East to West: Asia, Europe weaken but US powers on

Starting with Asia, South Korea’s Seoul Composite Index continues to test support at 2450. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure but this appears secondary in nature. Breach of the rising trendline would warn that the primary up-trend is losing momentum.

Seoul Composite Index

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index is consolidating between 22000 and 23000. A Trend Index trough high above zero indicates strong buying pressure.

Nikkei 225 Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is undergoing a correction that should find support at 3200. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index, and a cross below zero for the first time since May 2016, warn of continued selling pressure.

Shanghai Composite Index

India’s NSE Nifty Index continues to test support at 10000 after a weak correction. Twiggs Trend Index respecting zero signals strong buying pressure. Recovery above 10500 is likely and would indicate another primary advance.

Nifty Index

Target 10500 + ( 10500 – 10000 ) = 11000

Europe is weaker despite strong manufacturing signals. Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 found support at 3520 but the Trend Index is declining, warning of selling pressure. Breach of 3520 is likely and would warn of a test of primary support at 3400.

DJ Euro Stoxx 50

The Footsie remains volatile, with the index headed for another test of stubborn resistance at 7600. But Trend Index is declining and continues to warn of selling pressure.
FTSE 100

Moving to the US, the S&P 500 continues to shrug off concerns regarding high valuations and a flattening yield curve. The rising Trend Index, high above zero, indicates long-term buying pressure.

S&P 500

The Nasdaq 100 also continues a strong bull market, with the big five tech stocks (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook) all recording solid gains.

Nasdaq 100

East to West: Europe steadies, S&P powers on

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 600 found support at 380 and is now headed for a test of recent highs at 395. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index continues to warn of selling pressure but recovery above the declining trendline (on the Trend Index) would indicate that pressure has eased. Breakout above 395 would signal another primary advance, with a target of 425*.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

Target 395 + ( 395 – 365 ) = 425

Conclusion of phase I of Brexit negotiations helped the Footsie find support at 7300. Trend Index continues to warn of selling pressure. Breach of 7200 is unlikely at present but would signal a primary down-trend. Breakout above 7600 would signal a primary advance, but is also unlikely. Expect further consolidation.

FTSE 100

In Asia, South Korea’s Seoul Composite Index is undergoing a correction but seems to have found support at 2450. Respect of the rising trendline would confirm the primary up-trend.

Seoul Composite Index

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index found solid support at 22000, with long tails signaling buyer enthusiasm. The trend index trough high above zero indicates strong buying pressure.

Nikkei 225 Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is undergoing a correction. A long tail suggests support at 3250. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure but this appears to be secondary in nature.

Shanghai Composite Index

India’s NSE Nifty Index found support at 10000 after a weak correction. Recovery above 10500 is likely and would warn of another primary advance.

Nifty Index

Target 10500 + ( 10500 – 10000 ) = 11000

In the US, the S&P 500 continues to shrug off concerns regarding high valuations and a flattening yield curve. The rising Trend Index indicates buying pressure.

S&P 500

The Nasdaq 100 continues its strong bull market, powered by the big five tech stocks (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook). Corrections are mild and of short duration, typical of the latter stages of a bull market.

Nasdaq 100

East to West: European tremors

Complacency in Europe has been shaken, with Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 600 testing medium-term support at 380. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index, with intervening troughs below zero, warns of strong selling pressure. Breach of 380 is likely and would indicate a test of primary support at 366.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

The UK’s Footsie broke medium-term support at 7350 and is headed for a test of primary support at 7200. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index again warns of strong selling pressure. Breach of 7200 would signal reversal to a primary down-trend.

FTSE 100

Asia was also affected, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index the only major index to end the week on a positive note, after finding solid support at 22000.

Nikkei 225 Index

South Korea’s Seoul Composite Index below 2500 warns of a correction, though nothing more.

Seoul Composite Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index broke support at 3340 to warn of a correction. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure but this appears to be secondary in nature.

Shanghai Composite Index

India’s NSE Nifty Index is still bullish but reversal below 10000 would warn of a strong correction.

Nifty Index

Target 10000 + ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 11000

The S&P 500 is as bear-proof as you can get in the current climate, with the trend index reflecting strong buying pressure.

S&P 500

A bear market in Europe may not be sufficient to dent the animal spirits driving US markets but would certainly influence more cautious investors to change to a risk-off stance and shorten the time left for more adventurous souls.

Felix Zulauf: China, the Fed and the evolution of markets

East to West: China sell-off

Four markets worth our attention this week:

China’s Shanghai Composite Index displays strong selling pressure, testing medium-term support at 3340. Breach of support is likely and would warn of a strong correction, with an immediate target of 3200.

Shanghai Composite Index

India’s NSE Nifty Index displays strong support at 10000. Recovery above 10500 would signal an advance to 11000.

Nifty Index

Target 10000 + ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 11000

Moving to Europe, Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 600 found medium-term support at 380. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure. Breach of support at 380 would be a strong bear signal but respect of the rising trendline is more likely and recovery above the recent high would signal a fresh advance.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

The UK’s Footsie found support at 7350 but bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of long-term selling pressure. Breakout above 7550 is unlikely at this stage.

FTSE 100

East to West: Still mostly bullish apart from EU & China

South Korea’s Seoul Composite Index continues in a strong up-trend despite the nuclear threat from its northern neighbor. The latest retracement appears mild and likely to test the rising trendline around 2450.

Seoul Composite Index

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index also retraced but the long tail on this week’s candle indicates solid support at 22000.

Nikkei 225 Index

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng continues in a strong bull trend, with the Trend Index respecting the zero line.

Shanghai Composite Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is consolidating above support at 3340. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure but this appears to be secondary in nature, warning of no more than a correction.

Shanghai Composite Index

India’s NSE Nifty Index is also in a bull trend, with the Trend Index respecting zero. Respect of the rising trendline is likely and would signal a fresh advance.

Nifty Index

Target 10000 + ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 11000

Moving to Europe, Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 600 shows a stronger correction, with bearish divergence on the Trend Index warning of selling pressure.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

The UK’s Footsie displays a stronger bearish divergence and the index is likely to test primary support at 7200.

FTSE 100

The S&P 500 displays a strong bull trend but penetration of the rising trendline is likely to lead to a correction to 2500.

S&P 500

East to West: S&P 500 leads the bulls

Let us start in the East, with the canary in the coal mine. The Seoul Composite Index completely ignored the nuclear threat from its northern neighbor, surging in a strong primary up-trend.

Seoul Composite Index

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index likewise ignored the threat of a nuclear DPRK, advancing strongly since breaking resistance at 21000.

Nikkei 225 Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is also advancing, albeit at a more modest pace.

Shanghai Composite Index

India’s NSE Nifty Index displays strong buying pressure, with Twiggs Trend Index oscillating above the zero line.

Nifty Index

Target 10000 + ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 11000

Moving to Europe, Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 600 broke resistance at 395 and is likely to test its 2015 high.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

Despite BREXIT fears, the UK’s Footsie has recovered to test resistance at 7600. Breakout would offer a target of 8000*.

FTSE 100

* Target calculation: 7600 + ( 7600 – 7200 ) = 8000

The S&P 500 leads the pack. With Trend Index troughs above zero and barely a correction in sight, the index displays exceptional buying pressure. At some point the Fed will take the punch bowl away but the party is likely to continue in full swing until then.

S&P 500

The Kindleberger Trap

From Joseph S. Nye, Professor, Harvard University:

As US President-elect Donald Trump prepares his administration’s policy toward China, he should be wary of …. the “Kindleberger Trap”: a China that seems too weak rather than too strong.

Charles Kindleberger, an intellectual architect of the Marshall Plan who later taught at MIT, argued that the disastrous decade of the 1930s was caused when the US replaced Britain as the largest global power but failed to take on Britain’s role in providing global public goods. The result was the collapse of the global system into depression, genocide, and world war.

Today, as China’s power grows, will it help provide global public goods?

In domestic politics, governments produce public goods such as policing or a clean environment, from which all citizens can benefit and none are excluded. At the global level, public goods – such as a stable climate, financial stability, or freedom of the seas – are provided by coalitions led by the largest powers.

Small countries have little incentive to pay for such global public goods. Because their small contributions make little difference to whether they benefit or not, it is rational for them to ride for free. But the largest powers can see the effect and feel the benefit of their contributions. So it is rational for the largest countries to lead. When they do not, global public goods are under-produced. When Britain became too weak to play that role after World War I, an isolationist US continued to be a free rider, with disastrous results.

Some observers worry that as China’s power grows, it will free ride rather than contribute to an international order that it did not create.

So far, the record is mixed. China benefits from the United Nations system, where it has a veto in the Security Council. It is now the second-largest funder of UN peacekeeping forces, and it participated in UN programs related to Ebola and climate change.

China has also benefited greatly from multilateral economic institutions like the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. In 2015, China launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which some saw as an alternative to the World Bank; but the new institution adheres to international rules and cooperates with the World Bank.

On the other hand, China’s rejection of a Permanent Court of Arbitration judgment last year against its territorial claims in the South China Sea raises troublesome questions. Thus far, however, Chinese behavior has sought not to overthrow the liberal world order from which it benefits, but to increase its influence within it.

If pressed and isolated by Trump’s policy, however, will China become a disruptive free rider that pushes the world into a Kindleberger Trap?

Basically what Kindleburger described is a power vacuum, where previous hegemons — such as Britain before WWI or the US post WWII — grow too weak to enforce global standards under which the system operates. That could be trade, respect of international borders, the financial system, international law, or freedom of the seas. There is no smooth transition. When the old order breaks down, the system is likely descend into chaos for a time until a new order, with new players, is established.

Source: The Kindleberger Trap – CHINA US Focus

China’s bank chief warns of a ‘sharp correction’

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports on a statement by Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People’s Bank (PBOC):

Mr Zhou told China Daily that asset speculation and property bubbles could pose a “systemic financial risk”, made worse by the plethora of wealth management products, trusts, and off-books lending.

He warned that corporate debt had reached disturbingly high levels and that local governments were using tricks to evade credit curbs.”If there is too much pro-cyclical stimulus in an economy, fluctuations will be hugely amplified. Too much exuberance when things are going well causes tensions to build up. That could lead to a sharp correction, and eventually lead to a so-called Minsky Moment. That’s what we must really guard against,” he said.

The function of the central bank is to remove the punch bowl just as the party really gets going (William McChesney Martin jr., Fed chair 1951 – 1970). It looks like the PBOC may have left it too late:

Non-financial debt has galloped up to 300 per cent of gross domestic product – uncharted territory for a big developing economy.

The International Monetary Fund says debts in the shadow banking system grew by 27 per cent last year.

Less widely known is that the “augmented” budget deficit – including local government spending and the deficits of quasi-state entities – has jumped to 13 per cent of GDP. This is an astonishing level of fiscal stimulus at this stage of the economic cycle. It was around 6 per cent in 2010….

What this means is that public and quasi-public debt in China is growing at the rate of 13% of GDP. China has achieved its growth targets but at what cost to economic stability? There are no free lunches, especially from the “perpetual leveraging doomsday debt machine”.

Source: China’s bank chief warns of a ‘sharp correction’

East to West: Seoul and Footsie find support

A Twiggs Money Flow trough high above zero reflects strong buying support on the Seoul Composite Index. Breach of support at 2300 is unlikely but would signal a primary down-trend.

Seoul Composite Index

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index broke resistance at 20200, signaling another advance.

Nikkei 225 Index

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index has been in a strong bull market since breaking resistance at 24000 early this year.

Hang Seng Index

India’s NSE Nifty Index displays strong buying pressure, with Twiggs Money Flow oscillating above the zero line. Breakout above resistance at 10000/10100 is likely and would signal another advance.

Nifty Index

Target 10000 + ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 11000

Moving to Europe, Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 is headed for a test of resistance at 3650. A big Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero signals buying pressure. Breakout is likely and would offer a target of 3900*.

DJ Euro Stoxx 50

* Target calculation: 3650 + ( 3650 – 3400 ) = 3900

The UK’s Footsie is rallying strongly after a bear trap at 7300. Often the strongest bull signals start with a bear trap or false break through support. breakout above 7550 would offer a target of 7900*.

FTSE 100

* Target calculation: 7550 + ( 7550 – 7200 ) = 7900

The Chinese like free trade when it helps them achieve hegemony

From Henrique Shneider:

China has a long history of “state consequentialism.” According to this philosophy, all actions that make the state stronger are morally good. It even makes it the moral task of the state and its servants to take actions that make it stronger. While such thinking is not particular to China, the most ancient form of state consequentialism is Mohism, a philosophical movement that emerged there around the fifth century BC.

Two hundred years later, Chinese Legalism pushed state consequentialism to the next level. Han Fei, its chief proponent, was opposed to domestic markets with the free exchange of goods. His ideal was a central planner that determined input and output and prices. However, he loved the idea of export – if controlled by the state. In chapter 46 of his Han Feizi text, he wrote: “If people attend to public duties and sell their produce to foreigners, then the state will become rich. If the state is rich, then the army will become strong. In consequence, hegemony will be attained.”

Hegemony is usually the political goal of state consequentialism. With such a rich tradition in this philosophy, it may be that Xi Jinping’s China is only embracing free trade to become a new hegemon.

There are three reasons to believe this hypothesis. First, state consequentialist thinking is very much alive in China (and elsewhere). Second, Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic, was a great admirer of Han Fei. Third, the Legalists’ texts are widely read in the Communist Party’s cadre schools.

My grandfather was fond of saying “If you buy cheap, you pay dear.” The real price of cheap imports from non-democratic countries like Russia, China, North Korea or Iran is that you are funding their military expansion. Democracies, with the arguable exception of the US, tend to have other priorities.

Source: The Chinese like free trade when it helps them achieve hegemony

East to West: Seoul selling pressure

Declining peaks on Twiggs Trend Index and a tall shadow on this week’s candle warn of selling pressure on the Seoul Composite Index. Breach of support at 2300 would signal a primary down-trend.

Seoul Composite Index

Most other exchanges remain bullish, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index breaking resistance at 20200. Expect retracement to test the new support level. Respect would signal a fresh advance.

Nikkei 225 Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is retracing to test its new support level at 3300. Declining peaks on the Trend Index warn of medium-term selling pressure. Respect of support would confirm a primary advance.

Shanghai Composite Index

India’s NSE Nifty Index respected resistance at 10000/10100 and declining peaks on Twiggs Trend Index warn of medium-term selling pressure. Follow-through below the rising trendline would warn of a correction.

Nifty Index

Target 10000 + ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 11000

Moving to Europe, Germany’s DAX consolidated ahead of the elections. The Trend Index trough at zero indicates buying pressure and a test of 13000 is likely.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

The UK’s Footsie retraced to test its new resistance level at 7300. Respect would confirm a primary down-trend. Declining Twiggs Trend Index peaks, especially below zero, signal selling pressure. Follow-through below 7100 would strengthen the bear signal.

FTSE 100

East to West

First, the canary in the coal mine, the Seoul Composite Index, found support at 2300. Follow-through above 2400 would be a bullish sign, suggesting a fresh advance.

Seoul Composite Index

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index found support despite ICBMs flying overhead, rallying to test resistance at 20000. Recovery above 20000 is likely and would signal a fresh advance.

Nikkei 225 Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is retracing to test its new support level at 3300. Respect is likely and would confirm a fresh advance.

Shanghai Composite Index

India’s NSE Nifty Index is testing resistance at 10000/10100. Twiggs Trend Index oscillating above zero signals long-term buying pressure. Breakout is likely and would indicate a fresh advance with a long-term target of 11000*.

Nifty Index

Target 10000 + ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 11000

Moving to Europe, Germany’s DAX rallied off support at 12000, suggesting a fresh advance. Recovery of the Trend Index above zero is bullish. Breakout above 13000 would signal another primary advance.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

The UK’s Footsie, however, broke support at 7300 on the back of BREXIT worries, warning of a primary down-trend. Twiggs Trend Index peaks below zero signal selling pressure. Follow-through below 7100 would confirm a bear market.

FTSE 100

Asian stocks rally, Europe follows

Asian stocks have started to rally and Europe is likely to follow. Canada faces stronger headwinds and is expected to struggle to break resistance at 900.

Starting near Korean epicenter of political tensions, the Seoul Composite Index remains bullish. Though breach of the rising trendline could change matters in an instant. No hint of panic selling….yet.

Seoul Composite Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index finally broke through resistance at 3300, offering a target of 3500. The Trend Index oscillating above zero indicates long-term buying pressure.

Shanghai Composite Index

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index encountered strong resistance at 20000 but a rounding top is a bullish sign. Recovery above 20000 is likely and would signal a fresh advance.

Nikkei 225 Index

India’s NSE Nifty Index is testing resistance at 10000. Twiggs Trend Index oscillating above zero signals long-term buying pressure. Breakout is likely and would indicate a fresh advance with a long-term target of 11000*.

Nifty Index

Target 10000 + ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 11000

In Europe, the UK’s Footsie, beset with BREXIT issues, still managed to respect support at 7300, avoiding a primary down-trend. Another test of 7600 is likely but breakout and another primary advance appear remote given the loss of momentum and selling pressure signaled by the declining Trend Index.

FTSE 100

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 600 found support at the rising trendline, around 370. Recovery of the Trend Index above zero is likely. Follow-through above 380 would suggest another primary advance.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

Moving to North America, Canada’s TSX 60 continues to consolidate in a narrow line below the former primary support level at 900. Declining Trend Index warns of long-term selling pressure. Breach of support at 880 is likely and would confirm a primary down-trend.

TSX 60

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco | Forecasting China’s Role in World Oil Demand

From Deepa D. Datta and Robert J. Vigfusson

Although China’s growth has slowed recently, the country’s demand for oil could be entering a period of faster growth that could result in substantially higher oil prices. Because Americans buy and sell oil and petroleum products in the global market, global demand prospects influence the profitability of U.S. oil producers and the costs paid by U.S. consumers. Analysis based on the global relationship between economic development and oil demand illustrates the prospects for Chinese oil demand growth and the resulting opportunities and challenges for U.S. producers and consumers.

The oil market has seen two major surprises in the 21st century. The most recent was the shale revolution, which dramatically increased the amount of oil supplied by North American producers and contributed to the oil price collapse of 2014.

Before the shale revolution, however, there was rapid demand growth from emerging market economies. Propelled by robust GDP growth, China’s demand for oil nearly doubled within a decade, and other emerging markets experienced similar growth. As a consequence, oil prices soared in 2007 and 2008, and advanced economies, including the United States, cut their consumption.

Most studies assume that shifts in global demand over the next decade will be gradual, with oil prices continuing to be driven primarily by supply. The surprising resilience of U.S. shale oil production both to lower oil prices and to coordinated actions by OPEC countries suggests that any oil price recovery will remain subdued (Energy Information Administration 2016). However, one potentially important source of future rapid growth in demand and thus in prices comes from emerging market economies, especially China. Given that Chinese demand helped boost world oil prices in the early 2000s, we consider the implications of a similar surprise in the coming years.

China’s future demand for oil will depend on both its economic growth and its energy choices. A high level of growth combined with energy-intensive choices could result in Chinese oil demand doubling by 2025. Even in a scenario with more moderate growth and less energy-intensive choices, China’s oil demand would still grow by over 30% by 2025. To the extent that U.S. and foreign oil producers do not anticipate this demand increase, prices would have to rise, perhaps dramatically.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco | Forecasting China’s Role in World Oil Demand

Global correction

Global stock markets have mostly experienced selling pressure over the last two weeks but most of the activity is secondary in nature and, apart from longer-term issues in the UK and Canada, is unlikely to affect the primary up-trend.

Starting near the North Korean epicenter of the latest tensions, the Seoul Composite Index is largely unfazed. The monthly chart reflects a secondary correction with moderate selling pressure and no hint of panic selling.

Seoul Composite Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index rallied after a modest correction.

Shanghai Composite Index

While bearish divergence on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index warns of selling pressure and a secondary correction to test 26000.

Hang Seng Index

India’s Sensex is undergoing a correction after breaking its rising trendline but found support at 31000.

BSE Sensex

Moving farther afield, Canada’s TSX 60 continues to consolidate in a narrow line below the former primary support level at 900. Declining Twiggs Money Flow warns of long-term selling pressure. Breach of support at 880 is likely and would confirm a primary down-trend.

TSX 60

Europe also experienced selling pressure, with the Footsie testing primary support at 7300. Breach of support would signal a primary down-trend.

FTSE 100

Germany’s Dax found support at 12000. Respect, with a Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero, would indicate another primary advance.

DJ Euro Stoxx 50

Selling pressure surges around the globe

Canada’s TSX 60 fell sharply this week. Twiggs Trend Index below zero warns of long-term selling pressure. Breach of support at 880 would confirm a primary down-trend.

TSX 60

In the UK, the Footsie is testing primary support at 7300. Twiggs Trend Index below zero again warns of long-term selling pressure. Breach of support would signal a primary down-trend.

FTSE 100

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 is testing long-term support at 3400. Twiggs Trend Index, again below zero, warns of long-term selling pressure

DJ Euro Stoxx 50

India’s Sensex is undergoing a correction after breaking its rising trendline and support at 31500. Expect strong support at 29000.

BSE Sensex

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is also testing support. Breach of 3200 would warn of another test of primary support at 3000.

Shanghai Composite Index

China holds its head above water

A quick snapshot from the latest RBA chart pack.

Manufacturing is holding its head above water (50 on the PMI chart) and industrial production shows a small upturn but investment growth is falling, as in many global economies including the US and Australia. Retail sales growth has declined but remains healthy at 10% a year.

China

Electricity generation continues to climb but steel, cement and plate glass production all warn that real estate and infrastructure development are slowing.

China

Interest rates remain accommodative.

China

Real estate price growth is slowing but remains an unhealthy 10% a year. Real estate development investment rallied in response to lower interest rates but is clearly in a long-term decline.

China

There are no signs of an economy in immediate trouble but there are indications that the real estate and infrastructure boom may be ending. Through a combination of fiscal stimulus and accommodative monetary policy the Chinese have managed to stave off a capitalism-style correction. But failure to clear some of the excesses of the past decade will mean that the inevitable correction, when it does come, is likely to display familiar Asian severity (Japan 1992, Asian Crisis 1997).