Feb 9/No changes in GLD and SLV despite the whack today/Gold hit due to Trump’s “new tax policy’ to be announced in two weeks/it has not chance of passing/Markets are up despite China’s tightening mode (plus an increase in Chinese mortgage rates)/The EU ambassador from the USA states that Greece will be forced into a GREXIT/ISIS fires 4 rockets into Eilat (3 were intercepted by the Dome and the 4th landed harmlessly/Anarchy in the city of Espirito Santo Brazil with hundred dead as police are on strike/David Stockman’s commentary tonight a must read as he outlines what will happen in the USA in the next few months/Final draft

Gold at (1:30 am est) $1235.10 DOWN    $2.50

silver  at $17.72:  UP 4  cents

Access market prices:

Gold: $1229.25

Silver: $17.66



The Shanghai fix is at 10:15 pm est last night and 2:15 am est early this morning

The fix for London is at 5:30  am est (first fix) and 10 am est (second fix)

Thus Shanghai’s second fix corresponds to 195 minutes before London’s first fix.

And now the fix recordings:

THURSDAY gold fix Shanghai

Shanghai FIRST morning fix Feb 9/17 (10:15 pm est last night): $  1251.40

NY ACCESS PRICE: $1241.60 (AT THE EXACT SAME TIME)/premium $9.80


Shanghai SECOND afternoon fix:  2: 15 am est (second fix/early  morning):$   1251.13


   SPREAD/ 2ND FIX TODAY!!:  $11.33

China rejects NY pricing of gold  as a fraud/arbitrage will now commence fully


London FIRST Fix: Feb9/2017: 5:30 am est:  $1241.75   (NY: same time:  $1242.00   (5:30AM)


London Second fix Feb 9.2017: 10 am est:  $1242.10 (NY same time: $1242.00  (10 AM)

It seems that Shanghai pricing is higher than the other  two , (NY and London). The spread has been occurring on a regular basis and thus I expect to see arbitrage happening as investors buy the lower priced NY gold and sell to China at the higher price. This should drain the comex.

Also why would mining companies hand in their gold to the comex and receive constantly lower prices.  They would be open to lawsuits if they knowingly continue to supply the comex despite the fact that they could be receiving higher prices in Shanghai.


For comex gold:



For silver:


For silver: FEBRUARY



Let us have a look at the data for today



In silver, the total open interest FELL by 21556 contracts DOWN to 191,380 with respect to YESTERDAY’S TRADING.    In ounces, the OI is still represented by just less THAN 1 BILLION oz i.e.  .957 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 137% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).


In gold, the total comex gold ROSE BY 8,528 contracts WITH THE RISE IN  THE PRICE GOLD ($3.40 with YESTERDAY’S trading ).The total gold OI stands at 424,071 contracts

we had 0 notice(s) filed upon for nil oz of gold.


With respect to our two criminal funds, the GLD and the SLV:


We had no changes in tonnes of gold at the GLD

Inventory rests tonight: 832.58 tonnes



we had no changes in silver into the SLV

THE SLV Inventory rests at: 334.713 million oz



First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver FALL by 2,556 contracts DOWN to 191,380 AS SILVER WAS DOWN 5 CENTS with YESTERDAY’S trading. The gold open interest ROSE by 8,528 contracts UP to 424,071 WITH THE RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD OF $3.40  (YESTERDAY’S TRADING)

(report Harvey


2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report



2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY:  Bloomberg



i)Late  WEDNESDAY night/THURSDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 16.19 POINTS OR .51%/ /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 40.01 POINTS OR .17% . The Nikkei closed DOWN 99.93 POINTS OR 0.53% /Australia’s all ordinaires  CLOSED UP 0.25%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.8662/Oil ROSE to 52.75 dollars per barrel for WTI and 55.50 for Brent. Stocks in Europe ALL IN THE GREEN. Offshore yuan trades  6.8487 yuan to the dollar vs 6.8725  for onshore yuan.THE SPREAD BETWEEN ONSHORE AND OFFSHORE NARROWS QUITE A BIT AS DOLLARS ARE ATTEMPTING TO LEAVE CHINA’S SHORES. ONSHORE YUAN STRONGER AS IS OFFSHORE YUAN COUPLED WITH THE STRONGER DOLLAR





none today


i)The following is very important.  We have been reporting that China is in a “tightening mode” as they are concerned with inflation. They have drained 715 billion yuan form circulation without a corresponding reverse repo.  It sure looks serious enough and this could have devastating effects on the world’s global economy

( zero hedge)

ii)Chinese leader Xi Jinping sends a letter to Trump seeking a “constructive relationship

( zero hedge)

iii)Bitcoin plunges in value after Chinese exchanges suspend withdrawals.  Of course gold is the beneficiary

( zero hedge)

iv)Here is more proof that China is tightening and is also very scared on inflaton:



Trumps new ambassador Ted Malloch lays it out perfectly as he states that Greece is likely to severe ties with Germany and exit the Euro

( zero hedge)

ii)The yield curve in Greece totally inverts with the 10 yr bond yield at 7.85% and the 2 yr at 10% signifying a huge potential for a GREXIT.  It seems that we have 2 parties that cannot agree on what to do with respect to Greece; the IMF who wants to cut Greece’s debt but Germany says no.  the IMF states that Greece cannot live with their huge debt and cannot have a primary surplus of 3.5% in perpetuity.  If the IMF is not  part of the Troika is bailing out Greece, then Germany will bail which will make the GREXIT a certainty and bring chaos to the monetary EU

( zero hedge)



It sure looks like Iran is not scared from Trump’s scare tactics

( zero hedge)


Russian airstrike accidentally kills 3 Turkish soldiers stationed in Syria with un co- ordinated attacks

(courtesy zero hedge)


This does not look good.  Seven rockets were fired from ISIS and 4 from Egypt’s side trying to hit the holiday capital of Israel Eilat. Three were intercepted by the Dome and the 4th landed harmless in no man’s land. Also one mortar landed in the Golan Heights.  Israel will respond in kind

Israel/Jerusalem Post


i)Deutsche bank/China/World growth

The real reason for the growth in the world was due to stimulation of the Chinese economy in 2016-2017.  As we have pointed out to you, China is now undergoing a tightening and this will have a devastating effect on world growth

( zero hedge)

ii)The Central Bank of Mexico raises its interest rate by 50 basis points as expected  which causes the Mexican Peso to rise

( zero hedge)


none today


Anarchy in the northern city of Espirito Santo Brazil as the police went on strike demanding a doubling of their pay.  The police earn 800 dollars equiv per month.

So far the count is over 100 dead.

( zero hedge)


i)Gold trading today:

Absolute crooks:  the bankers supplied 11.1 tonnes of paper gold short to knock the price down by 5.00 dollars.

(courtesy Dave Kranzler/IRD)

ii)An excellent commentary from Eric Sprott today.  He is watching the gold ETF’s from China.  This instrument is real physical metal and it has been rising daily. If 10 tonnes of gold is added by Chinese investors per day on a 250 day year, 2500 tonnes of gold will be accumulated which is over 100% of annual global supply (ex China ex Russia)

( Eric Sprott/Kingworlds/gata)

iii)I brought this story to you yesterday but I am repeating it today because of its significance.  Eric Sprott above also commented on it:

( Bloomberg/GATA)

iv)As I have pointed out to you each month on the FRBNY gold  report, I speculated correctly that the Germany has repatriated all of its 300 tonnes of gold that it has earmarked to be repatriated, 3 yrs ahead of schedule.  Germany still need 111 tonnes of gold to come across the pond from the Bank of France.  It’s goal is to have 50% on German soil and 50% in NY


( zero hedge)



i a)Early trading today:

Algos gone wild with Trump announcement on taxes and subsidies to the airlines to compete with foreign airlines;

( zero hedge)

1b)The border tax war is on as we highlighted to you over these past several weeks:

(courtesy zero hedge)

ii)Initial jobless claims plunge to 44 year lows despite continuing claims rising.  Of course the big question is what happens next.

( zero hedge)

iii)The Senate confirms Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The fun will now begin


Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest ROSE BY 8,528 CONTRACTS UP to an OI level of 424,071 WITH THE RISE IN THE  PRICE OF GOLD ( $3.40 with YESTERDAY’S trading).  We are now in the contract month of FEBRUARY and it is one of the better delivery months  of the year. In this next big active delivery month of February we had a LOSS of 62 contracts DOWN to 1387.   We had 3 notices served upon yesterday and therefore we LOST 59 contracts or an additional 5900 oz will NOT stand for delivery and these were cash settled for a fiat bonus.   The next non active contract month of March saw it’s OI fall by 49 contracts lowering to 2079.The next big active month is April and here the OI ROSE by 6072 contracts UP to 288,888.

We had 0 notice(s) filed upon today for NIL oz


And now for the wild silver comex results.  Total silver OI FELL by 2556 contracts FROM  193,936 DOWN TO 191,380 as the price of silver FELL IN PRICE TO THE TUNE OF 5 CENTS with respect to YESTERDAY’S trading.  We are moving  further from the all time record high for silver open interest set on Wednesday August 3/2016:  (224,540).

The  active month of February saw the OI RISE by 13 contract(s) UP TO  179.  We had 1 notice(s) served upon yesterday so we GAINED 14 CONTRACTS  or an additional 70,000 oz will stand.

The next big active delivery month is March and here the OI decrease by 6576 contracts down to 113,427 contracts. For comparison purposes last year on the same date only 98,584 contracts were standing.

We had 0 notice(s) filed for NIL oz for the FEBRUARY contract.

VOLUMES: for the gold comex

Today the estimated volume was 233,192  contracts which is good.

Yesterday’s confirmed volume was 233,777 contracts  which is good

volumes on gold are getting higher!

INITIAL standings for FEBRUARY
 Feb 9/2017.
Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz   nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz  
 362.09 OZ
5 kilobars
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz nil oz


Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz 
 48,225.000  oz
1500 kilobars
No of oz served (contracts) today
0 notice(s)
NIL oz
No of oz to be served (notices)
1387 contracts
138,700 oz
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
5119 notices
511,900 oz
15.922 tonnes
Total accumulative withdrawals  of gold from the Dealers inventory this month   NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month     121,574.9 oz
Today we HAD 3 kilobar transaction(s)/
Today we had 0 deposit(s) into the dealer:
total dealer deposits:  nil oz
We had nil dealer withdrawals:
total dealer withdrawals:  nil oz
we had 2  customer deposit(s):
 i) Into Scotia: 16,075.000 oz  (500 kilobars)..dubious!
ii) Into JPMorgan: 32,150.000 oz  (1000 kilobars)  dubious!!
total customer deposits; 48,225.000 oz  1500 kilobars
We had 2 customer withdrawal(s)
i) Out of Delaware: 201.34 oz
iii) Out of Manfra:  160.75 oz (5 kilobars)
total customer withdrawal: 362.09 oz
We had 0  adjustment(s)

Today, 0 notice(s) were issued from JPMorgan dealer account and 0 notices were issued from their client or customer account. The total of all issuance by all participants equates to 0 contract(s)  of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by jPMorgan dealer and 0 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by jPMorgan customer account.

To calculate the initial total number of gold ounces standing for the FEBRUARY. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (5119) x 100 oz or 511,900 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEBRUARY (1387 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (0) x 100 oz per contract equals 650,600 oz, the number of ounces standing in this  active month of FEBRUARY.
Thus the INITIAL standings for gold for the FEBRUARY contract month:
No of notices served so far (5119) x 100 oz  or ounces + {(1387)OI for the front month  minus the number of  notices served upon today (0) x 100 oz which equals 650,600 oz standing in this non active delivery month of FEBRUARY  (20.419 tonnes)
 we lost 59 contracts or an additional 5900 oz will not stand in this active delivery month.
On first day notice for FEB 2016, we had 20.124 tonnes of gold standing. At the conclusion of the month we had only 7.9876 tonnes standing. The data suggests that we had almost identical amounts standing in Feb ’16 and Feb 2017; however today’s totals already surpassed the final amt which eventually stood  in 2016.(already 15.922 tonnes vs 7.9876 at the end of Feb).
I have now gone over all of the final deliveries for this year and it is startling.
First of all:  in 2015 for the 13 months: 51 tonnes delivered upon for an average of 4.25 tonnes per month.
Here are the final deliveries for all of 2016 and the first month of January 2017
Jan 2016:  .5349 tonnes  (Jan is a non delivery month)
Feb 2016:  7.9876 tonnes (Feb is a delivery month/deliveries this month very low)
March 2016: 2.311 tonnes (March is a non delivery month)
April:  12.3917 tonnes (April is a delivery month/levels on the low side
And then something happens and from May forward deliveries boom!
May; 6.889 tonnes (May is a non delivery month)
June; 48.552 tonnes ( June is a very big delivery month and in the end deliveries were huge)
July: 21.452 tonnes (July is a non delivery month and generally a poor one/not this time!)
August: 44.358 tonnes (August is a good delivery month and it came to fruition)
Sept:  8.4167 tonnes (Sept is a non delivery month)
Oct; 30.407 tonnes complete.
Nov.    8.3950 tonnes.
DEC.   29.931 tonnes
JAN/     3.9004 tonnes
FEB/ 20.236 tonnes
total for the 14 months;  246.24 tonnes
average 17.588 tonnes per month vs last yr  59.51 tonnes total for 14 months or 4.250 tonnes average per month (last yr).
Total dealer inventory 1,416,640.129 or 44.06 tonnes DEALER RAPIDLY LOSING GOLD
Total gold inventory (dealer and customer) = 8,983,447.47 or 279.42 tonnes 
Several months ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today the total inventory rests at 279.43 tonnes for a  loss of 24  tonnes over that period.  Since August 8/2016 we have lost 75 tonnes leaving the comex. However I am including kilobar transactions and they are very suspect at best
I have a sneaky feeling that these withdrawals of gold in kilobars are being used in the hypothecating process  and are being used in the raiding of gold!

The gold comex is an absolute fraud.  The use of kilobars and exact weights makes the data totally absurd and fraudulent! To me, the only thing that makes sense is the fact that “kilobars: are entries of hypothecated gold sent to other jurisdictions so that they will not be short with their underwritten derivatives in that jurisdiction.  This would be similar to the rehypothecated gold used by Jon Corzine at MF Global.
And now for silver
 feb 9. 2017
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory  nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
nil 0z
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory 
 1,189,997.730 oz
No of oz served today (contracts)
No of oz to be served (notices)
179 contracts
(895,000  oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 147 contracts (735,000 oz)
Total accumulative withdrawal of silver from the Dealers inventory this month  NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal  of silver from the Customer inventory this month   4,852,502.9 oz
today, we had  0 deposit(s) into the dealer account:
total dealer deposit: nil oz
we had nil dealer withdrawals:
total dealer withdrawals: nil oz
we had 0 customer withdrawal(s):
 we had 3 customer deposit(s):
i) Into HSBC: 611,716.600 oz
ii) into Delaware:  988.800 oz
iii) Into Scotia: 577,292.33 oz
x) Into JPMorgan:  zero  oz**
deposits into JPMorgan have now stopped.
total customer deposits;  1,189,997.730   oz
 we had 0  adjustment(s)
The total number of notices filed today for the FEBRUARY. contract month is represented by 0 contract(s) for NIL oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in FEBRUARY., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at  147 x 5,000 oz  = 735,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of feb (179) and the number of notices served upon today (0) x 5000 oz equals the number of ounces standing 
Thus the initial standings for silver for the FEBRUARY contract month:  147(notices served so far)x 5000 oz  + OI for front month of FEB.( 179 ) -number of notices served upon today (0)x 5000 oz  equals  1,630,000 oz  of silver standing for the Feb contract month. This is  huge for a non active delivery month in silver. 
We gained 14 contracts or an additional 70,000 oz will  stand for delivery.
At first day notice for the FEB/2016 silver contract month we initially had 515,000 oz standing for delivery.  By the conclusion of the delivery month we had 835,000 oz stand as some of the bankers required immediate silver inventory.
Volumes: for silver comex
Today the estimated volume was 81,323 which is excellent
FRIDAY’S  confirmed volume was 79,174 contracts  which is very good.
Total dealer silver:  30.205 million (close to record low inventory  
Total number of dealer and customer silver:   182.067million oz
The total open interest on silver is NOW moving away from  its all time high with the record of 224,540 being set AUGUST 3.2016.


And now the Gold inventory at the GLD

feb 9/no changes at the GLD/Inventory rests at 832.58 tonnes

Feb 8/another “deposit” of 5.63 tonnes of gold into the GLD/The addition is a paper addition/total inventory: 832.58 tonnes

Feb 7/another huge fake deposit of 8.30 tonnes of gold into the GLD/the addition is a paper addition and no doubt not physical/ total inventory: 826.95 tonnes

FEB 6/a huge deposit of 7.43 tonnes of gold into the GLD/Inventory rests at 818.65 tonnes

FEB 3/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 811.22 tonnes

Feb 2/another huge deposit of 1.48 tonnes/inventory rests at 811.22 tonnes

Feb 1/a huge “deposit” of 10.67 tonnes of gold into the GLD/Inventory rests at 809.74 tonnes.  this should stop GLD from sending gold to Shanghai.

JAN 31/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 799.07 tonnes

jan 30/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 799.07 tonnes

Jan 27/no changes at the GLD/Inventory rests at 799.07 tonnes

Jan 26/no changes at the GLD/Inventory rests at 799.07 tonnes/

jan 25/another exactly the same withdrawal as yesterday: 50.4 tonnes and again this was used in the whacking of gold today/inventory rests at 799.07 tonnes

jan 24/a huge withdrawal of 5.04 tonnes and probably this was used today in the whacking of gold/inventory rests at 804.11 tonnes

Jan 23/a big change/this time a deposit of 1.19 tonnes of gold into the GLD/inventory rests at 809.15 tonnes.  The drainage of gold from the GLD to Shanghai has now stopped!

Jan 20/no changes in gold inventory a the GLD/Inventory rests at 807.96 tonnes

Jan 19/no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 807.96 tonnes

Jan 18/no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 807.96 tonnes

Jan 17/17/a deposit of 2.96 tonnes of gold/inventory at the GLD rests at 807.96 tonnes.  I guess there is no more gold inventory to sent to C+Shanghai

Jan 13/17/there were no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 805.00 tonnes

Jan 12/2017/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 805.00 tonnes

Jan 11/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 805.00 tonnes

JAN 10/no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 805.00 tonnes


Feb 8/2017/ Inventory rests tonight at 832.58 tonnes


Now the SLV Inventory
Feb 9/no changes in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 334.713 million oz
feb 8/No changes in inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 334.713 million oz
Feb 7/no change in inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 334.713 million oz
Feb 6/a we had no changes at the SLV/Inventory rests at 334.713 million oz
FEB3/ a tiny withdrawal of 136,000 oz to pay for fees etc/inventory rests at 334.713 million oz
Feb 2/no changes in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 334.849 million oz
Feb 1/a withdrawal of 948,000 oz from the SLV/Inventory rests at 334.849 million oz
Jan 31.no change in inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 335.797 million oz
jan 30/no change in inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 335.797 million oz
Jan 27/we had a deposit of 758,000 oz into the SLV/Inventory rests at  335.797 million oz
Jan 26./ a huge withdrawal of 2.369 million oz from the SLV/Inventory rests at 335.039 million oz
Jan 25./another changes at the SLV/Inventory rests at 337.408 million oz
jan 24/ a withdrawal of 948,000 oz at the SLV/Inventory rests at 337.408 million oz
Jan 23/no changes in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 338.356 million oz
Jan 20/no changes in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 338.356 million oz
jan 19/no changes in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 338.356 million oz
Jan 18/no changes in silver inventory/inventory rests at 338.356 million oz/
Jan 17/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 338.356 million oz/
Jan 13/2017/on changes in the SLV inventory/rests tonight at 338.356 million oz/
Jan 12.2017/ no changes in the SLV Inventory/ rests at 338.356 million oz
JAN 10/no changes in inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 341.199 million oz
JAN 9/no changes in inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 341.199 million oz/
Feb 9.2017: Inventory 334.713  million oz

NPV for Sprott and Central Fund of Canada

1. Central Fund of Canada: traded at Negative 9.0 percent to NAV usa funds and Negative 8.9% to NAV for Cdn funds!!!! 
Percentage of fund in gold 60.6%
Percentage of fund in silver:39.2%
cash .+0.2%( feb 9/2017) 
2. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): Premium FALLS to +.10%!!!! NAV (Feb 9/2017) 
3. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO – 0.020% to NAV  ( feb 9/2017)
Note: Sprott silver trust back  into POSITIVE territory at +0.10% /Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE territory at -0.020%/Central fund of Canada’s is still in jail.


Major gold/silver trading/commentaries for THURSDAY


Give Gift of Real Gold This Valentines Day

Gift of Real Gold – Give It This Valentines Day 

For the love of gold
(Don’t) put a ring on it
Is gold jewellery going out of fashion?
You’ll never get what you paid for it
Devaluation: Synthetic diamonds, 3D Printing and Rise of the machines
Buy gold – No one has cracked alchemy
Give the gift of real gold – They will thank you for it  💕

For the love of gold

The first line of one of the oldest known Valentine’s reads

Je suis desja d’amour tanné or I am already sick of love

The lines were written in the 15th century by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife from the Tower of London and tragically the duchess died before the poem could reach her.

It is a funny line to start with in a love poem, but one that perhaps many of us can relate to at this time of year.

Everywhere we look there is a sea of red. Hearts and apparent expressions of love adorn shop windows, supermarket shelves and adverts on the television. The marketeers tug at our heart strings. It can all get a bit much for even the most romantic amongst us.

They say you can’t put a price on love, but at this time of year many have a darn good go at it. It’s February which means Valentine’s Day is here and we are guilt tripped into either feeling awful that we are single or that we don’t know what to buy the person we love.

A whopping 80% of Americans who are dating, engaged, or married celebrate Valentine’s Day, according to time.com. And like, I suspect, their European counterparts, they go all out when it comes to celebrating.

According to the U.S. National Retail Federation, spending this Valentine’s is estimated to fall this year, estimated to be down to $18.2 billion from $19.7 billion. 2016 was a 10-year high, whilst this year is expected to be a 3-year low. The average spend on Valentine’s in the United States in 2016 was $196 by men and $100 by women.

It isn’t so surprising when you look at the climb in prices, year on year. If you want to see a real example of inflation, look no further than the By My Valentine Index created by bankrate.com. It shows that this year the cost of buying a basket of Valentine’s gifts will cost you $580.98. The price has climbed significantly from the 2016 Index of $512.02.

So it is not surprising that less of us are spending this year, but a three year low is quite a drop. So what happened? Are we not feeling the love, or are the harsh facts of reality setting in?

Times are tough both politically and financially and lovers are perhaps realising there’s no money to waste and instead things of real meaning and value should be bought – like unforgettable holidays, precious hours with loved ones and beautiful memories.

(Don’t) put a ring on it

What if you’re reading this and thinking that you’re way ahead of us and already planning on buying precious metals for your loved one and have a nice ring or necklace in mind. To that I would say not so fast, jewellery, or jewelry for our American friends, is not the answer here.

Fundivo.com estimates that $19.7 billion was spent by Americans on Valentine’s Day last year, $4.5 billion of this was on jewellery, the most spend in any category. (Somewhat depressingly $681 million was spent on Valentines for pets).


According to entrepreneur.com, 50% of proposals happen on Valentine’s Day. Which, to be honest, seems to be a bit of a cop out. There are 365 days in which to surprise your loved one and you pick the one day of the year that it is most likely to happen. But I digress.

You may be thinking that compared to other items in the Valentine’s basket, jewellery is a win-win. Not only will your loved one be delighted but you will also have made a wise-investment. Especially compared to something like chocolate … given cocoa prices are down on last year.

Chocolate gets eaten and when its gone, its gone. You can’t eat gold as Nouriel Roubini used to tweet a bit. Forgetting you can use gold to buy water, food, a shop, animals or indeed your own farm to produce food.

As much as it breaks my heart to write this (and hope that my significant other isn’t reading) jewellery is actually not a great investment. I would argue that you would be far better investing your money into physical gold than a trinket that happens to be made from it.

My reasons for this are three-fold. First demand for gold jewellery is declining, second the jewellery industry is under threat and thirdly and perhaps most importantly the resale value of jewellery is always appalling … unless you own some famous beheaded Queen’s wedding ring.

Is gold jewellery going out of fashion?

First of all there is the demand factor, demand for jewellery whether as a gift or an investment is down across the globe.

In a year when gold investment was at a four-year high, gold jewellery sales fell to a seven-year low in 2016, to just 2,041.6t according to recent WGC data, a fall of 15% worldwide. Whilst the final quarter of the year saw 26% growth in the sector, thanks to the sharp fall in the gold price.

But in the West demand for jewellery did not perform so well, writes the WGC:

“The mild upward trend in US jewellery consumption came to an end in 2016: demand slipped 1% to 118.3t on weakness in the second half of the year…Q4 and full-year demand in Europe followed similar patterns: France and the UK underperformed broad stability elsewhere. In France, 2016 jewellery demand softened by 4% as consumer confidence was undermined by security concerns and increasingly divergent domestic politics. In the UK, the tentative gains made since 2012 came to a halt. Post-Brexit uncertainty and pessimism affected consumers; Q4 demand fell 5% to 12.2t, leading to a 3% drop in annual demand to 25.2t.”

Consumers globally are waking up to the rip off that is jewelry. They are becoming more sophisticated and “moving up the value chain” and opting to buy gold coins and bars rather than trinkets and bangles. This is especially the case in India, China and Asia.

You’ll never get what you paid for it

It is estimated that the markup on a diamond wedding and engagement ring is between 300% and 1000%, with a tendency towards the lower end of the scale. The chances of us seeing this back are unlikely in the extreme as a buyer will only take into account the components of the jewellery rather than the purchase price.

We talk about gold as a form of insurance. During times of inflation, and especially hyperinflation you will be looking for the financial insurance to protect your wealth. In both economic and political times of difficulty, gold is the best form of financial defence. Making an investment in jewellery is a false economy given you won’t see a financial return and there is no protection from economic dislocations as it is not liquid and there is no liquid market to sell jewellery at a fair and transparent market price.

The price we put on jewellery is not just based on the original price that we paid for it, but also the sentimental price. This is unfortunately not appreciated by the buyer should you ever come to resell it.

And, let’s be honest you are going to be far more willing to sell your gold coins and bars than the engagement ring that is valuable only to you and your family.

Unlike jewellery, the value of bullion is not subject to personal tastes. And unlike with gold, there is no unified market price for diamonds.

It is also notoriously hard to resell a diamond, Edward Jay Epstein described in 1982, “To make a profit, investors must at some time find buyers who are willing to pay more for their diamonds than they did. Here, however, investors face the same problem as those attempting to sell their jewelry: there is no unified market in which to sell diamonds. Although dealers will quote the prices at which they are willing to sell investment-grade diamonds, they seldom give a set price at which they are willing to buy diamonds of the same grade.”

Just to put into perspective, one ring, on average will cost $5,200, the same amount it would cost you to buy just over 4 oz (according to prices on the 9th February). A troy ounce is around 31g. There is approximately 5g of gold in an engagement ring. So for the same amount of money you could buy 130g of gold.

Gold, in contrast to gold jewellery has held it’s value throughout history. Yes, the price has changed, but the value has remained constant.

Devaluation: Synthetic diamonds and Rise of the machines

But the issue with jewellery is not just about resale value or buying trends. The fact is, the jewellery sector as we know it is under threat.

Even though the technology for synthetic diamonds was first patented in the 1950s (by Lockheed Martin) it is only in recent years that it has become sophisticated enough to play a major role in the jewellery market. Synthetic diamonds are chemically and physically the same as natural diamonds. It is near impossible for experts to tell the difference given they are the same composite.

It is estimated that in 10-15 years time lab-grown diamonds will be a real threat to the mined diamond industry. They are currently 20 – 30% cheaper than mined (or natural) diamonds. For example, a 0.50 carat can range from $500 to $2,500, while a 1.00ct from $2,000- $8,000.

Between 2016 – 2018 mined diamonds are expected to see a shortfall in supply versus demand. With this in mind we can expect to see the discount increase upwards to 45% on synthetic diamonds. Imagine the difference in a decade’s time when the technology is even more refined.

Currently purists try to dismiss the potential market size of synthetic diamonds arguing that it’s more romantic to have a diamond that took millions of years to form. I would contend a diamond is a diamond and if one has been grown especially for you then that’s really romantic. And sensible.

Granted, it is unlikely that we are going to see auction houses putting synthetic diamonds up for bids, but how many of us were intending on buying diamonds that would end up in such a place anyway? When it comes to a bar of gold there is no stress in worrying about what the market looks like in terms of fashions, technology and perceived value.

It isn’t just lab-grown diamonds that are threatening the huge industry, 3D printing also poses a threat.

By 2020 3D printing in jewellery markets is expected to $11 billion by 2020, this poses a threat to artisan jewellers and the value of pieces produced by the big name jewellers found on Bond Street and Mayfair.

There is no longer a need to spend a small fortune on a sparkly number, when a machine is able to mould and design the perfect item at a fraction of the cost.

So when it comes to the jewellery industry we can no longer reassure ourselves that what we buy will hold its value at a time when technology is usurping one of the few things that gave it any value –  being carefully crafted and handmade.

Buy gold – No one has cracked alchemy

At the time writing one of life’s biggest mysteries still remains – how can man make gold?

The fact is, we still can’t. Gold cannot be created with technology. Diamonds, yes. Chocolates, yes. A nice meal, certainly. Jewellery, just get yourself a printer. But gold remains one of the last mysteries yet to be solved by humans.

Gold can be improved to suit its purpose through technology (to make gold solar panels, gold leaf etc) but gold is gold and very little can be done to affect its value, as history has shown.

Unlike other components of jewellery, gold has remained a safe haven for thousands of years. It has repeatedly shown its value and worth through countless financial and geopolitical crises.

What better expression of love than to give actual gold – something that has stood the test of time, weathered all problems and continues to be desired around the world?

We’re not saying that you shouldn’t treat the one you love this Valentine’s Day, or in fact any day (why the excuse?) and you should buy an engagement ring for your big day.

But, when it comes to making the decision of a life time we argue your wealth is better placed is something simple and time-tested such as a bar or coin of pure gold.

If you are planning to give your loved one something golden this Valentine’s day, consider giving them the gift of real gold with GoldSaver. That way they own real, pure 24 carat gold bullion in an extremely safe way.

Saving is never as sexy as splurging on shiny things but delayed gratification is important and by saving in gold now your better-half will be able to afford many more luxuries – whether they be nice meals, great holidays or perhaps some 3D printed shiny trinkets in the coming years.

Oscar Wilde wrote

“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. And sometimes, only the best will do – it’s that simple.”

Gold really is that simple and it really is the best.

What more could your loved one ask for this Valentine’s Day?


Give The Gift of Real Gold This Valentines Day With GoldSaver


Gold trading today:

Absolute crooks:  the bankers supplied 11.1 tonnes of paper gold short to knock the price down by 5.00 dollars.

(courtesy Dave Kranzler/IRD)

11.1 Tonnes Of Paper Gold Dumped In Sixty Seconds

Central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities should the price rise.  – Alan Greenspan, 1998 in Congressional testimony on OTC derivatives

Gold has been in a steady uptrend since December 18th, bottoming at $1131 after a four and half month price correction.  Firmly back over the 50 dma, the price momentum appears to be a threat to the “bullion”  banks who suppress the price of gold in the paper derivatives market on behalf of the western Central Banks and, ultimately, the BIS.

The banks must feel threatened by the recent activity in both physical and paper gold trading.  This morning the price of gold was attacked in the Comex paper market after St. Louis Fed-head, James Bullard, delivered remarks about interest rate policy that should have propelled the price of gold higher:  “We think the low-safe-real-rate regime is unlikely to change in the near term. This means the policy rate can also remain relatively low over the forecast horizon (link).

Instead, the Comex was bombed with paper:

At 9:54 a.m. EST, 3,927 April gold futures contract (paper gold) was dropped on the Comex. Prior to this, the the average number of contracts per minute since the Comex had opened was under 500 contracts. This is 11.1 tonnes of paper gold which hit the Comex trading floor and electronic trading system in a 60 second window.  It represents approximately 30% of the total amount of gold the Comex vault operators are reporting to be available for delivery under Comex contracts – dumped in paper form in 1 minute.

This reeks of fear.  The western Central Banks have grossly underestimated the eastern hemisphere’s appetite for physically deliverable gold.  Despite an attempt by the BIS to mute India’s demand by restricting the availability of cash in India’s banking system, India’s current demand is robust and will likely increase as Indian’s now have cause to fear the Indian Government’s war on cash.

In addition, China’s demand for gold seems to be accelerating.  Based on Swiss export numbers, 158 tonnes of gold was shipped to China in December.  Far higher than the numbers presented by “official” organizations tracking gold flows.   Current premiums to the global market price of gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange are running in the low teens.  So far this week well over 100 tonnes of gold have been delivered onto the SGE.  Except for the PBoC, all gold distributed inside China must first pass through the SGE.

The western Central Banks will have a problem if the price of gold begins to take-off, as they will lose control of their ability to control the price using derivatives.   Perhaps in addition to the standard price containment operation on the Comex this morning, the attack on the price of gold in the paper market was in response to Eric Sprott’s comments on King World News yesterday:

“There’s no doubt about it if they (investors) keep coming in and buying that kind of tonnage. At some point they will look inside at what little gold is left in the Western vaults and say, ‘No mas. We can’t keep doing this at the rate that they are buying tonnage because we will run out of gold.’ And if they see that they are going to run out of gold in a year or so, when do they raise the white flag? I have told you many times that the Western central banks have been making up for the imbalance in term of supply and demand by dishoarding their gold hoard surreptitiously”



An excellent commentary from Eric Sprott today.  He is watching the gold ETF’s from China.  This instrument is real physical metal and it has been rising daily. If 10 tonnes of gold is added by Chinese investors per day on a 250 day year, 2500 tonnes of gold will be accumulated which is over 100% of annual global supply (ex China ex Russia)

(courtesy Eric Sprott/Kingworlds)


(courtesy Bloomberg)


Bundesbank Has Completed Gold Repatriation From New York Fed, Three Years Ahead Of Schedule

In January of 2016, the Bundesbank announced that three years after commencing the transfer of some of its offshore-held gold from vaults located at the Banque de France in Paris and the NY Fed in New York, it had repatriated a total of 366.3 tonnes, bringing the German central bank’s gold reserves held in Frankfurt to 1,402 tonnes, or 41.5% of Germany’s total gold of 3,381 tonnes, for the first time greater than the 1.347 thousand tonnes located at the New York Fed, which as of January 27, 2016 held 39.9% of Germany’s official gold.

“With approximately 1,403 tonnes of gold, Frankfurt has been our largest storage location, ahead of New York, since the end of last year,” said Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank. “The transfers are proceeding smoothly. We have succeeded in once again significantly increasing the transport volume compared with 2014. This means that operations are running very much according to schedule,” added Thiele last January.

As a reminder, according to its gold storage plan, unveiled in January 2013, the Bundesbank would store half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults in Frankfurt am Main by 2020 which would  necessitate a transfer to Frankfurt of 300 tonnes of gold from New York and all 374 tonnes of gold from Paris.It also meant that as of January, another 111 tonnes of gold from the NY Fed and 196.4 tonnes of gold from Paris remained to be transferred.

The “politically correct” motives for the transfer, as well as the logistics and the mechanics behind it were explained in a March 2015 video released by the Bundesbank…

… the real reasons, however, is that following several reports on this website which cast doubts on Germany’s gold holdings, in late 2012 the German Court of Auditors demanded that the Bundesbank undertake an audit of its gold reserves. Specifically, the court wanted to ensure that the nearly 3400 tons of gold, of which more than 2,000 tonnes held offshore, is in fact in existence – ‘because stocks have never been checked for authenticity and weight’.  The move to repatriate was only accelerate following rumors that much of the offshore-held gold might have been “rehypothecated”, and not be there anymore, that it might have been melted down, leased, or sold.

Ironically, at the time, Bundesbank Board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele told the Handelsblatt that these moves were a “trust-building” measure, and he tried vigorously to put the rumors about the missing gold to rest. Of course, repatriating your gold from foreign central banks is precisely the opposite of a “demonstration of confidence.”

What made matters worse is that at the end of 2013, the Bundesbank announced it had managed to repatriate only 37 tonnes of the total 700 scheduled for redemption, further spooking the local population and suggesting that conspiracy theories that the gold was missing were in fact accurate.

As a result, following blowback from both the media and the public, the Bundesbank accelerated its activity, and repatriated 120 tonnes in 2014 and another 210 in 2015, implying that the Bundesbank’s faith in its foreign central bank peers had declined in inverse proportion to the following accelerated redemption schedule as of January 2016.

* * *

Then, in an update last December, Germany’s Bild reported that in 2016 the Bundesbank has repatriated “more of its gold than planned”, as it moves toward relocating half of the world’s second-largest reserve at home. “We brought back significantly more gold to Germany in 2016 again than initially planned. By now, almost half of the gold reserves are in Germany,” Buba president Jens Weidmann told the German publication. According to Bild, around 1,600 tonnes of Germany’s gold reserves are now in the country, a figure set to rise to 1,700 tonnes by 2020. This, according to our recent calculations, meant that the Bundesbank repatriated roughly 200 tonnes of gold in 2016, comparable to the 210 tonnes its brought back to Frankfurt in 2015, and the total held domestically  amounts to 1,600 tonnes at the end of 2016.

Fast forward to today, in a press release, the Bundesbank provided an official update of its gold holdings, and our analysis was accurate: the German central bank said it had “successfully continued its transfers of gold last year”, and in 2016, more than 216 tonnes of gold were transferred to Frankfurt am Main from storage locations abroad: 111 tonnes from New York and 105 tonnes from Paris.

This would make 2016 the year of fastest gold repatriation, with the 216 tons of gold transfered, higher than the previous record of 210 in 2015. Altogether, the Bundesbank, has now transfered a total of 583 tonnes, or 86% of the 674 tonnes planned in total.

Most importantly, as of December 31, the Bundesbank has now completed all of its scheduled gold withdrawals from the NY Fed, having repatriated a total of 300 tonnes, some 3 years ahead of schedule.

“The transfer of gold from New York was completed successfully last year,” said Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Bundesbank’s Executive Board. “The transfers were carried out without any disruptions or irregularities. The gold storage plan for New York, which envisaged the transfer of 300 tonnes of gold from New York to Frankfurt, was fully realised in 2016,” Mr Thiele stated.

The Bundesbank also said the repatriation of gold reserves back home was “considerably ahead of the origianal schedule” and as Thiele added “We will be able to complete the transfer of gold from Paris this year too.” Which considering there is only 91t of gold left in Paris, or less than Germany withdrew in 2015 and 2016, should be relatively easy.

In summary, as of the end of 2016, the Bundesbank had 47.9% of its gold in Frankfurt – just 2.1% shy of the the planned 50% – 36.6% at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 12.8% at the Bank of England in London, and 2.7% at the Banque de France in Paris.

Why this unexpected scramble to repatraite so much gold 3 years ahead of the 2020 stated schedule, remains a mystery.


Your early THURSDAY morning currency, Asian stock market results,  important USA/Asian currency crosses, gold/silver pricing overnight along with the price of oil Major stories overnight


1 Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/yuan STRONGER AT  6.8662(SMALL REVALUATION NORTHBOUND   /OFFSHORE YUAN NARROWS   TO 6.8487 / Shanghai bourse UP 16.19 POINTS OR .51%   / HANG SANG CLOSED UP 40.01 POINTS OR .17% 

2. Nikkei closed DOWN 99.93 POINTS OR 0.53%   /USA: YEN RISES TO 112.29

3. Europe stocks opened ALL IN THE GREEN      ( /USA dollar index RISES TO  100.29/Euro DOWN to 1.0685


3c Nikkei now JUST BELOW 17,000

3d USA/Yen rate now well below the important 120 barrier this morning

3e WTI::  52751  and Brent: 55.50

3f Gold UP/Yen DOWN

3g Japan is to buy the equivalent of 108 billion uSA dollars worth of bond per month or $1.3 trillion. Japan’s GDP equals 5 trillion usa./“HELICOPTER MONEY” OFF THE TABLE FOR NOW /REVERSE OPERATION TWIST ON THE BONDS: PURCHASE OF LONG BONDS  AND SELLING THE SHORT END

Japan to buy 100% of all new Japanese debt and by 2018 they will have 25% of all Japanese debt. Fifty percent of Japanese budget financed with debt.

3h Oil UP for WTI and UP for Brent this morning

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund RISES TO  +.302%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN  to 2.202%    

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES to  : 7.85%   

3k Gold at $1239.90/silver $17.77(8:15 am est)   SILVER BELOW RESISTANCE AT $18.50 

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 31/100 in  roubles/dollar) 58.87-

3m oil into the 52 dollar handle for WTI and 55 handle for Brent/

3n Higher foreign deposits out of China sees huge risk of outflows and a currency depreciation  (already upon us). This can spell financial disaster for the rest of the world/China forced to do QE!! as it lowers its yuan value to the dollar/GOT SMALL   REVALUATION NORTHBOUND   from POBC.


30 SNB (Swiss National Bank) still intervening again in the markets driving down the SF. It is not working: USA/SF this morning  0.9988 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.0663 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.


3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year RISES to  +.302%


The bank withdrawals were causing massive hardship to the Greek bank. the Greek referendum voted overwhelming “NO”.  Next step for Greece will be the recapitalization of the banks and that will be difficult.

4. USA 10 year treasury bond at 2.352% early this morning. Thirty year rate  at 2.979% /POLICY ERROR)GETTING DANGEROUSLY HIGH

5. Details Ransquawk, Bloomberg, Deutsche bank/Jim Reid.

(courtesy Jim Reid/Bloomberg/Deutsche bank/zero hedge)


Asian Stocks Hit 18 Month High; Europe, US Futures Bounce As Dollar Rises

Asian stocks hit their highest level in 18 months, with positive momentum lifting European shares which were helped by Societe Generale earnings. Yields fell on some of the euro zone’s battered low-rated bonds as investors put aside the political risks that have dominated markets this week. After trading flat, S&P futures bounced as US traders walked boosted by a spike in the USDJPY, ahead of earnings reports from Coca-Cola, Reynolds American, CVS Health, Nvidia and Twitter.

Rising oil prices pushed energy company shares higher in Europe on a busy day of corporate earnings while Asian stocks hit their highest in one and a  half years. “The stabilization of the oil price after its recent wobbles, together with solid earnings, for example, Soc Gen today, is driving the positive sentiment,” said Andy Sullivan, portfolio manager with GL Asset Management UK in London.

The Euro STOXX 600 index rose 0.4 percent. Bank shares also rose after French lender Societe Generale reported lower fourth-quarter net income that nonetheless beat analysts forecasts. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.3 percent to their highest since July 2015 with Hong Kong, Taiwan and China among the region’s best performing markets. Japanese shares, however, fell 0.5 percent, hit by earlier yen strength the day before Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets U.S. President Donald Trump.

“We have some relief with investors shrugging off some of their concerns with a feeling that things went too far, too fast,” said Martin Van Vliet, senior rates strategist at ING.

With much attention recently on global rates, yields on Spanish and Italian 10-year government bonds fell. Earlier this week, concern over the impact of elections this year in countries including France and Germany saw investors sell bonds of lower-rated euro zone countries. Spanish 10-year yields fell 4 basis points to 1.66 percent while Italian equivalents fell 3 bps to 2.2 percent. French yields dipped 1 bps to 1.01 percent. The premium investors demand to hold French rather than German debt hit its highest in four years on Wednesday, three months before the final round of a presidential election expected to include far-right, anti-euro candidate Marine Le Pen. Yields on German 10-year bonds, seen as among the world’s safest assets, rose 0.5 bps to 0.31 percent.

In addition to political worries, bond investors are contemplating the impact of the ECB eventually winding down its bond-buying stimulus scheme, which has driven down borrowing costs in the bloc for the past two years. ECB President Mario Draghi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, bidding for re-election later this year, meet on Thursday. A number of German officials have called on the ECB to unwind its monetary stimulus.

The euro steadied just below $1.07 after falling on Wednesday to a two-week low of $1.0640. The yen fell 0.3 percent to 112.39 per dollar, having earlier traded as strong as 111.70. The dollar index was unchanged.

In the US, 10Y yields fell to their lowest since mid-January on Wednesday as investors re-assess how many interest rate rises can be expected from the Federal Reserve and look for clarity over whether Trump will make good on his campaign pledges for tax cuts and infrastructure spending. Ten-year Treasuries yielded 2.36% in European trade on Thursday, up 1.2 bps.

Oil prices rose after an unexpected draw down in U.S. gasoline inventories. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 51 cents a barrel, or 0.9 percent, to $55.63. In a sign that political risks are still on the radar, gold held close to three-month highs touched on Wednesday. Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,243 an ounce, compared with from Wednesday’s high of $1,244.67.

Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk

  • Major European indices trade positively this morning and general sentiment leans toward risk on
  • The USD continues to trade in limbo, and while traders continue to look across the spectrum of major counterparts, we see there is reluctance to reinstate the US reflation trade, with USD/JPY notably restricted
  • Highlights include Initial Jobless Claims, Speakers include: BoE Govenor Carney, Feds Evans, and Feds Bullard

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 2,295
  • Brent Futures up 0.9% to $55.62/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.1% to $1,243.30
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.2% to 100.12
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.3% to 364.95
  • German 10Y yield rose 1.2 bps to 0.308%
  • Euro up 0.07% to 1.0705 per US$
  • Brent Futures up 0.9% to $55.62/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 12.1 bps to 2.246%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 6.7 bps to 1.629%
  • MXAP down 0.2% to 143.03
  • MXAPJ up 0.4% to 459.43
  • Nikkei down 0.5% to 18,907.67
  • Topix down 0.7% to 1,513.55
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 23,525.14
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.5% to 3,183.18
  • Sensex up 0.1% to 28,330.91
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 5,664.62
  • Kospi up 0.04% to 2,065.88

Top BBG News

  • Anthem Inc.’s $48 billion deal to buy Cigna Corp. was blocked by a federal judge, putting an end to the second of two massive mergers that would have reshaped the U.S. health-care landscape
  • Deutsche Bank AG is shutting down its U.S. swaps-clearing business as part of an overhaul of its investment bank to improve profitability, according to a person briefed on the decision
  • The Senate confirmed one of its own, Jeff Sessions, as attorney general after more than a day of contentious debate that took an unusual turn when Republicans silenced Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • President Donald Trump is injecting himself into the daily business of U.S. companies to an unprecedented extent, spurring investors and executives to weigh their exposure to his wrath when making decisions
  • SoftBank Group Corp. is aiming to close the first round of investment in its planned $100 billion technology fund by the end of this month, giving Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son an enormous war chest to go on the hunt for deals, according to people familiar with the matter
  • Boeing Co. is the front-runner as Singapore Airlines Ltd. closes in on an order for at least 35 wide-body aircraft amid a battle with Chinese and Middle Eastern carriers, people familiar with the matter said
  • The global oil market’s march to equilibrium won’t be deterred by the increasing volume of crude being poured into U.S. storage tanks, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Asia equity markets continued its recent choppy trade following a mixed lead from the US where stocks closed mostly higher, although the DJIA underperformed amid weakness in financials. ASX 200 (+0.2%) pared opening losses and finished marginally higher as gains in defensive stocks overshadowed weakness in mining names, while Nikkei 225 (-0.5%) was dampened by recent JPY strength although the index finished off worse levels alongside a recovery in USD/JPY. Chinese markets ignored the absence of a PBoC’s liquidity injection for the 5th consecutive day as Shanghai Comp. (+0.5%) and Hang Seng (+0.1%) traded positive with the latter led by financials and gambling names. 10yr JGBs were uneventful with prices relatively flat throughout the session, while today’s 30yr JGB auction failed to inspire as b/c, prices and the tail-in price deteriorated from the prior month. PBoC refrained from open markets operations for the 5th consecutive day due to high liquidity conditions, which brings the total amount of funds drained so far this week to CNY 715bn.

Top Asia News

  • Nissan Operating Profit Falls 15% on Rise in U.S. Incentives
  • Philippines Holds Benchmark Rate as Inflation Pressure Mounts
  • China Car Sales Decline 9.8% After Tax Increase, Lunar New Year
  • China H Shares Rally to 14-Month High as Autos, Financials Climb
  • Banks in Some Chinese Cities Said to Increase Mortgage Rates
  • MTN Close to Buying Stake in Iranian State Internet Provider
  • India’s Jan. Passenger Vehicle Sales Rise 14.4% to 265,320 Units

In Europe this morning, major indices trade positively and general sentiment leans toward risk on. In terms of sectors, healthcare is the best performing up 1.1% with materials retracing some of yesterday’s gains. Energy names started off on the front foot after Total posted a strong set of results better than those seen by BP earlier on in the week and in the financial sector Commerzbank also reported well but subsequently shares have fallen and are now trading lower by around 3%. In Fixed income markets, UST are in demand due to geopolitical risks hitting the belly with 5YR yield eyeing 180bps and 10 YR yield struggling around 235bps. German paper still in demand due to the internal EU demand away from periphery. Interestingly the GE/FR spread has tightened to 66bps a move of 14bps over the last two day. In terms of this morning’s Gilt auction, the line provided a solid bid/cover and smaller tail than previous, although failed to sway Gilts.

Top European News

  • SocGen Posts Net That Tops Estimates, Plans Car-Leasing IPO
  • Mediobanca Rises After Second-Quarter Profit Almost Doubles
  • MiFID II Market-Rule Overhaul Faces Crucial Parliament Vote
  • HSBC Said to Seek Wealth Management Asset Acquisitions This Year
  • Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Fined by U.K. for Failing to Be Open
  • Draghi Meets Merkel as Populist Concerns Trump ECB Criticism

In currencies, the USD continues to trade in limbo, and while traders continue to look across the spectrum of major counterparts, we see there is reluctance to reinstate the US reflation trade, with USDJPY notably restricted. As such, geopolitical risk dominates, and the lead (risk on) trade maintains a tight range below 112.50. EURUSD has also managed to brush off the EU wide political risks weighing on the single unit. This comes with the Bund spreads (with France) narrowing, but through 1.0700, we are seeing plenty of supply coming in with initial resistance at 1.0715-20 holding. The big move in Asia was NZD on the back of the exchange rate related comments from the central bank, but after a series of losses which saw 0.7200 eventually taken out, we have seen some moderation since as the USD continues to flounder. Comments from RBA gov Lowe was a little more non committal on the AUD exchange rate, saying it is hard to say whether the AUD is overvalued or not, and this gave the spot rate some support and saw a modest, but tentative move higher through 0.7650. Some modest outperformance in GBP, as EURGBP is pressed back down to 0.8500, and given the above flow, Cable through 1.2550. Resistance in the latter seen ahead of 1.2600, allies with real money and tech based demand in the cross rate below the above mentioned figure level.

In commodities, oil rose 1.2 percent to $52.94 per barrel. The global oil market’s march to equilibrium won’t be deterred by the increasing volume of crude being poured into U.S. storage tanks, according to Goldman Sachs. Copper three-month forwards fell 0.4 percent. The metal jumped 1.7 percent Wednesday after workers at the biggest mine in Chile vowed to strike. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecast what would be the first deficit of the metal since 2011. Gold was flat at $1,241.93 an ounce, after touching the highest level since November on Wednesday. Oil prices are back to the fore as the significant rise in inventory (Cushing) caused a moderate sell off in WTI in relative terms, with the latest rise potentially signalling the longer term impacts of the OPEC agreements on supply made last year. WTI tested towards USD53.00 earlier today, but this just puts us back into the middle of the near term range. Natural Gas higher though due to US seasonal factors. Elsewhere, base and precious metals all modestly higher in response to USD caution.

Looking at the day ahead, the calendar continues to remain fairly sparse for the most part today. The highlight this morning in Europe is likely to be the December trade data in Germany, where exports declined by -3.3%, well below the -1.10% expected (down from +3.9%) while over in the US the only data of note is the latest weekly initial jobless claims reading and the December wholesale trade and inventories report. Away from the data we are due to hear from the Fed’s Bullard and the Fed’s Evans. BoE Governor Carney is also scheduled to speak in London this evening at 6.30pm GMT. Finally on the earnings front we’ve got 27 S&P 500 companies due to report including Coca-Cola and CVS Health Corp.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 249,000, prior 246,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.06m, prior 2.06m
  • 9:05am: Fed’s Bullard Speaks in St. Louis
    9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, prior 46.6
  • 10am: Wholesale Trade Sales MoM, prior 0.4%; Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 1.0%
  • 10am: Freddie Mac mortgage rates
  • 10:30am: EIA natural-gas storage change
  • 12pm: Monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates
  • 1:10pm: Fed’s Evans Speaks on Economy and Policy in Chicago

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Yesterday saw a big rally in global bonds especially in the European periphery and France. Indeed 10y OAT’s finished the day 10.8bps lower in yield at 0.998%, the strongest day in fact since September 2015. In the periphery we also saw yields in Italy (-11.7bps), Spain (-7.2bps) and Portugal (-12.8bps) finish sharply lower while 10y Bunds (-5.5bps) – while underperforming – closed below 0.300% for the first time since January 10th. That meant the OAT-Bund spread eased back to 71bps from the recent 77bps wide mark. The rally really kicked into the gear straight from the open and steadily continued over much of the session. While much of the suggestion was that it was just an unwinding of some of the recent selloff, boosted also by strong auction demand in Germany and Portugal, there was a story also doing the rounds on Bloomberg concerning an internal ECB meeting in which Draghi supposedly said that he sees the ECB maintaining an accommodative policy until the end of his mandate in 2019. Given the imminent taper is a big part of the recent sovereign underperformance then one can see why markets responded to this.

The positive momentum for bonds kicked on into the US session too and we saw 10y Treasury yields end the day 5.7bps lower at 2.336%, despite a temporary move higher following a soft 10y auction which seemed to be overshadowed by comments from Larry Fink after he said that there’s a rising chance of 10y yields going back below 2% given that fiscal stimulus policies won’t be in place until 2018. Yesterday’s closing level means Treasury yields are nearly 13bps lower this week alone and are only just above the YTD low made intraday on the 17th January of 2.306%. Yields have also fallen for 4 days in a  row now which is the longest run since June last year.

So while it was a busy day for bonds, it was once again another indifferent session for risk assets. In Europe the Stoxx 600 edged up +0.33%, meaning it is pretty much back to flat for the week, while European Banks (-0.77%) lagged with the move lower for bond yields. Meanwhile at the closing bell last night the S&P 500 finished +0.07%. Incredibly that’s yet another day where the index has moved up or down by less than 0.10%, taking the tally to 7 in the last 10 sessions. That isn’t the only remarkable stat however. Yesterday’s move means the index has now gone 82 sessions without falling more than 1% which is the longest streak since 2006. In addition, the index has now also gone 37 days in a row with an intraday range of less than 1% – the longest run that we can find. Needless to say then that equity vol stayed low again yesterday with the VIX at 11.45 (versus the 10.58 low at the end of January) and the VSTOXX at 16.83 (versus the recent low of 14.60). It was a similar story in credit too with the iTraxx Main just 0.5bps tighter despite the big moves in bonds, while CDX IG finished just over 1bp wider.

This morning in Asia we’ve seen a continuation of the bond rally for the most part. The most notable have been the moves for 10y yields in Australia (-5.6bps) and New Zealand (-9.5bps) with the latter outperforming after the RBNZ left rates on hold and the associated statement said that monetary policy would remain accommodative for some time. JGB’s are little changed but we’ve also seen yields fall in Hong Kong (-3.7bps), South Korea (-2.5pbs) and Singapore (-2.5bps). The Greenback is little changed as we go to print, as is Gold and Oil, while it’s been another fairly uninspiring session for risk assets. The Nikkei (-0.28%) and ASX (-0.11%) are a shade lower while the Hang Seng (+0.39%), Shanghai Comp (+0.37%) and Kospi (+0.20%) are up.

Truth be told there really wasn’t a great deal more that was interesting yesterday. Last night we got confirmation that MP’s in the House of Commons had voted overwhelmingly in favour of a draft law to trigger Article 50 by 494 votes to 122. The legislation now moves on to the House of Lords for further scrutiny with the FT highlighting that the peers are under big pressure to approve without any amendments.

Staying in Europe, yesterday we also got another political poll out of France, which largely confirmed some of the recent trends. The Elabe poll for BFMTV showed Le Pen coming out on top in the first round at 25.5-26% versus 22-23.5% for Macron, 17-18% for Fillon and 15-15.5% for Hamon. A second round vote between Le Pen and Macron had Macron coming out on top at 63% to 37% and a vote between Le Pen and Fillon showed the latter coming out on top at 56% to 44%.

Looking at the day ahead, the calendar continues to remain fairly sparse for the most part today. The highlight this morning in Europe is likely to be the December trade data in Germany while over in the US this afternoon the only data of note is the latest weekly initial jobless claims reading and the December wholesale trade and inventories report. Away from the data we are due to hear from the Fed’s Bullard at 2.05pm GMT and then the Fed’s Evans at 6.10pm GMT. BoE Governor Carney is also scheduled to speak in London this evening at 6.30pm GMT. Finally on the earnings front we’ve got 27 S&P 500 companies due to report including Coca-Cola and CVS Health Corp.




i)Late  WEDNESDAY night/THURSDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 16.19 POINTS OR .51%/ /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 40.01 POINTS OR .17% . The Nikkei closed DOWN 99.93 POINTS OR 0.53% /Australia’s all ordinaires  CLOSED UP 0.25%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.8662/Oil ROSE to 52.75 dollars per barrel for WTI and 55.50 for Brent. Stocks in Europe ALL IN THE GREEN. Offshore yuan trades  6.8487 yuan to the dollar vs 6.8725  for onshore yuan.THE SPREAD BETWEEN ONSHORE AND OFFSHORE NARROWS QUITE A BIT AS DOLLARS ARE ATTEMPTING TO LEAVE CHINA’S SHORES. ONSHORE YUAN STRONGER AS IS OFFSHORE YUAN COUPLED WITH THE STRONGER DOLLAR





The following is very important.  We have been reporting that China is in a “tightening mode” as they are concerned with inflation.  They have drained 715 billion yuan form circulation without a corresponding reverse repo.  It sure looks serious enough and this could have devastating effects on the world’s global economy

(courtesy zero hedge)


China Drains CNY715 Billion In Liquidity After Fifth Day Without Reverse Repo

What a difference three weeks makes. On January 18, heading into the Lunar New Year holidays, we reported that the PBOC had injected a record 1.04 trillion yuan into the liquidity-starved banking system in an attempt to avoid a liquidity crunch as telegraphed just days prior by dramatic surge in short-term repo rates.

Since then, however, between the end of the holidays, and the stated Chinese intention to tighten the monetary system, things have changed drastically.

First of all, last Friday, China announced an unexpected tightening of policy when it raised rates on 7, 14 and 28-day reverse repos by 10bps to 2.35%, 2.50% and 2.65% respectively. That was first increase in the 28-day contracts since 2015 and since 2013 for the other two tenors. As this was the first working day following the New Year holiday in China, it was a decent “statement of intent” by the PBoC.

At the same time, as we explained on Sunday, in a parallel tightening eipsode, the PBOC also increased Standing Lending Facility rates on overnight/7-day/1-month tenors by 35bp/10bp/10bp (to 3.10%/3.35%/3.7%), sending Chinese government bond futures sliding as fears rose that China is actually serious about tightening this time.

Then on Thursday morning, an article in China’s Securities Journal said that China may keep tightening monetary policy this year amid pressure from yuan rate stabilization, financial de-leveraging, curbs on real estate and faster inflation. In other words, China may have reached the phase where it admits it has a problem, and is ready to do something about it. What was notable is that the article hinted that while even more could be done, the economic basis and inflation situation don’t yet support China entering interest rate hike cycle.

Translation: if inflation picks up more from here, the PBOC will use the shotgun approach and hike rates. For now however, the piece concluded that the central bank is focusing more on price tools, which means “an increase in open market rates may be considered guidance.”

And sure enough, 20 days after the PBOC had injected a record CNY1+ trillion in liquidity, it is now draining it just as fast, and as the PBOC just reported, the Central Bank did not conduct any Reverse Repo open market operations for the fifth consecutive trading day “in order to maintain a stable level of liquidity in the interbank market”, the PBOC said in a statement on its website.

With CNY150 billion of reverse repos maturing today, the PBOC’s lack of action had the effect of draining CNY150 billion from the market today.

The PBOC also added that “while the central bank has started to gradually drain liquidity from the interbank market after the end of the Chinese New Year holiday, liquidity is still at an adequate level” repeating the explanation it used in the past three days.

According to Market News, the market sees the lack of open market operations as a clear signal of tighter monetary policy. Furthermore, the consecutive stops of OMOs show PBOC’s bias for a prudent tilted to neutral monetary policy in a bid to prevent risks and reduce leverage ratio, said Ming Ming, chief analyst with CITIC Securities in a research note.

In total, the PBOC has drained a total of CNY715 billion in liquidity so far this week, primarily as a result of maturing reverse repos which the central bank refuses to roll over. A total of CNY80 billion in reverse repos will mature later this week and the market will be watching the PBOC’s response closely. Should it perceive that the PBOC has withdrawn too much liquidity, another liquidity tantrum is inevitable.



Chinese leader Xi Jinping sends a letter to Trump seeking a “constructive relationship

(courtesy zero hedge)


Trump “Breaks Ice” With China’s Xi, Sends Thank You Letter Seeking “Constructive Relationship”

After a fiery start to his foreign policy overtures, Trump is gradually normalizing his approach to international diplomacy.

On the same day as relations with Mexico appeared to return to normal, following reports of an upcoming meeting between Rex Tillerson and his Mexican counterpart, and days ahead of the much anticipated summit with Japan’s PM Abe, Trump “broke the ice” with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a letter that marked the US president’s first direct communication with the Chinese leader since he took office, in which he said he looked forward to working with him to develop relations.

Trump thanked Xi for a congratulatory letter and wished the Chinese people a happy Year of the Rooster, according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer.  “President Trump stated that he looks forward to working with President Xi to develop a constructive relationship that benefits both the United States and China,” Spicer said in a statement Wednesday night.

Still, while Trump has had phone calls with Vladimir Putin, Enrique Pena Nieto and Recep Tayyip Erdogan since he took office, some perceived the mere letter as a modest snub to the president of the world’s second biggest economy. Trump and Xi have yet to speak directly since Trump took office on Jan. 20, although they did talk soon after Trump won the U.S. presidential election in November.

Trump, who has spoken with more than a dozen heads of state since taking office, is scheduled to speak on Thursday with the leaders of Afghanistan, Qatar, Kuwait and Iraq.

China Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang responded in his daily briefing by saying “we highly appreciate President Trump’s holiday greetings to President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people.” Asked whether it was a snub that Trump had held calls with many other world leaders as president, but not Xi, Lu said: “This kind of remark is meaningless.”

He reiterated that China and the U.S. had maintained “close communication” since Trump took office and that cooperation was the “only correct choice”. “China is willing to work with the United States in adhering to the principles of non-confrontation, mutual respect and mutual benefit to promote cooperation, control disputes, and on a healthy and stable foundation, promote greater development in China-U.S. ties,” Lu said.

Diplomatic sources in Beijing say China has been nervous about Xi being left humiliated in the event a call with Trump goes wrong and the details are leaked to the U.S. media.

“That is the last thing China wants,” a source familiar with China’s thinking on relations with the United States told Reuters. “It would be incredibly embarrassing for President Xi and for Chinese people, who value the concept of face.” A senior non-U.S. Western diplomat said China was unlikely to be in a rush to set up such a call. “These things need to happen in a very controlled environment for China, and China can’t guarantee that with the unpredictable Trump,” the diplomat said.

“Trump also seems too distracted with other issues at the moment to give too much attention to China.”

As Bloomberg adds, :prior U.S. leaders have not always rushed to chat on the phone with their Chinese counterparts, even though Jiang Zemin’s visit to America in October 1997 led to an agreement on a hotline. Former President George W. Bush waited until July of his first term to speak with Jiang. By contrast, Barack Obama called Hu Jintao 11 days after his inauguration in 2009.”

Xi has reached out to Trump three times since his election win, including two congratulatory messages. They had a phone conversation on Nov. 14 in which Xi said cooperation was “the only correct choice” for ties. “It’s better than nothing, but it’s only a very small gesture,” said Shi Yinhong, a foreign affairs adviser to China’s cabinet and director of the Center on American Studies at Renmin University in Beijing, referring to Trump’s note. “Trump’s China policy hasn’t taken a clear shape yet, although all the signs so far point to a combative approach.”

China has repeatedly said it has smooth contacts with the Trump team. The Foreign Ministry in Beijing said last week the two countries were remaining “in close touch”. That contact has been led by China’s top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who outranks the foreign minister. Yang told Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, last week that China hopes it can work with the United States to manage and control disputes and sensitive problems.

The source familiar with China’s thinking said Trump’s administration was “very clear” about China’s position on Taiwan. Trump has yet to mention Taiwan since he took office.

Chinese state media has wondered whether Trump has a China policy at all. On Thursday, the widely read Global Times tabloid, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, noted that Trump had not immediately confronted China as had been expected because he had realized upsetting Beijing would backfire badly.

“He has probably realized that real tough action against China would result in a complex chain reaction, even beyond his control,” the paper said in an editorial.

In a sign that Trump is gradually learning conventional diplomacy, Wang Yiwei, a professor of international relations at Beijing’s elite Renmin University, said the letter suggested the new U.S. administration wanted to signal the importance it attached to the U.S.-China relationship without risking being confronted on specific issues. “Trump has sent many messages that makes the world confused, like on the South China Sea and ‘One China’ policy, so if he makes a phone call President Xi will ask ‘what do you mean?’,” Wang said. “He wants to avoid this so he just sends a letter for the first step.”

It is the next steps, however, that worry China.

Beijing has sought both official and informal channels to boost communication with the new administration. Trump’s daughter Ivanka was invited to a Chinese lunar new year event on Feb. 1 in the embassy in Washington, and a White House official said Ambassador Cui Tiankai and Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband and a presidential adviser, have an ongoing dialogue. “The most worrying aspect about the new presidency is his temperament, not his policy,” said Wang Fan, director of China Foreign Affairs University’s Institute of International Relations. “We’re worried he’d go to the extreme.”




Bitcoin plunges in value after Chinese exchanges suspend withdrawals.  Of course gold is the beneficiary

(courtesy zero hedge)

Bitcoin Plunges After Chinese Exchanges Suspend Bitcoin Withdrawals

Yesterday’s ominous closed-door meetings between the PBOC and bitcoin exchanges, appears to have had a dramatic effect, and as at least two Chinese bitcoin exchanges, Huobi and OKCoin, reported moments ago, all bitcoin withdrawals are now effectively suspended.

The result on bitcoin price was immediate and dramatic with bitcoin traded in China tumbling 7%.


This is the third major plunge driven by PBOC words (or deeds) pushing the dollar price of Bitcoin back below $1000

Here is the statement issued by Huobi, which we assume will be cross-posted by all other Chinese bitcoin marketplaces, in what appears to be the final crackdown phase by the Chinese central bank on local bitcoin traders (google translated).:

respected user:


According to regulatory authorities, “Bitcoin trading platform shall not violate national anti-money laundering, foreign exchange management and payment and settlement and other financial laws and regulations” requirements, the network will be strictly in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, combined with industry experience, the industry counterparts bit Money laundering regulations, a comprehensive upgrade platform for anti-money laundering system to effectively prevent and combat the use of Bitcoin for money laundering, exchange, pyramid schemes and other illegal activities. In order to avoid possible illegal transactions that may continue before the system upgrade is complete, the Company decides:


1) immediately from the moment, the fire network to suspend a comprehensive bit of cash and cash Lait cash business;
2) RMB cash withdrawal and other operations are not affected;
3) The implementation of the system immediately after the completion of recovery Bitcoin, Laite coin currency services, industry-standard development and implementation time is expected to 1 month, may also be substantially ahead of the development process.


We apologize for the inconvenience, thank you for your understanding and support of the fire!



Trumps new ambassador Ted Malloch lays it out perfectly as he states that Greece is likely to severe ties with Germany and exit the Euro

(courtesy zero hedge)

Trump’s EU Ambassador Says Greece Likely To “Sever Ties With Germany & Exit The Euro”

Amid a more prolonged economic doldrums than The Great Depression, Greece is heading towards its 4th bailout/deal with creditors. Adding to Grexit fears (voiced by many in and out of Greece), Ted Malloch, President Trump’s proposed US ambassador to the EU, casts doubt on survival of eurozone and says Athens should return to drachma.

As we noted previously, for the umpteenth time, the IMF has warned that Greece cannot meet fiscal targets set by its creditors. And once again, the IMF insists that it will not be a part of the “Troika” unless the goals on Greece are realistic. History suggests the IMF will cave in to Germany and agree to some half-baked plan (make that 1/8th baked plan) that will supposedly put Greece back on track. Such nonsense has been going on for years. Mercy, Please!

[It’s worse than the Great Depression…]

A view President Trump’s proposed ambassador to EU holds…

Days after being accused of “outrageous malevolence” towards the EU for publicly declaring that it “needs a little taming”, The Guardian reports that Trump’s nominee, Ted Malloch, said on Wednesday that the euro currency area in its present form was unlikely to last longer than 18 months.

“Whether the eurozone survives I think is very much a question that is on the agenda,” he told Greek Skai TV’s late-night chat show Istories. “We have had the exit of the UK, there are elections in other European countries, so I think it is something that will be determined over the course of the next year, year-and-a half.

“Why is Greece again on the brink? It seems like a deja vu, will it ever end? I think this time I would have to say that the odds are higher that Greece itself will break out of the euro.”

The stridently Brexit-supporting businessman, who has yet to be confirmed as the US president’s EU ambassador, said he wholeheartedly agreed with Trump’s tweet from 2012 saying Greece should return to the drachma, its former currency.

Greece should get out of the euro & go back to their own currency–they are just wasting time.

I personally think [Trump] was right. I would also say that this probably should have been instigated four years ago, and probably it would have been easier or simpler to do,” Malloch said in the interview with the show’s chief anchor, Alexis Papahelas.

Malloch said: “I have travelled to Greece, met lots of Greek people, I have academic friends in Greece and they say that these austerity plans are really deeply hurting the Greek people, and that the situation is simply unsustainable. So you might have to ask the question if what comes next could possibly be worse than what’s happening now.”

The biggest unknown was not a euro exit, but the chaos it would likely engender as Greece moved to a new currency, he said.

“If the [IMF] will not participate in a new bailout that does not include substantial debt relief, and that’s what they are saying, then that, more or less, ensures a collision course with eurozone creditors,” Malloch added, saying it was imperative that EU member states forgave a substantial part of Greece’s mountainous public debt.

“Now we all know that primarily [puts pressure on] Germany, which remains opposed to any such actions, so I think it suggests that Greece might have to sever ties and do Grexit and exit the euro,” he said.




The yield curve in Greece totally inverts with the 10 yr bond yield at 7.85% and the 2 yr at 10% signifying a huge potential for a GREXIT.  It seems that we have 2 parties that cannot agree on what to do with respect to Greece; the IMF who wants to cut Greece’s debt but Germany says no.  the IMF states that Greece cannot live with their huge debt and cannot have a primary surplus of 3.5% in perpetuity.  If the IMF is not  part of the Troika is bailing out Greece, then Germany will bail which will make the GREXIT a certainty and bring chaos to the monetary EU

(courtesy zero hedge)



Grexit Fears Loom As Greek Yield Curve Crushed To Brexit Extremes

Slowly but surely the “whatever-it-takes”-protected markets are waking up to the latest round of Grexit fear as Troika disagreements are once again pitting ongoing greater depression economics against drachmatization for the desperate Greeks. The Greek yield curve has inverted dramatically,


with 2Y yields topping 10% as risk is worse since Brexit…


Bailout #4? Or unilateral haircuts for the ECB?



This does not look good.  Seven rockets were fired from ISIS and 4 from Egypt’s side trying to hit the holiday capital of Israel, Eilat. Three were intercepted by the Dome and the 4th landed harmless in no man’s land. Also one mortar landed in the Golan Heights.  Israel will respond in kind


Israel/Jerusalem Post





FEBRUARY 9, 2017 07:20
Media reports say the terror group fired seven rockets toward Israel altogether.

Iron Dome

Iron Dome. (photo credit:REUTERS)

 A branch of Islamic State in Egypt’s Sinai reportedly claimed responsibility for firing rockets from Egypt into Israel on Wednesday night.

According to reports in Gazan media early Thursday, the Sinai branch of Islamic State was responsible for a barrage of missiles at Eilat, on Israel’s southernmost city.

In a message published to the media, ISIS proudly stated they there were indeed responsible for the fire that was directed at southern Israel late on Wednesday, boasting of their intentions to commit further attacks.

“With the grace of God alone, a military squad fired several Grad rockets at encampments of Jewish usurpers in the city of Um al-Rashrash [Eilat] in order to teach the Jews and the crusaders that a proxy war will not avail them of anything.”

Threatening to proceed with the aggression, the message went on to say that “the future will be more calamitous with Allah’s permission.”

During the incident, four projectiles were fired into southern Israel and three were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, according to the IDF Southern Command.

Projectiles from , and now have hit since Monday.

Footage out of as several projectiles are fired towards ‘s southern resort city which borders and ‘s pic.twitter.com/q8xpN0Tf14


Current Time0:27
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New ISIS video threatens Israel

(ISIS video threatens Israel in January 2016)

The rocket that was not intercepted struck in open territory near the city.

‘s Iron Dome intercepted two projectiles while another two exploded in the desert. Some people reported to be treated for shock

Southern command on : 4 projectiles from identified 3 intercepted by Iron Dome, 1 fell in an open area.

Gazan media said the terror group fired seven rockets altogether.

No injuries or damage were reported. A total of 11 people were treated for shock in Eilat’s Joseftal Hospital. One was an Australian tourist, four were vacationers and the rest were local residents.

As of Thursday morning, Eilat’s threat level was lowered and police said that the city will operate as normal.

The Iron Dome has not intercepted rockets headed for Eilat since 2014, when it did so during the most recent war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Operation Protective Edge.

Eilat police reported that none of the rockets fell within city limits and requested residents to immediately report all suspicious events and/or objects found.

The incident came hours after a mortar reportedly fell in the Golan Heights near the Syria border fence.

There were no known causalities or damage.

The IDF reported that the mortar was spillover from fighting within Syria, and that in response, the IDF struck a target in the northern Syrian Golan and confirmed a hit.

Such spillover is not unusual, and the IDF has usually responded, even if it was expected to be accidental, with attacks against Syrian Army positions.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.



It sure looks like Iran is not scared from Trump’s scare tactics

(courtesy zero hedge)

Iran Launches Another Ballistic Missile

So much for hope that Iran was prepared to de-escalate military tensions with the US.

As we reported yesterday, when we asked rhetorically “did Trump scare Iran“, according to satellite photos obtained by Fox, Iran had pulled a missile from a launchpad, despite prepping it previously for launch, in a sign perhaps that Tehran was willing to make the first step in de-escalating tensions with Trump.

Alas, that was not the case, and as Fox News reports moments ago, citing a US official, Iran has launches another missile from launchpad where it conducted ballistic missile test last month.

NEWS ALERT: U.S. Official: Iran launches another missile from launchpad where it conducted ballistic missle test last month.


According to Fox, the Semnan launch pad was the same as the one where recent satellite photos showed Iran had placed a Safir rocket poised to put a satellite into space before it was taken off the launcher. The reason Iran scrubbed the previous launch is not yet known. The missile used in Wednesday’s launch was a short-range Mersad surface-to-air missile, which impacted 35 miles away, according to a U.S. official.

This latest test comes less than a week after the U.S. placed new sanctions on Iran. There’s been a flurry of activity at the Semnan launch pad, located about 140 miles east of Tehran, in recent weeks, officials have told Fox News.

* * *

While we are merely speculating, the launch may be in response to last night’s report from Reuters that President Trump’s administration was considering potentially designating Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter. According to officials, such a proposal, which if implemented would add to measures the United States has already imposed on individuals and entities linked to the IRGC.

Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade

The IRGC is by far Iran’s most powerful security entity, which also has control over large stakes in Iran’s economy and huge influence in its political system. To be sure, Reuters admits that it had not seen a copy of the proposal, which could come in the form of an executive order directing the State Department to consider designating the IRGC as a terrorist group. It is unclear whether Trump would sign such an order.

The Revolutionary Guards answer to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose power far surpasses that of Rouhani.

Naming Iran’s single most powerful military and political institution as a terrorist group could have potentially destabilizing effects, including further inflaming regional conflicts in which the United States and regional arch-rivals blame Iran for interference. Iran denies those allegations. It would also likely complicate the U.S. fight against Islamic State in Iraq, where Shi’ite militias backed by Iran and advised by IRGC fighters are battling the Sunni jihadist group.

According to Reuters, some of Trump’s more hawkish advisors in the White House have been urging him to increase sanctions on Iran since his administration began to take shape. After tightening sanctions against Iran last week in response to a ballistic missile test, White House officials said the measures were an “initial” step.

The United States has already blacklisted dozens of entities and people for affiliations with the IRGC. In 2007, the U.S. Treasury designated the IRGC’s Quds Force, its elite unit in charge of its operations abroad, “for its support of terrorism,” and has said it is Iran’s “primary arm for executing its policy of supporting terrorist and insurgent groups.”

A designation of the entire IRGC as a terrorist group would potentially have much broader implications, including for the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated between Iran and the United States and other major world powers. Sanctioning the IRGC could also backfire in different ways, this official warned, as it could strengthen the hardliners and undercut more moderate leaders such as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and encourage Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria to curtail any action against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and perhaps even sponsor actions against U.S.-backed or even American forces battling Islamic State in Iraq.

“The Iranians will not take any U.S. action lying down,” said the official. “They may not act quickly or in the open, but there is a danger of an escalating conflict.”




Russian airstrike accidentally kills 3 Turkish soldiers stationed in Syria with un co- ordinated attacks

(courtesy zero hedge)

Russian Airstrike Accidentally Kills Three Turkish Soldiers In Syria

A Russian airstrike accidentally killed three Turkish soldiers and wounded 11 others during an operation against the Islamic State in northern Syria on Thursday morning, Turkey’s military said in a statement and Moscow confirmed.

Whether indeed “accidental”, or payback for the downing of a Russian jet over the Turkish-Syrian border in late 201 is unclear, but according to the Russian military, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan and expressed sorrow and condolences for the accidental killing.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia and Turkey will jointly investigate the deadly incident. The Kremlin spokesman told Sputnik that Putin told Erdogan that Turkish soldiers had died as a result of non-coordination of coordinates during Russian military jets’ strikes in Syria. The Russian and Turkish presidents held a phone conversation earlier on Thursday. Putin expressed condolences to Erdogan over the deaths of Turkish soldiers near Syria’s al-Bab, the Kremlin said earlier. They also agreed to expand military coordination during the operation against militants from Daesh and other extremist groups in Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry has also confirmed the unintentional strike, killing Turkish servicemen in Syria. The ministry said that Russian bombers had been on a mission to destroy Daesh terrorists’ positions near al-Bab, where Turkish soldiers had been accidentally bombed. “Russian bombers have been carrying out a combat mission destroying Daesh positions in al-Bab area. The chiefs of the [Russian and Turkish] general staffs agreed to closer coordinate joint actions and exchange information about the situation on the ground.”

Chief of the Russian General Staff General Valery Gerasimov held telephone talks with his Turkish counterpart, during which the issues of the fight against international terrorist groups in Syria and the situation in the northeast of the province of Aleppo were discussed.

“Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Army General Valery Gerasimov expressed condolences to [Turkish] General Hulusi Akar in connection with the death of three Turkish soldiers operating in the area of ??the city of al-Bab as a result of unintentional strike by a Russian aircraft.”



The real reason for the growth in the world was due to stimulation of the Chinese economy in 2016-2017.  As we have pointed out to you, China is now undergoing a tightening and this will have a devastating effect on world growth

(courtesy zero hedge)


Forget Trump: The Reason For The Economic Boom Is Totally Different, And Deutsche Says It Is About To End

Remember the G-20 “Shanghai Accord” from February 2016, a meeting where the world’s political and financial elites were rumored to sit down and unveil a plan how to boost the global economy? Well, according to a new research note out from Deutsche Bank, it was this event – together with the unprecedented credit expansion out of China that immediately followed – that catalyzed the ongoing global economic rebound, a recovery which has had nothing to do with confidence in Donald Trump policies.

And, according to Deutsche analysts, it is time to get worried again because if China was indeed the catalyst for the global growth impulse into the end of 2016, and early 2017, then that impulse is about to roll over, as the Chinese-led growth is coming to an end as the following analysis suggests.

Here is why DB’s Oliver Harvey is increasingly betting that the period of smooth economic calm is coming to an end, and why he believes it is time to start getting long FX vol.

One puzzle this year has been divergence between global political uncertainty and vol.

Structural shifts in US policy, from trade to Asia to the country’s strategic relationship with the EU, offer lots of potential for major FX moves (not to mention the European political calendar, Chinese outflows and Brexit negotiations). Yet the three month vol premium remains negative for almost every major FX pair. Longer dated vol, while in many cases higher, isn’t historically that elevated either.

The reason is booming global growth, with data surprises and many PMIs at multi-year highs. Our colleague’s previous research found the most robust driver of FX vol to be growth measures including US industrial production and world commodity prices. The question for markets then is if, or when, growth rolls over.

On that front attention has focused on President Trump, but developments on the other side of the world may prove more important. At the beginning of 2016, China embarked on its latest fiscal stimulus funded from local government land sales and a booming property market. The Chinese business cycle troughed shortly thereafter and has accelerated rapidly since.

Germany’s China-sensitive economy bottomed almost in sync, and exports to the east have now reached multi-year highs (chart 3). The US and the rest of the G7 followed with around a six-month lag. The most important reason for the current feel-good factor may be Chinese policy decisions from 12 months ago, not hopes for the US policy mix.

That makes last week’s softer-than-expected official and Caixin PMIs a concern. Land sales, which have led ‘live’ indicators of Chinese growth such as railway freight volumes by around 6 months, have already tailed off significantly.

Chinese policy has also become increasingly boxed in by the need to prevent persistent FX outflows, which explains a large tightening in monetary policy over recent weeks. Today’s reserve numbers show that despite such attention from the authorities, outflows remain robust in January.

* * *

DB’s punchline:“If China starts to slow again, the current risk-friendly environment has a short sell-by-date, particularly given rising oil prices and our view that any Trump stimulus will take at least a few quarters to work its way into US growth.”

DB may be right, but judging by the new all time highs across all indices as of this moment on the back of comments from, well… Trump, while the global economy may be about to roll over, equities are clearly driven far more by Trump than any worries about what Beijing may or may not be doing.




The Central Bank of Mexico raises its interest rate by 50 basis points as expected  which causes the Mexican Peso to rise

(courtesy zero hedge)


Peso Jumps After Banxico Hikes Rates 50bps (As Expected)

The Central Bank of Mexico hiked rates 50bps to 6.25% (as expected) and sent the peso rallying modestly. As Bloomberg notes, Banxico appears more concerned at inflationary pressures than growth slowdown.

Mexico Central Bank Issues Statement Following Rate Decision:
  • Banxico to Closely Watch Mid, Long-Term CPI Expectations
  • Banxico to Watch Potential FX Pass-Through to CPI
  • Banxico to Continue Watching Policy Posture vs U.S. Fed
  • Banxico to Closely Monitor Gasoline Prices

The peso is rallying modestly




Anarchy in the northern city of Espirito Santo Brazil as the police went on strike demanding a doubling of their pay.  The police earn 800 dollars equiv per month.

So far the count is over 100 dead.

(courtesy zero hedge)

Over 100 Dead Amid Violence, Looting As Brazil Police Strike Sparks Chaos, Anarchy

In a tragic development one would expect to see play out in its economically devastated northern neighbor, Venezuela, more than 100 people have been reported killed in violence and looting during a six-day strike by police in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo, resulting in public chaos and anarchy, with schools and businesses closed and public transportation frozen.

Police officers patrol the perimeter at the scene of a fatal shooting in Vila Velha, Espirito Santo, Brazil

In a scene out of a MadMax prequel, the Brazilian army mobilized airborne troops and armored vehicles on Thursday to reinforce the roughly 1,200 soldiers and federal police trying to contain the chaos in the coastal state north of Rio de Janeiro. Most of the violence was centered in the state capital Vitoria, a wealthy port city ringed by golden beaches and filled with mining and petroleum companies.

With the country’s economy continuing to crater as a result of record unemployment, soaring inflation, leading to a record high murder rate in the tourism capital Rio, police in Espirito Santo are demanding a pay rise amid an economic downturn that has hammered public finances in Brazil, with many states struggling to ensure even basic health, education and security services.

Police officers patrol the perimeter at the scene of a fatal shooting in Vila Velha, Espirito Santo

As a Reuters report recounts, soldiers patrolled abandoned streets in downtown Vitoria, stopping and frisking the occasional pedestrian against shuttered store fronts. State officials said they needed hundreds more federal troops and members of an elite federal police force to help establish order and make up for the absence of some 1,800 state police who normally patrol Vitoria’s metropolitan area.

Policemen carry a body at the Institute of Forensic Science in Vitoria, Espirito Santo

Meanwhile, the army said what it always says when it intervenes in a domestic disturbance: it’s only temporary. “The Army’s involvement in Espirito Santo is temporary. It is here to make government negotiations possible and bring peace to the population. We are not going to replace the police,” General Eduardo Villas Boas said on Twitter.

Army soldiers patrol the streets of Vila Velha, Espirito Santo, Brazil February 9, 2017.

According to Reuters, the state government has not released an official number for killings since police started striking on Saturday for better pay, but a spokeswoman for the union representing police said it had registered 101 homicides. That would be more than six times the state’s average homicide rate during the same period last year. The Globo TV network, citing security officials, reported that 200 cars were stolen in Vitoria on a single day, ten times the daily average for the whole state. The state’s retail association said businesses have lost 90 million reais ($28.87 million) since police walked off the job.

Army soldiers patrol the streets of Vila Velha, Espirito Santo, Brazil

Echoing the post-apocalyptic scenes in Venezuela, where stores in the Brazilian state did open their doors, they were swarmed by shoppers stocking up as if preparing for a natural disaster.

“Good thing the supermarket opened because I have two young children at home and the food is running out,” said salesman Vitor Paulo, weighted down with shopping bags. “It’s like we’re hostages in our own homes. We’re scared to go out.”

Representatives of the striking police, including some of the officers’ wives, met with state officials on Wednesday to demand that salaries be doubled for every category of officer.

Policemen carry a body at the Institute of Forensic Science in Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil

The union said they have not received a raise in four years. Monthly pay for an officer starts at 2,643 reais ($848), according to Corporal Thiago Bicalho, a spokesman for striking police. “We are going to analyze the offer and see what we can do in reality to advance this situation,” said Julio Pompeu, director of the state’s human rights secretariat, who is helping the government negotiate with police.

There is hope that normalcy will return: the two sides are scheduled to meet again on Thursday.

Your early morning currency/gold and silver pricing/Asian and European bourse movements/ and interest rate settings THURSDAY morning 7:00 am



GBP/USA 1.2562 UP .0040 (Brexit by March 201/UK government loses case/parliament must vote/PRIME MINISTER MAY  DECIDES ON A HARD BREXIT/LOWER HOUSE PASSES BILL TO BEGIN THE BREXIT PROCESS)


Early THIS THURSDAY morning in Europe, the Euro FELL by 5 basis points, trading now WELL ABOVE the important 1.08 level FALLING to 1.0685; Europe is still reacting to Gr Britain HARD BREXIT,deflation, announcements of massive stimulation (QE), a proxy middle east war, and the ramifications of a default at the Austrian Hypo bank, an imminent default of Greece, Glencore, Nysmark and the Ukraine, along with rising peripheral bond yield further stimulation as the EU is moving more into NIRP, and now the Italian referendum defeat AND NOW THE ECB TAPERING OF ITS PURCHASES/ THE USA’S NON tightening by FAILING TO RAISE THEIR INTEREST RATE AND NOW THE HUGE PROBLEMS FACING TOO BIG TO FAIL DEUTSCHE BANK + THE ELECTION OF TRUMP IN THE USA+ AND MONTE DEI PASCHI NATIONALIZATION / Last night the Shanghai composite CLOSED UP 16.19 POINTS OR 0.51%     / Hang Sang  CLOSED UP 40.01 POINTS OR .17%    /AUSTRALIA  CLOSED UP 0.25%  / EUROPEAN BOURSES ALL THE GREEN (EXCEPT LONDON)

We are seeing that the 3 major global carry trades are being unwound. The BIGGY is the first one;

1. the total dollar global short is 9 trillion USA and as such we are now witnessing a sea of red blood on the streets as derivatives blow up with the massive rise in the rise in the dollar against all paper currencies and especially with the fall of the yuan carry trade. The emerging market which house close to 50% of the 9 trillion dollar short is feeling the massive pain as their debt is quite unmanageable.

2, the Nikkei average vs gold carry trade ( NIKKEI blowing up and the yen carry trade HAS BLOWN up/and now NIRP)

3. Short Swiss franc/long assets blew up ( Eastern European housing/Nikkei etc.

These massive carry trades are terribly offside as they are being unwound. It is causing global deflation ( we are at debt saturation already) as the world reacts to lack of demand and a scarcity of debt collateral. Bourses around the globe are reacting in kind to these events as well as the potential for a GREXIT>

The NIKKEI: this THURSDAY morning CLOSED DOWN 99.93 POINTS OR 0.53% 

Trading from Europe and Asia:
1. Europe stocks ALL IN THE GREEN 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED UP 40.01 POINTS OR .17%       / SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 16.19   OR 0.51%Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 0.25% /Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED DOWN 99.93 POINTS OR 0.53%  /  INDIA’S SENSEX IN THE GREEN

Gold very early morning trading: $1239.60


Early THURSDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.352% !!! UP 1 IN POINTS from WEDNESDAY night in basis points and it is trading JUST BELOW resistance at 2.27-2.32%. THE RISE IN YIELD WITH THIS SPEED IS FRIGHTENING

 The 30 yr bond yield  2.979, UP 3 IN BASIS POINTS  from THURSDAY night.

USA dollar index early THURSDAY morning: 100.29 UP 12 CENT(S) from WEDNESDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers THURSDAY MORNING


And now your closing THURSDAY NUMBERS

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 4.051% DOWN 6  in basis point yield from WEDNESDAY 

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.099%  UP 1/10  in   basis point yield from WEDNESDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD:1.625%  DOWN 8 IN basis point yield from  WEDNESDAY (this is totally nuts!!/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.173 DOWN 7 POINTS  in basis point yield from WEDNESDAY 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 54 points HIGHER than Spain.





Closing currency crosses for THURSDAY night/USA DOLLAR INDEX/USA 10 YR BOND YIELD/1:00 PM 

Euro/USA 1.0701 UP .0023 (Euro UP 23 basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 111.73 DOWN: 0.644(Yen UP 64 basis points/ 

Great Britain/USA 1.2529 UP 0.0025( POUND UP 34 basis points)

USA/Canada 1.3152 DOWN 0.0039(Canadian dollar UP 39 basis points AS OIL ROSE TO $52.32


This afternoon, the Euro was DOWN by 29 basis points to trade at 1.0662


The POUND FELL 3  basis points, trading at 1.2520/

The Canadian dollar ROSE  by 24 basis points to 1.3121,  WITH WTI OIL RISING TO :  $53.05

The USA/Yuan closed at 6.8659/
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.099% UP 1/10 IN  BASIS POINTS / yield/ 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 6 IN basis points from WEDNESDAY at 2.384% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic  USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.01 UP 6 in basis points on the day /

Your closing USA dollar index, 100.57 UP 31 CENT(S)  ON THE DAY/1.00 PM 

Your closing bourses for Europe and the Dow along with the USA dollar index closing and interest rates for THURSDAY: 1:00 PM EST

London:  CLOSED UP 40.68 OR 0.57% 
German Dax :CLOSED UP 99.48 POINTS OR 0.86%
Paris Cac  CLOSED UP 59.64 OR 1.25%
Spain IBEX CLOSED UP 108.70 POINTS OR 1.17%
Italian MIB: CLOSED UP 175.66 POINTS OR 0.94%

The Dow closed UP 118.06 OR 0.59%

NASDAQ WAS closed UP 32.73 POINTS OR 0.58%  4.00 PM EST
WTI Oil price;  53.05 at 1:00 pm; 

Brent Oil: 55.59  1:00 EST




This ends the stock indices, oil price, currency crosses and interest rate closes for today

Closing Price for Oil, 5 pm/and 10 year USA interest rate:


BRENT: $55.68


USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.009%

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.0656 down .0034 

USA/JAPANESE YEN:113.25   up 1.289

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 100.66  up 49  cents ( HUGE resistance at 101.80)

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.2496 : down 27   BASIS POINTS.

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +.312%


And now your more important USA stories which will influence the price of gold/silver


Stocks Soar To Record Highs As Trump Drops The ‘T’ Word, Sparks Biggest Short-Squeeze Since Election

What a difference a word makes…


Can you spot the moment when President Trump said the word “tax”…


Record highs for The Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq.


Of course it’s all just another bigly short squeeze…Today saw “Most Shorted” stocks soar 2.5% – the biggest squeeze since the election


VIX crushed back to a 10 handle sending Dow above 20,200…


Small Caps were ripped back into the green for the week…


Banks and Energy stocks tore higher – after being the biggest losers…


Bonds sold off today (after 3 days of strength)…


30Y bounced back above 3.00%


The yield curve steepened modestly…


The USD Index bounced led by Yen weakness…


USD gains impacted PMs today – gold and silver lower – but crude rallied in risk on mode. PMs remain post-payrolls winners…


Finally, Soft Data and The Dow remain convinced of how awesome everything is while Hard Data and Bonds are not at all…




Early trading today:

Algos gone wild with Trump announcement on taxes and subsidies to the airlines to compete with foreign airlines;

(courtesy zero hedge)

Trump Says He Will Announce “Something Phenomenal On Taxes In Next 2-3 Weeks” – Market Turmoils

After a few hours of relative calm, President Trump has injected some renewed chaos into capital markets this mornings after comments that he will release “something phenomenal on taxes in the next 2-3 weeks” among other things…

  • “We are going to be announcing something over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax,” President Trump says in meeting with airline CEOs.
  • “You’ve done an amazing job. I know you’re under pressure from a lot of foreign elements”
  • “We want to take care of you”
  • “We want the traveling public to have” the best “customer service”
  • “We have obsolete airports and train systems and bad roads”
  • Says regulations will be rolled back

And the reaction is clear…

USD spiked, bonds dumped, and gold dropped…


And USDJPY and Stocks are soaring… USDJPY mahcines tagged 113.00 perfectly


Algos gone wild.


And then the President addressed the Airline CEOs in the room…

  • “You’ve done an amazing job. I know you’re under pressure from a lot of foreign elements”
  • “We want to take care of you”
  • “We want the traveling public to have” the best “customer service”
  • “We have obsolete airports and train systems and bad roads”
  • Says regulations will be rolled back

And some more snippets:

“What can we do to make your airlines better, to make your bottomlines better?” President Trump asks airline CEOs in White House meeting. “You’ve got a lot of competition”; “a lot of that competition is subsidized by governments, big league”; ‘‘I heard that from the minute I got elected”

Trump says air-traffic control system is “totally out of whack” and “its way over budget”; ‘‘It’s already outdated”.

He asks Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, “Why did they allow the government to put in the wrong system?” Kelly responds, “We want to get the government out of the air traffic control sytem”

Trump also says in meeting that head of FAA should be a pilot

Says “I don’t like aviation fees and taxes, I’ll be honest with you” and “raising fees will just hurt you”

And the punchline from Trump: “don’t worry about the money. I’ll be able to get the money”

At that point, reporters were escorted from the room as the meeting continued, although the message was clear: Washington subsidies are coming.

And the reaction is clear…

The Senate War Against Border Tax Begins

One week ago, we wrote that “Two Wars Are About To Break Out Over Border Adjustment Tax“: one of which would include a group of opposing Republican Senators (and their lobbyists), and US retailers and importers, and a second which would be waged between the US and all of its major trading partners.

Today, the war against BAT fired its first salvo, when the previously profiled Senator David Perdue of Georgia, former CEO of discount retailer Dollar General, emerged as the top Republican critic of the House GOP plan to adjust business taxes at the border, threatening the divisive proposal’s legislative prospects. Unlike other members of the upper chamber, Perdue has harshly criticized the tax idea in the press and actively tried to sway his colleagues against it.

In a letter issued on Wednesday, Perdue wrote that “this 20-percent tax on all imports is regressive, hammers consumers, and shuts down economic growth.”

Perdue said he supports three of the major ideas in the House Republicans’ plan: simplifying the individual tax code, lowering the corporate tax rate and making it easier for companies to bring foreign earnings back to the U.S. But he said that the border-adjustment tax would raise consumer prices.

“This would hammer consumer confidence and lower overall demand, thus putting a downward pressure on jobs,” he said.

In addition to his letter, Perdue also spoke with Yahoo Finance, and called the border-adjustment feature of the House GOP plan “a regressive tax. It hammers low-income and middle-income people. It doesn’t foster growth.”


As detailed on various previously occasions, the border-adjustment proposal would exempt exports from the corporate tax in addition to taxing imports. Supporters of the proposal argue that it would remove incentives for companies to move job overseas. They also argue that it will not hurt prices because the U.S. dollar would strengthen.

Perdue warned that even if the currency adjusts, “we end up with more losers than winners.” He said that a currency adjustment would lower the value of U.S. investors’ foreign investments.  “American seniors will see their retirement savings evaporate at the same time their living costs increase,” he said.

A recent analysis by JPM calculated the specific industries that would see the most adverse exposure from a BAT.

Should a Border Adjustment Tax not lead to an offsetting surge in the dollar as some expect will happen, retailers will get crushed.

It is not surprising that a former Dollar General CEO would be concerned.

Perdue is not the only Republican lawmaker who has expressed concerns about the border-adjustment proposal. As we noted last week, Senator Mike Lee of Utah told Koch network donors: “This ends up becoming a VAT-like substance and I think it would end up having a lot of the negative characteristics of both a VAT and a tariff … I really don’t like it.” Additionally, Senator John Cornyn of Texas is known to be concerned about border adjustment’s effect on gasoline prices. Last week he tweeted: “Many unanswered questions about proposed “border adjustment” tax.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the former House Freedom Caucus chairman, told Bloomberg yesterday that he has concerns about border adjustment as well.

House Republicans have proposed taxing imports as part of a broader corporate rate-cutting reform that would tax goods based on where they are sold. Under the plan, companies would no longer be allowed to deduct the cost of imported goods and services, but would no longer pay any taxes on revenues from exports. In today’s system, U.S. companies are taxed on all profits, whether they are earned in the U.S. or abroad. Republicans say the change would encourage more manufacturing within the U.S., and discourage companies from moving production overseas.

A major motivation for including the border adjustment feature in the plan is that it would raise over $1 trillion over 10 years, allowing Republicans to cut tax rates further without adding to deficits.

Perdue, however, rejected the tax as a pay-for for tax rate cuts on Thursday, calling it a “tax grab.”

While it is unclear yet if the BAT will or will not be included in the final GOP tax package (according to Goldman it has virtually no chance of passing), over the past two days retailer stocks have surged on hopes this provision will be struck down shortly, even if it means that the amount of tax cuts will be less than expected.

Perdue’s full letter is below (link).



(courtesy zero hedge)

Initial Jobless Claims Plunge To 44 Year Lows

While continuing claims continue to rise post-election…


Initial jobless claims have collapsed back to with 1k of the lowest levels since 1973.

  • *U.S. JOBLESS CLAIMS FALL 12,000 TO 234,000; EST. 249,000

While everything is awesome with this print, one wonders what happens next?

Which is more likely – higher or lower from here?



Senate Confirms Jeff Sessions As U.S. Attorney General In 52-47 Vote





Trump not to be happy with the “disheartening Gorsuch story”.  He then accuses democratic Senator Blumenthal of lying

(courtesy zero hedge)

Trump Slams “Disheartening” Gorsuch Story, Accuses Sen. Blumenthal Of Lying


This is going to be costly;  the top USA commander in Afghanistan wants a 2 to 3 thousand troops to break the stalemate over there:

(courtesy zero hedge)

Top US Commander In Afghanistan: “I Am Short A Few Thousand Troops”




the following is an important commentary from David Stockman as he outlines that Trump will have no chance to pass his budget in the House/senate this year.

a must read…

(courtesy David Stockman/DailyReckoning/ContraCorner)


The Crash Will Be Violent

[Ed. Note: To see exactly what this former Reagan insider has to say about Trump and specifically what he believes must be done, David Stockman is sending out a copy of his book Trumped! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… And How to Bring It Back out to any American willing to listen. To learn how to get your free copy CLICK HERE.]

It is almost impossible to overstate the level of unhinged mania in the stock market, but still the robo-machines and knucklehead day traders just can’t seem to let go.

They are essentially 12-year-olds on a bicycle defiantly screaming, look ma — no hands and a blindfold, too!

Worse still, these daredevils have been indulged by the Fed and other central banks so long that they surely have come to believe flying blind is completely safe. After all, we can count at least 60 “dips” since March 2009 that resolved to the upside over and again.

Altogether the S&P 500 now stands at 3.4X its post-crisis low, having generated an 18% annual return (including dividends) for nearly eight years running.

To be sure, in an honest free market that very fact would be a flashing red light, warning that exceptionally high gains over an extended period necessitate a regression to the mean in the period ahead.

But we have a central bank medicated market, not a free or honest one, so at the end of the day fundamentals don’t count. Instead, on the margin the stock market is driven by momentum, central bank liquidity and trader presumption that it will never be withdrawn.

The reflexive dip buyers have ratcheted the market higher 45% without any plausible or sustainable case for it. Economic growth rates are deflating, productivity has slumped and corporate earnings have been sinking for nearly eight quarters.

Even the central banks themselves concede interest rates are intended to eventually normalize. Their radical experiment in zero interest rates (ZIRP) and bond yield repression of the last nine years was designed to force interest rates temporarily to unnatural lows in order to jump start the economy.

The implied channel of monetary policy transmission, therefore, would have been a temporary spurt of GDP expansion (back to the “potential” GDP path) and earnings growth. That didn’t happen, of course, because quantitative easing (QE) stimulus never got outside the canyons of Wall Street. It did nothing for main street.

In so doing, the Fed has destroyed honest price discovery, and therefore the market has no braking or correction mechanism. It will drift higher on pure buy-the-dips momentum until it hits a sharp object.

Stated differently, this is the most dangerous market mutation to have ever been confected by state policy.

It has destroyed two-way trade, short-sellers and the other mechanisms of free market discipline. What is left is robo-machines that all buy the dips together, but will also sell the coming crash just as quickly.

So never mind the fact that the ostensible reason for the post-election Sucker’s Rally — the mythical Trump Stimulus — has already bitten the dust on Capitol Hill.

According to Speaker Ryan, they are not going to even take up tax reform until they dispose of the GOP’s Obamacare “repeal and replace” pledge, but even Trump now says that may take until next year.

Likewise, any corporate tax reform that does happen will be done on a roughly deficit neutral basis, meaning that the average effective corporate tax rate is not going to change much at all.

That is to say, the effective rate today is about 23% overall and 15% for profitable big cap S&P 500 companies. A deficit neutral reform will leave the average effective rate where it is, even if the statutory rate is reduced to around 20%.

Therefore, there will be no growth coming from corporate tax reform.

And don’t take my word for it. Here is what one of the most outspoken fiscal responsibility champions in the House GOP had to say:

“You’re not going to be able to grow your way out of this one. It’s too big,” says Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.). He expresses worry about relying on rosy growth projections, through the use of so-called dynamic scoring, to assume tax cuts would stimulate the economy to materially offset upfront revenue losses. “I worry we’re so in love with dynamic scoring, and it never works out the way the tax gurus tell us it’s going to.”

Moreover, there is not a chance that a significant infrastructure stimulus will pass, either. That’s because a meaningful slice of GOP conservatives in both houses are properly against it and Trump has no chance of forming a coalition with Democrat spenders.

That’s because co-President Steve Bannon does not understand that the White House’s bombastic anti-immigrant campaign is toxic on the Democratic side of the aisle. After all, the Democrats have become the “sanctuary party” of contemporary politics, meaning the two sides will not be joining hands any time soon.

What will be coming soon, however, is the mother of all debt ceiling crises — an eruption of beltway dysfunction that will finally demolish the notion that Trump is good for the economy and the stock market.

The debt ceiling holiday ends on March 15, and it appears that the rudderless Treasury Department — Mnuchin has not yet been approved as Treasury Secretary and there are no Trump deputies, either — may be engaging in a bit of sabotage. That is, the cash balance has run down from a peak of about $450 billion to just $304 billion as of last Friday.

Unless reversed soon, this means that the Treasury will run out of cash by perhaps July 4th rather than Labor Day. After that, all hell will break loose.

Washington has been obviously dysfunctional for years, but the virtue of the Great Disrupter is that his tweets, tangents, inconsistencies and unpredictabilities guarantee that the system will soon shut down entirely.

Consequently, the first half of the year will be consumed in nasty partisan battles over cabinet appointments, the Gorsuch nomination, interminable maneuvers over the travel ban and follow-on measures of extreme vetting and the Obamacare repeal/replace battle.

Then, the second half of 2017 will degenerate into a non-stop battle over raising the debt ceiling and continuing resolutions for fiscal year (FY) 2018 which begins October 1. That will mean, in turn, that there is no budget resolution embodying the Trump/GOP fiscal agenda, and therefore no basis for filibuster-proof “reconciliation instructions” on the tax cut.

This latter point, in fact, needs special emphasis. The frail GOP majorities now extant will be too battered and fractured by the interim battles to coalesce around a ten-year budget resolution that embodies the $10 trillion of incremental deficits already built into the CBO baseline — plus trillions more for defense, veterans, border control,  the Mexican Wall, an infrastructure bonanza and big tax cuts, too.

It will never happen. There is not remotely a GOP majority for such a resolution.

But without an FY 2018 budget resolution, inertia and the K-Street lobbies will rule. Without a 51-vote majority rule in the Senate, a material, deficit-neutral cut in the corporate tax rate would be absolutely impossible to pass. Yet that’s exactly what the casino is currently pricing-in.

In short, it is only a matter of time before the robo-machines start re-programming themselves for the fact that the Great Trump Stimulus has gone missing.

When that happens, the stock market will not be a pretty sight.The S&P 500 has now reached the highest ratio to worker earnings in recorded history. It will descend into a bidless free fall when eight years of buying the dip finally unwinds.

But here’s the thing…

The historic mission of the Whirling Dervish in the Oval Office is to bring the “big fat ugly bubble” that has resulted from 30 years of exploding debt and rampant money printing to a thundering halt.

That much the Donald will certainly accomplish.


David Stockman
for The Daily Reckoning/the ContraCorner

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