Footsie breakout

The FTSE 100 broke through resistance at 7400, signaling a fresh advance. Another Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero confirms long-term buying pressure.

FTSE 100

ASX 200 bearish consolidation

The big banks fell sharply on news of a new levy on bank liabilities in the latest budget. At this stage the ASX 300 Banks Index merely shows a secondary reaction. Breach of 8500, however, would signal a primary trend reversal, offering a medium-term target of 8000*.

ASX 300 Banks

* Target: 8500 – ( 9000 – 8500 ) = 8000

Resources stocks compensated, with the ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index rallying to test resistance at 2850/2900. Breakout is unlikely given the weak lead from iron ore. Reversal below 2700 remains likely and would strengthen the bear signal for resources.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Iron ore formed a bearish consolidation above support at $60. Breach would offer a short-term target of $50*.

Iron ore

* Target: 60 – ( 70 – 60 ) = 50

Selling of the Aussie Dollar continues, with a medium-term test of primary support at 71.50/72.00 now likely.

Aussie Dollar

Consolidation of the ASX 200 above support at 5800 is a bearish pattern. Breach would signal a correction to test primary support at 5600*. Twiggs Money Flow still indicates long-term buying pressure and only a fall below zero would warn of a reversal.

ASX 200

* Target medium-term: 5800 – ( 6000 – 5800 ) = 5600

Footsie bounce

The FTSE 100 rallied off support at 7100. Breakout above 7400 would signal a fresh advance. Declining Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term selling pressure; the long-term signal, however, remains bullish.

FTSE 100

Europe strengthens

Germany’s DAX broke through resistance from its 2015 high, signaling a fresh advance with a long-term target of 15000.

DAX

France’s CAC-40 index displays a similar bullish breakout, above resistance at 5000/5200 to offer a target of 6000.

CAC-40

Shanghai warning

Shanghai’s Composite Index is again testing support at 3100. Twiggs Money Flow reversal below zero warns of selling pressure. Breach of 3100 would signal a primary down-trend.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target medium-term: May 2016 low of 2800

Gold falls despite weak Dollar

Commodities are falling, with the DJ-UBS Commodity Index testing support at 82.

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

Despite the Dollar Index breaking support at 100.

Dollar Index

Spot Gold followed, breaking medium-term support at $1240/$1250. A test of primary support at $1200/ounce is now likely.

Spot Gold

Breach of $1200 would signal a primary down-trend. Respect would confirm the primary up-trend. I still view gold stocks as a form of “Trump insurance” and am reluctant to part with exposure to this sector.

Nasdaq buying pressure

The Nasdaq 100 continues its impressive climb, shown here on a monthly chart. Rising troughs on Twiggs Money Flow signal strong buying pressure and a test of 6000 is likely.

Nasdaq 100

Dow Jones Industrial Average continues to test resistance at 21000 after a shallow correction. Elevated troughs on Twiggs Money Flow again signal buying pressure. Breakout is likely and would signal a fresh advance, with an immediate target of 22000.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

2 More Warning Signs for the ASX

The recent Iron ore rally has faded and the commodity is again testing support at $60. Twiggs Momentum (13-week) below zero indicates a primary down-trend.

Iron ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index broke support at 2850, warning of a down-trend. A Twiggs Money Flow peak below zero flags strong selling pressure.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Falling ore prices will place strong downward pressure on the ASX and the Aussie Dollar.

Aussie Dollar

ASX 300 Banks Index retreated below 9000. Declining Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term selling pressure. Follow-through below 8900, or Twiggs Money Flow below zero, would warn of a correction.

ASX 300 Banks

The large red engulfing candle on the weekly ASX 200 chart also warns of a (secondary) reversal. Breach of support at 5800 would signal a correction. Twiggs Money Flow still shows long-term buying pressure and only a fall below zero would warn of a market top (primary trend reversal).

ASX 200

* Target medium-term: 5800 + ( 5800 – 5600 ) = 6000

Is the great China crash upon us? | Macrobusiness

By
Reproduced with kind permission from Macrobusiness.

From Axiom Capital:

While we, as well as the few bearish peers we have, have warned of a pending “credit event” in China for some time now – admittedly incorrectly (China has proved much more resilient than expected) – the more recent red flags are among the most profound we’ve seen in years – in short, we agree with fresh observations made by some of the world’s most famous iron ore bears. Thus, while it is nearly impossible to pinpoint exactly when the credit bubble will definitively pop in China, a number of recent events, in our view, suggest the threat level is currently at red/severe.

WHERE IS CHINA AT TODAY VS. WHERE THE US WAS AT AHEAD OF THE SUBPRIME CRISIS? At the peak of the US subprime bubble (before the failure of Bear Stearns in Mar. ‘08, and subsequently Lehman Brothers in Sep. ’08, troubles in the US credit system emerged as early as Feb. ’07), the asset/liability mismatch was 2% when compared to the total banking system. However, in China, currently, there is a massive duration mismatch in wealth management products (“WMPs”). And, at $4tn in total WMPs outstanding, the asset/liability mismatch in China is now above 10% – China’s entire banking system is ~$34tn, which is a scary scenario. In our view, this is a very important dynamic to track given it foretells where a country is at in the credit cycle.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS WE ARE SEEING? In short, we see a number of signs that point to what could be the beginning of the “popping” of the credit bubble in China. More specifically: (1) interbank rates in China are spiking, meaning banks, increasingly, don’t trust each other – this is how any banking crisis begins (Exhibit 1), (2) China’s Minsheng Bank recently issued a ghost/fraudulent WMP (they raised $436mn in funds for a CDO-like asset that had no assets backing it [yes, you heard that right] – link), (2) Anbang, the Chinese conglomerate who has used WMP issuance as a means to buy a number of assets globally (including the Waldorf Astoria here in the US),  is now having issues gaining approval for incremental asset purchases (link), suggesting global investors may be getting weary of the way in which Anbang has “beefed up” its balance sheet, (3) China’s top insurance regulator, Xiang Junbo, chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, is currently under investigation for “severe” disciplinary violations (link), implying some/many of the “shadow” forms of transacting in China could become a bit harder to maneuver (which would manifest itself in higher rates, which his exactly what we are seeing today), and (4) as would be expected from all of this, as was revealed overnight in China, bank WMP issuance crashed 15% m/m in April to 10,038 from 11,823 in March, a strong indicator that faith in these products is indeed waning.

Exhibit 1: Interbank Rates in China

Source: Bloomberg.

DOES CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING HAVE ALL OF THIS UNDER CONTROL? In a word, increasingly, it seems the answer is no. What’s the evidence? Well, in March, interbank rates spiked WAY past the upper corridor of 3.45% to ~11% (Exhibit 2), a strong indicator that the PBoC is losing its ability to “maintain order”. And, admittedly, while there are levers the PBoC can pull, FX reserves are at scary low levels (discussed below), suggesting the PBoC is quickly running out of bullets. Furthermore, corporate bond issuance in China was negative in C1Q, which means M2 is going to be VERY hard to grow (when MO is negative); at risk of stating the obvious, without M2 growth in China, economic growth (i.e., GDP) will undoubtedly slow – this is not the current Consensus among market prognosticators who think things are quite rosy right now in China; yet, while global stock markets are soaring, the ChiNext Composite index is down -7.5% YTD vs. the Nasdaq Composite Index being up +12.8% YTD. In our view, given China’s importance to the global commodity backdrop, we see this as a key leading indicator (the folks on the ground in China are betting with their wallets, while global investors continue to place their hopes on: [a.] a reflationary tailwind that we do not believe is ever coming [China is now destocking], and [b.] hope that President Trump will deliver everything he’s promised [which, in this political environment, we see is virtually impossible]).

Exhibit 2: Overnight Reverse Repo Rate

Source: Bloomberg.

CHINA’S FOREIGN EXCHANGE (“FX”) RESERVES ARE DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO LOW LEVELS THAT WILL LIKELY CAUSE AN INFLECTION LOWER IN THE CURRENCY. Based on a fine-tuning of its formula to calculate “reserve-adequacy” over the years, the International Monetary Funds’ (“IMF”) approach can be best summed up as follows: Minimum FX Reserves = 10% of Exports + 30% of Short-term FX Debt + 10% of M2 + 15% of Other Liabilities. Thus, for China, the equation is as follows: 10% * $2.2tn + 30% * $680bn + 10% * (RMB 139.3tn ÷ 6.6) + 15% * $1.0tn = $2.7tn of required minimum reserves. Furthermore, when considering China’s FX reserve balance was roughly $4tn just 2 years ago, we find it concerning that experts now peg China’s unofficial FX reserve balance somewhere in the $1.6-$1.7tn range. Why does this differ from China’s $3.0tn in reported FX reserves as of Feb. 2017? Well, according to our contacts, when adjusting for China’s investment in its own sovereign wealth fund (i.e., the CIC) of roughly $600bn, as well as bank injections from: (a) China Development Bank (“CDB”) of roughly $975bn, (b) The Export-Import Bank of China (“EXIM”) of roughly $30bn, (c) the Agricultural Development Bank of China (“ADBC”) of roughly $10bn, as well as capital commitments from, (d) the BRICs Bank of roughly $50bn, (e) the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (“AIIB”) of $50bn, (f) open short RMB forwards by agent banks of $300bn, (g) the China Africa Fund of roughly $50bn, and (h) Oil-Currency Swaps with Russia of roughly $50bn, the actual FX reserve balance in China is closer to $1.69tn (Exhibit 3).

Stated differently, based on the IMFs formula, sharply contrasting the Consensus view that China has years of reserves to burn through, China is already below the critical level of minimum reserve adequacy. However, using expert estimates that $1.0tn-$1.5tn in reserves is the “critical level”, and also considering that China is burning $25bn-$75bn in reserves each month, the point at which the country will no longer be able to support the renminbi via FX reserves appears to be a 2017 event. At that point, there would be considerable devaluation in China’s currency, sending a deflationary shock through the world’s commodity markets; in short, we feel this would be bad for the steel/iron ore stocks we cover, yet is being completely un-discounted in stocks today (no one ever expects this event to occur).

The early 2007 analogy is a good one. This is coming at some point in the next few years. I remain on guard but skeptical at this point given China does have other levers it can pull to keep the credit running and is indeed pulling them in fiscal policy. As well, the problem can always be made worse before it’s made better. Authorities are, after all, bringing this on.

It’s a fascinating question. Could China endure a “sudden stop” in credit if counter-party risk exploded, much like happened to Wall St in 2008? The usual analysis reckons that China’s publicly owned banks can always be ordered to lend more but what if they lose faith in each other? It’s probably true that Chinese authorities could still force feed credit into the economy but, equally, it’s difficult to see how an interbank crash in confidence would not slow the injection, at minimum via choked off-balance sheet vehicles like WMPs.

There is no doubt, at least, about what happens when it does arrive:

  • the final washout of commodity prices;
  • Australian house price crash;
  • multiple sovereign downgrades, and
  • an Aussie dollar at 40 cents or below.

It’s the great reset event for Australia’s bloated living standards. That is why we say to you get your money offshore today. We can help you do that when the MB Fund launches in the next month with 70% international allocation.

Comment from Colin:

I share Macrobusiness’ skepticism over the timing of a possible Chinese crash, especially because they have in the past shown a preparedness to kick the can down the road rather than address thorny issues – making their problems worse in the long run. But I do see China’s stability as a long-term threat to the global financial system which could precipitate a major down-turn on global stock markets.

Dow prepares for a fresh advance

Dow Jones Industrial Average is testing resistance at 21000 after a shallow correction. Rising troughs above zero on Twiggs Money Flow signal strong buying pressure. Breakout is likely and would signal a fresh advance, with an immediate target of 22000.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

Small Cap stocks are also advancing, with the Russell 2000 Index testing resistance at 14.00. Breakout is likely and would offer an immediate target of 15.00.

Russell 2000 Small Caps

A broad advance across large and small caps, suggests low market risk. Advance of only large caps would indicate that investors are risk averse. Advance of only small caps normally occurs towards the frothy end of stage III of a bull market — when the smart money is taking profits while the dumb money has lost all fear.

China tests support while India strengthens

Shanghai’s Composite Index is testing support at 3100. Twiggs Money Flow recovered above zero but buying pressure remains weak. Breach of 3100 would warn of a primary down-trend.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target medium-term: May 2016 low of 2800

Hong Kong is faring better, with the Hang Seng index recovering above 24000 to signal a fresh advance.

Hang Seng Index

India’s Sensex is testing major resistance at 30000. Rising Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure. Breakout is likely and would offer a target of 32000*.

Sensex Index

* Target medium-term: 29000 + ( 29000 – 26000 ) = 32000

Euro Stoxx signal fresh advance

Spurred by a favorable result in the first round of French elections, Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 broke resistance at 3500 and is likely to test the 2015 high of 3800. Rising troughs on Twiggs Money Flow indicate strong buying pressure.

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 represents 50 of the largest, mainly industrial, stocks in the Euro monetary area.

Footsie stalls as Pound strengthens

Pound Sterling is strengthening against the US Dollar as well as the Euro (mentioned last week). Recovery of the Pound above 1.27 (GBPUSD) completes a triple bottom, suggesting that a base is forming. Crossover of 13-week Momentum above zero indicates a primary up-trend.

Pound Sterling (GBPUSD)

Breakout above 1.20 against the Euro (GBPEUR) would strengthen the signal.

The FTSE 100 continues to test support at 7100. Declining Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term selling pressure. A rising Pound is likely to result in a Footsie test of primary support at 6700.

FTSE 100

‘Be careful what you wish for’: RBA could cause Aussie rout

From Myriam Robin at the Sydney Morning Herald:

The yield differential between 10-year US and Australian government bonds has shrunk to less than 30 basis points, the tightest in about 15 years, as the US engages in monetary tightening while the RBA appears set to keep rates steady at 1.5 per cent.

….This should be a serious concern for Australian policymakers, TD Securities’ chief Asia-Pacific macro strategist Annette Beacher told The Australian Financial Review, as many foreign investors are primarily attracted to the high-yield status of the local currency.

The Aussie Dollar has attracted investors over the last decade primarily because good fortune in avoiding a post-GFC recession enhanced Australia’s reputation as a stable economy. But the Aussie is still a commodity currency prone to boom-bust cycles. Dodging the 2008/2009 bullet was more a matter of luck than of skillful management of the economy. Without China’s massive post-GFC stimulus the Australian economy would have been smashed — along with the housing bubble — and the big four banks would have gone to the wall (or more likely been rescued by a government bailout). And the Aussie would be trading close to 50 cents, which ironically, despite the massive shock, may have put the economy in a stronger (and more realistic) position than it is today.

Source: ‘Be careful what you wish for’: RBA could cause Aussie rout

European stocks unfazed by upcoming election

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50, reflecting the top 50 stocks in the Euro monetary area, appears unfazed by the upcoming French elections. The index has undergone a shallow retracement over the last 3 weeks, while rising Twiggs Money Flow indicates long-term buying pressure.

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50

Polls have proved notoriously unreliable in the last year and I will not venture to comment on the election outcome. But breakout above 3500 is likely if Le Pen fails in her bid and would signal another advance.

Cable drags Footsie lower

Pound Sterling strengthened this week on news of an early election. Despite Brexit fears the Cable, as it is commonly referred to by traders, has been strengthening for several months. Crossover of 13-week Momentum above zero suggests a primary up-trend. Breakout above 1.20 against the Euro would confirm the signal.

Pound Sterling (GBPEUR)

The FTSE 100 retreated from resistance at 7400. Rising troughs on Twiggs Money Flow indicate long-term buying pressure but reversal below 7100 would warn of a correction.

FTSE 100

* Target: 7400 + ( 7400 – 6700 ) = 8100

ASX 200 advance slows as iron ore falls

Iron ore found support at $60.

Iron ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index has taken some encouragement from the rally, with support at 2850. But bear rallies are normally short in duration and reverse sharply.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 200 advance has slowed after the recent sell-off in the resources sector. But rising Twiggs Money Flow still signals buying pressure and another attempt at 6000 seems likely.

ASX 200

* Target medium-term: 5800 + ( 5800 – 5600 ) = 6000

ASX 300 Banks, the largest sector in the broad index, is consolidating above its new support level at 9000. Declining Twiggs Money Flow warns of medium-term selling pressure. Reversal below 8900 is unlikely but would warn of a correction.

ASX 300 Banks

Bank exposure to residential mortgages is the Achilles heel of the Australian economy and APRA is likely to keep the pressure on banks to raise lending standards and increase capital reserves, which would lower return on equity.

China dips while India strengthens

Shanghai’s Composite Index is experiencing selling pressure, with Twiggs Money Flow crossing below zero for the first time since 2014. Reversal below 3100 would warn of a primary down-trend.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target medium-term: May 2016 low of 2800

India’s Sensex is consolidating in a bullish narrow band below major resistance at 30000. Rising Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure. Breakout is likely and would offer a target of 32000*.

Sensex Index

* Target medium-term: 29000 + ( 29000 – 26000 ) = 32000