This week’s economic and market themes piece is going to be a little shorter than usual because I have covered a lot of the major topics earlier in the week. Full commentary at Credit Writedowns Pro
The Euro area composite PMI rose to 54.0 from 53.1, making it unlikely that the ECB will move against deflation in May The Chinese HSBC/Markit flash manufacturing PMI was up to 48.3 from 48.0. However, this still shows contracting manufacturing and means China is still rebalancing Yesterday on Boom Bust, the finance show I produce, Marshall Auerback gave a good […]
It is about time I updated you on how the ten surprises for 2014 are faring. I actually have 14 but I only get credit on the first ten. The second ten are a bonus round. I am defining my surprises as events to which investors assign 1-in-3 odds of happening but which I believe have a more than 50 […]
Yesterday I looked at the Ukraine situation from a decision-tree framing. And my conclusion was that Western influence in Ukraine’s internal politics to aid regime change was a key factor in making the situation in Ukraine and its consequences more unpredictable. I believe markets are fairly complacent given the potential fallout, which could include military confrontation. Today, I want to use a different framing to look at Russian – US animosity over Ukraine. I am going to use the Franco-Prussian War as an analogy to give a sense of likely outcomes.
By Marc Chandler There have been three flash PMI reports today, and each was surprising. China and Germany surprised on the downside while the French surprise was on the upside. HSBC’s flash read on China’s manufacturing sector weakened for the fifth consecutive month. The flash March reading of 48.1 compares with the final February of 48.5. The forward looking new […]
Yesterday, I began my Ten Surprises List. As a reminder, the surprise list is loosely based off Byron Wien’s list of ten surprises which he has conducting doing at Blackstone and Morgan Stanley for the last thirty years. Wien defines his surprises as events to which investors assign 1-in-3 odds of happening but which he believes have a more than 50 percent likelihood of occurring in 2012. If the list is mediocre, I should get 3 or 4 out of ten. If I guess right at 50% odds, I should get 5 of ten. Anything above 5 means I had a good year.
Themes for today:
Commodities: soybean prices could fall due to increased supply. This would be troublesome for Argentina.
Emerging markets: Of the fragile five, India is looking better, Brazil is still a big concern.
Developed Markets: House price inflation makes France, the UK, Australia and Canada vulnerable to real economy shocks.
US: Consumers are only supporting 1-2% growth. Q1 will be weak. Inventory builds are still the big story.
Themes for today:
EM crisis in its infancy. Question goes to contagion
US economic growth is decent but weaknesses now supporting bonds
Europe is recovering with Spain brightest in periphery; France in trouble
I have some interesting ideas on the eurozone regarding France, a housing decline and its divergence from the rest of Europe. But I am going to save that for a later post. Suffice it to say the German – French spread is widening; it is at 61 basis points for 10-year securities. And France was the only nation except Greece that saw a manufacturing PMI below 50 in the last month’s data for the eurozone. The Netherlands, which I contrasted to France last month, had the highest numbers. What is this telling us?
In 2012, I started the subscriber newsletter out with Ten Surprises for 2012. The goal was to give Credit Writedowns Pro subscribers a list of things that investors only assigned one in three odds of occurring that I believed had a fifty percent or better chance of occurring. So if I was right, then I should get 5 out of ten predictions correct, while 3 to 4 out of ten should have been expected by investors. Last year, I graded myself at 7-3. Let’s see how I did this year.
Europe’s recovery is still uneven. Recent data in France and the Netherlands show one nation with contracting GDP and the other with expanding GDP. When will the recovery begin in earnest?
The Eurozone recovery continues to be uneven, powered primarily by a pickup in export-driven manufacturing and with only some nations participating. In particular we are witnessing a significant divergence between the area’s two largest economies, Germany and France. As German manufacturing firms gain momentum, the French recovery has stalled.