Futures Tumble On Espirito Santo Loss, European Deflation, Argentina Default
It has been a deja vu session of that day nearly a month ago when the Banco Espirito Santo (BES) problems were first revealed, sending European stocks and US futures, however briefly, plunging. Since then things have only gotten worse for the insolvent Portuguese megabank, and overnight BES, all three of its holdco now bankrupt, reported an epic loss despite which it will not get a bailout but instead must raise capital on its own. The result has been a record drop in both the bonds (down some 20 points earlier) and the stock (despite a shorting ban instituted last night), which crashed as much as 40% before stabilizing at new all time lows around €0.25, in the process wiping out recent investments by such “smart money” as Baupost, Goldman and DE Shaw. The result is a European financial sector that is struggling in the red, while adding to its pain are some large cap names such as Adidas which also tumbled after issuing a profit warning relating to “developments” in Russia. Then there was European inflation which printed at 0.4%, below the expected 0.5%, and the lowest in pretty much ever, and certainly since the ECB commenced its latest fight with “deflation”, which so far is not going well. The European cherry on top was Greece, whose dead cat bounce is now over, after May retail sales crashed 8.5%, after rising 3.8% in April.
Oh, as for now bankrupt Argentina, don’t cry for it. Something tells us the brand new BRICS bank will be quick to reach out a helping hand to the insolvent country, unless of course the country purchases the holdout bonds behind the scenes and puts the whole affair to bed (although how that will anger the restructured bondholders, or if it will trigger the RUFO clause is anyone’s guess).
Asian equity markets are switching between gains and losses overnight. On the one hand, DM Asian bourses are trading firmer including the SHCOMP and ASX200 while EM indices struggle (HSCEI -0.45%, KOSPI -0.34%). Asian EMFX is trading weaker overall, which is a carryover of the sentiment in LATAM late yesterday. The INR (-0.25%) and MYR (-0.25%) are both weaker on the day. Both the Asian and Australian benchmark IG credit indices are trading unchanged to slightly tighter today, repeating the outperformance of higher grade credit assets over the last 24 hours relative to other risk assets. Asian stocks fall with the Shanghai Composite outperforming and the Sensex underperforming. MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.4% to 148.9. Nikkei 225 down 0.2%, Hang Seng up 0.1%, Kospi down 0.3%, Shanghai Composite up 0.9%, ASX up 0.2%, Sensex down 0.7%. 1 out of 10 sectors rise with financials, health care outperforming and tech, staples underperforming
Stocks in Europe are seen lower across the board, after a number of large-cap stocks reported less than impressive earnings, with the likes of Adidas (-14.05%) also announcing a profit warning, citing developments in Russia/CIS. As a result, consumer discretionary sector underperformed in Europe, with financials also lagging amid the uncertainty surrounding the beleaguered Banco Espirito Santo (-45.25%). In turn, the Portuguese PSI-20 index underperformed its EU peers, down 4.3% last, whereas the DAX is lower by -1.00% after taking out a major 50% Fibonacci from the March lows to June/July highs at 9504.75, with the cash index trading below the 200DMA line. 2 out of 19 Stoxx 600 sectors rise; health care, oil & gas outperform, financial services, banks underperform. 11.3% of Stoxx 600 members gain, 88.5% decline. Eurostoxx 50 -0.9%, FTSE 100 -0.2%, CAC 40 -0.6%, DAX -0.9%, IBEX -1.8%, FTSEMIB -1.5%, SMI -0.6%.
Turning to the day ahead, Euroarea CPI will be a key data point to watch. Consensus is pointing to core inflation of 0.8% y/y and headline inflation of 0.5% y/y which would be unchanged on June’s number. Other European data include German and Italian unemployment. Across the Atlantic, US weekly jobless claims (consensus 300k), the ECI and the Chicago PMI (consensus 63.0) are the key data releases. Finally a number of large caps report earnings today including MasterCard, Time-Warner, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil. If that’s not enough, tomorrow brings us the start of August and the latest payroll number which is arguably even more interesting and important given the data and rate move yesterday.
- S&P 500 futures down 0.7% to 1951.9
- Stoxx 600 down 0.9% to 337.4
- US 10Yr yield down 1bps to 2.55%
- German 10Yr yield down 1bps to 1.16%
- MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.4% to 148.9
- Gold spot down 0.1% to $1295.5/oz
Bulletin Headline Summary from Bloomberg and RanSquawk
- Stocks are lower across the board in Europe, with consumer discretionary sector underperforming after Adidas announced a profit warning and financials also lagging, after Banco Espirito Santo announced that it is to carry out a capital increase.
- Lower stocks, month-end and coupon/redemption flows saw Bunds move into positive territory, with PO/GE 10y spread wider by 5bps amid concerns over the Portuguese banking system.
- Treasuries gain, paring MTD loss, amid declines in European stocks, weakness in commodities; market focus shifting to tomorrow’s U.S. payrolls report for July, est. +231k with unemployment rate holding at 6.1%.
- Euro-area inflation unexpectedly slowed in July to the weakest in almost five years, underscoring the ECB’s concerns that the economy is too feeble to drive price growth
- Banco Espirito Santo SA’s stock plunged by the most on record and the bonds slumped after it was ordered to raise capital following a EU3.6b 1H net loss
- The “edge is coming off” the U.K. housing market and that may start to affect the wider economy by the end of the year, according to Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent
- The U.S. might move to limit derivatives trading and short- term loans with Russian companies if sanctions already imposed fail to sway Putin to end support for rebels in eastern Ukraine
- With S&P saying Argentina is in default and last-minute plans to remedy the situation falling through, investor focus is turning to whether holders of $29b of bonds will demand immediate repayment
- Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency as neighboring Liberia ordered the military to enforce a quarantine on some towns in a bid to contain the spread of the worst Ebola outbreak ever
- Former security chief Zhou Yongkang is facing the same political path as his onetime ally Bo Xilai, which leads to the gates of Qincheng prison, a compound north of Beijing that has confined a who’s who of China’s fallen elite
- The largest global investment banks face further cost reductions, like the job cuts JPMorgan began this month, after a drop in first-half expenses failed to match a decline in revenue
- Sovereign yields mixed, with Germany, U.K. and U.S. lower; Greece and Portugal rise. Euro Stoxx Banks slide 2.8%. Asian stocks mixed, with China higher and Japan lower; European equities, U.S. stock futures decline. WTI crude lower, gold and copper little changed
- Focus turns to another round of US earnings, this time by Exxon,
MasterCard, Occidental Petroleum and ConocoPhillips, as well as the
release of the weekly US jobs, Challenger job cuts and Chicago PMI
US Event Calendar
- 7:30am: Challenger Job Cuts y/y, July (prior -20.2%)
- 8:30am: Employment Cost Index, 2Q, est. 0.5% (prior 0.3%)
- 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, July 26, est. 300k (284k); Continuing Claims, July 19, est. 2.492m (prior 2.5m)
- 9:45am: Chicago Purchasing Manager, July, est. 63 (prior 62.6)
- 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, July 27 Central Banks
- 11:00am: Fed to buy $1b-$1.25b notes in 2036-2044 sector
Lower stocks in Europe this morning, together with month-end and coupon/redemption flows saw Bunds recover and gradually move into positive territory. At the same time, the release of lower than expected Eurozone CPI estimate which came in at its lowest level since October 2009, further underpinned expectations of particularly low inflation and saw 2y EU inflation swap rates touch on lowest level since February 2009. Also of note, PO/GE 10y spreads widened by 5bps in reaction to Banco Espirito Santo (-45.25%) announcing that it is to carry out a capital increase. In terms of month-end revisions, Barclays Final Pan Euro Agg Month-end Extension +0.12y vs. Prelim. +0.11y (Prev. month 0.09y, 12m Avg. 0.08y) and Barclays Prelim Sterling Agg Month-end Extension +0.04y (Prev. month 0.03y).
Stocks in Europe are seen lower across the board, after a number of large-cap stocks reported less than impressive earnings, with the likes of Adidas (-14.05%) also announcing a profit warning, citing developments in Russia/CIS. As a result, consumer discretionary sector underperformed in Europe, with financials also lagging amid the uncertainty surrounding the beleaguered Banco Espirito Santo (-45.25%). In turn, the Portuguese PSI-20 index underperformed its EU peers, down 4.3% last, whereas the DAX is lower by -1.00% after taking out a major 50% Fibonacci from the March lows to June/July highs at 9504.75, with the cash index trading below the 200DMA line.
Month-end buying by a major European central bank meant that EUR outperform GBP, though both pairs remained in the red as the cautious sentiment dominated the price action in early European trade. At the same time, upside price action by Bunds and USTs prompted unfavourable interest rate differential flows and saw USD/JPY move into negative territory
Gold has come off its European session lows, yet remains in negative territory after being hit on a good US GDP number yesterday, with the precious metal pausing for breath ahead of the NFP tomorrow. WTI has extended losses after breaking below its 100DMA at USD 100.30 yesterday, amid rising Cushing inventories in the US and reports that Ukraine has stopped combat in the east after a plea from the UN’s Ban.
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DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight recap
The bureau of economic statistics made some pretty sizeable rewrites of recent history yesterday in the US GDP report as well as publishing a better Q2 number (4.0% vs 3.0% expected). Q1 14, Q4 13 and Q3 13 GDP were revised up 0.8%, 0.9% and 0.4% respectively. This report was certainly one for the US economy bulls and it did send a few shudders across global markets yesterday showing the sensitivity there is to higher rates and yields especially given generally poor trading liquidity. However just as markets were getting a little nervous, along came Yellen and co to make a point of adding to the FOMC statement that the Fed still “sees significant underutilization of labor resources”. Despite a balanced statement overall with some hawkish elements, a few picked up on this remark as allowing Yellen to remain slow to remove stimulus even as unemployment falls.
Treasury yields moved higher throughout the day but it took the GDP number to really cause rates to back up. The 10yr treasury added 10bp in yield terms shortly after the GDP beat, reaching an intraday high of 2.56%, before the FOMC’s statement provided some brief respite. Indeed, following the FOMC yields initially firmed by around 3bp, but they pared the move into the close and finished near the highs of 2.55%. UST curves bear steepened throughout the day, and this accelerated following the GDP report. A slightly higher than expected Q2 PCE (2.0% vs 1.9%) benefited 10yr breakevens, which added 0.5bp to 2.27%.
There was an interesting reaction from stocks. US equities fell to a low of -0.4% shortly after the GDP print, but recovered all of that loss post-FOMC to be unchanged on the day (S&P500 +0.01%) suggesting that perhaps equities had found the Fed policy statement more dovish than other markets had. Note that the sectoral underperformers yesterday were the high dividend and defensive sectors such as utilities (-1.65%), telcos (-0.6%) and consumer staples (-1.0%). This was offset by cyclicals such as consumer discretionary (+0.55%), financials (+0.44%) and info tech (+0.24%). In the context of the price action in rates and equities, credit seemed to outperform. In Europe, Crossover (246.625bp, -2.5bp) and Main (61.75bp, -0.125bp) closed tighter and CDX IG was basically unchanged. Amid the underperformance of higher yielding assets yesterday, there was further chatter about outflows from US HY. We’ll find out more about outflows later today when the latest weekly outflow numbers are released. At a more micro level, both the SPDR Barclays and iShares iBoxx HY ETFs registered daily outflows yesterday, and both ETFs traded further into negative premium territory against their respective NAVs, according to Bloomberg data. We think the flows out of the US HY should slow down soon unless rates rise. So US HY could have done without yesterday’s move.
Back to GDP, it’s worth highlighting that in real terms the US YoY growth number is now still ‘only’ 2.4% which is not spectacular given the stimulus seen in this cycle. Indeed since the end of 2009 the average YoY growth has been 2% and has struggled to eclipse that rate consistently since. The one question mark over the Q2 2014 release is that inventory build accounted for 40% of the strong number. So will sales and activity justify this over the coming months? Our US economist Joe Lavorgna thinks so. Joe writes that the level of inventories versus demand (i.e., sales) is quite low. In fact, the inventory to sales (I/S) ratio slipped from 3.85 in Q1 to 3.84 in Q2, which is unchanged from year-ago levels. So as ever the US economy is generating much debate.
The backup in US yields and a strengthened USD (dollar index +0.27%) proved to be a tough combination for EM yesterday. Indeed LATAM rates closed between 5-15bp higher on the day and the MSCI EM equity index fell 0.17%. On the currencies side, high yielding currencies all suffered including the MXN (-0.7%), (-0.65%) and ZAR (+0.50%). Further adding to the woes of the EM complex, after the US market close S&P downgraded Argentina to “Selective Default” after the rating agency said that holders of discount bonds did not receive their interest payment. It’s unclear exactly what the next steps are for the Argentine government and its creditors. Economy Minister Axel Kicillof told reporters today in New York that while the government failed to reach a deal with holders of defaulted debt from 2001, many private parties have an interest in resolving the battle. Kicillof also mentioned that it wouldn’t be surprising to see a proposal emerge from a third party, including proposals about waiving the RUFO clause in the debt securities that prohibits the nation from offering a better deal to the holdouts than the one made in debt restructurings (Bloomberg). Also after the US market closed, Banco Espirito Santo reported a 1H14 loss of EUR3.57bn which reflected EUR4.3bn of impairment and provisions. The impairments related to its interest in loans provided to BES Angola, general credit costs, interests in Portugal Telecom and exposure to the Espirito Santo Group. This left BES with a common equity tier 1 ratio of 5% at June 2014, versus a Bank of Portugal mandated minimum of 7%. After saying for a while now that BES has sufficient capital, yesterday the Bank of Portugal said that a capital increase was necessary. The central bank also appointed PwC to form an oversight committee for BES and said that it would suspend some BES officials due to “damaging practices” (Bloomberg).
Asian equity markets are switching between gains and losses overnight. On the one hand, DM Asian bourses are trading firmer including the Nikkei (+0.35%) and ASX200 (+0.17%), while EM indices struggle (HSCEI -0.45%, KOSPI -0.34%). Asian EMFX is trading weaker overall, which is a carryover of the sentiment in LATAM late yesterday. The INR (-0.25%) and MYR (-0.25%) are both weaker on the day. Both the Asian and Australian benchmark IG credit indices are trading unchanged to slightly tighter today, repeating the outperformance of higher grade credit assets over the last 24 hours relative to other risk assets.
Turning to the day ahead, Euroarea CPI will be a key data point to watch. Consensus is pointing to core inflation of 0.8% y/y and headline inflation of 0.5% y/y which would be unchanged on June’s number. Other European data include German and Italian unemployment. Across the Atlantic, US weekly jobless claims (consensus 300k), the ECI and the Chicago PMI (consensus 63.0) are the key data releases. Finally a number of large caps report earnings today including MasterCard, Time-Warner, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil.
If that’s not enough, tomorrow brings us the start of August and the latest payroll number which is arguably even more interesting and important given the data and rate move yesterday.