Chris Becker


Daily iron ore price update (Port Hedland supply)

by Chris Becker The iron ore complex inverted yesterday with spot prices and short term Dalian futures falling back while the Singapore long dated futures rose as the restocking meme slowed down: Port Hedland is fast tracking the wealth out of the country with record exports, surpassing half a billion tonnes again in 2019. From


Macro Afternoon

Risk took a calm sigh here today in Asia as the relief rally widened, with stocks rallying hard alongside risk proxies like USDJPY. The PBOC daily Yuan fix saw a big drop in offshore trading, down to the 6.92 level and almost a yearly low while the latest Australian trade balance figures didn’t effect the


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Risk markets were in relief mode last night as the teleprompter did the talking for Trump, easing off on strikes against Iran, which sent the USD higher against nearly everything and pulled out the stops on Wall Street, although defense stocks were disappointed. Bond yields are higher, while the USDJPY proxy jumped


Daily iron ore price update (Indian export pressure)

by Chris Becker Spot iron ore prices continued their New Year rally while long dated futures markets moderated as the restocking meme continued apace: Meanwhile the Indian iron ore industry is desperate for their government to remove export duties as they find they can’t compete with the Chinese cheap market: It complains that iron ore


Macro Afternoon

Well it’s been an interesting day to say the least here in Asia for risk markets with the Iranian attack on US bases in Iraq dominating the news and sentiment. Gold spiked above the $1600USD per ounce level alongside Bitcoin and other safe haven assets, setting of a chain of cash spilling out of stocks


Iran hits back and attacks US base in Iraq

by Chris Becker And so it begins. Via AP: Iranian state TV says Tehran has launched “tens” of surface-to-surface missiles at Iraq’s Ain Assad air base housing U.S. troops in response to the killing of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. It was not immediately clear whether the purported missile strikes struck the base or whether any


Australian dollar crashes below 69 US cents

by Chris Becker Not a good night for Australian dollar bulls with the Pacific Peso kicked down below 69 cents against the USD in what at first glance looks like a technical move: The risk proxy AUDNZD pair was also hit hard, moving to a new monthly low, surpassing the July 2019 terminus: Looking at


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Risk markets continue to stumble around in the new year with the latest US economic data surprising slightly to the upside, pushing the USD higher against almost everything, but in particular the Australian dollar which crashed to a monthly low. Tensions over Iran have almost dissipated – the calm before the storm


Daily iron ore price update (forecasts bloom)

by Chris Becker The iron ore price complex had a slight breather yesterday as spot prices lifted slightly alongside futures as the major steelmaking city Tangshan lifted its second-level smog alert, helping boost demand as controls are eased. The stupidly composed Department of Industry, Innovation and Science recently released its forecasts (dart boards size not


Links 8 January 2020

Global Macro/Investing/Climate Change: Shutdown of Coal-Fired Plants in U.S. Saves Lives and Improves Crop Yields. Research found that between 2005 and 2016, the shutdown of coal-fired units saved an estimated 26,610 lives and 570 million bushels of corn, soybeans and wheat in their immediate vicinities  – UCSD The Fed Should Keep Looking Forward, Not Retreat


Macro Afternoon

There’s a more positive mood across Asia today due to Wall Street brushing aside any concerns about WW3 overnight, as the USD holds firmer across the board. The long wait to the February RBA meeting is seeing probability of a cut rising in the wake of poor macro data and the upcoming slashing of the


Car sales tumble in 2019

by Chris Becker Car sales in 2019 dipped nearly 8% year on year according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, with just over 1 million new vehicles sold. Some details via VFACTS: The data shows that SUVs accounted for 45.5 per cent market share, up from 43 per cent in 2018. Passenger cars managed


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Risk markets remained cautious overnight in response to the ongoing US/Iranian tensions with European stocks dropping before a late rally on Wall Street saw Treasury yields rise as the mood improved. Gold held on to its big breakout while oil prices moderated only slightly. The USD rose against Yen in the risk-on


Links 7 January 2020

  Global Macro/Investing/Climate Change: The United States’ main allies are abandoning Trump over his ‘dangerous escalation’ with Iran – BI Oil surges again after Trump threatens Iraq sanctions, Iran retaliation – Reuters Climate crisis fuels year of record temperatures in UK, says Met Office | Summer and winter records tumble in 2019 – The Guardian


Macro Afternoon

There’s a lot to digest for risk markets starting the trading week here in Asia with the return of Japanese traders to their desks adding to the volatility. Gold got an awesome bid in the morning, gapping some $20 higher to a near seven year high, as other risk proxies and safe havens reacted to


Iraqi Parliament votes to kick out US troops

by Chris Becker Well this is a turn after the US assassinated a top Iranian general in Iraq over the weekend  – and it would at least make Trump happy by undoing even more of Obama’s legacy if the US completely got out of Iraq. From Reuters: Iraq’s parliament called on Sunday for U.S. and


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  The positive start to the trading year soured on Friday night on the news of the US airstrike assassination of a top Iranian general, combined with a very disappointing ISM manufacturing print saw US stocks fall. US Treasury yields fell alongside the USDJPY pair as safe haven bids took hold, while both


Links 6 January 2020

Global Macro/Investing/Climate Change: The Middle Class Risks Consuming Itself: Health care and education employ a lot of people and sell services they increasingly can’t afford. – Bloomberg Thousands of Australians forced from their homes by rampaging bushfires now find themselves stuck in makeshift camps, fearful for the future & turned refugees in their own country


Macro Afternoon

The risk complex is reeling from higher tensions in the Middle East as a top Iranian general is killed, with oil prices spiking considerably in the wake of the attack. Stocks are generally down in the region, although the local market was spared while gold also spiked higher on the tension. The Shanghai Composite is


Daily iron ore price update (rebar to the moon)

by Chris Becker The iron ore complex started the new year in a complicated style yesterday with spot iron ore and Shanghai steel futures retreating despite a big monetary policy goosing by the PBOC to help spur on economic growth. Longer dated futures did better, although rebar took a hit as well as inventory levels


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  The start of the trading year was much better in the Northern Hemisphere overnight, with Wall Street rallying as tech stocks pushed the risk complex higher, despite a reversal in strength in USD which saw Euro and Pound Sterling fall. Gold prices continued their uptrend while Bitcoin remains depressed below the $7000


Links 3 January 2020

Global Macro, Markets and Investing: The 2010s were a lost decade for climate. We can’t afford a repeat, scientists warn. – WaPo The eurozone’s tectonic plates are shifting. Debate on the future of monetary union has come out into the open — that is a game-changer – FT Without Evidence, Trump Accuses Iran of ‘Orchestrating


Macro Afternoon

The big move on the return of Asian stock markets today after the New Year was cut the PBOC cutting banks’s reserve requirement ratio by 50 bps, starting next week which in effect releases nearly $1trillion in funding. At the same time, a drop to 6.96 on the official daily Yuan fix has seen risk


Australian dollar soars into New Year

by Chris Becker Well the Pacific Peso has started the new year over the 70 handle versus USD, capping off a big rally since the start of December: In the short term, momentum is hugely overcooked, running at twice the normal level that happens during a rally, so expect a retracement soon. This rally is


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  The end of the trading year was marked by a lot of profit taking and squaring up as the month end and quarterly end triple witching saw major rebalances in equity portfolios, although Wall Street was largely immune from any downside volatility. Gold finished on a high while the USD came back