Chris Becker


Macro Afternoon

Leading up to tonight’s FOMC meeting, stocks in Asia are somewhat mixed and rolling around without any big moves. The Australian dollar blipped up towards the 72 handle on the latest CPI print which was slightly higher than expected, while Yen was unchanged but offshore trading in Yuan strengthened considerably. Chinese shares are mixed with the


Bitcoin makes new low, JPMorgan says lower still

by Chris Becker Predictions are hard to make, especially about the future direction of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin came back from almost touching $3400USD per coin overnight, but nearly $100 lower than the breakdown price I suggested last week: JPMorgan recently upset the HODL crowd by suggesting the true value of Bitcoin resides around $2800USD, which would


Daily iron ore price update (hysteria pricing)

by Chris Becker Spot iron ore prices shot higher yesterday, making new highs as the fallout from Vale’s mine disaster continued to rattle markets. Texture from Reuters: China’s iron ore futures extended gains on Tuesday amid expectations of slower production by top producer Vale SA, but steel prices fell on caution ahead of the U.S.-China


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Risk sentiment was basically unchanged overnight with all eyes on the continued Brexit vote and re-negotiations with Pound Sterling dropping while other currencies remained stable. The leadup to the FOMC meeting is keeping caution at bay with the latest consumer confidence numbers also showing the effects of Trump’s government shutdown. Looking at


Links 30 January 2019

Global Macro/Markets Powell faces early reckoning on Fed’s $4-trillion question– Reuters A Better Way to Tax the Rich – New York Times The U.S. Has Slipped out of the Top 20 Countries in a Worldwide Corruption Index – Time Americas Top GOP senators propose repealing estate tax, which is expected to be paid by fewer than 2,000


Macro Afternoon

Caution reigns as traders weigh up the next FOMC meeting and continued US earnings, as the fallout from Caterpillar’s result last night and no further developments in US/China trade talks kept risk off the table. Currencies are relatively stable although the Kiwi is seeing a late bid, while the PBOC strengthening of the Yuan fix


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Some pretty poor earnings reports took the wind out of the sails of US stocks last night, with Caterpillar hurting from the ongoing US China trade war. Treasury yields fell as a result, with gold and other undollar currencies pushing higher as the USD retreated. I think US markets preferred the government


Daily iron ore price update (vale Vale)

by Chris Becker The iron ore complex jumped yesterday on the news that one of Vale’s Brazilian tailing dams collapsed, killing nearly 60 people and halting production at the Corrego do Feijao mine site. Dalian futures leapt 6% on the news, even though the production losses by Vale are not expected to be large to


Links 29 January 2019

Global Macro/Markets Howard Marks: The Wisdom of a Value Superinvestor – Yes, There Are Individual Economists Worth Paying Respect to. But Is Economics Worth Paying Respect to?  – Brad DeLong (in a word, no) US coal output forecast to fall despite Trump revival efforts Financial Times Americas Unemployment is low only because ’involuntary’ part-time work is


Macro Afternoon

An upbeat finish to the week here in Asia with most stock markets in the green going towards the close, with risk proxies USDJPY and Aussie dollar moving higher in unison to a risk on mood. The biggest mover of the day is Pound Sterling as reports swirl about a better “deal” deal for Brexit.


AMP slides as profits slashed in wake of scandal

by Chris Becker Couldn’t have happened to a nicer ticket puncher with a huge slash to profits in the wake of the Royal Commission. From ABC: In a statement to the ASX, AMP further downgraded its already weak profit guidance, reporting that its net profit for the 2018 calendar year would be “approximately $30 million”


Super Mario gooses the Euro

by Chris Becker ECB President Mario Draghi pushed the Euro off the cliff early this morning AEDST with his post-meeting press conference comments: “The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook have moved to the downside on account of the persistence of uncertainties related to geopolitical factors and the threat of protectionism, vulnerabilities in emerging markets and


Australian dollar enters doom loop

by Chris Becker More doom and gloom from the currency forecast brigade this morning, with HSBC and Rabobank both pipping sub-70c levels for the Australian dollar before the end of the year as the RBA is poised to cut rates after failing to dampen down the bubble it created. From Bloomberg: “The RBA just sat


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  A somewhat mixed night on equity markets with most of the action again in currencies as Mario Draghi pulled the rug out from under the Euro on his “downside risk” comments, as speculation continues to mount about the outcome of the US/China trade talks. The continued Trump government shutdown is not helping


Daily iron ore price update (no ships for Oz)

by Chris Becker Spot and future prices lifted for iron ore yesterday, while rebar had the biggest gains as volume starts to simmer down leading into the Chinese new year: Meanwhile, BHP and Bluescope are blaming “high labour costs” in their bid to stop using Australian cargo ships to transport iron ore. More from AFR:


Macro Afternoon

It’s been a very interesting day here in Asia with most action again centered on currency markets with the BOJ meeting, Australian unemployment and the NAB interest rate hike dominating. The Aussie dollar has been on a roller coaster, falling against almost ready after spiking following the unemployment print, with other currencies stable moving into


Is Germany about to enter recession?

by Chris Becker One of the most closely watched economic prints on the calendar, the monthly German ZEW Survey, was released on Wednesday. The continued Brexit imbroglio is obviously weighing on the dominant European economy, as does Trump’s Jacksonian trade policies which has seen the “current condition”  factor flop to a new four year low,


NAB hikes mortgage rates

by Chris Becker Oh it’s been a fun day so far trading Aussie dollar! First the numberwang unemployment print, now the National Australia Bank (NAB) hiking interest rates out of cycle. Bang comes down the Australian dollar: From the horse’s mouth: NAB Chief Customer Officer – Consumer Banking, Mike Baird said the decision to increase


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  A tenous night on Wall Street with solid earnings reports unable to breach the caution over the continued Trump government shutdown nor the tension over the US/China trade delegation, with the White House admitting a near certain 0% GDP growth for Q1 not helping either. Pound Sterling and Euro jumped higher on


Daily iron ore price update (more supply)

by Chris Becker Spot prices settled largely unchanged in the iron ore complex yesterday with 12 month futures pulling shorter as glut concerns mounted. Here are the latest prices and charts: Is there stimulus coming? Because there’s already a supply glut before the Chinese New Year holiday – more from Reuters: “There’s a big probability


Macro Afternoon

It’s been an interesting day here in Asia with most action on currency markets as shares continued their cautious mood from the falls on Wall Street overnight. The BOJ meeting and NZ CPI print caused the most movement, as the PBOC weakened Yuan again, offshore trading tumbled sending the pair back to its Friday low. Chinese


Australian dollar loses against the Kiwi

by Chris Becker The NZ 4Q CPI print came out this morning and was a little higher than expected at 1.9% annualised, which has put a little boost under the Kiwi: Unfortuantely this has seen the AUD/NZD pair fall, as it fails to beat resistance at the 1.06 handle – watch this carefully as its


2019 is not the year for oil

by Chris Becker 2019 is not likely to be a stellar year for oil prices, despite the 20% rally since Christmas last year as production ramps up despite “co-ordinated” cuts by OPEC, more shale oil comes online in the US and demand fades as global growth slows. First, on the Saudi’s penchant for saying one


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  A slew of concerns wracked overnight markets with the return of US traders not helping, the downgraded IMF forecasts plus mixed news and reports about the US/Chinese trade delegation leading to selloffs as overbought stocks pulled back. Poor sentiment on the closely watched German ZEW survey plus a slump in existing home


Daily iron ore price update (restocking slowly)

by Chris Becker Spot iron ore prices were all over the place yesterday with lower grade fines lifting while higher quality dropped and the Tianjin spot price was broadly steady. Steel prices are going nowhere despite restocking efforts ahead of the Chinese NY holiday. Meanwhile, BHP signalled yesterday that it needed a “perfect second half”


Macro Afternoon

A mild selloff across Asian share markets today following the mixed action overnight due to the lack of direction from closed US markets. Focus on the Canadian imbroglio over the Huawei CFO court case brought the Yen buyers to the fore and saw risk currencies like Aussie and Kiwi to falter. The latest IMF growth


Australian dollar flat as Yuan weakens

by Chris Becker The PBOC are back on the weakening bent today with no news about the US/China trade talks or Trump’s shutdown not pushing currency markets around. The Australian dollar is flat lining at the mid 71s against USD, ready to make a new daily low as it moves to breakdown before Thursday’s unemployment