In the meantime, data releases include pending home sales for August.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.6% to 3,637
  • MXAP down 1.9% to 139.41
  • MXAPJ down 2.3% to 452.49
  • Nikkei down 1.5% to 26,173.98
  • Topix down 1.0% to 1,855.15
  • Hang Seng Index down 3.4% to 17,250.88
  • Shanghai Composite down 1.6% to 3,045.07
  • Sensex down 0.3% to 56,939.09
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.5% to 6,462.03
  • Kospi down 2.5% to 2,169.29
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 1.4% to 382.97
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 2.31%
  • Euro down 0.3% to $0.9561
  • Brent Futures down 0.4% to $85.94/bbl
  • Brent Futures down 0.4% to $85.94/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.6% to $1,619.74
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.36% to 114.52

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • ECB President Christine Lagarde said borrowing costs will be raised at the next “several meetings” to ensure inflation expectations remain anchored and price gains return to the 2% target over the medium term
  • The ECB is on track to take interest rates to a level that no longer stimulates the economy by December, Governing Council member Olli Rehn told Reuters
  • Germany’s federal government will increase debt sales by €22.5 billion ($21.5 billion) in the fourth quarter compared with an original plan to help fund generous spending to offset the impact of the energy crisis
  • The cost of protection against European corporate debt has surpassed the pandemic peak as investors fret over the effect of central bank tightening at a time of mounting recession risk
  • The Federal Reserve’s delicate balance between curbing demand enough to slow inflation without causing a recession is a “struggle,” said San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly
  • This week a gauge of one-month volatility in the majors hit its strongest level since the pandemic mayhem of March 2020, as wide price swings in the pound lifted hedging costs across the G-10 space
  • Moscow declared landslide victories in the hastily organized “referendums” it held in the territories currently occupied by its forces and prepared to absorb them within days. The United Nations has condemned the voting as illegal with people at times forced at gunpoint.

 

 

 

 

US Event Calendar

  • 07:00: Sept. MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 3.8%
  • 08:30: Aug. Retail Inventories MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 1.1%
    • Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.6%
  • 08:30: Aug. Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. -$89b, prior -$89.1b, revised - $90.2b
  • 10:00: Aug. Pending Home Sales (MoM), est. -1.5%, prior -1.0%
    • Pending Home Sales YoY, est. -24.5%, prior -22.5%

Central Bank Speakers

  • 08:35: Fed’s Bostic Takes Part in Moderated Q&A
  • 10:10: Fed’s Bullard Makes Welcome Remarks at Community Banking...
  • 10:15: Powell Gives Welcoming Remarks at Community Banking Conference
  • 11:00: Fed’s Bowman Speaks at Community Banking Conference
  • 11:30: Fed’s Barkin Speaks at Chamber of Commerce Lunch
  • 14:00: Fed’s Evans Speaks at the London School of Economics

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

I had my worst nightmare yesterday. One of my wife's friends, who vaguely knows I work in financial markets, urgently contacted me for mortgage advise. She needed to make a decision within hours on what mortgage to take out from a selection of unpalatable options here in the UK. I'll be honest, when I speak to you dear readers and give advice I know you're all big and brave enough to either ignore it or consider it. However it felt very dangerous to be giving my wife's friend my opinion. Hopefully they'll be no fall out at the end of the period I advised on!

After the tumultuous events of recent days, market volatility has remained very high over the last 24 hours, with plenty of negative headlines to keep investors alert. In Europe, we got a fresh reminder about the energy situation after leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, whilst Gazprom warned that sanctions on Ukraine’s Naftogaz could put flows from Russia at risk. In the meantime, investors’ jitters surrounding the UK showed few signs of abating, with 30yr gilt yields surpassing 5% in trading for the first time since 2002 and a level it hasn't consistently been above since 1998. And even though we got some better-than-expected data releases from the US, they were also seen as giving the Fed more space to keep hiking rates over months ahead, adding to fears that they still had plenty of hawkish medicine left to deliver.

We’ll start here in the UK, since it was gilts once again that were at the epicentre of the ongoing repricing in rates, with plenty of signs that investors remain very nervous about the current economic situation. Gilt yields rose to fresh highs across the curve, with the selloff accelerating late in the session to leave the 10yr yield up by +26.1bps at a post-2008 high of 4.50%. Furthermore, the 30yr yield surged +44.8bps to a post-2007 high of 4.97%, closing just beneath the 5% mark that it had exceeded at one point right before the close. This for me is a fascinating development as recently as last December we were at 0.83% and then 2.28% in early August. For many many years the demand for long end gilts were seen as one of the most price insensitive assets in the fixed income world with huge regulatory and asset/liability buying. So the fact that even this has cracked shows the deep trouble the UK market is in at the moment. The moves have been so drastic that even the IMF announced yesterday they were closely monitoring developments in Britain and were engaged with UK authorities. Their rebuke was quite scathing.

Staying in the UK, there was an even more significant repricing of real yields, with the 10yr real yield surging by another +52.9bps on the day to 0.77%, having been at -0.84% only a week earlier, so a massive turnaround. Sterling ended a run of 5 consecutive daily losses to strengthen by +0.41% against the US Dollar, taking it back up to $1.073. However it was higher before the IMF statement and is at $1.065 this morning with their rebuke reverberating around markets.

Whilst UK assets continued to struggle, we did hear from BoE Chief Economist Pill yesterday, who sits on the 9-member Monetary Policy Committee. The main headline from his remarks was the comment that “this will require a significant monetary policy response”. Investors are still pricing in over +155bps worth of hikes by the next meeting on November 3, as well as a terminal rate above 6% next year. However, investors also continued to lower the chances of an emergency inter-meeting hike, particularly after Pill said that it was better to take a “considered” and “low-frequency” approach to monetary policy.

Elsewhere in Europe, the question of energy remained top of the agenda yesterday, with a fresh surge in natural gas futures (+19.65%) that marked a reversal to the declines over the last month. That followed the news of leaks from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which officials across multiple countries said could be the result of sabotage. Danish PM Frederiksen said that it was” hard to imagine that these are coincidences” and the FT reported German officials who said there was concern that a “targeted attack” had caused the sudden loss of pressure. A real nightmare scenario is if the sabotage attempts extended to other pipelines. Indeed Bloomberg reported that Norway was looking to increase security around its own infrastructure. However these pipes are long so it would take a lot of effort to protect them all.

On top of the leaks, we also heard from Gazprom, who said that there was a risk that Moscow would sanction Ukraine’s Naftogaz. That would stop them from paying transit fees, which in turn would put gas flows to Europe at risk, and led to a significant jump in prices after the news came through later in the session.

Against that unfavourable backdrop, European assets continued to suffer over the last 24 hours across multiple asset classes. Sovereign bonds didn’t do quite as badly as gilts, but it was still a very poor performance by any normal day’s standards, with yields on 10yr bunds (+11.3bps) reaching a post-2010 high of 2.22%. Peripheral spreads continued to widen as well, with the gap between 10yr Italian yields over bunds closing above 250bps for the first time since April 2020. In the meantime, equities lost ground thanks to a late session reversal, leaving the STOXX 600 (-0.13%) at its lowest level since December 2020. And there was little respite for credit either, with the iTraxx Crossover widening +15.2bps to 670bps, which is a closing level we haven’t seen since March 2020.

On top of sour risk sentiment, results from Russia’s referendum in four Ukrainian territories unsurprisingly revealed lopsided votes in favour of Russian annexation, topping 85% in each of the regions. That stoked fears that Russia will move to officially annex the territories as soon as this week, thereby claiming any attack on those territories is an attack on sovereign Russia itself and enabling yet further escalation. President Putin is scheduled to address both houses of the Russian Parliament this Friday, which British intelligence reports may be used as a venue to push through an official annexation ratification.

Over in the US, there was some better news on the data side that helped to allay fears about an imminent slide into recession. First, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading for September rose to 108.0 (vs. 104.6 expected), which is its highest level since April. Second, new home sales in August unexpectedly rebounded to an annualised pace of 685k (vs. 500k expected), which is their highest level since March. Third, the preliminary durable goods orders for August were roughly in line with expectations at -0.2% (vs. -0.3% expected), and core capital goods orders exceeded them with +1.3% growth (vs. +0.2% expected) and a positive revision to the previous month. Finally, the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index for September came in at 0 (vs. -10 expected), adding to that theme of stronger-than-expected releases. A word of caution, the housing data is typically noisy and subject to revision, so despite the bounce in sales, we don’t think this marks a sea-change in housing markets, which have been battered by tightening financial conditions to date.

In the end however, those data releases didn’t manage to stop the S&P 500 (-0.21%) losing ground for a 6th consecutive session, which takes the index back to its lowest closing level since November 2020. In fact for the Dow Jones (-0.43%), yesterday’s losses left it at its lowest closing level since 6 November 2020. That was the last trading session before the news on Monday 9 November from Pfizer that their late-stage vaccine trials had been successful, thus triggering a massive global surge as the way out of the pandemic became much clearer. All-in-all though, equities were a side show to fixed income yesterday.

When it came to Treasuries, there was a notable steepening in both the nominal and real yield curves yesterday, and 10yr yields ended the session up +2.1bps at 3.95%. This morning in Asia 10yr yields did trade at 4% for the first time since 2010 before dipping to around 3.98% as I type. In terms of Fed speak yesterday, we heard from Chicago Fed President Evans, who implied that the Fed might take stock of the impact of rate hikes in the spring, saying that “By spring of next year we are going to get to a funds rate that we can sort of sit and watch how things are behaving,” In the meantime, St Louis Fed President Bullard (one of the most hawkish members of the FOMC) said that inflation was a serious problem and that the credibility of the Fed’s inflation target was at risk.

This morning Asian equity markets are extending their downtrend. As I type, The Kospi (-3.01%) is sharply lower in early trade with the Hang Seng (-2.40%), the Nikkei (-2.21%), the CSI (-0.77%) and the Shanghai Composite (-0.75%) all trading in negative territory.

After a steady start, US stock futures got caught up in the bearish mood with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.71%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.98%) both moving lower.Apple reversing plans for an iPhone production boost on waning demand seemed to be a catalyst. The US dollar index (+0.43%) has hit a fresh two-decade high of 114.69 this morning.

Early morning data showed that Australia’s August retail sales advanced for the eighth consecutive month, rising +0.6% m/m, faster than the +0.4% increase expected although the pace of growth slowed from the +1.3% rise seen in July.

To the day ahead now, and there are an array of central bank speakers including Fed Chair Powell, the Fed’s Bostic, Bullard, Bowman, Barkin and Evans, ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Kazimir, Holzmann and Elderson, as well as BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Dhingra. In the meantime, data releases include Germany’s GfK consumer confidence reading for October, and France and Italy’s consumer confidence reading for September. In the US, there’s also pending home sales data for August.

Tyler Durden Wed, 09/28/2022 - 07:53

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending