The ECB, the BoE, and Treasury Bonds ..... What investors thought they knew, and why it may be back

ref :- General No sensible investor should allow themselves to believe that anything is certain in this crazy world, and the last 24hrs are a good example of why they shouldn't. We shouldn't overstate it ...... it's not as though the universe has been turned on its axis. But just a quick glance around the markets this morning is enough to recognize that things may have changed, that certain preconceptions that many investors subscribed to are now looking distinctly less certain. Take the European Central Bank , for example. The ECB left all rates unchanged yesterday, and without undermining our own argument too much you could have been pretty certain about that in advance. You could also

Wouldn't you just know it ? Get over one hurdle and another one's staring you in the face ..

ref :- General round-up Further discussion of US Treasury yields may well make us sound like a broken record -- yeah, we know .... what's new ? -- but on this occasion we don't feel the need to apologize too much. It might be a little myopic to say that the 10yr yield pushing up through the 3.00% barrier is the only game in town, but it is THE topic in focus everywhere you turn .... even if opinions vary as to just how significant this particular "significant moment" will prove to be. The 3.00% was actually hit yesterday but the rate subsequently backed off a touch. This morning, a new high of 3.03% has been reached (last at 3.02%), prompting commentators to trumpet once again why

It's either crucial, or it means nothing at all .... the 3.00% yield barrier

ref :- "3.00% on the US (10yr) Treasury yield is "just noise" and does not matter, economist says" , CNBC Markets We wouldn't like anyone to think that we haven't been giving anything less than our full attention to the markets whilst we've been away for a couple of days. Active traders can't really afford that luxury unless they have a trusted support network. But for mere observers it's interesting to note what first catches the eye upon one's return ..... very often it's not actually the main story, more a function of it. For example, and probably because we've been wondering if it's possible that the majority of currency forecasters might have misread things again, the strong US Doll

Plainly, just being safe doesn't cut it anymore ..... the Swissie revisits a famous level

ref :- "Swiss central bank dovishness weakens franc against the euro" , the Financial Times, Markets and Investing Not to be over-critical, but the blandness of this FT headline masks a much more interesting backstory. The sight of EUR / CHF climbing to knock at the door of SwF 1.20 per Euro once again will be giving some currency traders the heebie-jeebies. Swiss exporters, a hugely important element of the Swiss economy, will be happy indeed at the currency's comparative weakness over the last three years but no doubt memories of the 1.20 level will be turning their gills a bit green too. Back in January 2015, just after assuring everybody that they had no plans whatsoever to abandon t

"The most dangerous moment for the world since the end of the Cold War" , say commentators

ref :- Market round-ups, various (Bloomberg, Reuters etc) The sight of superpowers squaring up to each other amid a welter of threats and sanctions is thankfully not one we've seen for a while. It used to happen during the Cold War of course, and you suspect that if that old showman Nikita Krushchev was still around he'd have been banging his shoe at the UN by now. But having become used to something less overtly antagonistic since the break-up of the old Soviet Union, you'd think that to descend once again to that level with missile strikes already a reality must be hugely disturbing for all, not least because of the nature of two presidents at the helm of the principal protagonists. Ap

When inflation might not be the be-all and end-all .....

ref :- "Fed Sees GDP Hit From Trade War Outweighing Fleeting Inflation" , Bloomberg Markets Just time today to point you towards this piece on Bloomberg ..... The minutes of the March meeting of the Fed 's Open Market Committee (FOMC) were released last night, and we were waiting to see what they were making of the increasing possibility of trade conflict. In the event it was pretty plain that they were more worried about the effects that this issue would have on growth than they were about its inflationary ramifications, which they consider would be a short-term, transitory phenomenon as tariffs are imposed. This is both logical and understandable, but interesting in that generally-spea

"If it's not one thing, it's another ....."

ref :- "Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day" , Bloomberg Markets Just time for a brief lunchtime shufti at what's going on, and it reveals of course that the focus of attention may have moved but the anxiety levels are if anything even higher. As we've been saying, when it comes to the US / China trade dispute, if it's another day then it must be another change in sentiment. The needle has been swinging between pessimism and optimism as developments unfurl and the markets have been struggling to keep up. The danger of short-term traders getting "whipsawed" in these conditions is very real, but today is obviously a "good" day as far as the trade stand-off is concerned. China's

Strictly speaking, it's geopolitics ..... but we all know what geopolitics can do to markets

Monday 9th April 2018 ref : - " Mattis looks isolated as hawkish Bolton arrives" , The Financial Times, International section. We must confess that it was a surprise to read that John Bolton only officially takes over as President Trump's National Security adviser today. Such has been the speculation over what the appointment of this highly divisive, hard-line hawk may mean for US national security policies that it seems as if he's been in his post a while already. You may remember that Mr Bolton was once the US ambassador to the UN under George W Bush, an interesting appointment in that Mr Bolton was very open about his low opinion of the UN. Whilst he could plainly play hardball pretty we

Stock markets may be all over the place, but foreign exchanges ..... not so much

ref :- TAIL RISK / "Becalmed state of forex contrasts with equities noise" , Washington Post, Markets and Investing Another day , another twist for equities ..... The dominant market theme of 2018 has been the resurgence of volatility in stock markets, a new reality for investors and not a particularly pleasant one for many of them. Things have become a bit more complicated now that the policy of "Get long, and buy any dips" that so many embraced no longer seems like the guaranteed road to riches that it did just a few months ago. Which is not to say that the bulls have headed for the hills .... there are plenty of articles doing the rounds pointing out how the last year of a long bull r

The Harbingers of Doom just love this yield curve ......

ref :- "Narrow times / Flatter US yield curve signals economic concerns" , The Financial Times, Companies and Markets We hear an awful lot about the flattening yield curve, how the premium of longer-term rates over the shorter-term equivalents is diminishing. Not surprising really, as it's a widely-held belief that flat yield curves signal a danger of economic slowdown and that if they actually become inverted (short-term rates higher than long-term rates) , then we're headed for recession. The most popular measure of the US yield curve is the spread between yields on 10yr and 2yr Treasuries (10yr minus 2yr). Now trading below 50 basis points (last at 48), the spread is at it's narrowe

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