Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What markets are really worried about


Dull Start for Global Stock Market

It has been a dull start for the global stock market this year and the first week has been described as the worst start ever, for Wall Street. During the first week of 2016, Frankfurt and Tokyo had dropped by double digit percentages while in New York the drop was 9% and in London 8%. However, China was the eye of the storm where the key index in Shanghai had lost 19% of its value during the same period.

The prices of commodity had also stumbled where crude oil prices for the first time in almost 12 years, had slipped to below $30 per barrel. Share prices, at times had followed oil downwards which is likely for shares of the companies in oil business. However, for the others it tends to reduce costs leaving consumers with more to spend on their products.

There seems to be a slowdown in emerging growth of the economies and China is an exceptional example though certainly not the only one. The instability had begun in the Chinese market, spreading all around the world.The Chinese stock market in itself does not seem to be the ultimate international issue.

Currency under Pressure

Though it is a serious issue for Chinese investors who had purchased shares while the prices were high, they have lost a good amount of money. However there are few of them to have a possible impact on consumer spending in China.

 There are also few foreign investors in Chinese market withthe possibility of serious losses inflicted beyond the country as direct significance. Besides the stock market, the currency, Yuan has also been under pressure and has lost its ground this year though not on the stock market scale. In the first week, the onshore, official rate dropped down by almost 2%. Some had indicated that there could be a possibility of the decline in the Yuan revolving into a full blown loss of confidence.

The financial market pressures on China are in portion at least an indication of the extensive and much discussed economic slowdown. Since the Chinese economy seemed to lose some space there has been some uncertainty on how well the authorities would handle the process. China would certainly need to slow to an added sustainable pace, but would the path tend to be a rocky one with an abrupt slowdown?

Significant But Catastrophic Slowdown in Growth

The official figures so far indicate a significant though not catastrophic slowdown in growth. According to official figures published, after three decades of 10% average growth, China seemed to slow down to 6.9% last year.The new assessment of the economic outlook of IMF tends to predict a further easing of the pace to about 6.3% this year and in 2017 around 6.0%. It records that China has experienced a faster than presumed slowdown in exports and imports, partially reflecting weaker investments as well as manufacturing activity. The apprehensions regarding economic outlook are not only over China. The new forecast of IMF, downgrades the outlook for the emerging as well as the developing countries and the ones which tend to stand out are Brazil and Russia. This is partly regarding the low prices of oil together with the other commodities as well as the political issues, external for Russia and domestic for Brazil. Besides, this there is also a substantial downgrade in the forecast for South Africa.

Monday, January 25, 2016

IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecast As China Growth Slows


IMF Cuts Forecast of Global Growth

Recently the International Monetary Fund – IMF had cut its forecasts of global growth for the third time in less than a year, as the new figures from Beijing indicated that the Chinese economy in 2015, had been at its slowest rate in a quarter of a century. The IMF, to support its forecasts had cited a sharp slowdown in China trade and weak product prices which were hammering Brazil together with the other emerging markets.

 The Fund had forecast that the world economy would tend to grow at 3.4% towards 2016and 3.6% in 2017; both the years would be down by 0.2% point from the earlier estimates made last October. It has stated that policymakers need to consider means of bolstering short-term demand.

The updated forecast of the World Economic Outlook came as global financial markets were shaken by worries over the slowdown of China as confirmed by official Chinese data on Tuesday together with the plunging oil prices. IMF had maintained its earlier China growth forecasts of 6.3% in 2016 and 6.0% in 2017 representing sharp slowdowns from 2015.

Concern over Beijing’s Hold on Economic Policy

According to China’s report, growth for 2015 had hit 6.9% after a year wherein the world’s second biggest economy had suffered huge capital outflows, a slip in the currency as well as summer stock market crash. There was a rise in shares in Europeand Asia and the dollar gained after the China data had been released, while investors expected greater effort by Beijing to spur growth.

 There was concern over Beijing’s hold on economic policy which had shot to the top of global investors’ risk list for the year 2016 after drop in its stock markets as well as the Yuan fuelled worries that the economy would be quickly weakening.

The Fund also mentioned that a steeper slowing of demand in China seemed to be a risk to the global growth. The weaker than expected Chines imports as well as exports had been weighing heavily on the other emerging markets as well as commodity exporters.

Major Risk Aversion/Currency Depreciation/Dollar Appreciation

Maurice Obstfeld, IMF economic counsellor had mentioned in a videotaped statement that `they do not see a big change in the fundamentals in China compared to what is was seen six months ago though the markets are certainly very spooked by small events there that they find it hard to interpret’ He further added that the global financial markets seems to be overreacting to the oil prices drop as well as the risk of a sharp downturn in China and it was critical that China is clear about its overall economic strategy inclusive of its currency.

At a news conference Obstfeld had stated that `it is not a stretch to suggest that markets may be responding very strongly to rather small bits of evidence in an environment of volatility and risk aversion. The oil price puts strains on oil exporters, but there is a silver lining for consumers worldwide, so it is not an unmitigated negative’.

The IMF report states that continued market upheaval would also tend to help in dragging growth lower if it heads to major risk aversion and currency depreciation in the emerging markets. Besides this, other risk would comprise of further dollar appreciation and acceleration of geopolitical tensions.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

RBS Cries 'Sell Everything' As Deflationary Crisis Nears


RBS Warns Clients – Brace for Cataclysmic Year/Global Deflationary Crisis

According to RBS, clients are advised to brace for a cataclysmic year as well as a global deflationary crisis, cautioning that main stock markets would fall by a 5th as well as oil would plunge to $16 per barrel. It was informed by the bank’s credit team that the markets tend to be blinking stress alerts similar to the stormy months prior to the Lehman crisis in 2008. In a client note it had stated to `sell everything except high quality bonds. This is about return of capital, not return on capital.

In a crowded hall, exit doors are small’. Bank’s research chief for European economics and rates, Andrew Roberts commented that the global trade as well as loans have been contracting nasty cocktail for corporate balance sheets and equity earnings which are mainly threatening,considering that global debt ratios have touched record highs.

He further added that `China has set off a main correction and the same is going to snowball. Equities as well as credit have become quite dangerous and we have hardly begun to retrace the `Goldlocks love-in’ of the last two years’. Mr Roberts is hopeful that the Wall Street and European stock would fall by 10 to 20% with a deeper slide for the FTSE 100 taking into account its high weighting of energy and commodities companies.

London Vulnerable to Negative Stock

He has commented saying that `London is vulnerable to a negative stock. All the peoplewho are `long’, oil and mining companies are under the impression that the dividends are safe, will discover that they are not safe at all. The oil prices of Brent will tend to continue to slide after breaking through an important technical level at $34.40, as claimed by RBS, with a `bear flag’ and `Fibonacci’ indication focusing to a floor of $16, which was a level seen last after the East Asia crisis in 1999. The bank has stated that a paralysed OPEC appears unable to respond to a deepening slowdown in Asia with swing region now for global oil demand. RBS predicts that yields on 10-year German Bunds would drop to an all-time low of 0.16% in an effort to safety and would break zero while deflationary powers tend to tighten their grip. The policy rate of European Central Bank would fall to -0.7%.

China – Epicentre of Global Stress

RBS had first delivered its grim warnings in November for the global economy though events had moved much quicker than dreaded. It had estimated that in the fourth quarter, the US economy had slowed to a growth rate of 0.5% and had accused the US Federal Reserve of `playing with fire’, by increasing rates. It stated that there has already been severe financial tightening in the US due to the rising dollar’.

 When the ISM manufacturing index appears to be below the boom-bust line of 50, it seems unusual for the Fed to tighten. Moreover, it is also more shocking to do so after nominal growth of GDP had fallen to 3% and since 2014 been trending down. RBS has informed that China is the epicentre of global stress where the debt driven expansion had reached saturation and the country is now facing a surge in capital flight and is in need of a dramatically lower currency. This next leg of the rolling global drama, according to them is to play out wild and frantically

Saturday, January 16, 2016

World Stocks Drop But Europe Shrugs off Oil Slide, China Money Market Surge


World Stocks Dropped – Fall in Oil Prices/Rush in Chinese Yuan Deposit Rate

World stocks, on Tuesday fell for the fifth straight day anchoring near its lowest level in over two years making investors upset due to the fall in oil prices as well as a rush in offshore Chinese Yuan deposit rates. However, the European stocks recovered from initial weakness due to a rally in the retail segment. Strong seasonal updates had been posted by British companies in particular, lifting the FTSEuroFirst 300 up from three month low.

According to analyst, the People’s Bank of China had earlier compelled overnight, deposit rates in Hong Kong to 66.8% in order to overcome the heavy downward pressure on the Yuan, which was a severe measure essential in cooling the Chinese market volatility Deflation cautious investors in Asia avoided equities and pushed the value of the safe-haven Japanese yen, as oil slipped closer to dropping below $30 a barrel for the first time in 12 years.

Chief market analyst at Avatrade in London, Naeem Aslam informed that `investors in Europe are shrugging off some of the anguish around the Chinese market sell-off and showing some resilience today despite the up and down swings in Asia.

Slowdown in Global Economy/Volatile Chinese Markets

The FTSEuroFirst 300 was up 0.6% at 1,342 points, at 0900 GMT, only its second rise this year while Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.5%, Germany’s DAX was up 1.1% and France’s CAC 40 rose by 0.8%. The shares in Morrison’s rushed 12%, while Debenhams climbed 15% and Tesco rose 5%. The broadest gauge of world stocks of MSCI was however down 0.2% and had not risen since Dec 29. MCSI’s broadest index of the shares of Asia-Pacific outside Japan was 0.4% lesser just cautious of its lowest level in 4 years.

 Since the beginning of 2016, it is down more than 9%. Japan’s Nikkei had closed at 2.7 lower at its lowest level in about a year while U.S. futures aimed to a fall of about 0.3% at the open on Wall Street. With the investors still recovering from last year’s drop in global community prices together with sharp sell-off in Chinese markets, 2016 seems to have brought more pain for investments portfolios by way of developing slowdown in the global economy together with volatile Chinese markets. Beijing by setting another firm fix for its currency has eliminated the gap between offshore and onshore Yuan exchange rates.

China Continues to Inspire Degree of Stability

This was intended to encourage state banks in buying up Yuan in Hong Kong, driving up the overnight deposit rate fixing to 66.8%. According to Mitul Kotecha, currency strategist at Barclays in Singapore, `China continues to inspire a degree of stability after the sharp volatility at the start of the month by announcing stable to firmer fixings.

 Tighter liquidity had contributed to a squeeze on long USD/CNH positions and would mean investors tend to be guarded of shorting CNH in the near term’. Weakness in the commodity market from the start of the year had showed no indication of easing though as Brent and U.S. crude futures had fallen around 2% to new 12-year lows and both played with a break below $30 a barrel.

Money market futures are beginning to price out this year, the opportunity of multiple hikes in rates by the Federal Reserve, with just around 50% chance of a second hike price. Futures had been fully pricing in two rate increases at the beginning of the year.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

China Stocks Recover, Asian Markets Breathe Sigh of Relief


Shares Recover in Asia- Chines Yuan Stable for 3rd Day

Trading seemed to remain uneven on the mainland stock market though shares recovered in Asia recently as the Chinese Yuan become stable for the third straight day. The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +0.17% increased 0.4% to 3028.04 though traded up and down as around 1% from its earlier close.

The main stock market of China dropped 5.3% last week amidst fear that the authorities of China seemed to be unable to stem the latest chaos in the financial markets as well as s slowdown in the larger economy. In another place, the Australian S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -O.14% dropped 0.1%, South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.21% was flat while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.84% rose 0.2%.

Where the markets seemed to be closed for national holiday on Monday in Japan, the Nikkei Stock Average NIK, -2.71% tracked Monday’s regional losses dropping 2%. The Chinese Yuan sustained to steady on Tuesday but the central bank directed the slightly weaker currency. Previously, the Chinese authorities had fixed the Yuan at 6.5628 per U.S. dollar when compared with 6.5626,on Monday.

Offshore Currency Hits Strongest Level

China’s onshore Yuan that could trade 2% below or above the fix, had traded last at 6.5733 per dollar, weaker than 6.5695 at Monday’s close and the currency had reached a five year low of 6.5956 last week. Offshore currency had hit its strongest level from the beginning of the year on Tuesday and had trade last at 6.5705.

The offshore Yuan, which tends to trade freely, on late Monday, strengthened by around 1.5% to 6.5827 to one U.S. dollar when compared to the earlier close, which helps to contract the gap between the onshore and offshore Yuan to its tightest in two months. Traders are of the opinion that the offshore Yuan is strengthening since state-owned Chinese banks tend to buy the currency, which is an intervention by central bank of China.

This had limited the supply of the offshore Yuan, thereby tightening the liquidity and sending the rate at which the Hong Kong banks tend to lend Yuan to each other overnight, to a record high of 66.815%, on Tuesday. The rate soared to 13.4% on Monday from 4% on Friday.

According to Tommy Ong, head of Wealth Management Solutions at DBS in Hong Kong commented that `a lot of channels bringing money from onshore to offshore market has been blocked which also tends to contribute to the shortage of Yuan in Hong Kong.

Beijing Continues to Affect Global Market Mood

The regions’ stock gains Tuesday, tends to offer some absolution after the chaos of the earlier week caused by a faster than anticipated depreciation of the Yuan, when the currency had fallen 1.5%. The stock regulators also seemed to come in last week in order to calm the trading stating that they would do away with a circuit breaker which tends to aggravate selling and extend a ban on big shareholders from selling the shares.

However, China shares are presently roughly just 3% above their summer low on August 27 after a 3 month retreat wiped trillions of U.S. dollars from the marketplace, sparking a global selloff. Traders as well as analysts state that they are uneasy since Chinese authorities oppose with the prospect of increasing the capital outflows from the world’s second largest economy.

Market analyst at Brokerage IG, Bernard Aw,in a morning note had written that `for now, it may seem like the tweaks that Beijing makes will continue to affect global market mood.