3 Headwinds facing the ASX 200

The ASX 200 broke through stubborn resistance at 5800 but is struggling to reach 6000.

ASX 200

There are three headwinds that make me believe that the index will struggle to break 6000:

Shuttering of the motor industry

The last vehicles will roll off production lines in October this year. A 2016 study by Valadkhani & Smyth estimates the number of direct and indirect job losses at more than 20,000.

Full time job losses from collapse of motor vehicle industry in Australia

But this does not take into account the vacuum left by the loss of scientific, technology and engineering skills and the impact this will have on other industries.

…R&D-intensive manufacturing industries, such as the motor vehicle industry, play an important role in the process of technology diffusion. These findings are consistent with the argument in the Bracks report that R&D is a linchpin of the Australian automotive sector and that there are important knowledge spillovers to other industries.

Collapse of the housing bubble

An oversupply of apartments will lead to falling prices, with heavy discounting already evident in Melbourne as developers attempt to clear units. Bank lending will slow as prices fall and spillover into the broader housing market seems inevitable. Especially when:

  • Current prices are supported by strong immigration flows which are bound to lead to a political backlash if not curtailed;
  • The RBA is low on ammunition; and
  • Australian households are leveraged to the eyeballs — the highest level of Debt to Disposable Income of any OECD nation.

Debt to Disposable Income

Falling demand for iron ore & coal

China is headed for a contraction, with a sharp down-turn in growth of M1 money supply warning of tighter liquidity. Falling housing prices and record iron ore inventory levels are both likely to drive iron ore and coal prices lower.

China M1 Money Supply Growth

Australia has survived the last decade on Mr Micawber style economic management, with something always turning up at just the right moment — like the massive 2009-2010 stimulus on the chart above — to rescue the economy from disaster. But sooner or later our luck will run out. As any trader will tell you: Hope isn’t a strategy.

“I have no doubt I shall, please Heaven, begin to be more beforehand with the world, and to live in a perfectly new manner, if — if, in short, anything turns up.”

~ Wilkins Micawber from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Chinese real estate bubble “slows”

Elliot Clarke at Westpac reports that home price growth in tier-1 cities “slowed materially” in January 2017:

From 29%yr in September 2016, tier-1 new home price growth has slowed to 23%yr. Similarly for the tier-1 secondary market, price momentum has slowed from 33%yr to 26%yr since September.

Tier-2 and tier-3 cities have far lower annual growth rates: 12% and 9% respectively for new homes and 9% and 6% for existing dwellings.

When we compare tier-1 price growth to Sydney and Melbourne, the Chinese bubble is in a different league. From CoreLogic: “Sydney home prices surged 15.5 per cent and Melbourne’s 13.7 per cent over the year [2016]”.

It is hard to imagine a soft landing when property prices have been growing at 30% a year.

Even 15%….

China: Inflation on the rise

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is approaching resistance at 3300 after respecting its new support level at 3100. Twiggs Money Flow troughs above zero indicate long-term buying pressure. Breakout would provide further confirmation of the primary up-trend.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target medium-term: 3100 + ( 3100 – 2800 ) = 3400

The rising market is primarily a result of central bank stimulus so investors need to consider the result if this is withdrawn. Rising producer prices warn that underlying inflation is growing. If this continues the PBOC will be forced to retreat.

China: Producer Prices Annual Change

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is also testing resistance, at 24000. A Twiggs Money Flow trough that respects zero would signal long-term buying pressure but that looks uncertain at present.
Hang Seng Index

Gold breaks through $1250

10-Year Treasury Yields are testing support at 2.30%. Expect this to hold. Breach of the rising trendline would warn of a correction but this seems unlikely with the Fed intent on normalizing interest rates. Breakout above 2.50% would offer a target of 3.0%.

10-Year Treasury Yields

The Dollar Index rally remains muted since finding support at 100. Rising long-term yields would fuel the advance, with bearish consequences for gold.

Dollar Index

China’s Yuan is consolidating. Resistance on USDCNY at 7 Yuan is likely to be tested soon.

USDCNY

The PBOC has been burning through its foreign reserves to slow the rate of depreciation against the Dollar, to create a soft landing. A sharp fall would destabilize global financial markets and fuel capital flight from China.

China Foreign Reserves

Spot Gold broke through resistance at $1250, signaling an advance to $1300.

Spot Gold

ASX: Steam or froth?

The ASX 200 broke resistance at 5500. Follow-through above 5600 would confirm a primary advance with a long-term target of 6000*. Rising Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure.

ASX 200

* Target medium-term: 5600 + ( 5600 – 5200 ) = 6000

The ASX 300 Banks Index has followed through after breaking resistance at 8000. Expect retracement to test the new support level but respect is likely.

ASX 300 Banks

What could go wrong?

….Apart from a precarious property bubble in China fueling commodity exports, a property bubble in Australia fueled by record low interest rates and equally precarious immigration flows, declining business investment and slowing wages growth.

The ASX price-earnings ratio is close to historic highs, suggesting we are in Phase III of a bull market — where stocks are advanced on hopes and expectations of future growth rather than on concrete results. By all means follow the rally, but keep your stops tight.

China hits turbulence

Shanghai Composite Index is retracing from its recent high at 3300. A test of support at 3100 is likely. Rising Twiggs Money Flow indicates long-term buying pressure but this may be distorted by state intervention in the stock market earlier this year.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target medium-term: 3100 + ( 3100 – 2800 ) = 3400

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index found support at 22000 but falling Money Flow warns of strong selling pressure. Breach of 22000 would signal a primary down-trend with an initial target of 20000.

Hang Seng Index

The best summary I have seen of China’s dilemma is from David Llewellyn-Smith at Macrobusiness:

…China’s choices are limited here by the “impossible trinity”, that a country [pegged to the Dollar] can only choose two out of the following three:

  • control of a fixed and stable exchange rate
  • independent monetary policy
  • free and open international capital flows

China has been trying to run this gauntlet by sustaining an overly high growth rate via loose monetary policy and recently liberalised capital markets plus exchange rate. But it can’t have stability in all three and so is in full reverse on the last two to prevent a currency rout and/or monetary tightening.

Rising interest rates in the US are likely to bedevil China’s monetary policy. A falling Yuan would encourage capital flight. Capital flight would damage the Yuan, encouraging further outflows. Support of the Yuan would deplete foreign reserves and cause monetary tightening. Loose monetary policy would encourage speculative bubbles which could damage the banking system. A falling Yuan and loose monetary policy would fuel inflation. Inflation would further weaken the Yuan and encourage capital flight. Restriction of capital outflows would end capital inflows.

I am sure that there are some very smart people working on the problem. But they are probably the same smart people who created the problem in the first place.

Australian democracy is in very serious jeopardy | Macrobusiness

By Houses and Holes on November 4, 2016:

Australian democracy is in very serious jeopardy. China is making great strides towards it and its intentions are not benevolent. It’s obvious in local, regional and global trends and if we do not do something soon to protect our freedoms they are going to be sold into the burgeoning Chinese empire, as well as political hegemony, by a corrupt oligarchy.

Some of you will tell me to take off my tin foil hat for writing this. To you I say ‘listen up’.

For the next few decades the global political economy will be a contest between post-cultural free moving capital and deeply cultural labour. This will mean ebbs and flows between investment and regulation in an overall trend towards de-globalisation.

As nation states rise from the past few decades of globalisation to protect their respective labour pools, there will be an increasing Balkanisation of trade and investment flows, particularly in terms of regions. One can foresee a time when a European trading bloc competes with American and Asian trading blocs as each’s respective hegemon – US, China and Germany – muscles out its sphere of influence.

In terms of the magnitude of these respective spheres, the biggest loser will be the United States as it is increasingly contested in North Asia. Europe may also lose as the eurozone either disintegrates or shrinks. China will win big.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not arguing that China will grow to rule the world, nor that the US will decline and fall. In fact, I expect US economic dominance to outlast China’s great leap forward owing to its immense sophistication, markets, research capability and excellent demographics. On the other hand, China faces an extremely difficult transition through the ‘middle income trap’ and terrible demographics.

Nonetheless, the sheer magnitude of these economies and powers mean that the great regional Balkanisation will transpire.

Thus Australia will find itself an object of contest within a region caught between respectively receding and advancing Super Powers. We are already seeing this very clearly in the shifts undertaken by both the Philippines and Malaysia. Both nations are led by highly dubious democratic leaders under intense pressure from a traditional US ally to come clean on corruption.

Yet both have instead turned to China to prop up their respective regimes with enormous investment deals that have come with fabulous reciprocal endorsements for Beijing, Manila and Kuala Lumpur. This while the US’s rather foolishly self-serving TPP dies on the shelf.

At the risk of stereotyping, these new Asian power relationships much more resemble a Confucian model that privileges patronage and filial bonds above the probity and meritocracy of democracy.  China’s goals here are very obviously to undermine not just US influence but to empower local entities that are sympathetic to its interests. It may or not be an explicit goal to undermine democracies as well but if promoting local ‘strongmen’ does so then all the better!

Now turn to our local circumstances. Australia is the midst of a terms of trade boomlet engineered exclusively in Beijing. After decades of stupidly pro-cyclical policy-making Australia is now little more than a southern province of Chinese economic policy. With the flick of a pen in an obscure public service department, China delivers tens of billions to our shores in coal revenues and our monumental trade deficit evaporates overnight.

There is no other economy on earth that I know of that works with this dependence. We call it lucky. And it is. But it also comes with strings attached and they have been on display for a decade or more. Australian policy attitudes towards China have morphed steadily from a middle power engagement that included dialogues on human rights and democratic process to today’s pragmatic “do what you like boss” attitude.

I’m not writing to judge that. The kids of Tibet and Tienanmen are not Australian and there are limits to how much anyone can care about far flung folk. Especially when you’re offered a hundred billion dollar blindfold. Moreover, China needs Australian dirt to power its development so the power transmission is not all one way. The natural asymmetry of the political relationship is counter-balanced by the natural asymmetry of the economic one.

That’s the past. The future is very different indeed. China is going to need less and less dirt over time as it grows richer and more regionally powerful. And that’s where the recent events in the Philippines and Malaysia are a very important cautionary tale for Australian democracy. As we’ve seen, the next phase of Chinese development will be to throw off enormous sums of capital and people. Australia is happily gobbling up both at the moment to offset the declines in its dirt fortunes.

But this wave comes with much more explicit power compromises than we have already seen in action. The Sam Dastayari donations and rampaging property developer corruption scandals are the tip of the iceberg. Since then we’ve seen more and more Chinese bids for Australian strategic assets. This week we saw barely former trade minister Andrew Robb take a job advising the Landbridge Group, the owner of the Darwin Port. Landbridge is a shadowy firm involved in all sorts of stuff from chemicals to armed militias. It is widely considered to be beholden to Beijing in some way. At the very least the Darwin Port is the butt end of Beijing’s One Belt, One Road trade bloc monster. So here we have a trade minister out of the job for six months, a job that involved intimate consultation on the US’s competing regional trade deal, the TPP, tipping his intelligence directly into the Beijing trade bloc.

A less generous analyst might see this as some form of commercial treason. I will say that it is indicative of just how unprepared Australian parliaments are to address Chinese soft power influence in its manifold forms. Indeed, with the current crop of money-grubbing mock-libertarian ideologues in charge, we are a complete bloody pushover. Our checks and balances appear gossamer-thin in the executive. The intelligentsia is under assault from the Chinese student pipeline and pseudo-intellects like Bob Carr and his Chinese apologism. Nor can we rely on the media to hold any to account. Of the duopoly, Murdoch will give China the nod the moment the deal is good enough. Fairfax is dying and in its death throes has grabbed for a real estate lifeline that is itself China dependent.

It is not at all hard to imagine a circumstance like that that has engulfed the politics of the Philippines and Malaysia happening here. An Australian PM finds himself under siege and turns to Chinese patronage to bail him out. Explicitly or otherwise it will only take one desperate narcissist and Australia too will be welcomed into the waiting arms of Beijing patronage with all of its carrots and sticks determining precisely who wins and who loses Downunder. The following election would be fought between a candidate armed with hundreds of billions of dollars of firepower versus a guy promising recession.

So, I worry. I worry a lot, actually, that Australia is on the verge of giving away its most prized possession – its freedom – quietly in the dark for a few pieces of silver. To stop it we must move now, not tomorrow. We need:

  • a big to cut the immigration intake and a rein the “citizenship exports sector”;
  • an overhaul of the Chinese investment regime such that it be placed alongside the nation’s strategic objectives;
  • a ban on foreign political donations (where is it?) and a Federal ICAC;
  • a proper enforcement of rules governing foreign buying of real estate;
  • a reboot of foreign policy that engages the US much more heavily in Asia.

Another couple of years of current policies and a few more Andrew Robbs and Aussie democracy as we know it is toast.

Reproduced with kind permission from Macrobusiness.

Gold approaches a watershed

Expectations of interest rate rises are growing, with 10-year Treasury yields advancing towards 2.0 percent after breaking out above 1.60.

10-Year Treasury Yields

The Chinese Yuan is easing against the US Dollar, in a managed process from the PBOC which will use up foreign reserves more slowly than a direct peg. It is also likely to minimize selling pressure on the Yuan, both from capital flight and from Chinese borrowers covering on Dollar-denominated loans.

USDCNY

Spot gold is easing, in a falling wedge formation, towards a test of medium-term support at $1300/ounce. This is a watershed moment. Breach of $1300 would warn of a test of primary support at $1200. But respect of support would suggest another test of the July high at $1375.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1375 + ( 1375 – 1300 ) = 1450

Rising interest rates and low inflation increase downward pressure on gold but uncertainty over US elections, Europe/Brexit, and the path of the Chinese economy contribute to buying support. Gold stocks serve as a useful counter-balance to growth stocks in a portfolio. If there are positive outcomes and a return to economic stability, then growth stocks will do well and gold is likely to underperform. If things goes wrong and growth stocks do poorly, gold stocks are likely to outperform.

In Australia the All Ordinaries Gold Index ($XGD) continues to test support at 4500. Respect (recovery above 5000) would signal another test of the recent highs at 5600. A weakening Australian Dollar/US Dollar would tend to mitigate the impact of a fed rate hike. Breach of 4500 is less likely but would confirm a primary down-trend.

All Ordinaries Gold Index $XGD

* Target calculation: 4500 – ( 5000 – 4500 ) = 4000

Asia steadies

China’s Shanghai Composite Index steadied and is again testing resistance at 3100. Breakout would signal a primary up-trend. Rising troughs on Twiggs Money Flow indicate buying pressure.

Shanghai Composite Index

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rallied for another test of resistance at 17000. Breakout above 17000 would suggest a primary up-trend. Follow-through above 17600, completing a broad double-bottom, would confirm. Further consolidation, however, is more likely.

Nikkei 225 Index

India’s BSE Sensex broke out of its narrow rectangle at 28000, signaling another advance. Expect a test of the 2015 high at 30000. Bearish divergence on Twiggs Money Flow now appears misleading.

SENSEX

Gold surges on BREXIT fears

Long-term interest rates continue their decline, with 10-year Treasury yields breaking support at 1.65 percent. Breach signals a test of the all-time (July 2012) low of 1.40 percent.

10-year Treasury yields

Gold broke resistance at $1300/ounce on fears of a BREXIT vote on June 23rd and expectations that the Fed will need to soft-pedal on interest rates. Breakout offers a long-term target of $1550*.

Gold

* Target calculation: 1300 + ( 1300 – 1050 ) = 1550

Chinese buying of gold has been relegated to secondary status, at least for the next week. Sale of foreign reserves appear to have resumed, with the USDCNY running into resistance at 6.60. PBOC sale of foreign reserves weakens the Dollar, boosting demand for Gold.

USDCNY

Disclosure: Our Australian managed portfolios are invested in gold stocks.

Rising inflation, Dollar weakens

The consumer price index (CPI) ticked up 1.14% (year-on-year) for April 2016, on the back of higher oil prices. Core CPI (excluding energy and food) eased slightly to 2.15%.

CPI and Core CPI

Inflation is muted, but a sharp rise in hourly manufacturing (production and nonsupervisory employees) earnings growth (2.98% for 12 months to April 2016) points to further increases.

Manufacturing Hourly Earnings Growth

Despite this, long-term interest rates remain weak, with 10-year Treasury yields testing support at 1.65 percent. Breach would signal another test of the record low at 1.50% in 2012. The dovish Fed is a contributing factor, but so could safe-haven demand from investors wary of stocks….

10-year Treasury Yields

The Dollar

The US Dollar Index rallied off long-term support at 93 but this looks more a pause in the primary down-trend (signaled by decline of 13-week Momentum below zero) than a reversal.

US Dollar Index

Explanation for the Dollar rally is evident on the chart of China’s foreign reserves: a pause in the sharp decline of the last 2 years. China has embarked on another massive stimulus program in an attempt to shock their economy out of its present slump.

China: Foreign Reserves

But this hair of the dog remedy is unlikely to solve their problems, merely postpone the inevitable reckoning. The Yuan is once again weakening against the Dollar. Decline in China’s reserves — and the US Dollar as a consequence — is likely to continue.

USD: Chinese Yuan

IMF warns about Chinese debt

From FT (via the Coppo Report at Bell Potter):

China’s leaders need to look beyond the current solutions being floated to tackle the country’s mounting corporate debt problems and come up with a bigger plan to do so, the International Monetary Fund’s top China expert has warned. The IMF has been expressing growing concern about China’s debt issues and pushing for an urgent response by Beijing to what the fund sees as a serious problem for the Chinese economy. It warned in a report earlier this month that $1.3tn in corporate debt — or almost one in six of the business loans on Chinese banks’ books — was owed by companies who brought in less in revenues than they owed in interest payments alone. In a paper published on Tuesday, James Daniel, the fund’s China mission chief, and two co­authors, went further and warned that Beijing needed a comprehensive strategy to tackle the problem. They warned that the two main responses Beijing was planning to the problem — debt­-for­-equity swaps and the securitization of non­performing loans — could in fact make the problem worse if underlying issues were not dealt with. The plan for debt­ for equity swaps could end up offering a temporary lifeline to unviable state­ owned companies, they warned. It could also leave them managed by state­ owned banks or other officials with little experience in doing so.

Bad debt is bad debt …… and nonproductive assets are nonproductive assets. Financial window-dressing like securitization or debt-for-equity swaps will not change this. The assets are still unproductive. Effectively, China has to stump up $1.3 trillion to re-capitalize its banks. And that may be the tip of the iceberg.

Iron ore: Only question now is how rapid the fall | MINING.com

From Frik Els:

According to Platts Mineral Value Service, a Munich-based iron ore and steel research company, domestic iron ore’s contribution to the Chinese steel market has declined from 36% of market share in 2010 to around 22% in 2015.

Domestic iron ore output from an industry plagued by fragmentation, high costs and low grades (only around 20% Fe) has halved since 2013 and may dip below 200 million tonnes Fe 62% equivalent this year…..

Even if more Chinese mines shut down and the shift to seaborne ore continues, the seaborne market is not exactly short of tonnage. All-in-all new seaborne supply set to increase by approximately 245 million tonnes by end of 2018 according to Platts MVS.

The big three – Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton – last week lowered future production guidance, but the aggregate 35 million tonnes in possible lost production hardly changes the oversupply picture and the giants would still hit actual annual output records even at these lowered levels. Citigroup’s analysts expect around an additional 75 million tonnes of iron ore this year to be shipped out of Australia, more than a third of which would come from Roy Hill. The Gina Rinehart mine has brought forward ramp-up plans and now expects to be producing at full annualized capacity of 55 million tonnes by the end of this year. Later this year, Rio’s board is likely to give the go-ahead to build Silvergrass which would add another 20 million tonnes of high-grade, low cost ore to the company’s Pilbara output.

Source: Iron ore price: Only question now is how rapid the fall | MINING.com

The future of Chinese steel | MacroBusiness

Chinese Steel

From Andrew Batson’s interview with Cai Rang, chairman of the China Iron & Steel Research Institute Group:

China’s current steel production capacity is 1.2 billion tons, but domestic demand cannot completely absorb this capacity. In 2015 China exported about 100 million tons of steel products; this was a relief for domestic capacity but a shock to the international market. Already nine European countries have made antidumping complaints, and Japan, Korea and India have also complained. This shows that our country’s current steel production capacity is not sustainable, and must be genuinely reduced.

Now the relevant departments are drafting the 13th five-year plan for the iron and steel industry, and the preliminary plan is to first cut 200 million tons, and eventually stabilize steel capacity around 700 million tons.

How will a 40 percent cut in Chinese steel production impact on Australian iron ore exports? Not well, I suspect.

Source: The future of Chinese steel – MacroBusiness

China’s problems

China’s problems in a nutshell, From Niels C. Jensen’s Absolute Return newsletter:

China’s problems….. It is faced with a decapitated banking industry, which has been far too willing to lend to all kinds of investment projects – good and bad. At the same time, the Chinese growth model has been driven by investments and exports, whereas the growth in consumer spending has been relatively modest. A few numbers to support that statement: As recently as 10 years ago, exports and investments constituted 34% and 42% respectively of Chinese GDP, i.e. less than a ¼ of Chinese GDP came from the combination of consumer spending and government spending. By comparison, consumer spending accounts for over 70% of U.S. GDP.

By 2014, investments had grown to 46% of GDP, whilst exports had fallen to 23%. The further growth in investments has been funded by rapid credit expansion in China’s banking industry, which has grown from $3 trillion in 2006 to $34 trillion in 2015. That is a shocking amount of credit in a $10 trillion economy. Now, the Chinese leadership face a big challenge. They must restructure the banking industry whilst at the same time seek to change the growth model. I can think of quite a few things that can go wrong in that process…..

The outcome is likely to be similar to Japan in the 1990s: zombie banks.
From FT lexicon:

Beginning in 1990, Japan suffered a collapse in real estate and stock market prices that pushed major banks into insolvency. Rather than follow America’s tough recommendation – and close or recapitalise these banks – Japan kept banks marginally functional through explicit or implicit guarantees and piecemeal government bail-outs. The resulting “zombie banks” – neither alive nor dead – could not support economic growth.

A period of weak economic performance called Japan’s “lost decade” resulted. Scores of companies were cast into an “undead” state – in the sense of being too weak to flourish, but too complex and costly for their lenders to shut down. Hence they remained half-alive, poisoning the corporate world by silently spreading a sense of stagnation and fear.

Sigh…no, iron ore has not bottomed | MacroBusiness

From David Llewellyn-Smith:

…..restocking is the only thing going on here, enhanced by recent Chinese stimulus. It will pass in due course leaving enormous oversupply and far too large Chinese inventories.

….Not only is iron ore going below $30, it’s going below $20 soon enough. This year we’ll see more supply from Minas Rio, Sino, Roy Hill, India and Vale as Chinese demand falls sharply with a swing in the market of 100mt towards greater surplus.

Source: Sigh…no, iron ore has not bottomed – MacroBusiness

Janet Yellen on financial market turmoil

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen before the House Financial Services Committee:

Janet Yellen

“…..As is always the case, the economic outlook is uncertain. Foreign economic
developments, in particular, pose risks to U.S. economic growth. Most notably,
although recent economic indicators do not suggest a sharp slowdown in
Chinese growth, declines in the foreign exchange value of the renminbi have
intensified uncertainty
about China’s exchange rate policy and the prospects for
its economy.

This uncertainty led to increased volatility in global financial markets and, against the
background of persistent weakness abroad, exacerbated concerns about the outlook for
global growth
. These growth concerns, along with strong supply conditions and high
inventories, contributed to the recent fall in the prices of oil and other commodities. In
turn, low commodity prices could trigger financial stresses in commodity-exporting
economies, particularly in vulnerable emerging market economies, and for commodity-
producing firms in many countries
. Should any of these downside risks materialize,
foreign activity and demand for U.S. exports could weaken and financial market
conditions could tighten further…..”

…No rate rises any time soon.

Gold unlikely to benefit as China loosens Dollar peg

Long-term interest rates remain soft despite the anticipated Fed rate hike. 10-Year Treasury yields respected support at 2.0 percent and breakout above 2.50 percent would indicate a test of primary resistance at 3.00 percent.

10-Year Treasury Yields

Two factors have been driving US interest rates lower over the last decade: Fed monetary policy and PBOC purchases of US Treasuries. China built up $4 trillion of foreign reserves, a substantial amount in US Treasuries, to suppress appreciation of the Yuan against the Dollar and maintain a trade advantage.

China Foreign Reserves

China’s foreign reserves declined over the last year as the country struggled to maintain its peg against the strengthening Dollar, with large capital outflows. The shift from a strict peg to the Dollar to a basket of currencies may take immediate pressure off the PBOC. But a weakening Yuan is likely to encourage further capital outflows. And borrowers with USD-denominated loans are likely to suffer losses, increasing capital outflows through hedging or early repayment. So relief may be temporary.

USDCNY

Retreat of the greenback is unlikely to continue now that the PBOC has announced it will loosen its peg against the Dollar. Dollar Index breakout above 100 and recovery of 13-week Twiggs Momentum above its descending trendline would both signal a fresh advance. Target for the advance is 107*.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 100 + ( 100 – 93 ) = 107

Gold

Gold’s down-trend continues. Breach of (short-term) support at $1050 per ounce would confirm a test of (long-term) support at $1000/ounce*. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum peaks below zero indicate a strong primary down-trend. A stronger Dollar is likely to further weaken demand for gold.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1100 – ( 1200 – 1100 ) = 1000