Caution: Slippery Ramp

Well markets are rocking from London to Hong Kong on Tuesday as the world takes its cues from the blockbuster rally U.S. stocks staged on Monday.

Hong Kong shares were up nicely and H-shares followed suit, recouping some of last week’s steep losses:

HongKong

On the mainland, the SHCOMP posted its first gain in five sessions and the ChiNext soared some 3.6% – the small-cap gauge is well on its way to recouping last week’s decline:

Mainland

In Japan equities surged, with the Nikkei posting its second best day of 2018, up more than 2.5%:

Nikkei

Helping matters for Japanese stocks is the yen, which fell against most of its Group-of-10 peers overnight. USDJPY continues to climb back from the brink (last week it looked like the bottom might fall out entirely, forcing Japan to intervene):

USDJPY

European stocks are similarly pleased, rising across the board after falling into a correction on Monday – the euro is coming off the highs this morning after rising strongly to start the week (the surging currency was part of the problem for European stocks yesterday).

But none of this is enough to impress Bloomberg’s Mark Cudmore who, despite a generally upbeat disposition, turned bearish in late January (good timing, Mark).

This morning, he’s made a bullet point list of reasons why stocks haven’t bottomed yet. You can find it below.

Via Bloomberg

Equities haven’t bottomed just yet.

  • Some commentators have been swift to say Monday’s U.S. stock bounce shows the bull market is firmly back on track
  • But, as Aristotle once observed, “one swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day”
  • U.S. equity futures haven’t even regained last Thursday’s opening price. The tenuously optimistic spin conveys a sense of desperation from equity longs
  • Volatility is now much higher than two months ago. This means larger price moves. In both directions
  • Risk-averse markets see the most powerful short- term bounces because there’s less liquidity and reduced conviction to stand in the way of momentum
  • The fundamental picture hasn’t suddenly brightened from that which formed the backdrop to this column’s bearish call a week ago. If anything, it may have deteriorated:
  • Credit spreads have widened further. Volatility moving averages are still trending higher, constantly restricting leverage capabilities and reducing risk appetite
  • Financial conditions remain very tight. The rise in Libor slows market makers in closing arbitrage opportunities and further reduces liquidity
  • Industrial metals have cleanly broken down, sending a negative signal on the global economy, and China specifically
  • Trade negotiations might eventually end well, but we won’t know for a few weeks, and it seems ridiculous to say that the situation looks better now than it did before Trump signed off on the latest round of tariffs
  • Political risks abound, from the latest escalation in countermeasures against Russia to the fact that it’s increasingly possible we get a ruling coalition of the two populist parties in Italy
  • A full trade war may be unlikely, global economic growth may eventually motor on and equity valuations may be long-term attractive. However, it’s impossible right now to have strong conviction in such views
  • Equities may make record highs again later this year, but it’s very likely that more pain and panic is seen in the weeks ahead
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