Hong Kong Ship Seized After Transferring Oil To North Korea

Just days after we showed satellite images which indicated that Chinese ships were trading oil with North Korean ships in a blatant violation of UN Security Council sanctions, South Korea said Friday that it was holding a Hong Kong flagged ship suspected of doing just that.
The Lighthouse Winmore is believed to have “secretly transferred” about 600 tons of refined petroleum products to the North Korean ship, the Sam Jong 2, in international waters in the East China Sea on Oct. 19, according to Bloomberg and the Associated Press.

The Hong Kong vessel had previously visited Yeosu port on Oct. 11 to load up on Japanese oil products and departed the port while claiming its destination was Taiwan. Instead, it transferred the oil to the Sam Jong 2 and three other non-North Korean vessels in international waters

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Fri, 12/29/2017 –.

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.

Key Events In The Last Week Before Christmas

It might be the last full week before Christmas – with both newsflow and trading volumes set to slide substantially – but there’s still a few interesting events and data releases to look forward to next week. Among the relatively sparse data releases schedule, we get US GDP, core PCE, housing and durable goods orders in the US, as well as CPI and GDP across Euro area and UK PMI. After last week’s central bank deluge, there are a handful of leftover DM central bank meetings include the BOJ and Riksbank, with rates expected to remain on hold for both. In Emerging markets, there will be monetary policy meetings in Czech Republic, Hungary, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Perhaps the most significant will be in China when on Monday the three-day Central Economic Work Conference kicks off. This event will see Party leaders discuss economic policies for the next year and the market will probably be most interested in the GDP growth target. Deutsche Bank economists have noted that it will be interesting to see if the government will change the tone on its growth target by lowering it explicitly from 6.5% to 6% or fine-tuning the wording to reflect more tolerance for slower growth.
Away from this, tax reform in the US will once again be a topic for markets to keep an eye on with final votes on the Republican legislation in the Senate (possibly Monday or Tuesday) and House (possibly Tuesday or Wednesday) tentatively scheduled. Also worth flagging in the US is Friday’s release of the November personal income and spending reports and the Fed’s preferred inflation measure – the core PCE print. Current market expectations are for a modest +0.1% mom rise in the core PCE which translates into a one-tenth uptick in the YoY rate to +1.5%.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 18, 2017.

Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid Banned From China As Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Unravels

As we reported yesterday, this year’s Victoria’s Secret fashion show, which is slated to take place in Shanghai in just two weeks, is unraveling like a cheap lace thong thanks to Chinese authorities’ refusal to cooperate with its producers, and Communist Party’s decision to deny visas to some of the biggest stars who were slated to participate in the show.
The latest update on the deteriorating state of affairs comes via the New York Post, which has reported that US pop sensation Katy Perry – who was slated to perform at the show – and supermodel Gigi Hadid, who was supposed to walk in the show, have been indefinitely banned from China.
Sources told the Post’s infamous Page Six gossip section that the ‘Roar’ singer had tried applying for a visa to enter the Communist nation, but was denied by Chinese officials.
And while she was initially informed that she’d be able to gain access, the decision was apparently reversed after the government caught wind of a controversial incident from 2015, in which Perry donned a bright, glittery dress with sunflowers on it during a performance in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 18, 2017.

The End Is Near… Depopulation Is Out Of Control… So Buy Stocks (Seriously)

Authored by Chris Hamilton via Econimica blog,
The world economy is premised on a ludicrous idea – that Asia, then India, and then Africa will continue to drive economic growth.
So as not to turn this article into a book, lets consider this idea focusing on East Asia consisting of China, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, and minor others. This region consists of 1.6 billion persons or about 22% of earths inhabitants. However, since 2008, it is this region that is responsible for nearly 100% of the global increase in demand for oil (best proxy available for true economic growth) and having primarily driven global economic growth. My point in this article is that the growth in this region is entirely a credit driven supernova against collapsing populations which will never be able to fill the 100+ million newly added apartments or pay back the debt incurred to achieve the “growth”. Contrarily, from an investor standpoint, this weakness is the green light to “invest” as aggressively as possible because as long as central banks exist, they have your back.
Consider, since 2000, China’s debt outstanding has risen something like 14x’s to 17x’s or from about $2 trillion to something between $30 to $35 trillion presently. As for Japan, who knows Japan’s true debt as Japan’s central bank is buying much or most of the debt and essentially throwing it in a black hole, never to be seen again(…monetization with a capital “M”).
Why the massive debt creation and central bank monetization? Depopulation with a capital “D”. First off, consider the collapse in fertility rates for these nations (chart below). To maintain a constant, zero growth population, the childbearing population needs to produce 2.1 children in order to replace themselves (dashed line, below). However, as the chart below shows, E. Asian nations have seen negative fertility rates for decades (Japan turning negative in ’74, S. Korea in ’83, China in ’92, and N. Korea in ’96).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 3, 2017.

Global Markets Bounce As Germany, China, Spain Lift World Stocks, Turkey Crash Ignored

With no North Korean nuclear test over the weeknd contrary to a Friday morning rumor, S&P futures rebounded and edged higher as European stocks gain, led by Spanish shares after mass demonstrations in favor of Spanish unity and speculation Catalonia may back down on unilateral independence demands, while Chinese mainland stocks reopened catching up to gains missed during the holiday week following last weekend’s RRR cut.
World shares rose to start the week, with Chinese stocks hitting 21-month highs and the German index setting a new record, while political uncertainty triggered big moves in sterling, the Turkish lira and Spanish debt. US futures are also pushing higher in anticipation of the start of Q3 earnings season which begins later this week, with a number of Wall Street banks including JPMorgan, BofA and Citi set to report. While equities are open, the US bond market is closed today for the Columbus day holiday, while Asian markets were relatively quiet following holidays in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
European stocks climbed at the start of a week in which investors were closely watching developments in Catalonia as well as U. S. earnings season kicks off. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index adds 0.23%, following four straight weeks of gains. All industry groups except miners climb. The IBEX 35 Index is up 1% as a senior member in the Catalan administration calls for dialogue with Spain, although the gauge is still down 1.2% since Catalans voted for independence in an illegal referendum. After a weekend of mass demonstrations in favor of Spanish unity, Raul Romeva, foreign affairs chief for the separatist government in Barcelona, insisted that the door was open for talks if Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was willing to grasp the opportunity
As Bloomberg breaks down local markets, 18 out of 19 Stoxx 600 sectors rise; 407 Stoxx 600 members gain, 171 decline. Top Stoxx 600 outperformers include: CaixaBank +2.6%, Centamin +2.5%, TDC +2.4%, Man Group +2.4%, Metro Bank +2.0%. The Stoxx Euro 600 Index also received a boost from data showing German industrial output rebounded from a summer lull with its best month in six years. The euro nudged higher, while most European bonds rose. Gold climbed and crude oil erased earlier gains.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.

Japan Sees Surge In Gold Smuggling As Yakuza & Wealthy Chinese Team Up

In a story that was seemingly tailor-made for the tabloids, Japanese news agency Nikkei is reporting that, in an unusual but tantalizing example of financial symbiosis, wealthy Chinese investors are teaming up with Yakuza gangsters to smuggle gold into Japan. The payoff for each side is simple: Chinese investors, who are increasingly fearful that a depreciating yuan will create turbulence in local stock and bond markets, can circumvent China’s stringent capital controls and move their money out of the country. And by cheating the Japanese government out of a consumption tax, the Yakuza stand to make a healthy profit.
‘The argument goes that the rich, having lost confidence in the Chinese yuan and with investment in other assets becoming difficult, are turning to gold smuggling to move their wealth out of the country. They supposedly hire mules to carry the gold from China, as well as places like South Korea and Taiwan, into Japan, where the consumption tax increase has made it easy for them to pay off the carriers and bribe staff at Asian airports.’
While Nikkei admits that its story is mostly based on hearsay, data show that a spike in demand for gold on the mainland has coincided with an increase in busts for gold smuggling by Japanese customs officials

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

June Swiss gold exports: 90% moving east — Lawrie Williams

The latest figures for gold exports from Switzerland just further emphasise that physical gold is continuing to move eastwards in a big way. The country’s gold refineries sent 74% of their gold exports to Greater China (the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong) and India alone, while if we add in other south and east Asian nations – Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea – and the Middle East – Turkey, the UAE, Lebanon and Jordan – fully 90% of Swiss gold exports that month moved to this region.
Why is this so significant? Switzerland produces no gold of its own, but its gold refineries between them are the world’s largest gold exporters taking gold bullion and scrap from mines and other sources, including good delivery 400 ounce bars, and re-refining these into the smaller sizes in demand in Asia and the Middle East and re-exporting the bullion mostly to these eastern nations.
The latest Swiss figures also support the anecdotal evidence of extremely tight supply, with the Swiss refineries struggling to source enough gold to meet the eastern demand. In June, Switzerland exported in total 162.1 tonnes of gold while only importing 124.9 tonnes – a shortfall of 37.2 tonnes. This is the second month in a row where Swiss gold exports were substantially larger than imports – the figure for May was around 39 tonnes.

This post was published at Sharps Pixley

Foxconn To Get $230,000 In Incentives For Every Wisconsin Job Created

To much fanfare, President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, best known for making the iPhone, will build a new plant producing LCD panels in Wisconsin that will bring thousands of jobs to the state. On the surface it’s a great deal: in what’s being called the largest economic development project in state history, Foxconn plans to build a $10 billion plant that will eventually employ as many as 13,000 people, according to the White House and Gov. Scott Walker.
“It starts today with this investment in Wisconsin,” Foxconn chairman Terry Gou said at announcement in Washington D. C. on Wednesday.
The plant is expected to open in 2020 and be on a 20 million square-foot campus on at least 1,000 acres, a campus Walker’s office has dubbed “Wisconn Valley” according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The plant could be the first of several facilities the company intends to build in the United States and will start with 3,000 employees, a staff that could eventually grow by 10,000.
Furthermore, Walker’s office projected the project would create at least 22,000 “indirect and induced jobs” throughout Wisconsin and will generate an estimated $181 million in state and local tax revenues annually, including $60 million in local property taxes.

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

JUNE 30/OPTIONS EXPIRY FINALLY OVER/CHINA FURIOUS AT THE USA FOR SALE OF $1.4 BILLION IN ARMS TO TAIWAN/3 USA STATES IN PRECARIOUS POSITION AS THEY HAVE NOT PASSED THEIR BUDGET: ILLINOIS,CONNECTI…

GOLD: $1240.70 DOWN $3.50
Silver: $16.57 DOWN 2 cent(s)
Closing access prices:
Gold $1245.50
silver: $16.65
SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1261.24 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1253.05
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $8.23

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on June 30, 2017.

Frontrunning: June 30

Rhetorical question of the day: Twisted Geniuses or Bumbling Ex-Academics? (WSJ) Markets Steady on Quarter’s Last Day (WSJ) Their fortunes enmeshed, Trump and Putin to hold first meeting next week (Reuters) Oil Is Set for Longest Rally of 2017 (BBG) Brightening economy sets euro up for strongest quarter since debt crisis (Reuters) Eurozone Inflation Falls Again in Setback for ECB (WSJ) Trump’s Travel Ban Takes Effect, Setting Strict Entry Limits (WSJ) China says HK joint declaration no longer has meaning (Reuters) U. S. likely to bar Japan investigators from interviewing warship crew, official says (Reuters) Chinese Regulators Play Whac-A-Mole With Banks (WSJ) Trump says he is sending federal help to fight Chicago crime (Reuters) Iraq’s Dilemma: Who Will Lead the Next Big Fight Against ISIS? (WSJ) Shkreli’s Hedge Fund Went From Success to Bust in 31 Minutes (BBG) Ron Dennis to Sell Stakes in McLaren, Step Down as Chairman (BBG) Twitter is looking for ways to let users flag fake news, offensive content (WaPo) Europe’s Car-Leasing Boom Sets Off Alarm Bells (BBG) Google’s Main Strategy Is Under Threat From EU (WSJ) German lawmakers approve same-sex marriage in landmark vote (Reuters) Electric Cars Are Coming Faster Than You Think (BBG) China ‘outraged’ by $1.42 billion planned U. S. arms sales to Taiwan (Reuters) Traders Who Left Banks for Hedge Funds Now Heading Back to Banks (BBG) Heathrow Express Braces for Crossrail to End Airport Monopoly (BBG)

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

“A Lot Of News Over The Last 72 Hours But None Having A Dramatic Effect On Trading”

For those just getting to their desks, here is a summary of what you missed in the overnight session, courtesy of JPM’s Adam Crisafulli
There was a lot of news and headlines over the last 72 hours but none of it is having a dramatic effect on trading. Eurozone equities and US futures are both flat-to-up small. Asia generally saw gains overnight (note that a few markets were closed, including mainland China and Taiwan). What happened overnight? The big incremental headlines were the manufacturing PMIs and for the most part they were mixed-to-inline (eco data isn’t surprising on the upside to the extent it did over the last few months although there aren’t signs of a dramatic slowing either).
Tax skepticism remains very high in the press w/a bunch of neg. reports over the last few days (there is doubt around both the scope and timing of a potential bill with the conversation gradually shifting from ‘comprehensive reform’ to instead a small package of ‘cuts’) although markets seem more concerned about missing the upside associated w/a final tax deal than they are about being caught long on a tax disappointment (thus for the time being headlines such as ‘Trump and Ryan discuss taxes’ or ‘tax plan makes progress in Washington’ will help to buoy stocks more than ‘Trump has neither a clear WH tax plan nor adequate staff yet to see through a planned tax reform’ will hurt them).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 3, 2017.

JPM: “Market Patience Could Quickly Run Out If Obamacare Repeal Stays Deadlocked Into April”

The morning wrap by JPM’sAdam Crisafulli notes the ongoing theme of a “patient” market, which however is growing increasingly impatient with the lack of visibility from DC.
J. P. Morgan Early Look at the Market
It’s a pretty quiet morning so far. Asian stocks were mixed (Japan was closed for a holiday). Eurozone equities and US futures are trading off small. Nothing major occurred on the macro front – the G20 communique was a small net negative in that prior disavowals of protectionism were removed although this doesn’t appear to be altering the present market narrative dramatically. Eco data was pretty minimal (other than solid China home prices and Taiwan export order numbers).
The tone of the press remains skeptical and cautious w/the WSJ noting small-cap underperformance and how 10yr TSY yields are now ahead of the SPX dividend yield (although this phenomena has been in place for a few months at this point). The biggest event by far for equities will be the House floor vote on Ryan’s HC bill (scheduled for Thurs 3/23) – failure to advance this legislation would likely materially undermine market confidence in the GOP tax reform agenda. The fact Ryan even scheduled a vote suggests some confidence on his part in being able to secure passage although this is by no means guaranteed.
Even if Ryan manages to get his bill out of the House, passage in the Senate appears very unlikely which raises the larger issue of how much time and political capital Republicans wind up devoting to this issue at the expense of more market-friendly initiatives (namely tax reform).
Investors are staying calm but patience could quickly run thin if repeal/replace stays deadlocked into Apr. The Bottom Line for US stocks remains the same: ~$133-135 is still being penciled in for Washington-neutral SPX 2018 EPS and on that number the PE at ~2400 (~18x) is rich but not ridiculous (although to sustain prices north of 2400 Washington will have to add at least a few dollars to the $133-135 range which is why tax reform confidence is so key to justify further gains).

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

Four Signs U.S-China Relations Destined for Conflict

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of The Daily Reckoning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
This post Four Signs U. S-China Relations Destined for Conflict appeared first on Daily Reckoning.
The drums to conflict between U. S-China relations have reached fever pitch.
President Trump had direct diplomatic contact and conversations with at least 18 world leaders before extending such offerings to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
While acting as president-elect, Trump held a very provocative conversation with the Taiwanese president. It became clear that the incoming administration was not going to be acting on standing protocols that had existed for decades.
Since then, President Trump and President Xi have opened communications, but upon first impressions the indicators for a U. S-China conflict are greater than recent memory.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Craig Wilson ‘ February 15, 2017.

Trump Reverses Course on ‘One-China’ Principle

In his first phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office, US President Donald Trump on Feb. 10 told his counterpart that his administration will honor the so-called one-China policy, a long-standing diplomatic formula underpinning Washington’s relations with Beijing and Taipei. According to a White House statement, Trump and Xi spoke at length about a range of bilateral issues. Trump’s affirmation of existing US policy of maintaining only unofficial ties with Taiwan came at the request of the Chinese president. (Mainland China and Taiwan both adhere to the idea that there is only one China, so if a country forges ties with either Beijing or Taipei, it must sever ties with the other.)
Relations between Washington and Beijing have been effectively frozen since December when Trump broke diplomatic tradition by taking a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen – the first such call since Washington and Beijing established diplomatic relations in 1979. Trump later suggested his administration may depart from its long-standing position on Taiwan if Beijing proves unwilling to make concessions on other issues such as trade. Beijing has repeatedly warned, however, that its one-China policy is nonnegotiable.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 02/10/2017.

Futures Hit New Records, Global Stocks Rise On Strong Chinese Trade Data, Trump Tax Cut Hopes

S&P futures rose further into record territory, European shares rose to within striking distance of their highest levels in more than a year while bonds fell and the dollar rose as investors cheered a surge in Chinese trade data amid hopes of “phenomenal” tax cuts by Donald Trump, all of which have rekindled the Trumpflation trade.
The main economic release overnight was China’s trade data, which saw China post much stronger-than-expected exports and imports for January as demand picked up at home and abroad, however celebreations of a Chinese trade renaissance may be premature because as Goldman pointed out in a note, “the early Chinese New Year appears to have distorted January trade data (especially exports) on the upside.” Reuters agreed, noting that China watchers warned the long Lunar New Year holidays may have distorted the data to some degree, with companies pumping up production or rushing to build inventories before the break, which can last for weeks.
Concerns aside, China’s imports in January rose at the fastest pace since 2013, fueled by a continued construction boom which is boosting demand and global prices for resources from copper to steel, preliminary customs data showed on Friday. The 16.7% surge eclipsed the consensus estimate of 10.0%. China’s imports from the United States rose 23.4 percent in January, the fastest pace in at least a year, while its monthly trade surplus with the U. S. dipped to $21.37 billion. Led by electronics, China’s January exports climbed the most in almost a year, adding to evidence that Asia’s long trade recession may be bottoming out. January shipments rose 7.9 percent, more than twice as much as expected, after 2016 exports slumped nearly 8 percent.
China had been lagging a recent export recovery seen in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, dragging on the regional supply chain. Its integrated circuit shipments rose 14.5 percent last month, while exports of mobile phones rose 7.9 percent. That left the country with a initial trade surplus of $51.35 billion for the month, the highest in a year. Customs is due to release updated data for trade on Feb. 23.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 10, 2017.

Asian Stocks Hit 18 Month High; Europe, US Futures Bounce As Dollar Rises

Asian stocks hit their highest level in 18 months, with positive momentum lifting European shares which were helped by Societe Generale earnings. Yields fell on some of the euro zone’s battered low-rated bonds as investors put aside the political risks that have dominated markets this week. After trading flat, S&P futures bounced as US traders walked boosted by a spike in the USDJPY, ahead of earnings reports from Coca-Cola, Reynolds American, CVS Health, Nvidia and Twitter.
Rising oil prices pushed energy company shares higher in Europe on a busy day of corporate earnings while Asian stocks hit their highest in one and a half years. “The stabilization of the oil price after its recent wobbles, together with solid earnings, for example, Soc Gen today, is driving the positive sentiment,” said Andy Sullivan, portfolio manager with GL Asset Management UK in London.
The Euro STOXX 600 index rose 0.4 percent. Bank shares also rose after French lender Societe Generale reported lower fourth-quarter net income that nonetheless beat analysts forecasts. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.3 percent to their highest since July 2015 with Hong Kong, Taiwan and China among the region’s best performing markets. Japanese shares, however, fell 0.5 percent, hit by earlier yen strength the day before Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets U. S. President Donald Trump.
“We have some relief with investors shrugging off some of their concerns with a feeling that things went too far, too fast,” said Martin Van Vliet, senior rates strategist at ING.
With much attention recently on global rates, yields on Spanish and Italian 10-year government bonds fell. Earlier this week, concern over the impact of elections this year in countries including France and Germany saw investors sell bonds of lower-rated euro zone countries. Spanish 10-year yields fell 4 basis points to 1.66 percent while Italian equivalents fell 3 bps to 2.2 percent. French yields dipped 1 bps to 1.01 percent. The premium investors demand to hold French rather than German debt hit its highest in four years on Wednesday, three months before the final round of a presidential election expected to include far-right, anti-euro candidate Marine Le Pen. Yields on German 10-year bonds, seen as among the world’s safest assets, rose 0.5 bps to 0.31 percent.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 9, 2017.

Global Stocks, US Futures Rise Despite Growing Political Tension In Europe

In a relatively quiet session, which may see US traders sleep in a bit after last night’s Superbowl thriller, European and Asian shares rose ahead of Mario Draghi’s testimony at the European Parliament, while US equity futures were fractionally higher (up 0.1% to 2,293) after stocks jumped the most in a week, as traders assessed the trajectory for interest rates while scrutinizing every new Trump tweet.
As Reuters highlights, there was no overarching theme to Monday’s market moves, highlighting how correlations between financial market assets have broken down in recent months as investors sense the era of ultra-loose monetary policy may be winding up. The European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2%, led higher by basics resources shares and after some positive company results. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.6%, with Taiwan . TWII leading the pack by adding 0.9 percent. Japan‘s Nikkei rose 0.2%, with banks rising after U. S. Trump meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Feb. 10 and 11, with trade and currencies likely to be on the agenda. China‘s CSI 300 index rose 0.3%, though investors were cautious after the central bank unexpectedly raised short-term interest rates on Friday.

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

Global Stocks, Futures Slide On US Protectionism Worries Following Trump Travel Chaos

European, Asian stocks and S&P futures all drop after traders were left with a sour taste from the potential fallout of Donald Trump’s order halting some immigration and ahead of central bank decisions from the U. S. and Japan. Markets in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam are all shut due to the Lunar New Year public holiday, leading to a quiet Asian session. Oil rebounded after sliding as much as 0.7%. Gold was unable to hold its overnight gains and has dipped into the red to $1,190 after rising just shy of $1,200 in early trading.
“Concerns on protectionism appear to be rising after President Trump’s executive order to restrict immigration,” said Adam Cole, head of G10 foreign exchange strategy with RBC in London.
As Bloomberg notes, Trump’s executive order halting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim nations drew criticism from world governments and some of the largest companies, bringing the geopolitical and international trade risks surrounding the new U. S. president into sharper focus. As DB’s Jim Reid adds, the domestic affairs of the US hit the headlines all weekend with widespread global criticism and anger over President Trump’s immigration executive order.

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

Dollar Rebound Continues, Europe Stocks Pressured By Banks As Much Of Asia Goes On Holiday

US equity futures are unchanged, trading near record highs after digesting a spate of earnings results on Thursday. The dollar pared its weekly loss as the yen and pound slid, while gold headed for its longest slump in three months. European equities fell and markets in Asia were mixed, while markets in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam were closed Friday for the start of Lunar New Year. Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore had shortened sessions.
The dollar continued its recovery against a basket of other currencies on Friday, while banks dragged European shares slightly lower following underwhelming results from Swiss major UBS. The two-day recovery comes after the dollar suffered a 4 percent drop in the three weeks from Jan. 3 as doubts emerged about how Trump’s policies will play out for the currency, particularly after both Trump and Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin hinted at concerns over its strength. The yen extended its biggest decline in a week and Japanese bonds rose as the BOJ stepped in to buy more debt than expected. The pound also slid ahead of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s meeting with Donald Trump.
“The (dollar) has experienced a powerful rebound re-establishing post-U. S. election relationships between the performance of risk assets and U. S. bond yields on the one hand and the (dollar) on the other hand,” said Morgan Stanley FX strategists led by Hans Redekker, in a note to clients.
Trump suggested overnight he would push ahead with a 20 percent border tax on Mexico, spurring a slump on the peso and refocusing market expectations on his pro-business policies which, along with healthy corporate results, helped stocks on Wall Street to fresh record highs. However, the peso has since rebounded after the White House backtracked on its border tax proposal, when Sean Spicer said it was only “theoretical.”
On the political calendar, all eyes will be on the upcoming meeting between UK PM Theresa May and Donald Trump today. She will be the first leader to meet the President and a lot of attention will be placed on the outcome. May wants to try to pave the way for a free trade deal with the US post-Brexit and Mr Trump, in spite of his protectionist biases, would probably like to help the UK prosper if for no other reason than to help prove his point that the EU is flawed and the UK is better off outside of it. So although it’s a very early meeting where nothing will be decided it’ll be interesting to hear from the leaders afterwards. Trump’s ability to be confrontational on the global stage was demonstrated yesterday as we saw US-Mexico trade relations continue to grow strained as Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto officially cancelled a planned meeting with Trump as the latter continued to signal intentions of building “the wall” and substantially increasing border security. He said that if the Mexicans had no intention of paying for the wall they should cancel next week’s trip. This is precisely what they’ve done.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 27, 2017.