I am back (after a hiatus of 4 years)

Let’s see what interest & bothers me from here that I hope I will have the energy to write about!

Figure 1: Normalised chart of S&P500, Nasdaq100, Shanghai Comp, Dollar Index, Asian Dollar Index, Gold & 10 Treasury yield (May2016-June2020)

From Figure 1 above, seems like it would have been a waste of time in FX markets to be long or short the USD (101.86 today) or even in Asian currencies (96.02 today) as well.  Despite all the bullishness in China, it didn’t really matter being invested into Shanghai Composite too (103.69 today).  Gold was benign throughout & only came into the fore in 2019 last year at 134.61 today.  What made the bang for the buck was being invested into U.S. technology stocks with Nasdaq100 at 227.9 today that clearly outperformed the S&P500 at 155.27 today.  The most volatile was U.S. treasuries where you better be short when rates went up from 2016 to Q4 2018 & then be long from that time to ride the plunge in yields till today!

May we live in interesting times!



Asia morning brief: Wed 11 May 2016

Good morning, $/JPY did a final push higher to 109.37 this morning before plunging suddenly to 108.61. Overnight, the higher $/JPY dragging NKY by over 2%, dragged European & U.S. indices higher too by 1%.  However, we got to realise that S&P500 & Dow are not representative nor leading indicator of general broad equities anymore with financials like Goldman & Apple dominating price weighted Dow & market-cap weighted S&P500 respectively  Why The S&P 500 And Dow Are Misleading Investors . It masked the weak price action across many stocks & prevailing soggy sentiments where on many days past 2 weeks, individual stocks had plunge 10-20% that we have seen in the recent earnings season disappointment in a number of tech & old economy companies. Disney fell 6% on earnings miss (and you wonder even with their nice slew of movies hits) Walt Disney earnings: $1.36 per share, vs expected EPS of $1.40 . Fossil Group also plunged 23% on their miss as well Fossil Group (FOSL) Stock Plummets in After-Hours Trading on Q1 Earnings Miss and we also had a bombshell halt of the supposed US$6 billion Office Depot merger with Staples that saw their shares plunged 26% & 9% respectively Judge halts $6B Staples, Office Depot merger; ODP shares plunge 26% . I suspect we have completed the retracement rally of 3 to 3.5 big figures higher in $/JPY last night/this morning from recent 105.52 lows last week.  I have added shorts in $/JPY as mentioned yesterday from 108.71 to 109.30 (*as recommended in establishing shorts at 109 -/+ 30 pips either side).  We have the U.K. Manufacturing & Industrial Production figures releases at HK/Singapore 4.30pm that may move GBP & GBP crosses and U.S. DOE Crude Oil Inventories release at 10.30pm that will move oil & the closely correlated stock indices along with it.  Good luck!

Asia morning brief: Tuesday 10 May 2016

Good morning, the main mover from Monday that continued on Tuesday in markets was $/JPY that grinded higher first past 107.70 resistance level before reaching 108.50 last night.  It continued to 108.83 this morning presumably on further stops triggered on impulsive bad shorts in markets on $/JPY post disappointing 28 April BOJ meeting.  $/JPY has a tendency to retrace higher by 3 to 4 big figures after an initial plunge following BOJ or Japan disappointment over the past year.  We have seen a rally from 116 back to 119 early this year prior to BOJ meeting where the initial negative rate announcement on 29 January 2016 caused a spike to 121 before plunging to 111 by 11 February.  We then retraced higher to 114.87 by 17 February where it chopped around till 29 March falling to 107.7 before rallying back to 111.97 prior to 28 April BOJ meeting & plunge to 105.52 in the latest leg lower.  If there is a pattern, we should see $/JPY retracing higher to 109 -/+ 30 pips where these will be great levels to be short $/JPY again.  Overnight Brazilian equities & BRL plunged after effort to impeach President Rousseff appeared to hit a roadblock Brazil markets in disarray as Impeachment vote annulled .  This might weigh further on EM/Asia bloc as a whole from here as the strong risk rally from February lows for EM/Asia is in question now.   Interesting that billionaire investor Carl Icahn has turned net short in equities by 149% in disclosure by his vehicle Icahn Enterprise Icahn net short position of 149% .  We can be entering a period soon where they latest popular consensus positions in the market gets shaken out where players have gone long EM/Asia equities & currencies, short U.S. treasuries, long gold and oil, short USD especially against AUD and CAD in G7 space besides EM/Asia .. the recent USD rally is already sign of bad positioning  USD jump catches traders short . For the superstitious traders out there, Mercury is in retrograde on Monday 9 May & crossing against the Sun as well which is doubly negative for risk Mercury retrograde . Hang on & good luck!

Asia morning brief: Monday 9 May 2016

Good morning, the U.S. employment report out last Friday was decidedly weak in job adds at 160k vs expected 202k in non-farm payroll U.S. employment report but with supposed signs of wage inflation that subsequently drove UST yields higher to 1.79% (10yr) with TYM6 spiking to 131-06+ before plunging lower to 130-14+ closing.  U.S. equities recovered from intraday lows as hopes of Fed June meeting on hold rose on this employment report.  We should be back to a range trading whippy market swinging from perceived further Central Bank on hold or stimulus hopes to realities of global economic slowdown that doesn’t change with any Central Bank actions.  China’s trade figures released over the weekend does point to continued doldrums China trade balance .  BOJ minutes out this morning reveals a sharp split over negative rates policy that show fatigue & uncertainty even among the ranks of Central Bankers over their policy ineffectiveness BOJ meeting minutes .  For now, sell $/JPY 107.50-108 & buy 106-106.50 on tight gamma trading.  S&P500 eminis rebounded from intraday lows on Friday at 2030.5 & should be capped at 2062.5.  There’s no fireworks but grinding trading this week perhaps till Fed’s Dudley scheduled speech on Tuesday 10 May, RBNZ Weeler on Wednesday 11 May & Thursday 12 May BOE meeting decision.  Good luck!

Asia morning brief: Fri 6 May 2016

Good morning, nothing much usually happens just ahead of U.S. employment report but last night, Fed’s James Bullard saw it fit to confuse market with another “Fed undecided on right path for rates” statement! Fed undecided on rate path . U.S. equities continued its gradual slide as the early support from higher WTI crude oil on Canada tar sands fire fizzled out Canada fires drive oil higher . Why should higher oil be better for stocks where humans will scratch their heads but machines algos ramp risk higher on such headlines!?  We continue in Asia on further derisking as RBA statement of monetary policy release showed lowered inflation forecasts & readiness to cut rates again RBA lowers inflation forecast & ready to cut again .  AUD/USD gapped lower to 0.7400 from 0.7460 post 9.30am (HK/SIN time) release.  I am still short equities via S&P500 with eminis put fly, Dow & Eurostoxx50 futures. Short AUD/USD & GBP/USD. Long TYM6 call condor expiry today for maximum payoff if between 131.25 to 131.50 (i.e, 10 year UST 10 bp lower to around 1.66% from current 1.76%).   Overshadowed by U.S. employment report might be the equally important Canadian’s employment report too where a weaker number will see USD/CAD higher to 1.3000 from 1.2860 now & oil lower to 43 from 46.35 (Dec16 contract) that I’m short.  We’re indeed seeing a classic risk off where USD gains across all G7 and EM/Asia currencies now with sliding equities.  I expect KRW & TWD to fall most in Asia where their stock markets had rebounded the most since February lows with government support & belated inflows due to EM ETFs ramp up recommended by various private banks & investment banks just 4 weeks ago.

Asia morning brief: Thur 5 May 2016

Good morning, Australia Retail Sales came out this morning slightly better at 0.4% vs 0.3% expected & AUD/USD grinded higher to 0.7490 from 0.7450 lows.  It feels like a day of consolidation post U.S. ADP last night which came weaker than expected at 156k vs 205k expected and U.S. stock continued their slow grind lower last night with S&P500, Nasdaq100 & Dow all off by -0.6%.  Notable moves in FX seen in GBP/USD that continued to be offered (falling from 1.4555 to 1.4461 intraday lows) on back of weaker than expected U.K. Contruction PMI out at 52 vs expected 54.1.  CAD continue to weaken as $/CAD marched higher to 1.2850 (intraday highs 1.2887 higher by 4 big figures in 36 hours!) as Canada Trade Balance worsened out at -3.4 billion deficit vs -1.2 billion expected and U.S. Crude Oil inventories out at 2.8 million vs 0.6 milion expected saw oil prices capped & reversing.  Have shorted Dec WTI Oil as signs of the rally squeeze from February lows are over and riding the positive carry contango out the curve.  Looks like Saxobank came out with report similar to my view Saxobank warns of crude oil rally over . Ahead of Friday’s U.S. employment report, added a TYM6 call condor 131 / 131.25 / 131.5 / 131.75 expiring tomorrow Friday for maximum payoff if 10-years UST yields fall 10bp lower to around 1.66%.  Tight trailing stops to protect profits in short AUD/USD, short GBP/USD with short Dow & Eurostoxx50 futures as it will be a crap shoot at best in guessing outcome of U.S. employment report that algos will drive it violently either way in that short span of time when out.

Asia morning brief: Wed 4 May

Good morning, the RBA 25bp cut to 1.75% innocuous as it with AUD/USD plunging from 0.7720 to 0.7490 led to AUD/JPY selling from 81.9 to 79.5 that cascaded & brought on $/JPY & NKY lower.  Stops fest (with Japan out on holiday) saw lows of 105.55 touch by 4pm (HK/Sin time) when London came in.  Unexpectedly poor UK Manufacturing PMI at 49.2 vs expected 51.3 saw GBP/USD lower from 1.4770 to current 1.4545.  The lower NKY led to lower S&P500 eminis (that ignored the weaker China Caixin PMI in Asian morning) & led to weaker DAX & Eurostoxx50 when Europoan session started.  WTI crude oil reversed lower by 2% to 43.85 accelerated the U.S. & European equities lower with $/CAD jumping from 1.2460 to 1.2710 presently.  Sometimes, when a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a tornado somewhere else in chaos theory … it just points to the randomness in markets exarcerbated by bad positioning with the street long AUD, long equities, long oil, long EM, short GBP, short bonds & short vols especially among the fast money crowd and some of the real money too.  Sell in May & go away may have well started!

Asia morning brief: Tue 3 May 2016

Good morning, post Mayday holiday in most Asian countries yesterday, we have Japan market close & if there’s a day when speculators wish to test downside in $/JPY with less threat of BOJ intervention, it’s today! 105.38 to 106.20 represent the levels that $/JPY rallied from since Oct 2014 when Abenomics took shape. It should provide support & will not be easy to break convincingly at one go if 101-102 is the final stop in this JPY rally. I’ve already covered shorts in $/JPY & NKY as the gap move lower post disappointing BOJ has brought them to the lower node in the bi-modal price distribution that I’ve previously discussed & risk reward is better in short S&P500, Dow or Eurostoxx50 for that matter. China Caixin Manufacturing PMI came out tad lower than expected at 49.4 & saw Asian equities ticked lower slightly. All eyes on RBA meeting decision at 12.30pm (HK/SIN time) & a rate cut is slightly priced in at 53% odds. Sell AUD on a spike to 0.7750/0.7800 is preferred on no hike or long GBP/AUD cross at 1.8840-1.8950 to ride on the market positioning of elevated GBP shorts (on Brexit fears) & AUD longs (on commodity rally).

Asia morning brief: Fri 29 April 2016

Good morning, instead of FANG stocks in 2015, we might be looking at LEAF (LinkedIn LinkedIn earnings,  Expedia Expedia earnings, Amazon Amazon earnings & Facebook Facebook earnings ) now in short term where they all spiked more than 10% on better earnings & outlook.  Yesterday’s BOJ meeting that didn’t come out with anything new seems so distant now as $/JPY came off in jiffy from 111.55 to 107.36 with NKY from 17555 to 16120 presently.  While Japan is still mired in finding a sustainable solution to its problems, I’ve taken off all my shorts established in $/JPY & NKY as discussed earlier in week where we were clearly at the higher end of the range in our new bi-modal distribution world where prices gap between the 2 nodes and we’re now at the lower end node.  However, I’ve established shorts in Dow futures at 17950-970 past 36hrs before BOJ & added last night at 17910-30.  This is in addition to a broken put fly in S&P500 May20 expiry 2025/1975/1950 where it make sense for a 5-6% correction lower post earnings as players head towards summer in cleaning the deck.  Also managed to buy some GBP/AUD cross at 1.9050-65 yesterday in the correction lower from 1.9230 .. something that I was recommending looking at 1.8830 before the sudden poor Australia CPI figures 2 days ago caused the sudden spike higher &  1.97-1.99 looms next in GBP/AUD!

Asia morning brief: Thu 28 April 2016

Good morning, Fed remained sufficiently dovish while “leaving the door open for June rate hike” but removed language that “global economic & financial developments continue to pose risks”. It might be that the Fed just wants higher stock & asset prices with high employment .. having the cake & eating it as all asset markets are back almost to their highs where Fed can’t say that they are concerned with risk of market plunge & downside now, Facebook earnings surprised to upside with strong ad-growth that saw after market spike +9% http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/27/facebook-reports-first-quarter-earnings.html. With BOJ meeting decision today, what further expanded ETF purchase, negative rates & out-of-box stimulus will be forthcoming http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/27/most-banks-expect-boj-stimulus-particularly-etf-purchases-cnbc-survey-shows.html? Where a minute is a life time these days, the algo machines might ramp $/JPY to 113-115 on friendly stimulus headlines with NKY to 17800-18000 in running stops., that are excellent levels to place limit sell orders in both. It’s always darkest before dawn & brightest before dusk .. the markets are tested on that now