Asian Stocks Slide On iPhone X Demand Fears; US Futures Flat In Thin Holiday Trading

For the second day in a row, most Asian markets – at least the ones that are open – were dragged lower by tech stocks and Apple suppliers, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index down 0.2% led by Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing in response to the previously noted report that Apple will slash Q1 sales forecasts for iPhone X sales by 40% from 50 million to 30 million. Most Asian equity benchmarks fell except those in China. European stocks were mixed in a quiet session while U. S. equity futures are little changed as markets reopen after the Christmas holiday.
Away from Asia, stocks remained closed across the large European markets, as well as in parts of Asia including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand. Japanese benchmarks slipped from the highest levels since the early 1990s, helping to pull the MSCI Asia Pacific Index down, while shares in Dubai, Qatar and Russia were among the big losers in emerging markets. S&P 500 futures were flat as those for the Dow Jones slipped. The euro edged lower with the pound – although there were no reverberations from Monday’s odd EURUSD flash crash which was only observed on Bloomberg feeds, while Reuters ignored it even if the FT did note it…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.

Australian Banks – First The Housing Bubble Bursts, Now A Public Inquiry

We keep returning to the subject of Australia and the growing signs that its bubble economy is bursting. Earlier this month, we discussed how the world’s longest-running bull market – 55 years – in Australian house prices appears to have come to an end. We followed this up with ‘Why Australia’s Economy Is A House Of Cards’ in which Matt Barrie and Craig Tindale described how Australia’s three decades long economic expansion had mostly been the result of ‘dumb luck’.
As a whole, the Australian economy has grown through a property bubble inflating on top of a mining bubble, built on top of a commodities bubble, driven by a China bubble.
Last week, in “The Party’s Over For Australia’s $5.6 Trillion Housing Market Frenzy”, we highlighted some scary metrics for Australia’s housing bubble – notably how the value of Australian housing is more than four times gross domestic product – higher than other nations with housing bubbles, e.g. New Zealand, the UK and Canada. Two days ago, we noted the number of Australians optimistic about the year ahead had plunged to a record low.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 30, 2017.

Breslow: “The Answer To This Question Will Drive Just About Everything”

Having passed the first hurdle this morning (PCE did not drop further), The Fed’s December hike is now locked and loaded, but, as former fund manager Richard Breslow notes, at the end of the day, the real elephant in the room is if, when and how fast the big central banks shift toward policy normalization. Everything else is derivative. Get this one right and quibbling over some sector rotation or the relative prospects of the Australian versus New Zealand dollars pale in comparison.
The answer to this question will drive just about every other market.
Via Bloomberg,
It’s an interesting issue to contemplate as we wind down a year when sovereign yields, with the exception of China, have been moribund, at best.
All eyes have correctly been on the yield curves but it could very well be that the focus needs to change.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 30, 2017.

As Australia’s Housing Bubble Bursts, Optimism For The Year Ahead Crashes To Record Low

Zero Hedge readers might have noted our increasingly bearish tone on all things Australian – economic that is, since the cricket team just whipped the English in the first test match in Brisbane. The focal point of our concern is the housing market and, earlier this month, we discussed how the world’s longest-running bull market – 55 years – in Australian house prices appears to have come to an end. We followed this up with ‘Why Australia’s Economy Is A House Of Cards’ in which Matt Barrie and Craig Tindale described how Australia’s three decades long economic expansion had mostly been the result of ‘dumb luck’.
As a whole, the Australian economy has grown through a property bubble inflating on top of a mining bubble, built on top of a commodities bubble, driven by a China bubble.
Last week, in “The Party’s Over For Australia’s $5.6 Trillion Housing Market Frenzy”, we highlighted some scary metrics for Australia’s housing bubble cited by Bloomberg. In particular, we showed how the value of Australian housing is more than four times gross domestic product. This is higher than other western nations, like New Zealand, Canada and the UK, which are experiencing their own housing bubbles. The ratio of house values to GDP in the US seems positively tame in comparison.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 28, 2017.

The Politics of Change – Iceland – New Zealand – Czech Republic

The Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson’s Independence Party won the most votes in the Iceland election but he saw his party’s support eroded as voters turned to smaller parties in protest. This leaves the country in a position of uncertainty as the election has opened the door to power for the nation’s charismatic and very attractive left-wing leader, Katrin Jakobsdottir. Now Jakobsdottir has the chance to form together a narrow majority for a center-left coalition. She is a 41-year-old who is very popular on her own with pre-election polls that showed one in two voters wanted her as the premier.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 1, 2017.

“Sacre Beurre” – Global Butter Prices Triple As Shortages Hit France

It’s not received much attention, but global butter prices have roughly tripled since Summer 2016 as production cuts have hit supply…
According to Bloomberg, global butter prices have almost tripled to 7,000 euros ($8,144) a ton from 2,500 euros in 2016, according to Agritel, an Paris-based farming consultancy. In Europe, prices peaked at about 6,500 euros a ton in September, the highest since the European Commission began collecting such data in 2000… The problem can be traced to the end of (EU) milk-production quotas in April 2015 that led to a glut early last year in Europe, and a drastic drop in prices. This prompted production cuts by spring this year. The reduction coincided with other global milk products exporters curbing their own output: the U. S. stopped selling abroad to address higher domestic demand while New Zealand, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, experienced lower production due to droughts, Pierre Begoc, an Agritel analyst, said in a phone interview.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 30, 2017.

Meet New Zealand’s New Prime Minister As Kiwi Tumbles

Labour leader, Jacinda Ardern, will be New Zealand’s next Prime Minister after winning the support of the New Zealand First Party to form a coalition government. Labour with NZ First and the Greens will have 63 of the 120 parliamentary seats versus the National Party with 56. At 37, Ardern joins a global wave (France, Austria) of young politicians being appointed to key leadership roles, and will be the country’s youngest Prime Minister and the third woman to hold the post. New Zealand’s Labour Party had not been in power for nine years, after three terms in power for the National Party.
Twenty-six days after the election, the leader of New Zealand First, Winston Peters, announced his party was backing Labour live in an eagerly -awaited television announcement.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.

Trader: “Markets Have A Slightly Feverish, Twilight-Of-The-Bull-Run Feel”

With both the S&P and global stocks once again inching back to all time highs, here are some gloomier observations from Bloomberg’s EM commentatory Garfield Reynolds, who has covered and traded FX, bonds and commodities over two decades.
Down Under Doldrums Challenge Global Growth Hopes: Macro View
The latest burst of chatter that global growth is finally gathering momentum seems overdone in a world beset by geopolitical nightmares of war and debt deadlock, as well as the nagging concern of demographic-driven disinflation. And the recent slump for the key risk proxies among the G-10 currencies — the Aussie and kiwi dollars — shows the need to be careful we don’t get dizzy with thoughts of success.
The two countries backing these tenders are beholden to raw materials exports, and they straddle a decent cross-section of the key non-oil commodities — iron ore, coal, gold for Australia; milk and wool for New Zealand.
Accelerating world output should be driving up demand for at least some of this stuff, and yet the Aussie and the kiwi languished at the bottom last month among the major G-10 currencies… along with the Brexiting pound.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 1, 2017.

Scientists Warn That The Countdown To The Extinction of The Human Race Is Accelerating

Humanity is steamrolling toward a date with extinction, and yet most people have absolutely no idea that this is happening. Most of us like to think that we are part of the smartest, tallest and fastest generation in human history, but science has actually shown that the exact opposite is true. Compared to our ancient ancestors, we areshorter, slower and we have been losing mental capacity for thousands of years. And just this week, a groundbreaking study that discovered that large numbers of human males in the western world may soon be incapable of reproducing made headlines all over the planet…
Humans could become extinct if sperm counts in men from North America, Europe and Australia continue to fall at current rates, a doctor has warned.
Researchers assessing the results of nearly 200 separate studies say sperm counts among men from these areas seem to have halved in less than 40 years.
The 185 studies that the researchers took their data from were all conducted between 1973 and 2011. Dr. Hagai Levine was one of the lead scientists involved in the study, and he found that for men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, sperm concentrations declined by 52.4 percent during the study period, and total sperm count declined by a whopping 59.3 percent.
If these trends continue, we will soon have tens of millions of young men that are incapable of producing children. The following comes from the Washington Post…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on July 25th, 2017.

‘The Everything Bubble’: Why The Coming Collapse Will Be Even Worse Than The Last

The next crash is coming, and the decision by central banks to paper over their economy’s troubles with a massive injection of debt likely means that the next crash is already overdue.
Soon, investors will be forced to reconcile a massive expansion of debt and falling productivity and growth with a host of potentially disruptive crises: The advent of government-sponsored cyberwarfare, followed by the collapse of the global dollar-based monetary system. Whereas the last crisis trigger massive devaluations in the real estate and stock markets, the next crash will be the result of a triple bubble in stocks, real estate and bonds as investors bail out of traditional assets in favor of the safety of gold, silver and – perhaps – cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Gold analyst Mike Maloney believes that traditional assets will plunge, and gold, silver and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will outperform, as investors seek protection from the coming collapse of the global dollar system. Maloney explains his thinking in a new YouTube video “The Everything Bubble.”
In the U. S., housing prices have experienced a halting recovery since the subprime crisis. But in other markets, like New Zealand, Canada, a frenzy of buying by wealthy Chinese hoping to stash their money abroad kept prices afloat, driving the ratio of home prices to incomes to all time highs. In Canada, the affordability index – the ratio of housing prices to incomes – has risen to an all-time high of 1.4.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 17, 2017.

Key Events In The Coming Week: Inflation, Spending In The Spotlight

With the French election now finally in the rearview mirror, this week’s focus is on global inflation releases, with the spotlight falling on the US and China, as well as retail sales in the US. We also have BoE and RBNZ rates meetings. In other data we note industrial production in the Eurozone, UK and Norway along with US retail sales and Fed speakers.
Key developed market events
Thursday, May 11: New Zealand, RBNZ meeting. GS 1.75%, consensus 1.75%, last 1.75%. Looking to the May meeting, while the RBNZ is likely to remain on hold for now, we expect upgrades to the Bank’s inflation forecasts and – possibly – a more constructive description for the global growth outlook. Thursday, May 11: United Kingdom, BOE meeting. GS 0.25%, consensus 0.25%, last 0.25%. We expect no change in Bank Rate or in other policy settings, yet for the MPC to express some skepticism about the flatness of the forward curve for UK rates. Friday, May 12: United States, CPI (Apr). Core: +0.21% mom, consensus +0.2% mom, last -0.1% mom. We expect a 0.21% increase in April core CPI following last month’s outright decline, reflecting a relatively large state-level tobacco tax increase as well as the waning drag from Verizon unlimited data plans. Friday, May 12: United States, Retail sales (Apr). Core: +0.4% mom, consensus +0.4% mom, last +0.6% mom. We estimate core retail sales (ex-autos, gasoline, and building materials) rose 0.4% in April, reflecting improving sales in mall-based discretionary categories after tax refund-related weakness in February and a likely drag in March from unseasonably cold and snowy weather. At the same time, preparations for Winter Storm Stella likely boosted food and beverage sales (+0.5% in March), and we look for sequential softness in that category.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 8, 2017.

Facebook Under Fire For Selling Emotionally Vulnerable Kids’ Data To Advertisers

Less than two months after announcing it would begin using artificial intelligence tools in its marketing arm, Facebook is now being accused of letting advertisers target emotionally vulnerable children.
According to The Australian, a 23-page leaked document obtained by the outlet – marked ‘Confidential: Internal Only’ and dated 2017 – reveals that the social media giant used algorithms to sift through the posts, pictures, and reactions of 6.4 million ‘high schoolers,’ ‘tertiary students,’ and ‘young Australians and New Zealanders…in the workforce’ with the aim of learning about their emotional state.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 2, 2017.

The Housing Bubble Is Back

Last week I ran into a friend whom I’d been worrying about. He’s a real estate appraiser and his work had been drying up as interest rates rose and homeowners stopped refinancing their mortgages.
But now he’s back to being happily swamped because instead of refinancing, everyone is buying – often, he says, for above the asking price.
A couple of days later my wife and I were at a slide show put on by friends just back from New Zealand. They’d heard that a neighbor was thinking about selling his house and on an impulse made him an offer. He accepted, and our friends became instant homeowners.
The very next day my wife’s father called to say that the company running a gas station next to his house wants to expand in his direction. They made him an unsolicited – and very generous – offer, which he accepted.
Then, I did an interview with Gordon T. Long’s Macro Analytics website in which Gordon told the following story:
My brother just sold one of his properties in Toronto [Ontario]. He had bidding war with 11 bidders so he demanded cash. Several of the Chinese buyers were on the phone overnight raising the money, which they got. My brother’s still partying after that sale.

This post was published at DollarCollapse on APRIL 25, 2017.

World Stocks Hit All Time High, S&P Futures Rise To Within 1% Of Record

After yesterday’s violent gap up in stocks across the globe in response to the “expected” outcome from the French election, today the risk on sentiment has continued if to a lesser extent, with stocks in Europe, Asia all rising while S&P futures point to a higher open. Yen, gold decline, while the euro traded as high as 1.09 this morning before fading some gains; oil is up modestly.
While today’s surge may have been more muted, world stocks hit a new record high on Tuesday, with investors still cheering Macron’s victory in the first round of the French presidential election, supported by speculation about U. S. tax reform and the overnight report that Trump has conceded on the border wall, eliminating a government shutdown as a potential risk. As shown below, the MSCI All World Index has jumped to a new all time high, boosted by strong Asian markets.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.6%, hovering near its highest level since June 2015 hit earlier in the session, on its fourth straight day of gains. Japan’s Nikkei rose more than 1 percent to a three-week high aided by a weaker yen. South Korea’s also advanced 0.7 percent to its highest level since April 2015. China equities climbed from a three-month low on speculation that a selloff over concerns of a regulatory crackdown were overdone. Australia and New Zealand were closed for Anzac Day.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 25, 2017.

Banks Secretly Report All Cash Transactions to the Police

I have warned that governments around the world are engaged in the greatest collection of data in human history, tracking everything we do because they are going broke. This is just the hunt for money pretending to be looking for terrorists. Collecting every phone call, email, and text message is far too much data to ever allow preventative action. They have been limiting cash everywhere. India simply cancelled the currency overnight to eliminate cash. Now, New Zealand banks are being ordered to provide police with customer details on each and EVERY cash transaction over $10,000, claiming this is a crackdown on money laundering and the potential financing of terrorism. Of course, the money laundering really means hiding money from the government to avoid taxes.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Mar 30, 2017.

Global Stocks, US Futures Slide Spooked By G20 Protectionist Shift; Dollar Drops For 4th Day

Global markets start the week mixed with Asian stocks rising (Japan was closed for holiday), European stocks sliding, weighed down by declines in oil-and-gas shares and banks, and S&P500 futures also down. The dollar fell to a six-week low, falling four days in a row for the first time since early November as G20 leaders scrap a long-standing commitment to reject all forms of trade protectionism, suggesting the “weak Dollar” camp in Trump’s inner circle is winning.
Equities retreated in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as did S&P 500 Index futures. Japan’s stock market was closed Monday for a holiday. Indexes rose in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand. The Australian 10-year yield resumed a retreat after rising at the end of last week. The yen touched its strongest in three weeks, while the Korean won was the highest in five months. Oil fell for the ninth day in 11.
“European equity markets have started the week with a heavy risk-off sentiment after the G20 communiqu explicitly reflected U. S. intentions to establish trade protectionist measures,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, told Reuters. “As the world’s number one economy is preparing to set significant barriers against the world, investors are increasingly worried,” she said.

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

Americ-exit: US Applications For New Zealand Citizenship Soar 70% Since The Election

Following the “millionaire exodus” writing-on-the-wall, it appears Americans, who are renouncing citizenship in record numbers, have found their new safe haven from the Trumpian dystopia they appearently fear. In the 12 weeks since the election, the number of Americans applying for New Zealand citizenship has soared 70%.
Millionaires are already moving…
And with New Zealand becoming the place to be for hedge fund managers and elites alike, who are building airstrips across the islands as their ultimate escape routes…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 14, 2017.

Trump Dumps TPP, Obama’s ‘Gold Standard’ Trade Deal

I will renegotiate NAFTA. If I can’t make a great deal, we’re going to tear it up. We’re going to get this economy running again. #Debate
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2016

So the trade wars have begun. Less than 72 hrs into to his first term, President Donald Trump has wasted no time making good on a number of campaign pledges, including today’s signing of an executive order to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
The 12 nation deal was dubbed the ‘Gold Standard’ by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and was supposed to be the high-water mark of ex-President Barack Obama’s economic legacy – continuously championed by Obama and his backers on Wall Street, but was not yet approved by Congress.
The deal was initially designed for the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Chile and Peru, but plans to extend its corporate reach would eventually include all countries in South America and the Pacific Rim. The other 11 nation signatories will likely move ahead with the deal regardless of the US, but it will be a weaker play in terms of geopolitical leverage.
This latest announcement follows Trump’s inauguration speech, promising from now on to put ‘America First,’ while promoting the anti-globalization mantra of , ‘buy American and hire American.’
Said Trump: ‘We’ve been talking about this for a long time,’ adding that today’s move will be a ‘great thing for the American worker.’

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JANUARY 23, 2017.

Chinese Volatility Explodes: Yuan Tumbles Most In One Year After Biggest 2-Day Rally Ever

While China’s unprecedented currency moves have quickly become the main talking point across global markets which otherwise have started off 2017 in an eerily calm fashion, it is the sudden surge in two-way volatility that has emerged a major threat to global market stability.
Case in point, the offshore Yuan fell as much as 1.1% to 6.8623 a dollar in Hong Kong, the most in exactly one year, after a record 2.5% surge over the past two sessions. This took place as a result of conflicting signals, as on one hand China continued to drain liquidity and sent overnight deposit rates into all time high territory, yet on the other the PBOC raised its fixing less than projected, but still the most since 2005, and Goldman Sachs advised its lients that the best time to short the yuan are just after interventions – like the recent one – which flush out bearish positions, or when China concerns were off traders’ radar screens.
China’s central bank raised its daily reference rate by 0.92% to 6.8668 per dollar on Friday the biggest rise since unpegging from the US dollar in 2005, following a 1 percent drop in a gauge of the greenback’s strength overnight. The offshore yuan was trading 0.8 percent weaker at 6.8457 per dollar as of 5:23 p.m. in Hong Kong, paring its weekly gain to 1.9 percent, the most in data going back to 2010. The onshore rate slumped 0.6 percent. Friday’s fixing was weaker than Mizuho Bank Ltd.’s prediction of 6.8447 and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.’s estimate of 6.8456.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 6, 2017.

Tsunami Warning Issued After Powerful 7.8-Magnitude Quake Strikes New Zealand

A major earthquake whose, initial reported magnitude of M7.5 was initially lowered to M6.6, only to rise up to M7.8 in the latest USGS estimate, struck central New Zealand northeast of Christchurch just after midnight, or 12:02am local time on Monday, (1102 GMT Sunday), the U. S. Geological Survey said, generating a tsunami that hit the northeast coast of the South Island.
The quake – which had a shallow depth of just 10km like the recent destructive earthquakes to strike Italy – was centered centered 46km from the town of Amberley with about 2,000 people, and 70km from the town of Kaiapoi with 10,000 residents, according to the USGS. It was felt throughout most of the country.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 13, 2016.