Category Archives: Hedge funds

>Financial Times: Commodity hedge fund loses $400m in oil slide


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Its about time to start revising the standard deviation models…. 
 May 08 2011 10:00 PM GMT
Commodity hedge fund loses $400m in oil slide

By Sam Jones in London

World’s largest commodity hedge fund is the biggest of several large hedge funds believed to be reeling after the recent unexpected sell-off

Read the full article at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2b9bfa74-79a0-11e0-86bd-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=rss

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>Teflon Stevie, forever?


>Just as the days of the teflon market are coming to an end, so slowly prosecutors are finally discovering all the grizly details of how one make billions of dollar year after year without fail. And when they put the full picture together, teflon Stevie is next.

>FT Alphaville » If algos can mis-value a book by $23.7m…


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If algos can mis-value a book by $23.7m…


… how might they be mis-valuing equities?
So asks Themis Trading on Tuesday after discovering this curio of a story from CNN about algo-bots gone wild on Amazon.
The story relates to the listing of a book called “The Making of a Fly” by Peter Lawrence on Amazon.com on April 18 for no less than $23,698,655.93 (plus shipping) — seemingly the result of an algo price war.
The price anomaly itself was unearthed by Michael Eisen, an evolutionary biologist and blogger, who logically observed this couldn’t be a one off situation.
As he noted on his blog:

What’s fascinating about all this is both the seemingly endless possibilities for both chaos and mischief. It seems impossible that we stumbled onto the only example of this kind of upward pricing spiral – all it took were two sellers adjusting their prices in response to each other by factors whose products were greater than 1. And while it might have been more difficult to deconstruct, one can easily see how even more bizarre things could happen when more than two sellers are in the game. And as soon as it was clear what was going on here, I and the people I talked to about this couldn’t help but start thinking about ways to exploit our ability to predict how others would price their books down to the 5th significant digit – especially when they were clearly not paying careful attention to what their algorithms were doing.

Cue in-depth analysis of third party vendors providing pricing algorithms for independent traders on Amazon and Ebay.
As CNN points out, individual booksellers on Amazon and other sites pay such companies for services which automatically update prices. Some work very well, “getting sellers up to 60 per cent more sales because they underbid the competition automatically and repeatedly”.
Some, as the case above illustrates, lose touch with reality altogether.
Now, as Themis Trading points out, all of this does bear an uncanny resemblance to what’s going on in financial markets thanks to the algo strategies deployed by high frequency traders.
These sorts of algos, after all, are equally prone to losing touch with the fair value of the equities they are pricing, as the notorious flash-crash of May 6 proves. Now, if you keep the parallel going, that means the example of the $23.7m fly book is nothing more than Amazon’s own equivalent of a market flash or dash.
As Themis’ Sal Arnuk observes:

So, now we have Flash Crashes and Flash Dashes outside the stock market! Is everything being priced in the universe today, not with forethought, but rather as some relation to another price, which in turn is set in relation to yet another price? All without human intervention? Is this wise? Is anyone doing the thinking? Is anyone doing “the work” in our stock markets, as well as on AMAZON? On the eve of the May 6th Flash Crash, perhaps it is wise to think about that question.

Of course, while most ‘flash crash day’ trades were cancelled in the end, we wonder how many Amazon buyers who realise they’ve been had via algo mispricing end up cancelling their trades. And how often it happens.
Secondly, does this make Amazon and Ebay the dark pools of the retail sector, with John “never knowingly undersold” Lewis the equivalent of a market exchange?
And last – is it time for a retail versus financial market structure comparison diagram? We think yes

FT Alphaville » If algos can mis-value a book by $23.7m…

>Canadian Miners Don’t Love the London Stock Exchange – Deal Journal – WSJ


>Canadian Miners Don’t Love the London Stock Exchange
– Deal Journal – WSJ:
“By Phred Dvorak and Edward Welsch

When the London Stock Exchange Group Ltd. announced its proposed takeover of Toronto’s bourse, one of the supposed benefits was access–for Toronto-listed firms–to London’s deep pools of capital.

EPA/Adrian Bradshaw

That’s a topic dear to the hearts of roughly 1,500 cash-hungry start-up miners that populate the Toronto bourse and its venture affiliate. Those “junior miners”–and their constant need for money to drill, test and explore — have made the Toronto Stock Exchange, operated by TMX Group Inc., the mining-finance market of choice.

So what do those juniors think about the proposed deal? Not much, according to some of the attendees Deal Journal interviewed at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto, the world’s largest gathering of small-cap miners.

Kerry Knoll, chairman of Canada Lithium Corp., with some $140 million in market cap, looked into listing on the LSE’s AIM market for smaller firms a few years ago and found it a much more expensive proposition than going public on the Toronto bourse. If London controlled the Toronto exchanges as well, the combined entity could raise the cost of listing in Canada, Knoll worries: “I would fear they’d bring that (higher-cost model) here and really put a crimp in our incubator.”

LSE and TMX executives selling the deal in recent weeks have said the Toronto exchange would remain Canadian-operated and regulated, and would benefit capital-seeking firms by offering truly global scale.

But David McPherson, president of Pure Nickel Inc., at some $14 million market cap, said he’d worry the interests of small, Canadian firms like his may get lost in a bigger exchange.

Pure Nickel raised money on the Toronto Venture Exchange, TSE’s junior market, in 2007 to buy land. It moved up to Toronto’s big board later that year. It’s already raised money from London institutional investors, but it doesn’t expect any additional U.K. retail-investment opportunities from a TSX-LSE combination.

“All I see is the risk that we could become insignificant in a much larger exchange,” he said.

But there are some fans, including Graham Downs, the CEO of ATAC Resources Ltd., market cap north of $600 million, thanks in part to a new discovery of gold in the Yukon.

“There’s a big resource component of the London Stock Exchange, but they are so focused on Africa and all these other places that they know,” Downs says. “They don’t have a lot of access to us, so I think it’ll open more pockets [of money] to Canadian ventures.”

Even though money may initially flow more toward London than Canada while the market finds its equilibrium, Downs says, in the end there will be a bigger pool of capital available to the best companies.

“If you’ve got good projects, if you’ve got a quality team, the money will find you,” he says.

Canadian Miners Don’t Love the London Stock Exchange – Deal Journal – WSJ

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The MasterFeeds

>John Paulson’s Interview With The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission


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John Paulson’s Interview With The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
Courtesy of zerohedge.com
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John Paulson, of the eponymous uber-hedge fund did an hour-long interview with the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.  I listened to it (thanks to NYT Dealbook, although not sure where they got it from), and really, I got a kick out of it even though I think my carpal-tunnel is really flaring up now.  Anyway, without further ado, here’s what the man behind the Greatest Trade Ever has to say about the Financial Crisis…
Description: http://stonestreetadvisors.wordpress.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gifWhen asked what he saw, when, and why he decided to get short, he said “First thing we noticed was that real estate market appeared very frothy, values rose very rapidly, which led me to believe real estate markets were over valued.”  That’s pretty simple/straightforward, no?  I think it’s pretty interesting that he said the 3 homes he’s bought were all out of foreclosure, and they’d increased in value 4-5x over a 2-3 year period through ~’2005.  Apparently the impetus for the research that led to The Trade was literally staring him in the face every time he got home from work!
He explained his approach, and the way he put it makes me really think the guys who didn’t leave their trading desks & “never saw the bubble/crash coming” really had their heads buried in the sand deeper than I previously thought.  As Paulson said, “Credit markets were very frothy, very little attention paid to risk, spreads were very low, we thought when those securities correct, it could present opportunities on short side.”
Their research approach was pretty straight-forward: Focus on subprime, where they were amazed at how low quality the underwriting was, and how low the credit characteristics were on the loans.  They found the average FICO  was around 630, and over half of the loans were for cash-out refi’s, which were based on appraised, not sales prices (so “value” could be manipulated).  For many of these loans, LTV was very, very high, 80, 90, 100% with many of them concentrated in California (no surprise there).  Close to have of the mortgages they looked at were of the stated-income, no-doc variety.
Those who did report incomes had D/I ratios of > 40% before taxes and insurance.  80% of them were ARMs, so-called 2/28’s with teaser rates around 6-7% for those first 2 years, but after they reset, the rates were L+ 600bps which at the point would have doubled the interest rate on these loans, and Paulson & Co thought there was very little – if any – chance borrowers would be able to afford the higher payments.
Once the rates reset, the only thing these borrowers could do would be to sell, refinance, or default.  These were people spending > 40% of their gross income on their mortgages already, once the rate jumped up after the teaser period, they expected that many borrowers would simply default, and the price of the RMBS into which these loans were securitized would fall drastically, while the price of the protection (CDS, etc) Paulson bought on them would skyrocket.
Paulson & co also went much further in their analysis, well-beyond what many of those on Wall Street were doing.  In May, 2006, they researched growth of 100 MSA‘s and found that there was a correlation between growth and the performance of subprime loans originated within them.  As growth rates slowed, defaults rose.  From 2000-2005, they found that with 0% growth, there’d be losses of around 7% in the mortgage pools.
When they looked at the structure of the RMBS they found the average securitization had 18 separate tranches and that the BBB level only had 5.6% subordination, essentially, once losses surpassed that point, the tranches would become impaired, and if they reached 7% losses (what Paulson thought would happen once home price appreciation only slowed to 0%), the entire tranch would get wiped-out entirely.
By mid-2006, home prices not only had slowed to 0% but were actually decreasing, albeit slowly, only about 1%.  Even still, demand from institutional investors was so great, spreads tightened to 100bps. Why?  Because as Paulson went on to explain, institutional investors were buying up the BBB tranches (the lowest investment grade ones) in hoards.
While he didn’t say it, I will (for the umpteenth time!): This is what happens when institutions effectively outsource credit research to the Ratings Agencies, even though many had/have internal credit analysis groups (ahem IKB ahem).  They buy the highest-yielding security you can find that meets your investment guidelines, which meant that for many, they could only buy securities deemed by the brain trusts at the Ratings Agencies as “Investment Grade.”
Paulson started their credit fund in June, 2006, and as he explained, it wasn’t really as simple as it may seem. Historically – going back to about WWII – the average loss on subprime securities was 60bps, nowhere near what Paulson & Co expected was about to happen.  As he said “according to the mortgage people, there’d never been a default on an investment grade (IG) mortgage security.”  These same people were also of the mindset that they’ll NEVER get to the levels where the BBB tranches are impaired let alone wiped out completely.   These were also the same people who said that not since the Great Depression there hadn’t been a single period where home prices declined nation-wide.  These same people thought, worst case, home price growth would drop to 0% temporarily and then return to growth, just like before.

Why would “the mortgage people” expect anything else?  From their desks on the trading floors in Manhattan, Stamford, London, and everywhere else, things looked just peachy!  Spreads were tightening, demand for product was up, and more importantly, so were bonuses!  As far as they knew, the mammoth mortgage finance machine they’d created, based on their complex models and securities was working perfectly…
Paulson also made a distinction missed by many if not most: Everyone was looking at nominal home price appreciation, but real appreciation numbers were much different.  Going back 25+ years using real growth rates, they found that prices had never appreciated nearly as quickly as they had from 2000-2005, and that this trend was unlikely to continue for much longer, i.e. there would be a correction and then mean reversion.  Their thought was that once this correction came about, because of the poor mortgage quality and questionable assumptions/structures in mortgage securities, losses would be much worse than estimated.
Paulson was intent to make one distinction, one that must have been the cause of at least some frustration (followed by fantastic jubilation), that they did their own analysis, they weren’t really trying to attack “the mortgage people’s” views specifically.  Instead, they were trying to understand the conventional wisdom and understand why they had contrary viewpoints.  As myself and countless others have pointed out over the years since, the mortgage industry (I guess we’ll stick with calling them “the mortgage people?”) brushed Paulson off as “inexperienced, as novices in the mortgage market, they were very, very much in the minority…Even our friends thought we were so wrong they felt sorry for us…”
The mortgage people didn’t see any problems because there’d never been a default, except for one manufactured housing (mobile home) deal in the early 1990’s in California.
“The Ratings agencies – Moody’s – wouldn’t let you buy protection on securities from a particular state, because they ensured that the pools were geographically diversified, so they were essentially national pools, although California loans had the highest concentrations therein the pools correspond to the level of home sales in each state.”
What I found surprising from the interview is that Paulson actually praised the mortgage underwriting/originating practices of the big established banks like Wells Fargo and JP Morgan, which he said generally had the best underwriting standards and controls.  The worst were from the New Centuries and Ameriquests, eclipsed in their lax standards only by the mom & pop type shops who were really just sales businesses who made money on the volume of product they originated and sold to Investment Banks like Lehman and Morgan Stanley that didn’t have their own origination network.
These smaller “rogue” mortgage originators were mostly private entities who weren’t under the same scrutiny of their larger, publically-traded “competition.”  Their sales teams were compensated purely on quantity of loans originated with little-to-no care for quality.  These were the guys who routinely falsified documents, appraisals, incomes, assets and/or encouraged borrowers to do the same.  These were the kind of places that made Countrywide’s standards and controls look almost honorable by comparison.
The FCIC then asked Paulson about the infamous ABACUS debacle.  Paulson’s tone when responding to questions from the FCIC here was so, so, awesome; you could hear it in his voice, like he wanted to just say “are you guys freaking kidding me?  Seriously?!?!  REALLY?!??!” every time they asked him about how CDO’s got made.  He basically said (paraphrasing) “If ACA and IKB or Moody’s didn’t like the ~100 subprime reference securities we helped pick for the deal, they could have…not bought the deal or – get this – replaced them with ones they liked better…I couldn’t have gone short if they hadn’t gone long, they agreed on the reference portfolio, it got rated, boom, done”  It sounded like he just wanted to say something like “Hello morons?!  This is how Finance works, HELLOOO!!!”
The ABACUS conversation ended pretty awkwardly (as you might imagine), and then the FCIC moved onto asking Paulson about his Prime Brokerage relationships and what he thought about the Banks.  Interestingly (to me, at least), Paulson had much of it’s assets with Bear Stearn’s Prime Brokerage primarily because the way Bear was structured , the PB assets were ring-fenced from the rest of Bear’s assets in a separate subsidiary, so even if Bear went down, the PB assets would theoretically be safe.  The rest of Paulson’s assets were with Goldman’s PB.  When Bear’s Cioffi/Tanin-run internal hedge funds failed, Paulson saw that as the proverbial canary in a coal mine; they knew the crap that Bear, Lehman, and everyone else had on their books.  They didn’t pulled all of their cash balances from their prime brokers and set up a contra-account at Bank of New York, where, by the time Lehman went Bankrupt, they were holding most of their assets in Treasuries there.
Next, the FCIC asked him about regulators and banks and what people could (or, better, SHOULD) have done that might have prevented the crisis.  Paulson called out the Fed for not enforcing the mortgage standards that were already in effect.  He mentioned that pre-2000, no-doc loans were only given to people who could put 50% down and only represented about 1% of the mortgage market, but only a few years later, originators were “underwriting” NINJA loans with 100% LTV!
Paulson went on to explain how simple fixes, so-to-speak, just enforcing existing regulations like requiring income/asset verification, that homes were owner-occupied, and a downpayment, as low as 5% would have made a huge difference.  Most of the mortgages that failed didn’t have those characteristics.  Excessive leverage and poor understanding of the credit, problems Paulson also say brought down Bear and lehman.  They were leveraged (total assets: tangible common equity) on average, 35:1.  At that sort of massive leverage, a 3% drop in assets would wipe out every $ of equity!
Even if that ratio was brought down to 12:1 and you increase their capital ratio to 8%, the banks still couldn’t hold some of the riskier, more illiquid assets like Private Equity interests, equity tranches of CDO’s, lower-rated buyout debt from many real estate deals, and other assets that themselves were already highly-leveraged.  Adding further leverage to assets themselves already levered an additional 12:1 is just lunacy.  No financial firm should be able to do that, at max those assets should only be allowed to be levered 2:1 (similar to the max leverage for stocks due to Fed Regulation T).
He went on (this is pretty much verbatim, emphasis mine): “Under those scenarios, I don’t think either bank would default.  AIG FP was absurd and exemplified the derivative market where you can sell protection with zero collateral.  AIG FP Sold $500bn in protection with $5bn collateral, 100:1 collateral.  ACA was collateral agent, they were like 120:1 leveraged.  $50bn protection on $60mm collateral.  You have to hold collateral, we need margin requirements for both buying & selling protection.  It’s not the derivative itself that’s the problem, it was the margin requirements (or lack thereof).  We need something like Reg T (max 2:1 leverage at trade inception).  What these guys did would be like like buying $100 of stocks with $1 of equity, a tiny downward move is a huge loss of equity.  In all, these four things would have likely prevented the crisis:

  1. Mortgage underwriting standards, simple & logical
  2. Higher bank capital ratios
  3. Higher capital against risk assets
  4. Margin requirements against derivatives

Paulson was then asked about the Ratings Agencies and what role they played in the bubble/crisis.  Regular readers know where I stand on them & NRSRO regs, and no surprise, Paulson is similarly critical, particularly of the issuer-pays compensation structure, calling it the perverse incentive that it really is, despite whatever nonsense rhetoric RA executives say.
That, combined with being public (or part of public companies) and they were in this race to keep pace with their competitors, to keep up earnings growth with their derivatives business, which he called a “perverse economic incentive that may have led to their laxness in rating securities”
He went-on to explain this same – in the immortal words of Citi CEO Chuck Prince – “keep dancing while the music’s still playing” – incentive structure led the Banks to take similarly short-sighted actions as they struggled to keep up earnings, growth, and of course, bonuses.  At that point, the only way to do that was to grow their balance sheets, add more leverage to earn spread.  In Paulson’s words “Once things go up like that, you don’t see any downside, so at top of market they just weren’t looking at the downside, just upside, became more and more aggressive until they blew up.”
Paulson said the Fed certaintly could have cracked-down on lax-underwriting standards, eliminated negative-amortization loans, stated-income, 100% LTV, IO’s, etc where most of the problems developed.  On the banks and more broad financial services industry, he said “…people became delusional, ‘we can leverage AAA 100:1…’ if you had margin requirements against derivatives, AIG could have NEVER happenedIf they held higher equity against risky investments, they would have never defaulted. Constructively, that’s what Basel 3 says, 8% equity/capital and higher risk weightings for illiquid risky type assets.  I think adoption of those rules will lead to a safer financial system.”
When asked about the role of Fannie May & Freddie Mac, he pointed out the problem was largely similar to what brought down the banks and AIG: excessive leverage and poor oversight/underwriting. “They deviated from their underwriting standards as a way to gain share in alternate mortgage securities, of poor quality & higher losses.  Second, they were also massively leveraged 80-120:1 if you include on-balance sheet assets & guarantees which is way more than any financial institution should have.”
Yea, I think 120:1 leverage is just a wee bit more than prudent, just a bit though…
From this interview it seems painfully clear that those with whom the safety of the Financial System rested were in a deep coma at the helm, Bank executives, regulators, Congress, institutional money managers, all of them.   It’s clear that the nonsensical argument put-forward by Tom Arnold & Yves Smith that those who were shorting housing, subprime, etc were NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM remotely responsible for causing the crisis.  Institutional managers were not gobbling-up BBB-rated RMBS CDO tranches because shops like Paulson & Co were shorting them. Like I said before: they wanted the highest yield they could get away with holding!
As Paulson said, anyone who looked at the data he did should have noticed the impending doom, but apparently, either very, very few people did that type or analysis or they did and just, like Chuck Prince said, kept on dancing until the music stopped.
These traders thought tight spreads indicated safety, which is just wrong in so many ways.  These are the same morons who – thought they should know better – constantly confuse correlation with causation.  Low spreads may have been historically correlated with low default and loss rates, but low spreads do not cause low losses/defaults.  Spreads, like stocks, trade as a function of supply and demand, and all low spreads indicate(d) is that, as Paulson noted, institutional managers were swallowing up as much of these MBS and derivatives (for reasons I explained above), and, like a bunch of lemmings, all thought history would continue despite significant evidence suggesting this time, it was actually different.
One other thing that critics and the public at large probably doesn’t know is that Paulson & Co had a MASSIVE internal, independent research effort wherein they did crazy things like *gasp* look at loan-level data.  Imagine that!  This enabled them to hunt for CDO and other product that contained an inordinate amount of crap for them to short.  This same work also helped them to buy RMBS/CMBS etc when the market turned in 2008 and 2009. They had done the work, and knew what they were willing to pay once it was time to go long.
I’m not saying there’s anything necessarily wrong technical, momentum, and quantitative trading strategies.  There is, however, something very wrong, and very dangerous about relying on these strategies alone while ignoring fundamentals, as evidenced by the housing crisis.  Those who did the hard work like Paulson & Co. made the greatest trade ever, while those who ignored or were otherwise blind to the fundamentals got absolutely crushed.

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MasterFeeds: Market Recap: 12.1.2010 from zero hedge


Market Recap: 12.1.2010


The rally that began overnight – Chinese PMI and a dramatic rally in European sovereign credit – was propelled further by yet another round of impressive US data. ADP significantly better with solid positive revisions and ISM a touch better as well. Another Santa Clause rally? December is good month forstocksafter all. That might actually be the pain trade too with positions having been cut so dramatically. SPX close up 26 at 1206. The DOW closes up 250 at 11256. The NASDAQ closes up 51 at 2549.

The VIX fell -2.18 vols to end the day at 21.36, erasing all of yesterday’s gains.

Today’s lesson in FX: EURUSD is a very sharp toy. 1.2970 the low overnight => 1.3137 LDN high as sovereign credit rips tighter => failure above 200d => 1.3046 => 1.3183 as a ‘US official’ says the US is considering a larger IMF contribution to the IMF rescue fund => 1.3095 as the WSJ reports the US is NOT considering a larger contribution. Elsewhere, USDJPY takes back yesterday’s losses – tech buying and US fixed income selling off. ZAR continues to trade like a champ. ZAR TWI reaches three year high. TRY though, waswhere we saw the biggest buying interest. Despite solid gains across the board, EM flow elsewhere waslight. The appetite to add to risk is still rather limited, it seems.

The rates market sold in the general risk-on move
finishing 8 to 17 bps weaker with the belly underperforming.  Despite the 8.17bn Fed buyback in the 7yr sector, the market continued to trade heavy throughout the session.  Flows were relatively light in our franchise business and much of the move down was futures led.  Tomorrow brings another Fed buyback in the 8-10yr sector but the market seems to be more concerned with other asset classes.

In commodities, energy was unsurprisingly bid despite moderately bearish DOE stats (builds in crude and gasoline, draw in distillate) and spreads tightened.  Flow-wise, we saw leveraged selling of Brent spreads and Nat Gas (GS announced a new bearish NG forecast).  Industrial metals outperformed precious following strong China PMI.  Copper finished up +3.2%, while palladium gained +4.25%.  The big story in ags was wheat, which gained over +7% on concerns of excessive rainfall affecting Australia’s harvest.  Inflation continues to be the key theme, particularly given the UN’s announcement today that world food prices are the highest in 2 years.

US credit gapped tighter overnight following positive China data and stronger European sovereign credit.  Volumes were dominated by street names racing to cover short risk positions driving spreads much tighter.  IG dropped 4 bp’s to 95.50 and the price of HY rose 1.1875 points to 99.8125.
Tomorrow brings GDP for the Euroland and Switzerland, retail sales for Australia and Switzerland, and Brazilian IP. The ECB also meets tomorrow, with an expected announcement on its full allotment policy.
And currency detail from Talking Forex:

EUR/USD

The EUR pared some of its recent losses against the USD on Wednesday amid speculation that in order to preserve stability in the Eurozone the ECB may be prepared to expand its bond buying program to EUR 2trl. The move higher saw the pair clear the 200DMA at 1.3126 and is now on target to test the 10DMA at 1.3347. Going forward however, there is a risk that should Thursday’s press conference by Trichet fail to meet market expectations; EUR may come under renewed selling pressure. In terms of downside support levels, the 1.3000 and 1.2950 levels are expected to contain any near-term selling. Also worth noting is that the Spanish debt agency is due to auction EUR 1.75-2.75bln Oct-13 bonds on Thursday, the outcome of which is expected to be the main driver behind the price action during London hours.

GBP/USD

Similarly to the EUR, GBP gained against the greenback which fell around 0.5% on the back of press reports which suggested the ECB may be prepared to expand its bond buying program and also refrain from returning back to competitive style ECB auctions just yet. Also worth noting is that Wednesday’s PMI data suggested the sector was growing more strongly than expected, underpinning the view that the BoE was right to refrain from expanding its Asset Purchase Facility (APF). Still, gains were somewhat muted and the pair failed to break any key levels which suggests that the Bearish pattern remains in place. In terms of technical levels, support is seen at 1.5550/30/00 and then at 1.5490. However should the pair continue on its upward trend, it is expected to face strong resistance at the 100DMA at 1.5716.

USD/JPY

The pair finished the session higher and more importantly consolidated above 84.00 following solid Chinese manufacturing data, as well as on speculation that the ECB stands ready to announce further policy easing measures in order to ease pressure on the EU-bloc. In terms of technical levels, immediate resistance is seen at 84.40/50, which once breached will open the door towards 85.00. To the downside, support is seen at 83.70/40 and 83.00.

Compiled by Goldman, Talking Forex and Zero Hedge


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FW: Frontrunning: November 23


  • Posted by: EB
    Post date: 11/23/2010 – 10:28
    While Bernanke was putting the finishing touches on QE2 in DC, 50 global financial regulators met at the New York Fed to discuss regulation of world’s largest market. Instead of financial reform measures, what is being created is simply a massive new power center headed by the CFTC from which those at the top will vainly attempt to manipulate market prices and entrench favored institutions within the new framework.

Frontrunning: November 23

Tyler Durden's picture

  • Goodbye reserve currency: Yuan begins trading against the rouble (China Daily) this is big news
  • US has no good options over North Korean clash (FT)
  • South Korea Prepared to Implement Market-Stability Measures After Shelling (Bloomberg)
  • Focus Shifts to China as North Korea Tensions Escalate (Reuters)
  • China Inflation `Volcano’ May Prove Too Hot for Controls After Cash Surge (Bloomberg)
  • Growth in Thailand, Malaysia Slows, Heralding Caution in Asian Rate Moves (Bloomberg)
  • Irish PM Defiant as Coalition Cracks (FT)
  • IMF urges cuts in Irish minimum wage and dole payments (Irish Times)
  • Europe Has Not Yet Rescued Ireland (FT)
  • Markets’ Bail-Out Relief Rally Is Short-Lived (FT)
  • Fed Adopts Political Tactics on Critics (NYT)
  • Volatility bumps up agricultural trading costs (FT)

Economic Highlights:

  • Euro-Zone PMI Composite 55.4 – higher than expected. Consensus 53.6. Previous 53.8.
  • Euro-Zone PMI Manufacturing 55.5 – higher than expected. Consensus 54.4. Previous 54.6.
  • Euro-Zone PMI Services 55.2 – higher than expected. Consensus 53.2. Previous 53.3.
  • Germany GDP nsa for Q3 3.9% y/y – in line with expectations.Consensus 3.9%. Previous 3.9%.       
  • Germany GDP s.a. for Q3 0.7% q/q – in line with expectations.Consensus 0.7% q/q. Previous 0.7% q/q.
  • Germany PMI Manufacturing58.9 – higher than expected.Consensus 56.8. Previous 56.6.
  • Germany PMI Services58.6 – higher than expected.Consensus 55.8. Previous 56.0.
  • France Own-Company Production Outlook for November 11 – lower than expected.Consensus 15. Previous 16.
  • France Production Outlook Indicator for November 8 – lower than expected.Consensus 10. Previous 9.          
  • France Business Confidence Indicator for November 100 – lower than expected.Consensus 102. Previous 102.
  • France PMI Manufacturing for November 57.5 – higher than expected.Consensus 55. Previous 55.2.  
  • France PMI Services for November 55.7 – higher than expected.Consensus 54.8. Previous 54.8.
  • Italy Consumer Confidence Ind. sa for November 108.5 – higher than expected.Consensus 107.4. Previous 107.7.
  • Norway GDP s.a. for Q3 -1.6% q/q – lower than expected.Consensus 0.5% q/q. Previous 0.1% q/q.      
  • Norway GDP Mainland Norway s.a for Q3 0.9% q/q – in line with expectations.Consensus 0.9% q/q. Previous 0.5% q/q