• "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"

R.T.M. ~ Frontrunning ~ 16th Ed., Vol.2 ~ Apr 18th - 22nd

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#2
Hookers Embrace 'War On Cash' - "Transactional Sex" Goes Digital


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/16/2016 17:55 -0400


On the corners of Lagos' Sin Street, the purveyors of the oldest profession in the world have embraced the digital age. Amid the escalating 'war on cash', Nigerian hookers have turned to 'cashless sex' with point-of-sale machines.

The cashless option has become popular among prostitutes and operators of brothels and strippers. As Daily Post reports, "transactional" sex has gone digital...

In the city of Lagos, the digital revolution takes firm grip on the daily life of the citizens as shoppers are abandoning cash for digital payment using their Value Cards to purchase needful things and luxurious items––including sex!

Patrons of the city’s ‘fleshpots’ can attest that payment via PoS has become the preferred payment mode in high-end brothels and strip clubs of Lagos.

“The introduction of PoS is a good one. Me, naturally don’t go out with raw cash,” an old patron, Jeff, testified of the new development.

The entrance of a ‘cashless’ sex house located in Ikotun, a Lagos suburb carried the bold inscription on the wall: “PoS Available,” The message is clear and boldly written. With PoS, it is ‘pay before service.’

Most of the rooms have PoS points. An extra one is at the reception for general use. Kassy, one of the resident sex workers who manages a beauty saloon and a boutique at daytime, brings her private PoS device to the brothel as well for outside business of sex trade.

The sex-for-money mercenary described the introduction of PoS as a blessing for the flesh trade.

“I have had issues with men complaining that they wanted to have fun, but no cash at hand. But since the introduction of the PoS machine, once you have your MasterCard, you are in for fun. Fun unlimited.”

Asked if it is pay-before-service, the fair-complexioned prostitute said, “For me, as an independent person, it is not always. I have trusted customers who don’t go about with raw cash. Once we are done, I will bring out the machine for him to make the payment, there’s no big deal. But for some JJC, it is pay before service to avoid stories that touch,” she said amid a seductive smile.

It's not all positive though:

“It is fun but crazy at the same time,” she says. “Before now, I make about 20k per day and go away with my money, but since the introduction of the PoS here, I will have to wait till the end of the week to get my pay.

Another shocking finding by this reporter during one of his visits to the brothel was the rentage of the device to commercial sex workers for outside usage.

The owner of the brothel hires out the device to any sex worker who is interested in using it for the weekend at the rate of 5k. A day rentage goes for just N1, 500.

Diminutive, dark-skinned and pretty A3 said the PoS device has been a boost to their business since it was introduced.

“As long as you have your MasterCard and there is money in your account, no more wahala. If you no get raw cash now and you need blowjob or serious lap dance, just slot in your card now let the fun begin and stop sitting down like a Bishop,” the unclad girl said while trying to seduce the writer for a dance. “I am okay, don’t feel like dancing,” this reporter replied before moving off the place.

In separate chats with our reporter, most patrons applauded the new ‘invention’.



“This looks more like it.” Lekan, a patron said of the introduction of PoS into the illicit business. “I have used it severally and I think is the best option. My conscience pricks me each time I give out raw cash to them,” added.

Why the shift to payment via PoS?

Because the world is gradually going cashless and we need to follow the trend so we don’t run out of business. Sometimes, many customers don’t like going about with money so the introduction of PoS machines helps a lot. I remember in 2014 when a customer came to pick me from the house around 1 am on a Sunday to Lekki. On our way, after CMS, he decided to enter one of the ATM galleries to make withdrawal. After he finished collecting the money, robbers accosted us and made away with all the money he had withdrawn including my Blackberry Porsche. I will never forget that day.

At a strip club in Allen Avenue, some of the strippers parade the place with PoS terminals in case patron runs out of cash. According to our finding, on the high end-street of Allen, one session of ‘cashless quickie’ goes a minimum of 30k (around $150). Customers using the PoS pay extra tariffs than those offering raw cash.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-16/hookers-embrace-war-cash-transactional-sex-goes-digital
 

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#3
Weekly Forex Review - 18th to the 22nd of April
Forex Reviews


Published on Apr 16, 2016

For a video and written overview of all the Forex Training available at the website visit here - http://www.forexreviews.info/forex-tr...

Weekly Forex Outlook and Review for the 18th to the 22nd of April 2016 Market.

Many important zones and areas of interest highlighted this week in the review, areas to look for evidence and potential opportunities in the upcoming market ahead.

Zones and areas of interest highlighted this week in the review include trend based zones as well as some high probability counter trend zones.

Thanks for watching and Happy Trading, if you watched this bio do not forget to comment, like and subscribe. Also comment "Happy Trading" below to let me know you read the bio as well.

I appreciate you all. Have a great trading week!
 

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#4
Shipping & Energy 04/17:

Philly Shipyard Delivers Third LNG-Ready Jones Act Tanker to Crowley
http://gcaptain.com/philly-shipyard-delivers-third-lng-ready-jones-act-tanker-to-crowley/

Baltic Dry Index Soars Past 600 Points
http://gcaptain.com/baltic-dry-index-soars-past-600-points/

This Shipyard Is So Unprofitable It's Becoming a Parking Lot
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-unprofitable-it-s-turning-into-a-parking-lot

Horizontal Land Rig Count Summary 15th April 2016
http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Horizontal-Land-Rig-Count-Summary-15th-April-2016.html

Will China's Slowing Economy Stall The Silk Road Project?
http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-G...wing-Economy-Stall-The-Silk-Road-Project.html

Coal Is Officially a Zombie Industry
http://www.slate.com/articles/busin...is_quitting_coal_poorer_countries_aren_t.html

Afghan mineral wealth being looted by strongmen, experts say
http://napavalleyregister.com/ap/bu...cle_ba8c5927-76b8-5278-8434-3d410c223188.html

"I Am Not Sure You Can Call It A Freeze" - OPEC Deal In Jeopardy As Saudi-Iran Tensions Spike: All The Latest
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-...ec-deal-jeopardy-saudi-iran-tensions-spike-al
 

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#5
Strike at the Root
belangp


Published on Apr 17, 2016
A bit of a rant today.
 

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#6
SKU Podcast #15: Bankers Finally Admit Manipulating Gold and Silver Prices!
smartknowledgeu


Published on Apr 15, 2016
Today we discuss the recent admission of Deutsche Bank bankers in manipulating gold and silver prices after years of many prominent figures in the gold and silver blogosphere denying this obvious fact that had been supported by mountains of evidence, and we pose the question, "What ulterior motives drove prominent voices to deny that gold and silver prices were manipulated by bankers?"

The above includes a clip from the film "Take Shelter" that is used for educational purposes to illustrate a point as it relates to gold and silver "conspiracy theories" that is entirely different than the point illustrated in the film. I do not own any rights to this clip and Hydraulx Entertainment, REI Capital, Grove Hill Productions, and Strange Matter Films own all rights to this clip.

Deutsche Bank Confirms Silver Market Manipulation In Legal Settlement, Agrees To Expose Other Banks
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04...

Deutsche Bank Admits it Rigs Gold Prices
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04...

SmartKnowledgeU Challenges the Legitimacy of the Paper GLD and SLV Investment Vehicles, 15 July, 2009
https://smartknowledgeu.com/blog/2009...

JS Kim Challenges CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton to Stop Fraudulent Manipulation of Gold Prices, 16 October 2008
https://smartknowledgeu.com/blog/2008...
 

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#7
No Deal: Doha Talks End Without Agreement


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/17/2016 13:55 -0400


The most anticlimiatic culmination to the most farcical "agreement" of 2016, one which could have been seen a mile away by any carbon-based trader not housed in a collocated, supercooled facility in Secaucus, has taken place and here is the "shocking" result:

  • OPEC, NON-OPEC MINISTERS FINISH OIL TALKS IN DOHA, NO AGREEMENT - RTRS
  • OIL PRODUCERS END DOHA TALKS: OMAN MINISTER - BBG
  • DOHA OIL TALKS FINISH WITHOUT FREEZE DEAL: NIGERIAN MINISTER - BBG
  • OMAN MINISTER SAYS OIL PRODUCERS NEED MORE TIME TO REACH DEAL
Bloomberg has some additional details, even if the endgame had been clear for weeks in advance:

Negotiations between 16 oil producers in Doha ended without any agreement on limiting supplies, a diplomatic failure that threatens to renew the rout in prices.

The summit in the Qatari capital, which dragged on for more than ten hours beyond its initially scheduled conclusion, finished with no final accord, Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu told reporters. Discussions stumbled over whether the agreement should extend to other producers such as Iran, which wasn’t present, according to a person familiar with the matter. The inability to reach consensus will lead to a “severe” drop in prices, Citigroup Inc. predicted before the meeting.

“The Doha meeting was an opportunity for OPEC to polish its tarnished image,” Miswin Mahesh, an analyst at Barclays Plc in London, said on April 15. “After the failure of OPEC’s December meeting, the market was uneasy about its cohesion and Doha was a chance for the group to reassert its relevance and build a circle of trust.”

As reported earlier, and as has been reported for weeks, the failure to reach a deal was as a result of Saudi intervention, who have been the only dominant force among oil producing nations, ever since the Saudis killed OPEC as a cartel in November 2014. Here is the FT regurgitating what is already known:

Delegates said Saudi Arabia had in effect torn up an earlier draft of the deal as it decided it could not be party to an agreement that would give Iran any leeway. Tehran had refused to join the freeze as it rebuilds its oil exports after years of sanctions.

Iraq, to be sure, was quite displeased: "We are very, very disappointed," said Iraq's representative. "This will effect the price and our earnings. We wanted a deal."

But the Saudis - who are about to drink everyone's milkshake again - did not, despite so much optimism for a deal ahead of the meeting...



Of course, one has to keep the dream alive, and sure enough the strawman for more headlines is set:
  • OIL-PRODUCING NATIONS WILL MEET AGAIN, PROBABLY JUNE: NIGERIA - BBG
Will it once again work to fool the idiot algos, with recurring headlines of another "imminent certain deal", which will ram the shorts for another 2 months of stop hunts? Probably. The only question is whether Venezuela's regime will survive for another two months.

What happens next? Again here is Citi's Ed Morse with the obvious next steps:

If there is no agreement, then expect a sharp oil market sell-off on Monday.

And now we begin counting down the hours until oil opens for trading, pardon, selling unless the BOJ decides it will soak up every last drop on offer.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-17/no-deal-doha-talks-end-without-agreement-reuters-reports
 

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#8
No oil production freeze agreement after talks break down in Qatar
RT


Published on Apr 17, 2016
No deal has been reached in Doha after twelve hours of marathon oil talks. The world's major oil players were trying to negotiate a production freeze in a bid to halt tumbling prices. RT's Paula Slier has the story.
 

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#9
Frontrunning: April 18


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/18/2016 07:36 -0400

  • Crude's Losses Drag Ruble, Loonie Lower; Stocks Pare Their Drop (BBG)
  • Grand Oil Bargain Is Victim of Saudi Arabia's Iran Fixation (BBG)
  • Both Parties’ Presidential Front-Runners Increasingly Unpopular (WSJ)
  • It's up to you, New York: state takes center stage in election campaign (Reuters)
  • Rousseff Hangs by a Thread After Losing Impeachment Vote (BBG)
  • China March home prices rise at fastest rate in two years, top cities boom (Reuters)
  • Shaken Ecuador hunts for survivors amid 7.8 quake debris (Reuters)
  • Oil Worker Strike Cuts in Half Kuwait Crude Production (WSJ)
  • Greek lender mission chiefs resume reform talks in Athens (Reuters)
  • Greece’s Creditors Weigh Extra Austerity Measures to Break Deadlock (WSJ)
  • Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei Takes Aim at Donald Trump’s Trade Policies (WSJ)
  • The Hole at the Center of the Rally: S&P 500 Margins in Decline (BBG)
  • The Trucker's Nightmare That Could Flatten Europe's Economy (BBG)
  • London’s super-rich turn to renting (FT)
  • Treasury Market’s Fastest Traders Don’t Like Trading Treasuries (BBG)
  • Six corpses found in migrant boat, 108 rescued: Italy coast guard (Reuters)
  • Sunedison bankruptcy filing imminent (Reuters)
  • ECB not aiming to weaken euro against dollar: sources (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Brazil's Congress took a giant step toward removing President Dilma Rousseff from office Sunday when the lower house voted to send the impeachment process to the Senate for trial. (on.wsj.com/1S4kDXT)

- Verizon Communications Inc was among a handful of firms moving ahead with offers to buy Yahoo or parts of it, compared with the roughly 40 firms that had initially expressed interest, people familiar with the process said. (on.wsj.com/1S4kL9K)

- Residents of several coastal towns in Ecuador scrambled to free survivors trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings after the country's strongest earthquake in decades killed hundreds and destroyed homes, bridges and roads. (on.wsj.com/1S4kSCh)

- The world's financial leaders gathered in Washington for IMF and World Bank meetings said that Beijing's moves to stabilize its economy have temporarily eased global fears tied to the world's No. 2 economy. (on.wsj.com/1S4kZ0t)



FT

- Rugby club Harlequins is seeking to raise about 15 million pounds ($21.27 million) by issuing a mini-bond, joining other sports teams that are finding alternative ways to bolster their finances by tapping fans for investment. (http://bit.ly/1YBU24V)

- HSBC Holdings Plc is committing a minimum of 10 billion pounds of loans to smaller businesses this year, in spite of the looming threat of the UK leaving the European Union. (http://bit.ly/1YBU8tk)

- Caixabank SA has launched a takeover bid for Banco BPI, pushing efforts to break a deadlock with Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos for control of the Lisbon-based lender. (http://bit.ly/1YBUbVM)

- Uncertainty over the outcome of Britain's EU referendum in June is having a negative effect on business activity, as companies are pulling back on hiring and investment across sectors. (http://bit.ly/1YBUdwX)



NYT

- Amazon.com Inc is introducing new options to subscribe to its Prime membership service on a monthly basis, a change that could make the company's video service a tougher competitor to Netflix. (http://nyti.ms/1SlVo21)

- SunEdison Inc, which grew from making chemicals and components for solar modules to become a giant of the renewable energy business, is preparing for bankruptcy, according to a filing with regulators on Friday. (http://nyti.ms/1VcqtIZ)

- Jose Cuervo, a brand of tequila that is over two centuries old, is preparing for an IPO, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The family-owned Mexican company is working with JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley to prepare for the deal, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process is still private. (http://nyti.ms/1paaRrs)

- XIO Group, a private equity firm co-founded in 2014 by the former head of BlackRock Alternative Investors for Asia Pacific, said on Friday that it had agreed to acquire J.D.Power and Associates for $1.1 billion from McGraw Hill Financial, in what will be its biggest investment yet and its first in the United States. (http://nyti.ms/1SUcNfC)



Britain

The Times

- AstraZeneca Plc has been tracking Medivation Inc for six months, and is yet to make a formal offer, but has held internal talks about a bid. (http://bit.ly/1YBUxf7)

- Standard Chartered Plc has spoken to Paul Tucker, the former deputy governor of the Bank of England, about becoming its chairman. (http://bit.ly/1YBUAHP)

The Guardian

- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has reduced its global lending to oil and gas companies and doubled its green energy loans in the UK to 1 billion pounds ($1.42 billion) a year, according to new figures released. (http://bit.ly/1YBUIqY)

- Britain would be "permanently poorer" if voters choose to leave the EU, George Osborne has warned, as a Treasury study claimed the economy would shrink by 6 percent by 2030, costing every household the equivalent of 4,300 pounds a year. (http://bit.ly/1YBUOPg)

The Telegraph

- Andrew Mackenzie, the chief executive of struggling mining giant BHP Billiton Plc, has joined the chorus of FTSE 100 bosses pleading with voters to opt to remain in the EU, claiming a Brexit could result in a 'decade of disruption' to trade agreements. (http://bit.ly/1WzOt8C)

Sky News

- Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has insisted border arrangements between Ireland and the UK would not change if the public votes to leave the EU. (http://bit.ly/1WzOAkx)

The Independent

- Norway's $860 billion sovereign wealth fund has unveiled the first list of miners and power producers to be excluded from its portfolio following a ban on coal investments. (http://ind.pn/1WzOIQM)



http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-18/frontrunning-april-18
 

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#10
Futures Wipe Out Most Overnight Losses Following Dramatic Rebound In Crude


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/18/2016 06:35 -0400

Following yesterday's OPEC "production freeze" meeting in Doha which ended in total failure, where in a seemingly last minute change of heart Saudi Arabia and specifically its deputy crown prince bin Salman revised the terms of the agreement demanding Iran participate in the freeze after all knowing well it won't, oil crashed and with it so did the strategy of jawboning for the past 2 months had been exposed for what it was: a desperate attempt to keep oil prices stable and "crush shorts" while global demand slowly picked up.

As a result what followed was crude's biggest drop in months, a plunge of some 7% in the early Sunday trading hours, which also dragged down US equity markets and currencies of commodity-exporting nations. Furthermore, as can be seen in the chart below, with oil the most important commodity for global stock prices, many wondered if central banks would allow this drop to persist: after all by now everyone knows central banks' only mandate is keeping asset prices propped up.



And whether it was central banks, or chronic BTFDers, just 12 hours after oil opened for trading with a loud crash, the commodity has nearly wiped out all losses, and both brent and WTI were down barely 2%, leading to both European stocks and US equity futures virtually unchanged on the session. Most of the losses were wiped out just after the European open, with WTI Jun'16 futures breaking back above USD 40/bbl to take out USD 40.50/bbl to the upside in the process. Almost as if the market was waiting for the ECB to start buying.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed, after earlier sliding 1.4 percent, and U.S. equity-index futures also pared declines.

Whether oil's dramatic overnight reversal will persist, however, remains to be seen: we expect OPEC nations will desperately try to figure out what the proper "jawboning" headline is to launch algo buying programs, now that "Doha freeze" has been exhausted. One early candidate has emerged:

  • RUSSIA TO HOLD TALKS W/ SAUDIS ON OIL OUTPUT FREEZE:RIA
Then again, Iran once again refuses to comply, and with good reason - it is right to demand to be able to produce as much as it did before the US sanctions.

  • IRAN ISN'T RESPONSIBLE FOR OIL OVERSUPPLY: ZANGANEH ON RADIO
So for now, all eyes are on oil.

"Oil is the most dominant theme today,” said Thu Lan Nguyen, a currency strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “It is a relatively clear pattern of commodity currencies being under pressure. On the other hand there is general risk aversion on the rise, which is supporting safe-haven currencies like the yen.”

One catalyst that is helping prop up oil prices is Kuwait whose crude production tumbled by 60% to 1.1 million barrels a day and its refineries scaled back operations as the state oil company took emergency measures Sunday to cope with the first day of an open-ended labor strike. Kuwait produced 2.81 million barrels a day last month, making it OPEC’s fourth-largest member.

In the other top story overnight, lawmakers in Brazil’s lower house of Congress reached the threshold of 342 votes needed to advance the motion to impeach Rousseff to the Senate on Sunday.

Morgan Stanley, is among companies reporting earnings on Monday after financial firms led stocks higher last week, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. climbing after announcing reductions in first-quarter expenses that beat analysts’ estimates. International Business Machines Corp. and Netflix Inc. are also due to release results.

This is where the markets stand now:

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 2071
  • Stoxx 600 down 0.2% to 342
  • FTSE 100 down 0.2% to 6329
  • DAX down 0.3% to 10024
  • German 10Yr yield up less than 1bp to 0.13%
  • Italian 10Yr yield down less than 1bp to 1.33%
  • Spanish 10Yr yield up less than 1bp to 1.5%
  • S&P GSCI Index down 1.2% to 332.3
  • MSCI Asia Pacific down 1.5% to 130
  • Nikkei 225 down 3.4% to 16276
  • Hang Seng down 0.7% to 21162
  • Shanghai Composite down 1.4% to 3034
  • S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 5137
  • US 10-yr yield down 2bps to 1.74%
  • Dollar Index down 0.1% to 94.6
  • WTI Crude futures down 3% to $39.14
  • Brent Futures down 2.4% to $42.07
  • Gold spot up 0.1% to $1,235
  • Silver spot down 0.3% to $16.19
Global Top News

  • Oil Plunges After Output Talks Fail Amid Saudi Demands Over Iran: no Doha deal as Saudi insists all OPEC members must join
  • Verizon Said to Lead Bids for Yahoo, Wall Street Journal Reports: Time Inc., Alphabet, IAC/InterActiveCorp dropped out
  • McGraw Hill Sells J.D. Power Unit to XIO Group for $1.1 Billion: sale expected to close in third quarter
  • Rousseff Hangs by a Thread After Losing Impeachment Vote: Rousseff open to dialogue, but not demoralized by vote
  • Japanese Stocks Tumble After Oil Talks Deadlock as Yen Advances: insurers, Sony, Toyota drop in wake of deadly earthquake
  • Amazon Rivals Netflix With Stand-Alone Video Subscriptions: Amazon Prime will be available on monthly payment plan of $10.99
  • Disney’s on a roll as ‘Jungle Book’ Opens at $103.6 Million: debut was third-biggest so far this year, ComScore says
  • Autohome Gets Takeover Bid From CEO’s Group, Topping Ping An: takeover proposal follows Ping An offer to buy Telstra’s stake
Looking at regional markets, Asian equities began the week on the back-foot, as oil prices slumped after output freeze talks in Doha failed. Nikkei 225 (-3.4%) underperformed in the aftermath of another earthquake over the weekend which has resulted in losses in insurers and has disrupted several large manufacturers' operations, while a firmer JPY also added to the tone. ASX 200 (-0.4%) was led lower by energy names following the failure to strike an output freeze deal as Saudi demanded that Iran be included in an agreement, while Iran had shunned the meeting. Shanghai Comp (-1.4%) also conformed to the risk-averse tone despite continued improvement in home prices (Y/Y +4.9% vs. Prey. 3.6%), as the rampant property sector could also encourage inflows from stocks. 10yr JGBs traded marginally higher amid the risk-averse tone and the BoJ in the market for JPY 450b1n 5-10yr JGBs, which 20yr also yields decline to fresh record lows.

Asian top news:

  • China Home-Price Gains Spread as Easing Measures Spur Demand: New-home prices climbed in 62 cities in March, 47 in Feb.
  • Credit Suisse to Halt Earnings Previews in Japan Following Probe: Firm won’t allow analysts to visit cos. to gather information before they report earnings,
  • High-Frequency Trading Chief Lashes Out at Proposed India Probe: Panel advising India’s regulator recommended investigation
  • Alipay Owner Said to Start Shanghai IPO Process as Soon as 2016: Alibaba affiliate said to meet need for 3-years of profit
  • CIMB’s Nazir Takes Leave Amid Audit of Political Fund Transfers: Bank chairman helped distribute funds to politicians in 2013
  • Quake Death Toll Rises in Japan as Economic Impact Spreads: Toyota said oper. profit may drop as supplies disrupted
  • Siliconware Says Tsinghua Unigroup Deal on Hold: possibility of investment depends on interaction between China, Taiwan govts
European stocks began the week under pressure, weighed on by energy names in the wake of the failed Doha meeting. Although equities later pared the majority of their opening losses, given that expectations of a significant deal coming to fruition had been somewhat small. Elsewhere, Italian banks are lower across the board this morning as doubts continue to mount over whether the new bank bailout fund has the means to revive the sector with some of the funds with investors themselves cynical about its prospects

The risk averse sentiment across Europe has sparked flight-to-quality flow into fixed income markets with Bunds remaining in close proximity to 164.00. However, German paper pulled back from their highs by mid-morning amid the turnaround in equities, allied with another heavy bout of supply this week, with an estimated EUR 20bIn worth of issuance.

European top news:

  • Draghi Seen Putting ECB Stimulus Back on Agenda After Summer: analysts say ECB could add asset purchases or cut rates again
  • Osborne Warns of Decades of Economic Pain If U.K. Quits EU: Brexit would knock 6% off U.K. GDP by 2030, Treasury argues
  • World’s Biggest Miner Says Brexit Would Harm China View of U.K.: Obama to say Britain should stay in EU in London this week
  • CaixaBank Bids EU908m for Rest of Banco BPI: offer is subject to scrapping a voting-rights limit at BPI
  • Immofinanz Buying 26% of CA Immo in First Step to Merger: companies revisit last year’s hostile battle on friendly terms
  • Banker Unrest Threatens Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Turnarounds: CEOs Thiam, Cryan face rising discontent
  • Hutchison U.K. Mobile Deal Said to Face EU Veto Within Weeks: EU block may halt wave of recent telecoms consolidation
In FX, today has seen a morning of consolidation in the FX markets, with USD/CAD buying seen as the obvious trade in the wake of the collapsed talks in Doha. Given the signals given ahead of the meeting, the Saudi objection to Iran's omission to an agreement was the clear writing to the wall, so the dip in Oil has been corrected accordingly leading the CAD off its lows. We gapped up to 1.2950 in the spot rate, and after rejecting a move on 1.3000, we have since moved back under 1.2900 to suggest a gap readjustment. AUD and NZD saw similar moves in line with CAD, but we have seen .7700 and .6900 levels reclaimed, but the recent highs look a stretch as yet. The USD index is threatening lower though, so expect a further extension (higher) in the commodity linked currencies, with the EUR and GBP also better bid as a result. USD/JPY is caught in the crossfire, but after more earthquakes in Japan, the pair has been pressured to sub 108.00 again, though briefly so as yet with a modest recovery in the Euro bourses aiding the upturn to just shy of 108.50.

The story of the overnight session so far has been that of commodities and specifically oil, after OPEC and Non-OPEC producers failed to agree to an output freeze deal as Saudi demanded that Iran be part of an agreement and Iran refused to attend the meeting in Doha. (Telegraph) There were comments from several oil ministers including Qatar's who stated that OPEC needed more time. Furthermore, Russia's oil minister said that Iran was not the reason behind the breakdown in talks and that the door is not shut for a production freeze, while Nigeria's oil minister suggested that OPEC should shift to a majority vote system.

The energy complex saw initial downside today after the failed Doha talks, however much of the losses have been paired during the European morning, with WTI Jun'16 futures breaking back above USD 40/bbl to take out USD 40.50/bbl to the upside in the process. In terms of the metals complex, gold prices saw mild support amid risk-averse sentiment, although subdued price action during European hours, while overnight iron ore prices coat-tailed on steel advances which were underpinned by seasonal demand.

Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawl and Bloomberg

  • The OPEC/non-OPEC talks in Doha over the weekend failed to lead to an agreement, with the fallout seeing downside in oil, and softness in commodity-linked currencies and energy names.
  • Much of the immediate fallout from Doha saw a paring during European hours, with many suggesting that chances of a significant deal coming to fruition had been somewhat small.
  • Today's economic calendar is light in data and will see focus fall on potential comments from Fed's Rosengren, Dudley and Kashkari.
Treasuries little changed in overnight trading even as oil drops below $40/barrel after producers ended talks in Doha without any agreement on limiting supplies; global equity markets drop, gold rises.

Dilma Rousseff’s presidency is hanging by a thread after Brazil’s lower house of Congress voted in favor of her impeachment, a decision that’s likely to cheer investors

As Europe holds its breath over whether or not the U.K. will stay in the union, companies are holding on to their cash. Coming off of an eight-year record for mergers and acquisitions, the U.K. just had its worst quarter for deals since 2010

Leaving the European Union would deliver a blow to Britain’s economy and leave it 6% smaller by 2030, according to a Treasury analysis produced as the government attempts to dissuade the electorate from voting to quit the bloc

Germany’s Finance Minister Schaeuble tells U.K. counterpart George Osborne that Berlin would be tough negotiator on trade agreement if U.K. leaves EU, Financial Times reports

Next ECB head should be from Germany as Mario Draghi’s policies “don’t help anymore,” Markus Soeder, Bavarian finance minister, says in interview with Bild am Sonntag

Something is going on below the surface of earnings that should give bulls pause; quarterly forecasts for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index show profits are declining at the steepest rate since the financial crisis relative to revenue

China’s home-price gains accelerated last month as the nation’s economic hubs such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen continued to lead the way amid surging liquidity that underpinned demand

Sovereign 10Y bond yields mixed; European, Asian equity markets lower; U.S. equity-index futures drop. WTI crude oil and copper drop, gold rises

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Fed’s Dudley speaks in New York
  • 10am: NAHB Housing Market Index, April, est. 59 (prior 58)
  • 12:30pm: Fed’s Kashkari speaks in Minneapolis
  • 7:00pm: Fed’s Rosengren speaks in New Britain, Conn.
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

All eyes on oil this morning as the long awaited producers meeting in Doha ended in disappointment last night. Following extended talks, OPEC members and major producers walked away without any agreement on a production freeze. Prior to this, the WSJ had suggested that a draft accord had been circulated calling for a freeze at January levels until the end of October. Saudi Arabia seems to have taken a harder stance however with the major sticking point the lack of participation from Iran, who failed to even send a representative to the meeting. Following the end of the meeting, the energy minister of Qatar was however cited as saying that OPEC members will continue to consult between themselves as well as non-OPEC members up until June with the bi-annual OPEC meeting set to be held on June 2nd.

The immediate reaction when markets opened this morning was for WTI to plunge over 7% and touch a low of $37.61/bbl (after closing at $40.36/bbl on Friday). Oil has since pared part of those heavy losses and is currently hovering just shy of $38.50/bbl (still nearly -5% on the day). The losses have dragged bourses in Asia lower. The Nikkei (-3.08%) is leading the way, not helped by a near +1% safe haven rally for the Yen. Elsewhere the Shanghai Comp is -1.31%, while the Hang Seng (-1.20%), ASX (-0.22%) and Kospi (-0.48%) are all in the red. Commodity sensitive currencies are up to a percent down this morning, while credit markets are unsurprisingly a couple of basis points wider. US equity index futures are also in the red to the tune of half a percent or so.

Meanwhile, the news of the lack of an agreement at yesterday’s meeting is interestingly also coinciding with the news of a forced production cut from Kuwait following a public sector strike which started on Sunday. The Kuwait Oil Company announced in a statement that the OPEC member is to slash production from the usual 3million barrels a day, to just 1.1million barrels a day. Public sector workers are protesting on the back of plans to make cuts to wages and incentives, with the FT reporting that unions had called for the reforms to be cancelled prior to commencing yesterday’s strike. It’s hard to know if this is helping to support a floor on the drop in the Oil price this morning, and ultimately how long this strike will go on for and therefore the overall importance of it, but it’ll be worth keeping an eye on how things progress.

Elsewhere, the other headline grabber this morning is the latest political update out of Brazil where the key lower house vote has happened overnight. Crucially, Congress have voted in favour of President Rousseff’s impeachment, reaching the required threshold of 342 votes. That clears the way for the motion to be passed over to the Senate where it will go in front of a special committee where a simple majority vote (from 81 members) will be taken. Should that majority be reached, then an official impeachment trial is launched, with Rousseff subsequently temporarily removed from office during the trial and Vice-President Temer stepping in.

Moving on to this week now. Although we'll fully preview it at the end the highlights are tomorrow's ECB lending survey, the ECB meeting on Thursday, the global flash PMI numbers on Friday and from earnings season as 104 S&P 500 companies and 46 Eurostoxx firms report this week including the remaining banks and also some of the big bellwether tech names. It’ll also be worth keeping a final eye on the Fedspeak tonight (particularly Dudley given his views have been closely aligned with Yellen) with the blackout period kicking in thereafter ahead of the April 26th and 27th FOMC meeting.

With regards to the ECB, their lending survey may offer clues about how Q1 volatility and especially the poor equity performance of banks has impacted lending if at all. Lending rates fell in February and net new lending was positive and while it might still be too early to tell it's an important release all the same and due out at 9am BST tomorrow.

With regards to their meeting on Thursday, the main focus will likely be on any additional info they can give on their upcoming corporate bond purchasing scheme. They are sure to be asked for more details so it'll be interesting if they have any. On this topic Michal Jezek in my team has just published a report "How Might Default Risk Shape the ECB Corporate Bond Purchase". In the report, we explain why we believe the size of the ECB's corporate bond purchase programme should not be constrained by concerns about default losses, at least not anywhere near current spread levels. We therefore expect the ECB to move all the way down to BBBs rather than keep the programme smaller and stick to higher-rated bonds. However, diversification is a key default-risk-management tool. We estimate that if the ECB aimed to passively buy a slice of the relevant market portfolio but self-imposed a 2% cap on single-issuer exposures, the effective eligible universe would shrink by 12%. With a 1% cap, it would shrink by 38% to about €350bn. Still, we think that even with such a diversification restriction the ECB should be able to build up a portfolio in line with our baseline expectation of monthly purchases averaging €3-5bn, presumably including the primary market. We also think that as long as the ECB can take a portfolio view on default losses, it would make little sense to automatically sell fallen angel corporate debt.

Moving on. Aside from the Doha events, the only other snippet of news from the weekend came from the IMF’s spring meetings, although in truth not much new material appears to have come out of these. IMF Chief Lagarde summed up the mood from officials as having an overall lower level of anxiety relative to their last meeting, with officials demonstrating ‘a collective endeavour to indentify the solution and the responses to the global economic situation’. Some of the talks also focused on FX policy with members reiterating that they would ‘reaffirm previous exchange-rate commitments, including that we will refrain from competitive devaluations’.
A quick recap of how we closed out last week on Friday. Risk assets finished on a bit of a whimper with much of that being attributed to heavy losses in the energy sector as Oil prices moved steadily lower with expectations declining (now justified) ahead of Doha. Some soft US data didn’t help (more on that shortly) while Citigroup became the latest bank to report earnings in the sector. A beat at both the earnings and top line were recorded with the theme being similar to what we’ve seen insofar with much of that profit beat being cost cut driven. The S&P 500 eventually closed with a modest -0.10% loss although the five-day return was still a healthy +1.62%. US credit indices were a smidgen wider while in Europe it was credit which was the relative underperformer on Friday, the iTraxx Crossover in particular ending 10bps wider while the Stoxx 600 closed -0.35% for its first negative day in over a week.

With regards to that data out of the US on Friday, most notable early on was the steeper than expected fall in industrial production last month (-0.6% mom vs. -0.1% expected), the second consecutive monthly decline of that magnitude with the mining and utility sectors leading much of the softness. Manufacturing production (-0.3% mom vs. +0.1% expected) was also down. That said the first factory reading for April was supportive. The NY Fed’s empire manufacturing survey revealed a near 9pt rise to 9.6 (vs. 2.0 expected) and the highest level for that series since January 2015 with new orders, employment and prices paid all strengthening. Elsewhere, the first release of the April University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading revealed an unexpected 1.3pt fall in the index to 89.7 (vs. 92.0 expected) with the expectations component leading much of that. One year inflation expectations were unchanged at 2.7% however it was noted that 5-10y expectations tumbled two-tenths to 2.5%.

Staying in the US, Chicago Fed President Evans was also out with comments on Friday, saying (unsurprisingly) that there is a ‘high hurdle’ for any tightening in policy from the Fed next week. A lot of Evans’ comments were focused on the inflation picture however which he highlighted as informing the Fed’s decisions in the near term.

With the Fed meeting next week, there’s little in the way of Fedspeak although today we will hear Dudley give opening remarks at a conference this afternoon, followed by Kashkari and Rosengren later this evening. The BoE’s Carney is due to speak in Parliament tomorrow afternoon, while on the US election front we’ll get the NY primary tomorrow.

Earnings season ramps up too and we’ll see 104 S&P 500 companies report. The highlights are the tech names and we’ll get reports from IBM and Netflix today, Yahoo and Intel tomorrow followed by Alphabet, Microsoft and Verizon on Thursday. Away from the tech names we’ll also hear from Pepsico (today), Morgan Stanley (today), Goldman Sachs (Tuesday), Johnson & Johnson (Tuesday), Coca-Cola (Wednesday), General Motors (Thursday), Schlumberger (Thursday), Caterpillar (Friday), General Electric (Friday) and McDonalds (Friday). Meanwhile in Europe we’ll get the latest earnings reports from 46 Eurostoxx companies.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-...night-losses-following-dramatic-rebound-crude
 

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Gold and Silver Market Morning: April-18-2016
By: Julian D. W. Phillips, Gold Forecaster
Gold ETFs - We saw more large purchases of 5,647 tonnes, after last week’s big sales of over 8 tonnes, of gold into the SPDR gold ETF but nothing in or out of the Gold Trust on Friday. This leaves their holdings at 812.462 and 188.04 tonnes in the SPDR & Gold Trust respectively. These purchases were well placed to take advantage of what we expect later this week in the gold price.


Thoughts from the Frontline - What Condition My Condition Is In
By: John Mauldin
In this week’s letter we will take a quick look at the condition of a slowing global economy (the IMF just downgraded its own forecast this last week). Then we’ll grapple with a Plan B scenario, because I have a confession of sorts: I am not entirely optimistic that Congress and the new president can get their act together, so I offer a proposal from former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn as to what we, the people, can do to actually change the country’s direction without having to depend on a Congress that may prove dysfunctional. Again.


Is Deutsche Bank’s Gold Manipulation The Main Scam Or Just A Side-Show?
By: John Rubino
But is this gaming of the London precious metals fix the same thing as — or even tangentially related to — the main manipulation of the gold price, which is the practice of central banks “lending” their gold to big commercial banks, which then sell that gold on the open market to depress the price? These seem to be two different frauds, and if only the first comes to light while the second continues unimpeded, there’s no reason to expect precious metals to start trading rationally — which is to say in line with fundamentals like soaring global debt, ever-increasing money creation and general geopolitical and economic instability. At least not until Western central banks run out of gold.
 

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Frontrunning: April 19


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/19/2016 07:28 -0400

  • Early Warning Signs of Recession Flash Faintly in U.S. Jobs Data (BBG)
  • Who Needs Buybacks? One S&P 500 Variant Just Rallied to a Record (BBG)
  • The unpredictable new voice of Saudi oil (FT)
  • Saudi's Other Warning Makes Oil Traders Sweat After Doha Failure (BBG)
  • U.S. oil investors rush for protection at $35 as Doha talks collapse (Reuters)
  • Trump candidacy: Where some fear to tread others see a path to victory (Reuters)
  • Iron Ore Powers Above $60 as Steel Rally in China Spurs Demand (BBG)
  • Syrian government says Assad's future not up for discussion (Reuters)
  • Low ECB Rates Leave Germans Worried About Dwindling Savings (BBG)
  • China Sovereign Fund to Seek Control of $8 Billion Yum Unit (BBG)
  • Reserve Bank's Glenn Stevens shoots down 'helicopter money' desperados (AFR)
  • German Raids Target Right-Wing Group Accused of Refugee Attacks (BBG)
  • Hillary Clinton’s Lead Narrows to Two Points Among Democratic Primary Voters, Poll Says (WSJ)
  • Malaysia's 1MDB Bonds Rally as Fund Row Stokes Volatility (BBG)
  • Talks With Creditors To Resume But Athens Rejects Fresh Austerity (Kathimerini)
  • Best Undergraduate Business Schools of 2016 (BBG)
  • Turkey's Erdogan says European Parliament report 'provocative' (Reuters)
  • EU will not water down criteria for Turkish visa waiver: Juncker (Reuters)
  • Here’s an FX Strategy That May Offer Refuge From Negative Rates (BBG)
  • Swedish Central Bank Gains Backing for Revised Inflation Target (BBG)


Bulletin Headline Summary

WSJ

- U.S. Federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into whether Theranos Inc misled investors about the state of its technology and operations, according to people familiar with the matter. (http://on.wsj.com/1S74n8n)

- Saudi Arabia's decision over the weekend to refuse to freeze oil output without Iran's participation indicates a heightened willingness in the kingdom to mix politics and oil policy amid tensions with Tehran and Washington. (http://on.wsj.com/1S74v81)

- Top U.S. regulators are set to focus on borrowing by the hedge-fund industry, particularly large funds, as they assess potential risks in the asset-management sector. (http://on.wsj.com/1S74CQZ)

- U.S. law enforcement sought information from Apple 4,000 times, covering 16,112 devices, in the second half of 2015, according to Apple's biannual transparency report, released late Monday. (http://on.wsj.com/1S7515T)



FT

- Greybull Capital, which is close to buying Tata Steel UK's Scunthorpe-based long products division, is also mulling a bid for Tata's speciality steels arm, which employs about 2,000 people. (bit.ly/1XFwETV)

- Deloitte's leasing, City investment, national investment and property management teams, will transfer to other companies, six years after it acquired Drivers Jonas to create one of the largest real estate consultancies in the UK. (bit.ly/1XFweg4)

- Europe's governments gave a green signal to expand the role of an EU naval mission in the Mediterranean, as it gets ready for a surge in asylum seekers trying to make the dangerous sea crossing from North Africa. (bit.ly/1XFwmfG)

- Rate cuts in European and Japanese banks are putting pressure on many central banks' returns, which are a source of income used to cover running costs, and to provide finance ministries with profits. (bit.ly/1XFvEPD)



NYT

- Theranos, the embattled blood-testing laboratory, said on Monday that federal officials were conducting a criminal investigation into the company, adding to a series of questions from officials about its inner workings. (http://nyti.ms/1XFJUI1)

- The Supreme Court on Monday refused to revive a challenge to Google Inc's digital library of millions of books, turning down an appeal from authors who said the project amounted to copyright infringement on a mass scale. (http://nyti.ms/1SPoBzu)

- Argentina returned to global bond markets on Monday after a 15-year hiatus, unveiling the biggest sovereign issuance by an emerging-market nation in two decades as the government ends a prolonged feud with hedge funds in New York. (http://nyti.ms/1S71xjU)

- The British government outlined the central argument on Monday it hopes will persuade voters to stay in the European Union, publishing a detailed economic analysis finding that Britons will be poorer if they quit. (http://nyti.ms/1MECSCZ)



Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** General Motors of Canada Ltd, a unit of General Motors Co , is establishing a separate Canadian head office for its Cadillac division as part of plans to return to the downtown Toronto core with a new complex that will also house a sales outlet for some of the company's brands. (http://bit.ly/1SWPzFS)

** Jean-Pierre Blais, the chairman of Canada's telecom regulator, delivered an unusual statement in the middle of a public hearing, calling on governments as well as the telecom industry to contribute to the development of a "coherent national broadband strategy." (http://bit.ly/1SWPL7U)

NATIONAL POST

** Several groups of indigenous activists have occupied the offices of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada in Toronto and staged a sit-in in Winnipeg, demanding that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits a northern Ontario community struggling with a recent spate of suicide attempts. (http://bit.ly/1SWQd6i)

** Oilsands giant Suncor Energy Inc, by urging shareholders to reject a proposal to boost transparency of its lobbying activity and funding, is guaranteeing a spotlight on the usually secretive practice at its annual shareholder meeting next week. (http://bit.ly/1SWQrKo)

** The evidence that Sino-Forest Corp's former chief executive committed fraud and deceived investors is iron-clad, the Ontario Securities Commission argued on Monday as it began wrapping up its long-running case against Allen Chan and four other executives. (http://bit.ly/1SWQwOd)



Britain

The Times

* Tata Steel has appointed Standard Chartered PLC to help it to sound out possible buyers for its loss-making British division after formally kicking off a sales process for Port Talbot and other steelmaking sites. The Indian company, which has close ties to Standard Chartered in India, has asked the bank to work with KPMG, the auditor, to identify a potential acquirer, especially among Chinese steelmakers. (http://bit.ly/23UszyT)

* Profits at Morgan Stanley halved in the first quarter, in the latest sign of strife on Wall Street and the City for "bulge bracket" banks. The bank admitted that its trading and investment banking businesses had taken a hit from market volatility early in the year and a dearth of companies coming to the market. (http://bit.ly/1WC5ezY)

The Guardian

* George Osborne has said the British government would lose 36 billion pounds in net tax receipts, equivalent to 8 pence on the basic rate of income tax or 7 pence on VAT, if the UK leaves the EU and negotiates a bilateral trade agreement with the bloc. (http://bit.ly/1qTa4N1)

* Veolia Environnement SA, the rubbish collection and road sweeping company, has vowed to ensure that 10 percent of new recruits come from marginalised groups - including army veterans, ex-offenders, long-term unemployed and the homeless. (http://bit.ly/1qTX2yN)

The Telegraph

* Tata Steel has appointed a new chief executive for its British steel operations as it battles to sell the business, which is losing as much as £1m a day. Bimlendra Jha, an executive committee member of Tata Steel Europe, will take up the role reporting to Hans Fischer, who heads the company's steel operations across Europe. (http://bit.ly/1pcBAne)

* British Gas owner Centrica PLC has attempted to shrug off a sharp drop in customer numbers, setting out plans to fight back with a range of new tariffs. Britain's biggest energy supplier disclosed it had lost 224,000 customer accounts in the first three months of the year. (http://bit.ly/1WC5aAj)

Sky News

* Britain's biggest payday lender has shelved a plan to sell its German online payments business after securing funding to help accelerate the transformation of its core consumer lending operations. Sky News understands that Wonga held preliminary talks with a number of prospective buyers of BillPay, which it acquired in 2013, before a string of crises plunged its future into doubt. (http://bit.ly/1WBRoh0)

* Judges have overturned government plans to deny legal aid to people who have not lived in the UK continuously for at least 12 months. The Supreme Court announced it is to allow an appeal by campaigners against proposals for a so-called residence test, which they argued restricted access to justice for foreign-born individuals in civil cases. (http://bit.ly/1VeMPK2)

The Independent

* David Cameron and George Osborne will be accused by one of their closest political allies of treating the British public "like children" who need to be "frightened into obedience" as Conservative Party tensions escalate into open warfare. The Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, will launch an attack on tactics used by the prime minister and chancellor to persuade people to back a "remain" vote. (http://ind.pn/23UrVRZ)

* MPs are to investigate allegations of illegal weapons sales at British weapons fairs after a judge ruled there was "credible" evidence of wrongdoing at the biggest event in the arms trade's calendar. The House of Commons Committee on Arms Export Control, made up of MPs from all the main parties, will look into the allegations that a judge said had not been "appropriately investigated by the authorities". (http://ind.pn/1S6MTZX)

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-19/frontrunning-april-19
 

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#19
S&P To Open Above 2,100, Eyes All Time High As Global Markets Surge, Crude Rises Above $40


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/19/2016 06:45 -0400

If asking traders where stocks and oil would be trading one day after a weekend in which the Doha OPEC meeting resulted in a spectacular failure, few if any would have said the S&P would be over 2,100, WTI would be back over $40 and the VIX would be about to drop to 12 and yet that is precisely where the the S&P500 is set to open today, hitting Goldman's year end target 8 months early, and oblivious of the latest batch of poor earnings news, this time from Intel and Netflix, both of which are sharply down overnight. We expect that after taking out any 2,100 stops, the S&P will then make a solid effort to take out all time highs, now just over 1% away.

Instead of these fundamental drivers, the market is focusing on the possibility that Japan may unleash more stimulus in the aftermath of this weekend's massive quake, which has pushed the USDJPY to 109.40 in the overnight session, wiping out about 160 pips of losses in two days. Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities in Tokyo, said that "we now have concerns that the economic impact from the Kumamoto earthquake could become larger, which is leading to expectations of further easing from the Bank of Japan."

And that's how every M7 and larger earthquake not only has a silver lining but is bullish for stocks.

Meanwhile OPEC watchers continue to focus on the Kuwait oil worker strike hoping it takes away enough production from the market over the next few days that the oil price jump despite the Doha meeting failure, is justified.

As a result, global stocks climbed to a four-month high and emerging markets rallied as oil rose above $40 a barrel whie European equities were poised for their highest close since January as financial reports boosted companies including Danone SA and L’Oreal SA. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index jumped 1.3% after energy shares snapped a two-day decline, tracking oil higher.

S&P 500 Index futures rose 0.5%, indicating U.S. equities will extend gains after reaching their highest level since Dec. 1.

It wasn't just risk assets as gold jumped while silver surged to its strongest level since June. The metal has gained 21 percent this year, and is the best performing asset in the Bloomberg Commodity Index. And even as Treasury markets sold off modestly (the 10Y is still below 1.80%), Japan's long TSY yields continued to make fresh record lows following strong demand for 5 year paper.

As Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, summarized the market action: "There appears to be less skepticism, with investors shrugging off oil’s losses overnight. Pessimism in analysts’ expectations in the lead-up to the U.S. earnings season appears overdone. There’s room for an upward surprise."

On the calendar today, we have data on housing starts in March, with economists estimating a drop from the previous month. Goldman Sachs’s earnings follow results from JPMorgan Chase & Co.,
Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley that helped fuel a rally in
financials.

Where markets are now:

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.5% to 2098
  • Stoxx 600 up 1.2% to 348
  • FTSE 100 up 0.5% to 6387
  • DAX up 1.8% to 10304
  • German 10Yr yield up 2bps to 0.18%
  • Italian 10Yr yield up 5bps to 1.4%
  • Spanish 10Yr yield up 4bps to 1.53%
  • S&P GSCI Index up 0.6% to 337.7
  • MSCI Asia Pacific up 1.8% to 133
  • Nikkei 225 up 3.7% to 16874
  • Hang Seng up 1.3% to 21436
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.3% to 3043
  • S&P/ASX 200 up 1% to 5189
  • US 10-yr yield up 2bps to 1.79%
  • Dollar Index down 0.13% to 94.37
  • WTI Crude futures up 1% to $40.19
  • Brent Futures up 1.2% to $43.41
  • Gold spot up 0.8% to $1,242
  • Silver spot up 2.6% to $16.65
Top Global News

  • Oil Halts Losses as Kuwait Labor Strike Cuts Crude Production: oil halted drop, investors weighed strike in Kuwait
  • Japan Stocks Rally Most in Seven Weeks on Quake Stimulus Outlook: crude up first time in 5 days, boosting energy stocks
  • IBM Earnings Show It’s Still Struggling With New Product Growth: sales fell for 16th consecutive quarter to $18.7b
  • Netflix Shares Slump on Forecast for Weakening Subscriber Growth: international gains to shrink despite global expansion
  • Valeant CEO Deposed for at Least Nine Hours by Senate Committee: Pearson deposed ahead of public hearing April 27
  • BlackRock Asks Hong Kong to Stop Listed Companies Hoarding Cash: Hong Kong exchange would have to consult on rules change
  • Theranos Under Investigation by SEC, U.S. Attorney’s Office: co. was asked to provide documents, is cooperating
  • Yahoo to Weigh Bids From Verizon, TPG, YP as First Round Closes: earnings report set to show further revenue declines
  • Fed’s Rosengren Says Market Is Too Pessimistic on Rate Path: U.S. economy remains ‘fundamentally sound’ despite slow 1Q
  • Hedge Fund Leverage Faces New Scrutiny by Top U.S. Regulator: FSOC creates working group to study use of borrowed money
  • Gulf’s Biggest Buyer of U.S. Properties to Double Investments: Investcorp also plans to return to Europe
  • NOTE: Companies reporting earnings today include Goldman, Intel, J&J, Philip Morris
Looking at regional markets, Asian stocks reversed yesterday's losses following the positive lead from Wall St. as a recovery in crude lifted global sentiment. Nikkei 225 (+3.7%) outperformed on JPY weakness and bargain buying following yesterday's over 3% declines, while ASX 200 (+1.0%) was underpinned by commodity names after oil's resurgence and iron ore reclaiming the USD 60/ton level. Furthermore, industry heavyweight Rio Tinto also reported its production update in which iron ore output rose 13% and shipments increased 11%. Elsewhere, Chinese markets are also higher alongside the improvement in global risk sentiment and the PBoC upping its liquidity injection, although gains have been capped amid speculation that monetary policy could be more prudent. 10yr JGBs traded relatively flat despite the firm risk-appetite in the region, following a well-received 5yr bond auction in which the b/c rose to 4.36 vs. Prey. 3.59 and tail in price narrowed 0.02 vs. Prey. 0.05.

Asian top news

  • It’s All Suddenly Going Wrong in China’s $3 Trillion Bond Market: Corporate borrowing costs are jumping from lowest since 2007
  • China Said to Seek Control of $8 Billion Yum! Brands Unit: CIC, KKR, Baring group interested in China’s biggest chain
  • BlackRock Asks Hong Kong to Stop Listed Companies Hoarding Cash: G-Resources is selling its biggest asset and keeping proceeds
  • Bank of Korea Holds Key Rate at Record Low, Cuts Growth Forecast: 17 of 20 economists forecast no rate change; 3 saw a cut
  • 1MDB Says There’s 5-Day Grace Period on Bond Interest Payment: 1MDB believes IPIC will make interest payment that was due April 18
  • Japan Picks FX Expert to Help Oversee BOJ’s Negative-Rate Plunge: Masai to replace Ishida, who opposed rate policy
European equities are climbing higher this morning, following the strong lead from Wall Street amid the resurgence in crude prices largely dictating the current state-of-play. Allied with this, a strong batch of earnings/production updates from the likes of L'Oreal and Rio Tinto have bolstered sentiment, while miners also gained on the back of sharp appreciation in the precious metals complex. German paper has come under some modest selling pressure since the European open amid a spill-over of weakness from USTs. Downside in Bunds has been somewhat curtailed after meeting support at the morning lows of 163.31, while analysts at IFR note possible sell stops situated at last week's low (163.16). Alongside this, the long-end was weighed by the sale of Italy's 20-yr bond, which has subsequently seen peripheral yields widen.

European top news

  • AB InBev Accepts Asahi’s Offer for European Beer Brands: Asahi had offered to buy premium brands for $2.9b
  • Roche’s First-Quarter Sales Fueled by Breast Cancer Trio: sales of newcomer Esbriet for lungs almost double in quarter
  • Rio Cuts Pilbara Ore Forecast as Auto Train System Delayed: co. continues to see volatility in prices across all markets
  • Danone First-Quarter Sales Top Estimates on Yogurt Pricing: co. reiterates 2016 targets, sees dairy sales stabilizing
  • VW Cheating Code Words Said to Complicate Emissions Probe: about 450 investigators screened 102 terabytes of data
  • ECB Says Lending Conditions for Companies Ease Amid Stimulus: competitive pressures main driver, Bank Lending Survey shows
  • Carney’s Brexit Options Cover Everything From QE to Rate Hikes: economists say BOE should intervene if U.K. leaves EU
  • L’Oreal Leaps in Paris as Sales Beat Estimates on Make-Up Growth: CEO sees sales growth accelerating from 2Q
  • Publicis Revenue Exceeds Estimates on North American Growth: client ad accounts won last year lifted revenue 8.9%
The early London session started off with USD selling all round, with the commodity currencies leading the way. AUD/USD ticked over .7800 after NY and Sydney saw a steady grind higher, but decent selling above the latest big figure level seems to have contained the latest moves for now. NZD/USD had already taken out .7000, but has continued through to .7026/7 before the market pauses for breath ahead of the GDT auction later today. Oil prices were recovering, but WTI has been held off $42.0 (Jun contract) to stem CAD gains ahead of 1.2700. Recent highs stretched, but marginally so as yet.

Only a minor dip seen in USD/JPY, which has been digging in in recent sessions. Players now focusing on the BoJ meeting next week, and after brief slip under 109.00 this morning, the lead spot rate has pushed through the Asia highs to print 109.35. Cross/JPY also bid with EUR/JPY eyeing 124.00 and GBP/JPY hitting 156.60 — up 3 JPY from yesterday, 4 JPY from the lows — UK polls supportive of the 'remain' camp to keep Cable bid near term. EUR/USD treading cautiously through the early 1.1300's. German ZEW expectations better than current conditions.

The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.1335, after climbing 0.3 percent on Monday amid speculation the European Central Bank will refrain from further monetary easing at an April 21 policy meeting. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months ahead, advanced to 11.2 in April, the highest since December.

Energy prices (WTI Jun'16 future +USD 0.42) continue to remain elevated in European trade in a continuation of the move seen in the US yesterday and Asia overnight. In terms of newsflow, various OPEC and non-OPEC bodies continue to speak about the fallout of Sunday's failed meeting in an attempt to reassure markets that a deal is not out of sight, while Kuwait have also downplayed the ramifications of the strikes that have hit the nation.

Crude oil climbed 1.1 percent to $43.40 a barrel in London, after sliding almost 7 percent intraday on Monday after the world’s biggest producers failed to reach an agreement to limit supplies. A labor strike that started Sunday in Kuwait, OPEC’s fourth-biggest member, reduced the nation’s output by 60 percent to 1.1 million barrels a day.

Silver soared 3 percent to $16.7055 per ounce, the highest since June 2. The metal has gained 21 percent this year, the best performing asset in the Bloomberg Commodity Index. Money managers are the most bullish on silver since at least 2006, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Gold rose 0.8 percent.

In metals markets, Silver has been ripping higher for much of the morning, with prices currently trading near an internal trend line which originated in Aug'15 and making a key break of the Oct'15 high (USD 16.33/oz). Elsewhere, copper and iron ore prices were marginally lower after the latter reclaimed the USD 60/ton level with a mild pull-back seen following reports that China agreed to address its steel sector glut.

Bulletin Headline Summary from Bloomberg and RanSquawk

  • European equities enter the US crossover in positive territory as energy prices lifts sentiment in the region
  • FX markets saw USD selling all round during the early London session with the commodity currencies leading the way
  • Looking ahead, highlights include US Housing Starts, Building Permits, API Crude Oil Inventories, and comments from BoE's Governor Carney (Neutral)
  • Treasuries fall during overnight session amid rally in global equities and crude oil rose above $40/barrel.
  • After 15 years of being shut out of global credit markets, Argentina is returning with a bang as the country wants to sell as much as $15 billion in bonds Tuesday, which would be a single-day record for a developing country
  • The unprecedented boom in China’s $3 trillion corporate bond market is starting to unravel as investors in China’s yuan- denominated company notes have driven up yields for nine of the past 10 days, while local issuers have canceled 61.9 billion yuan ($9.6 billion) of bond sales in April alone
  • German investor confidence climbed for a second month, the highest level this year, as concerns about China’s economy have eased and ECB ramped up euro-area stimulus
  • ECB’s record-low rates have cost Germans 125 billion euros ($141 billion) in interest income since Draghi took over in 2011, according to analysis by Deutsche Postbank AG
  • The ECB said euro-area lending conditions continued to improve for companies last quarter, backing its case that its unprecedented stimulus combined with a stronger banking system is aiding the region’s recovery
  • Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Italian banking authorities are racing to shore up a financial system burdened by 360 billion euros of doubtful loans, an amount equivalent to almost 25% of the nation’s GDP
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren says that “I don’t think the financial markets have it right”; “We will be raising rates faster than what’s reflected in the financial markets”
  • Sovereign 10Y bond yields higher; European, Asian equity markets higher; U.S. equity-index futures rise. WTI crude oil, gold also higher
US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Housing Starts, March, est. 1.166m (prior 1.178m)
    • Housing Starts m/m, March, est. -1.1% (prior 5.2%)
    • Building Permits, March, est. 1.2m (prior 1.167m, revised 1.177m)
    • Building Permits m/m, March, est. 2% (prior -3.1%, revised -2.2%
  • 8:55am: Redbook weekly sales
  • 4:30pm: API weekly oil inventories
Central Banks

  • 9:30am: Reserve Bank of Australia’s Stevens speaks in New York
  • 10:35am: Bank of England’s Carney speaks in Parliament
  • 11:00am: Bank of Canada’s Poloz testifies before at House of Commons panel
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Oil has been the main focus over the last 24 hours here in the real world. Having initially opened over 7% lower yesterday in Asia and crashing below $38/bbl, prices swiftly reversed over the course of the day and came close to wiping out the entire early loss, before settling a shade under $40/bbl and down ‘just’ -1.44% on the day. That meant WTI rose nearly $2.50 from the early low mark, while Brent also swung around to the tune of nearly $3 during the session. The Kuwait strike news which we highlighted yesterday was cited as a big factor in the changing tune and it appears that the strike is set to continue into today, although it feels like the ‘big if’ for markets now will be the duration of the strike and how much Kuwait can compensate some of that lost production elsewhere to get back closer to normal levels. Oil is fairly flat overnight and hovering just below $40.

The S&P 500 lasted in the red for all of 30 minutes at the open before a surge in energy stocks took the index to a +0.65% gain. The Dow was up a similar +0.60% by the end of play and notably closed over the 18,000 level for the first time since July last year. Prior to this European equity markets staged a late surge to drive back into the positive territory, with the Stoxx 600 finishing +0.41%. Credit indices on both sides of the pond closed tighter (CDX IG and Main both -2bps) while on the cash side US HY energy spreads finished the session unchanged.

As well as oil, earnings played their part too with Hasbro being a notable beat. Morgan Stanley also became the latest bank to report, beating earnings and revenue expectations with better than expected cost-cutting measures being attributed. It’s worth putting into perspective however the huge downward revisions to earnings expectations through the year so far heading into this reporting season. Yesterday’s results from Morgan Stanley were case in point. The Q1 EPS of 55c for the Bank was relative to the street expectation of 47c, however expectations at the end of March, February and January were actually 62c, 77c and 85c respectively. DB’s US equity strategist David Bianco made the point on Friday that while the weighted average EPS beat so far (as of Friday’s close) is +0.2%, bottom up Q1 EPS growth on a year on year basis is now actually -7.8%. For the banks alone EPS growth is in fact -12% yoy. We’ll be providing further detail on some of these trends as earnings season ramps up.

Earnings and oil will no doubt continue to be a key focus again for markets today, however also worth keeping an eye on is the ECB’s Bank Lending Survey, due out at 9.00am BST this morning. As we noted yesterday, the survey may offer clues about how Q1 volatility and especially the weak performance from bank equities has impacted their expected lending, if at all.

Before we get there though, switching our focus over to the latest in Asia this morning, the stabilisation in oil this morning (WTI currently still hovering around $40/bbl) is helping to support gains for the bulk of bourses. It’s the Nikkei which is standing out (a slightly weaker Yen also helping), currently posting a +3.48% rally and in turn wiping out yesterday’s heavy loss. Elsewhere the Hang Seng (+0.83%), ASX (+1.02%), Shanghai Comp (+0.17%) and Kospi (+0.08%) are also up. Credit indices across Asia and Australia have also bounced back, while US equity index futures are a bit more mixed, in part reflecting some aftermarket earnings reports last night from IBM and Netflix.

Moving on. The latest The House View titled “A delicate balance” came out overnight. The team notes that the global macro backdrop has improved, but the growth outlook remains sluggish. After dovish shifts by central banks earlier this year supported macro and markets, they expect little significant additional news from the ECB and Fed this month, and while they don’t expect further easing by the BoJ either, this is where the biggest upside risk is. This backdrop leaves markets in a delicate balance, with risks on both sides.

Away from the oil focus yesterday, there wasn’t a whole lot else to highlight on the macro side of things. The only data of note was reserved for the afternoon with the NAHB housing market index which showed no change for this month after printing at 58 (and slightly below the 59 expected). We also got the last of the Fedspeak prior to the blackout period kicking in, with the overall tone relatively upbeat. NY Fed President Dudley made mention to the fact that economic news out of the US has been ‘most favourable’, as well as citing confidence in the Fed hitting their 2% inflation objective and also sounding positive on recent improvement in Europe’s growth outlook. Dudley did however reiterate the well versed rhetoric that ‘policy adjustments are likely to be gradual and cautious, as we continue to face uncertainties and the headwinds to growth’. Meanwhile and speaking late last night, Boston Fed President Rosengren reiterated his view that futures markets pricing is currently implying too dovish a scenario and that ‘the very shallow path of rate increases implied by financial futures market pricing would likely result in an overheating that necessitates the Fed eventually raising interest rates more quickly than is desirable, which could endanger the ongoing recovery and continued growth’.

Taking a look at the day ahead now, along with the release of the aforementioned ECB bank lending survey this morning, another important release worth keeping an eye on will be the German ZEW survey for April where expectations are for little change in the current situations index. In the US this afternoon there’s more housing market data due to be released with the March data for housing starts and building permits. The BoE’s Carney, speaking this afternoon at parliament, might be worth keeping an eye too. Meanwhile, the earnings calendar will see 19 S&P 500 companies report with the highlights being Goldman Sachs, Yahoo and Intel.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-...igh-global-markets-surge-crude-rises-above-40
 

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#23

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#24
RANsquawk preview: ECB Rate Decision April 2016
RAN squawk


Published on Apr 19, 2016
 

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#25
LA Times: Lower-Income People Suffer Most From Raising Retirement Age
Saving the Social Security system from possible insolvency can be done with an unpopular mix of benefit cuts, tax hikes and raising the age of eligibility for monthly payments.Fiddling with that age requirement isn't fair to the people who rely on the government-run program the most: Poor people who don't live very long, according to reporter Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times. [Full Story]

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#28
End Times Prophecy And Real Estate Hyper Bubble
Fabian4Liberty


Published on Apr 19, 2016
Thanks for watching.
 

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#30
Gregory Mannarino-We Are Living In an Environment Where Nothing Is Real
Greg Hunter


Published on Apr 19, 2016
Gregory Mannarino of TradersChoice.net contends, “We exist, beyond any shadow of any doubt, are living in an environment where nothing is real, from the prices of assets, to what is going on with the big Wall Street banks, to Federal Reserve interest rates and everything in between. All of this is being played in a way to keep people believing that the system is working and will continue to work. It’s not going to. Let’s look at the stock market. . . . There is no possible way that these multiples can be justified with the price action of stocks in the overall market. They continue to rise. Nothing is real, and I can’t stress this enough.”

On the trend for precious metals and the U.S. dollar, Mannarino says, “We talked about this last time I was on, and I said we would see the dollar down and precious metals up. This was going to happen. We are going to continue to see more fakery and twisting of this entire system. Right now, it’s upside down and nothing is real. We now are in an environment where the financial system has been flipped upside down just to make it function. That’s very scary. . . . We’ve never seen anything like this in the history of the world. We have now hit 10 years for suppressed interest rates in the United States. It can never stop. The Federal Reserve has never been in a situation like this. We are in completely uncharted territory.”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Gregory Mannarino, founder of TradersChoice.net.

All links can be found on USAWatchdog.com: http://usawatchdog.com/biggest-financ...

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#31
Frontrunning: April 20


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/20/2016 07:33 -0400

  • After big New York wins, Trump and Clinton cast themselves as inevitable (Reuters)
  • Eastern States Take Turn in Presidential Primary Spotlight (WSJ)
  • China's Stocks Tumble Most in Seven Weeks to Break Trading Calm (BBG)
  • Oil falls on end to Kuwaiti strike, supply outlook (Reuters)
  • Oil price's decline weighs on global stock markets (Reuters)
  • Blankfein's Decade Ending With a Thud on a Humbled Wall Street (BBG)
  • Toyota to Resume Production at Most Japan Plants Next Week (WSJ)
  • Apple refused China request for source code in last two years (Reuters)
  • Japan's Trade in Surplus as Imports Drop for Fifteenth Month (BBG)
  • EU charges Google with abusing Android market dominance (Reuters)
  • Saudi $10 Billion Financial District Is Missing One Thing: Banks (BBG)
  • Brazil's Rouseff slams impeachment drive as 'sexist' (Reuters)
  • Lira Rises on Relief Turkey's Interest Rate Cut Met Expectations (BBG)
  • VW resists move for trial instead of EPA settlement (Reuters)
  • Coca-Cola Profit Tops Estimates as New Drink Sizes Boost Sales (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia close to securing $10 billion bank loan: sources (Reuters)
  • Commerzbank CEO Says Slow Quarter Means `Challenging' 2016 (BBG)
  • EMC Earnings Fall Short as Storage Demand Is Hurt by Cloud (BBG)
  • Germany Asks Belgium to Shut Two Nuclear Reactors (BBG)


Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Intel Corp is planning to slash 12,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its workforce, a consequence of the shrinking personal-computer market and the chip maker's failure to take advantage of the industry's transition to smartphones. (http://on.wsj.com/1Wd9KnY)

- United Continental Holdings Inc and two big investors have settled a fight over the makeup of the airline's board of directors, staving off a bruising public battle over the company's future. (http://on.wsj.com/1Vis28u)

- Malaysia Airlines Bhd Chief Executive Christoph Mueller plans to leave the carrier as it continues to try to recover from the catastrophic loss of two jetliners in 2014. Mueller joined the company last year in a bid to revive the airline. (http://on.wsj.com/1SSqtaN)

- Sumner Redstone's granddaughter accused his daughter, Shari Redstone, in court papers Tuesday of pressing for a "do not resuscitate" order and other non-interventionist health measures for the media mogul, over his strong objections. (http://on.wsj.com/1S9OZbv)

- Wendy's Co named Gunther Plosch as its chief financial officer, effective May 2, filling the spot vacated when the burger chain's current financial chief steps up as part of a previously-announced succession plan for Chief Executive Emil Brolick. (http://on.wsj.com/23J9wLa)



FT

- Ministers have let go of plans to abolish automatic payrolls payment of union subscriptions as part of compromises over the trade union bill. (http://bit.ly/1XHDSXB)

- Seeking to reassure sceptical Conservative MPs, Philip Hammond insisted there were no plans for British troops to be involved in fighting against the Islamist militants in Libya. (http://bit.ly/1XHExYR)

- Prudential Plc is now closer to secure a tax refund of more than 100 million pounds ($143.86 million) in the latest round of long-running battle for compensation over past breaches of European law. (http://bit.ly/1XHEGvB)

- The Financial Conduct Authority said in its 2015 review into conflicts of interest in asset management that industry chiefs were spending large sums of money to woo clients with hospitality attempting to win business. (http://bit.ly/1XHEHzq)



NYT

- Banca Popolare di Vicenza <IPO-BPVS.MI> said on Tuesday that it had set a price range for its initial public offering, in which the Italian lender hopes to raise as much as 1.8 billion euros, or about $2 billion. (http://nyti.ms/23YKrss)

- Intel Corp, the world's largest maker of semiconductors, said on Tuesday that it was laying off 12,000 people, about 11 percent of its work force, as it continues to reel from a long downturn in global demand for personal computers. (http://nyti.ms/1QlbEMj)

- The FBI defended its hiring of a third party to break into an iPhone used by a gunman in last year's San Bernardino mass shooting, telling some skeptical lawmakers on Tuesday that it needed to join with partners in the rarefied world of for-profit hackers as technology companies increasingly resist their demands for consumer information. (http://nyti.ms/1WEoSLN)

- Anheuser-Busch InBev SA said on Tuesday that it had accepted an offer by Asahi Group Holdings Ltd of Japan to buy beer brands Peroni and Grolsch, as well as certain European operations of SABMiller Plc, for 2.55 billion euros, or about $2.9 billion. (http://nyti.ms/1XHS96m)



Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Manitobans gave Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister one of the province's most resounding victories in decades, handing Greg Selinger defeat and ending nearly 17 years of New Democratic Party's rule. (http://bit.ly/26eDwNL)

** Canada and China are set to enter a new "golden" era under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Li Keqiang told Jean Chretien in Beijing this week. (http://bit.ly/26eDy8s)

** A three-year investigation by Canada's competition watchdog has resulted in a report that clears Alphabet Inc's Google of any substantial wrongdoing in its search ad business, and closely echoes a 2013 investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. (http://bit.ly/26eDIg4)

NATIONAL POST

** The release of an abortion pill allowing women to terminate early pregnancy at home, that is expected to become available in July, is already garnering criticism by way of women's health advocates saying Health Canada's tight controls over its use are unnecessarily restrictive. (http://bit.ly/26eEZUg)

** Toronto-based Turo that took the Airbnb model and adapted it to car rentals launched on Tuesday in three provinces, its first foray outside the United States, though it wrestles with the same insurance headaches that other startups in the so-called sharing economy have faced. (http://bit.ly/26eFOwr)



Britain

The Times

* The proposed 18 billion pounds nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset could be abandoned without risking power cuts, contrary to the government's previous claims, the energy secretary has admitted. There would be no significant cost to consumers and no taxpayer liability if the project were cancelled, politician Amber Rudd said in a letter to MPs. (http://bit.ly/1rhklTI)

* Turkey will tear up its migrant deal with the European Union if Brussels fails to deliver visa-free travel for 75 million Turks to Europe by June, according to its prime minister. (http://bit.ly/1U655UD)

The Guardian

* The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into the widespread international tax avoidance schemes exposed by the Panama Papers leak, published by the Guardian and other journalistic partners. (http://bit.ly/1ThRreM)

* Yahoo Inc announced falling revenues and a quarterly loss of $99.2 million on Tuesday as the ailing Internet business looks for a buyer. The company reported revenue of $1.09 billion, down 11 percent from the same time last year. The fall shows continuing deterioration in Yahoo's business but was better than analysts had expected. (http://bit.ly/1rhjwdw)

The Telegraph

* The boss of Associated British Foods PLC, the UK's biggest sugar supplier, has come out swinging against the government's proposed "sugar tax" and the suggestion it will help the obesity crisis. (http://bit.ly/1WCJ6FC)

* The City of London could lose its position as the world's leading financial centre in the event of Brexit, Mark Carney, the Bank of England Governor, has warned. (http://bit.ly/1MGPb1r)

Sky News

* Managers at Tata Steel's Port Talbot steelworks have been briefed about a possible management buyout plan, according to Sky sources. Details of the potential lifeline are expected to be announced as early as Wednesday. (http://bit.ly/1S9iXMH)

* Oil industry engineering company Aker is to cut around 280 jobs in Aberdeen and London as low energy prices squeeze the industry. The cuts represent 11 percent of the Norwegian group's UK workforce. (http://bit.ly/1WE57E7)

The Independent

* Renewed Western military intervention in Libya has inched closer after the UK government said it would be ready to consider any request from the new government in Tripoli for naval or air support to help dislodge ISIS from its stronghold in the country. (http://ind.pn/23ISmgN)

* The UK has approved 122 military licences to the value of 2.8 billion pounds to Saudi Arabia since the regime started its widely condemned bombing campaign in Yemen last March, it has been revealed. Saudi Arabia is the biggest recipient of UK arms by a significant margin, and since 2010 has received military equipment worth 6.7 billion pounds, according to official government figures collated by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT). (http://ind.pn/1S9nXRl)

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-20/frontrunning-april-20
 

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#32
Crude Slides After Kuwait Strikes Ends; China Markets Tumble


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/20/2016 06:52 -0400


The biggest catalyst for overnight markets, first reported on this site, was the announcement by Kuwait that its oil workers had ended their strike which disrupted oil production in the 4th largest OPEC producer for 3 days cutting it by as much as 1.7 mmb/d, and had served to offset the negative news from the Doha debacle. Kuwait Petroleum also added that it would boost output to 3m b/d within 3 days, which in turn has pressured the price of oil overnight, and the May WTI contract was back to just over $40 at last check, sliding 2%. Not helping things was a very dejected Venezuela oil minister Eulogio Del Pino who said at a conference in Moscow that he sees oil prices returning to lows in 3-4 weeks if oil producers can't make a deal. For now the algos - and central banks - disagree.

And speaking of central banks, it is probably safe to say that after yesterday's negative inventory build data and the news of the Kuwait strike ending, should oil resume its climb and somehow end green (even if DOE reports another inventory build later today) that it is indeed central banks who are now actively propping up and daytrading oil, as so many have now suspected.

It wasn't just oil: overnight Chinese stocks also snapped and dropped by the most since February, with the SHCOMP sliding 2.3% after dropping as much as 4.5% earlier, to the lowest since March 17 as analysts questioned the PBoC's willingness to conduct further monetary easing. The catalyst was the PBOC research bureau chief economist Ma Jun who said late Tuesday that future policy operations, while observing the need to continue supporting growth, will pay attention to heading off macroeconomic risks. "We will probably see the PBOC take a wait-and-see approach and assess the macro-economic data coming through” before adding to stimulus measures, said Niv Dagan, executive director at Peak Asset Management LLC in Melbourne. “The fundamentals for oil are still bearish.”

Dai Ming from Hengsheng Asset Management added that the "decline today was seen as a technical correction as market faces resistance near 3,100-point level, unlikely to see loss over consecutive sessions" adding that the "market worries central bank might turn cautious in monetary policy in 2Q due to large scale money supply in 1Q." Considering China injected $1 trillion in direct and shadow loans in Q1, one can see why this may be a concern. As a result, the Shanghai Composite closed at its lower level this month and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 1.2%.

On any other day, rolling over Crude and Chine would have been enough to pressure global stocks even more...



... but not today - at least not yet - because while futures and European stocks were looking uglier overnight, it was once again BOJ-driven levitation by the USDJPY which was magically activated just as Europe opened, that pushed US equity futures back to the unchanged, on speculation that the BOJ will now announce even more QE in its April meeting, this time in the form of expanded ETF purchases, which according to Goldman may be almost double the existing size.

Still, if only for now, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped from a three-month high, down 0.3% with health care and media companies posting the biggest losses. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto added more than 3 percent. Despite recent gains, the European gauge has still tumbled 16% since reaching a record a year ago, and optimism over European Central Bank stimulus has given way to skepticism about its ability to boost growth.

But that may change: "It’s difficult to find a major positive trigger from here,” said Otto Waser, chief investment officer at R&A Research & Asset Management. "Central banks are done so we don’t expect anything positive from them anymore. Earnings trends are not positive enough in Europe to support a major positive market."

Investors are also awaiting the ECB’s next meeting on Thursday for clues about the path of monetary policy. While economists are virtually certain ECB President Mario Draghi won’t touch interest rates, recent history shows that increased stock volatility is still likely. Intraday swings for the Euro Stoxx 50 Index averaged 4.1 percent during the ECB President’s past four policy updates, or about double that for all meetings since 2010.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 0.2 percent, after the gauge closed above 2,100 for the first time since since Dec. 1. Of the benchmark’s 60 members to have reported first-quarter earnings so far, 77 percent have beaten profit estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

What is, however, most ironic is that global equities have climbed more than 15 percent from this year’s low, spurred by now rejected rumors of an oil production cut (at first), then freeze (also rejected), and signs of stabilization in China’s economy, which in turn has been nothing more than another massive credit injection and once the credit impulse fizzles, will leave the Chinese economy in an even worse shape than it was.

It’s a quiet day for data again in the US with just more housing market data due out in the form of existing home sales in March. There’s also some central bank speak for us to keep an eye on. ECB President Draghi is scheduled to make opening remarks in Frankfurt this morning while the BoE’s Hauser and McCafferty are due to speak. Earnings wise we’ve got 25 S&P 500 companies set to report including Coca-Cola and American Express.

Where markets are now:

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 2088
  • Stoxx 600 down 0.4% to 348
  • FTSE 100 down 0.4% to 6377
  • DAX down 0.4% to 10310
  • German 10Yr yield down 2bps to 0.15%
  • Italian 10Yr yield down less than 1bp to 1.4%
  • Spanish 10Yr yieldunchanged at 1.54%
  • S&P GSCI Index down 1% to 340.2
  • MSCI Asia Pacific up less than 0.1% to 133
  • Nikkei 225 up 0.2% to 16907
  • Hang Seng down 0.9% to 21236
  • Shanghai Composite down 2.3% to 2973
  • S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 5216
  • US 10-yr yield down 3bps to 1.76%
  • Dollar Index up 0.09% to 94.06
  • WTI Crude futures down 2.4% to $40.10
  • Brent Futures down 2% to $43.16
  • Gold spot down less than 0.1% to $1,250
  • Silver spot up 0.3% to $16.99
Top Global News:

  • Kuwait Oil Workers Ending Strike After Three-Day Disruption: decision came after minister pledged no talks during strike
  • Lexmark to Be Bought by Apex, PAG Asia in $3.6b Deal: agreement for whole company follows interest in parts
  • Intel to Cut 12,000 Jobs, Forecast Misses Amid PC Blight: Krzanich to increase focus on data center, Internet of things
  • Google’s Curbs on Phone Makers Choke App Competition, EU Says
  • Yahoo CEO Says Acting Decisively on Sale as Interest Sharpens: Mayer touts process as 1Q revenue tops estimates
  • China’s Stocks Tumble Most in Seven Weeks to Break Trading Calm: Shanghai Composite Index falls below key 3,000 level
  • Mitsubishi Motors Admits Manipulating Fuel Economy Test Data: President Tetsuro Aikawa to brief reporters on the matter
  • BHP Joins Rio in Cutting Ore Output Forecast as Prices Gain: Australian iron ore output forecast cut by 4% on bad weather
  • Daily Mail Said to Be Among Yahoo Bidders, WSJ Says: Verizon, Daily Mail, TPG all submitted separate bids, WSJ says
  • UnitedHealth to Exit Obamacare in 16 States to Stem Losses: Texas, North Carolina, Connecticut, Pennsylvania affected
  • Trump, Clinton Win New York Primaries to Control Their Races: Presidential front-runners sought to rebound after defeats
  • Global Payments to Replace Gamestop in S&P 500: GameStop demoted to S&P MidCap 400; changes effective post-mkt April 22
  • Companies reporting earnings today include Coca- Cola, Qualcomm, Abbott, US Bancorp
Looking at regional markets we start in Asia, where stocks traded mixed and off their best levels as sentiment was largely dictated by oil prices. ASX 200 (+0.5%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.2%) were supported by yesterday's gains in the commodity complex after oil futures advanced following a 3rd day of strikes by Kuwait oil and gas workers. This saw Nikkei 225 rise briefly above 17000, while Australian mining names were supported by strength in metals prices which overshadowed BHP Billiton's miss on production and saw the Co. trade in firm positive territory. However, stocks have pared some gains amid a pull-back in crude during Asia hours after a larger than expected API build and reports that Kuwait strikes have now ended , while subdued Chinese markets also dampened the tone with the Shanghai Comp. lower by 2.3% as analysts questions the PBoC's willingness to conduct further monetary easing. 10yr JGBs traded flat as heightened risk-sentiment in Japan was counterbalanced by the BoJ's presence in the market for over JPY 1.2trl of government debt, while there was also a decline in yields led by the super long-end with the 40yr yield falling to record lows.

Top Asian News

  • China Default Chain Reaction Looms Amid 192 Day Cash Turnaround: Wait increases risks firms can’t repay debts, Natixis says
  • All Japan Sovereigns Yield Below 0.4% as 40-Year Hits Record Low: 40-year yield drops to 0.31%, 30-year falls to record 0.3%
  • Kuroda Rejects Idea of Helicopter Money, Citing Legal Hurdles: BOJ governor says notion of helicopter money contradicts the law
  • China Said to Mull Shenzhen-Hong Kong Link Approval Before July: Final approval by Chinese regulators may include start date
  • HSBC Sees India Yield Dropping to 7% as Rajan Gets Cash Flowing: 3-mo. treasury bill yield slides to lowest since 2010
In a relatively subdued session so far in terms of newsflow, European equities have seen modest downside, following on from choppiness seen in US and Asian hours. In terms of stock specific news, the likes of Heineken, ABB and Accor have all seen strength this morning in the wake of pre market earnings, while Renault underperform, weighed on by their stake in Nissan after Mitsubishi Motors announced they used fuel economy testing methods that were not in line with Japanese regulations, including 468k vehicles made for Nissan.

Fixed income has benefitted this morning from the uncertain mood in equities, with Bunds trading higher, and above the 163.50 level. Analysts at Informa suggest that core paper has also benefitted this morning from Japanese accounts switching out of JGBs. In terms of today's European auctions Germany hosted another respectable Bund auction which drew a b/c in-line with the previous at 1.4 while the UK hosted a strong linker auction.

Top European News

  • ASML Sees Rising Sales, Margin Pressure on New Technology: Dutch company trying to fuel demand for new EUV technology
  • Commerzbank CEO Says Slow Quarter Means ‘Challenging’ 2016: Blessing says first-quarter will likely be weaker than in 2015
  • U.K. Unemployment Posts First Rise Since 2015 as Market Cools: U.K. unemployment rose for the first time in seven months
  • Syngenta Ups Cost Cuts as It Targets ChemChina Deal by Year- End: co. reports fifth quarterly sales decline
  • ABB’s Profit Beats Estimates on Orders from Power Utilities: maker of power grids reports lower first-quarter profit
  • Heineken Beer Volume Beats Estimates on Asia, Americas: 7% increase in shipments soars past analyst consensus of 2.4%
  • SAP Sees 2016 Sales on Track After Sluggish Start to Year: Finance chief Mucic said no large acquisitions on horizon
  • Russia-Germany Gas Link Polarizes Europe, EU Energy Chief Says: Nord Stream 2 isn’t aligned with bloc’s energy principles
In FX, the yen strengthened 0.2 percent to 109.01 per dollar after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said monetary easing is not a promise of a weaker currency or stronger equities. Japanese exports dropped 6.8 percent from a year earlier in March, while imports declined 14.9 percent, data showed Wednesday.

The main event in FX markets this morning was the UK jobs report, which disappointed on both the jobless claims — which rose 6.7k vs -12.5k expected — and a lower than expected rise in average earnings (+1.8% vs 2.3% f/c). We saw a very brief hit on GBP, and with focus in the USD rates, Cable snapped down to 1.4345-50 before edging higher again. This was largely on the tech based support at the previous highs, and we expect to see 1.4400+ heavily offered. This was very much the case last night, and there is even more reason to cap now. Elsewhere, EUR trade is limited ahead of the ECB tomorrow, but the commodity currencies continue to probe higher levels with AUD back above .7800 again while the CAD returns through 1.2700 despite a quiet session for Oil. NZD looks reluctant to retest .7050, despite the GDT auctions beating the futures indications yesterday. European stocks are pretty stable after mixed sentiment in Asia, so the JPY pairs are range-bound to slightly softer in this respect.

In commodities, oil prices were pressured due to the larger than expected increase in API stockpiles, WTI prices are currently down below the USD 42.00/bbl level with the lows of the session at USD 41.30/bbl and later today we will be looking out for DOE inventory levels which will also provide some volatility. Gold has been trading sideways after touching the USD 1245.50/oz support level. Elsewhere, copper and iron ore prices remained firm after yesterday's broad-based commodity gains with the red metal at near 3-week highs while Dalian iron ore futures hit limit-up to print its highest levels since October 2014 alongside expectations of increased steel demand.

On today's calendar we have US Existing Home Sales, DoE crude inventories, while central bankers on deck include ECB's Draghi (Dove) and BoE's McCafferty (Soft Hawk). Companies reporting earnings today include Coca- Cola, Qualcomm, Abbott, US Bancorp

Bulletin Headline Summary from Bloomberg and RanSquawk

  • European equities enter the North American crossover in modest negative territory as weakness in energy prices guide price action in an otherwise uneventful session
  • GBP has shrugged off disappointing jobs data after GBP/USD ran in to support at the recent previous high for the pair at 1.4347
  • Treasuries rise during overnight trading amid drop in crude oil and global equities; China’s stocks tumbled most in two months, pushing a gauge of volatility up from its lowest level this year as turnover surged.
  • In the debate over helicopter money, a form of stimulus that many believe is at odds with the European Union treaty, even the option with the fewest legal hurdles risks kicking off a political battle that may contribute to the euro’s demise
  • Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he isn’t thinking about using so-called helicopter money and that the notion contradicts the law
  • Japan’s 40-year bond yield fell to a record low, meaning all the nation’s sovereign bonds yield less than 0.3 percent as investors rush for securities with positive income
  • Primary dealers are getting more picky in what they will buy so European sovereign issuers are experimenting with new maturities, smaller auctions and liquidity-boosting measures, while some are consulting more with investors before going ahead with syndicated offerings
  • Commerzbank AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Blessing said a “slow” first quarter will make it more difficult to match last year’s profit, just a month after the bank projected an increase in full-year earnings
  • Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won their New York presidential primaries Tuesday, ending losing streaks for both campaigns and allowing the two front-runners to reassert control over their party nominating fights
  • Sovereign 10Y bond yields lower; European, Asian equity markets lower; U.S. equity-index futures fall. WTI crude oil, metals mostly lower
US Event Calendar

  • 7:00am: MBA Mortgage Applications, April 15 (prior 10%)
  • 10:00am: Existing Home Sales, March, est. 5.28m (prior 5.08m); Existing Home Sales m/m, March, est. 3.9% (prior -7.1%)
  • 10:30am: DOE Energy Inventories
Central Banks

  • 4:15pm: Bank of Canada’s Poloz testifies before Senate panel
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

One of the big themes in 2016 so far has been the weakness in the US Dollar with the Greenback plummeting 5% or so since the turn of the year. Not helped by some soft US housing data, the pressure was on the Dollar again yesterday with the currency finishing down over half a percent to take it to the weakest level since June last year. As a result we saw a number of currencies make year-to-date highs yesterday (including Norway, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa) while the move in the Dollar also helped to continue the positive tone to the start of the week with the S&P 500 (+0.31%), Dow (+0.27%) and Stoxx 600 (+1.46%) firmer once again, while Oil (WTI +3.27%) broke back up past $41/bbl and above where we closed on Friday ($40.36/bbl) pre-Doha with the rally off the Monday lows a touch above 9%.

That said it’s been a different story for Oil after the US close last night with the news that workers in Kuwait are set to end the 3-day strike which had caused a decent disruption in production levels and was largely attributed to the recovery from the early post-Doha lows at the start of the week. Local press (Al Jarida) are reporting the announcement from the trade union and the news comes just after Kuwait oil’s minister had announced that negotiations with workers would not commence until the strike is halted. On the back of the news WTI is currently over 2% lower this morning at a shade above $40/bbl.

Markets in Asia are fairly mixed following the news, although are trending lower as we type. The Hang Seng (-1.11%) and Shanghai Comp (-2.55%) are currently heavily in the red after opening initially on a positive note, while the Kospi is unchanged. The Nikkei (+0.35%) and ASX (+0.46%) are the relative out-performers although have also given up bigger gains from the open. Commodity sensitive currencies have weakened a tad while metals markets have generally firmed up.
Meanwhile the early data this morning was out of Japan where the March trade numbers were released. Exports were reported as declining slightly less than expected (-6.8% yoy vs. -7.0% expected) however that’s after printing at -4.0% yoy in February. Imports declined a steep -14.9% yoy (vs. -16.6% expected) which is the 15th consecutive monthly fall, with the trade surplus expanding as a result to the highest since October 2010. A reminder that the BoJ is due to meet next Thursday.

The other story overnight is from the US presidential election campaign where both Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton have recorded victories for their parties at the NY primary which was largely as expected.

Earnings season is slowly ramping up and yesterday we had the busiest day so far with 17 companies out with their latest quarterly numbers. The highlight came from Goldman Sachs where once again the big theme was a bigger than expected cut in operating costs helping the bank to exceed EPS guidance, while revenues were a slight miss. As we noted yesterday the bar for earnings is particularly low this season, with some of the headline beats overshadowing what have been huge downward revisions to the consensus street forecast GS’s EPS yesterday of $2.68 was a decent margin above the $2.48 consensus estimate, although a snapshot of that forecast at the end of the last three months shows just how far expectations have fallen in a short space of time (March: $3.51, February: $4.30, January: $4.60). Putting in perspective this quarter’s earnings for GS, net income was 56% lower yoy, while revenue was down about 40%.

Johnson & Johnson and United Health were other corporates who exceeded profit guidance yesterday and which helped contribute to the overall more positive tone for risk assets, however it’s the tech sector which is providing some of the unexpected downside misses so far. Following on from Netflix twenty-four hours earlier, Intel became the latest name to offer a fairly bleak outlook ahead with the announcement that they are to cut up to 12,000 jobs over the next twelve months in what will be the biggest cut back in a decade. Management also downgraded revenue growth guidance which helped to weigh on the share price by a couple of percent in extended trading. Prior to this the Nasdaq (-0.40%) was one of the few markets to close in the red yesterday.

Switching to the macro, yesterday also saw the ECB release the results of its Q1 bank lending survey (BLS). It was generally supportive of an improvement in euro area lending conditions which will offer some relief given recent weakness in bank equities and concerns over the sector. Credit standards for loans to enterprises eased further (net percentage of reporting banks: -6% vs. -4% previous). There was some evidence of an impact from tighter Q1 market conditions in e.g. Italy, but improvement of other factors – increased competition between banks, improved perception of the macro outlook – offset this. Net loan demand from enterprises continued to increase, albeit at a slower rate than the quarter before (+17% vs. +27% previous). This slowdown was mostly focused in Spain, suggesting that the political uncertainty there could be weighing on firms’ borrowing decisions. Meanwhile, credit standards for loans for house purchases tightened (+4% vs. -7% previous), largely driven by the implementation of the EU mortgage credit directive which requires an in-depth creditworthiness assessment of mortgage borrowers. In general banks expect these trends to continue into the next quarter, with a Q2 outlook of continued easing of lending standards for enterprises (-4%) but a tightening of credit standards on housing loans (+7%). Recent weakness in equity prices remains a worry though so we'll continue to watch for anecdotal evidence of Euro bank lending standards before next quarter's release.

In terms of the other data yesterday, the April ZEW survey out of Germany was fairly mixed. While the current situations index declined unexpectedly to the tune of 3pts to 47.7 (vs. 50.8 expected), the expectations index was however up a robust 6.9pts to 11.2 (vs. 8.0 expected) and the highest level this year. Meanwhile, over in the US and as mentioned earlier, the latest housing market indicators were softer than expected. Housing starts were recorded as falling -8.8% mom last month (vs. -1.1% expected), while building permits (-7.7% mom vs. +2.0% expected) also fell sharply. These numbers will be worth keeping a close eye on next month with regards to which way momentum swings in the US housing market in Q2.

Looking at the day ahead, this morning in Europe the early release shortly after we go to print is out of Germany where the March PPI data is due. Later this morning the focus will be on the UK where we get the latest employment report, for which no change to the 5.1% unemployment rate is expected. It’s a quiet afternoon for data again in the US this afternoon with just more housing market data due out in the form of existing home sales in March. There’s also some central bank speak for us to keep an eye on. ECB President Draghi is scheduled to make opening remarks in Frankfurt this morning while the BoE’s Hauser and McCafferty are due to speak. Earnings wise we’ve got 25 S&P 500 companies set to report including Coca-Cola and American Express.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-...fter-kuwait-strikes-ends-china-markets-tumble
 

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Frontrunning: April 21


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/21/2016 07:36 -0400

  • World stocks gain along with oil, clock ticks down to ECB (Reuters)
  • Draghi Expected to Defend ECB in Face of German Criticism (WSJ)
  • Trump, Cruz, Kasich seek to win over Republican leaders at party meeting (Reuters)
  • Donald Trump Plans to Adopt More-Traditional Campaign Tactics (WSJ)
  • Japan, Not Germany, Leads World in Negative-Yield Bonds (BBG)
  • Obama starts talks with Gulf leaders aimed at easing strains (Reuters)
  • Soros: China Looks Like the US Before the Crisis (BBG)
  • OPEC Secretary-General Says Cartel May Discuss Oil Freeze at June Meeting (WSJ)
  • Obama's Brexit Intervention Makes Waves in U.K., Ripples in U.S. (BBG)
  • Public Support For TTIP Plunges in US and Germany (Reuters)
  • Uber Overtakes Rental Cars Among Business Travelers (BBG)
  • VW To Offer To Buy Back Nearly 500,000 US Diesel Cars (Reuters)
  • Mitsubishi Motors shares slump to record low on mileage cheating scandal (Reuters)
  • China’s ‘Zombie’ Steel Mills Fire Up Furnaces, Worsen Global Glut (Reuters)
  • EU States Grow Wary As Turkey Presses For Action On Visas Pledge (FT)
  • Novartis Profit Falls as Blockbuster Cancer Drug Sales Drop (BBG)
  • Greece ‘Could Leave Eurozone’ On Brexit Vote (Telegraph)
  • Marissa Mayer has only one last job to do at Yahoo (Reuters)
  • China Wants Ships To Use Faster Arctic Route Opened By Global Warming (Reuters)
  • Hungary Threatens Rebellion Against Brussels Over Forced Migration (Express)
  • The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans (Atlantic)


Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, after notching a big win in New York, is planning to roll out significant changes in his campaign, including giving a policy speech on foreign affairs, using teleprompters and a speech writer, and doing more outreach to Washington Republican leaders. (http://on.wsj.com/1QoFUpJ)

- U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said he would put abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, bowing to public pressure after his initial proposal to put a woman on the $10 bill appeared to misfire. (http://on.wsj.com/1QoFRtX)

- European Union competition authorities unveiled a second set of charges against Google, this time over its Android operating system, contrasting with U.S. regulators who have so far found that Google's conduct raises no antitrust concerns. (http://on.wsj.com/1QoFOhE)

- Wal Mart Stores Inc is bringing in the next generation of Walton family members to its board, nominating Steuart Walton, grandson of founder Sam Walton. (http://on.wsj.com/1QoFM9w)



FT

- A Deutsche Bank AG shareholder has requested a special audit of whether members of the bank's supervisory board or management board breached obligations in dealing with a few of the bank's legal entanglements. (http://bit.ly/1U6Sj8l)

- GP practices will be given an additional 2.4 billion pounds ($3.44 billion) a year to cope with older population and to decrease pressure on hospitals. Chief Executive of NHS England Simon Stevens is to announce the extra funding on Thursday. (http://bit.ly/1U6SikW)

- Worldpay Plc is launching a pay-as-you-go service for smaller businesses taking card payments, which is a part of the payment group's plans to expand in the UK. (http://bit.ly/1U6Shxj)

- Conforama, a Steinhoff International Holdings subsidiary, acquired 19.5 percent of Darty Plc and sweetened its offer for the remaining shares to 138 pence per share. (http://bit.ly/1U6ShgT)



NYT

- Google Inc long stressed that Android, its popular mobile software, is open for anyone to use, including its rivals. But the company's claims are now under threat after Europe's antitrust authorities on Wednesday charged the company with unfairly using Android to promote its own services - like mobile search - over those of its rivals. (http://nyti.ms/1T0I5Sh)

- In a major victory for the Russian government, a Dutch court on Wednesday overturned an award of more than $50 billion to former shareholders of the defunct oil company Yukos that Moscow was ordered to pay in 2014. (http://nyti.ms/1QoNqRe)

- In the latest scandal to hit the automobile industry, Mitsubishi Motors Corp said on Wednesday that it had cheated on fuel-economy tests for an ultrasmall car it produces in Japan. The company acknowledged that its engineers had intentionally manipulated evaluations. (http://nyti.ms/1SuUccT)

- Credit Suisse Group AG has hired Henrik Aslaksen, a former top banker at Deutsche Bank AG, as the Swiss bank continues to reshape its investment banking business. (http://nyti.ms/1T0Hpw3)

- Barclays Plc announced on Wednesday that a veteran of its Barclaycard business would be the permanent head of its credit card and payment operations. Amer Sajed, who joined Barclays from Citigroup in 2006, becomes chief executive of the Barclaycard business immediately, the British bank said. (http://nyti.ms/20Zjjrr)



Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** The trickle of complaints about Netflix Inc's renewed effort to stop Canadians from circumventing its geographic content restrictions has turned into a steady stream of outrage as the Californian company's technological crackdown begins to bite more users globally. (http://bit.ly/1NCPCVD)

** Multilateral talks are ongoing between the British Columbia and Alberta governments centering on a deal that would see one help facilitate the construction of an oil pipeline to the West Coast in exchange for a long-term contract to buy electricity. (http://bit.ly/1NCQgCx)

** The Canadian government abandoned an appeal of a controversial court ruling that let the Catholic Church out of its responsibility to raise millions of dollars for aboriginal healing programs, court documents show. (http://bit.ly/1NCQrOb)

NATIONAL POST

** Health Canada is studying the possibility of forcing companies to make their cigarettes less addictive, a controversial anti-smoking strategy that no other country has implemented. (http://bit.ly/1NCQFF3)

** Some of the Canadian military's top equipment programs already underway - including projects to buy maritime helicopters and Arctic patrol vessels - will have their funding delayed as the defense department tries to deal with the Liberal government's first budget. (http://bit.ly/1NCRQnR)



Britain

The Times

* Millions of patients will be seen by pharmacists, therapists and medical assistants instead of GPs in an effort to save the NHS from collapse. Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, warns that the health service will fail without a 2.4 billion pounds rescue package for the "fraying" GP system. (http://bit.ly/1VGkfRB)

* The owners of offshore companies holding 170 billion pounds in British property are set to be unmasked in a crackdown on money laundering and tax evasion. David Cameron is expected to announce plans to lift the veil on anonymous shell companies that buy huge swathes of British real estate. http://bit.ly/1T0lVQ6)

The Guardian

* Sir Terry Matthews, the first Welsh billionaire, is backing a proposed management buyout of Tata Steel UK, boosting hopes of a rescue deal for the Port Talbot steelworks and thousands of employees. Matthews is helping to put together a consortium of public and private sector figures from south Wales who can support the buyout. (http://bit.ly/1QnpvBV)

* British Gas is to axe almost 700 jobs and close its West Midlands office in Oldbury, just two months after its residential supply arm reported a 31 percent increase in profits to over 570 million pounds. The 684 staff are employed by British Gas services in call centre and back room office work supporting the company's engineers who attend call-outs and mend boilers. (http://bit.ly/1pgvEJX)

The Telegraph

* Google has been formally charged with monopoly abuse over an alleged effort to crush rivals to its mobile search service and Android smartphone operating system, in a major escalation of its battle with Brussels. (http://bit.ly/1XIkeL4)

* Greece could crash out of the eurozone as early as this summer if Britons vote to leave the European Union in the upcoming referendum, economists have predicted. The uncertainty following a "yes" vote to Britain leaving the EU would put unsustainable pressure on Greece's cash-strapped economy at a time when it is also struggling to cope with an influx of migrants escaping turmoil in the Middle East and Africa, according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. (http://bit.ly/20YPNC5)

Sky News

* A group of top city executives has slammed boardroom pay practices as "broken" and "not fit for purpose", demanding an urgent overhaul to restore public confidence in British business. Sky News has learnt that a panel set up to explore ways of simplifying executive remuneration will publish on Thursday a series of proposals aimed at increasing transparency and directors' accountability. (http://bit.ly/1STYVBJ)

* Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp has admitted manipulating fuel economy tests on some of its own brand and Nissan cars to make the results more favourable. (http://bit.ly/1WGor3i)

The Independent

* Barack Obama has been urged to use his visit to Saudi Arabia to rule out selling controversial cluster bombs to the kingdom amid mounting evidence they have been used against civilians in Yemen. (http://ind.pn/20YR6kF)

* Shareholders in the collapsed Yukos oil company established by jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky have lost a key court battle in their demand for $50 billion compensation from the Russian government. (http://ind.pn/26fP6Z8)

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-21/frontrunning-april-21
 

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#39
Futures, Crude Unchanged Ahead Of Draghi As Parabolic Move In Steel, Iron Ore Continues


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/21/2016 06:51 -0400


One day after stocks were this close from hitting new all time highs on what have been either ok earnings, if looking at non-GAAP data, or atrocious earnings, based on GAAP, and where any oil headline is now immediately translated as bullish by the oil algos, so far futures are relatively flat, while European stocks were at their moments ago in anticipation of the latest ECB announcement due out in just one hour. However, unlike last month's "quad-bazooka", this time the market expects far less from Draghi.

“Having pulled put the monetary bazooka in March, the market is sensibly expecting no further policy measures from the ECB,” said Michael Ingram, a market strategist at BGC Partners in London. “Investors are understandably reticent in making big bets ahead of what is on paper, likely to see policy makers firmly on hold.”

Draghi will come and go, but attention will remain on oil and all other commodities, where the Bloomberg Commodity Index headed for a five-month high, spurred by gains from metals to soy beans, and weighing on government bonds.

Nowhere was the ongoing surge more obvious than in the construction complex, where steel reinforcement bars jumped to a 19-month high in Shanghai, buoyed by an improving Chinese property market, supporting the Australian dollar. As seen on the chart below, both iron ore and steel have gone parabolic this year despite, as reported previously, China's increase in steel output to record highs. “You’ve got a tight market, you’ve got momentum, and you’ve got this fundamental driver for steel in the government boosting the infrastructure and housing side of things,” Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Ltd. in Melbourne told Bloomberg. “The rebar price is really leading the iron ore price at the moment.”





Following yesterday's latest surge in oil which saw WTI overtake the "Gartman doomsday" level of $44, it has since leveled off while Brent fluctuated near $46 a barrel after data showed U.S. production slipped and Iraq said talks to freeze output may occur next month.

Commodity gains boosted the outlook for inflation, sending German bund yields to a four-week high. Sweden’s krona rose after the Riksbank expanded bond buying less than some investors expected. Metal increases boosted European miners, while most industries on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined.

"The rally in commodities is making people a bit more positive,” Robin Bhar, an analyst at Societe Generale SA in London, told Bloomberg. "The base metals are gaining on a view that the industrial cycle is strengthening. There’s broad-based buying in commodities, and that suggests that sentiment is starting to turn. This would have drifted across into mining shares and energy stocks."

Meanwhile in stocks, Europe's Stoxx 600 slipped 0.5%, after closing at its highest level since January. Miners in the gauge are heading for six-month high. Carmakers rallied, boosted by a 5.1 percent jump in Volkswagen AG after a person familiar with the matter said it agreed to set aside at least $10 billion to resolve civil claims by the U.S. government and lawsuits by American car owners over diesel vehicles rigged to cheat pollution controls.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was 1.2 percent higher. Japan’s Topix index climbed 2 percent to a two-month high, buoyed by prospects the Bank of Japan will boost stimulus at a monetary policy review next week. The authority is likely to increase asset purchases, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts wrote in a report published Wednesday. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. tumbled by the 20 percent daily limit in Tokyo after the automaker said it manipulated fuel-economy tests.

S&P 500 index futures were unchanged, indicating U.S. equities will hold a four-month high as investors assess earnings before making a break for fresh all time highs. General Motors Co., Microsoft Corp. and Visa Inc. are among companies announcing quarterly results Thursday.

Where Markets Stand Now

  • S&P 500 futures up less than 0.1% to 2100
  • Stoxx 600 down 0.4% to 350
  • FTSE 100 down 0.5% to 6379
  • DAX up 0.1% to 10434
  • German 10Yr yield up 6bps to 0.21%
  • Italian 10Yr yield up 6bps to 1.46%
  • Spanish 10Yr yield up 7bps to 1.6%
  • S&P GSCI Index up 0.2% to 353.2
  • MSCI Asia Pacific up 1.2% to 134
  • Nikkei 225 up 2.7% to 17364
  • Hang Seng up 1.8% to 21622
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.7% to 2953
  • S&P/ASX 200 up 1.1% to 5273
  • US 10-yr yield up less than 1bp to 1.85%
  • Dollar Index up 0.1% to 94.59
  • WTI Crude futures down 0.2% to $44.07Brent Futures down 0.3% to $45.67
  • Gold spot up 1.1% to $1,258
  • Silver spot up 2.5% to $17.39
Global Top News

  • Draghi Can Argue Glass Is Half Full as ECB Pumps Up Stimulus: unemployment is falling and euro-area growth is continuing
  • Oil Trades Near 5-Month High as U.S. Crude Production Declines: U.S. crude output falls to lowest since Oct. 2014: EIA
  • VW Said to Pay At Least $10 Billion in U.S. Cheating Deal: carmaker’s plan covers lawsuit claims by government, motorists
  • Qualcomm Forecasts Are In Line on Progress in China Dispute: stock falls on concern chipmaker may lose Apple orders
  • AmEx Profit Beats Estimates as Purchases Climb; Shares Rise: revenue advances 1.6% to $8.09b, in line with estimates
  • Yum Brands Profit Tops Estimates as China Unit’s Sales Gain: company raises its annual forecast for operating profit
  • Vale Profit Prospects Bolstered by Record Output in Iron Rally: iron output of 77.5m tons is highest for first quarter
  • Wal-Mart to Cut Board to 12 Directors as Four Members Retire: board to maintain independent majority at 67% of its members
  • BHP Expects Iron Ore Prices to Drop as More Supply Swamps China: co. sees mergers and acquisitions as being unlikely
  • Sony Operating Profit Misses Forecast on Smartphone Slump: co. revises outlook ahead of April 28 earnings announcement
  • Saudi Arabia Mulls Dual Listing, Traded Fund for Aramco IPO: kingdom seeking ways to broaden investor base for huge IPO
  • Companies reporting earnings today include Alphabet, Microsoft, Verizon, Visa, Starbucks, GM
Looking at regional markets, stocks in Asia continued to trade higher as energy continued to drive sentiment following yesterday's near 4% advance in oil on speculation of a possible producers meeting in May. This saw the energy sector outperform in the ASX 200 (+1.1%) with several firm earnings reports also underpinning sentiment. Nikkei 225 (+2.7%) led the region amid a weaker JPY to climb back above 17000, while Shanghai Comp (-0.7%) is also positive after a larger liquidity injection by the PBoC, although overheating credit concerns capped gains. JGBs saw mixed trade with 10yr JGBs mildly lower amid strength in Japanese stocks, while yields in the super-long end declined with the 30yr yield at fresh record lows. Furthermore, today's 20yr auction was better received but failed to provide lasting support.

Top Asia News

  • Soros Says China’s Debt-Fueled Economy Resembles U.S. in 2007-08: Surging new credit is warning sign, Soros says
  • The 54% Rally in Steel Prices That Points to China’s Rapid Shift: Iron ore, steel demand getting better, Credit Suisse says
  • Japanese Funds Return to Overseas Bonds After Two Weeks of Sales: Purchases total net 844.7b yen in latest week, MOF says
  • Hony Capital Is Said to Raise $2.7 Billion for Yuan-Dollar Fund: Will be first dual-currency fund raised by large PE firm
  • Hong Kong Stocks Scorn Economic Gloom as Bull Market Approaches: MSCI gauge of city’s shrs has rallied 17% since January low
  • ‘Shameful’ Mitsubishi Fraud Risks Pushing Carmaker to Brink: Data manipulation affects ~625,000 minicars in Japan
  • ‘Black Box’ India States Thwart Modi Moves to Lower Debt Costs: Nomura sees deficits of major states widening to 3.3% of GDP
Equity specific news has taken focus so far in European hours, with macro news relatively light as participants await the ECB rate decision and press conference later today. In terms of European equities, this morning has been mixed in terms of indices, with Euro Stoxx higher by around 0.25%. Earning season appears in full flow, with Ericsson lower by around 10% after announcing a profit warning pre-market, with the likes of Pernod Ricard also among the worst performers after a pre-market earnings update. Separately, Volkswagen are the best performing stock in Europe today after agreeing a deal with the US regarding the emissions scandal.

Bunds have grinded lower throughout the session so far, with a number of analysts attributing the move below 163.00 to technical selling and positioning ahead of the ECB meeting later today. The commodity complex has seen WTI trade in a relatively tight range this morning in the wake of the significant gains seen so far this week, with the US benchmark remaining above the USD 44/bbl level.

European Top News

  • Novartis Profit Falls as Blockbuster Cancer Drug Sales Drop: company reiterates full-year forecast for sales and earnings
  • Ericsson Shares Drop Most in Year After Sales Miss Estimates: competition from Nokia, Huawei putting pressure on margins
  • Billionaire Slim Said to Weigh Stake Sale of Dutch Carrier KPN: sale could attract phone companies, such as Orange
  • SABMiller Sales Advance on Gains in Africa, Latin America: organic beer volumes rise 3% in fourth quarter
  • Pernod Ricard Suffers China Setback as Scotch Demand Ebbs: sales in China unexpectedly dropped 5% on weak New Year orders
  • Anglo’s Refined Platinum Output Drops as All Forecasts Kept: quarterly diamond production fell 10% as De Beers cut supply
  • Fnac Bids $1.1 Billion for Darty, Countering Steinhoff Offer: investors would receive 145 pence in cash or share alternative
  • U.K. Retail Sales Fall More Than Forecast; Budget Target Missed: U.K. retail sales fell for a second month in March
  • Sweden Fights Currency Market With More Monetary Stimulus: Riksbank to increase quantitative easing program by SK45 bln
  • Hapag-Lloyd Said to Be in Merger Talks With Competitor UASC: cos. said to be in talks as they fight increasing competition
  • Italy Bank Fund Approved by Regulator, Reaches Money Target: Atlante fund exceeded goal of raising EU4b
In FX, fresh EUR sales seen ahead of the ECB meeting today, where little change is expected to the current measures in place, but all the focus on the following press conference — from which we saw the huge FX moves in March. Moves lacking any momentum though as yet, and through 1.1300, fresh lows are met with snapbacks to highlight indecision. UK retail sales were the key data release, coming in weaker than expected, but were offset by lower public borrowing requirements. GBP was sold into the release aggressively, but after a reluctant dip under 1.4300, we are back in the mid 1.4300's. Ongoing consolidation in the commodity linked currencies, with USD/CAD finding some support ahead of 1.2600 and now edging back towards 1.2700. WTI
(Jun) is still trading on a $44.0 handle — just — but near term calm is enough ease CAD strength for now. USD/JPY continues to hold off 110.00, but is equally well bid on modest dips, with positive equities and the BoJ meeting next week lending some support

In commodities, WTI may have met a key resistance level of USD 44/bbl (which is also the 50% retracement from the Apr'15 highs to the Feb'16 lows) after yesterday's strong rally after OPEC announced they are set to call another meeting to revive output freeze/cut talks. Also of note today sees the release of the EIA natural gas with the previous result at -3 this comes after NatGas futures have slightly retraced after declines in recent months . Gold has been moving higher and has now broken a key resistance level of USD 1257.90/oz, also Silver has been making strong gains breaking through the USD 17.50/oz this morning , this comes amid broad-based strength across commodities which also saw copper and iron ore extend on gains, with Dalian iron ore futures hitting limit-up at a 19-month high alongside Shanghai rebar's 7% advance, following supply cuts by large industry names.

The US calendar picks up notably today. We kick off with the Chicago Fed national activity index, Philly Fed manufacturing survey and the latest initial jobless claims data, before there’s more house price data in the form of the FHFA house price index, before concluding this afternoon with the Conference Board’s leading index (where a +0.4% mom gain is expected). The BoE’s Carney is due to speak again this afternoon, while it’s a bumper day for earnings across the pond. 37 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to report including Alphabet, General Motors, Verizon, Microsoft and Schlumberger.

Bulletin Headline Summary from Bloomberg and RanSquawk

  • European equites trade in a relatively tentative manner ahead of the ECB rate decision and press conference with Bunds slipping below 163.00
  • Ahead of the ECB, FX moves are currently lacking any momentum with fresh lows in EUR/USD met with snapbacks, thus highlighting indecision
  • Focus going forward though will remain on the ECB, although other highlights include Philadelphia Fed business outlook and possible comments from BoE's Carney
  • Treasuries rise during overnight trading, a continuation of the late afternoon selloff in New York amid rising commodities and equities; ECB policy announcement due at 7:45am ET, followed by press conference at 8:30am.
  • With no new measures expected at Thursday’s meeting, Mario Draghi may use his press conference to point to signs that negative rates, free bank loans and a 1.7 trillion-euro ($1.9 trillion) bond-buying program should be enough to revive euro-area inflation
  • Swedish policy makers delivered a little more stimulus and made a few predictions about the future though all they can do now is hope ECB President Mario Draghi doesn’t upend everything for those outside the euro zone struggling to protect their currencies
  • Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s concerns about a rising yen are shared by senior officials at the central bank, according to people familiar with the discussions
  • Gold may advance to as much as $1,400 an ounce over the next 12 months, according to BNP Paribas SA, which cited rising investor concern about the efficacy of central banks’ policies to sustain growth
  • Global investors have cheered the recent signs of economic pickup in China. Andrew Colquhoun is unimpressed. The head of Asia Pacific sovereigns at Fitch Ratings sees the growth spurt, fueled by a resurgence in borrowing, threatening to wreak havoc on the financial system
  • Billionaire investor George Soros said China’s debt-fueled economy resembles the U.S. in 2007-08, before credit markets seized up and spurred a global recession; said China’s March credit-growth figures should be viewed as a warning sign
  • China’s top fixed-income fund manager said she may cut holdings of onshore corporate notes after defaults surged in the world’s third-biggest debt market
  • U.K. retail sales posted their biggest monthly decline in more than two years in March as Britons bought less of everything from food to clothing; Office for National Statistics also revealed that debt as a share of the economy rose
  • Sovereign 10Y bond yields higher; European, Asian equity markets mostly lower; U.S. equity-index futures rise. WTI crude oil, metals mostly higher
US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Chicago Fed National Activity Index, March (prior -0.29)
  • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, April 16, est. 265k (prior 253k)
    • Continuing Claims, April 9 (prior 2.171m)
  • 8:30am: Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook, April, est. 8 (prior 12.4)
  • 9:00am: FHFA House Price Index, Feb., est. 0.4% (prior 0.5%)
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Economic Expectations, April (prior 42); Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, April 17 (prior 43.6)
  • 10:00am: Leading Index, March, est. 0.4% (prior 0.1%)
Central Banks

  • 7:45am: ECB Deposit Facility Rate, est. -0.4% (prior -0.4%)
  • 8:30am: Mario Draghi speaks


DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Welcome to ECB meeting day, 6 weeks on from Draghi's policy bazooka. In the PDF today we've updated our performance review chart to track global assets since this point. Of particular interest to us is where European assets are in the mix. When we last ran this nearly two weeks ago returns for European assets had been relatively weak post-ECB with many of the areas of the market Draghi had tried to help having underperformed. The last 14 days have seen a marked turnaround in sentiment however and now all of the European assets we look at are back in positive territory over the relative time frame. In bond markets Bunds have returned just shy of 1% with Spanish bonds now catching up and matching on a total return basis. BTP’s are just in positive territory (+0.3%) but have underperformed with the Italian banking concerns. Performance for equity markets has been strong with the Stoxx 600 now up +4% which is a marked turnaround from -3% of two weeks ago. Regionally it’s the DAX (+7%) which leads the way (and ahead of the S&P 500 which is up +6%), followed closely by the peripheral bourses of Portugal (+6%), Greece (+6%) and Spain (+5%) with the FTSE MIB (+3%) lagging behind. European banks have staged a huge turnaround of late also and are now positing a +2% gain, which is an +11% or so swing from two weeks ago. It won’t come as much surprise to hear that EUR credit has continued to remain well supported with EUR HY (+4%), EUR IG Non-Fin (+2%) and EUR Fin Sub (+2%) all in low single digit return territory and out-performing bunds. That said it’s interesting to see that EUR credit has generally underperformed its US counterparts by a percent or so, reflecting the lower energy exposure over a period of a large rally in Oil prices (WTI +11%).

Perhaps of most interest to us today will be evidence of any logistical progress on the corporate bond purchasing program (CSPP). Since the announcement date details for the program have been thin with the hope that today will bring greater clarity around the potential size, split between primary and secondary markets and the finer details around bond eligibility. It might still be too early to hear much though. A report from Michal Jezek in my team, which we attach the link below to, shows that ECB eligible eurozone bonds initially outperformed post the ECB CSPP announcement and in the two weeks or so after. However since then they have underperformed non-eurozone bonds almost to the same magnitude. The turnaround has coincided with a higher beta global rally over the last two weeks or so, so that’s certainly helped the performance of the generally wider higher beta non-eurozone issues. We also provide a list of the top and bottom 100 bonds by performance since the ECB announcement.

Outside of the ECB today the main topic for markets continues to be Oil which is clearly the dominant driver for price action at the moment. Last night saw WTI close +3.77% at $42.63/bbl and so eclipsing the highest price for the year. That means Oil is now just over +13.5% up from the post-Doha early Monday morning lows now, or nearly $5. It’s worth noting that we roll onto the June contract today which is currently trading around $44/bbl this morning (and unchanged). Yesterday the early concerns from the announcement of the end of the Kuwait oil strike was quickly forgotten about post the latest EIA data which showed inventory levels coming in lower than expected and which appeared to be enough to fuel the rally. Later on we also saw headlines filter through suggesting that OPEC and other crude producers could meet as soon as next month in Russia in a bid to restart production freeze talks according to Iraq’s deputy oil minister.

With little other news flow, the rally in Oil has seen most markets in Asia this morning get off to a solid start. It’s Japan which is currently leading the way with the Nikkei +2.51%, while elsewhere there are decent gains for the Hang Seng (+1.79%), Kospi (+0.63%) and ASX (+0.91%). Bourses in China are back to flat after initially opening in the red while credit markets in Australia and Asia are generally a couple of basis points tighter.

In fact it was a broadly better day for commodities all round yesterday. The rest of the energy complex rallied in vain, while base metals also bounced (Aluminium +2.21%, Copper +0.91%, Nickel +0.59%). Iron ore also rallied another 3% and has quietly surged over 11% this week alone to the highest level since June last year. A big rise in Chinese steel demand has coincided with the rally, while the supply side of the equation has also been given a boost with production reports from the big mining names this week (BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale) all hinting at lower production guidance this year and next.

As a result of gains in the commodity space, along with another decent day for financials, it ended up being another positive day for risk markets generally yesterday. European equity markets rallied back from a weak open, with the Stoxx 600 closing +0.43% for its third consecutive daily gain. A late dip into the close meant gains were more modest in the US (S&P 500 +0.08%) but the Dow and S&P 500 continue to extend the recent highs. US credit markets were the big outperformer. In the CDS space CDX IG closed nearly 3bps tighter and to the strongest level since August last year, while in the cash market we saw US HY energy spreads finished nearly 30bps tighter and are all of a sudden over 60bps tighter in two days. Earnings reports appeared to be less of a factor driving markets yesterday but we’ve got a number of tech heavyweights reporting today as well as the first hint of earnings in the energy sector when Schlumberger report after the close – it’ll be worth keeping an eye on those numbers.

There wasn’t a whole lot of economic data for us to digest yesterday. The only data we did get in the US was in the form of more housing data, although in contrast to some of the softer reports earlier this week, yesterday’s existing home sales print of +5.1% mom was ahead of expectations (+3.9% expected) with the annualized rate ticking up 5.3m from 5.1m in February. Treasury yields moved higher and the benchmark 10y (which rose 6bps) finished at 1.846% and the highest yield since March. Interestingly, we also noted that the Bloomberg US financial conditions index was up nearly 6bps yesterday, indicative of easing of financial conditions, with the current level suggesting that conditions are now easier than when the Fed moved to hike back in December.

The rest of the economic data of interest yesterday was in the UK with the latest employment readings. The unemployment rate was reported as holding steady at 5.1% in February as expected, while the change in employment growth of 20k in the three months to the end of Feb was less than hoped for (60k expected). Of perhaps most importance was the softer than expected earnings data. Average weekly earnings including bonuses printed at +1.8% yoy, well below expectations (+2.3% expected) and down three-tenths from the prior month. That said there was no change in the earnings data stripping out the effect of bonuses.

Taking a look at the day ahead, the highlight this morning datawise will likely be the March retail sales numbers for the UK, while French confidence indicators are also due out. The aforementioned ECB meeting is due at 12.45pm BST with President Draghi due to speak shortly after, while the Riksbank will also hold their own policy rate decision (no move expected). Over in the US the calendar picks up notably today. We’ll kick off with the Chicago Fed national activity index, Philly Fed manufacturing survey and the latest initial jobless claims data, before there’s more house price data in the form of the FHFA house price index, before concluding this afternoon with the Conference Board’s leading index (where a +0.4% mom gain is expected). The BoE’s Carney is due to speak again this afternoon, while it’s a bumper day for earnings across the pond. 37 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to report including Alphabet, General Motors, Verizon, Microsoft and Schlumberger.

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