Well, gold plunged $18 in seconds on surging volume (18k contracts in a one-minute window) for no apparent reason, falling from 1,253 to test 1,236, the 200-DMA at around 4 a.m. EST.
That’s being chalked up to a “fat finger,” and the follow through for the dollar and yields was readily apparent, with Treasurys diving to day lows and the greenback surging to day highs:
We also got San Francisco Fed chief John Williams in Sydney. Between his prepared remarks and comments to reporters, there were some notable soundbites. Here are a few:
- “My own view is that a new normal federal funds rate” is probably “something below 3%”
- “So when you think about normalizing interest rates, we don’t have a long ways to go to get back to a normal level”
- “But that’s something we’re going to have to keep watching what happens, reassessing those assumptions”
- “We just need to focus on the data, where the U.S. economy is going, what the outlook looks like. And we could have a funds rate hike at the same time as starting the normalization of the balance sheet at the same time, I don’t think there would be a problem in doing that. Nor do I think there’s any need to do them at the same time”
- “My own view is we should start this normalization of the balance sheet later this year. I think that’s been well telegraphed in the Fed Funds decisions”
- Sees inflation hitting Fed’s 2 percent goal in 2018 after “transitory factors” wane that have been pulling it down
- Williams says 4.3 percent U.S. unemployment rate already below long-run sustainable level by “a fair amount”
- “Very strong labor market actually carries with it the risk of the economy” overheating, Williams says
So that’s basically toeing the party line.
Meanwhile, these two prints are worth noting:
- IFO JUNE GERMAN BUSINESS CONFIDENCE INDEX AT 115.1; EST. 114.5]
- IFO JUNE GERMAN CURRENT ASSESSMENT INDEX AT 124.1; EST. 123.2
That’s the fifth straight increase for business confidence which is now sitting at its highest since 1991.
“Sentiment among German businesses is jubilant,” Ifo President Clemens Fuest said in a statement. “Germany’s economy is performing very strongly.”
“The inexplicable euphoria seems to be continuing,” said Andreas Scheuerle, an economist at Dekabank in Frankfurt. “Ifo and PMIs were already much too optimistic compared to the real numbers in the first quarter, and now they’re even more optimistic and will continue to be so in the second quarter vis-a-vis the actual numbers.”
Speaking of things that are rising but maybe shouldn’t be, the pound pushed to its highest in almost a week on Monday, climbing for a fourth day versus the dollar and advancing against all of its G-10 peers except one.
“Technically, it was easier to drive GBP/USD after seeing it drop 0.5% last week”, Masashi Murata, a currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo noted, before cautioning that “it will be premature to bid the pound too strongly as uncertainty about Brexit prevails, with more of a downward bias seen in place.”
Right. Here’s the latest on Theresa May’s fraught negotiations, via Bloomberg:
Prime Minister Theresa May will give more details on her plan to preserve the rights of European Union citizens living in the U.K. after Brexit. The 15-page policy document may go further than her first pitch on the topic last week, which was criticized for costing people rights. A comprehensive and generous package could pave the way for more open negotiations and a better chance of getting a good deal with the world’s largest trade bloc.
May is set for another challenging week of deal-making, which could weigh on sterling. In addition to awaiting how her newest EU-citizen proposal goes down with continental leaders, she is hoping to form an agreement with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party in the next couple of days, while on Thursday she faces a crucial vote on whether legislative agenda for the next two years will be passed
“People are eager for May’s proposal on safeguarding EU citizen rights in the U.K.,” Thu Lan Nguyen, a foreign-exchange strategist at Commerzbank AG, said. “Investors are now hoping for a better proposal which also demonstrates that May is willing to compromise to reach a deal.”
Basically, she doesn’t know what the fuck she’s doing and the whole this is in disarray.
Finally, oil’s not collapsing, which is about the best you can hope for out of that market these days. “There is scope for oil markets to tighten over the rest of the year,” Kerry Craig, global markets strategist for JPMorgan Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV. “As those prices stay weak, certainly some of those companies start adjusting their outlook for capex and investment and that slowly actually does start to bring rebalance into the market.” Got it, Kerry. Thanks.
European stocks are pretty excited about the Italian government dedicating EUR17 billion to clean up a couple of failing Veneto lenders, which will be split into good and bad banks. Intesa Sanpaolo gets to snap up all the good assets for basically nothing with the government’s blessing – its shares are sharply higher.
“Under current terms, this is a good deal for Intesa as it would increase earnings and market share at seemingly no cost to capital,” said Alexander Pelteshki a fixed-income investment manager at Kames Capital. I see.
Meanwhile, Nestle is up something like 4% to an all-time high as Dan Loeb has acquired a giant stake and will push the company to sell its L’Oreal holdings.
Ultimately, European stocks are on pace for their fourth quarterly advance, the best run in three years:
Here’s a snapshot of global equities:
- Nikkei up 0.1% to 20,153.35
- Topix up 0.05% to 1,612.21
- Hang Seng Index up 0.8% to 25,871.89
- Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,185.44
- Sensex down 0.5% to 31,138.21
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.08% to 5,720.16
- Kospi up 0.4% to 2,388.66
- FTSE 7474.69 50.56 0.68%
- DAX 12836.33 102.92 0.81%
- CAC 5321.05 54.93 1.04%
- IBEX 35 10709.30 78.50 0.74%