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Edible Oil Prices Hit Record High As Food Inflation Treat Soars 

Edible Oil Prices Hit Record High As Food Inflation Treat Soars  Prices of edible oils have been rising across the world. Palm oil, the world's most consumed vegetable oil, surged to a new record high, spreading concerns about persistent global food inflation.  Malaysia's palm oil futures soared more than 40% this year, while soybean oil is up more than 50%. Prices of canola oil are also at a record.   Bloomberg notes the reason for the price surge is "because of the emergence of pent-up demand as economies reopen after COVID, the outlook for more use in renewable fuels as energy prices soar and production problems in major growers."  "Palm oil is not only riding on tight supply, which continues to sustain higher prices, but is also getting broader external support from energy markets," said Sathia Varqa, owner of Palm Oil Analytics in Singapore.  Production of palm oil in Malaysia has fallen this year because of a foreign worker freeze, exacerbating the country's labor shortages. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board reported that production in the first nine months of the year was the weakest since 2017.  "There are no stopping prices from going higher" until policies are implemented that are likely to cool the commodity market, such as higher interest rates," Varqa said. This means that the weight of vegetable oils in the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization's FAO Food Price Index will continue to pressure global food prices higher. Last month, the index hit a new decade high, which includes a basket of food commodities (such as cereals, vegetable oils, dairy, meat, and sugar).  Global food prices surging to decades high is no laughing matter but an ominous sign for emerging market economies where households allocate more of their budgets to food. Rising food prices can cause discontent with governments and spark social unrest. SocGen's Albert Edwards first warned about this right before the pandemic began.  Tyler Durden Sun, 10/24/2021 - 08:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 24th, 2021

Beijing Is Trapped: Chinese Producer Prices Soar At Fastest Pace In 26 Years

Beijing Is Trapped: Chinese Producer Prices Soar At Fastest Pace In 26 Years China's trade balance may have just hit a record on the back of resurgent exports and slowing inflation, but the favorable impact to China's mercantlist economy was more than wiped out by the just released record PPI and resurgent CPI. China's National Bureau of Statistics reported that in October, CPI rose 1.5% Y/Y, higher than the 1.4% expected, and a 0.7% sequential increase from the September print; the CPI increase was evenly split between base effect and sequential growth. At the same time factory gate, or PPI, inflation hit a fresh all time high of 13.5%, steamrolling the 12.4% consensus estimate, and rising at the fastest pace since records began in November 1995. While the gradual increase in CPI is alarming, and the NBS said that it was affected by weather, commodities demand and costs - it was the producer price inflation that was far more alarming, soaring as a result of a tight supply of energy and resources. In reality, however, there was just one key variable - thermal coal, which as we said last month indicates that PPI will continue rising far higher, although judging by the recent sharp reversal in the price of Chinese thermal coal (if only for the time being), this may be as high as PPI gets. Or so Beijing should hope because with the spread between PPI and CPI hitting a new all time record, virtually no Chinese companies that use commodity inputs - which in China is a vast majority - are making any profits. The gap between upstream and downstream prices “continues to highlight weak consumer demand in the economy and the immense pressure on profit margins downstream firms are facing,” said Michelle Lam, greater China economist at Societe Generale SA in Hong Kong. The latest price jump comes against the backdrop of a weakening economy as electricity shortages, a slump in the property sector and virus outbreaks weigh on activity. Rising inflation will likely reignite the debate over whether the central bank can provide more policy easing to help support growth. Some more details on the latest data: In year-over-year terms, food inflation rose to -2.4% yoy in October from -5.2% yoy in September, due to both a low base and a sequential increase in prices month-on-month. The increase of food inflation in October was broad-based (particularly an extreme increase in vegetable prices). Pork prices, a big driver of CPI, continued to decline in October, and that helped to mask a rise in other food costs. Deflation in pork prices eased slightly to -44.0% yoy in October from -46.9% yoy in September, primarily on a favorable base effect. Overall CPI would have risen almost 2.5% if not for the effects of falling pork prices, according to the NBS.  Inflation in fresh vegetables rose to 15.9% yoy in October from -2.5% yoy in September, contributing 0.33 percentage point to the increase in CPI while the price of fresh fruits increased to 0.5% yoy in October (vs. -0.8% in September), both primarily on the back of sequential increases in prices. Prices of freshwater fish, eggs and edible vegetable oil also rose sharply in October from a year ago. Vegetable prices have jumped since mid-October following supply disruptions, prompting the government to crack down on hoarders. Non-food CPI inflation increased to +2.4% yoy in October from +2.0% yoy in September, primarily on a sequential increase (especially fuel costs). Fuel costs increased by +31.4% yoy in October (vs. +22.8% yoy in September). Core CPI inflation (headline CPI excluding food and energy) edged up to +1.3% yoy in October (vs. +1.2% in September), with inflation in services flat at +1.4% yoy in October. In other words, producers are passing on a growing part of their own surging costs on to consumers, but nowhere near all as the record gap between CPI and PPI shows. And speaking of PPI, producer price inflation rose to +13.5% yoy in October from +10.7% yoy in September, largely on strong sequential growth. PPI inflation in producer goods rose to +17.9% yoy in October from +14.2% yoy in September, and PPI inflation in consumer goods edged up to +0.6% yoy in October (vs. +0.4% yoy in September). Among major sectors, in seasonally adjusted non-annualized month-over-month terms, inflation in coal mining increased the most (+17.2% in October from +10.5% in September), followed by upstream sectors, such as petroleum/coking and chemicals. In year-over-year terms, coal mining picked up the most due to both high sequential growth and a low base. Looking ahead, Goldman predicts that headline CPI inflation is likely to continue rising in the coming months as high frequency data suggest that the year-on-year decline in pork prices tightened in early November, and year-on-year inflation in fresh vegetables and fruits picked up. Needless to say, PPI inflation is expected to stay elevated in the near term, although as noted above, October may be the peak given the recent decline in coal prices. Xing Zhaopeng, China strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group agrees and writes that while the impact of vegetable prices might be short-lived, rising demand before the upcoming Chinese New Year might drive CPI higher in the next couple of months. Or maybe not, because while Beijing has succeeded in dragging coal prices lower now, it is only at the expense of a far bigger surge in coal in the future. And while China may be facing its first "galloping inflation" PPI print since the early 90s, it's only downhill from there, because as Citigroup wrote recently, power cuts (with over 20 provinces, making up >2/3 of China’s GDP, have rolled out electricity-rationing measures since August) and contractionary PMI "seem to suggest China could enter into at least a short period of stagflation." Local stocks were certainly not happy, with China’s CSI 300 Index sliding as much as 1.3% amid signs that producers are passing on higher costs to consumers, and that the PBOC may have no choice but to tighten financial conditions at the expense of risk assets. Several food companies have already announced price hikes of up to 15%, including Haixin Foods, Anjoy Foods and Jiajia Food, due to rising costs for raw materials. The stronger than expected inflation data is “bad news for the A-share market,” according to Ken Chen, an analyst at KGI Securities Co., referring to the stocks of companies listed on mainland exchanges. “The market is expecting some policy support to help the weak economy, but the CPI data may give limited room” for any stimulus, he said echoing what Zhang Zhiwei, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management, said last month: “We think the risk of stagflation is rising in China as well as the rest of the world. Persistent inflationary pressure limits the potential scope of monetary policy easing.” Liu Peiqian, China economist at Natwest Markets expects policy makers to keep prioritizing stabilizing supplies and prices of commodities and raw materials to tame PPI inflation, while the People’s Bank of China is unlikely to tighten monetary policy, as CPI remains well below target. Commenting on the latest inflation data, Bloomberg's China economist David Qu said that "the acceleration in China’s inflation in October is probably a bit of a side show for the central bank -- we don’t expect the People’s Bank of China to take its eye off the need to cushion a slowdown in the economy. We still expect it cut banks’ required reserve ratio by another 50 basis points in the next month or so." And so, Beijing is now trapped: if it eases, inflation - already at nosebleed levels - will soar further crushing margins and sparking a deep stagflationary recession; if it does not ease, the property market - already imploding - will crater. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/09/2021 - 23:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 9th, 2021

Futures Hit Fresh All-Time Highs, Treasuries Rise On Post-Fed Euphoria

Futures Hit Fresh All-Time Highs, Treasuries Rise On Post-Fed Euphoria US equity futures plowed on to record-er highs overnight, propped up by a slew of stellar earnings reports and as investors shrugged off the Federal Reserve's first steps to begin paring its pandemic-era support as Powell reiterated that the central bank can be patient on raising interest rates (even if rate hikes odds pricing in lliftoff in July were virtually unchanged after Powell's announcement). The Fed Chair announced Wednesday that the central bank will start reducing bond purchases, adding that officials won’t flinch from action if warranted by inflation. The U.S. dollar and Treasuries advanced. “There was no dramatic Hulk-like metamorphosis from the Fed last night as they kept close to expectation," DB's Jim Reid said in a note. At 730 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 7 points, or 0.02%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.75 points, or 0.15%, having earlier tagged a record high 4,662.5, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 61.25 points, or 0.39%. The U.S. dollar and Treasuries advanced. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched record all-time closes for their fifth straight sessions on Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a record close for the fourth session in a row. A cheery third quarter earnings season coupled with upbeat commentary about future growth from corporate America has helped Wall Street largely dismiss concerns around rising prices, supply chain snags and a mixed macro-economic picture. A widely expected move by the Fed on announcing its plan to start tapering its monthly bond purchases beginning this month, while sticking to the belief about the "transitory" nature of inflation and waiting for more job growth - before raising interest rates, also helped sentiment. Fed policy makers announced a stimulus-tapering plan as expected, but expressed no hurry to raise benchmark rates even though inflation may run hot for months. While that supported risk-taking in stock markets, a second-day reality check appeared to have emerged in the bond and currency markets. A tug-of-war looked set to continue between dovish central banks and markets pricing in quicker-than-expected rate hikes. Data due at 08:30 a.m. ET is expected to show the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a fresh 19-month low last week; It will be followed by a more comprehensive nonfarm payrolls report on Friday: "The risks are now skewed towards the (payrolls data) finally aligning with signals elsewhere in the U.S. economy, after a few months of disappointments," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, at OANDA. "A number north of 500K could cause equity markets to reconsider ignoring the implications of the Fed taper. Similarly, a low print will keep the lower-for-longer monetary party in equities going well into the night." Elsewhere, U.S. Representative Rick Larsen said on Wednesday his fellow House Democrats could complete votes on President Joe Biden's social spending and infrastructure bills as early as midday on Friday In premarket trading, shares of Qualcomm jumped 8.1% after the chipmaker forecast better-than-expected profit and revenue for its current quarter on soaring demand for chips used in phones, cars and other internet-connected devices. Tesla added 1.9% and was set for a record open, while mega-cap tech titans GAMMA (f/k/a FAAMG) edged higher. Oil firms including Exxon and Chevron rose 0.9% and 0.5%, respectively, tracking crude prices. Biotech darling Moderna imploded as much as 11% after it missed expectations and guided sharply lower. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Qualcomm (QCOM US) gains 8% premarket as results at the chip giant showed a robust performance against a backdrop of supply constraints, while strength in Android handsets is underpinning growth. Booking (BKNG US) gained 3.7% in post-market trading Wednesday after the company reported gross bookings that beat analysts’ forecasts, as an increase in Covid-19 vaccination rates helped spur a rebound. Roku (ROKU US) falls 7% in premarket after third-quarter results that missed expectations on key metrics for the maker of streaming equipment. Upland Software (UPLD US) slumps 22% in premarket after results, with Jefferies downgrading the stock as it’s the third quarter in a row the firm has not delivered a beat on the top line. Skilz (SKLZ US) drops as much as 13% in premarket after the mobile games platform operator reported a net loss for the third quarter. TDH (DOGZ US) surges as much as 173% in U.S. premarket trading after the pet food firm and meme-trader favorite announced a placement. Magnite (MGNI US) falls 10% in premarket after the advertising solutions firm reported adjusted revenue for the third quarter that lagged behind the average analyst estimate. Qorvo (QRVO US) falls 7% in premarket trading after a sales forecast for the communications systems-maker that fell short of the average analyst estimate. Fastly (FSLY US) jumped 11% in premarket after the infrastructure software maker reported quarterly revenue that surpassed the average analyst estimate after misses in the past two quarters. QuinStreet (QNST US) climbs 21% premarket as the online marketing company raises its full year outlook. European stocks popped higher on the open, then drifted off best levels. The Euro Stoxx 50 rose as much as 0.7% with real estate, oil & gas and healthcare the strongest sectors. Alstria Office REIT AG soared as much as 20% after Brookfield Asset Management Inc. made a bid to take it private. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose, headed for their first gain in three days, after the Federal Reserve moved to taper stimulus while saying it will be patient on raising interest rates.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.7%, driven by gains in technology shares including Tencent, Alibaba and Keyence. Japan and China led gains around the region, with stocks also climbing in Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong. The Fed indicated it was alert to inflation risks but still sees them as transitory due to pandemic-related supply and demand imbalances. The S&P 500 climbed to a fresh record high after the Fed comments, pushing its gain for 2021 to 24%, while the Asian benchmark is little changed on the year. “The Fed seems to create market expectations that the decoupling of asset purchases reduction and rate hikes remains intact,” said Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Corp. “Widening negative real interest rates also provide continued support to Asian equities.” Markets in Singapore, India and Malaysia are closed for holidays In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% to close at 7,428.00, boosted by banks, real estate and technology shares. Eight of the 11 industry groups closed higher. Nib rose after the insurance provider reported premium revenue A$669.5 million, up 8.5% year on year. Domino’s Pizza plunged after the pizza chain operator outlined some inflationary risks for 2022 and flagged weaker sales in Japan. Australia’s bright trade picture was underpinned by strong commodities exports. September trade data revealed the surplus narrowing to A$12.2 billion, after an estimated A$12.4 billion. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.4% to 12,943.94 In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index recovered Wednesday’s drop and advanced 0.3% versus all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen amid speculation that a buoyant U.S. economy will support the currency. The Bloomberg Dollar index erased its losses this week, staying within a bullish technical range it has traded in since June. The Treasury curve bull-flattened with U.S. 10-year Treasury yields falling 3bps to 1.57%. “Dollar-yen looks to be finding some support” as it seems reasonable to expect Treasury yields to trend higher, said Sean Callow, senior currency strategist at Westpac. The Fed “may not be moving any more swiftly than expected to the exit from emergency levels of policy accommodation, but it is still exiting,” Ryan Wang, a U.S. economist at HSBC Holdings Plc, wrote in a note. “This should be enough to support the dollar against a number of currencies where central-bank guidance is more overtly dovish. The continued moderation in global activity is also likely to support the USD.” The euro fell to its weakest level this week and was the worst performer among G-10 currencies; European bond yields fell, led by the short end. The pound fell against a stronger dollar and gained against the euro as investors weighed up the Bank of England’s upcoming monetary policy announcement. The pound’s volatility skew versus the dollar has shifted modestly higher this week ahead of the Bank of England policy decision, yet remains deeply in favor of downside exposure. Norway’s krone extended losses against both the dollar and the euro, even as Norges Bank left its key rate unchanged at 0.25% as expected while reitirating that the policy rate will most likely be raised in December. In rates, curves flattened as 5-, 10- and 30-year bond yields fell at least two basis points each on Thursday, while the two-year rate was little changed. Treasuries were higher with the curve flatter, erasing a portion of Wednesday’s post-FOMC bear-steepening losses. The 10-year yield was richer by ~3bp at 1.57%, outperforming bunds by ~2bp, gilts by ~1bp; Bank of England rate decision priced into overnight swaps is a hike, while analysts favor no change. Treasuries outperformed European bond markets, with stock futures holding Wednesday’s record highs. Bank of England rate decision at 8am ET may deliver first increase since the pandemic. U.S. curves were flatter, unwinding some of Wednesday’s steepening, with 2s10s tighter by ~2bp. In commodities, crude futures rally, recouping over half of Wednesday’s losses. WTI rises 0.9% to regain a $81-handle, Brent adds over 1% before stalling near $83 ahead of OPEC+ gathering. Spot gold holds Asia’s narrow range near $1,775/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME copper and nickel are the best performers; tin and zinc are in the red. Looking at the day ahead now, and the highlight will be the aforementioned BoE meeting, while there’ll also be remarks from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s de Cos, Elderson and Schnabel, and BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. On the data side, releases include German factory orders for September, the Euro Area October services and composite PMIs and September PPI reading, whilst from the US there’s the September trade balance and the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting to discuss output, and earnings releases today include Moderna, Square, Airbnb, Uber, Duke Energy and Regeneron. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 4,659.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 483.53 MXAP up 0.6% to 199.02 MXAPJ up 0.4% to 647.67 Nikkei up 0.9% to 29,794.37 Topix up 1.2% to 2,055.56 Hang Seng Index up 0.8% to 25,225.19 Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,526.87 Sensex down 0.4% to 59,771.92 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 7,427.99 Kospi up 0.3% to 2,983.22 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.18% Euro down 0.5% to $1.1551 Brent Futures up 0.8% to $82.57/bbl Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,776.28 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.37% to 94.21 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The Bank of England will decide Thursday whether to deliver its first interest-rate hike since the pandemic as a divided Monetary Policy Committee grapples with spiking inflation and slowing growth The U.S. is asking OPEC+ to increase output by as much as 800,000 barrels a day, said delegates and diplomats, but the organization is expected to stick to its planned gradual increase, according to a Bloomberg survey Investors are hoping the Federal Reserve can manage the path toward rate hikes as smoothly as its taper announcement, according to strategists, who are cautiously optimistic the coming months will see moderate advances for yields, the dollar and equities. Friday’s labor report is seen as the next flash point for markets, given rates traders remain relatively aggressive about the need for Chair Jerome Powell to avoid being overly patient about hiking borrowing costs Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida helped further shore up the nation’s commitment to its 2% inflation goal and tamp down any lingering speculation of a rethink of the target or tapering plans Having abandoned its experimental bond-yield target two days ago, the Reserve Bank of Australia is now left with the trusty old tools of policy making -- facing traders who still reckon it’s behind the curve Here is a more detailed breakdown of global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded higher amid tailwinds from the fresh record highs stateside in the aftermath of the FOMC where the Fed announced it is to begin tapering asset purchases but suggested it was in no rush to hike rates. ASX 200 (+0.5%) was kept afloat by advances in tech and financials but with gains in the index capped after weak Retail Sales data and rising COVID-19 cases for Australia’s most populous states, while the energy sector underperformed after oil prices tumbled 4.5% yesterday due to bearish inventory data and the announcement that Iran nuclear talks will resume on November 29th in Vienna. Nikkei 225 (+0.9%) was buoyed on return from holiday as it coat-tailed on the recent advances in USD/JPY and with Japan mulling easing border controls as soon as next Monday, with Toyota also holding on to gains after a jump in H1 profits and JPY 150bln buyback announcement, although the Nikkei finished well off intraday highs after stalling on approach to the 30k level. Hang Seng (+0.8%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.8%) conformed to the broad upbeat mood but was slow to start after another substantial liquidity drain by the PBoC despite the suggestion by Chinese press that recent reverse repo action showed stabilisation efforts. In addition, COVID-19 concerns continued to linger with Beijing having suspended inbound trains from 23 regions to curb the spread of the virus, while there was also attention on the geopolitical front after the US Department of Defense warned that China’s nuclear stockpile is outpacing forecasts and with China conducting week-long live-fire drills in the East China Sea. Finally, 10yr JGBs were steady with only a slight pullback seen from yesterday’s advances and with prices largely ignoring the subdued picture in T-notes which were pressured heading into the Fed taper announcement, while JGBs were also kept afloat after the 10yr inflation-indexed auction from Japan which showed an increase in both the b/c and lowest accepted prices. Top Asian News From Pianos to Paint, the Chip Crunch Is Hurting Japan Earnings Toyota’s Swelling Profits Belie Global Auto Parts Shortages EU Lawmakers’ Call for High Level Taiwan Ties Defies China Shimao Halts Retail Investors’ Bids for Local Bonds After Plunge Stocks in Europe hold onto the positive bias (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%; Stoxx 600 +0.5%) - which originally emanated from the post-FOMC Wall Street session and later reverberated across APAC. US equity futures have been consolidating following yesterdays post-Powell ramp, with the NQ (+0.4%) outperforming the RTY (+0.2%), ES (+0.1%) and YM (Unch). Back to Europe, bourses are posting broad-based gains in what was a morning doused in European corporate updates, whilst the UK’s FTSE 100 (+0.4%) is on standby for the BoE policy decision (full preview available in the Newsquawk Research Suite). Sectors in Europe are mostly firmer with no real overarching bias. Oil & Gas lead the gains following yesterday’s underperformance and in the run-up to the JMMC/OPEC+ meetings later today. Healthcare meanwhile is boosted by pharma-behemoths Roche (+2.5%) and Novartis (+1.6%) after the firms agreed on a bilateral transaction for the sale of 53.3mln (approximately 33%) Roche bearer shares held by Novartis for a total consideration of USD 20.7bln. This in turn has pushed the SMI (+0.8%) to modestly outperform the region. The Telecoms sector is also buoyed by BT (+5.7%) amid constructive earnings, but gains for the sector are capped Telefonica (-1.6%), who hold a larger sector weighting, following their metrics. The morning has been busy in terms of bank earnings, although the sector is constrained by yield dynamics. Nonetheless, SocGen (+3.3%), ING (+1.1%), Commerzbank (+5.2%) and Credit Suisse (+0.7%) all reported today – with the latter also announcing the exit of its prime brokerage activities and will be shifting its focus on to its wealth management business in a bid to better manage risks. Over to the consumer sector, Sainsbury’s (-4.3%) trundles lower after flagging complications from supply chain issues. Finally, in terms of M&A, Alstria Office (+17.5%) soars after Brookfield offered to buy the Co. for EUR 19.50/shr in cash, a premium to yesterday’s EUR 16.62/shr closing price. Top European News Brookfield Enters German Real Estate Fray With Bid for Alstria Credit Suisse Flags Loss Next Quarter to Cap Year to Forget Novartis Unwinds Roche Ties With $20.7 Billion Stake Sale Aston Martin Counts on $3 Million Valkyrie as SUV Drives Rebound In FX, the Dollar has erased all and more of its initial or knee-jerk declines in wake of the FOMC policy meeting that confirmed the start of QE tapering in a few days' time at the pre-announced pace, but kept clear distance between the unwinding of asset purchase and rate lift-off. However, there was a subtle tweak to the language regarding inflation to indicate less of a transitory assessment and Fed chair Powell refrained from using the ‘t’ word in his press conference before responding to a question by saying that it is also used to convey the view that prices rises caused by bottlenecks and supply-demand imbalances will not leave a legacy of persistently higher inflation. In index terms, a marginally higher peak at 94.280 vs 94.217 at best on Wednesday follows a fractionally higher low of 93.818 vs 93.809 and brings Monday’s w-t-d apex (94.313) back into contention ahead of Challenger Lay-offs, jobless claims, trade data and Q3 labour costs that were highlighted by Powell as a key gauge of tightness in the labour market, which he expected to reach max employment levels by mid-2022. EUR - Mixed Eurozone services and composite PMIs have not afforded the Euro any protection from the aforementioned Greenback revival, while the yield backdrop is also weighing as EGB/UST spreads widen, but Eur/Usd might glean some support from option expiries as 1.1 bn resides at 1.1550 and 1.1525. Moreover, the headline pair has found underlying bids around the half round number and a recent trough comes in at 1.1535 (October 29) ahead of the double 2021 low of 1.1525. GBP - Sterling is also succumbing to the broad Buck bounce, but also treading cautiously into the BoE amidst a marked unwind of rate hike pricing via Short Sterling contracts alongside a recovery in UK debt. Cable is hovering around 1.3620 having pulled up just shy of 1.3700 and options are anticipating an 80 pip break-even for the live MPC event that is far from certain even though ‘markets’ are anticipating a 15 bp hike. Note also, implied volatility on the Eur/Gbp straddle suggests a 43 pip move either way, though the cross may also be prone to movement from the current 0.8491-65 range pending developments in France where Brexit Minister Frost is aiming to untangle crossed lines over fishing licences. NZD/AUD/CAD - The Kiwi, Aussie and Loonie are all weaker vs their US counterpart, with Nzd/Usd and Aud/Usd hovering in the low 0.7100s and 0.7400s respectively, and the latter not far off post-RBA reversal lows after downbeat Q3 retail sales and exports within the overall trade balance overnight. Meanwhile, only a tame rebound in crude prices appears to be capping Usd/Cad around a 1.2400 axis in advance of Canadian trade and the jobs face-off with the US on Friday. CHF/JPY - Relative outperformers, or at least holding up better than other majors in the face of the Dollar rebound, as the Franc meanders between 0.9144-11 irrespective of a deterioration in Swiss consumer sentiment and the Yen contains losses below 114.00 on the return of Japanese markets from Culture Day to a benign bond backdrop overall. Note, hefty option expiry interest may keep Usd/Jpy restrained as 2.1 bn sits at the round number and a further 1.8 bn at 114.30. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures have firmer on the day as the benchmarks clamber off yesterday’s worst levels despite the rampant Dollar and in the run-up to the JMMC and OPEC+ meetings slated for 13:00GMT and 14:00GMT respectively (full preview available in the Newsquawk Research Suite). Markets expect a continuation of the current plan to ease output curbs by 400k BPD/m. Outside calls have been getting louder for the producers to open the taps more than planned amid inflationary feed-through to consumers and company margins, although ministers, including de-facto heads Saudi and Russia, have been putting weight behind current plans, with no pushback seen from members within OPEC+ thus far. Furthermore, the COVID situation in China is deteriorating, hence ministers will likely express a cautious approach. However, the US is asking OPEC+ to increase supply by 600-800k BPD, according to delegates. Note some journalists noted that there are three options the US has offered OPEC+, 1) a 600k BPD hike, 2) an 800k BPD hike and 3) 100% compliance on a 400k BPD hike. Nonetheless, sources suggested OPEC+ is likely to stick to plans to raise output by 400k BPD despite calls from the US for extra supply; adding that the US has plenty of capacity to raise output itself. The US-OPEC+ dynamics will be worth keeping on the radar following this meeting. As a reminder, the US threatened the release of its SPR whilst also refusing to rule out oil export bans – suggesting that all tools are being looked at in a bid to lower prices. It’s also worth being cognizant of the knock-on effect the OPEC+ decision will have on Iranian nuclear talks – scheduled to resume on November 29th – with higher oil prices and a lack of OPEC+ coordination, possibly providing more incentives for the US to offer more concessions. WTI Dec takes aim at USD 82/bbl (vs 79.74/bbl low) at the time of writing whilst Brent Jan extends above USD 83/bbl (vs 81.07/bbl low). Metals markets are less interesting this morning, spot gold and silver are consolidating and trade relatively flat, with the former around USD 1,775/oz and the latter just north of USD 23.50/oz. Meanwhile, LME copper is modestly firmer but trades on either side of USD 9,500/t. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Oct. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 275,000, prior 281,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.15m, prior 2.24m 8:30am: 3Q Unit Labor Costs, est. 7.0%, prior 1.3%; Nonfarm Productivity, est. -3.1%, prior 2.1% 8:30am: Sept. Trade Balance, est. -$80.2b, prior -$73.3b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap This morning I’m actually going to put a suit on for the first time in nearly 20 months. In a way I’ll be upset if it fits me as I’ve been doing my Bryson DeChambeau weights routine for much of this time between pockets of injuries and surgery. However, I suspect 30-40mins 3 or 4 times a week won’t leave my suit too vulnerable to an “Incredible Hulk” moment when I put it on. There was no dramatic Hulk-like metamorphosis from the Fed last night as they kept close to expectations and delivered the $15/bn a month taper that our US econ team and consensus expected (Their full review is here). They pre-announced the purchase pace for November and December, whilst remarking that a similar pace would likely prevail so long as the economy evolves as expected. The Fed maintained the pace of taper would change in step with any changes to the outlook. The statement slightly tweaked the characterisation of inflation, noting that it was expected to be transitory. Chair Powell explained this in the press conference, maintaining the institutional view that elevated inflation was not expected to remain persistent and would return to the Fed’s long-term goal as supply bottlenecks abated and Covid-19 moved to the rear-view mirror. He also admitted the change reflected the reality that inflation has been much higher than they had expected, and recognised the burdens that it created for everyday consumers. The press conference spent a lot of time focusing on the dichotomy between high near-term inflation and the Committee’s assessment of full employment, as the market moves to pricing when lift-off will take place. The Chair noted the Committee will need to be flexible when judging what constitutes full employment, as it is a moving target and has moved since before the pandemic. A key point he returned to multiple times is the Committee would need to judge how the labour market evolves once the Delta variant is well and truly behind us. While stressing patience in evaluating these incoming data, he maintained optionality by also noting the Fed would stand ready to raise rates if inflation were threating to move persistently above the Fed’s goal. This risk management consideration is why they’re maintaining flexibility over the pace of taper. STIR markets were still pricing lift-off to take place sometime in 3Q 2022, and for there to be 2 hikes next year, unchanged from before the meeting. Equities were mostly flat on the day before the announcement but progressively climbed higher during and after the presser, with the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and DJIA finishing the day +0.65%, +1.04%, and +0.29% higher, respectively. 2yr yields increased +1.8bps on the day but closed roughly where they were pre-announcement. 10yr yields were +5.3bps higher on the day though with around +4bps added post FOMC and around +9bps from the early lows when fixed income was rallying across the globe. Elsewhere, 10yr breakevens were wider, increasing +3.6bps to 2.56%. Meanwhile, ECB President Lagarde sounded in no hurry to follow the BoE (preview immediate below for today) and the Fed on rate hikes. In a speech yesterday, she said that their three conditions for raising rates “are very unlikely to be satisfied next year”, as “the outlook for inflation over the medium term remains subdued” in spite of the recent surge in inflation. She re-emphasised the point in an interview almost verbatim later in the day while the Fed presser was ongoing, stating a 2022 hike was very unlikely, offering more forceful pushback of market pricing than she opted for during last week’s Governing Council meeting. Central banks will remain in the spotlight again today thanks to the BoE’s policy decision, which is out at 12:00 London time. Our UK economists are expecting that they’ll deliver their first post-pandemic rate hike of 15bps, taking the Bank Rate up to 0.25%, as well as end their current QE program. Similarly to the US, this comes amidst inflation readings that have persistently surprised to the upside over recent months, with CPI at +3.1% in September, and our economists write that they see the BoE’s forecasts being upgraded to show peak CPI nearer to 5%, remaining above target for nearly all of next year, which is broadly in line with recent comments from Chief Economist Pill in a recent FT interview. For more details see their preview (link here). Against this backdrop of central bank action, we had some solid economic data out of the US yesterday that further supported risk appetite. First, there was the ISM services index for October, which rose to a record high of 66.7 (vs. 62.0 expected), so a very promising sign at the start of Q4, even if the prices paid measure rose to 82.9, which was the highest since 2005. Before that we also had the ADP’s report of private payrolls for October, which showed an increase of +571k (vs. +400k expected), which is the strongest growth since June. That comes ahead of tomorrow’s US jobs report, where our economists are looking for growth of +400k in the headline nonfarm payrolls number, with the unemployment rate ticking down to 4.7%. I’ve been trying to get my mantra of the US more likely travelling down a “growthflation” path (over “stagflation”) into the vernacular. However, I think I’ll need a better term if I want it to rival say “BRICs”! That backdrop of positive data supported European markets ahead of the Fed, where the STOXX 600 advanced +0.35% to hit another all-time high. Sovereign bonds advanced too, with yields on 10yr bunds (-0.3bps), OATs (-0.8bps) and BTPs (-2.4bps) all moving lower, though gilts (+3.6bps) were the exception ahead of the BoE later. The strong data also lifted us off the yield lows of the day as we started with a big bond rally. We also saw some significant movements in energy prices, with European natural gas futures surging back +13.23% yesterday amidst a recent decline in fuel shipments from Russia, whilst both Brent crude (-3.22%) and WTI (-3.63%) oil prices saw a major pullback ahead of today’s OPEC+ meeting. In Asia, most major indices are trading higher this morning, including the Nikkei 225 (+0.74%), the KOSPI (+0.30%), the Hang Seng (+0.27%) and the Shanghai Composite (+0.64%), amid gains in US equities yesterday. S&P 500 futures (+0.01%) are almost unchanged, while the 10y US Treasury is at 1.60% (-0.5bps). Meanwhile on the political scene, the US Democrats were reacting to a bad set of results in Tuesday’s election, after the Republicans won the Virginia governor’s race. However, the New Jersey governor’s race was won by Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy 50.2% vs 49%, but came in much closer than the polls had suggested before the election. Gov. Murphy is the first Democrat to win re-election as governor in the state since 1977. Overall though, since President Biden won those two states in 2020 by 10pts and 16pts, respectively, the results have obviously come as a shock to many Democrats. The situation has strong echoes of 2009, a year after President Obama’s election when the Democrats also had control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, when they were trying to push through Obamacare. That round of elections saw the Republicans win the gubernatorial elections in both Virginia and New Jersey (following Democratic victories on the previous occasion), before the Republicans went onto make sizeable gains in the 2010 midterm elections the following year. There’s still just over a year until President Biden’s first set of midterm elections, but the Democrats will be hoping this doesn’t presage a repeat of those 2010 losses. Lastly on the data front, US factory orders grew by +0.2% in September (vs. +0.1% expected). Separately, the UK’s composite PMI was revised up a point from the flash reading to 57.8, and the US composite PMI was also revised up three-tenths to 57.6. To the day ahead now, and the highlight will be the aforementioned BoE meeting, while there’ll also be remarks from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s de Cos, Elderson and Schnabel, and BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. On the data side, releases include German factory orders for September, the Euro Area October services and composite PMIs and September PPI reading, whilst from the US there’s the September trade balance and the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting to discuss output, and earnings releases today include Moderna, Square, Airbnb, Uber, Duke Energy and Regeneron. Tyler Durden Thu, 11/04/2021 - 07:53.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 4th, 2021

Gabriel Grego’s Short Report On Cassava Sciences

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing Gabriel Grego’s short report on Cassava Sciences Inc (NASDAQ:SAVA); retail sales rise, showing strong consumer demand, higher inflation; China’s economy rests on three shaky legs; Pivot podcast by Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway; his Zoom call on The Art of Playing Defense. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and […] Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing Gabriel Grego’s short report on Cassava Sciences Inc (NASDAQ:SAVA); retail sales rise, showing strong consumer demand, higher inflation; China’s economy rests on three shaky legs; Pivot podcast by Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway; his Zoom call on The Art of Playing Defense. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Gabriel Grego's Short Report On Cassava Sciences 1) My friend and former student Gabriel Grego of Quintessential Capital Management just released a short report on Cassava Sciences (SAVA). The biotech company has a $2.3 billion market cap despite no revenue based on bullish expectations for its sole drug, Simufilam, which it claims will help treat Alzheimer's disease. Gabriel's report, which you can read here, documents the shady backgrounds of many people associated with the company and concludes that there's no chance that Simufilam will ever be approved by the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"). Here's an excerpt: Simufilam, Cassava's only prospective drug, appears based on allegedly forged scientific research. Phase II trials have been conducted with numerous and serious irregularities, which appear to have allowed management to deceive investors about the effectiveness of the drug. In our opinion, Simufilam is a worthless compound, and any touted benefit is likely the result of a combination of forgery, "cherry picking" of patients, and statistical manipulation of data, of which we have plenty of disturbing evidence. This alleged exercise in deception has taken place with the involvement of an astounding number of questionable characters: Cassava's former Senior Clinical Research Associate is a convicted felon with a record in fraud and theft. Cassava's prominent clinical research site (whose CEO is coauthor of critical research on Simufilam), IMIC Inc., is co-owned by a former escort, stripper, and crack addict with a criminal record for consumption and possession of cocaine. IMIC's Principal Investigator has been hit with a rare and ominous FDA warning letter during recent trials. Cassava's CEO and CMO have been caught making allegedly fraudulent statements about Simufilam's predecessor Remoxy, which duly failed, devastating shareholders. Cassava's recent board addition, Richard Barry, has been involved with multiple frauds. I'm not a biotech expert (to say the least) and haven't independently verified Gabriel's work, but knowing him and his track record, I have no doubt that his report is correct – which is bad news for this high-flying stock and its huge market cap... Retail Sales Rise 2) Following up on yesterday's e-mail about the white-hot economy, check out this extraordinary chart in this Wall Street Journal article: Retail Sales Rise, Showing Strong Consumer Demand, Higher Inflation. Spending on U.S. retail and food service hasn't just recovered but is nearly 15% above the trend line: China's Economy Rests On Three Shaky Legs 3) I'm not a China expert by any stretch of the imagination – and never will be – but I've read a bit about the country's history and try to follow current events there for two reasons: First, China fascinates me. It has a rich history and, in particular, its economic rise in recent decades, in which it's pulled over a billion people out of poverty, is simply unprecedented. Second, as I wrote in my October 11 e-mail, two possible triggers for a stock market crash are us getting into a shooting war with China (likely over Taiwan) and a crash of China's economy. I occasionally send articles related to China to my China e-mail list (if you wish to join it, simply send a blank e-mail to: china-subscribe@mailer.kasecapital.com). Here are two recent ones... From the Wall Street Journal: China's Economy Rests on Three Shaky Legs. Excerpt: China's economy has been taking it from all sides: power outages, the property debt fiasco, snarled shipping lanes, and, a bit further back, a brief but damaging Delta variant outbreak. Sharply weaker growth last quarter at 4.9% from a year earlier was expected. And given how modest countercyclical support has been so far, next quarter will almost certainly be worse. What happens in 2022 remains uncertain but appears to depend primarily on three things: how fast Beijing dials back its squeeze on the property sector, whether consumers finally perk up again, and whether exporters can hang on to recent market-share gains. Power outages remain a drag, but efforts to restart shuttered coal mines and raise power prices will help significantly. And another from the New York Times: In China, Home Buyers Who Went All In Say They Want Out. Excerpt: The real estate boom that once attracted young professionals like Mr. He is experiencing a dramatic overhaul. At one point, buying was so frenzied that properties would sell out within minutes of being offered. Speculation sent prices soaring. Real estate grew to provide more than a quarter of the country's economic growth by some estimates, with homes becoming the main savings vehicle for Chinese families. Nearly three-quarters of household wealth in China is now tied to property. The loss of confidence in the market could spill over to lower sales of cars and appliances, further hurting the economy. Already, weak retail sales in China have signaled that consumers are feeling increasingly insecure. As more buyers shy away from home sales, experts say Beijing's decision to intervene in the market and curb debt may risk overall growth. Even as prominent investors question whether the collapse of Chinese property developer Evergrande could lead to China's so-called Lehman moment, referring to the investment bank that triggered the 2008 global financial crisis, Beijing has been largely silent, having vowed to no longer rescue companies once considered too big to fail. Many local officials have been left on their own to respond to the growing frustration. When massive real estate bubbles burst, the fallout can be devastating and long-lasting – witness the U.S. in 2008 and several years afterward and Japan since 1990 (for more on the latter, see: The Lost Decade: Lessons From Japan's Real Estate Crisis). That said, I think there's only, say, a 20% chance that China will experience a similar meltdown that could roil world markets. Pivot Podcast By Kara Swisher And Scott Galloway 4) I'm really enjoying a new podcast called Pivot, hosted by two of my favorite commentators on the tech sector, New York Times columnist Kara Swisher and New York University marketing professor Scott Galloway. I especially recommend listening to "Land of the Giants: This Changes Everything," about Apple's (AAPL) remarkable history, and the latest episode, in which they: a) Heaped scorn on Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg renaming the company Meta. b) Praised Bobby Kotick, the CEO of video game maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI), which was sued by California's civil rights agency for fostering a "frat boy" culture, for his recent letter to his employees in which he asked the company's board of directors to reduce his salary to $62,500 and not award him any compensation or bonuses on top of his basic salary "until the Board has determined that we have achieved the transformational gender-related goals and other commitments." c) Interviewed professor Aswath Damodaran, a fascinating guy who teaches corporate finance and valuation at the Stern School of Business at New York University. Zoom Call On The Art Of Playing Defense 5) I was delighted to send more than 30 of my readers a free PDF of my recent book, The Art of Playing Defense, after they sent me copies of their recent COVID-19 vaccination or booster shots. I'll keep this offer open for at least another week, so please keep e-mailing me at WTDfeedback@empirefinancialresearch.com! Speaking of my book, I did an 82-minutes Zoom (ZM) call with an Israeli friend and his colleagues about it recently, which he posted on YouTube here if you'd like to watch it. Best regards, Whitney P.S. I welcome your feedback at WTDfeedback@empirefinancialresearch.com. Updated on Nov 3, 2021, 12:17 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 3rd, 2021

"The Fire Is Hot": Why Morgan Stanley Is Bracing For A Collapse In The US Consumer Early Next Year

"The Fire Is Hot": Why Morgan Stanley Is Bracing For A Collapse In The US Consumer Early Next Year By Michael Wilson, chief equity strategist at Morgan Stanley Trick or Treat, or Both? Over the past few weeks, I have been highlighting the increasing probability of a colder winter but a later start than previously expected. In other words, our 'fire and ice' narrative remains intact, but timing of ice has been pushed out (see ""Our Fire And Ice Narrative Remains Intact": Why Wall Street's Most Bearish Analyst Simply Refuses To Capitulate"). Having said that, with inflation running hot in both consumer and corporate channels, the Fed is expected to formally announce its tapering schedule at this week's meeting, with perhaps a more hawkish tone to convince markets that it isn’t falling too far behind the curve. So, the fire segment (higher rates driven by a less accommodative Fed spurring multiple compression) is clearly under way and has been a focus for investors since the Fed started prepping the markets at Jackson Hole. With rising inflation now getting so much attention from both investors and the Fed, we shift our focus to the ice segment – i.e., the ongoing macro growth slowdown – and when we can expect it to bottom and reverse course. As regular readers know, we have been expecting a material slowdown in both economic and earnings growth amid a mid-cycle transition. The good news is that so does consensus, with 3Q economic growth forecasts having come down sharply before last week's disappointing outcome. While its estimates of 4Q GDP have also declined, the consensus expects growth to reaccelerate sharply from here. Most have blamed the Delta variant, China's crackdown on real estate or supply shortages for the economic disappointment in 3Q, with the assumption that all three will get better as we move into year-end and 2022. Needless to say, we’re not as sure about that assumption, mainly because we think the more important driver of the slowdown has been a mid-cycle transition from an extreme post-recession peak, an adjustment that is not yet finished. In our view, it would be intellectually inconsistent to think that the mid-cycle transition slowdown won't be worse than normal, given the greater-than-normal amplitude of this entire economic cycle so far. We can’t help but recall our position over a year ago, when we argued for much faster earnings growth than the consensus. We argued then that the record fiscal stimulus would effectively serve as a government subsidy for corporations to over-earn. Today, we find ourselves on the direct opposite side of consensus again, but for the same reasons. Since we believe consensus failed to see that logic last year, it seems plausible it could now be missing the corollary. In short, we think the earnings growth slowdown will be worse and last longer than expected as the payback in demand arrives early next year with a sharp year-over-year decline in personal disposable income. While many have argued that the large increase in personal savings will keep consumption well above trend, it looks to us as if personal savings have already been depleted to pre-COVID-19 levels. Granted, the run-up in stock, real estate and crypto asset prices does provide an additional buffer to savings, but much of that wealth is concentrated in the upper quartile of the population. At the lower end of the income spectrum, consumer confidence has fallen sharply the past few months and it’s not just due to the Delta variant. Instead, surveys suggest that many lower-income consumers are worried about their finances again with inflation increasing at double-digit rates in necessities like food, energy, shelter and healthcare – i.e, the fire is hot. Bottom line, the fundamental picture for stocks is deteriorating as the Fed starts to tighten monetary policy and earnings growth slows further into next year, turning outright negative for some companies. However, asset prices are continuing to rise as retail investors keep plowing excess cash into these same investments. Meanwhile, with strong seasonal trends and pressure to perform high at this time of year, many institutional investors we speak with are staying fully invested for these technical reasons. If our analysis is correct, we think that this bullish trend can continue into Thanksgiving, but not much longer. Enjoy the treat for now, but beware the trick, and manage your risk accordingly. Tyler Durden Sun, 10/31/2021 - 15:10.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 31st, 2021

Edible Oil Prices Hit Record High As Food Inflation Treat Soars 

Edible Oil Prices Hit Record High As Food Inflation Treat Soars  Prices of edible oils have been rising across the world. Palm oil, the world's most consumed vegetable oil, surged to a new record high, spreading concerns about persistent global food inflation.  Malaysia's palm oil futures soared more than 40% this year, while soybean oil is up more than 50%. Prices of canola oil are also at a record.   Bloomberg notes the reason for the price surge is "because of the emergence of pent-up demand as economies reopen after COVID, the outlook for more use in renewable fuels as energy prices soar and production problems in major growers."  "Palm oil is not only riding on tight supply, which continues to sustain higher prices, but is also getting broader external support from energy markets," said Sathia Varqa, owner of Palm Oil Analytics in Singapore.  Production of palm oil in Malaysia has fallen this year because of a foreign worker freeze, exacerbating the country's labor shortages. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board reported that production in the first nine months of the year was the weakest since 2017.  "There are no stopping prices from going higher" until policies are implemented that are likely to cool the commodity market, such as higher interest rates," Varqa said. This means that the weight of vegetable oils in the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization's FAO Food Price Index will continue to pressure global food prices higher. Last month, the index hit a new decade high, which includes a basket of food commodities (such as cereals, vegetable oils, dairy, meat, and sugar).  Global food prices surging to decades high is no laughing matter but an ominous sign for emerging market economies where households allocate more of their budgets to food. Rising food prices can cause discontent with governments and spark social unrest. SocGen's Albert Edwards first warned about this right before the pandemic began.  Tyler Durden Sun, 10/24/2021 - 08:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 24th, 2021

Elizabeth Warren Is So Very Wrong About Inflation

Elizabeth Warren Is So Very Wrong About Inflation Authored by William Anderson via The Mises Institute, Almost anyone who follows social media is familiar with the latest tweets by Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has pronounced her verdict on higher food and gasoline prices: they are nothing less than the result of corporate greed. In fact, according to Warren, there is no inflation, only corporations arbitrarily raising prices in their relentless pursuit of … profits. In a November 21 interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid, Warren declared (later placed on Twitter): Prices have gone up. Why? Because giant oil companies like Chevon and ExxonMobil enjoy doubling their profits. This isn’t about inflation. This is about price gouging for these guys and we need to call them out. Three days later, she outdid herself, declaring: Wondering why your Thanksgiving groceries cost more this year? It’s because greedy corporations are charging Americans extra just to keep their stock prices high. This is outrageous. To those familiar with Warren and her previous economic pronouncements, none of this is surprising. A decade ago, she declared that entrepreneurial successes are due to the government, not any decisions that entrepreneurs might have made, and her record in the US Senate speaks volumes to her economic illiteracy. That she should claim that all businesses have to do to increase profits is to raise prices is proof to her intellectual bankruptcy. Despite the title, however, this article is not about Elizabeth Warren’s economic viewpoints. However, in her declaration that no doubt plays well with progressives, she makes a specific claim: firms that wish to increase their profits and stock values simply need to raise the prices of whatever they sell. Warren’s claim raises an obvious question: If higher prices always lead to greater profits, why would any business owner pass up the chance for greater profitability? In fact, if high profits are tied directly to higher prices, then one would expect a cottage industry to spring up of class action law firms suing corporations for lowering their prices, since any firm is free to increase its profits at will. Doing anything less is dereliction of duty to shareholders. Not that I regularly follow Warren’s Twitter decrees, but I doubt seriously that she ever has praised any businesses when they lower their prices (oil companies often lower prices, not to mention technology firms). Since lower prices do not fit into Warren’s progressive narratives, it is doubtful that she even notices when that happens, and if we are to take her latest statements seriously, then we would have to believe that such an event could not happen because no profit-maximizing firm ever would impose losses upon itself when they are fully aware of a profitable alternative strategy. There are a number of fallacies in Warren’s antimarket missives, and I shall examine them from the Austrian viewpoint, specifically using Murray Rothbard’s Man, Economy, and State as the standard. I first look at her view of profits themselves. Like many American progressives, Warren seems to interpret business profits as an extraction of wealth from the community at large. Rothbard wrote about what he called the “altruists” as condemning profits: It is also peculiar that critics generally concentrate their fire on profits (“the profit motive”), and not on other market incomes such as wages. It is difficult to see any sense whatever in moral distinctions between these incomes. Indeed, progressives like Warren see markets in a starkly different way than do Austrians such as Rothbard. To Warren, markets are violent, predatory entities with no more moral standing than the Roman arenas. Rothbard, not surprisingly, differs: [C]ritics overlook the fact that the operation of the free market is vastly different from governmental action. When a government acts, individual critics are powerless to change the result. They can do so only if they can finally convince the rulers that their decision should be changed; this may take a long time or be totally impossible. On the free market, however, there is no final decision imposed by force; everyone is free to shape his own decisions and thereby significantly change the results of “the market.” In short, whoever feels that the market has been too cruel to certain entrepreneurs or to any other income receivers is perfectly free to set up an aid fund for him for depriving his fellowman of needed benefits. For the consistent altruist must face the fact that monetary income on the market reflects services to others, whereas psychic income is a purely personal, or “selfish,” gain. Entrepreneurial profits, Rothbard notes, do not come about because of nefarious behavior on part of the producers, but rather the good judgment successful entrepreneurs make regarding the present price of key factors of production and the predicted value of final products these factors help create. Writes Rothbard: What gave rise to this realized profit, this ex post profit fulfilling the producer’s ex ante expectations? The fact that the factors of production in this process were underpriced and undercapitalized—underpriced in so far as their unit services were bought, undercapitalized in so far as the factors were bought as wholes. One can imagine Warren and other progressives replying: “Maybe that is true in a theoretically competitive market, but oil companies and big food companies are not entrepreneurs, but rather are monopolies that regularly manipulate the market to their advantage. Their markets are not competitive, so they are free to set whatever prices they want and name their own profits.” While accusations of “market manipulation” by rapacious monopolies are common among progressives, identifying such actions of “manipulation” is difficult. The standard accusation is that these companies manage to keep supplies off the market, thus forcing up the prices of goods. The problem, of course, is identifying specific instances and also properly identifying scenarios in which such “manipulation” actually is possible. Take fuel prices, for example. If oil and gas companies were to hold back supplies in order to gain temporary price increases, they quickly would have to release those confiscated supplies back into the market (forcing down prices), as there are no secret storage areas that these companies possess that would enable them to set aside the massive quantities of fuel needed to accomplish what Warren and other progressives accuse oil and gas firms of doing. The only way fuel companies can make the kinds of windfall profits that Warren claims they are making is for them to experience either unanticipated surges in demand that overwhelm current supplies or for there to be external events that threaten future supplies and quickly increase the value of those present supplies. As I recently pointed out, the Joe Biden administration is attempting to cripple the oil and gas industries in the future in pursuit of its ill-advised green agenda, and one of the obvious effects of throwing down regulatory roadblocks and dangling criminal charges against fuel company executives for allegedly warming the earth is to ensure that future fuel supplies will be diminished. The upshot of such actions will be to force up the current prices of fuels. As I wrote in that article: While some have called this “regulatory overreach,” there is nothing surprising or shocking about this. The Biden administration response to anything it can tie to “climate change” is going to be heavy-handed and expansive, especially since regulators now believe they have been near-divinely appointed to bring better weather to planet Earth. The Biden administration’s actions have the effect of forcing up present prices because buyers know that the government’s attempts to cripple these industries will mean severely diminished supplies in the future. Such actions cause the value of current inventories to increase, which in the short term will boost industry profits. Since Warren openly supports the Green New Deal and other such measures, she is partly to blame for higher fuel prices even if she refused to admit she is part of the problem. To further emphasize this point, I use Rothbard’s examples to compare the government’s attempts to reduce production of oil and gas with the actions of coffee firms in Latin America to burn part of the year’s harvest to enjoy higher present prices. He writes: But is not monopolizing action a restriction of production, and is not this restriction a demonstrably antisocial act? Let us first take what would seem to be the worst possible case of such action: the actual destruction of part of a product by a cartel. This is done to take advantage of an inelastic demand curve and to raise the price to gain a greater monetary income for the whole group. We can visualize, for example, the case of a coffee cartel burning great quantities of coffee. In the first place, such actions will surely occur very seldom. Actual destruction of its product is clearly a highly wasteful act, even for the cartel; it is obvious that the factors of production which the growers had expended in producing the coffee have been spent in vain. Clearly, the production of the total quantity of coffee itself has proved to be an error, and the burning of coffee is only the aftermath and reflection of the error. Yet, because of the uncertainty of the future, errors are often made. Man could labor and invest for years in the production of a good which, it may turn out, consumers hardly want at all. If, for example, consumers’ tastes had changed so that coffee would not be demanded by anyone, regardless of price, it would again have to be destroyed, with or without a cartel. In the case of fuels, the oil and gas companies are not destroying present supplies or even hiding them in imaginary vaults. Instead, we have a government that does what it can to ensure that future supplies of these fuels will be less available and that firms are on notice that this particular president believes those companies should not even exist. And yet Warren and her colleagues are shocked, SHOCKED, that government-directed reduction of oil and gas supplies means higher present prices for consumers. Furthermore, contra Warren, we should expect fuel and commodity prices to rise substantially during periods of deliberate government monetary debasement (better known as inflation), as commodities historically have had wider price swings during periods of inflation and deflation and are very sensitive to changes in the value of the dollar. The markets for commodities like oil and crops are some of the most competitive markets to be found anywhere. Unfortunately, those that are most responsible for this current upswing in fuel and food prices are the same ones pointing blame elsewhere. Jacob Hornberger in his blog has noted that the Biden administration is taking a page from the Jimmy Carter administration more than forty years ago, which blamed higher prices on private enterprise. Hornberger writes: According to an article in the Washington Post, Biden is “considering whether to escalate an attack on parts of corporate America over rising prices…. The administration would amplify criticisms of large firms in heavily concentrated industries for passing higher prices on to consumers as they benefit from high profits” According to the article, “The White House took a step in this direction earlier this week, with Biden urging the Federal Trade Commission to escalate its investigation of anti-competitive behavior in the oil and gas industry, which the president alleged was leading to higher prices for drivers at the pump.” Readers like me who were adults during that time might remember that many in Congress and the media were calling for full nationalization of the oil industry, and that progressives of that era claimed (as they do now) that oil markets were not subject to ordinary laws of economics. That we have seen these things disproven over the past four decades means little to political, media, and academic elites who spew the same economic nonsense as they did in the 1970s. The explanations given by Austrians at that time, such as Murray Rothbard, still hold true today. We are seeing the natural results of massive monetary manipulation that dwarfs anything the Federal Reserve System and its government allies saw in the late 1970s and a new generation of progressives such as Elizabeth Warren are dusting off the old playbook and, with the help of elites of the mainstream media and academe, are spreading the old economic nonsense all the while destroying the fundamentals of a market economy. One likens them to the Bourbons of early nineteenth-century France after they were restored to power after the turmoil of the French Revolution and the Napoleon years. The French statesman Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand wrote of them, “Ils n'ont rien appris, ni rien oublié.” They have learnt nothing, and forgotten nothing. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/03/2021 - 19:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge15 hr. 24 min. ago

Treasury Secretary Yellen admits there"s a labor shortage — and it"s both helping people make more money and screwing up the supply chain

Yellen previously said the end of the pandemic would bring workers back, but data shows millions have gone into business for themselves or retired. Yellen said that although upward pressure on wages are good, they can also trigger further price increases.Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Associated Press Treasury Secretary Yellen said the labor shortage is incentivizing employers to pay workers more.  Since higher wages can trigger price increases, the situation should be monitored, she said. Yellen previously said the end of the pandemic will bring people back but even then workers may not want to return.  Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says that the current labor shortage is forcing employers to pay their workers more — and that's mostly a good thing. "We have labor shortages, and it's beginning to put upward pressure on wages," she said virtually at the Reuters Next conference on Thursday. She said that they're seeing the changes to worker pay already, but that such increases "can take awhile to get into place."That upward pressure on wages is "to some extent good," she said, but it can also trigger further price increases that should be monitored. She offered that wage and price changes would be the variables that determined whether or not the U.S. economy is "overheating." The Treasury Secretary doesn't see cause for concern yet. She doesn't anticipate that wage increases are going to raise inflation more. Currently, inflation in the US is at a 31-year high, making food, energy, cars, and household supplies more expensive for Americans. People of color, rural households, and families without a college graduate have been hurt the worst by these price hikes. The Federal Reserve cannot influence the supply-chain factors responsible for these higher prices, Yellen said. Lowering trade tariffs imposed during the Trump administration would help price pressures, she said, but not significantly. Yellen has previously attributed the labor shortage to the coronavirus, telling CBS News last month that the labor supply will revert to normal after "we really get control of the pandemic." At the time, Yellen pointed out several reasons for the shortage, saying that an "abnormally low" supply of labor, including a shortage of childcare workers and teachers, creates childcare barriers. She also said that people in public-facing jobs would likely have concerns about COVID exposure. People are quitting for other reasons — namely, they're not willing to compromise at work2021 continues to see record numbers of workers quitting. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.4 million Americans, about 3% of workers, voluntarily left their jobs in September. That's up from 4.3 million in August and 4 million in July. These are the largest mass resignations the US has seen in the two decades since the government started documenting them.To describe this phenomenon, Texas A&M psychologist Anthony Klotz coined the term "the Great Resignation" in May. Marty Walsh, President Biden's Labor Secretary, echoed Yellen in attributing the job shortage to logistical concerns of the pandemic when speaking with Insider in October. Additionally, however, he suggested that people are simply rethinking their lives outside of work. "I've talked to a lot of businesses that have said some people have just decided to walk away from the industry they're working in, and they're thinking about what's next for them," Walsh said. "So I think that the work-life balance has played a big role in this."Yellen and Walsh's explanations for the labor shortage show that Americans are becoming less willing to compromise — and are starting to take their employment destinies into their own hands. They're doing that, for instance, by starting their own businesses. The number of unincorporated self-employed workers has increased by 500,000 since the beginning of the pandemic, Labor Department data revealed this week. At about 9.44 million workers, that reflects a 6% increase in self-employed people during the pandemic, while current unemployment levels stand at almost 3% less than they were. Entrepreneurs applied to register 4.54 million new businesses from this past January through October, an increase of 56% from the same period in 2019, Census Bureau data shows. That's the largest figure on record, which the Census Bureau has up to 2004. Given those numbers, whether the end of the pandemic means a complete reversal of the labor shortage isn't a sure thing. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2021

Futures Rebound Fizzles On Slowing iPhone Demand, Omicron Fears

Futures Rebound Fizzles On Slowing iPhone Demand, Omicron Fears U.S. index futures regained some ground alongside Asian markets while European stocks slumped to session lows in a delayed response to yesterday's late Omicron-driven US selloff, as markets remained volatile following the biggest two-day plunge in more than a year, spurred by concern about the omicron coronavirus variant and Federal Reserve tightening. Investors await data for unemployment claims, as well as earnings from companies including Dollar General and Kroger. Tech is the weakest sector, dropping in sympathy after Apple warned its suppliers of slowing iPhone demand. Nasdaq futures pared earlier gains of up to 0.8% to trade down 0.1% while S&P futures are only 0.2% higher after rising as much as 0.9%. While the knee-jerk reaction of stock investors may “continue to be to take profits before the end of the year,” there is “plenty of liquidity available to drive stock prices higher as dip-buyers enter the market,” Ed Yardeni wrote in a note. The U.S. economy grew at a modest to moderate pace through mid-November, while price hikes were widespread amid supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book survey Tuesday. Cruise-ship operator Carnival jumped 3.8% in premarket trading, while Pfizer and Moderna fell as the World Health Organization said that existing vaccines will likely protect against severe cases of the variant. Boeing contracts gained 3.4% after a report that the flagship 737 Max aircraft has regained airworthiness approval in China. With lots of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and Fed policy, the size of potential market swings is still considerable.  Here are some other notable premarket movers today: Apple (AAPL US) shares fell 1.8% in premarket trading after the iPhone maker was said to tell suppliers that demand for its flagship product has slowed. Wall Street analysts, however, remained bullish. U.S. stocks tied to former President Donald Trump rise in premarket trading following a report his media group is in talks to raise new financing. Digital World Acquisition (DWAC US) +24%, Phunware (PHUN US) +38%. Katapult (KPLT US) shares sink 14% in premarket after the financial technology firm said its gross originations over a two-month period were lower than 2020 levels. Vir (VIR US) shares jump 8.1% in premarket trading after its Covid-19 antibody treatment, co-developed with Glaxo, looked to be effective against the new omicron variant in early testing. Snowflake (SNOW US) is up 17% premarket following quarterly results that impressed analysts, though some raise questions over the data software company’s valuation. CrowdStrike (CRWD US) shares jumped 5.1% in premarket after it boosted its revenue forecast for the full year. Square’s (SQ US) shares are 0.4% higher premarket. Corporate name change to Block Inc. indicates “a symbolic rebirth,” according to Barclays as it shows a broader set of possibilities than those of a pure payments company. Okta’s (OKTA US) shares advanced in postmarket trading. 3Q results show the cybersecurity company is well- positioned to deliver growth, even if some analysts say its guidance looks conservative and that its growth was not as strong as in prior quarters. The Omicron variant also hurt risk appetite, making the safe-haven bonds more attractive to investors, pushing yields down - although yields picked up again in early European trading. Volatility in equity markets as measured by the Vix hit its highest since February on Wednesday, before easing on Thursday, but remained well above this year’s average and almost twice as high as a month ago. Investors are braced for volatility to continue through December, stirred by tightening central-bank policies to fight inflation just as the omicron variant complicates the outlook for the pandemic recovery. The recent market turmoil may offer investors a chance to position for a trend reversal in reopening and commodity trades, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. "Investors will need to maintain their calm during a period of uncertainty until the scientific data give a clearer picture of which scenario we face," said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management in Zurich. “This, in turn, will help shape the reaction of central bankers." Also weighing on stock markets, and flattening the U.S. yield curve, were remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said that he would consider a faster end to the Fed's bond-buying programme, which could open the door to earlier interest rate hikes. In his second day of testimony in Congress on Wednesday, Powell reiterated that the U.S. central bank needs to be ready to respond to the possibility that inflation does not recede in the second half of next year. read more "In this past what we’ve seen is central banks using COVID as an excuse to remain dovish, and what we're seeing is central banks turn hawkish despite rising concerns around COVID, so it is a bit of a shift in communication," said Mohammed Kazmi, portfolio manager at UBP.  That said, the market is now so oversold, this is where we usually see aggressive dip-buying. In Europe, tech companies were the worst performers after Apple warned its component suppliers of slowing demand for its iPhone 13, the news dragged index heavyweight ASML Holding NV more than 4%. Meanwhile, travel shares were among the worst performers as the omicron variant continued to pop upin countries around the world, including the U.S., Norway, Ireland and South Korea. The Euro Stoxx 50 dropped as much as 1.7% while the Stoxx 600 Index fell 1.5%, extending declines to trade at a session low, with all sectors in the red and led lower by technology and travel stocks. The Stoxx 600 Technology Index slumped as much as 3.9%, the most in two months. Vifor Pharma surged by a record 18% following a report that Australia’s CSL is in advanced talks to acquire Swiss drugmaker. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Vifor Pharma shares rise as much as 18% on a report that Australia’s CSL is in advanced talks to acquire the Swiss-based drug maker and developer while working with BofA on a A$4 billion funding package. Argenx jumps as much as 9.5% after Kepler Cheuvreux upgrades the stock to buy, saying the biotech company is on the brink of launching its first commercial product. Duerr gains as much as 7.2%, most since Aug. 10, after Deutsche Bank upgrades to buy and sets aa Street-high PT of EU60 for the German engineering company, citing the digitalization of the industry. Daily Mail & General Trust rises as much as 3.9% after Rothermere Continuation raised its bid for all DMGT’s Class A shares by 5.9% to 270p a share in cash. Klarabo surges as much as 54% as shares start trading on Nasdaq Stockholm after the Swedish property company raised SEK750m in an IPO. Eurofins Scientific declines for a fourth session, falling as much as 3.2%, as Goldman Sachs downgrades the company to neutral from buy “following strong outperformance YTD.” Deliveroo drops as much as 6.4% after an offering of 17.6m shares by CEO Will Shu and CFO Adam Miller at a price of 278p a share, representing a 4.2% discount to the last close. M&S falls as much as 3.4% after UBS cut its rating to neutral from buy, citing limited upside to its new price target as well as “little room for meaningful upgrades.” Earlier in the session, Asian stocks erased an earlier loss to trade slightly up, as traders continued to assess the potential impact of the omicron virus strain and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep inflation in check.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2% after falling 0.4% in the morning. South Korea led regional gains, helped by large-cap chipmakers, while Japan was among the worst performers after the government dropped a plan for a blanket halt to all new incoming flight reservations. Asia’s equity benchmark is still down about 4% so far this year after rebounding in the past two sessions from a one-year low reached earlier this week. Despite the region’s underperformance against the U.S. and Europe, cheap valuations and foreign-investor positioning have prompted brokerages including Credit Suisse Group AG and Nomura Securities Co. Ltd. to turn bullish on Asia’s prospects next year. “Equity markets continue to play omicron tennis and traders looking for short-term direction should just wait for the next virus headline and then act accordingly,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda Corp. “Volatility, and not market direction, will be the winner this week.” Chinese technology shares including Alibaba Group Holding slid after Beijing was said to be planning to close a loophole used by the sector to go public abroad, fueling concern over existing overseas listings. Japanese equities declined, following U.S. peers lower after the first American case of the omicron coronavirus variant was confirmed. Electronics makers and telecoms were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 0.5%. SoftBank Group and TDK were the largest contributors to a 0.7% loss in the Nikkei 225.  The S&P 500 posted its worst two-day selloff since October 2020 after the first U.S. case of the new strain was reported. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that officials should consider a quicker reduction of monetary stimulus amid elevated inflation. “Truth is, there’s probably a lot of people who are wanting to buy stocks at some point,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management. “But, with omicron still an unknown, people are responding sensitively to news development, and that’s keeping them from buying.” India’s benchmark equity index climbed for a second day, led by software exporters, on an improving economic outlook and as investors grabbed some beaten-down stocks after recent declines. The S&P BSE Sensex Index rose 1.4% to close at 58,461.29 in Mumbai, the biggest advance since Nov. 1. Its two-day gains increased to 2.5%, the most since Aug. 31. The NSE Nifty 50 Index also surged by a similar magnitude. All of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. were up, led by a gauge of utilities companies. “India underperformed the global markets in recent weeks. Investors are now going for value buying in stocks at lower levels,” said A. K. Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital Market Services. The Sensex gained in three of the past four sessions after plunging 2.9% on Friday, the biggest drop since April. The rally, however, is in contrast to most global peers which are witnessing volatility on worries over the spread of the omicron variant. High frequency indicators in India, such as tax collection and manufacturing activities, have shown robust growth in recent months, while the country’s economy expanded 8.4% in the quarter ended in September, according to an official data release on Tuesday. Mortgage lender HDFC contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 3.9%. Out of 30 shares in the index, 27 rose and three fell. In rates, trading has been relatively quiet as bunds and gilts bull steepen a touch with risk offered, while cash TSYs bear flatten, cheapening ~5bps across the curve.Treasuries retraced part of yesterday’s rally that sent the benchmark 30-year rate to the lowest since early January. A large buyer of 5-year U.S. Treasury options targets the yield dropping around 17bps. 5s10s, 5s30s spreads flattened by ~1bp and ~2bp to multimonth lows; 10-year yields around 1.43%, cheaper by more than 3bp on the day while bunds and gilt yields are richer by ~1bp. Front-end and belly of the curve underperform vs long-end, while bunds and gilts outperform Treasuries. With little economic data slated, speeches by several Fed officials are main focal points. Peripheral spreads tighten with 10y Spain outperforming after well received auctions, albeit with a small size on offer. U.S. economic data slate includes November Challenger job cuts (7:30am) and initial jobless claims (8:30am) In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell to a day low in the European session and the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers as most crosses consolidated in recent ranges. Two-week implied volatility in the major currencies trades in the green Thursday as it now captures the next policy decisions by the world’s major central banks. Euro- dollar on the tenor rises by as much as 138 basis points to touch 8.22%, highest in a year; the relative premium, however, remains below parity as realized has risen to levels unseen since August 2020. The pound rose along with some other risk- sensitive currencies following the British currency’s three-day slump against the dollar. Long-end gilts underperformed, leading to some steepening of the curve. The yen fell for the first day in three while the Swiss franc fell a second day. The Hungarian forint rose to almost a three-week high after the central bank in Budapest raised the one-week deposit rate by 20 basis points to 3.10%. Economists in a Bloomberg survey were evenly split in predicting a 10 or 20 basis point increase. The Turkish lira resumed its slump after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan abruptly replaced his finance minister amid deepening rifts in the administration over aggressive interest-rate cuts that have undermined the currency and fueled inflation. Poland’s central bank Governor Adam Glapinski sent the zloty to a three-week high against the euro on Thursday with his changed rhetoric on inflation, which he no longer sees as transitory after prices surged at the fastest pace in more than two decades. Currency market volatility also rose, with euro-dollar one-month volatility gauges below Monday's one-year peak but still at elevate levels . "Liquidity in some areas of the market is still quite poor as people grapple with this news and as we head towards year-end, a lot of it is really liquidity driven, which is leading to some volatility," said UBP's Kazmi. "Even in the most liquid market of the U.S. treasury market we've seen some fairly large moves on very little newsflow at times." In commodities, crude futures extend Asia’s gains. WTI adds 2.2% near $67, Brent near $70.50 ahead of today’s OPEC+ meeting. Spot gold finds support near Tuesday’s, recovering somewhat to trade near $1,774/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME aluminum drops as much as 1.1%, nickel, zinc and tin hold in the green Looking at the day ahead now, and central bank speakers include the Fed’s Quarles, Bostic, Daly and Barkin, as well as the ECB’s Panetta. Data releases include the Euro Area unemployment rate and PPI inflation for October, while there’s also the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 4,540.25 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.0% to 466.37 MXAP up 0.2% to 192.07 MXAPJ up 0.7% to 629.36 Nikkei down 0.7% to 27,753.37 Topix down 0.5% to 1,926.37 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 23,788.93 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,573.84 Sensex up 1.3% to 58,436.52 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% to 7,225.18 Kospi up 1.6% to 2,945.27 Brent Futures up 2.4% to $70.53/bbl Gold spot down 0.6% to $1,771.73 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 96.03 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.35% Euro little changed at $1.1320 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said she’s “very open” to scaling back the Fed’s asset purchases at a faster pace so it can raise interest rates a couple of times next year if needed A United Nations gauge of global food prices rose 1.2% last month, threatening to make it more expensive for households to put a meal on the table. It’s more evidence of inflation soaring in the world’s largest economies and may make it even harder for the poorest nations to import food, worsening a hunger crisis Germany is poised to clamp down on people who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19 and drastically curtail social contacts to ease pressure on increasingly stretched hospitals Some investors buffeted by concerns about tighter monetary policy are turning their sights to China’s battered junk bonds, given they offer some of the biggest yield buffers anywhere in global credit markets Pfizer Inc. says data on how well its Covid-19 vaccine protects against the omicron variant should be available within two to three weeks, an executive said GlaxoSmithKline Plc said its Covid-19 antibody treatment looks to be effective against the new omicron variant in early testing A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded tentatively following the declines on Wall St where all major indices extended on losses and selling was exacerbated on confirmation of the first Omicron case in the US, while the Asia-Pac region also contended with its own pandemic concerns. ASX 200 (-0.2%) was subdued amid heavy losses in the tech sector and with a surge of infections in Victoria state, although downside in the index was cushioned amid inline Retail Sales and Trade Balance, as well as M&A optimism after Woolworths made a non-binding indicative proposal for Australian Pharmaceutical Industries. Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) weakened after the government instructed airlines to halt inbound flight bookings for a month due to fears of the new variant and with auto names also pressured by declines in monthly sales amid the chip supply crunch. KOSPI (+1.6%) showed resilience amid expectations for lawmakers to pass a record budget today and recouped opening losses despite the record increase in daily infections and confirmation of its first Omicron cases, while the index also shrugged off the highest CPI reading in a decade which effectively supports the case for further rate increases by the BoK. Hang Seng (+0.6%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) were choppy following another liquidity drain by the PBoC and with tech pressured in Hong Kong as Alibaba shares extended on declines after recently slipping to a 4-year low in its US listing. Beijing regulatory tightening also provided a headwind as initial reports suggested China is to crack down on loopholes used by tech firms for foreign IPOs, although this was later refuted by China, and the CBIRC is planning stricter regulations on major shareholders of banks and insurance companies, as well as confirmed it will better regulate connected transactions of banks. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher as prices tracked gains in global counterparts and amid the risk aversion in Japan, although prices are off intraday highs after hitting resistance during a brief incursion to the 152.00 level and despite the marginally improved metrics from 10yr JGB auction. Top Asian News Asia Stocks Swing as Investors Weigh Omicron Impact, Fed Views Apple Tells Suppliers IPhone Demand Slowing as Holidays Near Moody’s Cuts China Property Sales View on Financing Difficulties Faith in Singapore Leaders Hit by Record Covid Wave, Poll Shows Bourses across Europe have held onto losses seen at the cash open (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.4%; Stoxx -1.2%), as the region plays catchup to the downside seen on Wall Street – seemingly sparked by a concoction of hawkish Fed rhetoric and the discovery of the Omicron variant in the US. Nonetheless, US equity futures are firmer across the board but to varying degrees – with the cyclical RTY (+1.1%) and the NQ (+0.3%) the current laggard. European futures ahead of the cash open saw some mild fleeting impetus on reports GlaxoSmithKline's (-0.3%) COVID treatment Sotrovimab retains its activity against Omicron variant, and the UK MHRA simultaneously approved the use of Sotrovimab – but caveated that it is too early to know whether Omicron has any impact on effectiveness. Conversely, brief risk-off crept into the market following commentary from a South African Scientist who warned the country is seeing an exponential rise in new COVID cases with a predominance of Omicron variant across the country – with the variant causing the fastest ever community transmission - but expects fewer active cases and hospitalisations this wave. Back to Europe, Euro indices see broad-based losses whilst the downside in the FTSE 100 (-0.7%) is less severe amid support from its heavyweight Oil & Gas sector – the outperforming sector in the region. Delving deeper, sectors see no overarching theme nor bias – Food & Beverages, Autos and Banks are towards the top of the bunch, whilst Tech, Telecoms, and Travel &Leisure. Tech is predominantly weighed on by reports that Apple (-2% pre-market) reportedly told iPhone component suppliers that demand slowed down. As such ASML (-5.0%), STMicroelectronics (-4.4%) and Infineon (-3.6%) reside among the biggest losers in the Stoxx 600. Deliveroo (-5.3%) is softer following an offering of almost 18mln at a discount to yesterday's close. In terms of market commentary, Morgan Stanley believes that inflation will remain high over the next few months, in turn supporting commodities, financials and some cyclical sectors. The bank identifies beneficiaries including EDF (-1.5%), Engie (-1.2%), SSE (-0.2%), Legrand (-1.3%), Tesco (-0.5%), BT (-0.8%), Michelin (-1.6%) and Sika (-0.9%). Top European News Shell Kicks Off First Wave of Buybacks From Permian Sale Omicron Threatens to Prolong Pain in Bid to Vaccinate the World Apple, Suppliers Drop Premarket After Report Demand Slowed Valeo, Gestamp Gain After Barclays Raises to Overweight In FX, currency markets are still in a state of flux, or limbo bar a few exceptions, and the Greenback is gyrating against major peers awaiting the next major event that could provide clearer direction and a more decisive range break. Thursday’s agenda offers some scope on that front via US initial jobless claims and a host of Fed speakers, but in truth NFP tomorrow is probably more likely to be influential even though chair Powell has effectively given the green light to fast-track tapering from December. In the interim, the index continues to keep a relatively short leash around 96.000, and is holding within 96.138-95.895 confines so far today. JPY/CHF - Although risk considerations look supportive for the Yen, on paper, UST-JGB/Fed-BoJ differentials coupled with technical impulses are keeping Usd/Jpy buoyant on the 113.00 handle, with additional demand said to have come from Japanese exporters overnight. However, the headline pair may run into offers/resistance circa 113.50 and any breach could be capped by decent option expiry interest spanning 113.60-75 (1.5 bn). Similarly, the Franc has slipped back below 0.9200 on yield and Swiss/US Central Bank policy stances plus near term outlooks, and hardly helped by a slowdown in retail sales. GBP/CAD/NZD - All firmer vs their US counterpart, though again well within recent admittedly wide ranges, and the Pound perhaps more attuned to Eur/Gbp fluctuations as the cross retreats to retest 0.8500 and Cable rebounds to have another look at 1.3300 where a fairly big option expiry resides (850 mn). Indeed, Sterling has largely shrugged off the latest BoE Monthly Decision Maker Panel release that in truth did not deliver any clues on what is set to be another knife-edge MPC gathering in December. Elsewhere, the Loonie is straddling 1.2800 with eyes on WTI crude ahead of Canadian jobs data on Friday and the Kiwi is hovering above 0.6800 after weaker NZ Q3 terms of trade were offset to some extent by favourable Aud/Nzd headwinds. AUD/EUR - Both narrowly mixed against US Dollar, with the Aussie pivoting 0.7100 in wake of roughly in line trade and retail sales data overnight, but wary about the latest virus outbreak in the state of Victoria, while the Euro is sitting somewhat uncomfortably on the 1.1300 handle amidst softer EGB yields and heightened uncertainty about what the ECB might or might not do in December on the QE guidance front. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are firmer intraday as traders gear up for the JMMC and OPEC+ confabs at 12:00GMT and 13:00GMT, respectively. The jury is still split on what the final decision could be, but the case for OPEC+ to pause the planned monthly relaxation of output curbs by 400k BPD has been strengthening against the backdrop of Omicron coupled with the coordinated SPR releases (an updating Rolling Headline is available on the Newsquawk headline feed). As expected, OPEC sources have been testing the waters in the run-up, whilst yesterday's JTC/OPEC meetings largely surrounded the successor to the Secretary-General position. Oil market price action will likely be centred around OPEC+ today in the absence of any macro shocks. WTI Jan resides around USD 66.50/bbl (vs low USD 65.41/bbl) whilst Brent Feb briefly topped USD 70/bbl (vs low USD 68.73/bbl). Elsewhere, spot gold has eased further from the USD 1,800/oz after failing to sustain a break above the 50, 100 and 200 DMAs which have all converged to USD 1,791/oz today. LME copper is on the backfoot amid the cautious risk sentiment, with the red metal back under USD 9,500/t but off overnight lows. US Event Calendar 7:30am: Nov. Challenger Job Cuts -77.0% YoY, prior -71.7% 8:30am: Nov. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 240,000, prior 199,000; 8:30am: Nov. Continuing Claims, est. 2m, prior 2.05m 9:45am: Nov. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 52.2 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap With investors remaining on tenterhooks to find out some definitive information on the Omicron variant, yesterday saw markets continue to see-saw for a 4th day running. Following one of the biggest sell-offs of the year on Friday, we then had a partial bounceback on Monday, another bout of fears on Tuesday (not helped by the prospect of faster tapering), and yesterday saw another rally back before risk sentiment turned sharply later in the day as an initial case of the Omicron variant was discovered in the US. You can get some idea of this by the fact that Europe’s STOXX 600 (+1.71%) posted its best daily performance since May, whereas the S&P 500 moved from an intraday high where it had been up +1.88%, before shedding all those gains and more to close -1.18% lower. In fact, that decline means the S&P has now lost over -3% in the last two sessions, marking its worst 2-day performance in over a year, and this heightened volatility saw the VIX index close back above 30 for the first time since early February. In terms of developments about Omicron, we’re still in a waiting game for some concrete stats, but there was positive news early on from the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, who said that they think vaccines “will still protect against severe disease as they have against the other variants”. On the other hand, there was further negative news out of South Africa, as the country reported 8,561 infections over the previous day, with a positivity rate of 16.5%. That’s up from 4,373 cases the day before, and 2,273 the day before that, so all eyes will be on whether this trend continues, and also on what that means for hospitalisation and death rates over the days ahead. Against this backdrop, calls for fresh restrictions mounted across a range of countries, particularly on the travel side. In the US, it’s been reported already by the Washington Post that President Biden could today announce stricter testing requirements for arriving travellers. Meanwhile, France is moving to require non-EU arrivals to show a negative test before arrival, irrespective of their vaccination status. The EU Commission further said that member states should conduct daily reviews of essential travel restrictions, and Commission President von der Leyen also said that the EU should discuss the topic of mandatory vaccinations. There was also a Bloomberg report that German Chancellor Merkel would recommend mandatory vaccinations from February 2022, according to a Chancellery paper that they’d obtained. That came as Slovakia sought to incentivise vaccination uptake among older citizens, with the cabinet backing a €500 hospitality voucher for residents over 60 who’ve been vaccinated. As on Tuesday, the other main headlines yesterday were provided by Fed Chair Powell, who re-emphasised his more hawkish rhetoric around inflation before the House Financial Services Committee. Notably he said that “We’ve seen inflation be more persistent. We’ve seen the factors that are causing higher inflation to be more persistent”, though yields on 2yr Treasuries (-1.4bps) already had the shift in stance priced in. New York Fed President Williams echoed that view in an interview, noting it would be germane to discuss and decide whether it was appropriate to accelerate the pace of tapering at the December FOMC. 10yr yields (-4.1bps) continued their decline, predominantly driven by the turn in sentiment following the negative Omicron headlines. That latest round of curve flattening left the 2s10s slope at its flattest level since early January around the time of the Georgia Senate race that ushered in the prospect of much larger fiscal stimulus. In terms of markets elsewhere, strong data releases helped to support risk appetite earlier in yesterday’s session, with investors also looking forward to tomorrow’s US jobs report for November that will be an important one ahead of the Fed’s decision in less than a couple of weeks’ time. The ISM manufacturing release for November saw the headline number come in roughly as expected at 61.1 (vs. 61.2 expected), and also included a rise in both the new orders (61.5) and the employment (53.3) components relative to last month. Separately, the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November likewise came in around expectations, with a +534k gain (vs. +526k expected). Staying on the US, one thing to keep an eye out over the next 24 hours will be any news on a government shutdown, with funding currently set to run out by the weekend as it stands. The headlines yesterday weren’t promising for those hoping for an uneventful, tidy resolution, as Politico indicated that some Congressional Republicans would not agree to an expedited process to fund the government should certain vaccine mandates remain in place. An expedited process is necessary to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the week, so one to watch. After the incredibly divergent equity performances in the US and Europe, we’ve seen a much more mixed performance in Asia overnight, with the KOSPI (+1.09%), Hang Seng (+0.23%), and CSI (+0.23%) all advancing, whereas the Shanghai Composite (-0.05%) and the Nikkei (-0.60%) are trading lower. In terms of the latest on Omicron, authorities in South Korea confirmed five cases, which came as the country also reported that CPI in November rose to its fastest since December 2011, at +3.7% (vs +3.1% expected). Separately in China, 53 local Covid-19 cases were reported in Inner Mongolia, whilst Harbin province reported 3 local cases. Looking forward, futures are indicating a positive start in the US with those on the S&P 500 (+0.64%) pointing higher. Back in Europe, sovereign bonds lost ground yesterday, and yields on 10yr bunds (+0.5bps), OATs (+1.1bps) and BTPs (+4.2bps) continued to move higher. Interestingly, there was a continued widening in peripheral spreads, with the gap between both Italian and Spanish 10yr yields over bunds reaching their biggest level in over a year, at 135bps and 77bps, respectively. Another factor to keep an eye on in Europe is another round of increases in natural gas prices, with futures up +3.42% to their highest level since mid-October yesterday. Lastly on the data front, the main other story was the release of the manufacturing PMIs from around the world. We’d already had the flash readings from a number of the key economies, so they weren’t too surprising, but the Euro Area came in at 58.4 (vs. flash 58.6), Germany came in at 57.4 (vs. flash 57.6), and the UK came in at 58.1 (vs. flash 58.2). One country that saw a decent upward revision was France, with the final number at 55.9 (vs. flash 54.6), which marks an end to 5 successive monthly declines in the French manufacturing PMI. One other release were German retail sales for October, which unexpectedly fell -0.3% (vs. +0.9% expected). To the day ahead now, and central bank speakers include the Fed’s Quarles, Bostic, Daly and Barkin, as well as the ECB’s Panetta. Data releases include the Euro Area unemployment rate and PPI inflation for October, while there’s also the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 07:57.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

Futures Surge After Powell-Driven Rout Proves To Be "Transitory"

Futures Surge After Powell-Driven Rout Proves To Be "Transitory" Heading into yesterday's painful close to one of the ugliest months since March 2020, which saw a huge forced liquidation rebalance with more than $8 billion in Market on Close orders, we said that while we are seeing "forced selling dump into the close today" this would be followed by "forced Dec 1 buying frontrunning after the close." Forced selling dump into the close today. Forced Dec 1 buying frontrunning after the close — zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 30, 2021 And just as expected, despite yesterday's dramatic hawkish pivot by Powell, who said it was time to retire the word transitory in describing the inflation outlook (the same word the Fed used hundreds of times earlier in 2021 sparking relentless mockery from this website for being clueless as usual) while also saying the U.S. central bank would consider bringing forward plans for tapering its bond buying program at its next meeting in two weeks, the frontrunning of new monthly inflows is in full force with S&P futures rising over 1.2%, Nasdaq futures up 1.3%, and Dow futures up 0.9%, recovering almost all of Tuesday’s decline. The seemingly 'hawkish' comments served as a double whammy for markets, which were already nervous about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant and its potential to hinder a global economic recovery. "At this point, COVID does not appear to be the biggest long-term Street fear, although it could have the largest impact if the new (or next) variant turns out to be worse than expected," Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for S&P and Dow Jones indices, said in a note. "That honor goes to inflation, which continues to be fed by supply shortages, labor costs, worker shortages, as well as consumers, who have not pulled back." However, new month fund flows proved too powerful to sustain yesterday's month-end dump and with futures rising - and panic receding - safe havens were sold and the 10-year Treasury yield jumped almost 6bps, approaching 1.50%. The gap between yields on 5-year and 30-year Treasuries was around the narrowest since March last year. Crude oil and commodity-linked currencies rebounded. Gold remained just under $1,800 and bitcoin traded just over $57,000. There was more good news on the covid front with a WHO official saying some of the early indications are that most Omicron cases are mild with no severe cases. Separately Merck gained 3.8% in premarket trade after a panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration narrowly voted to recommend the agency authorize the drugmaker's antiviral pill to treat COVID-19. Travel and leisure stocks also rebounded, with cruiseliners Norwegian, Carnival, Royal Caribbean rising more than 2.5% each. Easing of covid fears also pushed airlines and travel stocks higher in premarket trading: Southwest +2.9%, Delta +2.5%, Spirit +2.3%, American +2.2%, United +1.9%, JetBlue +1.3%. Vaccine makers traded modestly lower in pre-market trading after soaring in recent days as Wall Street weighs the widening spread of the omicron variant. Merck & Co. bucked the trend after its Covid-19 pill narrowly gained a key recommendation from advisers to U.S. regulators. Moderna slips 2.1%, BioNTech dips 1.3% and Pfizer is down 0.2%. Elsewhere, Occidental Petroleum led gains among the energy stocks, up 3.2% as oil prices climbed over 4% ahead of OPEC's meeting. Shares of major Wall Street lenders also moved higher after steep falls on Tuesday. Here are some of the other biggest U.S. movers today: Salesforce (CRM US) drops 5.9% in premarket trading after results and guidance missed estimates, with analysts highlighting currency-related headwinds and plateauing growth at the MuleSoft integration software business. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE US) falls 1.3% in premarket after the computer equipment maker’s quarterly results showed the impact of the global supply chain crunch. Analysts noted solid order trends. Merck (MRK US) shares rise 5.8% in premarket after the company’s Covid-19 pill narrowly wins backing from FDA advisers, which analysts say is a sign of progress despite lingering challenges. Chinese electric vehicle makers were higher in premarket, leading U.S. peers up, after Nio, Li and XPeng reported strong deliveries for November; Nio (NIO US) +4%, Li (LI US ) +6%, XPeng (XPEV US) +4.3%. Ardelyx (ARDX US) shares gain as much as 34% in premarket, extending the biotech’s bounce after announcing plans to launch its irritable bowel syndrome treatment Ibsrela in the second quarter. CTI BioPharma (CTIC US) shares sink 18% in premarket after the company said the FDA extended the review period for a new drug application for pacritinib. Allbirds (BIRD US) fell 7.5% postmarket after the low end of the shoe retailer’s 2021 revenue forecast missed the average analyst estimate. Zscaler (ZS US) posted “yet another impressive quarter,” according to BMO. Several analysts increased their price targets for the security software company. Shares rose 4.6% in postmarket. Ambarella (AMBA US) rose 14% in postmarket after forecasting revenue for the fourth quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. Emcore (EMKR US) fell 9% postmarket after the aerospace and communications supplier reported fiscal fourth-quarter Ebitda that missed the average analyst estimate. Box (BOX US) shares gained as much as 10% in postmarket trading after the cloud company raised its revenue forecast for the full year. Meanwhile, the omicron variant continues to spread around the globe, though symptoms so far appear to be relatively mild. The Biden administration plans to tighten rules on travel to the U.S., and Japan said it would bar foreign residents returning from 10 southern African nations. As Bloomberg notes, volatility is buffeting markets as investors scrutinize whether the pandemic recovery can weather diminishing monetary policy support and potential risks from the omicron virus variant. Global manufacturing activity stabilized last month, purchasing managers’ gauges showed Wednesday, and while central banks are scaling back ultra-loose settings, financial conditions remain favorable in key economies. “The reality is hotter inflation coupled with a strong economic backdrop could end the Fed’s bond buying program as early as the first quarter of next year,” Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management, said in emailed comments. “With potential changes in policy on the horizon, market participants should expect additional market volatility in this uncharted territory.” Looking ahead, Powell is back on the Hill for day 2, and is due to testify before a House Financial Services Committee hybrid hearing at 10 a.m. ET. On the economic data front, November readings on U.S. private payrolls and manufacturing activity will be closely watched later in the day to gauge the health of the American economy. Investors are also awaiting the Fed's latest "Beige Book" due at 2:00 p.m. ET. On the economic data front, November readings on U.S. private payrolls and manufacturing activity will be closely watched later in the day to gauge the health of the American economy. European equities soared more than 1.2%, with travel stocks and carmakers leading broad-based gain in the Stoxx Europe 600 index, all but wiping out Tuesday’s decline that capped only the third monthly loss for the benchmark this year.  Travel, miners and autos are the strongest sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Proximus shares rise as much as 6.5% after the company said it’s started preliminary talks regarding a potential deal involving TeleSign, with a SPAC merger among options under consideration. Dr. Martens gains as much as 4.6% to the highest since Sept. 8 after being upgraded to overweight from equal- weight at Barclays, which says the stock’s de-rating is overdone. Husqvarna advances as much as 5.3% after the company upgraded financial targets ahead of its capital markets day, including raising the profit margin target to 13% from 10%. Wizz Air, Lufthansa and other travel shares were among the biggest gainers as the sector rebounded after Tuesday’s losses; at a conference Wizz Air’s CEO reiterated expansion plans. Wizz Air gains as much as 7.5%, Lufthansa as much as 6.8% Elis, Accor and other stocks in the French travel and hospitality sector also rise after the country’s government pledged to support an industry that’s starting to get hit by the latest Covid-19 wave. Pendragon climbs as much as 6.5% after the car dealer boosted its outlook after the company said a supply crunch in the new vehicle market wasn’t as bad as it had anticipated. UniCredit rises as much as 3.6%, outperforming the Stoxx 600 Banks Index, after Deutsche Bank added the stock to its “top picks” list alongside UBS, and Bank of Ireland, Erste, Lloyds and Societe Generale. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks also soared, snapping a three-day losing streak, led by energy and technology shares, as traders assessed the potential impact from the omicron coronavirus variant and U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish pivot. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 1.3% Wednesday. South Korea led regional gains after reporting strong export figures, which bolsters growth prospects despite record domestic Covid-19 cases. Hong Kong stocks also bounced back after falling Tuesday to their lowest level since September 2020. Asia’s stock benchmark rebounded from a one-year low, though sentiment remained clouded by lingering concerns on the omicron strain and Fed’s potentially faster tapering pace. Powell earlier hinted that the U.S. central bank will accelerate its asset purchases at its meeting later this month.  “A faster taper in the U.S. is still dependent on omicron not causing a big setback to the outlook in the next few weeks,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, adding that he expects the Fed’s policy rate “will still be low through next year, which should still enable good global growth which will benefit Asia.” Chinese equities edged up after the latest economic data showed manufacturing activity remained at relatively weak levels in November, missing economists’ expectations. Earlier, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said he’s fully confident in the nation’s economic growth in 2022 Japanese stocks rose, overcoming early volatility as traders parsed hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Electronics and auto makers were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which closed 0.4% higher after swinging between a gain of 0.9% and loss of 0.7% in the morning session. Daikin and Fanuc were the largest contributors to a 0.4% rise in the Nikkei 225, which similarly fluctuated. The Topix had dropped 4.8% over the previous three sessions due to concerns over the omicron virus variant. The benchmark fell 3.6% in November, its worst month since July 2020. “The market’s tolerance to risk is quite low at the moment, with people responding in a big way to the smallest bit of negative news,” said Tomo Kinoshita, a global market strategist at Invesco Asset Management in Tokyo. “But the decline in Japanese equities was far worse than those of other developed markets, so today’s market may find a bit of calm.” U.S. shares tumbled Tuesday after Powell said officials should weigh removing pandemic support at a faster pace and retired the word “transitory” to describe stubbornly high inflation In rates, bonds trade heavy, as yield curves bear-flatten. Treasuries extended declines with belly of the curve cheapening vs wings as traders continue to price in additional rate-hike premium over the next two years. Treasury yields were cheaper by up to 5bp across belly of the curve, cheapening 2s5s30s spread by ~5.5bp on the day; 10-year yields around 1.48%, cheaper by ~4bp, while gilts lag by additional 2bp in the sector. The short-end of the gilt curve markedly underperforms bunds and Treasuries with 2y yields rising ~11bps near 0.568%. Peripheral spreads widen with belly of the Italian curve lagging. The flattening Treasury yield curve “doesn’t suggest imminent doom for the equity market in and of itself,” Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co., said on Bloomberg Television. “Alarm bells go off in terms of recession” when the curve gets closer to inverting, she said. In FX, the Turkish lira had a wild session, offered in early London trade before fading. USD/TRY dropped sharply to lows of 12.4267 on reports of central bank FX intervention due to “unhealthy price formations” before, once again, fading TRY strength after comments from Erdogan. The rest of G-10 FX is choppy; commodity currencies retain Asia’s bid tone, havens are sold: the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched lower, as the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers. The euro moved in a narrow range and Bund yields followed U.S. yields higher. The pound advanced as risk sentiment stabilized with focus still on news about the omicron variant. The U.K. 10-, 30-year curve flirted with inversion as gilts flattened, with money markets betting on 10bps of BOE tightening this month for the first time since Friday. The Australian and New Zealand dollars advanced as rising commodity prices fuel demand from exporters and leveraged funds. Better-than-expected growth data also aided the Aussie, with GDP expanding by 3.9% in the third quarter from a year earlier, beating the 3% estimated by economists. Austrian lawmakers extended a nationwide lockdown for a second 10-day period to suppress the latest wave of coronavirus infections before the Christmas holiday period.  The yen declined by the most among the Group-of-10 currencies as Powell’s comments renewed focus on yield differentials. 10-year yields rose ahead of Thursday’s debt auction In commodities, crude futures rally. WTI adds over 4% to trade on a $69-handle, Brent recovers near $72.40 after Goldman said overnight that oil had gotten extremely oversold. Spot gold fades a pop higher to trade near $1,785/oz. Base metals trade well with LME copper and nickel outperforming. Looking at the day ahead, once again we’ll have Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen appearing, this time before the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to that, the Fed will be releasing their Beige Book, and BoE Governor Bailey is also speaking. On the data front, the main release will be the manufacturing PMIs from around the world, but there’s also the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November in the US, the ISM manufacturing reading in the US as well for November, and German retail sales for October. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.2% to 4,620.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.0% to 467.58 MXAP up 0.9% to 191.52 MXAPJ up 1.1% to 626.09 Nikkei up 0.4% to 27,935.62 Topix up 0.4% to 1,936.74 Hang Seng Index up 0.8% to 23,658.92 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,576.89 Sensex up 1.0% to 57,656.51 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,235.85 Kospi up 2.1% to 2,899.72 Brent Futures up 4.2% to $72.15/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,778.93 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 95.98 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.31% Euro down 0.1% to $1.1326 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Thursday, the first direct contact between officials of the two countries in weeks as tensions grow amid western fears Russia may be planning to invade Ukraine Oil rebounded from a sharp drop on speculation that recent deep losses were excessive and OPEC+ may on Thursday decide to pause hikes in production, with the abrupt reversal fanning already- elevated volatility The EU is set to recommend that member states review essential travel restrictions on a daily basis in the wake of the omicron variant, according to a draft EU document seen by Bloomberg China is planning to ban companies from going public on foreign stock markets through variable interest entities, according to people familiar with the matter, closing a loophole long used by the country’s technology industry to raise capital from overseas investors Manufacturing activity in Asia outside China stabilized last month amid easing lockdown and border restrictions, setting the sector on course to face a possible new challenge from the omicron variant of the coronavirus Germany urgently needs stricter measures to check a surge in Covid-19 infections and protect hospitals from a “particularly dangerous situation,” according to the head of the country’s DIVI intensive-care medicine lobby. A more detailed breakdown of global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mostly positive as regional bourses atoned for the prior day’s losses that were triggered by Omicron concerns, but with some of the momentum tempered by recent comments from Fed Chair Powell and mixed data releases including the miss on Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI. ASX 200 (-0.3%) was led lower by underperformance in consumer stocks and with utilities also pressured as reports noted that Shell and Telstra’s entrance in the domestic electricity market is set to ignite fierce competition and force existing players to overhaul their operations, although the losses in the index were cushioned following the latest GDP data which showed a narrower than feared quarterly contraction in Australia’s economy. Nikkei 225 (+0.4%) was on the mend after yesterday’s sell-off with the index helped by favourable currency flows and following a jump in company profits for Q3, while the KOSPI (+2.1%) was also boosted by strong trade data. Hang Seng (+0.8%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) were somewhat varied as a tech resurgence in Hong Kong overcompensated for the continued weakness in casinos stocks amid ongoing SunCity woes which closed all VIP gaming rooms in Macau after its Chairman's recent arrest, while the mood in the mainland was more reserved after a PBoC liquidity drain and disappointing Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI data which fell short of estimates and slipped back into contraction territory. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower amid the gains in Japanese stocks and after the pullback in global fixed income peers in the aftermath of Fed Chair Powell’s hawkish comments, while a lack of BoJ purchases further contributed to the subdued demand for JGBs. Top Asian News Asia Stocks Bounce Back from One-Year Low Despite Looming Risks Gold Swings on Omicron’s Widening Spread, Inflation Worries Shell Sees Hedge Funds Moving to LNG, Supporting Higher Prices Abe Warns China Invading Taiwan Would Be ‘Economic Suicide’ Bourses in Europe are firmer across the board (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.6%; Stoxx 600 +1.1%) as the positive APAC sentiment reverberated into European markets. US equity futures are also on the front foot with the cyclical RTY (+2.0%) outpacing its peers: ES (+1.2%), NQ (+1.5%), YM (+0.8%). COVID remains a central theme for the time being as the Omicron variant is observed for any effects of concern – which thus far have not been reported. Analysts at UBS expect market focus to shift away from the variant and more towards growth and earnings. The analysts expect Omicron to fuse into the ongoing Delta outbreak that economies have already been tackling. Under this scenario, the desk expects some of the more cyclical markets and sectors to outperform. The desk also flags two tails risks, including an evasive variant and central bank tightening – particularly after Fed chair Powell’s commentary yesterday. Meanwhile, BofA looks for an over-10% fall in European stocks next year. Sticking with macro updates, the OECD, in their latest economic outlook, cut US, China, Eurozone growth forecasts for 2021 and 2022, with Omicron cited as a factor. Back to trade, broad-based gains are seen across European cash markets. Sectors hold a clear cyclical bias which consists of Travel & Leisure, Basic Resources, Autos, Retail and Oil & Gas as the top performers – with the former bolstered by the seemingly low appetite for coordination on restrictions and measures at an EU level – Deutsche Lufthansa (+6%) and IAG (+5.1%) now reside at the top of the Stoxx 600. The other side of the spectrum sees the defensive sectors – with Healthcare, Household Goods, Food & Beverages as the straddlers. In terms of induvial movers, German-listed Adler Group (+22%) following a divestment, whilst Blue Prism (+1.7%) is firmer after SS&C raised its offer for the Co. Top European News Wizz Says Travelers Are Booking at Shorter and Shorter Notice Turkey Central Bank Intervenes in FX Markets to Stabilize Lira Gold Swings on Omicron’s Widening Spread, Inflation Worries Former ABG Sundal Collier Partner Starts Advisory Firm In FX, the Dollar remains mixed against majors, but well off highs prompted by Fed chair Powell ditching transitory from the list of adjectives used to describe inflation and flagging that a faster pace of tapering will be on the agenda at December’s FOMC. However, the index is keeping tabs on the 96.000 handle and has retrenched into a tighter 95.774-96.138 range, for the time being, as trade remains very choppy and volatility elevated awaiting clearer medical data and analysis on Omicron to gauge its impact compared to the Delta strain and earlier COVID-19 variants. In the interim, US macro fundamentals might have some bearing, but the bar is high before NFP on Friday unless ADP or ISM really deviate from consensus or outside the forecast range. Instead, Fed chair Powell part II may be more pivotal if he opts to manage hawkish market expectations, while the Beige Book prepared for next month’s policy meeting could also add some additional insight. NZD/AUD/CAD/GBP - Broad risk sentiment continues to swing from side to side, and currently back in favour of the high beta, commodity and cyclical types, so the Kiwi has bounced firmly from worst levels on Tuesday ahead of NZ terms of trade, the Aussie has pared a chunk of its declines with some assistance from a smaller than anticipated GDP contraction and the Loonie is licking wounds alongside WTI in advance of Canadian building permits and Markit’s manufacturing PMI. Similarly, Sterling has regained some poise irrespective of relatively dovish remarks from BoE’s Mann and a slender downward revision to the final UK manufacturing PMI. Nzd/Usd is firmly back above 0.6800, Aud/Usd close to 0.7150 again, Usd/Cad straddling 1.2750 and Cable hovering on the 1.3300 handle compared to circa 0.6772, 0.7063, 1.2837 and 1.3195 respectively at various fairly adjacent stages yesterday. JPY/EUR/CHF - All undermined by the aforementioned latest upturn in risk appetite or less angst about coronavirus contagion, albeit to varying degrees, as the Yen retreats to retest support sub-113.50, Euro treads water above 1.1300 and Franc straddles 0.9200 after firmer than forecast Swiss CPI data vs a dip in the manufacturing PMI. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are recovering following yesterday’s COVID and Powell-induced declines in the run-up to the OPEC meetings later today. The complex has also been underpinned by the reduced prospects of coordinated EU-wide restrictions, as per the abandonment of the COVID video conference between EU leaders. However, OPEC+ will take centre stage over the next couple of days, with a deluge of source reports likely as OPEC tests the waters. The case for OPEC+ to pause the planned monthly relaxation of output curbs by 400k BPD has been strengthening. There have been major supply and demand developments since the prior meeting. The recent emergence of the Omicron COVID variant and coordinated release of oil reserves have shifted the balance of expectations relative to earlier in the month (full Newsquawk preview available in the Research Suite). In terms of the schedule, the OPEC meeting is slated for 13:00GMT/08:00EST followed by the JTC meeting at 15:00GMT/10:00EST, whilst tomorrow sees the JMMC meeting at 12:00GMT/07:00EST; OPEC+ meeting at 13:00GMT/08:00EST. WTI Jan has reclaimed a USD 69/bbl handle (vs USD 66.20/bbl low) while Brent Feb hovers around USD 72.50/bbl (vs low USD 69.38/bbl) at the time of writing. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver trade with modest gains and largely in tandem with the Buck. Spot gold failed to sustain gains above the cluster of DMAs under USD 1,800/oz (100 DMA at USD 1,792/oz, 200 DMA at USD 1,791/oz, and 50 DMA at USD 1,790/oz) – trader should be aware of the potential for a technical Golden Cross (50 DMA > 200 DMA). Turning to base metals, copper is supported by the overall risk appetite, with the LME contract back above USD 9,500/t. Overnight, Chinese coking coal and coke futures rose over 5% apiece, with traders citing disrupted supply from Mongolia amid the COVID outbreak in the region. US Event Calendar 7am: Nov. MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 1.8% 8:15am: Nov. ADP Employment Change, est. 525,000, prior 571,000 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 59.1, prior 59.1 10am: Oct. Construction Spending MoM, est. 0.4%, prior -0.5% 10am: Nov. ISM Manufacturing, est. 61.2, prior 60.8 2pm: U.S. Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book Nov. Wards Total Vehicle Sales, est. 13.4m, prior 13m Central Banks 10am: Powell, Yellen Testify Before House Panel on CARES Act Relief DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap If you’re under 10 and reading this there’s a spoiler alert today in this first para so please skip beyond and onto the second. Yes my heart broke a little last night as my little 6-year old Maisie said to me at bedtime that “Santa isn’t real is he Daddy?”. I lied (I think it’s a lie) and said yes he was. I made up an elaborate story about how when we renovated our 100 year old house we deliberately kept the chimney purely to let Santa come down it once a year. Otherwise why would we have kept it? She then asked what about her friend who lives in a flat? I tried to bluff my way through it but maybe my answer sounded a bit like my answers as to what will happen with Omicron. I’ll test both out on clients later to see which is more convincing. Before we get to the latest on the virus, given it’s the start of the month, we’ll shortly be publishing our November performance review looking at how different assets fared over the month just gone and YTD. It arrived late on but Omicron was obviously the dominant story and led to some of the biggest swings of the year so far. It meant that oil (which is still the top performer on a YTD basis) was the worst performer in our monthly sample, with WTI and Brent seeing their worst monthly performances since the initial wave of market turmoil over Covid back in March 2020. And at the other end, sovereign bonds outperformed in November as Omicron’s emergence saw investors push back the likelihood of imminent rate hikes from central banks. So what was shaping up to be a good month for risk and a bad one for bonds flipped around in injury time. Watch out for the report soon from Henry. Back to yesterday now, and frankly the main takeaway was that markets were desperate for any piece of news they could get their hands on about the Omicron variant, particularly given the lack of proper hard data at the moment. The morning started with a sharp selloff as we discussed at the top yesterday, as some of the more optimistic noises from Monday were outweighed by that FT interview, whereby Moderna’s chief executive had said that the existing vaccines wouldn’t be as effective against the new variant. Then we had some further negative news from Regeneron, who said that analysis and modelling of the Omicron mutations indicated that its antibody drug may not be as effective, but that they were doing further analysis to confirm this. However, we later got some comments from a University of Oxford spokesperson, who said that there wasn’t any evidence so far that vaccinations wouldn’t provide high levels of protection against severe disease, which coincided with a shift in sentiment early in the European afternoon as equities begun to pare back their losses. The CEO of BioNTech and the Israeli health minister expressed similar sentiments, noting that vaccines were still likely to protect against severe disease even among those infected by Omicron, joining other officials encouraging people to get vaccinated or get booster shots. Another reassuring sign came in an update from the EU’s ECDC yesterday, who said that all of the 44 confirmed cases where information was available on severity “were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.” After the close, the FDA endorsed Merck’s antiviral Covid pill. While it’s not clear how the pill interacts with Omicron, the proliferation of more Covid treatments is still good news as we head into another winter. The other big piece of news came from Fed Chair Powell’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, where the main headline was his tapering comment that “It is appropriate to consider wrapping up a few months sooner.” So that would indicate an acceleration in the pace, which would be consistent with the view from our US economists that we’ll see a doubling in the pace of reductions at the December meeting that’s only two weeks from today. The Fed Chair made a forceful case for a faster taper despite lingering Omicron uncertainties, noting inflation is likely to stay elevated, the labour market has improved without a commensurate increase in labour supply (those sidelined because of Covid are likely to stay there), spending has remained strong, and that tapering was a removal of accommodation (which the economy doesn’t need more of given the first three points). Powell took pains to stress the risk of higher inflation, going so far as to ‘retire’ the use of the term ‘transitory’ when describing the current inflation outlook. So team transitory have seemingly had the pitch taken away from them mid match. The Chair left an exit clause that this outlook would be informed by incoming inflation, employment, and Omicron data before the December FOMC meeting. A faster taper ostensibly opens the door to earlier rate hikes and Powell’s comment led to a sharp move higher in shorter-dated Treasury yields, with the 2yr yield up +8.1bps on the day, having actually been more than -4bps lower when Powell began speaking. They were as low as 0.44% then and got as high as 0.57% before closing at 0.56%. 2yr yields have taken another leg higher overnight, increasing +2.5bps to 0.592%. Long-end yields moved lower though and failed to back up the early day moves even after Powell, leading to a major flattening in the yield curve on the back of those remarks, with the 2s10s down -13.7bps to 87.3bps, which is its flattest level since early January. Overnight 10yr yields are back up +3bps but the curve is only a touch steeper. My 2 cents on the yield curve are that the 2s10s continues to be my favourite US recession indicator. It’s worked over more cycles through history than any other. No recession since the early 1950s has occurred without the 2s10s inverting. But it takes on average 12-18 months from inversion to recession. The shortest was the covid recession at around 7 months which clearly doesn’t count but I think we were very late cycle in early 2020 and the probability of recession in the not too distant future was quite high but we will never know.The shortest outside of that was around 9 months. So with the curve still at c.+90bps we are moving in a more worrying direction but I would still say 2023-24 is the very earliest a recession is likely to occur (outside of a unexpected shock) and we’ll need a rapid flattening in 22 to encourage that. History also suggests markets tend to ignore the YC until it’s too late. So I wouldn’t base my market views in 22 on the yield curve and recession signal yet. However its something to look at as the Fed seemingly embarks on a tightening cycle in the months ahead. Onto markets and those remarks from Powell (along with the additional earlier pessimism about Omicron) proved incredibly unhelpful for equities yesterday, with the S&P 500 (-1.90%) giving up the previous day’s gains to close at its lowest level in over a month. It’s hard to overstate how broad-based this decline was, as just 7 companies in the entire S&P moved higher yesterday, which is the lowest number of the entire year so far and the lowest since June 11th, 2020, when 1 company ended in the green. Over in Europe it was much the same story, although they were relatively less affected by Powell’s remarks, and the STOXX 600 (-0.92%) moved lower on the day as well. Overnight in Asia, stocks are trading higher though with the KOSPI (+2.02%), Hang Seng (+1.40%), the Nikkei (+0.37%), Shanghai Composite (+0.11%) and CSI (+0.09%) all in the green. Australia’s Q3 GDP contracted (-1.9% qoq) less than -2.7% consensus while India’s Q3 GDP grew at a firm +8.4% year-on-year beating the +8.3% consensus. In China the Caixin Manufacturing PMI for November came in at 49.9 against a 50.6 consensus. Futures markets are indicating a positive start to markets in US & Europe with the S&P 500 (+0.73%) and DAX (+0.44%) trading higher again. Back in Europe, there was a significant inflation story amidst the other headlines above, since Euro Area inflation rose to its highest level since the creation of the single currency, with the flash estimate for November up to +4.9% (vs. +4.5% expected). That exceeded every economist’s estimate on Bloomberg, and core inflation also surpassed expectations at +2.6% (vs. +2.3% expected), again surpassing the all-time high since the single currency began. That’s only going to add to the pressure on the ECB, and yesterday saw Germany’s incoming Chancellor Scholz say that “we have to do something” if inflation doesn’t ease. European sovereign bonds rallied in spite of the inflation reading, with those on 10yr bunds (-3.1bps), OATs (-3.5bps) and BTPs (-0.9bps) all moving lower. Peripheral spreads widened once again though, and the gap between Italian and German 10yr yields closed at its highest level in just over a year. Meanwhile governments continued to move towards further action as the Omicron variant spreads, and Greece said that vaccinations would be mandatory for everyone over 60 soon, with those refusing having to pay a monthly €100 fine. Separately in Germany, incoming Chancellor Scholz said that there would be a parliamentary vote on the question of compulsory vaccinations, saying to the Bild newspaper in an interview that “My recommendation is that we don’t do this as a government, because it’s an issue of conscience”. In terms of other data yesterday, German unemployment fell by -34k in November (vs. -25k expected). Separately, the November CPI readings from France at +3.4% (vs. +3.2% expected) and Italy at +4.0% (vs. +3.3% expected) surprised to the upside as well. In the US, however, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure in November fell to its lowest since February at 109.5 (vs. 110.9 expected), and the MNI Chicago PMI for November fell to 61.8 9vs. 67.0 expected). To the day ahead now, and once again we’ll have Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen appearing, this time before the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to that, the Fed will be releasing their Beige Book, and BoE Governor Bailey is also speaking. On the data front, the main release will be the manufacturing PMIs from around the world, but there’s also the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November in the US, the ISM manufacturing reading in the US as well for November, and German retail sales for October. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 07:47.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 1st, 2021

Covid Woes And Supply Chain Issues Among The Drivers In FTSE Reshuffle

The FTSE All Share Index Quarterly Review is based on closing prices today and is due to be announced on Wednesday 1 December, with the changes effective after the close on Friday 17 December. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more A sparky performance by Electrocomponents pushes it into a prime position to move into […] The FTSE All Share Index Quarterly Review is based on closing prices today and is due to be announced on Wednesday 1 December, with the changes effective after the close on Friday 17 December. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more A sparky performance by Electrocomponents pushes it into a prime position to move into the FTSE 100. Dechra pharma, another FTSE 100 contender has clawed opportunity from the soaring popularity for pets. Cyber Security firm DarkTrace set to slip out of the FTSE 100 following a share slide as the lock-in IPO period ended. Johnson Matthey’s position in the FTSE 100 looks shaky after it abandoned its battery plans. Supply chain issues plague electrical retailer AO World as it looks set to slide from FTSE 250. Petershill Partners eyes up a FTSE 250 position and fresh acquisitions of private equity assets. Fresh Covid woes hit The Restaurant Group as it looks set to slide out of the FTSE 250. Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown summarises the runners and riders: Electrocomponents – Contender To Enter The FTSE 100 "The sparky performance by Electrocomponents plc (LON:ECM), with adjusted pre-tax profits up 91% for the first half of the year, has led to a surge in its share price, pushing it into a prime position to move into FTSE 100 territory. The vast range of industrial and electronics products held by the distributor is partly behind its success, as well as its smooth online operations fulfilling the lucrative business-to-business segment. It’s not been immune from higher transport and labour costs, and global supply chain issues, but it appears to have deftly managed its inventory and kept margins intact. Although there are likely to be further cost pressures ahead, Electrocomponents appears in a robust position, particularly given that demand for electrical parts shows little sign of waning." Dechra Pharma - Contender To Enter The FTSE 100 "Dechra Pharmaceuticals plc (LON:DPH) has clawed opportunity from the soaring popularity for pets during the pandemic. Its share price has bounded upwards and it is a prime contender to take a walk into the FTSE 100. With so many more people working from home, it’s been an ideal opportunity to settle in a new furry friend and Dechra is in the business of keeping them healthy throughout their lifetimes. Demand for the pharmaceutical company’s veterinary products has been strong, with full year results showing pre-tax profits almost doubling. There is a risk that with incomes facing a squeeze from rising inflation, spending per head could decline, so there could be headwinds to navigate. But other results from pet orientated companies indicate that demand for pets doesn’t seem to be falling away, which bodes well for future revenues streams." Darktrace – Likely To Be Demoted From The FTSE 100 "Cyber security firm Darktrace PLC (LON:DARK) made a stealthy entry into the top-flight at the last reshuffle, but it’s a leading contender to leave the blue chip index given that shares have fallen by 52% since reaching a record high in September. This appears to be down to the end of the lock-up period following its IPO, with big chunks of new shares flooding the market prompting the falls. Darktrace is not alone in being a former IPO darling, now experiencing the pain of a rapid deceleration in its share price. Its successful launch in the spring was seen as a coup for the London market, and if it exits the top-flight it will leave a big tech gap in the FTSE 100. However, given ongoing growth reported by the company and some pretty upbeat trading updates, it may not stay outside the top-flight for long.  There is growing demand for sophisticated technology to counter the growing armies of cyber criminals and Darktrace uses AI to scan regular business operations and detect tiny irregularities, providing an early warning system of cyber-attacks. The ongoing shift to digital is likely to keep opening up new opportunities and markets for Darktrace as firms scale up their operations to meet demand, whilst trying to ensure their systems stay secure." Johnson Matthey – Likely To Be Demoted From The FTSE 100 "Investors are clearly worried about Johnson Matthey PLC (LON:JMAT)’s strategy for the future and amid this uncertainty, the company risks sliding out of the FTSE 100. The engineering company’s decision to abandon plans to become a battery supplier by selling off its eLNO business saw shares slide, because this appeared to be JMAT’s answer to the shift towards electric vehicles and away from combustion engines, for which it makes catalytic converters. Management says it will focus on other potential growth avenues, but ultimately the group will be starting from scratch as it looks for new opportunities alongside the new greener auto industry. Although catalytic converters won’t be rendered obsolete immediately, the clock is ticking and as the transition to electric vehicles speeds up, Johnson Matthey will need to quickly find a new sense of direction." AO World – Likely To Be Demoted From The FTSE 250 "Online electrical retailer AO World PLC (LON:AO) was well set up to capitalise on the accelerated shift to e-commerce during the first stages of the pandemic, with profits soaring as demand for white goods and IT equipment bounded higher. But the company has come down to earth with a bump, falling to a £10 million half year loss, sending shares plummeting, and this dramatic reversal of fortunes is likely to see it kicked out of the FTSE 250. Its rapid growth seems to have been part of the problem, given that it hasn’t had as much time to build up deep relationships with suppliers, so when the supply crunch hit for electrical goods, it was lower down on the list of priorities. Higher labour and transport costs exacerbated by the shortage of drivers have also dented margins, given that it’s so reliant on its delivery network to make sales and provide after care. A quick turnaround is unlikely given that the company has warned that the crucial Christmas trading period will be tough, with supply chain issues lingering, so AO World may find it hard to climb back up the ladder into FTSE 250 territory for some time." The Restaurant Group – Likely To Be Demoted From The FTSE 250 "As fears about the Omicron variant swirl, there are fresh concerns that restrictions could be tightened on hospitality firms and The Restaurant Group PLC (LON:RTN) hasn’t escaped this fresh round of volatility. Although shares are up marginally today, they have fallen by 35% over the past month as investors worry that despite a big round of cost cutting and the slimming down of its restaurant footprint, a big bounce back in fortunes remains elusive.  Although its star brand Wagamama is dishing out fast food as fast as it can make it to crowds queuing outside restaurants or ordering in from home, its airport concessions arm has struggled with a 53% fall in like-for-like sales at the last quarterly reading, as tourism has been slow to recover. Like many other firms in the sector the company is also facing the challenges of higher costs and wage pressures, amid a shortage of staff and those problems look set to linger." Provident Financial - Contender For The FTSE 250 "Provident Financial plc (LON:PFG), the sub-prime firm known for specialising in credit cards, online loans and consumer car finance is likely to gain a foothold in the FTSE 250 after its valuation recovered as it’s pivoted the business. The company called time on its doorstep lending business earlier this year as part of its attempt to climb out of a financial black hole, after being forced to pay compensation for mis-selling its products. Shifting its business model away from riskier high interest loans towards a mid-cost credit model is now more of a focus for the company and it’s a direction of travel investors have embraced. Although the shine has come off the share price in recent days, which may be partly due to fears that if the new variant leads to another downturn, the potential for bad loans could increase, shares are still up by 41% over the past six months." Petershill Partners – Contender For The FTSE 250 "Petershill Partners PLC (LON:PHLL) only started trading on the London Stock Exchange in September but already it’s a leading contender to step into the FTSE 250. Petershill owns minority stakes in a range of alternative asset managers such as venture capital firms and private equity companies, many of which had been managed by Goldman Sachs for a decade or more.  Assets under management at the investment firm increased by 8% in the third quarter, and it has its eye on fresh prizes with new acquisitions being sized up. Petershill has capitalised on the hunger for private equity investments in an era of ultra-low rates, enabling firms to borrow cheaply to finance takeovers.  With an increase in interest rates looming there is a risk that appetite for such assets may wane, and that might partly account for a slight nudging downwards in the share price over the past month." About Hargreaves Lansdown Over 1.67 million clients trust us with £138.0 billion (as at 30 September 2021), making us the UK’s number one platform for private investors. More than 98% of client activity is done through our digital channels and over 600,000 access our mobile app each month. Updated on Nov 30, 2021, 12:19 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 30th, 2021

Euro Area Inflation Smashes Expectations, Soars To Record High Ahead Of Critical ECB Meeting

Euro Area Inflation Smashes Expectations, Soars To Record High Ahead Of Critical ECB Meeting Now that even Fed Chair Powell admits that inflation is no longer "transitory", it's suddenly safe to report inflation for how high it truly is, and as a result earlier today the Euro area was not at all ashamed to report that inflation in the old continent surged to a record for the common currency era and exceeded all 40 forecasts, adding to the ECB’s challenge before a crucial meeting next month on the future of Europe's money printing and negative rates. In today's flash inflation release for November, Euro area core HICP inflation rose 58bp to 2.63%yoy, sharply above consensus expectations of 2.3% and up from last month's 2.05% to a new all time high. Meanwhile, headline HICP inflation soared 83bp to 4.88%Y/Y from 4.0%, also well above consensus expectations of a 4.50% print and also a new record high. The breakdown by main expenditure categories showed that services inflation rose six-tenths of a point to 2.7%, and non-energy industrial goods inflation rose four-tenths of a point to 2.4%. Of the non-core components, energy inflation rose 3.7pp to 27.4%, while food, alcohol and tobacco inflation rose three-tenths of a point to 2.2%. Commenting on the burst higher in prices, Bloomberg economist Maeva Cousin, said that “while energy costs and statistical effects can explain the bulk of this month’s jump, today’s reading also revealed some stronger than anticipated underlying pressure. That will add to concern over upside risks to the outlook, but the ECB is still likely to see inflation falling below 2% by the end of next year.” Anticipating the spike in inflation this month, ECB officials had redoubled efforts in recent days to reassure citizens that they are facing a once-in-a-generation cost-of-living squeeze that won’t endure, driven by energy and a series of one-time factors. While over in the US, Powell is finally admitting the truth that "transitory" inflation is dead, ECB President Christine Lagarde still hasn't gotten the memo and is sticking to the "transitory" script, even as some colleagues are warning that price pressures might take longer to subside, stoking speculation about the future course of monetary policy. As such, at the ECB's Dec. 16 meeting, the Governing Council is set to announce the end of its pandemic bond-buying plan and outline how regular purchases and interest rates will develop as the economy continues its recovery. Updated projections for growth and inflation will guide the ECB’s decision. In September, forecasts showed inflation easing to 1.5% in 2023; expect that number to be much higher now, but just how high is uncertain after the sudden emergence of the omicron coronavirus strain, potentially more infectious than previously known variants, raised the risk of new restrictions. Pressure for a quick exit is coming from Germany, where inflation hit a whopping 6% this month, the fastest since the early 1990s.  Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, who will step down at the end of the year, has already sounded the alarm, saying it’s possible the euro-area pace will remain above the ECB’s 2% target in the medium term. His Spanish counterpart Pablo Hernandez de Cos is warning against a premature removal of support however even though data showed that Spanish inflation hit a stunning 5.6% - also the highest in nearly three decades; Despite this crushing blow to consumer wallets, he argued there’s no reason to rush to stop bond purchases given price pressures will ease “very significantly” in the second quarter. He too, appears to not have gotten the memo. And with the market focusing on what Lagarde whether with or without the Omicron context, even before the new strain arrived, resurgent cases in recent weeks had already prompted the Netherlands and Germany to impose new curbs. Austria and Slovakia went into lockdown. If replicated elsewhere, such measures could weigh on output and amplify already unprecedented supply chain bottlenecks. It's probably why Goldman expects November to be the all time high, and looks for both core and headline European inflation to fall going forward as base effects and weight changes wash out. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/30/2021 - 13:12.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2021

Risk Cracks After Moderna CEO Comments Spark Global Stock Rout

Risk Cracks After Moderna CEO Comments Spark Global Stock Rout Ask a drug dealer if methadone helps cure a cocaine addition and - shockingly - you will hear that the answer is "hell no", after all an affirmative response would mean the fixer needs to get a real job. Just as shocking was the "admission" of Moderna CEO, Stéphane Bancel, who in the latest stop on his media whirlwind tour of the past 48 hours gave the FT an interview in which he predicted that existing vaccines will be much less effective at tackling Omicron than earlier strains of coronavirus and warned it would take months before pharmaceutical companies could manufacture new variant-specific jabs at scale. “There is no world, I think, where [the effectiveness] is the same level . . . we had with [the] Delta [variant],” Bancel told the Financial Times, claiming that the high number of Omicron mutations on the spike protein, which the virus uses to infect human cells, and the rapid spread of the variant in South Africa suggested that the current crop of vaccines may need to be modified next year. Here, the self-serving CEO whose sell-mode was fully engaged - after all what else would the maker of a vaccine for covid say than "yes, the world will need more of my product" - completely ignored the earlier comments from Barry Schoub, chairman of South Afruca's Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, who over the weekend said that the large number of mutations found in the omicron variant appears to destabilize the virus, which might make it less “fit” than the dominant delta strain. As such, it would be a far less virulent strain... but of course that would also reduce the need for Moderna's mRNA therapy and so Bancel failed to mention it. What is grotesque is that the Moderna CEO’s comments on existing vaccines’ effectiveness against the omicron variant is “old news so should be a fade,” says Prashant Newnaha, a senior Asia-Pacific rates strategist at TD Securities in Singapore. Indeed as Bloomberg notes, Bancel reiterated comments made by Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton during the weekend. Alas, the last thing algos care about is nuance and/or reading between the lines, and so moments after Bancel's interview hit, markets hit risk off mode on Tuesday, and yesterday’s bounce in markets immediately reversed amid fresh worries about the efficacy of currently available vaccines with U.S. equity futures dropping along with stocks in Europe. Bonds gained as investors sought havens. After dropping as much as 1.2%, S&P futures pared losses to -0.7%, down 37 points just above 4,600. Dow Eminis were down 339 points or 1% and Nasdaq was down -0.8%. Adding to concerns is Fed Chair Jerome Powell who today will speak, alongside Janet Yellen, at the Senate Banking Committee in congressional oversight hearings related to pandemic stimulus. Last night Powell made a dovish pivot saying the new variant poses downside risks to employment and growth while adding to uncertainty about inflation. Powell's comments dragged yields lower and hit bank stocks overnight. “The market’s reaction to reports such as Moderna’s suggest the ball is still very much in the court of proving that this will not escalate,” said Patrick Bennett, head of macro strategy for Asia at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Hong Kong. “Until that time, mode is to sell recoveries in risk and not to try and pick the extent of the selloff” U.S. airline and cruiseliner stocks dropped in premarket trading Tuesday, after vaccine maker Moderna’s top executives reiterated that the omicron variant of the coronavirus may require new vaccines. Most U.S. airline stocks were down: Alaska Air -5%, United -3.2%, American -3%, Spirit -2.7%, Delta -2.6%, JetBlue -2.6%, Southwest -1.7%. Here are some other notable movers today: U.S. banks decline in premarket trading following comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that may push back bets on when the central bank will raise rates. Citigroup (C US) -2.4%, JPMorgan (JPM US) -2.2%, Morgan Stanley (MS US) -2.6% Vaccine manufacturers mixed in U.S. premarket trading after rallying in recent days and following further comments from Moderna about treating the new omicron Covid-19 variant. Pfizer (PFE US) +1.6%, Novavax  (NVAS US) +1.3%, Moderna (MRNA US) -3.8% U.S. airline and cruiseliner stocks dropped in premarket trading Tuesday, after vaccine maker Moderna’s top executives reiterated that the omicron variant of the coronavirus may require new vaccines. Alaska Air (ALK US) -5%, United (UAL US) -3.2%, American (AAL US) -3% Krystal Biotech (KRYS US) jumped 4.3% in postmarket trading on Monday, extending gains after a 122% jump during the regular session. The company is offering $200m of shares via Goldman Sachs, BofA, Cowen, William Blair, according to a postmarket statement MEI Pharma (MEIP US) gained 8% postmarket after the cancer-treatment company said it will hold a webcast Tuesday to report on data from the ongoing Phase 2 Tidal study evaluating zandelisib in patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma Intuit (INTU US) declined 3.4% postmarket after holder Dan Kurzius, co-founder of Mailchimp, offered the stake via Goldman Sachs In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index fell to almost a seven-week low. Cyclical sectors including retail, travel and carmakers were among the biggest decliners, while energy stocks tumbled as crude oil headed for the worst monthly loss this year; every industry sector fell led by travel stocks. Earlier in the session, the Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.6% while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 1.5% to finish at its weakest level since May 2016. Asian stocks erased early gains to head for a third day of losses on fresh concerns that existing Covid-19 vaccines will be less effective at tackling the omicron variant. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index extended its fall to nearly 1% after having risen as much as 0.8% earlier on Tuesday. The current crop of vaccines may need to be modified next year, Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said in an interview with the Financial Times, adding that it may take months before pharmaceutical firms can manufacture new variant-specific jabs at scale. U.S. futures also reversed gains. Property and consumer staples were the worst-performing sectors on the regional benchmark. Key gauges in Hong Kong and South Korea were the biggest losers in Asia, with the Kospi index erasing all of its gains for this year. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 1.5% to finish at its weakest level since May 2016. The fresh bout of selling offset early optimism spurred by data showing China’s factory sentiment improved in November. “With the slower vaccination rate and more limited health-care capacity in the region, uncertainty from the new omicron variant may seem to bring about higher economic risks for the region at a time where it is shifting towards further reopening,” said Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte. Asia’s stock benchmark is now down 3.5% for the month, set for its worst performance since July, as nervousness remains over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s tapering schedule and the potential economic impact of the omicron variant. “Moderna is one of the primary mRNA vaccines out there, so the risk-off sentiment is justified,” said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at CMC Markets (Singapore) Pte. Liquidity is thinner going into the end of the year, so investors are “thinking it’s wise to take some money off the table,” he added Japanese equities fell, reversing an earlier gain to cap their third-straight daily loss, after a report cast doubt on hopes for a quick answer to the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Telecoms and electronics makers were the biggest drags on the Topix, which dropped 1%, erasing an earlier gain of as much as 1.5%. Fast Retailing and SoftBank Group were the largest contributors to a 1.6% loss in the Nikkei 225. The yen strengthened about 0.4% against the dollar, reversing an earlier loss. Japanese stocks advanced earlier in the day, following U.S. peers higher as a relative sense of calm returned to global markets. Tokyo share gains reversed quickly in late afternoon trading after a Financial Times report that Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said a new vaccine may be needed to fight omicron. “The report of Moderna CEO’s remarks has bolstered an overall movement toward taking off risk,” said SMBC Trust Bank analyst Masahiro Yamaguchi. “Market participants will probably be analyzing information on vaccines and the new virus variant for the next couple of weeks, so shares will likely continue to fluctuate on these headlines.” In FX, the dollar dropped alongside commodity-linked currencies while the yen and gold climbed and bitcoin surged as safe havens were bid. The yen swung to a gain after Moderna Inc.’s chief executive Stephane Bancel was quoted by the Financial Times saying existing vaccines may not be effective enough to tackle the omicron variant. Commodity-linked currencies including the Aussie, kiwi and Norwegian krone all declined, underperforming the dollar In rates, treasuries held gains after flight-to-quality rally extended during Asia session and European morning, when bunds and gilts also benefited from haven flows. Stocks fell after Moderna CEO predicted waning vaccine efficacy. Intermediates lead gains, with yields richer by nearly 6bp across 7-year sector; 10-year Treasuries are richer by 5.6bp at 1.443%, vs 2.5bp for German 10-year, 4.7bp for U.K. Long-end may draw support from potential for month-end buying; Bloomberg Treasury index rebalancing was projected to extend duration by 0.11yr as of Nov. 22. Expectations of month-end flows may support the market, and Fed Chair Powell is slated to testify to a Senate panel.       In commodities, crude futures are off their late-Asia lows but remain in the red. WTI trades close to $68.30, stalling near Friday’s lows; Brent is off over 2.5% near $71.50. Spot gold rises ~$11 near $1,796/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME zinc outperforms, rising as much as 1.6%.  To the day ahead now, and the main central bank highlight will be Fed Chair Powell’s appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, alongside Treasury Secretary Yellen. In addition, we’ll hear from Fed Vice Chair Clarida, the Fed’s Williams, the ECB’s Villeroy and de Cos, and the BoE’s Mann. On the data side, we’ll get the flash November CPI reading for the Euro Area today, as well as the readings from France and Italy. In addition, there’s data on German unemployment for November, Canadian GDP for Q3, whilst in the US there’s the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure for November, the FHFA house price index for September, and the MNI Chicago PMI for November. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.2% to 4,595.00 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.4% to 460.47 MXAP down 0.5% to 190.51 MXAPJ down 0.6% to 620.60 Nikkei down 1.6% to 27,821.76 Topix down 1.0% to 1,928.35 Hang Seng Index down 1.6% to 23,475.26 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,563.89 Sensex down 0.2% to 57,122.74 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 7,255.97 Kospi down 2.4% to 2,839.01 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.36% Euro up 0.6% to $1.1362 Brent Futures down 3.0% to $71.26/bbl Brent Futures down 3.0% to $71.26/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,796.41 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.65% to 95.72 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Euro-area inflation surged to a record for the era of the single currency and exceeded all forecasts, adding to the European Central Bank’s challenge before a crucial meeting next month on the future of monetary stimulus. If the drop in government bond yields on Friday signaled how skittish markets were, fresh declines are leaving them looking no less nervous. One of Germany’s most prominent economists is urging the European Central Bank to be more transparent in outlining its exit from unprecedented monetary stimulus and argues that ruling out an end to negative interest rates next year may be a mistake. The Hong Kong dollar fell into the weak half of its trading band for the first time since December 2019 as the emergence of a new coronavirus variant hurt appetite for risk assets. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities traded mixed with early momentum seen following the rebound on Wall Street where risk assets recovered from Friday’s heavy selling pressure as liquidity conditions normalized post-Thanksgiving and after some of the Omicron fears abated given the mild nature in cases so far, while participants also digested a slew of data releases including better than expected Chinese Manufacturing PMI. However, markets were later spooked following comments from Moderna's CEO that existing vaccines will be much less effective against the Omicron variant. ASX 200 (+0.2%) was underpinned by early strength across its sectors aside from utilities and with gold miners also hampered by the recent lacklustre mood in the precious metal which failed to reclaim the USD 1800/oz level but remained in proximity for another attempt. In addition, disappointing Building Approvals and inline Net Exports Contribution data had little impact on sentiment ahead of tomorrow’s Q3 GDP release, although the index then faded most its gains after the comments from Moderna's CEO, while Nikkei 225 (-1.6%) was initially lifted by the recent rebound in USD/JPY but then slumped amid the broad risk aversion late in the session. Hang Seng (-1.6%) and Shanghai Comp. (Unch) were varied in which the mainland was kept afloat for most the session after a surprise expansion in Chinese Manufacturing PMI and a mild liquidity injection by the PBoC, with a central bank-backed publication also suggesting that recent open market operations demonstrates an ample liquidity goal, although Hong Kong underperformed on tech and property losses and with casino names pressured again as shares in junket operator Suncity slumped 37% on reopen from a trading halt in its first opportunity to react to the arrest of its Chairman. Finally, 10yr JGBs were initially contained following early momentum in stocks and somewhat inconclusive 2yr JGB auction which showed better results from the prior, albeit at just a marginal improvement, but then was underpinned on a haven bid after fears of the Omicron variant later resurfaced. Top Asian News China’s Biggest Crypto Exchange Picks Singapore as Asia Base SoftBank-Backed Snapdeal Targets $250 Million IPO in 2022 Omicron Reaches Nations From U.K. to Japan in Widening Spread Slump in China Gas Shows Spreading Impact of Property Slowdown Major European bourses are on the backfoot (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.5%; Stoxx 600 -1.5%) as COVID fears again take the spotlight on month-end. APAC markets were firmer for a large part of the overnight session, but thereafter the risk-off trigger was attributed to comments from Moderna's CEO suggesting that existing vaccines will be much less effective against the Omicron COVID strain. On this, some caveats worth keeping in mind - the commentary on the potential need for a vaccine does come from a vaccine maker, who could benefit from further global inoculation, whilst data on the new variant remains sparse. Meanwhile, WSJ reported Regeneron's and Eli Lilly's COVID antiviral cocktails had lost efficacy vs the Omicron variant - however, the extent to which will need to be subject to further testing. Furthermore, producers appear to be confident that they will be able to adjust their products to accommodate the new variant, albeit the timeline for mass production will not be immediate. Nonetheless, the sullied sentiment has persisted throughout the European morning and has also seeped into US equity futures: the cyclically bias RTY (-1.7%) lags the ES (-1.0%) and YM (-1.3%), whilst the tech-laden NQ (-0.5%) is cushioned by the slump in yields. Back to Europe, broad-based losses are seen across the majors. Sectors tilt defensive but to a lesser extent than seen at the European cash open. Travel & Leisure, Oil & Gas, and Retail all sit at the bottom of the bunch amid the potential implications of the new COVID variant. Tech benefits from the yield play, which subsequently weighs on the Banking sector. The retail sector is also weighed on by Spanish giant Inditex (-4.3%) following a CEO reshuffle. In terms of other movers, Glencore (-0.9%) is softer after Activist investor Bluebell Capital Partners called on the Co. to spin off its coal business and divest non-core assets. In a letter seen by the FT, Glencore was also asked to improve corporate governance. In terms of equity commentary, analysts at JPM suggest investors should take a more nuanced view on reopening as the bank expects post-COVID normalisation to gradually asset itself over the course of 2022. The bank highlights hawkish central bank policy shifts as the main risk to their outlook. Thus, the analysts see European equities outperforming the US, whilst China is seen outpacing EMs. JPM targets S&P 500 at 5,050 (closed at 4,655.27 yesterday) by the end of 2022 with EPS at USD 240 – marking a 14% increase in annual EPS. Top European News Omicron Reaches Nations From U.K. to Japan in Widening Spread ECB Bosses Lack Full Diplomatic Immunity, EU’s Top Court Says Adler Keeps Investors Waiting for Answers on Fraud Claims European Gas Prices Surge Above 100 Euros With Eyes on Russia In FX, the Greenback may well have been grounded amidst rebalancing flows on the final trading day of November, as bank models are flagging a net sell signal, albeit relatively weak aside from vs the Yen per Cit’s index, but renewed Omicron concerns stoked by Moderna’s CEO casting considerable doubt about the efficacy of current vaccines against the new SA strain have pushed the Buck back down in any case. Indeed, the index has now retreated further from its 2021 apex set less than a week ago and through 96.000 to 95.662, with only the Loonie and Swedish Krona underperforming within the basket, and the Antipodean Dollars plus Norwegian Crown in wider G10 circles. Looking at individual pairings, Usd/Jpy has reversed from the high 113.00 area and breached a Fib just below the round number on the way down to circa 112.68 for a marginal new m-t-d low, while Eur/Usd is back above 1.1350 having scaled a Fib at 1.1290 and both have left decent option expiries some distance behind in the process (1.6 bn at 113.80 and 1.3 bn between 1.1250-55 respectively). Elsewhere, Usd/Chf is eyeing 0.9175 irrespective of a slightly weaker than forecast Swiss KoF indicator and Cable has bounced firmly from the low 1.3300 zone towards 1.3375 awaiting commentary from BoE’s Mann. NZD/AUD/CAD - As noted above, the tables have turned for the Kiwi, Aussie and Loonie along with risk sentiment in general, and Nzd/Usd is now pivoting 0.6800 with little help from a deterioration in NBNZ business confidence or a decline in the activity outlook. Similarly, Aud/Usd has been undermined by much weaker than forecast building approvals and a smaller than anticipated current account surplus, but mostly keeping hold of the 0.7100 handle ahead of Q3 GDP and Usd/Cad has shot up from around 1.2730 to top 1.2800 at one stage in advance of Canadian growth data for the prior quarter and month of September as oil recoils (WTI to an even deeper trough only cents off Usd 67/brl). Back down under, 1 bn option expiry interest at 1.0470 in Aud/Nzd could well come into play given that the cross is currently hovering near the base of a 1.0483-39 range. SCANDI/EM - The aforementioned downturn in risk appetite after Monday’s brief revival has hit the Sek and Nok hard, but the latter is also bearing the brunt of Brent’s latest collapse to the brink of Usd 70/brl at worst, while also taking on board that the Norges Bank plans to refrain from foreign currency selling through December having stopped midway through this month. The Rub is also feeling the adverse effect of weaker crude prices and ongoing geopolitical angst to the extent that hawkish CBR rhetoric alluding to aggressive tightening next month is hardly keeping it propped, but the Cnh and Cny continue to defy the odds or gravity in wake of a surprise pop back above 50.0 in China’s official manufacturing PMI. Conversely, the Zar is struggling to contain losses sub-16.0000 vs the Usd on SA virus-related factors even though Gold is approaching Usd 1800/oz again, while the Try is striving to stay within sight of 13.0000 following a slender miss in Turkish Q3 y/y GDP. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are once again under pressure amid the aforementioned COVID jitters threatening the demand side of the equation, albeit the market remains in a state of uncertainty given how little is known about the new variant ahead of the OPEC+ confab. It is still unclear at this point in time which route OPEC+ members will opt for, but seemingly the feasible options on the table are 1) a pause in output hikes, 2) a smaller output hike, 3) maintaining current output hikes. Energy journalists have suggested the group will likely be influenced by oil price action, but nonetheless, the findings of the JTC and JMMC will be closely watched for the group's updated forecasts against the backdrop of COVID and the recently coordinated SPR releases from net oil consumers – a move which the US pledged to repeat if needed. Elsewhere, Iranian nuclear talks were reportedly somewhat constructive – according to the Russian delegate – with working groups set to meet today and tomorrow regarding the sanctions on Iran. This sentiment, however, was not reciprocated by Western sources (cited by WSJ), which suggested there was no clarity yet on whether the teams were ready for serious negotiations and serious concessions. WTI Jan resides around session lows near USD 67.50/bbl (vs high USD 71.22/bbl), while Brent Feb dipped under USD 71/bbl (vs high USD 84.56/bb). Over to metals, spot gold remains underpinned in European trade by the cluster of DMA's under USD 1,800/oz – including the 100 (USD 1,792/oz), 200 (USD 1,791/oz) and 50 (1,790/oz). Turning to base metals, LME copper is modestly softer around the USD 9,500/t mark, whilst Dalian iron ore futures meanwhile rose over 6% overnight, with traders citing increasing Chinese demand. US Event Calendar 9am: 3Q House Price Purchase Index QoQ, prior 4.9% 9am: Sept. FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. 1.2%, prior 1.0% 9am: Sept. Case Shiller Composite-20 YoY, est. 19.30%, prior 19.66%; S&P/CS 20 City MoM SA, est. 1.20%, prior 1.17% 9:45am: Nov. MNI Chicago PMI, est. 67.0, prior 68.4 10am: Nov. Conf. Board Consumer Confidenc, est. 111.0, prior 113.8 10am: Nov. Conf. Board Present Situation, prior 147.4 10am: Nov. Conf. Board Expectations, prior 91.3 Central Banks 10am: Powell, Yellen Testify Before Senate Panel on CARES Act Relief 10:30am: Fed’s Williams gives remarks at NY Fed food- insecurity event 1pm: Fed’s Clarida Discusses Fed Independence DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Just as we go to print markets are reacting negatively to an interview with the Moderna CEO in the FT that has just landed where he said that with regards to Omicron, “There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level... we had with Delta…… I think it’s going to be a material drop (efficacy). I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to . . . are like ‘this is not going to be good’.”” This is not really new news relative to the last 3-4 days given what we know about the new mutation but the market is picking up on the explicit comments. In response S&P futures have gone from slightly up to down just over -0.5% and Treasury yields immediately dipped -4bps to 1.46%. The Nikkei has erased gains and is down around -1% and the Hang Seng is c.-1.8%. This is breaking news so check your screens after you read this. In China the official November PMI data came in stronger than expected with the Manufacturing PMI at 50.1 (49.7 consensus vs 49.2 previous) and the non-manufacturing PMI at 52.3 (51.5 consensus vs 52.4 previous). The negative headlines above as we go to print followed a market recovery yesterday as investors hoped that the Omicron variant wouldn’t prove as bad as initially feared. In reality, the evidence is still incredibly limited on this question, and nothing from the Moderna CEO overnight changes that. However the more positive sentiment was also evident from the results of our flash poll in yesterday’s EMR where we had 1569 responses so very many thanks. The poll showed that just 10% thought it would still be the biggest topic in financial markets by the end of the year, with 30% instead thinking it’ll largely be forgotten about. The other 60% thought it would still be an issue but only of moderate importance. So if that’s correct and our respondents are a fair reflection of broader market sentiment, then it points to some big downside risks ahead if we get notable bad news on the variant. For the record I would have been with the majority with tendencies towards the largely forgotten about answer. So I will be as off-side as much as most of you on the variant downside risk scenario. When I did a similar poll on Evergrande 2 and a half months ago, only 8% thought it would be significantly impacting markets a month later with 78% in aggregate thinking limited mention/impact, and 15% thinking it would have no impact. So broadly similar responses and back then the 15% were most correct although the next 78% weren’t far off. In terms of the latest developments yesterday, we’re still waiting to find out some of the key pieces of information about this new strain, including how effective vaccines still are, and about the extent of any increased risk of transmission, hospitalisation and death. Nevertheless, countries around the world are continuing to ramp up their own responses as they await this information. President Biden laid out the US strategy for tackling Omicron in a public address yesterday, underscoring the variant was a cause for concern rather than panic. He noted travel bans from certain jurisdictions would remain in place to buy authorities time to evaluate the variant, but did not anticipate that further travel bans or domestic lockdowns would be implemented, instead urging citizens to get vaccinated or a booster shot. Over in Europe, Bloomberg reported that EU leaders were discussing whether to have a virtual summit on Friday about the issue, and Poland moved to toughen up their own domestic restrictions, with a 50% capacity limit on restaurants, hotels, gyms and cinemas. In Germany, Chancellor Merkel and Vice Chancellor Scholz will be meeting with state premiers today, whilst the UK government’s vaccination committee recommended that every adult be eligible for a booster shot, rather than just the over-40s at present. Boosters have done a tremendous job in dramatically reducing cases in the elder cohort in the UK in recent weeks so one by product of Omicron is that it may accelerate protection in a wider age group everywhere. Assuming vaccines have some impact on Omicron this could be a positive development, especially if symptoms are less bad. Markets recovered somewhat yesterday, with the S&P 500 gaining +1.32% to recover a large portion of Friday’s loss. The index was driven by mega-cap tech names, with the Nasdaq up +1.88% and small cap stocks underperforming, with the Russell 2000 down -0.18%, so the market wasn’t completely pricing out omicron risks by any means. Nevertheless, Covid-specific names performed how you would expect given the improved sentiment; stay-at-home trades that outperformed Friday fell, including Zoom (-0.56%), Peloton (-4.35%), and HelloFresh (-0.8%), while Moderna (+11.80%) was the biggest winner following the weekend news that a reformulated vaccine could be available in early 2022. Elsewhere, Twitter (-2.74%) initially gained after it was announced CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey would be stepping down, but trended lower throughout the rest of the day. The broader moves put the index back in positive territory for the month as we hit November’s last trading day today. Europe saw its own bounceback too, with the STOXX 600 up +0.69%. Over in rates, the partial unwind of Friday’s moves was even smaller, with yields on 10yr Treasuries moving up +2.6bps to 1.50%, driven predominantly by real rates, as inflation breakevens were a touch narrower across the curve. One part of the curve that didn’t retrace Friday’s move was the short end, where markets continued to push Fed rate hikes back ever so slightly, with the first full hike now being priced for September (though contracts as early as May still price some meaningful probability of Fed hikes). We may see some further movements today as well, with Fed Chair Powell set to appear before the Senate Banking Committee at 15:00 London time, where he may well be asked about whether the Fed plans to accelerate the tapering of their asset purchases although it’s hard to believe he’ll go too far with any guidance with the Omicron uncertainty. The Chair’s brief planned testimony was published on the Fed’s website last night. It struck a slightly more hawkish tone on inflation, noting that the Fed’s forecast was for elevated inflation to persist well into next year and recognition that high inflation imposes burdens on those least able to handle them. On omicron, the testimony predictably stated it posed risks that could slow the economy’s progress, but tellingly on the inflation front, it could intensify supply chain disruptions. The real fireworks will almost certainly come in the question and answer portion of the testimony. The bond moves were more muted in Europe though, with yields on 10yr bunds (+2.0bps), OATs (+1.0bps) and BTPs (+0.4bps) only seeing a modest increase. Crude oil prices also didn’t bounce back with as much rigor as equities. Brent gained +0.99% while WTI futures increased +2.64%. They are back down -1 to -1.5% this morning. Elsewhere in DC, Senator Joe Manchin noted that Democrats could raise the debt ceiling on their own through the reconciliation process, but indicated a preference for the increase not to be included in the build back better bill, for which his support still seems lukewarm. We’re approaching crucial deadlines on the debt ceiling and financing the federal government, so these headlines should become more commonplace over the coming days. There were some further developments on the inflation front yesterday as Germany reported that inflation had risen to +6.0% in November (vs. +5.5% expected) on the EU-harmonised measure, and up from +4.6% in October. The German national measure also rose to +5.2% (vs. +5.0% expected), which was the highest since 1992. Speaking of Germany, Bloomberg reported that the shortlist for the Bundesbank presidency had been narrowed down to 4 candidates, which included Isabel Schnabel of the ECB’s Executive Board, and Joachim Nagel, who’s currently the Deputy Head of the Banking Department at the Bank for International Settlements. Today we’ll likely get some further headlines on inflation as the flash estimate for the entire Euro Area comes out, as well as the numbers for France and Italy. There wasn’t much in the way of other data yesterday, though UK mortgage approvals fell to 67.2k in October (vs. 70.0k expected), which is their lowest level since June 2020. Separately, US pending home sales were up +7.5% in October (vs. +1.0% expected), whilst the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing activity index for November unexpectedly fell to 11.8 (vs. 15.0 expected). Finally, the European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator for the Euro Area dipped to 117.5 in November as expected, its weakest level in 6 months. To the day ahead now, and the main central bank highlight will be Fed Chair Powell’s appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, alongside Treasury Secretary Yellen. In addition, we’ll hear from Fed Vice Chair Clarida, the Fed’s Williams, the ECB’s Villeroy and de Cos, and the BoE’s Mann. On the data side, we’ll get the flash November CPI reading for the Euro Area today, as well as the readings from France and Italy. In addition, there’s data on German unemployment for November, Canadian GDP for Q3, whilst in the US there’s the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure for November, the FHFA house price index for September, and the MNI Chicago PMI for November. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/30/2021 - 07:50.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2021

Black Friday Turns Red On "Terrible News" - Global Markets Crater On "Nu Variant" Panic

Black Friday Turns Red On "Terrible News" - Global Markets Crater On "Nu Variant" Panic The Friday after thanksgiving is called black Friday because that's when retailers finally turn profitable for the year. Not so much for market, however, because this morning it's red as far as the eye can see. The culprit: the same one we discussed late last night - the emergence of a new coronavirus strain detected in South Africa, known as B.1.1.529, which reportedly carries an "extremely high number" of mutations and is “clearly very different” from previous incarnations, which may drive further waves of disease by evading the body’s defenses according to South African scientists, and soon, Anthony Fauci. British authorities think it is the most significant variant to date and have hurried to impose travel restrictions on southern Africa, as did Japan, the Czech Republic and Italy on Friday. The European Union also said it aimed to halt air travel from the region. "Markets have been quite complacent about the pandemic for a while, partly because economies have been able to withstand the impact of selective lockdown measures. But we can see from the new emergency brakes on air travel that there will be ramifications for the price of oil," said Chris Scicluna, head of economic research at Daiwa. As a result, what was initially just a 1% drop in US index futures, has since escalated to a plunge of as much as 2% with eminis dropping the most since September, at one point dropping below 4,600 after closing on Wednesday above 4,700 as a post-Thanksgiving selloff spread across global markets amid mounting concerns the new B.1.1.529 coronavirus variant - which today will be officially called by the Greek lettter Nu - could derail the global economic recovery.  Russell 2000 contracts sank as much as 5.4%. Technology shares may be caught in the net too as Nasdaq 100 futures slid. The VIX increased as much as 9.4 vols to 28, it's biggest jump since January. It was last seen up 7.4 points, or the biggest increase since February. Adding to the pain, there is nothing on today's macro calendar and the US market closes early which will reduce already dismal liquidity even more, exacerbating some of the moves throughout the session. Headlines are likely to center on various nations preventing travel from South Africa whilst potentially imposing more stringent COVID measures domestically, as well as which countries "find" the Nu variant. Amid the panicked flight to safety, 10Y TSY yields tumbled as traders slashed bets on monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve (just hours after Goldman predicted that the Fed would double the pace of its taper and hike 3 times in 2022, oops) ... ... as did oil amid fears new covid lockdowns will lead to a collapse in crude demand (they will also certainly force OPEC+ to put on pause their plans to keep hiking output by 400K every month). Paradoxically, even cryptos are tumbling, which is surprising since even the dumbest algos should realize by now that a new covid outbreak means more dovish central banks, no tightening, and if nothing else, more QE and more liquidity which is precisely what cryptos need to break out to new all time highs. Cruise ship operator Carnival slumped 9.1% in premarket trading and Boeing slid 5.8% as travel companies tumbled worldwide. Stay-at-home stocks such as Zoom Video rallied.  Didi Global shares fell after Chinese regulators reportedly asked the ride-hailing giant to delist from U.S. bourses. Here are some of the other big premarket movers: Airlines and other travel stocks slumped in premarket trading on growing concern about a new Covid-19 variant identified in southern Africa. The European Union is proposing to halt air travel from several countries in the area and the U.K. will temporarily ban flights from the region. United Airlines (UAL US) fell 8.9%, Delta Air (DAL US) -7.9%, American Airlines (AAL US) -6.7%; cruiseline-operator Carnival (CCL US) -12%; hotelier Marriott (MAR US) -6.1%; lodging company Airbnb (ABNB US) -6.9%. Stay-at-home stocks that benefit from higher demand in lockdowns rose in premarket, with Zoom Video (ZM US) gaining 8.5% and fitness equipment group Peloton (PTON US) +4.7%. Vaccine stocks surged in premarket, while Pfizer and BioNTech got an added boost after their coronavirus shot won European Union backing for expanded use in children. Moderna (MRNA US) rose 8.8%, Novavax (NVAX US) +6.2%, Pfizer (PFE US) +5.1%, BioNTech (BNTX US) +6.4%. Small biotech stocks gained in premarket as investors sought havens. Ocugen (OCGN US) added 22%, Vir Biotechnology (VIR US) +7.8%, Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE US) +5%. Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks fell as Bitcoin dropped as investors dumped risk assets. Marathon Digital (MARA US) declined 9%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) -8.8%, Coinbase (COIN US) -4.6%. Didi Global (DIDI US) declined 6% in premarket after Chinese regulators were said to have asked the ride-hailing giant to delist from U.S. bourses. Selecta Biosciences (SELB US) dropped 13% in Wednesday’s postmarket ahead of Thursday’s Thanksgiving closure, after saying the U.S. FDA placed a clinical hold on a trial. Quotient Technology (QUOT US) gained 3.9% in Wednesday’s postmarket on news that a board member bought $150,000 of shares. What happens next will matter and so, all eyes are on the opening bell for the U.S. markets, set to return from the holiday for a shortened trading session. Tumbling futures and a soaring VIX signaled that the rout in Asia and Europe won’t spare New York equities, while lack of liquidity will only make the pain worse. The Japanese yen emerged as the main haven currency of the day, with the dollar languishing. “Every trader in New York will be rushing to the office now,” said Salm-Salm & Partner portfolio manager Frederik Hildner, adding that news of the new variant could mean the end of the inflation and tapering debate. The worsening pandemic poses a dilemma for central banks that are preparing to tighten monetary policy to curb elevated price pressures, according to Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote. “It’s terrible news,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote, said in emailed comments. “The new Covid variant could hit the economic recovery, but this time, the central banks won’t have enough margin to act. They can’t fight inflation and boost growth at the same time. They have to choose.” “We now have a new Covid variant that’s ‘very’ different from the ones we knew so far, a rising inflation, and a market bubble,” she said.  “The only encouraging news is the easing oil prices, which could tame the inflationary pressures and give more time to the central banks before pulling back support.” In the meantime, the World Health Organization and scientists in South Africa were said to be working “at lightning speed” to ascertain how quickly the B.1.1.529 variant can spread and whether it’s resistant to vaccines. The new threat adds to the wall of worry investors are already contending with in the form of elevated inflation, monetary tightening and slowing growth. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index headed for the biggest drop in 13 months plunging 2.7%; travel and banking industries led the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down as much as 3.7%, the biggest intraday drop since June 2020. Airbus slumped 8.6% in Paris and British Airways owner IAG tumbled 12% in London, while food-delivery stocks gained.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Stay-at-home stocks and Covid testing firms such as TeamViewer and DiaSorin are among the biggest gainers as worries over a new Covid variant send the Stoxx 600 tumbling on lockdown fears TeamViewer and DiaSorin rise as much as 6% and 7%, respectively On the down side, travel and leisure stocks plunge, with the likes of IAG, Lufthansa and Carnival posting double- digit falls IAG drops as much as 21% Software AG shares rise as much as 9.5% after Bloomberg reported that the firm is exploring strategic options, including a potential sale, with Morgan Stanley saying the company’s biggest headwinds are behind it. Evolution gains as much as 4.6%, recouping part of Thursday’s 16% plunge, with Bank of America saying the share price’s “crazy time” amounts to a good buying opportunity. Skistar rises as much as 3.7%, bucking steep declines for travel and leisure stocks, after Handelsbanken upgraded the stock, saying bookings for the Scandinavian ski resort operator are “set to surge.” Telecom Italia climbs as much as 2.8% following a Bloomberg report that private equity firms KKR and CVC are considering teaming up on a bid for the company. ING Groep falls as much as 11% after Goldman Sachs analyst Jean-Francois Neuez cut his recommendation to neutral from buy. Getlink drops as much as 6% as French fishermen start protests aimed at stepping up pressure on the U.K. in a post-Brexit fishing dispute. Earlier in the session, MSCI's index of Asian shares outside Japan fell 2.2%, its sharpest drop since August. Casino and beverage shares were hammered in Hong Kong, while travel stocks dropped in Sydney and Tokyo. Japan's Nikkei skidded 2.5% and S&P 500 futures were last down 1.8%. Giles Coghlan, chief currency analyst at HYCM, a brokerage, said the closure of the U.S. market for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday had exacerbated moves. "We need to see how transmissible this variant is, is it able to evade the vaccines - this is crucial," Coghlan said. "I expect this story to drag on for a few days until scientists have a better understanding of it." Indian stocks plunged as the detection of a new coronavirus strain rattled investor sentiment globally, raising concerns over a likely setback to the nascent economic recovery.  The S&P BSE Sensex lost 2.9%, the most since mid-April, to 57,107.15 in Mumbai, taking its loss this week to 4.2%, the biggest weekly drop since January. The NSE Nifty 50 Index declined by a similar magnitude on Friday. Reliance Industries was the biggest drag on both measures and declined 3.2%.  “There is fear of this new variant spreading to other countries which might again derail the global economy,” said Hemang Jani, head of equity strategy at Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.   Of the 30 shares in the Sensex index, 26 fell and 4 gained. All but one of 19 sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. retreated, led by a index of realty companies. The S&P BSE Healthcare index was the only sub-index to gain, surging 1.2%. While researchers are yet to determine whether the new virus variant is more transmissible or lethal than previous ones, authorities around the world have been quick to act. The European Union, U.K., Israel, and Singapore placed emergency curbs on passengers from South Africa and the surrounding region. Travel stocks were among the hardest hit. InterGlobe Aviation Ltd. fell 8.9%, Spicejet Ltd. slipped 6.7% and Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. plunged 11.2%, the most since March 2020.  “Nervousness on the new variant of coronavirus and expectations of the U.S. Fed increasing the pace of tapering have led to recent market weakness,” Amit Gupta, fund manager for portfolio management services at ICICI Securities Ltd. said. “This trend may take some time to recover as the WHO meeting on the new mutant variant impact and hospitalization rates in US and Europe will be watched by the market very closely.” Crude oil to emerging markets completed this picture of mayhem. In rates, fixed income was firmly bid as Treasuries extended their advance led by the belly of the curve, outperforming bunds, while money markets pared rate-hike bets amid fears that a new coronavirus strain may spread globally, slowing economic growth. Cash Treasuries outperformed, richening 12-14bps across the short end, with Thursday’s closure exacerbating the optics. As shown above, 10Y Treasury yields shed as much as 10 basis points while the Japanese yen jumped the most since investors’ March 2020 rush for safety. Yields across the curve are lower by more than 8bp at long end, 13bp-15bp out to the 7-year point, moves that if sustained would be the largest since at least March 2020 and in some cases since 2009. Short-term interest rate futures downgraded the odds of Fed rate increases. Gilts richened 10-11bps across the curve, outperforming bunds by 4-5bps. Peripheral and semi-core spreads widen. In FX, JPY and CHF top the G-10 scoreboard with havens typically bid. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after earlier touching a fresh cycle high, and the greenback was mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers as the yen and the Swiss franc led gains while the Canadian dollar and Norwegian krone were the worst performers as commodity prices plunged. Traders pushed back the timing of a 25-basis-point rate increase by the Federal Reserve to July from June, with only one further hike expected for the remainder of 2022. It’s a similar story in the U.K. where the Bank of England is now expected to tighten policy in February instead of next month. Wagers that the ECB will raise its deposit rate by the end of next year have also been slashed, with only a six basis-point increase priced in, half of that seen earlier this week. The European Union is proposing to follow the U.K. in halting air travel from southern Africa after the new Covid-19 variant was identified there. The yen is at the epicenter of skyrocketing currency volatility as the new virus variant shakes markets. The cost of hedging against swings in the Japanese currency over the next week, which captures the release of the next U.S. payrolls report, is the most expensive in more than a year. In commodities, crude futures are hit hard. WTI drops over 7% before finding support near $73, Brent drops over 5% before recovering near $78. Spot gold grinds higher, adding $21 to trade near $1,809/oz. Base metals are sharply offered with much of the complex off as much as 3%. Looking at the otherwise quiet day ahead, data releases include French and Italian consumer confidence for November, as well as the Euro Area M3 money supply for October. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, Vice President de Guindos, and the ECB’s Visco, Schnabel, Centeno, Panetta and Lane, and BoE chief economist Pill. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.9% to 4,607.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 2.8% to 468.04 MXAP down 1.8% to 193.33 MXAPJ down 2.2% to 628.97 Nikkei down 2.5% to 28,751.62 Topix down 2.0% to 1,984.98 Hang Seng Index down 2.7% to 24,080.52 Shanghai Composite down 0.6% to 3,564.09 Sensex down 2.7% to 57,234.83 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.7% to 7,279.35 Kospi down 1.5% to 2,936.44 Brent Futures down 5.8% to $77.46/bbl Gold spot up 0.9% to $1,805.13 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.33% to 96.46 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.31% Euro up 0.4% to $1.1259 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The European Union is proposing to halt air travel from southern Africa over growing concern about a new Covid-19 variant that’s spreading there, as the U.K. said it will also temporarily ban flights from the region Those close to the Kremlin say the Russian president doesn’t want to start another war in Ukraine. Still, he must show he’s ready to fight if necessary in order to stop what he sees as an existential security threat: the creeping expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in a country that for centuries had been part of Russia Bitcoin tumbled 20% from record highs notched earlier this month as a new variant of the coronavirus spurred traders to dump risk assets across the globe Germany’s Greens tapped their two co- leaders to run the foreign ministry and take charge of an influential portfolio overseeing economy and climate protection in the country’s next government under Social Democrat Olaf Scholz A more detailed breakdown of global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets declined and US equity futures were also on the backfoot on reopen from the prior day’s Thanksgiving lull with markets spooked by new COVID variant concerns related to the B.1.1.529 variant in South Africa that was first detected in Botswana. The new variant showed a high number of mutations and was said to be the most evolved strain ever which spurred fears it could be worse than Delta and is prompting both the UK and Israel to halt flights from several African nations. ASX 200 (-1.7%) was negative with heavy losses in energy and broad underperformance in cyclicals leading the downturn across all sectors, while the much better than expected Australian Retail Sales data was largely ignored. Nikkei 225 (-2.5%) underperformed and gave up the 29k status as selling was exacerbated by detrimental currency inflows and with SoftBank shares among the worst hit on reports that China is said to have asked Didi to delist from US exchanges on security fears, which doesn't bode well for SoftBank given that its Vision Fund is the top shareholder in the Chinese ride hailing group with a stake of more than 20%. Hang Seng (-2.5%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.7%) conformed to the risk aversion with the mood not helped by ongoing geopolitical concerns after a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson noted they are ready to crush Taiwan independence bid "at any time”, while China also said it opposes US sanctions on its companies and will take all necessary measures to firmly defend the rights of Chinese companies. Beijing interference further contributed to the headwinds amid the request by China for Didi to delist from US which reports stated regulators could backtrack on and with Tencent subdued after some Chinese state-run companies restricted the use of Tencent's messaging app. Top Asian News Stocks in Asia Set for Worst Day Since March on Virus Woes Mizuho CEO Steps Down After Regulator Hit on System Issues Meituan 3Q Revenue Meets Estimates Japan’s Kishida Delivers $316 billion Extra Budget for Recovery European equities are trading markedly lower (Stoxx 600 -2.9%) with losses in the Stoxx 600 extending to 3.8% WTD. Sentiment throughout the week has been hampered by various lockdown measures imposed across the region with the latest leg lower accelerated by new COVID variant concerns related to the B.1.1.529 variant in South Africa. The new variant has shown a high number of mutations and is said to be the most evolved strain so far. This has spurred fears it could be worse than Delta and has prompted multiple nations to halt flights from several African nations.The handover from the overnight session was an equally downbeat one with the Nikkei 225 (-2.5%) dealt a hammer blow by the risk environment and unfavourable currency flows. Stateside, futures are lower across the board with the RTY the clear laggard with losses of 4.2% compared to the ES -1.8%, whilst the tech-heavy NQ is faring better than peers but ultimately still lower on the session to the tune of 1.6%. Note, early closures in the US and subsequent liquidity conditions could exacerbate some of the moves throughout the session. With the macro calendar light, focus for the session is likely to centre on various nations preventing travel from South Africa whilst potentially imposing more stringent COVID measures domestically. Any further clarity on the spread of the variant and its potential to evade vaccines will be of great interest to the market and likely be the main driving force of price action today. Sectors in Europe are lower across the board with the Stoxx 600 Banking (-5.1%) sector bottom of the pile amid the declines seen in global bond yields as markets scale back expectations of central bank tightening (e.g. pricing now assigns a 63% chance of a 15bps hike by the BoE next month vs. 93% a week ago). Oil & Gas names (-4.8%) are suffering on account of the declines in the crude space with WTI crude in freefall with losses of 6.7% given the potential impact of travel restrictions on demand. Travel restrictions on South Africa (from UK, Israel, EU et al) and the potential for further announcements has crushed the Travel & Leisure sector (-5.7%) with airline names dealt a hammer blow; IAG (-13.5%), easyJet (-11%), Deutsche Lufthansa (-12%), Air France (-9.5%). Elsewhere, there are a whole raft of other laggards which are very much in-fitting with the March 2020 playbook but there are simply too many to list for the purpose of this report. Defensives and Tech are faring better than peers but ultimately still lower on the session to the tune of 1% and 1.9% respectively. Finally, for anyone wanting some positivity from today’s session, the potential for further lockdowns has proved to be beneficial for the likes of HelloFresh (+3.2%), Ocado (+2.1%) and Delivery Hero (+1.9%). Top European News Airlines Skid on South Africa Travel Bans Tied to Variant German Coalition Proposes a Combustion-Car Ban Without Saying So Putin Pushes Confrontation With NATO as Hardliners Prevail Siemens Is Said to Kick Off Sale of Postal Logistics Business In FX, the index has been under pressure in the risk-averse environment amid a slump in yields and gains in its basket components – namely the JPY, CHF, EUR (see below) – and with liquidity also thinned by Thanksgiving. From a technical perspective, the index has declined from its 96.787 overnight high, through the 96.500 mark, to a low of 96.332 – with the weekly trough at 96.035. Ahead, the US calendar is once again light, with the US also poised for an early Thanksgiving closure; thus, impulses will likely be derived from the macro environment. JPY, CHF, EUR - Haven FX JPY and CHF are the clear outperformers as a function of risk-related inflows. USD/JPY has retreated from a 115.37 peak and fell through its 21 DMA (114.15) to a base around 113.66 - with the current weekly low around 113.64. USD/CHF retreated from 0.9360 to 0.9260 – with the 50 and 100 DMAs seen at 0.9234 and 0.9219, respectively, ahead of 0.9200. EUR/USD meanwhile gains on what is seemingly an unwind of the carry trade amid a spike in volatility. EUR/USD found support near 1.1200 before rebounding to a current 1.1288 peak. AUD, NZD, CAD, GBP - The non-US Dollar risk currencies bear the brunt of the latest market downturn, with losses across industrial commodities not helping. The Loonie has taken the spot as the biggest G10 loser as hefty COVID-induced losses in the oil complex keep the currency suppressed. USD/CAD trades towards the top of a current 1.2647-2774 range. AUD is also weighed on by softer base metal prices – AUD/USD fell from a 0.7200 overnight high to a current low at 0.7110. On that note, Westpac sees AUD/USD pushed down to 0.7000 by Jun 2022 (prev. 0.7700) amid rate differentials with the US; Westpac made significant changes to its FOMC policy forecast and now expect consecutive increases in the fed funds rate in Jun, Sept, and Dec 2022. NZD/USD is slightly more cushioned amid smaller exposure to commodities, and as the AUD/NZD cross takes aim at 1.0450 to the downside. GBP, meanwhile, was initially among the losers amid its high-beta status but thereafter nursed losses in a move that coincided with EUR/GBP rejecting an upside breach of its 21 DMA at 0.8475. EM - The ZAR is the standout laggard given the new South African COVID variant - B.1.1.529 COVID-19 variant (expected to be named Nu) – which is said to be the most evolved strain so far and thus prompted several countries to halt travel to the country of origin. USD/ZAR currently trades within a 15.9375-16.3630 intraday band. Meanwhile, the downturn oil sees USD/RUB north of 75.00 and closer to 76.00 from a 74.2690 base. The Lira also feels some contagion despite the lower oil prices (Turkey being a large net oil importer) – USD/TRY is back on a 12.00 handle and within 11.92-1226 parameters at the time of writing. In commodities, the crude complex has been hit by compounding COVID fears which in turn triggered various travel restrictions and subsequently took its toll on global crude demand prospects. The new and more evolved South African variant prompted the UK, Singapore, and Israel to expand their travel red lists to include some African nations (Israel reported its first case of the new COVID-19 variant known as B.1.1.529). Japan also imposed tighter border restrictions. China’s Shanghai city see flights impacted by its own outbreak. Europe also tackles its surge in daily cases - German Green Party's Baerbock (incoming Foreign Minister) does not rule out a German lockdown, according to Spiegel. EU Commission President von der Leyen is also to propose activation of the emergency air brake, to halt travel from southern Africa due to the B.1.1.529 COVID-19 variant. Losses in oil have exacerbated - with WTI Jan and Brent Feb now under USD 74/bbl (vs high 78.65/bbl) and USD 77/bbl (vs high 80.42/bbl), -6.0% and -5.0% respectively. This comes ahead of the OPEC+ confab next week, whereby OPEC watchers have suggested that oil prices will be a large contributor to the final decision. It is difficult to see how OPEC+ will increase output to the levels the US et al. will be content with, with the latest COVID downturn building the case for a pause in planned output hikes. Elsewhere, haven demand sees spot gold extend on gains above USD 1,800/oz after topping the 100 DMA (1,792.95/oz), 200 DMA (1,791.38/oz), 50 DMA (1,790.13/oz) overnight. Base metals are softer across the board amid the risk aversion. LME copper posts losses of around 3% at the time of writing, as prices threaten a more convincing downside breach of USD 9,500/t. US Event Calendar Nothing major scheduled DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Things have escalated on the covid front quite rapidly over the last 12 hours. Yesterday new covid variant B.1.1.529 was slowly starting to gather increasing attention but overnight it has begun to dominate markets and has caused a notable flight to quality with 10 year USTs -8bps lower. It was originally identified in Botswana and is starting to spread rapidly in Africa. The South African Health Minister has said it is "of serious concern". Almost 100 cases have already been identified in South Africa and the UK moved to put the country back (along with 5 other African nations) on a reinstated red travel list last night with others following this morning. The variant is said to be the most heavily mutated version yet and the WHO will meet today to decide if it is a variant of interest or a variant of concern. So a lot of eyes will be on how severe it is and whether it completely evades vaccines. At this stage very little is known. Mutations are often less severe so we shouldn’t jump to conclusions but there is clearly a lot of concern about this one. Also South Africa is one of the world leaders in sequencing so we are more likely to see this sort of news originate from there than many countries. Suffice to say at this stage no one in markets will have any idea which way this will go. Overnight in Asia all benchmarks are trading lower on the news with the Shanghai Composite (-0.50%), CSI (-0.64%), KOSPI (-1.27%), Hang Seng (-2.13%) and the Nikkei (-2.90%) all lower. Airlines and other travel stocks have obviously fallen heavily. Hong Kong has detected two confirmed cases of the new variant just as Hong Kong and China were considering quarantine-free travel. S&P 500 (-0.93%) and DAX (-1.82%) futures are also much weaker. Elsewhere, in Japan, CPI rose +0.5% year-on-year (+0.4% consensus and +0.1% previously), on the back of 16-month high fuel prices. With the US out on holiday for Thanksgiving, there wasn’t much going on yesterday after a very quiet day in markets. The variant news was only slowly creeping into the news flow so it hardly impacted trading. But in keeping with the theme of recent days, both inflation and the latest covid wave in Europe remained very much in the picture as jitters continue to increase that we could see further lockdowns as we move towards Christmas. Starting with the headline moves, European equities did actually show signs of stabilising yesterday, with the STOXX 600 up +0.42% thanks to a broad-based advance across the continent. In fact that’s actually the index’s best daily performance in over three weeks, although that’s not reflecting any particular strength, but instead the fact the index inched steadily but persistently towards a record high before selling off again a week ago. Other indices moved higher across the continent too, with the FTSE 100 (+0.33%), the CAC 40 (+0.48%) and the DAX (+0.25%) all posting similar advances. These will all likely reverse this morning. One piece of news we did get came from the ECB, who released the account of their monetary policy meeting for October. Something the minutes stressed was the importance that the Governing Council maintain optionality in their policy settings, with one part acknowledging the growing upside risks to inflation, but also saying “it was deemed important for the Governing Council to avoid an overreaction as well as unwarranted inaction, and to keep sufficient optionality in calibrating its monetary policy measures to address all inflation scenarios that might unfold.” Against this backdrop, 10yr bond yields moved lower across multiple countries, with those on bunds (-2.3ps), OATs (-2.3bps) and BTPs (-1.9bps) all declining. There was also a flattening in all 3 yield curves as well, with the 2s10s slope in Germany (-3.0bps), France (-3.7bps) and Italy (-2.8bps) shifting lower. And the moves also coincided with a continued widening in peripheral spreads, with both the Spanish and the Greek spreads over 10yr bund yields widening to their biggest levels in over a year. Of course, one of the biggest concerns in Europe right now remains the pandemic, and yesterday saw a number of fresh measures announced as policymakers seek to get a grip on the latest wave. In France, health minister Veran announced various measures, including the expansion of the booster rollout to all adults, and a reduction in the length of time between the initial vaccination and the booster shot to 5 months from 6. Meanwhile in the Czech Republic, the government declared a state of emergency and approved tighter social distancing measures, including the closure of restaurants and bars at 10pm. And in Finland, the government have said that bars and restaurants not using Covid certificates will not be able to serve alcohol after 5pm. All this came as the European Medicines Agency recommended that the Pfizer vaccine be approved for children aged 5-11, which follows the decision to approve the vaccine in the US. Their recommendation will now go to the European Commission for a final decision. There wasn’t much in the way of data at all yesterday, though German GDP growth in Q3 was revised down to show a +1.7% expansion (vs. +1.8% previous estimate). Looking at the details, private consumption was the only driver of growth (+6.2%), with government consumption (-2.2%), machinery and equipment (-3.7%) and construction (-2.3%) all declining over the quarter. To the day ahead now, and data releases include French and Italian consumer confidence for November, as well as the Euro Area M3 money supply for October. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, Vice President de Guindos, and the ECB’s Visco, Schnabel, Centeno, Panetta and Lane, and BoE chief economist Pill. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/26/2021 - 08:12.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 26th, 2021

Offset Inflated Prices With These 3 Stocks

The Divergence of Retail Sales and Consumer Sentiment You’ve likely taken notice of higher prices in everything from gas at the pump to inflated menu pricing at restaurants. As we head into the holiday season, even that Thanksgiving turkey dinner is likely to cost more than in previous years. This past Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that smaller 8-16 lb. frozen turkeys experienced a 27% price increase over last year. It’s a common theme for many food products and commodities that are in demand.In anticipation of the continued supply constraints we’ve seen this year, consumers have been getting their Christmas shopping done earlier than normal. In fact, domestic retail sales recently hit an all-time high. Meanwhile, consumer sentiment is at its lowest level in the last decade. The graphs below detail the divergence between retail sales and consumer sentiment.Image Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, University of Michigan, FREDFor the last ten years these measures have mainly moved in sync, with retail sales serving as a reflection of how consumers feel. This year has been different. Consumers are obviously worried about higher inflation as the sentiment graph depicts. However, that hasn’t yet caused them to reduce spending. The pent-up demand created from the pandemic is still very much in play, with retail sales continuing to soar even in the face of higher prices.Inflation has finally started to rear its ugly head after a massive amount of stimulus has poured into the global economy. The question is – what pockets of the market can we as investors profit from in order to take advantage of this environment?The answer lies in understanding which stocks have historically performed well when inflation is rising. Companies that are able to profit from increasing prices and pass on larger costs to consumers have a leg up. In the past, the sector that has the highest level of outperformance in periods of intensifying inflation is energy.Let’s examine three energy companies that are poised to outperform in this environment and are leaders within their respective industry groups.Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (CPK)CPK is a utility company that engages in natural gas distribution and transmission, propane distribution and marketing, as well as advanced information services and other related businesses. Domestic natural gas residential prices have nearly doubled this year, and economists are predicting that prices will continue to rise with winter around the corner and colder weather imminent.Chesapeake Utilities has a Zacks #2 (Buy) ranking and has advanced nearly 26% on the year. The company has produced a positive earnings surprise in each of the last four quarters with an average surprise of 12.6%.Chesapeake Utilities Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise Chesapeake Utilities Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Chesapeake Utilities Corporation QuoteCPK most recently reported earnings earlier this month of $0.71, reflecting a 26.7% increase year-over-year for the previous quarter. This translated to a greater than 31% surprise over the $0.54 consensus. For the year, the current Zacks Consensus Estimate for CPK stands at EPS of $4.75, which would render a 12.8% increase over 2020. Chesapeake Utilities looks to continue its strong momentum heading into next year.Oneok, Inc. (OKE)Oneok is a diversified energy company engaged in natural gas processing, gathering, storage and transmission in the United States. The company is the largest natural gas distributor in Kansas and Oklahoma, and the third largest in Texas with almost 2 million customers. OKE is also involved in oil and gas production.Oneok, currently holding a Zacks #3 ranking, has climbed over 80% this year and has produced a positive earnings surprise in each of the last three quarters. The company most recently reported quarterly earnings earlier this month of EPS $0.88, a 6% surprise over the $0.83 consensus.     ONEOK, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise                    ONEOK, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | ONEOK, Inc. QuoteONEOK, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise ONEOK, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | ONEOK, Inc. QuoteWhat the Zacks Model RevealsZacks Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction) looks to find companies that have recently seen positive earnings estimate revision activity. The technique has proven to be very useful for finding positive earnings surprises. In fact, when combining a Zacks #3 rank or better and a positive earnings ESP, stocks produced a positive surprise 70% of the time.Oneok’s ESP presently sits at 2.8%. The current full-year EPS Zacks Consensus Estimate stands at $3.35, which would represent a nearly 136% increase over last year. OKE is due to report earnings on February 28th, 2022.Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC)Marathon Petroleum, headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, is engaged in refining, transporting and marketing of petroleum products. MPC is a component of the Zacks Oil and Gas – Refining and Marketing industry group within the Oils and Energy sector.The sector as a whole, which is currently ranked #1 out of all 16 Zacks sectors, has advanced over 35% on the year. We want to target companies that are outperforming, and MPC certainly fits the bill with a greater than 60% return YTD.Marathon Petroleum is showing an impressive record of earnings surprises with a beat notched in each of the last ten quarters. The average surprise over the last four quarters is a remarkable 39.1%. Marathon Petroleum Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise Marathon Petroleum Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Marathon Petroleum Corporation QuoteFor the current quarter, analysts have revised their consensus estimate to EPS of $0.76, which is up over 117% from just 30 days ago. If the company matches this consensus, it would translate to over 180% growth year-over-year. MPC’s current ESP is 10.75%.On an annual basis, the current Zacks Consensus Estimate is EPS of $1.72, reflecting a 150% increase over 2020. MPC is next slated to report earnings on February 1st, 2022. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report ONEOK, Inc. (OKE): Free Stock Analysis Report Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC): Free Stock Analysis Report Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (CPK): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 24th, 2021

Hyperinflation In Turkey: Wine Prices Up 15% In One Day, Chicken And Cheese Up 10%

Hyperinflation In Turkey: Wine Prices Up 15% In One Day, Chicken And Cheese Up 10% A few days ago we joked that with the lira collapsing at a record rate that would make Rudy von Havenstein and Gideon Gono blush, it was Turkish president Recep Erdogan's secret grand plan to unleash hyperinflation in Turkey, and to wipe the country's lira-denominated debt clean (foreign-denominated debt is a different matter). Erdogan Ally Bahceli: Central Bank Independence Must be Debated. Says "Turkey should be free of interest rate burden...Tight monetary policy would hurt economy” more than the impact of lower rates or lira weakness They really want hyperinflation — zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 23, 2021 Unfortunately, it turns out that this actually was not a joke, and as Turkey's currency collapses - and will continue to collapse until either i) Erdogan is gone or ii) he reverses his uniquely insane brand of economic orthodoxy known as Erdoganomics according to which lower yields rates in lower inflation - Turkey's prices are now literally hyperinflating with wine up 15% in a day, chicken by 10%, gasoline surging... *TURKEY TO RAISE GASOLINE PRICE BY 1.02 LIRAS/LITER: EPGIS ... and virtually every other good and service up in the high single or double digits. And not surprisingly, as a producer from Britain's Sky found on the ground today, Istanbul's sky is as gloomy as the mood in the households and on the streets of Turkey. As Sky reports, prices had already hiked during the pandemic: over the past 18 months, while packaged goods shrunk and prices soared, there was not a single empty shelf. Compared to the western world, Turks prided themselves with not having to fight for toilet paper or masks. But today the recent change in interest rates policy and the unorthodox economic strategy is impacting the exchange rate sinking the national currency to an all time low. Turks may not earn their wages in foreign currency but their currency is melting like ice on a summer day and prices increase by the week. And it feels like it is nearly every day. As Sky's Guldenay Sonumut reveals, "a bottle of wine I bought the day before had increased by 15%. It is hard to keep up." Ibrahim Koksal is a tiny shop owner in Yeniköy. He has a tiny "bodega" store that sells as many items as possible from cigarettes to batteries as well as fast food he cooks on the go. Running from his food stall to his cashiers' desk all with a smile. He has been a small shop owner since 1993 and admits the price increases have hit him, his household and his business as well as his customers. "I cannot reflect the 10% increase from this morning on the chicken and cheese I use in my sandwiches. "Because the business is so slow, it would scare off my last customers," he tells me very honestly. "I have to create some turnover but I am losing from my profit". Ibrahim supports the president's policy despite struggling to make a profit Paradoxically, even though it means his financial ruin, Ibrahim supports Erdogan's financial policies. When asked about what he thinks the reason for the current economic situation is, Ibrahim says: "Our neighbors are jealous. This is what I think". He repeats President's Erdoğan's rhetoric of waging an independence war. It will demand time and sacrifice, a sacrifice he is prepared to make. Actually it has nothing to do with Turkey's jealous neighbors, and everything with Erdogan's systematic plunder of his country which according to some is in the billions and which has left the country facing an all out financial, economic and monetary collapse coupled with bank runs and - now - hyperinflation. Still, when one is brainwashed, nothing matters: Ibrahim does not believe in an early election or the ability of the opposition parties to handle the task. Ibrahim says Erdoğan is working for the country against everyone - and he stands by him. Meanwhile, Turkey's economy is disintegrating. Sonumut then met 41-year old Özgür who owns a jewellery shop on the main Street in Yeniköy. The Sky producer was the second person who entered the shop in an hour. For Özgür, he is witnessing the slowest business since during the pandemic. "I have made half of what I usually earn this last month. The price fluctuation between yesterday and today is over 10%. "This is untenable. In my professional life I have never seen anything like the last 10 days we went through. Our customers do not know what to do. They are waiting to see what will happen." Jewellery shop owner Özgür says business is slower than during the pandemic Özgür is slightly more rational than his bodega-running buddy: he says there is a definite need for stability, and a need to stop the obstinate stand with the interest rates. Does he think an election would be the solution: "I think we may see an election this summer. I think if the opposition gets elected there might be some easing of the tensions. But we need to come back to stability." It is a sentiment shared by everyone in supermarkets, shops, pharmacies - the conversations are one of worry of the unknown. Many feel free to voice their worry like Özgür or Ibrahim, but the everyday housewife does not want to answer any questions, "Don't you see what is happening?" they all say. Indeed, it's pretty clear what is happening - the economic death of a country because its authoritarian ruler will drag the entire country down with him. As Sky concludes, in a matter of weeks, "shopping carts have suffered from the price hikes." People feel they are paying twice the price and get half of what they used to buy. "They want to go back to how it was." According to Erdoğan, a positive impact will be felt in a few months but there is a very tough winter ahead. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/24/2021 - 15:22.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 24th, 2021

People of color and rural households are getting hit the hardest by the hot inflation of 2021

Inflation hurts people who spend the largest share of their income on energy, food, cars, and household items, per a Bank of America research note. Prices for energy, food, cars, and household supplies are going up due to record-high inflation in the US.Ridofranz/Getty Images People of color, rural households, and families without a college graduate are affected the most by inflation.  These groups have less income, and are therefore more "exposed" to higher inflation, Bank of America said. Higher inflation adds to the financial strain the pandemic has already caused these groups. Inflation is hurting Americans' wallets as it hits a 30-year-high in the United States — but people of color and rural households are feeling it the most. Inflation has hurt lower-income families, families of color, and rural households more than other demographics, a Bank of America research report found last week. Breaking down demographics by race, geography, and income, the bank found that the "inflation shock" of 2021 has disproportionately affected the marginalized: Households without college graduates, African American, Hispanic and Latino communities, and those not living in cities have been spending more of their post-tax income on goods and services. Those with less income and wealth are less likely to have savings to buffer the current inflation shock. Therefore, the hit to their spending power is greater. But lower-income families are also more "exposed" to the goods with the most inflation, researchers wrote. The goods seeing the most price inflation include energy, food, cars, and household furnishings and supplies. African American, Hispanic, and Latino households spent 7.1% of their post-tax income on energy, for instance, compared to 5.4% spent by other demographics. These same households spent 12.5% of their income on food, compared to 11.1% for everyone else. In total, BofA researchers said the spending power shock from these higher inflation categories was 4% for African American, Hispanic, and Latino groups, compared to 2.9% for everyone else. The divide was similar for rural versus urban populations. The former experienced a shock of 5.2%, while the latter saw one of 3.5%. "All of the high-inflation categories, particularly energy and new & used cars, make up a larger share of the consumption basket for rural households," researchers said. "They also earn and save less than urban households, and so inflation is a bigger drag on their income, and they have less buffer against the shock."The researchers found that each of the four high-inflation categories makes up a larger share of the "consumption basket" for households in which no one is a college graduate."In total, they account for 35% of 2019 spending, compared to 28% for households in which someone has a college degree," they wrote. "The gap between the groups gets even larger (34% vs. 23%) when we look at spending in our high-inflation categories as a share of total income."It's another sign of the K-shaped economic recovery in AmericaThe report clarifies that the difference in impact of inflation between races is relatively small, but still notable when compared along income lines. "Inflation hurts lower-income households," it says. "Namely, less-educated and rural households, those with non-managerial workers and minorities – the most." This conclusion lines up with general racial wealth gap data, which shows that Black Americans face the worst barriers to building wealth. The median white family had more than 10 times the wealth of the median Black family in 2016, for instance, according to the Fed's 2017 "Survey of Consumer Finances."The findings about lower-income Americans being hit worse — as well as the divide between urban and rural populations — also reinforces what we know about disparities in financial recovery at this point of the pandemic. Economists have described the current state of economic recovery as "K-shaped." That means that in the current recession, technology, retail, and software industries have recovered from the pandemic downturn, while travel, entertainment, hospitality, and food-services industries have continued to decline. A K-shaped recovery reveals and worsens pre-existing wealth disparities. Essentially, higher income households are recovering, while lower income ones are continuing to struggle.Inflation disproportionately affecting low-income households highlights pandemic financial trends: because these households are still suffering, their dollars are being stretched thinner by bloated food and energy prices. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 24th, 2021

Food Inflation Is the 2022 Crisis, Not Supply Chains

Food Inflation Is the 2022 Crisis, Not Supply Chains By Mark Cudmore, Bloomberg Markets Live commentator and analyst The real trouble will start when this year’s energy crisis morphs into next year’s food inflation problem. We’ve all become armchair inflation experts. And why not? It’s almost impossible for anyone to keep getting it as systematically incorrect as professional economists have done this year. It’s time for the conversation to move beyond the current obsession with eye-catching headline numbers. That we’re in a global inflation regime of a kind not seen for decades, is beyond doubt. Interest in supply chains is at a 17-year high, according to Google Trends, but it has become a red herring when it comes to forecasting the persistence of inflation. Supply-side constraints are usually a key initial catalyst in any price spiral. And it’s intuitive that the vast majority of supply-side issues are “transitory” in nature as supply eventually responds to higher prices. So, while it’s good to know when supply-side pressures will ease, that knowledge isn’t sufficient to conclude when the broader inflation threat will pass. What we need to establish is whether demand will take over in leading the inflation charge. And, for that purpose, inflation expectations are critical. As measured by breakeven rates, U.S. 5-year expectations have breached 3% for the first time in at least 19 years. The U.K. equivalent is well above 4% for the first time in records going back more than 25 years. Expectations of higher inflation have the double impact of encouraging people to front-load spending, further pushing up prices, as well as the more important effect of laborers demanding higher wages, thereby both directly increasing costs and the future pool of capital allocated to demand. This latter point is crucial to dwell on: CPI gets boosted as equality increases and labor takes a larger share of profits from capital. This is because lower-income individuals have a higher marginal propensity to consume, whereas wealthier people just add to investments. An extra $1 billion to Warren Buffett won’t change his spending habits, whereas an extra $100 to a low-income single parent likely gets recycled into the real economy within days. Inflation becomes a material economic problem when it significantly affects the person on the street, squeezing their disposable income and compelling central bank reactions. And the various themes of 2021 are coalescing into a perfect storm for one of the few unavoidable items in every CPI basket: food. Climate disruption has been a primary catalyst, but the price impacts have been exaggerated by supply-chain issues and labor shortages driving up wages. Now, the energy crisis is exacerbating the problem directly through costs. But it’s the issue of fertilizer becoming too expensive and industrial greenhouses getting turned off that is sowing the seeds (inappropriate pun intended) of the 2022 crisis. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s food price index is up more than 30% over the past year as of the end of October, and not slowing down this month. Coffee, a daily staple for many of us, provides one great example where there’s been such damage to crops that it’ll take several years to see the damage repaired. Arabica coffee beans, the main type, have doubled in price over the past year. Wheat is surging globally with negative supply stories mounting by the day. Milling-wheat reached another record in Paris and the International Grains Council warned last week that inventories across major exporters could fall to a nine-year low. That’s something to bear in mind as tensions mount on the Russia/Ukraine border -- two of the world’s largest wheat producers. The Bloomberg Commodity Agriculture Subindex is up more than 80% from last year’s lows. The last such extreme surge, in 2010-11, was partially blamed as a catalyst for the Arab Spring, a series of social uprisings across much of the Arab world. That is an index measured in dollars, and back then the greenback was weakening steadily. This year, the dollar is on a tear, meaning the true effect of these commodity price rises is even greater on consumers through much of the rest of the world. A squeezed consumer is bad for stability in both politics and markets, and a negative for stocks. And few things motivate laborers to demand higher wages more than being unable to afford putting dinner on the table for their families. It is this food crisis that will sustain the inflation problem well into 2022 and wreak havoc on a humanitarian level as well as for markets. Something to ponder as we celebrate the food-focused holiday of Thanksgiving. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/23/2021 - 19:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 23rd, 2021

Structural or Transitory?

    Everybody seems to be having a hard time with the word “Transitory.” Part of this is due to the way people experience time in the modern era. Perhaps it would be helpful to reframe this differently, using a less temporal approach. Consider this question: Are rising prices a “Structural” part of the economy?… Read More The post Structural or Transitory? appeared first on The Big Picture.     Everybody seems to be having a hard time with the word “Transitory.” Part of this is due to the way people experience time in the modern era. Perhaps it would be helpful to reframe this differently, using a less temporal approach. Consider this question: Are rising prices a “Structural” part of the economy? Are they a permanent fixture, part of the outlook for the cost of goods and services for the next decade or longer? If we are to dismiss “Transitory,” then we must, by definition, embrace inflation as “Structural.” I don’t see this in most of the biggest price increases — they are not permanent parts of the economy. This is because — Warning: priors ahead! — the dominant price impetus the past three decades has been technology-induced Deflation. The more recent drivers of Inflation all look like pandemic/re-opening/supply chain driven, and therefore not structural. Consider some of the bigger components of the recent record high CPI: • Automobiles (new and used): One of the biggest drivers of higher prices has been the auto sector, even though they are only 7.8% of overall consumption (new vehicles = 3.83%; used = 3.29%). From March 2020 to August 2021, used car and truck prices have gone up 43.3% versus 11.7% for new vehicles versus U.S. inflation rate of 7.3% (currently 6.2%). This is clearly a re-opening issue caused by the semiconductor supply problems, not a structural change in car prices. There are signs this has peaked and is abating: The CEO of Ford said the semiconductor shortage is improving but will extend into next year (September); the CEO of Volkswagen said we have “seen the worst” of the chip shortage (October); Toyota announced production lines in Japan are scheduled to operate normally for the first time in seven months (November). And last week, Morgan Stanley research noted chip production in Malaysia returned to full production; they expect car production (and chip intensive users like cloud data center servers) to improve in the near future. All of the above is why prices for automobiles should begin to start normalizing in Q1 or Q2 2022. This is precisely what transitory inflation is versus structural inflation. • Shelter: One of the largest components of inflation data is Shelter at 41.7% of CPI. This includes owned homes and rentals. The complication is there are over 95 million owned homes in America, about 2/3rds of which are owner-occupied. About 6 million of these change hands each year. It is a complicated aspect of CPI: Housing has been disrupted by the low numbers of homes built in the years after the financial crisis; it was exasperated by the surge of urban dwellers looking for alternatives to cramped apartments during covid lockdowns. And the so-called death of cities wasn’t merely exaggerated, it was dead wrong. Renters have returned to cities in large numbers, and the 2020 slashed rent prices we saw are returning to normal or above. Part of that big increase in rents is the unfavorable year-over-year comparables to the pandemic rent lows (and eviction moratorium). This will likely sort itself out over the next few quarters. Those are the transitory parts of Shelter pricing, but other aspects of home prices are indeed structural: consider New Home Construction and changes to state and local regulations that prevent higher density land use. The good news is that new housing units under construction are now at the highest level since 1974; we should harbor no such illusion about the imminent elimination of NIMBYism anytime soon. • Wages: The primary driver of rising wages has been the bottom half, in particular the bottom quartile. This is where compensation has lagged for decades and is now catching up. As noted yesterday, Real Median Wages were unchanged from 1979 to 2014; Real Minimum wages were the same in 2015 as they were in 1949. What is occurring at the bottom of the wage scale is a massive unwind of decades of wages that were deflationary in nature. I expect these increases will be sticky, but the annualized gains will moderate. Hence, the best way to think of bottom half wages as part of a great reset. We do have a supply-constrained labor force, due in part to reduced immigration, early retirements, workers leaving dead-end industries, lack of child care, and Covid deaths. This is contributing in part to those rising wages. • Energy: Rose about 30% over the past year; this component is 7.3% of CPI. Some of this is supply-driven, but Energy has lots of cross-currents occurring within it: Prices fell after the 2008-09 crisis; that reduced the incentive for capital intensive fracking, which helped limit supply. There are some signs we will see more fracking in 2022. The structural portion of this is the move from carbon to green energy. That social preference is helping to drive the prices of alternative energy lower. Solar, wind, and geothermal are still relatively small portions of total energy consumption, but they are rising. And, they are a technology not commodity -based energy source. They have the potential to be deflationary, not inflationary. • Goods versus Services: Last, consider the balance between purchased Goods (38.7%) versus consumed Services (61.3%): As our chart shows, it is not the service economy driving rising prices, but rather the goods portion of the equation. CPI Goods are up over 8%, while CPI Services have recovered back to where they were pre covid — at about ~3% price increases. This is a huge element in the inflation discussion. Why? Part of this is driven by the changes that occurred during the pandemic lockdown, and that was a move towards goods and away from services. As an economy, we suddenly began buying food via Instacart/Amazon instead of going out to eat; we bought Peletons vs a gym membership; we purchased large screen TVs instead of going to the movies; we bought cars and Winnebagos instead of going on vacation. In each of these instances, you purchased a physical good instead of using a service — and did so in quantities far outside of what is normally purchased. This is the opposite of the pre-pandemic trend. That the supply chain buckled under the load is not a surprise. ~~~ Prices have risen in many areas, and the question is whether the annualized rate of increase will stay high, or fall back to normal, from these elevated levels. I suspect we are two-thirds through a reset in prices, many of which will prove sticky, but are unlikely to continue at these elevated rates of change. Low-end wages won’t go back to pre-pandemic levels, but used car prices and gasoline will; “Aspirational” single-family home prices are likely to go away as more supply comes online from new construction and more people selling their existing homes. Rentals are back in many places to pre-Covid levels, but the supply shock might be a substantial conversion of overbuilt office space to residential usage. Many of the current prices we see are the “new normal,” but much of the current annualized rate of increase is not.     Previously: How We Experience Time, Inflation Edition (November 10, 2021) How Everybody Miscalculated Housing Demand (July 29, 2021) Deflation, Punctuated by Spasms of Inflation (June 11, 2021) Elvis (Your Waiter) Has Left the Building (July 9, 2021) The Inflation Reset (June 1, 2021) Shifting Balance of Power? (April 16, 2021) Inflation           The post Structural or Transitory? appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureNov 23rd, 2021

OANDA – Maintaining Continuity At The Fed, Stocks Rally, Us Data, Stronger Dollar As Yields Rise, OPEC+ Plays Hardball, Gold Hurt, Bitcoin Struggles

Despite rising pressure from progressive Democrats for a switch at the head of the Fed, President Biden decided that he doesn’t want to change horses in midstream. US stocks are rising as continuity at the Fed remains. Financials surge following Biden’s decision to renominate Fed Chair Powell as financial markets price in more rate hikes […] Despite rising pressure from progressive Democrats for a switch at the head of the Fed, President Biden decided that he doesn’t want to change horses in midstream. US stocks are rising as continuity at the Fed remains. Financials surge following Biden’s decision to renominate Fed Chair Powell as financial markets price in more rate hikes and since Lael Brainard got the second top post and not Vice Chair for Supervision. This does not signal the banks are in the clear as they could see an even tougher regulator announced shortly. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more US Data The housing market refuses to cool after existing home sales in October jumped to a 9-month high.  Existing home sales increased 0.8% in October from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.34 million homes. Home sales prices are 13.1% more expensive from a year ago and inventories remain tight. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index dramatically improved from -0.18 to 0.76, with 61 of the 85 monthly individual indicators showing positive movements. The Fed regional surveys have mostly shown the economy got its groove back from the Delta variant and optimism should be high that economic activity will remain strong, but also that pricing pressures are far from peaking. FX The dollar popped alongside short-end Treasury yields after reports the White House is planning to stick with Fed Chair Powell. The dollar is seeing strong flows as US stocks attract foreign investors, rate hike expectations move forward, and as the latest COVID surge across Europe diminished prospects of a strong first half of the year for the eurozone. Oil Crude prices did an about-face after OPEC+ hinted they could adjust their output increase plan if the US is successful in getting many countries to tap their respective strategic petroleum reserves. Earlier, oil prices were declining as the energy market was bracing for a larger-than-expected release of global strategic petroleum reserves and as Germany struggled with the latest surge of COVID.  Japan and India are looking to join the Americans and Chinese in tackling the recent surge in oil prices that has happened throughout the majority of the year. OPEC+ is pushing back on this coordinated effort which is being led by the US to thwart surging energy costs as the global economic recovery stumbles to runaway inflation fears. WTI crude will remain a volatile trade, but much of the downward move has already happened. An official US SPR announcement could happen as early as tomorrow and energy traders will look to see if that marks the bottom of the recent pullback. Gold Gold is getting punished as stocks hit fresh record highs and the dollar soars after President Biden selected Jerome Powell for a second term as Fed Chair. Gold’s weakness is noticeable and conveniently right when ETF investors finally decided they needed inflation-hedges. The move higher with real yields has accelerated some of gold’s weakness, but it is way too early for investors thinking this is the beginning of a sustained trend. Gold has massive support around the $1800 level and with a shortened trading week, it could consolidate between $1800 and $1850 leading up to the December 15th FOMC policy meeting. Faster tapering and a rate hike already being priced in for the June policy meeting has been kryptonite for gold. This is not the end of the gold trade, but there could be further short-term pain. Bitcoin Bitcoin is under pressure as the dollar and US equities rally following President Biden’s decision to stick with Jerome Powell to run the Fed.  The Biden administration has also won over more nations in delivering a coordinated effort to tackle surging energy prices. Today was not a good day for inflation hedges and that is why both Bitcoin and gold prices are falling sharply. Bitcoin was ripe for a pullback and it might not be over yet before traders confidently feel a bottom has been made. Article By Edward Moya, OANDA Updated on Nov 22, 2021, 4:34 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 22nd, 2021

Erdogan Tells Lira To Drop Dead As Currency Collapse Threatens Financial System, Bank Runs, Hyperinflation

Erdogan Tells Lira To Drop Dead As Currency Collapse Threatens Financial System, Bank Runs, Hyperinflation In what should not be confused for a masterclass in FX trading, on Monday Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended his pursuit of lower interest rates to boost economic growth and job creation, sending the lira cratering to a new record low against the dollar and plummeting to an unprecedented 35% down on the year, surpassing such banana republic currencies as the Argentina, Colombia and Chili Peso. In his latest validation of the bizarre economic school known as "Erdoganomic" which confuses cause and effect as follows... ERDOGAN: INTEREST RATE IS THE REASON, INFLATION IS THE RESULT ... Erdogan said that Turkey has abandoned old policies based on high borrowing costs and a strong currency in the name of slowing inflation, and instead shifted to a new set-up that prioritizes greater investments, exports and strong job creation, while allowing the currency to collapse and no longer engaging in any lira defense. “We were either going to give up on investments, manufacturing, growth and jobs, or take on a historic challenge to meet our own priorities,” he said after a cabinet meeting in capital Ankara. While most central banks are talking of tightening policy as the global recovery fuels a surge in prices, Turkey’s decision to slash 4 percentage points off borrowing rates since September even as inflation has soared above 20%, has stunned markets and frustrated investors who complain its monetary policy is becoming increasingly erratic and unpredictable. Some, such as Swedbank AB strategist Hans Gustafson used the dreaded "H" word: “It is very hard to have a view on a fair value for the lira as long as economic policy is out of sync with fundamentals. The lira will continue to fall until economic policy tighten. Current path will lead to hyperinflation and a balance of payments crisis." As everyone knows, Erdogan is a proponent of the insane mantra that high borrowing costs cause inflation rather than curbing it, and he has demanded a so far receptive central bank cut rates even while price gains race along at near 20%. Erdogan’s pledge to double down on his most recent push for cheaper funding by the nation’s central bank sent the lira tumbling after Turkish markets closed. The currency dropped as much as 2.1% to 11.4767 per dollar and was trading 1.4% lower at 11.450 at last check. Below are some of the highlights from Erdogan’s bizarre, paranoid, at time schizophrenic speech, which reveals that Turkey truly is on the verge of a hyperinflationary collapse: There is a “game” being played against Turkey by those using interest rates, the currency’s exchange rate and inflation “We’re pleased to see that the central bank’s policy rate is being kept low” Turkey will crack down on “unfair, inexplicable price increases” by those using a weak lira as an excuse “We know quite well what we’re doing with the current policy, why we’re doing it, and the kind of risks it entails and what we’ll achieve at the end” The belief that inflation can only slow if the economy contracts has no basis Erdogan’s ruling AK Party has for decades based its electoral success on rapid levels of economic growth, often driven by reducing borrowing costs to encourage credit expansion. When the economy sank during the pandemic, support for Erdogan and his party also fell to all-time lows, prompting him to redouble efforts to propel growth though rising prices are hurting his traditional working class base the most. However, in recent months, perhaps having realized that trying to defend the collapsing lira is futile, Erodgan shifted his tone and questioned why business people did not take out loans and instead of investing in the economy, don't invest in risk assets (i.e., buy stonks) as rates were lowered in the last few months. "Then they get together (and) talk about high interest rates," he said last week. "What type of people are you? If you are a businessman you are on the side of investment, so here are you go: loans with low interest," Erdogan said. While it remains to be seen if Erdogan's pivot is accepted by the population, one thing is undpistable: Turkey’s currency crisis is driving up the cost of food, medicine and other essentials for average Turks, and poses a threat to the country’s banks and large companies if the lira’s slide isn’t arrested, economists quoted by the WSJ said. The steep drop in the lira - which as noted above has lost more than a third of its value to the dollar in eight months - is shaking a Turkish society that had long prided itself as an ascendant economy that rivaled its European neighbors. Ordinary people are now struggling with a decline in their living conditions, with rampant inflation putting pressure on wages and eating into savings. “My life is completely changed,” said Kemal Ince, an Istanbul shopkeeper who hails from Rize, the conservative Black Sea stronghold of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ince says that he is ashamed to have to increase the prices of coffee, olives and cheese, and that even as he charges his customers more, he still feels squeezed. “I don’t have the luxury of spending money on anything,” he said. Turkey’s current crisis is the worst the country has faced since 2018, when the lira also dropped precipitously amid a crisis in relations with the U.S. Worries over potential loan defaults and stress on banks were so high in 2018, the country’s banking regulator allowed lenders to extend loan maturities and facilitate debt restructuring. Turkey’s major banks and companies—many crippled by big foreign-currency loans—now face longer-term risks of instability if Erdogan continues down the path of cutting interest rates further, economists and businesspeople here said. “These kind of imbalances might end up with a run on banks,” said Omer Gencal, a former executive at several Turkish and international banks and now an official with an opposition party. “The current situation isn’t sustainable.” According to the Turkish central bank, nonfinancial companies had about $160 billion in foreign-exchange assets and $280 billion in liabilities as of August. The gap has narrowed since 2018, though it is still wide. Banks’ lending in foreign currency ranged from 24% to 45% of their total loans in the first half of the year, according to Fitch Ratings. While banks have kept their nonperforming loans in check, including through the pandemic, Fitch warned in a report last month that “risks remain high given exposure to the volatile Turkish operating environment, risky segments and sectors, significant foreign-currency lending and the high lira interest-rate environment.” Jason Tuvey, senior emerging-markets economist at Capital Economics, however, told the WSJ that the greatest threat for Turkish banks is their ability to rollover their external debts if investors get increasingly spooked. Short-term external debt of banks stood at $84 billion, or close to 10% of the country’s gross domestic product. Mr. Tuvey said April next year will be a key month for banks, given some of that debt will be due then. Tuvey said that back in 2018 banks were able to draw down their foreign-exchange assets held at the central bank to meet external debt repayments. “The upshot is that banks would be able to muddle through for a short period as in 2018, but they may struggle to cope if access to international capital markets were to be restricted for a considerable amount of time,” Tuvey said. Turkey’s large companies may be able to cope with the crisis for the moment because of foreign-currency reserves that he said might be even larger than official figures show, an ability to pass costs onto consumers, and government assistance including loans, according to Hakan Kara, a former chief economist at the central bank. But as with every case of soaring inflation, the crisis has fallen hardest on ordinary Turks, many of whom are swapping their earnings into foreign currency and cryptos, or looking for ways to flee the country. “I have no confidence left in the Turkish lira because we cannot see what lies ahead for us in this country anymore,” said a woman in her 60s who walked into an exchange office in Istanbul to change 50,000 lira into dollars. The woman, who owns a pharmacy, asked to have her name withheld because of fear of government reprisal. The government imposed a new rule this week requiring customers to present identification cards any time they exchange more than $100 worth of currency. Alas, as noted above, Erdogan doesn’t appear likely to change course, despite the political risks of soaring inflation. He has intensified his calls for low interest rates and the central bank this week used language that suggested it would cut rates again in December. Having ruled Turkey for nearly two decades as both prime minister and president, winning elections in part by vastly expanding the country’s economy, Erdogan’s time in power is at risk of coming to an end as the plummeting lira erodes the standard of living for millions of Turks, driving away potential voters. “Erdogan runs everything. He doesn’t allow either the finance minister, or the central bank governor, or anyone else to do their jobs,” said the owner of an exchange office in Istanbul. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/22/2021 - 14:07.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 22nd, 2021