Long-term interest rates are now unsustainably low, implying bubbles in the prices of bonds and other securities. When interest rates rise, as they surely will, the bubbles will burst, the prices of those securities will fall, and anyone holding them will be hurt.
There were some minor fireworks in the overnight session following the worst Australian unemployment data in 12 years reported previously (and which sent the AUD crashing), most notably news that the Japanese Pension Fund would throw more pensioner money away by boosting the allocation to domestic stocks from 12% to 20%, while reducing holdings of JGBs from 60% to 40%.
A peculiar trading session, in which the usual overnight futures levitation has not been led by the BOJ-inspired USDJPY rise (even as the Nikkei225 rose another 0.6% more than offset by the Shanghai Composite drop of 0.86%), which actually has slid all session briefly dipping under 99 moments ago, but by the EURUSD, which saw a bout of buying around 5 am Eastern, just after news hit that the UK would avoid a triple dip recession with Q1 GDP rising 0.3% versus expectations of a 0.1% rise, up from a -0.3% in Q4 (more in Goldman note below).
Santiago de Compostela (Spain) (AFP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel walked along the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela on Sunday under bright sun in a highly symbolic show of unity with Spain and its arduous path to economic recovery.
Bond investors are struggling to find a decent yield in this low interest rate environment. U.S. ten-year Treasury notes currently yield about 2.5%, just slightly better than the just-less-than 2% inflation we've seen over the first half of this year. As a result, bond investors are left with only bad — or at least, suboptimal — options right now.
WASHINGTON — U.S. producer prices recorded their largest drop in three years in April as gasoline and food costs tumbled, pointing to weak inflation pressures that should give the Federal Reserve latitude to keep monetary policy very accommodative.
The Labor Department said on Wednesday its seasonally adjusted producer price index fell 0.7% last month, the biggest decline since February 2010. Wholesale prices had dropped 0.6% in March.
Via Scotiabank's Guy Haselmann, For a long time, Fed printing via balance sheet expansion has been the key to understanding markets and the predominant driver that has trumped all other matters. Investors have been able to ignore significant global events, tensions, and economic conditions in faraway places, because a lower real and perceived risk premium from implicit Fed promises was the single most important aspect driving asset prices higher. This game is quickly coming to an end.
By Antonio Fatas:Not a great beginning of the week for the world economy. The week has started with more rumors about a Greek default, doubts on the French banks, weakness of the Euro and sharp falls in European stock markets during the first half of the day. Another recession? The beginning of a depression? We are going through a period of fatigue as markets, investors and companies seem to be waiting for good news coming from any of the advanced economies. But we only get bad news.