Illustration 1: Key Central Banks’ Balance Sheet as % of GDP … BOJ is the Champion and still going strong!
It was looking bleak in Asian markets in the morning with heightened geo-political tension overnight on the news of the U.S. missile defense system deployment to Guan that knocked S&P500 futures off its pedestal and KOSPI down 2% and looking to fall more precipitously. China and Hong Kong markets were also closed for 清明节 (Qing Ming festival), the annual ”tomb sweeping” custom of praying to one’s deceased ancestors that can potentially usher in the ”Ting Hai (丁蟹) effect” too from 4 April 2012 onwards. http://tradehaven.me/2013/04/01/be-warned-the-ting-hai-%E4%B8%81%E8%9F%B9-effect-may-kick-in/.
But all that was to change with the ever ready-to-please his political masters, BOJ (Bank of Japan) Governor Kuroda when he delivered the QE (Quantitative Easing) manna from heaven at the conclusion of his two day BOJ policy meeting. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/04/04/uk-markets-forex-idUKBRE92L08Y20130404
From above Illustration 1, BOJ is on a viagra inducing roll by increasing its balance sheet even further in both absolute and relative terms to Japan’s GDP. We can see that the U.S. Federal Reserve has sort of reached a plateau in its QE ballooning of its balance sheet as % of U.S. GDP. In fact, ECB (European Central Bank) and BOE (Bank of England) have both reduced their respective aggressiveness in QE where their % of GDP has turned and are actually heading lower since Q4 2012.
With the ECB policy meeting announcement due in a couple of hours, it will be interesting what ECB Chief, Trichet will deliver. While Asianmacro do not expect a rate cut (Good Lord if he does and we will be in high heavens in bunds and DAX if he does that!), Trichet is likely to sound reassuring dovish in the statements and in putting some expectations of that out. The key is to weaken the EUR (*return of beggar-thy-neighbour FX depreciation policy) as it will indirectly be a ‘devaluation’ option for the Club Med countries that are facing the economic stresses at the moment without the need for them to leave the EUR in going back to their Lira, Peseta, Franc etc.
While it does not change the bigger picture that I have presented in my previous post over the last 2 weeks, in the next hours – days, just be prepared for a short term liquidity boost expectations rally in stocks and for USD to continue to strengthen. Long USD & wear diamonds ! http://tradehaven.me/2013/03/14/beware-the-ides-of-march/
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