Category Archives: Quantitative Easing

Where is the bottom in Europe and Euro

Many analysts are so positive and belive Europe`s financial crisis is over. ECB`s Precident Mario Draghi started to pump a lot of money into the market and will continue to do that until next year. The Euro has plummeted, trading at 1,07, and many think that this is the bottom.

I see different things in my TA.

Euro symbol

First of all; The inflation rate is still -0,1 percent, and that mean deflation, which is not a good thing. The figure is skewed due to the size of Germany`s economy. Actually, things are worse in other Euro areas. Take a look at this;

Finland -0,1
France -0,1
Greece -2,1
Ireland -0,6
Italy -0,09
Poland -1,5
Spain -0,7
Switzerland -0,9

This is deflation, and this is not a growth story like Venezuela which had an inflation rate of 68,5 (!) in December 2014. How is it going on with the buying power in Europe right now? Falling prices is good for the unemployed people in Europe, because their buying power is weak.

But how many are unemployed in Europe right now? The unemployment rate in the Euro Area is 11,30, but once again; it`s even worse in some areas in Europe. Worst is Greece with an unemployment rate of 25,70. This is worse than Nigeria (23,90), and South Africa (24,30).

Spain 23,7
Italy 12,7
France 10,4
Finland 10,1
Ireland 10,0
Poland 11,7

Unemployment rate in the U.S is 5,50 right now, and that`s much better than it was a year ago. The unemployment rate in the Euro Area is better than earlier this year (11,40), but it`s still very high and not low enough to claim that the reversal is underway. Again; the numbers are skewed due to Germany`s low unemployment rate of 4,8 percent.

Youth unemployment rate is 22,90 in the Euro Area, which means about 5 million Europeans under the age of 25 are unemployed. This is a big problem. Take a look at the Youth unemployment rate numbers below;

Finland 21,4
France 24,7
Greece 51,2
Ireland 21,6
Italy 42,6
Poland 20,8
Spain 50,7
United Kingdom 15,9

Youth unemployment rate in the U.S is 12,3, but what is that compared to Greece or Spain with their 51,2 and 50,7 percent youth unemployment? Can you belive that? More than half of the teenagers at the age of 25 or below is unemployed in Greece and Spain.

It`s very expensive for a country to have a lot of unemployed people.

Severe austerity measures continue to this day and they are hollowing out Europe`s economic growth. Just take a look at the numbers. Before the Greek crisis flared up, their debt to GDP stood at 113 percent, but today their debt to GDP is amazing 174,9 percent.

Debt to GDP in Euro Areas is 90,9, but take a look at the other countries in Europe;

Italy 132,1
Ireland 123,3
France 92,2
Finland 59,3
Germany 79,0
Spain 97,7

To compare; Debt to GDP in the U.S is 101,53. In Japan 227,2 to name a few. You can imagine how Europe`s debt is after ECB`s QE program is finnish?

All the austerity measures that Europe has implemented have done nothing to reduce debt levels. Instead, they are hurting the people of Europe, and the economic growth is far away from the truth.

There is NO evidence Europe`s economy is improving, and when you look at the numbers you know that this is gonna take a long time to recover, and I`m not talking about a few weeks, a couple of months or three. But I know there are a lot of them who belive so.

The Euro is trading at 1,07 and its long-term uptrend line is broken and minor cyclical support is declining. If you follow TA, you can see that the Euro can go down to about 0,75. Good news will make the opposite trend.

The Euro can go down to 0,35 but I dont`t think it will go that low. It will be complete chaos in Europe once the currency falls back to its 2001 low of 0,80. Analysts at Morgan Stanley say the euro is undervalued by about 20%, and fair value should be about $1,32, they said.

The Euro Area is in trouble and Greece is running out of money, and the future of the common currency itself is in peril, because some investors is worried that one member`s exit could trigger an unpredictable unraveling.

Analysts at investment bank Morgan Stanley say the euro should be worth $1,59 based on Germany`s strength, and it ought to be $1,09 for Greece. So, Greece is closer to haveing a fair value than Germany. This valuation should trigger the question of who should leave the eurozone. Greece? Germany? Others?

The euro has never been less popular with the international community. Bearish bets have reached a record. People hate the euro, and that is not only because the protester Josephine Witt showered Mario Draghi with confetti.

Average yield on German government debt fell below zero for the first time today. Lending to Germany for ten years will earn you just 0,088 percent in yield. That`s nothing. Investors will soon be paying for owning a 10-year German bond.

Why should you own euros invested in negative-yielding securities when dollars generate positive returns? And how popular will euro be if we face a Grexit?

«Without deep economic reform or further relief, S&P expects Greece`s debt, other financial commitments to be unsustainable,» the rating company Standard & Poor`s Corp said.

The recovery in the U.S has been slow. Now Europe is next with QE. It didn`t work in Japan. Will it work in Europe?

 


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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shiny bull. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Shiny bull nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Shiny bull and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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Money for nothing

Hot dog is a product and you can buy it on the street. But it has a price. What if the price is $10? Or what about $5? What if I say $1? Does it sound better if I say I will pay you for every hot dog you buy? Anyway, that`s a great deal for you, and so is it for the money. It`s a product you can buy.

I can lend you some money, but what is the rate of interest? What if I say 10%? That`s a great deal for me. How about zero? Or even better, what if you can lend money from me, and at the end of the loan I pay you interest, just like a negative rate of interest. Is it fair?

Stack of $100 bills

Sorry buddy, but I`m not stupid. Of course I won`t pay you for a hot dog or money. I don`t know someone who will either. Do you know someone who would lend money for nothing? Or worse; who will lend money and get back less than the loan amount? No one I know.

People in Europe are looking for deals like this right now.

ECB`s QE is meant to reinvigorate Europe`s lethargic economies and prevent deflation. They started a bond-buying program on monday and investors knew that. They were positioned.

Germany issued 5-year bonds two weeks ago with negative interest rate, and they are not alone. Germany are joining a growing club of other countries in Europe who have done exactly the same. It may sound stupid, but investors do this because they want to make quick profit from it.

Investors was smart enough to think that ECB would buy German government bonds when they started the QE program on monday. But there is one problem; Germany runs a nearly balanced budget.

It means that they don`t issue many net new bonds. It might sell new bonds to replace those that mature, but investors already own those bonds. ECB came into the market as a new buyer and there weren`t any net new bonds.

The key question is this; price.

This is why investors was loading up before ECB`s bond-buying program. When Germany issued 5-year bonds, investors loaded up and waited for ECB to buy with both hands. The ECB must pay whatever price the market will bear to buy bonds. So what is the price?

Institutional buyers have been front-running the ECB program, and many of them have no intention of holding the bonds to maturity so the negative interest rate was of little consequence. As ECB work to devalue the euro, investors are repositioning themselves in stronger currencies, like the Swiss franc.

Since they want exposure to the stronger currency, they`re willing to pay negative interest rate on Swiss bonds.

Germany can afford to charge negative interest rates because of demand for their bonds from the ECB and the German Central Bank (the Bundesbank).

Non-euro countries like Switzerland are charging negative rates because they don`t want the hot money flowing into their currency. This is spilling over into the equity markets.

Private companies like Apple have started cashing in on the good, low and negative-interest rate deal for borrowers.

Apple have issued bonds in currencies like the Swiss franc because their cost of capital is so much cheaper than it would be in U.S dollars.

Apple issued bonds maturing in nine years at 0,375 percent interest and bonds maturing in 15 years at 0,75 percent.

Apple saved itself roughly 1,75 percent per year in interest by issuing bonds denominated in Swiss francs. 10-year U.S Treasury bonds yield is about 2,03 percent and 20-year bonds yield is 2,33 percent.

That`s not the whole story. Apple will use the money it raised to buy back shares and that will reduce the outstanding numbers of shares. With growing revenue and earnings, it can drive the stock price higher.

There is a risk in here, but in Apple`s case I don`t think they will struggle with this bet. They sold less than $1 billion in bonds, and has about $175 billion in cash stashed around the world, and the U.S dollar will remain strong.

Apple is a great example of how QE programs can drive interest rates lower and push the stock prices higher. Central banks are driving the markets.


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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shiny bull. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Shiny bull nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Shiny bull and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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What`s up with Euro, Dollar and Gold?

Gold is still in a bearish market and the precious metal is declining and hit a 3,5 month low today. At the same time we can see a strong rally in the U.S dollar, hitting a twelve years high. Gold is trading at $1,147,70.

The U.S dollar is soaring and the Euro is plummeting. When the U.S dollar hits a new twelve years high, the Euro hits a twelve-year low. Some analysts are betting that the euro can sink to the same level as the U.S dollar.

Stack of $100 bills

The euro started to fall sharply last summer when the ECB president Mario Draghi laid the groundwork for QE, but the euro has fallen even sharper since the €60 billion-a-month bond-buying programme started on monday this week.

The U.S dollar started the rally at the same time last summer, boosted by strong hints from the Fed that it could start to raise interest rates later this year. EUR/USD is trading at $1,0545 on Wednesday, and that is below $1,06 for the first time since April 2003.

Mario Draghi said cheaper borrowing costs for some eurozone countries suggested that QE – which tends to drive up the value of bonds, and thus depress their yields (which moves in the opposite direction), was already having an effect.

Some analysts have questioned whether the ECB will be able to find sufficient bonds to buy to hit its monthly target. German 10-year bond yields hit a record low of 0,2% on Wednesday. Other Eurozone countries bond yields are also at or near record lows.

The German bond yields at record lows is mainly due to safe-heaven demand from investors, while the other European country bond yields falling is due to the ECB`s plans to buy sovereign bonds as part of its QE of it monetary policy.

A strong dollar is good for the U.S consumers. They can buy cheap things from Europe and Asia, and at the same they have low gas prices. It sounds like party to me. One dollar now buys almost 16 pesos.

The Turkish lira, the Mexican peso, hit an all-time low to the dollar. The Indonesia rupiah hit a 17-year low of 13,1 to the dollar. The Norwegian krone hit a 13-year low and the Brazilian real just hit a 10-year low to the dollar.

The broad Dollar Index (DXY) has now wopped by 23 percent since last summer. That`s the most aggressive rise in more than 34 years! Some of the indicators is more overbought now than at any point in modern history.

DXY 25 yr

(Picture: DXY Index)

As you can see from the chart in RSI, it is overbought. More than we were at the depths of the 2008 credit crisis. That crises caused an immense flight to safety rally in the buck, along with the biggest rally in U.S Treasury prices ever. DXY`s previous close is 99,68.

The dollar rally is now broadly pressuring emerging markets, hurting commodity prices, and undermining the profits of multinational U.S corporations. As the dollar increase, commodities and emerging markets cry.

The problem is that the dollar rally is getting out of control!

 


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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shiny bull. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Shiny bull nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Shiny bull and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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Inflation and Gold

Investors buy gold because they think that gold is a hedge against inflation. The value of the paper currency falls in terms of the goods and services that it can buy and inflation goes in the opposite direction; up.

Investors love gold when inflation is high and as you may know, gold has a direct relationship with inflation. So when inflation goes up so does the demand for gold. Imminent hyper inflation was expected during the QE program, but that is not the reality right now.

You can track inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This index measures how the price of a basket of consumer goods and services changes. CPI will give you a picture of the increase in the level of prices.

us cpi

This data is released by the U.S Bureau of Labor statistics on a monthly basis. U.S inflation rate is -0,09%, (released Feb 26, 2015), compared to 0,76% in December and 1,58% last year. This is lower than the long-term average of 3,32%. Down -111,8%.

Inflation fell in January for a third straight month as U.S consumers continued to spend less on gas, food prices flattened and as costs retreated for new vehicles,used cars and trucks, household furnishings and operations, airline fares, alcohol and tobacco. U.S inflation turned negative for the first time since 2009.

The CPI measures what American pays for everything from cloths, airline tickets, fruits and vegetables to cars. Declines were again led by energy as prices at the pump tumbled about 19%. Gasoline prices have plunged 35% over the past 12 months.

A slower pace of inflation means consumers can buy more with their money, but a sustained decline over and extended period (deflation), can wreak havoc on an economy. Falling energy prices are beginning to filter down into other areas.

Core US inflation advanced 1,6% over the last 12 months, and the core 12-month reading is the benchmark inflation figure monitored by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) as it helps in deciding where to set the key interests rate.

«We think inflation is going to move lower before it moves higher. Declining oil prices have had a very major influence,» Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said in a testimony.

The current level remains below the Fed`s 2% annual inflation target. In written remarks read to Congress, Janet Yellen stated:

“The Committee expects inflation to decline further in the near term before rising gradually toward 2 percent over the medium term as the labor market improves further and the transitory effects of lower energy prices and other factors dissipate, but we will continue to monitor inflation developments closely.”

Consumer Price Index data for February inflation and the annual period is scheduled for release on March 24, 2015.

 


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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shiny bull. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Shiny bull nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Shiny bull and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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Who will win the currency war?

Let`s face it; there is a war out there. Not World War I or World War II, but a currency war that started five years ago. Who was the winner in WWI? And who was the winner in WWII? And who do you think will win the currency war that is going on now?

This currency war is also known as competitive devaluation. Countries compete against each other to achieve a relatively low exchange rate for their own currency. As the price to buy a particular currency falls so too does the real price of exports from the country. Imports become more expensive.

Stack of $100 bills

(Picture: U.S Dollar)

Employees in domestic industry will face a boost in demand for their products and services from both domestic and foreign markets, but the price will increase for imports and that can harm citizens` purchasing power, and that in turn can lead to a reduction in peoples standard of living.

The problem is when all the central banks are doing the same and this situation can lead to a general decline in international trade, which can harm all countries.

The world`s biggest financial center Singapore is the latest to take part of this currency war. The Singapore dollar tumbled to a four-year low against the US dollar after the Monetary Authority unexpectedly stymied currency appreciation.

Singapore is a compact financial center, uses exchange rates instead of lending rates to control its currency, as it is a very trade-oriented economy. The bank also reduced its inflation target, forecasting a negative 0,5 percent in consumer prices for 2015.

The reserve Bank of India also decided to cut reserve rates by 25 basis points to lower the inflation, they may again lower its lending rate next week. India, Japan and Russia have all seen a drop in the value of their currencies. Nine countries eased policy in January alone.

What is their goal? Their goal is to weaken their currency and gain an economic edge.

Japan is still «printing» money and ECB announced a week ago a €1,14 trillion quantitative easing plan and that sent the euro down to an 11-year low. The Swiss National Bank took precautions a week before that by removing the peg between the Swiss franc and the euro, and that sent the currency soaring 15 percent in a few seconds.

A negative interest rate of 0,25% a year on deposits means putting Swiss francs in a bank account will cost you 0,25% more than keeping them under the mattress. The plunge in the Russian ruble this year is down about 50% against the U.S dollar.

Check out the Japanese yen, which is down 25% over the past two years. It`s down about 20% against the U.S dollar since the summer. It is cheaper to buy a new iPhone in Tokyo and have it shipped over than it is to buy one in the U.S.

A cheap renminbi was a cornerstone in the Chinese industrial revolution, but renminbi has increased about 20% in the past four years because of the plunge in the yen. A weaker yen is good for Japanese jobs and industry because it makes foreign imports more expensive in Japan, while making Japanese exports cheaper abroad.

They all want to make their own currency cheap to boost exports and inflation.

But how can someone win if everyone is weaken their own currency against everyone else?

If you are familiar with fx trading, you know that if you buy one currency, you sell another at the same time, for example EUR/USD. If euro goes down, USD goes up, but both can`t go up or down at the same time. Here is the point.

Everyone can`t win and some of them have to lose, but who?

The U.S dollar have so far been a safe heaven and is getting stronger every day. So far, a great winner. Yen and Euro have been big losers. The U.S dollar soared while others plunged. This is expensive for U.S exporters, and Fed will probably do something very soon to fight back. This is a zero-sum game.

For the first time in history, all the worlds central banks are «printing money» as all the countries have generally preferred to maintain a high value for their currency. Countries have generally allowed market forces to work, or have participated in systems of managed exchanges rates. An exception occurred when currency war broke out in the 1930`s. As countries abandoned the Gold standard during the Great Depression, they used currency devaluations to stimulate their economies.

Since this effectively pushes unemployment overseas, trading partners quickly retaliated with their own devaluations. The period is considering to have been an adverse situation for all concerned, as unpredictable changes in exchange rates reduced overall international trade.

According to economist Richard N. Cooper, a substantial devaluation is one of the most «traumatic» policies a government can adopt (1971). It almost always resulted in crises of outrage and calls for the government to be replaced. A strong currency was commonly seen as a mark of prestige, while devaluation was associated with weak governments.

President Barrack Obama has defended the QE program, saying it would help the U.S economy to grow, which is good for the rest of the world. ECB will start their new QE program in a few weeks and if the economy improves in order to avoid inflation, there may be a promise to destroy any newly created money.

A reason for preferring devaluation common among emerging economies is that maintaining a relatively low exchange rate helps them build up foreign exchange reserves, which can protect against future financial crises.

The battle goes on between the Fed and the rest of the world`s foreign central banks. It`s war.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shiny bull. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Shiny bull nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Shiny bull and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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