• Tag Archives Europe
  • EUR/JPY Exchange Rate and Gold

    We argued many times that the yellow metal behaves as a currency rather than as a commodity. Hence, macroeconomic factors and currency exchange rates affect the price of gold. In previous editions of the Market Overview, we analyzed the impact of the U. S. dollar and its exchange rate with the Euro and the Yen on the gold market. We pointed out that gold is negatively correlated with the greenback, so it moves in tandem with the Japanese or European common currency, as they are the major rivals of the U. S. dollar.
    However, some analysts claim that the cross rate between the euro and the yen affects the price of gold (the term ‘cross’ meaning here that the quote does not involve the U. S. dollar). Are they right? Let’s see the chart below and check it out.
    Chart 1: The price of gold (yellow line, left axis, London P. M. Fix, weekly average) and the EUR/JPY (red line, right axis, weekly average) exchange rate from January 1999 to May 2017.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on JUNE 23, 2017.


  • ECB Declares Two Italian Banks Have Failed

    The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced as of June 23rd, that it was declaring two Italian banks insolvent. Veneto Banca SpA and Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA have failed since the two banks repeatedly violated the regulatory capital requirements. The determination was made in accordance with Article 18 (1a) and Article 18 (4a) of the Uniform Resolution Mechanism Regulation.
    The European banking crisis continues.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 24, 2017.


  • Draghi Doesn’t See ‘Bubbles’ – Let Me Show You Some

    Mario Draghi has again missed an exceptional opportunity to adjust monetary policy. By ignoring the huge risks that are being created from the brutal inflation of financial assets, saying that ‘there are no signs of a bubble,’ the European Central Bank (ECB) remains adamantly focused on creating inflation by decree, denying the effects of technology, demography, and overcapacity.
    ‘No signs of bubble’? I’ll show you some of them myself.
    The percentage of debt of major countries ‘bought’ by the ECB: Germany, 17%, France 14%, Italy 12%, and Spain 16%. In all cases, in 2016 and 2015 the ECB was the largest buyer of said countries’ net emissions. Ask yourself a question: On the day the ECB stops buying, which of you would buy peripheral or European bonds at these prices? Clearly, the first sign of a bubble is the absence of demand in the secondary that offsets the impact of the ECB. It indicates that the current price is simply unacceptable in an open market, even if the recovery is confirmed, especially because rates do not even reflect a minimum real return, being below inflation.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on June 24, 2017.


  • US PMIs Tumble To 9-Month Lows, Catching Down To Collapse In ‘Hard’ Data

    Following disappointment from China last week, and Europe this morning, US PMIs (both manufacturing and services) dropped and disappointed as it appears the lagged impact of China’s slumping credit impulse are finally hitting the world’s economies.
    With ‘hard’ data collapsing to 13 month lows, it is not surprising that ‘soft’ survey data is finally catching down with Manufacturing at 9-month lows.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 23, 2017.


  • The ECB Blames Inflation on Everything but Itself

    Unsurprisingly, central banks are reluctant to claim credit for inflation. In their latest bulletin, the European Central Bank (ECB) published the graph below explaining what causes inflation.
    See the problem? Neither the money supply nor the ECB are mentioned. While there are many factors that influence the purchasing power of money, inflation is still inherently a monetary phenomenon and the role central banks play simply can’t be ignored.
    ***
    Instead, the ECB prefers to do what all central banks did just before the 2009 great recession: blame inflation on rising food and energy prices. But large central banks like the ECB have a strong and disproportionate effect on energy prices, as predicted by Austrian business cycle theory. The rise in oil prices in 2007, for example, was triggered by the end of the euphoric monetary boom initiated by the Fed and the ECB in the years prior. As investment in energy production was fueled, in part, by credit expansion instead of real savings. The quantity of producer’s goods – or at least of some of them – revealed themselves to be insufficient to complete the plans of entrepreneurs, thus generating a sharp increase in their prices.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on June 23, 2017.


  • EU Political Class Rides Roughshod over Citizens’ Concerns & Frustrations as it Pushes Integration

    2017 has been a surprisingly kind year for the European Union – so far! Staunchly pro-EU candidates not only survived the gauntlet of national elections in France and the Netherlands but emerged triumphant. The once-imminent threat of political populism is now on the wane, we are led to believe. As if to prove that point, even the UK government is struggling to preserve a united front to see out Brexit after recent elections delivered a hung parliament.
    The governments of the EU’s two core nations, Germany and France, appear to share a unified sense of purpose. Merkel has expressed a willingness to go along with two central French demands – the appointment of a Eurozone finance minister and the creation of a common budget – as long as certain conditions are met. ‘We can of course think about a Eurozone budget as long as it’s clear that this is really strengthening structures and achieving sensible results,’ she said.
    Ms. Merkel’s surprise overture, however qualified, suggests the stalled process of EU integration could kick back into life sooner than most experts had expected. Particularly surprising is the timing of Merkel’s comments, coming as they do ahead of make-or-break general elections in September.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jun 22, 2017.


  • Asian Metals Market Update: June-22-2017

    Factors which can affect markets
    I will once take a close look at the Syrian conflict. NATO has recently shot down a Syrian fighter jet and an Iranian drone. These will only escalate tensions between NATO and Russian allies. Syrian forces are gaining ground despite NATO sending its own terrorists. The deterioration of relations between European Union and Turkey will also have an impact on the whole of Middle East and North Africa region. Germany is forced to shift its airbase in Turkey. An anti EU turkey will only escalate the tensions in and around the Persian Gulf and Red Sea zone. Gold demand in Eastern Europe could zoom as a result.
    Technically the correction in gold, silver and copper is over. Gold can rise to $1296 as long as it trades over $1227-$1237 zone. Silver needs to trade over $1609 till early August to continue its medium term bullish zone. Copper can rise to $296-$312 zone by end August as long as it trades over $242-$247 zone. Crude oil should form a long term bottom anytime between now and 4th July.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 22 June 2017.


  • McKinsey: Banks Will Have To Slash 30% Of Analyst Jobs To Comply With New Research Rules

    As the global equity research market continues to wrestle with how they will comply with the European Union’s MiFID II regulations, McKinsey & Co. has just penned a new study effectively saying they’ll have no choice but to fire a ton of equity research analysts who write a bunch of stuff that no one ever reads…which seems like a reasonable guess. Per Bloomberg:
    Europe’s impending ban on free research will cost hundreds of analysts their jobs with banks set to cut about $1.2 billion of investment on the area, according to a report by McKinsey & Co.
    The consultancy estimates the $4 billion that the top-10 sell-side banks currently spend on research annually is likely to fall by 30 percent as clients become pickier about what they pay for, McKinsey Partner Roger Rudisuli said in an interview. Investment banks’ cash equity research headcount has fallen 12 percent to 3,900 since 2011 compared with as much as 40 percent in sales and trading, leaving the area facing ‘big cuts’ to catch up, he said.
    ‘Two to three global banking players will preserve their status in the new era, winning the execution arms race and dominating trading in equities around the globe,’ McKinsey said in a report Wednesday, which Rudisuli helped write. ‘Over the coming five years, banks will need to make hard choices and play to their strengths. Not only will the top ranks be thinned out, there will be shakeouts in regional markets.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 22, 2017.


  • We Need A Public Inquiry Into The Economics Profession

    Britain is preparing to leave the European Union with no real plan and a government in disarray, writes economist, Ann Pettifor. How can we trust economists at the Treasury not to impose more disastrous policies?
    If the British economy crashes as a result of Brexit, it will not vindicate economists. It will simply illustrate once again, their failure.
    I and my colleagues at Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME) believe there is urgent need for an independent, public inquiry into the economics profession, and its role in precipitating both the financial crisis of 2007-9, the subsequent very slow ‘recovery’; and in the British European referendum campaign.
    Financial disarray is not unlikely under Brexit, but whether this turns into anything material depends in the first instance on economic policy. How can we trust economists at the Treasury not to impose more disastrous policies?

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 21, 2017.


  • Oil Bear Market Sends Global Stocks, Yields Sliding; Chinese MSCI Addition Fizzles

    In an eventful overnight session which saw a historic transition in Saudi Arabia, an unexpected Republican victory in the Georgia Special Election, China’s inclusion in the MSCI EM index and Travis Kalanick’s resignation, S&P futures continued to fall, alongside stock markets in Asia and Europe, while oil prices extended their drop despite a larger than expected draw reported by API on Tuesday. The USDJPY continued its recent slide, dropping just shy of 111, while GBPUSD tumbled as low as 1.2589, the lowest since May announced the UK election, only to reverse and recover all gains ahead of the Queen’s speech on Wednesday.
    Despite the much hyped inclusion of 222 mainland Chinese shares in the MSCI EM index starting May 2018, which will by only 0.73% to include Chinese A-shares, the Shanghai composite closed a modest 0.5% higher, as the initial euphoria fizzled following calculations that buying pressure from the MSCI shift would be muted. MSCI estimated the change, due around the middle of next year, would drive inflows of between $17 billion and $18 billion. China’s market cap is roughly $7 trillion.
    The index provider also set out a laundry list of liberalization requirements before it would consider further expansion. “We suspect that it will be a long time before this happens,” wrote analysts at Capital Economics in a note. While China’s weighting in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index may ultimately rise to 40 percent or so, this rise is likely to be slow,” they added. “The upshot is that any initial boost to equities is likely to be small.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 21, 2017.


  • “Brexit Is A Lose-Lose” – George Soros Slams Brits’ “False Hopes” As UK Economy Nears “Tipping Point”

    A day after Brexit negotiations officially began, and seemingly unable to get over the result of democracy, George Soros is once again rattling his op-ed sabre, proclaiming the ignorance of British ‘brexit’ voters is about to get its come-uppance…
    Economic reality is beginning to catch up with the false hopes of many Britons.
    One year ago, when a slim majority voted for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, they believed the promises of the popular press, and of the politicians who backed the Leave campaign, that Brexit would not reduce their living standards. Indeed, in the year since, they have managed to maintain those standards by running up household debt.
    This worked for a while, because the increase in household consumption stimulated the economy. But the moment of truth for the UK economy is fast approaching.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 21, 2017.


  • Gold Price Slips vs. Falling Dollar as Oil Bounces, Bank of England Split Boosts ‘Brexit-Hit’ Pound

    Gold prices held near 5-week lows against a falling US Dollar on Wednesday, trading at $1243 per ounce as commodities rallied but world stock markets extended Tuesday’s retreat in New York.
    As Brent crude oil rallied $1 per barrel from yesterday’s 7-month lows near $45, that pulled the EuroStoxx 50 index of major European shares more than 1% lower.
    The British Pound meantime rallied after a split emerged amongst senior Bank of England policymakers over holding or raising UK interest rates from the current all-time record low of 0.25% with 435 billion ($550bn) of quantitative easing bond purchases.
    Check out Global Liquidity Reaching a Tipping Point
    The Euro currency also rallied against the Dollar but held 1 cent below last week’s peak, the highest level since Donald Trump won the US presidential election last November.
    The gold price for Eurozone investors fell below 1115 per ounce, near its lowest level since January.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 06/21/2017.


  • Leading The Multipolar Revolution: How Russia And China Are Creating A New World Order

    The last thirty days have shown another kind of world that is engaging in cooperation, dialogue and diplomatic efforts to resolve important issues. The meeting of the members of the Belt and Road Initiative laid the foundations for a physical and electronic connectivity among Eurasian countries, making it the backbone of sustainable and renewable trade development based on mutual cooperation. A few weeks later, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Astana outlined the necessary conditions for the success of the Chinese project, such as securing large areas of the Eurasian block and improving dialogue and trust among member states. The following AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) meeting in ROK will layout the economical necessities to finance and sustain the BRI projects.
    The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have many common features, and in many ways seem complementary. The SCO is an organization that focuses heavily on economic, political and security issues in the region, while the BRI is a collection of infrastructure projects that incorporates three-fifths of the globe and is driven by Beijing’s economic might. In this context, the Eurasian block continues to develop the following initiatives to support both the BRI and SCO mega-projects. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSO) is a Moscow-based organization focusing mainly on the fight against terrorism, while the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a Beijing-based investment bank that is responsible for generating important funding for Beijing’s long-term initiatives along its maritime routes (ports and canals) and overland routes (road, bridges, railways, pipelines, industries, airports). The synergies between these initiatives find yet another point of convergence in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Together, the SCO, BRI, CTSO, AIIB, and EEU provide a compelling indication of the direction in which humanity is headed, which is to say towards integration, cooperation and peaceful development through diplomacy.
    On the other side we have the old world order made up of the IMF, the World Bank, the European Union, the UN, NATO, the WTO, with Washington being the ringmaster at the center of this vision of a world order. It is therefore not surprising that Washington should look askance at these Eurasian initiatives that threaten to deny its central and commanding role in the global order in favor of a greater say by Moscow, Beijing, New Delhi and even Tehran.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 21, 2017.


  • Argentina issues 100-year bond. What could possibly go wrong?

    Apparently while I was in the air yesterday flying between Asia and Europe, the financial system proved once again that it believes in magic beans.
    The latest absurdity is that the government of Argentina sold $2.75 billion worth of bonds yesterday afternoon.
    It’s not strange or unusual for a government to sell bonds; it happens multiple times across the world nearly every single day of the year.
    What’s totally insane about yesterday’s bond sale in Argentina, though, is the duration of these particular bonds.
    Remember that a bond is similar to a loan; as an investor, you’re basically loaning money to whichever government issues the bond.
    And, like a loan, a bond has a maturity date – the date at which the government is supposed to pay you back the ‘face value’ of the bond.
    often have a 3-7 year term. Student loans can easily go 10 or 15 years. A home mortgage can last 30 years.
    It’s the same with government bonds, which often have a term up to 30 years.

    This post was published at Sovereign Man on June 20, 2017.


  • Futures, European Stocks Flat As Oil Suddenly Tumbles; Pound Slides

    Maybe not too much of a surprise to see oil prices fall, given how much the G10 economic surprises index has collapsed in recent weeks. pic.twitter.com/aXkvHOzZMt
    — Jamie McGeever (@ReutersJamie) June 20, 2017

    European stocks were flat after starting off strongly earlier, dragged lower by energy stocks. Asian stocks, U. S. futures little changed as oil tumbled with Brent tumbling as low as $45.85/bbl to the lowest intraday since November 30 and taking out a 38.2% Fib support, after a one-minute spike in volume to a day-high 5,208 lots just after 6am, with WTI mirroring Brent’s momentum, and falling as much as 98c to $43.22, lowest since November 14.
    As Reuters’ Jamie McGeever points out, “maybe not too much of a surprise to see oil prices fall, given how much the G10 economic surprises index has collapsed in recent weeks.”
    The pound sank for a second day, with the GBPUSD tumbling to 1.2661, alongside gilt yields as Britain central bank governor Mark Carney reversed the earlier BOE “vote split” hawkishness and said he is still worried about the impact Brexit will have on the U. K. economy and said he “now is not the time” to raise rates. Sterling weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers, and gilt yields declined as Carney said that domestic inflation pressures remain subdued. Speaking at London’s Mansion House on Tuesday, he also highlighted the weakness in the economy and the increased uncertainty as the nation formally starts talks to exit the European Union.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.


  • Amid Dreary Landscape, Event Funds Stage A Comeback

    The US hedge fund industry is in rough shape as the Federal Reserve’s lift-all-boats monetary policy has made it increasingly difficult to beat the market. US hedge funds endured nearly $100 billion in redemptions last year, as only 30% of US equity funds beat their benchmarks. But as confidence in traditional stock pickers dwindles, so-called ‘event-driven’ funds are attracting renewed interest in investors, particularly in Europe, where near-zero rates and relatively attractive valuations are expected to stoke a boom in M&A activity, Bloomberg reports.

    After these funds experienced some high-profile stumbles in recent years – one such fund managed by John Paulson’s Paulson & Co. posted a 49% loss and endured billions of dollars in redemptions – some Europe-based funds are seeing billions in inflows. Kite Lake Capital Management, Everett Capital Advisors and Melqart Asset Management have garnered billions in fresh investor capital over the past two years.
    ‘Kite Lake Capital Management almost doubled client assets this year, while Everett Capital Advisors nearly tripled its funds since launching in January 2016. The money overseen by Melqart Asset Management has grown 12-fold since the firm started less than two years ago. The three event-driven funds have $1.5 billion in combined assets and invest across Europe, where an increasingly buoyant economy and record-low interest rates are boosting dealmaking. Their resurgence is part of a comeback effort by a hedge-fund industry that’s only now starting to recover from a wave of investor redemptions and years of disappointing returns.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.


  • After Brexit: Germany and the EU Will Look to Asia

    Britain’s general election went horribly wrong, with the Conservatives forced into a putative coalition with the Democratic Ulster Party. Theresa May’s failure to secure a clear majority has provoked indignation, bitterness, and widespread pessimism. The purpose of this article is not to contribute to this outcry, but to take a more measured view of the situation faced by the British government with regards to Brexit, and the consequences for Europe. In the interests of an international readership, this article will only summarise briefly the current situation in the UK before looking at the broader European and geopolitical consequences.
    While it would be wrong to dismiss the precariousness of Mrs. May’s position, there are some positive factors, which are being generally ignored. Most importantly, Brexit negotiations are due to start next week. These negotiations matter more than anything else on the government’s agenda, so are a unifying force. Mrs. May recognises this, which is why she has brought Michael Gove back into the cabinet (as Environment Secretary), and Steve Baker as a minister in the Brexit ministry. Gove is a committed Brexiteer with a track record as a capable minister, and Baker was the motivating influence behind the parliamentary campaign for Brexit.
    All ambitions to replace Mrs May are being put to one side in favour of Brexit. This message of unity has been endorsed by Conservative MPs. They will be regularly updated with developments in future, to keep them onside. There are already signs that the government is reaching out to the opposition as well. This has been read as a separate negotiation, potentially leading to a softer Brexit. While it is dangerous to prejudge the outcome, this is probably incorrect: the purpose is more likely to keep the Labour Party leadership fully briefed on both progress and the rationale behind negotiation tactics.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on June 20, 2017.


  • Suicide Over European Banking Crisis

    The European ‘bail-in’ rules have been cheered claiming taxpayer money will be spared. However, many seniors bought bank bonds for their retirement. In the rescue of the small Banca Popolare d’Etruria, a retiree who had lost more than 100,000 euros worth of bonds lost everything and committed suicide. There have been many such events that do not always make the press. In Italy, the death of a pensioner who also committed suicide after losing his life savings as a result of a controversial move by the government to rescue four banks. The 68-year-old hung himself at his home in Civitavecchia, a port town near Rome, after the so-called ‘save banks’ plan wiped out 100,000 in savings held at Banca Etruria, one of the four lenders included in the government rescue deal announced on November 22nd, 2015. There was the 23-year old who committed suicide over 8000 in debts for student loans. A Greek pensioner who was 77-years old committed suicide in central Athens shooting himself with a handgun just several hundred meters from the Greek parliament building in apparent despair over his financial debts.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 19, 2017.


  • German Politicians Hammer the ECB, But Only to Get Votes

    They know: the Eurozone would plunge into a sovereign debt crisis all over again, only worse this time.
    By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. These days it’s easy to tell when general elections are approaching in Germany: members of the ruling government begin bewailing, in perfect unison, the ECB’s ultra-loose monetary policy. Leading the charge this time was Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who on Tuesday urged the ECB to change its policy ‘in a timely manner’, warning that very low interest rates had caused problems in ‘some parts of the world.’
    Werner Bahlsen, the head of the economic council of Merkel’s CDU conservatives, was next to take the baton. ‘The ongoing purchase of government bonds has already cost the European project a great deal of credibility and has damaged it,’ he said. ‘The ECB can only regain trust with the return to a sound monetary policy.’
    As Schaeuble and Balhsen well know, that is not likely to occur any time soon. Indeed, like all other Eurozone finance ministers, Schaeuble is benefiting handsomely from the record-low borrowing costs made possible by the ECB’s negative interest rate policy. But by attacking ECB policy he and his peers can make it seem that they take voters’ concerns about low interest rates seriously, while knowing perfectly well that the things they say have very little effect on what the ECB actually does.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Jun 18, 2017.


  • Global Equity Markets Firmer As Oil Stabilizes, Greece Gets Bailout Money

    (Kitco News) – World stock markets were mostly higher overnight. Crude oil prices are firmer today, which helped out the equities. Also, Greece’s creditors approved another release of bailout money for the indebted country, which assuaged European investors. U. S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly higher openings when the New York day session begins.
    Gold prices are modestly up in pre-U. S. market trading, on a technical and short-covering bounce from solid selling pressure seen earlier this week.
    In overnight news, Russia’s central bank cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points. The Russian ruble rallied on the news.
    The Bank of Japan held its regular monetary policy meeting Friday and made no major changes in its policy.
    The Euro zone’s consumer price index for May was reported down 0.1% from April and up 1.4% from a year ago. The numbers were right in line with market expectations but down from the European Central Bank’s target rate of around 2.0% annual inflation.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 16, 2017.