Markets reversed the moves of Monday in European and US trade overnight with stocks and the Euro sharply higher and the Pound returning to its recent more usual weak tone.
It’s hard to tell exactly why markets are up so sharply but it tells you much of the tone at present when you read excuses why the fall in the US non-manufacturing ISM is still good and markets ignore the weak tone in the Italian and French Markit services PMI in favour of the very good German number of 55.7 against 52 expected or even the 10 month high on the Eurozoone Composite PMI of 48.6 even though it is still in the contraction zone.
Perhaps it was the solid performance out of China with the HSBC services PMI that got things going but then the Hang Seng was down more than 500 points yesterday and Shanghai was up just 0.20%.
So it is hard to actually put your finger on what really drove the turn around other than for the moment the Euro bulls, Sterling bears and stock buyers have the ascendancy.
At least for the moment.
Looking at Global FX markets first up puts the Euro’s bounce in context it was a huge range and a big recovery for a 24 hour period. The low in Asia yesterday was 1.3457 and the high overnight was 1.3597 and it rests at 1.3579 at the moment up a little more than 0.5% on the day. As you can see in the chart below Euro’s low was right on our fast moving average which normally acts as first support in an uptrend which reinforces that for the moment the uptrend remains in place. A move through the fast moving average is usually a signal to scale out of positions but not a reversal. Anyway for the moment support held and Euro is in a 1.3400/1.3711 box.
Elsewhere in FX land normal transmission resumed for GBP with it coming under pressure versus the Euro and against the US Dollar. The range of 1.5804 down to 1.5628 was technically pretty poor day day with a higher high than the previous day and a lower low than the previous day and is sitting weaker at 1.5651 down 0.67% as we write.
For the Aussie the release of the announcement that the RBA was holding rates saw the Aussie spike to 1.0456 initially but once the words of the statement were revealed to be seriously dovish and much more so than we would have expected the Aussie got hit hard trading down below 1.04 making a low at 1.0366 which is just above the low of Friday night at 1.0361. It currently sits at 1.0402 for a loss of just 0.34% against the USD on the day but it is starting to look weak as confirmation that money is rotating out of safe harbours appears all around the world. It’s a sell on rallies for the moment.
Most interesting is the fact that AUDNZD is at its lowest level in more than a year and what might be consider the base of a multi-year range. This makes no sense fundamentally and economically but it does suggest the rotation theory has legs.
The Yen also resumed normal transmission falling 1.07% against the US dollar and more against the Euro. Symbolically the BoJ Governor Shirakawa is stepping down a few weeks early which means that it is easier for Japanese PM Abe to put his man in charge sooner than expected. The BOJ is already leaning the way the government wants and this simply reinforces the changes that are afoot as the currency wars hot up.
On Global Stock Markets it was bounce time with the European periphery leading the charge higher but while Europe didn’t quite recover the extent of the losses the previous night in the US it was a different story.
Yesterday of course the headlines were all about stock weakness and potential for a top and a reversal – these conditions may still exist – but one of the reasons that I noted that the Dow was still up on a two day look in yesterday’s morning note was that I considered the price action a bit of noise. Of course the corollary of this is that today’s price action is also noise but then ANY ONE BAR ( or day) MOVE IS NOISE.
Adding to the notion that the moves are noise and certainly not fundamentally driven is the fact that even though the results from the German Markit Services PMI was superb, as it mirrors China’s recover, and particularly when compared to the very poor results for Italy and France the DAX underperformed over night rising just 0.35% against a rally of 0.96% for the CAC in Paris and 1.05% for Milanese stocks. In Madrid the market pushed 2.2% higher while in London the FTSE bounced off support and rose 0.58%.
With 22 minutes before the close the Dow is up 121 points or 0.86%, the S&P 500 is up 1.16% to 1513 and I am looking like I am going to get the high on this wrong again and the Nasdaq is up 1.37%.
In Asia the Nikkei was off sharply but we’d expect that the moves in the US and Europe plus the move of the USDJPY above 93 will fix that today. The Australian market is also likely to benefit although lower rates make it harder for banks to make so much cash and given this rally is a money printing induced rally not a fundamentally driven demand style rally commodities aren’t broadly playing a big role so the miners might lag. Just another reason to rotate away from Australia I guess.
Speaking of Commodity Markets Nymex crude was up 0.46% to $96.61 Bbl while gold was down 0.17% to $1670 oz. Silver continues to be the traders precious metal rallying 0.5% to $31.67 while the ags were mixed but frozen OJ was up more than 1% again.
It’s Waitangi Day in New Zealand today but in Australia we have retail sales for December before German Factory order tonight which we are guessing, and its only a guess, will support the Euro.