MARCH 8/GOLD RISES BY A CONSIDERABLE $13.40 TO $1299.00//SILVER UP 30 CENTS TO $15.34//AGAIN CONSIDERABLE QUEUE JUMPING AT BOTH GOLD AND SILVER COMEX//BIG NEWS OF THE DAY: HUGE DROP IN CHINESE EXPORTS OF 20.7% DESPITE HUGE STIMULUS AS CHINESE STOCKS CRASH//XI CANCELS MAR A LAGO TRIP TO FLORIDA TO MEET TRUMP//ITALY: HUGE DISAGREEMENT OVER A RAIL PROJECT MAY BRING DOWN GOVERNMENT//ISRAEL SET TO BLOCK TRANSFER OF IRANIAN OIL TO PURCHASERS//IN THE USA POOR JOBS REPORT WITH ONLY 20,000 JOBS ADDED//

 

 

 

GOLD: $1299.00 UP $13.40 (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Silver:   $15.34 UP 30 CENTS (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Closing access prices:

Gold :  $1298.50

 

silver: $15.34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For comex gold and silver:

MARCH

 

 

 

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  MAR CONTRACT: 9 NOTICE(S) FOR 900 OZ (0.0280 tonnes)

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  310 NOTICES FOR 31000 OZ  (.9642 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR MARCH

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

126 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR 630,000  OZ/

 

total number of notices filed so far this month: 4848 for 24,240,000

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: OPENING MORNING TRADE $3919:UP $23

 

Bitcoin: FINAL EVENING TRADE: $3928  UP 40

 

end

 

XXXX

JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs are taking a huge issuance (stopping) of gold at the comex.

today 4/9

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: MARCH 2019 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,283.800000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 03/07/2019 DELIVERY DATE: 03/11/2019
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
657 C MORGAN STANLEY 1
661 C JP MORGAN 4
737 C ADVANTAGE 9 4
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 9 9
MONTH TO DATE: 319

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST ROSE BY A SMALL SIZED 664 CONTRACTS FROM 191,329 UP TO 191,993 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S 4 CENT LOSS IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX. TODAY WE ARRIVED FURTHER FROM  AUGUST’S 2018  RECORD SETTING OPEN INTEREST OF 244,196 CONTRACTS. WE ALWAYS WITNESS A CONTRACTION IN TOTAL OI AS WE APPROACH FIRST DAY NOTICE AND IT SEEMS THE CULPRIT IS THE FORCED LIQUIDATION OF SPREADERS.

WE HAVE ALSO WITNESSED A LARGE AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL METAL STAND FOR COMEX DELIVERY AS WELL WE ARE WITNESSING CONSIDERABLE LONGS PACKING THEIR BAGS AND MIGRATING OVER TO LONDON IN GREATER NUMBERS IN THE FORM OF EFP’S.  WE WERE  NOTIFIED  THAT WE HAD A STRONG SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP:

0 EFP’S FOR MARCH,  0 FOR APRIL,  3061 FOR MAY, 0 FOR DECEMBER AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE: OF 3061 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 3061 CONTRACTS, WHAT THE CME IS STATING IS THAT THERE IS NO SILVER (OR GOLD) TO BE DELIVERED UPON AT THE COMEX AS THEY MUST EXPORT THEIR OBLIGATION TO LONDON. ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE CAN BE A DELAY OF 24-48 HRS IN THE ISSUING OF EFP’S. THE 3061 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 15.31 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 4 CENT LOSS IN SILVER PRICE AT THE COMEX AND

2. THE STRONG AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES WHICH STOOD FOR DELIVERY IN THE LAST NINE MONTHS:

JUNE/2018. (5.420 MILLION OZ);

FOR JULY: 30.370 MILLION OZ

FOR AUG., 6.065 MILLION OZ

FOR SEPT. 39.505 MILLION  OZ S

FOR OCT.2.525 MILLION OZ.

FOR NOV:  A HUGE 7.440 MILLION OZ STANDING  AND

21.925 MILLION OZ FINALLY STAND FOR DECEMBER.

5.845 MILLION OZ STAND IN JANUARY.

2.955 MILLION OZ STANDING FOR FEBRUARY.

AND NOW: 25.325 MILLION OZ STANDING IN MARCH.

 

 

ACCUMULATION FOR EFP’S/SILVER/J.P.MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES, / STARTING FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE/FOR MONTH OF MARCH:

17,000 CONTRACTS (FOR 6 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 17,000 CONTRACTS) OR 85.00 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 2833 CONTRACTS OR 14.16 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF MAR:  85.00 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 12.14% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION (EX CHINA EX RUSSIA)*  JUNE’S 345.43 MILLION OZ IS THE SECOND HIGHEST RECORDED ISSUANCE OF EFP’S AND IT FOLLOWED THE RECORD SET IN APRIL 2018 OF 385.75 MILLION OZ.

ACCUMULATION IN YEAR 2019 TO DATE SILVER EFP’S:          449.89    MILLION OZ.

JANUARY 2019 EFP TOTALS:                                                      217.455. MILLION OZ

FEB 2019 TOTALS:                                                                       147.4       MILLION OZ/

 

 

RESULT: WE HAD A GOOD SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 664 DESPITE THE 4 CENT LOSS IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX /YESTERDAY..THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD   STRONG SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 3061 CONTRACTS WHICH EXITED OUT OF THE SILVER COMEX AND TRANSFERRED THEIR OI TO LONDON AS FORWARDS. SPECULATORS CONTINUED THEIR INTEREST IN ATTACKING THE SILVER COMEX FOR PHYSICAL SILVER (SEE COMEX DATA) .

TODAY WE GAINED A HUGE SIZED: 3725 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

i.e 3061 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH INCREASE OF 664 OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 4 CENT LOSS IN PRICE OF SILVER  AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $15.04 WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. YET WE HAD A GIGANTIC AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX FOR DELIVERY 

 

 

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by JUST UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 0.975 BILLION OZ TO BE EXACT or 139% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT FEBRUARY MONTH/ THEY FILED AT THE COMEX: 126 NOTICE(S) FOR 630000 OZ OF SILVER

IN SILVER,PRIOR TO TODAY, WE  SET THE NEW COMEX RECORD OF OPEN INTEREST AT 243,411 CONTRACTS ON APRIL 9.2018 AND AGAIN THIS HAS BEEN SET WITH A LOW PRICE OF $16.51.  

AND NOW WE RECORD FOR POSTERITY ANOTHER ALL TIME RECORD OPEN INTEREST AT THE COMEX OF 244,196 CONTRACTS ON AUGUST 22/2018 AND AGAIN WHEN THIS RECORD WAS SET, THE PRICE OF SILVER WAS $14.78 AND LOWER IN PRICE THAN PREVIOUS RECORDS.

ON THE DEMAND SIDE WE HAVE THE FOLLOWING:

  1. HUGE AMOUNTS OF SILVER STANDING FOR DELIVERY  (MARCH/2018: 27 MILLION OZ , APRIL/2018 : 2.485 MILLION OZ  MAY: 36.285 MILLION OZ ; JUNE/2018  (5.420 MILLION OZ) , JULY 2018 FINAL AMOUNT STANDING: 30.370 MILLION OZ   )  FOR AUGUST 6.065 MILLION OZ. , SEPT:  A HUGE 39.505 MILLION OZ./ OCTOBER: 2,520,000 oz  NOV AT 7.440 MILLION OZ./ DEC. AT 21.925 MILLION OZ   JANUARY AT  5.825 MILLION OZ.AND FEB 2019:  2.955 MILLION OZ/AND NOW MARCH: 25.285 MILLION OZ/
  2. HUGE RECORD OPEN INTEREST IN SILVER 243,411 CONTRACTS (OR 1.217 BILLION OZ/ SET APRIL 9/2018) AND NOW AUGUST 22/2018:  244,196 CONTRACTS,  WITH A SILVER PRICE OF $14.78.
  3. HUGE ANNUAL EFP’S ISSUANCE EQUAL TO 2.9 BILLION OZ OR 400% OF SILVER ANNUAL PRODUCTION/2017
  4. RECORD SETTING EFP ISSUANCE FOR ANY MONTH IN SILVER; APRIL/2018/ 385.75 MILLION OZ/  AND THE SECOND HIGHEST RECORDED EFP ISSUANCE JUNE 2018 345.43 MILLION OZ

AND YET, WITH THE EXTREMELY HIGH EFP ISSUANCE, WE HAVE A CONTINUAL LOW PRICE OF SILVER DESPITE THE ABOVE HUGE DEMAND.  TO ME THE ONLY ANSWER IS THAT WE HAVE SOVEREIGN  (CHINA) WHO IS ENDEAVOURING TO GOBBLE UP ALL AVAILABLE PHYSICAL SILVER NO MATTER WHERE, EXACTLY WHAT J.P.MORGAN IS DOING. AND IT IS MY BELIEF THAT J.P.MORGAN IS HOLDING ITS SILVER FOR ITS BENEFICIAL OWNER..THE USA GOVERNMENT WHO IN TURN IS HOLDING THAT SILVER FOR CHINA.(FOR A SILVER LOAN REPAYMENT).

 

IN GOLD, THE OPEN INTEREST ROSE BY A MAKE BELIEVE 21,831 CONTRACTS UP TO 499,967 DESPITE THE FALL IN THE COMEX GOLD PRICE/(A LOSS IN PRICE OF $1.40//YESTERDAY’S TRADING). HOWEVER…….

 

 

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A  STRONG SIZED 5,000 CONTRACTS:

 

MARCH HAD AN ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTACTS  APRIL 5000 CONTRACTS,JUNE: 0 CONTRACTS DECEMBER: 0 CONTRACTS AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 499,967. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE WILL BE A DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S.  THE BANKERS REMOVE LONG POSITIONS OF COMEX GOLD IMMEDIATELY.  THEN THEY ORCHESTRATE THEIR PRIVATE EFP DEAL WITH THE LONGS AND THAT COULD TAKE AN ADDITIONAL, 48 HRS SO WE GENERALLY DO NOT GET A MATCH WITH RESPECT TO DEPARTING COMEX LONGS AND NEW EFP LONG TRANSFERS. . EVEN THOUGH THE BANKERS ISSUED THESE MONSTROUS EFPS, THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS TO SUPPLY METAL BUT IT TRANSFERS THE RISK TO A LONDON BANKER OBLIGATION AND NOT A NEW YORK COMEX OBLIGATION. LONGS RECEIVE A FIAT BONUS TOGETHER WITH A LONG LONDON FORWARD. THUS, BY THESE ACTIONS, THE BANKERS AT THE COMEX HAVE JUST STATED THAT THEY HAVE NO APPRECIABLE METAL!! THIS IS A MASSIVE FRAUD: THEY CANNOT SUPPLY ANY METAL TO OUR COMEX LONGS BUT THEY ARE QUITE WILLING TO SUPPLY MASSIVE NON BACKED GOLD (AND SILVER) PAPER KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE NO METAL TO SATISFY OUR LONGS. LONDON IS NOW SEVERELY BACKWARD IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER  AND WE ARE WITNESSING DELAYS IN ACTUAL DELIVERIES.

IN ESSENCE WE HAVE  A GIGANTIC SIZED GAIN IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 26,831 CONTRACTS: 21,831 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND 5,000 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN OF 26,831 CONTRACTS OR 2,683,100= 83.46 TONNES.

YESTERDAY WE HAD A LOSS IN THE PRICE OF GOLD TO THE TUNE OF $1.40.AND WITH THAT, WE HAD A HUGE GAIN IN TONNAGE OF 83.46 TONNES.

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 4012 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH : 49,564 CONTRACTS OR 4,956,400 OZ OR 154.16 TONNES (6 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 8260 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE STRONG SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 6 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 154.16 TONNES

TOTAL ANNUAL GOLD PRODUCTION, 2018, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD EX CHINA EX RUSSIA: 2555 TONNES

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 154.16/2550 x 100% TONNES = 6.04% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN DECEMBER ALONE.***

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2019 TO DATE:     1029.5  TONNES

JANUARY 2019 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE;   531.20 TONNES

FEB 2019 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:             344.36 TONNES

 

 

WHAT IS ALARMING TO ME, ACCORDING TO OUR LONDON EXPERT ANDREW MAGUIRE IS THAT THESE EFP’S ARE BEING TRANSFERRED TO WHAT ARE CALLED SERIAL FORWARD CONTRACT OBLIGATIONS AND THESE CONTRACTS ARE LESS THAN 14 DAYS.  ANYTHING GREATER THAN 14 DAYS, THESE MUST BE RECORDED AND SENT TO THE COMPTROLLER, GREAT BRITAIN TO MONITOR RISK TO THE BANKING SYSTEM.  IF THIS IS INDEED TRUE, THEN THIS IS A MASSIVE CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD AS WE NOW WITNESS A MONSTROUS TOTAL EFP’S ISSUANCE AS IT HEADS INTO THE STRATOSPHERE

 

 

Result: A FAIRY TALE SIZED SIZED INCREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 21,831 DESPITE THE LOSS IN PRICING ($1.40) THAT GOLD UNDERTOOK YESTERDAY) //.WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 5000 CONTRACTS AS THESE HAVE ALREADY BEEN NEGOTIATED AND CONFIRMED.   THERE OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT SEEM TO BE MUCH PHYSICAL GOLD AT THE COMEX.  I GUESS IT EXPLAINS THE HUGE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S…THERE IS HARDLY ANY GOLD PRESENT AT THE GOLD COMEX FOR DELIVERY PURPOSES. IF YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE 5000 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE  HAD A GIGANTIC GAIN OF 28,329 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

5000 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 21,831 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (IN TONNES, THE STRONG GAIN IN TOTAL OI EQUATES TO 83.46 TONNES). ..AND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND OCCURRED WITH THE LOSS OF $1.40 IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING AT THE COMEX

 

 

 

we had:  9 notice(s) filed upon for 900 oz of gold at the comex.

 

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

GLD...

 

WITH GOLD UP $13.40 TODAY 

 

NO ADDITIONS OR SUBTRACTIONS TODAY

 

 

INVENTORY RESTS AT 766.59 TONNES

 

 

TO ALL INVESTORS THINKING OF BUYING GOLD THROUGH THE GLD ROUTE: YOU ARE MAKING A TERRIBLE MISTAKE AS THE CROOKS ARE USING WHATEVER GOLD COMES IN TO ATTACK BY SELLING THAT GOLD.  IT SURE SEEMS TO ME THAT THE GOLD OBLIGATIONS AT THE GLD EXCEED THEIR INVENTORY

 

SLV/

WITH SILVER UP 30 CENTS  IN PRICE  TODAY:

WHAT A JOKE!!  TWO TRANSACTIONS:

 

STRANGE:  THIS MORNING: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV..

A WITHDRAWAL OF 703,000 OZ DESPITE THE HUGE GAIN IN PRICE.

 

THEN: A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 1.56 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV

 

 

 

 

 

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.160 MILLION OZ.

 

 

end

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in SILVER ROSE BY A SMALL SIZED 664 CONTRACTS from 191,490 UP TO 191,993 AND CLOSER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET LAST IN AUG.2018 AT 244,196 WITH A SILVER PRICE OF $14.78/(AUGUST 22/2018)..THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET ON APRIL 9/2018 AT 243,411 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS WITH THE SILVER PRICE AT THAT DAY: $16.53). AND PREVIOUS TO THAT, THE RECORD  WAS ESTABLISHED AT: 234,787 CONTRACTS, SET ON APRIL 21.2017 OVER  1 1/3 YEARS AGO.  THE PRICE OF SILVER ON THAT DAY: $17.89.  AS YOU CAN SEE, WE HAVE RECORD HIGH OPEN INTERESTS IN SILVER  ACCOMPANIED BY A CONTINUAL LOWER PRICE WHEN THAT RECORD WAS SET…..

 

.

OUR CUSTOMARY MIGRATION OF COMEX LONGS CONTINUE TO MORPH INTO LONDON FORWARDS  AS OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE:

 

0 CONTRACTS FOR MARCH. 0 CONTRACTS FOR APRIL., 3061 FOR MAY AND  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 3061 CONTRACTS. EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.  IF WE TAKE THE  OI GAIN AT THE COMEX OF 664 CONTRACTS TO THE 3061 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE  OBTAIN  A STRONG GAIN  OF 3868  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 18.62 MILLION OZ!!! AND YET WE ALSO HAVE A STRONG DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL AS WE WITNESSED A FINAL STANDING OF GREATER THAN 30 MILLION OZ FOR JULY, A STRONG 6.065 MILLION OZ FOR AUGUST..  A HUGE 39.505  MILLION OZ  STANDING FOR SILVER IN SEPTEMBER… OVER 2 million  OZ STANDING FOR THE NON ACTIVE MONTH OF OCTOBER.,  7.440 MILLION OZ FINALLY STANDING IN NOVEMBER.  21.925 MILLION OZ STANDING IN DECEMBER , 5.845 MILLION OZ STANDING IN JANUARY. 2.955 MILLION OZ STANDING IN FEBRUARY AND NOW 25.285 MILLION OZ FOR MARCH.

 

 

RESULT: A SMALL SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 4 CENT LOSS IN PRICING THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// YESTERDAY.BUT WE ALSO HAD A STRONG SIZED 3061 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE STRONG  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR SEPTEMBER, DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER CONTINUES TO INTENSIFY AS WE WITNESS SEVERE BACKWARDATION IN SILVER IN LONDON.

BOTH THE SILVER COMEX AND THE GOLD COMEX ARE IN STRESS AS THE BANKERS SCOUR THE BOWELS OF THE EXCHANGE FOR METAL

 

 

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY: Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

)FRIDAY MORNING/ THURSDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 136..46 POINTS OR 4.40% //Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 551.03 POINTS OR 1.91%  /The Nikkei closed DOWN 430.45 POINTS OR 2.01%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN .90%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP  at 6.7221 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil UP to 56.84 dollars per barrel for WTI and 65.78 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED 

ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN // LAST AT 6.7221 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7319: / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED  : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW A FULL TRADE WAR COMMENCED

 

 

 

 

3A/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA

 

 

 

i)North Korea/

 

 

 

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

 

 

 

3 C/  CHINA

i)China/last night

Chinese stocks crash last night as we start to see a rare “sell rating” on many stocks and that shook traders.

( zerohedge)

ii)The Trump/Xi summit in Mar a Lago is now being delayed as the Chinese are getting cold feet on the trade deal

( zerohedge)

iii)My goodness!~ Despite the massive credit injection exports collapsed by a huge 20.7% in February and the miss is simply stunning

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

iv)Kyle Bass is no doubt one of the key experts analyzing the financial scene with respect to China.  He has been shorting the yuan big time and now he is doubling down. His main contention is that China will need its huge pile of 3.1 trillion dollars reserves to bail out ailing operations.  Also huge number of citizens are cashing out of their yuan into dollars.
(Kyle Bass/zerohedge)

v)As the battle with Huawei heats up, Chinese foreign minister Yi urges Huawei to take up legal weapons against the USA.

( zerohedge)

vi)NOT GOOD!  A Chinese boat rams into a Vietnamese vessel in disputed waters in South CHINESE SEAS

( zero hedge)

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)FRANCE

The French city of Grenoble firebombed as we have witnessed the 4th straight night of protests after police were blamed for teenage deaths.
(zerohedge)

ii)UK
Our resident expert on Brexit weighs in.  He states that May is making a big mistake and that she should let the EU make its move on Ireland
(courtesy TomLuongo)
iii)Germany

Two basket cases are now resuming merger talks. Deutsche bank thinks it can hide its huge derivative exposure

(courtesy zerohedge)

iv)Italy

Strange:  Italy’s government is now on the verge of collapse due to the high speed rail linking Italy  (Turin) and France  (Lyon).  The major costs are a huge 36 mile tunnel through the Alps

(courtesy zerohedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

Israel’s navy is now prepared to block Iranian oil from sales abroad.
( zerohedge)

 

ii)Turkey/USA
The Pentagon gives Erdogan an ultimatum:  if he buys Russian S 400’s he will not get the F 35’s
( zerohedge)

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

Canada:

 

 

 

7. OIL ISSUES

 

 

 

 

 

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

 

i)VENEZUELA/

Venezuela now in total darkness for 24 hours as bus-driver Maduro blames the uSA on an “electricity war”

( zerohedge)

 

 

 

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)CME renews its discounts to central banks/governments// engaging in secret trading

(GATA)

ii)In case you missed yesterdays story that China increased its gold reserves by 9.9 tonnes

( Xinhua News Agency/GATA)

iii)Philadelphia is the first USA city to ban cashless stores

(courtesy Calvert/WallStreet Journal/GATA)

 

iv)The megamerger mania by Barrick to take over Newmont/Goldcorp will see increased interest in this space as some gold miners will eye new partners

 

( Bloomberg/GATA)

10. USA stories which will influence the price of gold/silver)

 

 

MARKET TRADING

/FOMC

i)the market reacts to a gain of only 20,000 people.  Countering that move we witness hourly earnings soar to .4% indicating inflation is lurking.  Also strange: in the Household Survey saw a huge loss in unemployed:  a big drop of 300,000

( zerohedge)

i b)And now the real story on the jobs report:
(zerohedge)
ii)Warren calls for the break up of the Big Tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon
(courtesy zerohedge)

 

ii)Market data

 

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

a)Bricks and mortar continue to falter: today it is dollar tree closing up to 390 stores

( Mac Slavo/SHTFplan.com)_

b)A good commentary;  a terrific summary on the monthly credit score.  We witness 37 million card holders who are 90 days past due and this is something that the Fed is now taking a good look at

( zerohedge)

iv)SWAMP STORIES

Cohen lies again:  he directly asked Trump for a pardon

( zerohedge)

 

 

E)SWAMP STORIES/MAJOR STORIES//THE KING REPORT

 

end

 

 

 

Let us head over to the comex:

 

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN ROSE BY A FAIRY TALE  SIZED 21,831 CONTRACTS UP TO A LEVEL OF 499,967 DESPITE THE LOSS IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($1.40) IN YESTERDAY’S RAID// COMEX TRADING).

WE ARE NOW IN THE  NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MARCH..  THE CME REPORTS THAT THE BANKERS ISSUED A CONSIDERABLE SIZED COMEX TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS., THAT IS 5000 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

FOR MARCH:  0. FOR APRIL 5000, FOR JUNE: 0 CONTRACTS AND FINALLY DECEMBER: 0 AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  5000 CONTRACTS.

THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS ON THESE TRANSFERS. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE IS NO DOUBT A HUGE DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S AND IT PROBABLY TAKES AT LEAST  48 HRS AFTER LONGS GIVE UP THEIR COMEX CONTRACTS FOR THEM TO RECEIVE THEIR EFP’S AS THEY ARE NEGOTIATING THIS CONTRACT WITH THE BANKS FOR A FIAT BONUS PLUS THEIR TRANSFER TO A LONDON BASED FORWARD.

ON A NET BASIS IN OPEN INTEREST WE GAINED THE FOLLOWING TODAY ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES: 26,831 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 5000 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE GAINED AN EXPLETIVE BLEEP SIZED 21,831 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES ONLY::26,831 contracts OR 2,683,100 OZ OR 83.46 TONNES.

 

We are now in the NON active contract month of MARCH and here the open interest stands at 53 contracts  for a loss of 3 contracts.We had 8 notices served upon yesterday so we AGAIN GAINED  5 contracts or AN ADDITIONAL 500 oz will stand at the comex as these guys refused to morph into London based forwards as well as negating a fiat bonus for their effort.

 

 

 

The next non active delivery month after  March is the  active delivery month is April and here the OI fell by 4705 contracts down to 290,660 contracts. The non active month of May picked up 42 contracts for a total of 192 open interest.  After May, the next active delivery month is June and here the OI stands at 131,565 having gained 21,131 contracts.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NOTICES FILED:

WE HAD 9 NOTICES FILED TODAY AT THE COMEX FOR 900 OZ. (0.0590 tonnes)

 

 

 

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total COMEX silver OI ROSE BY A SMALL SIZED 664 CONTRACTS FROM 190,024 UP TO 191,993(AND CLOSER TO THE NEW RECORD OI FOR SILVER SET ON AUGUST 22.2018.  (THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET APRIL 9.2018/ 243,411 CONTRACTS) AND TODAY’S CONSIDERABLE OI COMEX LOSS  OCCURRED WITH A 4 CENT LOSS IN PRICING.//YESTERDAY 

 

 

WE ARE NOW INTO THE ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MARCH AND THE  OPEN INTEREST IN THIS FRONT MONTH RESTS AT 539 HAVING LOST 19 CONTRACTS.

WE HAD 22 NOTICES FILED YESTERDAY SO WE GAINED 3 CONTRACTS OR 15,000 ADDITIONAL OZ WILL STAND AT THE SILVER COMEX AS THESE GUYS REFUSED TO MORPH INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS AS WELL AS NEGATING A FIAT BONUS. WE HAVE BEEN WITNESSING QUEUE JUMPING IN SILVER FOR OVER 3 YEARS IN THAT THE TOTAL OZ STANDING INCREASES FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE STANDING.

TODAY THE  SILVER COMEX IS IN STRESS.!! WE HAVE HAD FOR THE 6TH CONSECUTIVE DAY QUEUE JUMPING AND THUS ANOTHER INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX.

 

 

 

 

AFTER MARCH, WE HAVE THE NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF APRIL.  HERE: APRIL FALLS TO 814 CONTRACTS FOR A LOSS OF 1 CONTRACTS.  AFTER APRIL, THE NEXT BIG ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH IS MAY AND HERE THE OI ROSE BY 444 CONTRACTS UP TO 140,383 CONTRACTS.

 

 

 

ON A NET BASIS WE GAINED A STRONG 3725 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A 664 CONTRACT GAIN AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 3061 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  3725 CONTRACTS...AND ALL OF THIS LOSS OF DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A 4 CENT LOSS IN PRICING// YESTERDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED:

 

We, today, had 126 notice(s) filed for 630,000 OZ for the MARCH, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

 

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY:  303,911  CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  337,085  contracts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initial standings for  MAR/GOLD

MAR 8 /2019.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
NIL
oz
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz nil

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  

 

 

 

 

NIL

 

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
9 notice(s)
 900 OZ
(0.0280 TONNES)
No of oz to be served (notices)
44 contracts
(4400 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
319 notices
31,900 OZ
.9922 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 xxx oz

 

we had 0 dealer entries:

 

 

total dealer deposits: nil oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

We had 0 kilobar entries

 

we had 0 deposit into the customer account

i) Into JPMorgan:  nil oz

ii) Into everybody else:  nil

total gold deposits: nil oz

we had 0 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

 

 

 

total gold withdrawing from the customer; nil   oz

thus a net: nil oz leaves the comex.

we had 0  adjustments…

FOR THE MAR 2019 CONTRACT MONTH)

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 9 contract(s) of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 4 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account and 0 notices by the squid  (Goldman Sachs)

 

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To calculate the INITIAL total number of gold ounces standing for the MARCH/2019. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (319) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAR. (53 contract) minus the number of notices served upon today (9 x 100 oz per contract) equals 36,300 OZ OR 1.1290 TONNES) the number of ounces standing in this active month of MARCH

Thus the INITIAL standings for gold for the MAR/2019 contract month:

No of notices served (319 x 100 oz)  + {53)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (9 x 100 oz )which equals 36.300 oz standing OR 1.1290 TONNES in this active delivery month of MARCH.

We GAINED 5 contracts or an additional 500 oz WILL  STAND AT THE COMEX AS THEY REFUSED TO MORPH INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS AS WELL AS NEGATING TO ACCEPT A FIAT BONUS.

 

HOWEVER, THE GOLD COMEX (AND SILVER COMEX) ARE NOW IN STRESS AS THE CROOKS ARE DESPERATE TO FIND PHYSICAL METAL.

SURPRISINGLY NO GOLD HAS BEEN ENTERING THE COMEX VAULTS AND WE HAVE WITNESSED THIS FOR THE PAST YEAR!!  WE HAVE ONLY 11.388 TONNES OF REGISTERED (  GOLD OFFERED FOR SALE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total registered or dealer gold:  366,127.915 oz or  11.388 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   8,036,244.026 oz 249.96 tonnes

FOR COMPARISON

MARCH 2018 VS MARCH 2019 CONTRACTS

 

 

 

 

ON FEB 27.2018 WE HAD 995 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS STANDING (2 DAYS BEFORE FIRST DAY NOTICE)  VS FEB 26.2019:  539 CONTRACTS.(2 DAYS BEFORE FDN)

ON FIRST DAY NOTICE MARCH 1/2018: TOTAL GOLD TONNAGE STANDING FOR DELIVERY: 2.1524 TONNES

THE FINAL AMOUNT OF GOLD TONNAGE: MARCH 31/2018:  1.6114 TONNES AS THE REST MORPHED INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS.

IN THE LAST 29 MONTHS 105 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

 

THE GOLD COMEX IS NOW IN STRESS AS
1. GOLD IS LEAVING THE COMEX
2. GOLD IS LEAVING THE REGISTERED CATEGORY OF THE COMEX.

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE  DELIVERY MONTH

MAR INITIAL standings/SILVER

MAR 8 2019
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
600,911.630  oz
CNT

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
600,326.500 oz
CNT
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
599,326.638
oz
CNT
No of oz served today (contracts)
126
CONTRACT(S)
630,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
409 contracts
2,045,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 4848 contracts

(24,240,000 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

we had 1 inventory movement at the dealer side of things

i) Into CNT:

600,326.500 oz

 

total dealer deposits: 600,326.500  oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

we had  1 deposits into the customer account

 

i) Into JPMorgan:  nil  oz

 

*** JPMorgan for most of 2017 and in 2018 has adding to its inventory almost every single day.

JPMorgan now has 147 million oz of  total silver inventory or 49.32% of all official comex silver. (147 million/298 million)

 

i) Into CNT: 599,326.638 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total customer deposits today: 599,326.638   oz

 

we had 1 withdrawals out of the customer account:

i) Out of CNT:  600,911.630  oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total withdrawals: 600,911.630    oz

 

we had 0 adjustment

 

 

total dealer silver:  94.078 million

total dealer + customer silver:  300.167 million oz

 

 

 

 

The total number of notices filed today for the MARCH 2019. contract month is represented by 120 contract(s) FOR  630,000  oz

To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in MAR, we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 4848 x 5,000 oz = 23,610,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAR. (535) and the number of notices served upon today (120 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the MAR/2019 contract month: 4848(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of MAR( 535) -number of notices served upon today (120)x 5000 oz equals 26,285,000 oz of silver standing for the MAR contract month.  This is a strong number of oz standing for an off delivery month.

We gained a considerable 3 contracts or an additional 15,000 oz will stand as bankers queue jumped in order to receive badly needed physical metal. The silver comex is in deep stress as this is the 6TH day in a row of a huge gain in silver oz standing.

 

 

 

 

 

ON MARCH 1.2018 WE HAD 24.670 MILLION OZ OF SILVER STAND FOR DELIVERY. BY THE CONCLUSION OF THE DELIVERY MONTH, 27.190 MILLION OZ STOOD AS QUEUE JUMPING IN THE SILVER COMEX ARENA HAD BEEN THE NORM FOR QUITE A WHILE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S SILVER VOLUME:  73,393 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 68,655 CONTRACTS… 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 68,655 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 343 million OZ  49.0% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER

COMMODITY LAW SUGGESTS THAT OPEN INTEREST SHOULD NOT BE MORE THAN 3% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION. THE CROOKS ARE SUPPLYING MASSIVE PAPER TRYING TO KEEP SILVER IN CHECK.

The record level of silver open interest is 234,787 contracts set on April 21./2017 with the price at that day at $18.42
The previous record was 224,540 contracts with the price at that time of $20.44

end

NPV for Sprott 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV RISES TO -2.93% (MAR 8/2019)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -0.88% to NAV (MAR 8/2019 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -2.93%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

3.SPROTT CEF.A FUND (FORMERLY CENTRAL FUND OF CANADA):

NAV 12.92/TRADING 12.55/DISCOUNT 2.85

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

MARCH 8/WITH GOLD UP $13.40: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 766.59 TONNES

MARCH 7/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.40 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 766.59 TONNES

MARCH 6/WITH GOLD UP $3.30 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 766.59 TONNES

MARCH 5/WITH GOLD DOWN ONLY $1.70: A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 5.87 TONNES FROM THE GLD INVENTORY AND THIS GOLD HAS BEEN USED IN THE WHACKING PROCESS YESTERDAY AND TODAY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 766.59 TONNES

MARCH 4/WITH GOLD ANOTHER $12.50 TODAY: A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 11.76 TONNES FROM THE GLD INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 772.46 TONNES

MAR 1/WITH GOLD DOWN $16.90 TODAY; A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 4.11 TONNES FROM THE GLD INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 784.22 TONNES

FEB 28/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.80: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 788.33

FEB 27/WITH GOLD DOWN $6.80: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 788.33 TONNES

FEB 26  WITH GOLD DOWN $1.10: A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.18 TONNES FROM THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 788.33

FEB 25/WITH GOLD DOWN $3.10: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 789.51 TONNES

 

FEB 22/WITH GOLD UP $5.15 A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 4.99 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 789.51 TONNES

FEB 21/WITH GOLD DOWN $19.50/ A SURPRISE GAIN (DEPOSIT) OF 2.05 TONNES INTO THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 794.50 TONNES

FEB 20/WITH GOLD UP $3.10 TODAY: SURPRISINGLY NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY/GLD INVENTORY RESTS AT 792.45 TONNES

FEB 19/WITH GOLD UP $22.95/ TWO TRANSACTIONS: A HUGE 3.82 TONNES OF GOLD WITHDRAWAL FROM THE GLD THIS MORNING AND THEN  0.58 TONNES THIS AFTERNOON///INVENTORY RESTS AT 792,45 TONNES. FROM FEB 1/2019 UNTIL TODAY, GOLD IS UP $24.25 AND YET GOLD WITHDRAWALS ARE A HUGE 31.42 TONNES/THIS IS CRIMINAL!!

FEB 15/WITH GOLD UP $8.00 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 796.85 TONNES

FEB 14//WITH GOLD DOWN $1.10: WE HAD ANOTHER PAPER RAID (WITHDRAWAL) OF 2.04 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 796.85 TONNES/

FEB 13:/WITH GOLD UP $1.40 TODAY: ANOTHER PAPER RAID BY OUR CROOKED BANKERS AS THEY WITHDREW ANOTHER 2.23 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD. INVENTORY RESTS AT 798.89 TONNES

FEB 12: WITH GOLD UP $2.20 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 802.12 TONNES

FEB 11/WITH GOLD DOWN $6.25 TODAY: ANOTHER PAPER WITHDRAWAL OF 1.17 TONNES OF GOLD AND THIS GOLD WAS USED TO WHACK OUR PRECIOUS METAL TODAY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 802.12 TONNES

FEB 8/WITH GOLD UP $4.00/THE CROOKS WITHDREW ANOTHER HUGE 6.59 TONNES OF PAPER GOLD AND THIS GOLD WAS USED TO CONTAIN THE PRICE OF GOLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 803.29 TONNES

FEB 7/WITH GOLD UP 35 CENTS/ANOTHER PAPER GOLD WITHDRAWAL OF 2.06 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 809.76 TONNES

FEB 6/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.85 TODAY: A STRONG PAPER WITHDRAWAL OF 1.37 TONNES FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 811.82 TONNES

FEB 5/WITH GOLD UP $.30 TODAY: A HUGE PAPER WITHDRAWAL OF 4.11 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 813.29 TONNES

FEB 4/WITH GOLD DOWN $2.65: TWO TRANSACTIONS: i)A MASSIVE WITHDRAWAL OF 8.37 TONNES OF PAPER GOLD WAS REMOVED FROM THE GLD AND THEN ii) a A STRONG DEPOSIT OF 2.00 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 817.40 TONNES

FEB 1/WITH GOLD DOWN $3.00 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 823.87 TONNES

 

 

 

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MAR 8/2019/ Inventory rests tonight at 766.59 tonnes

*IN LAST 556 TRADING DAYS: 168.46 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 456 TRADING DAYS: A NET 1.64 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN REMOVED INTO THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

end

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

MARCH 8/WITH SILVER UP 34 CENTS: STRANGE!! TWO TRANSACTIONS!!  IN THE MORNING A WITHDRAWAL OF 703,000 OZ FROM THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307,800 OZ/ IN THE AFTERNOON: A DEPOSIT OF 1.56 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY FINALLY RESTS AT 309.160 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 7/WITH SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.503 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 6/WITH SILVER DOWN 2 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.503 MILLION OZ

MARCH 5/WITH SILVER UP ONE CENT: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.503 MILLION OZ///

MARCH 4/WITH SILVER DOWN 14 CENTS TODAY: A SMALL CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV; A WITHDRAWAL OF 871,000 OZ OF SILVER FROM THE SLV///INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.503 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 1/ WITH SILVER DOWN 38 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY

FEB 28/WITH SILVER DOWN 12 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.374

FEB 27/WITH SILVER DOWN 14 CENTS//A  SMALL CHANGE IN INVENTORY: A WITHDRAWAL OF 610,000 OZ//SLV INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.374 MILLION OZ/

FEB 26/WITH SILVER DOWN ONE CENT; NO CHANGE IN INVENTORY/RESTS AT 309.984

FEB 25./WITH SILVER DOWN 7 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.984 MILLION OZ/

FEB 22/WITH SILVER UP 7 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.984 MILLION OZ///

FEB 21/WITH SILVER DOWN 37 CENTS: SURPRISINGLY A DEPOSIT OF 1.688 MILLION OZ OF SILVER INVENTORY/ INTO THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.984 MILLION OZ///

FEB 20/WITH SILVER UP 19 CENTS AND ON A TEAR: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.296 MILLION OZ/

FEB 19/WITH SILVER UIP 25 CENTS TODAY: A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 938,000 OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.296 MILLION OZ/

FEB 15/WITH SILVER UP 19 CENTS: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.358 MILLION OZ/

FEB 14/WITH SILVER DOWN 11 CENTS: A DEPOSIT OF 423,000 OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.358 MILLION OZ

FEB 13/WITH SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS TODAY: ANOTHER BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 938,000 OZ FROM THE SLV./INVENTORY RESTS AT 306.935 MILLION OZ/

FEB 12 WITH SILVER UP 3 CENTS TODAY:  NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT TH SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.873 MILLION OZ/

FEB 11/WITH SILVER DOWN 13 CENTS TODAY:A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY; A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.126 MILLION OZ FROM THE SLV INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.873 MILLION OZ/

FEB 8/WITH SILVER UP 11 CENTS: ANOTHER WITHDRAWAL OF 657,000 OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.999  MILLION OZ/

FEB 7/WITH SILVER DOWN 1 CENT TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.656 MILLION OZ/

FEB 6/WITH SILVER DOWN 13 CENTS TODAY; A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 938,000  OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.656 MILLION OZ/

FEB 5/WITH SILVER DOWN 3 CENTS; NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.594 MILLION OZ.

FEB 4/WITH SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS: A SMALL CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 129,000 OZ TO PAY FOR FEES/.INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.594 MILLION OZ/

FEB 1/WITH SILVER DOWN 14 CENTS: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY  RESTS AT 310.723 MILLION OZ/

 

MAR 8/2019:

 

Inventory 309.160 MILLION OZ

LIBOR SCHEDULE AND GOFO RATES:

 

 

THE RISE IN LIBOR IS CREATING A SCARCITY OF DOLLARS BECAUSE FOREIGN EXCHANGE SWAPS (COSTS) ARE SIMPLY PROHIBITIVE

YOUR DATA…..

6 Month MM GOFO 2.17/ and libor 6 month duration 2.68

Indicative gold forward offer rate for a 6 month duration/calculation:

G0LD LENDING RATE: + .51

 

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.48%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.88

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.40

end

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

end
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

EU Isn’t Ready for the Next Recession

– ECB has just loosened monetary policy. What if that isn’t enough?
– ECB says the risks to Europe’s economies lean to the downside
– Trade wars could get worse and political turbulence could increase
– Brexit, could deliver an especially brutal blow
– Euro set to depreciate against gold (see chart)

By Bloomberg Editorial Board

The European Central Bank surprised financial markets yesterday with moves to loosen monetary policy.

The prospects for growth in the euro zone have dimmed lately, and policy was going to be tweaked at some point unless things picked up. But a change wasn’t expected so soon. ECB President Mario Draghi and his colleagues are apparently worried.

They have reason to be. Their main problem, however, isn’t the precise timing of monetary adjustments like the ones announced this week. It’s the lack of good options if things get any worse.

The ECB’s new projections show growth in the euro zone slowing this year to just 1.1 percent; in December the central bank had predicted 1.7 percent. That’s roughly in line with other recent downgrades from the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.


Gold in Euros – 10 Year (GoldCore)

The picture varies a lot from country to country within the euro area, and a number of one-off factors have been at work — but across the bloc, slowing international trade and rising political uncertainty have taken a toll. The OECD expects growth of just 0.7 percent this year in Germany, for instance; it thinks Italy’s output will be lower than last year, and will manage only a feeble recovery in 2020.

In response the ECB said its policy rate will stay at zero at least through December, extending its previous guidance by months. And it announced new issues of cheap long-term loans to banks. Yet the actual stimulus provided by these measures will be small at best. In fact, the combination of signaling new concern about the prospects and announcing changes with limited force could turn out to subtract from future demand rather than add to it.

Given its own rules, there’s not much else the ECB can do. The policy rate is zero, and the central bank’s deposit rate is slightly negative. Taking rates farther into negative territory might rattle confidence and destabilize the financial system. Meanwhile the ECB’s enormous bond-buying program, which was paused three months ago, is constrained by rules about the composition of its holdings. These were intended to stop the central bank from disproportionately financing the outlays of high-borrowing countries — such as Italy. They mean the ECB has more or less run out of room.

Monetary policy isn’t enough — and if slow growth in the euro zone should tip into outright recession, Europe will no longer be able to avoid a drastic rethinking of macroeconomic policy. The lack of a sufficiently powerful fiscal instrument is already holding the bloc back. The consequence has been high unemployment, slow growth and less-than-target inflation. If things get any worse, the only effective remedy would be a forceful, coordinated push from tax cuts and/or higher public spending.

Year after year, Europe has dodged this necessary discussion. No further delay should be tolerated. Even after cutting its growth forecasts, the ECB says the risks to Europe’s economies lean to the downside.

Trade-policy frictions could get worse, not better. Political turbulence could increase, not subside.

And Brexit, a big setback for Europe on any plausible projection, could deliver an especially brutal blow if no deal is reached to minimize the disruption.

The ECB says that outright recession is unlikely. If it’s wrong, policy makers will be all but helpless.

Europe can no longer risk being so seriously underequipped. It needs an effective fiscal-policy instrument — at the very least, a bold new approach to fiscal coordination. With the risks mounting, the problem demands immediate attention.

Courtesy of Bloomberg News

 

 

News and Commentary

 

Global Stocks Extend Slide Amid Concerns on Growth: Markets Wrap (Bloomberg.com)

Gold prices finish lower as ECB news pressures the euro, lifting the dollar (MarketWatch.com)

ECB seen taking tentative step to prop up ailing euro zone (Reuters.com)

Wall Street drops for fourth day as ECB stokes growth worries (Reuters.com)

U.S. household wealth posts record loss in fourth-quarter amid stock rout (Reuters.com)

China’s gold reserves continue to grow in February (XinhuaNet.com)

Europe Isn’t Ready for the Next Recession (Bloomberg.com)

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink Says Modern Monetary Theory Is ‘Garbage’ (Bloomberg.com)

“This Is Bad” – European Banks Tumble As ECB Unveils Massive Easing: Here’s Why It’s Not Working (ZeroHedge.com)

Chinese Exports Collapse In February Despite Largest Credit Injection Ever (ZeroHedge.com)

QE – Then, Now, & Why It May Not Work (RealInvestmentAdvice.com)

Philadelphia Is First U.S. City to Ban Cashless Stores (WSJ.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA PM)

07 Mar: USD 1,285.30, GBP 921.20 & EUR 1,144.17 per ounce
06 Mar: USD 1,285.55, GBP 978.82 & EUR 1,136.82 per ounce
05 Mar: USD 1,285.00, GBP 975.19 & EUR 1,134.78 per ounce
04 Mar: USD 1,287.45, GBP 972.93 & EUR 1,135.14 per ounce
01 Mar: USD 1,309.95, GBP 989.27 & EUR 1,152.23 per ounce
28 Feb: USD 1,325.45, GBP 996.21 & EUR 1,162.82 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

07 Mar: USD 15.07, GBP 11.47 & EUR 13.33 per ounce
06 Mar: USD 15.09, GBP 11.49 & EUR 13.36 per ounce
05 Mar: USD 15.11, GBP 11.47 & EUR 13.33 per ounce
04 Mar: USD 15.16, GBP 11.50 & EUR 13.38 per ounce
01 Mar: USD 15.56, GBP 11.75 & EUR 13.67 per ounce
28 Feb: USD 15.81, GBP 11.89 & EUR 13.85 per ounce

Recent Market Updates

– China Gold Reserves Rise To 60.26 Million Ounces Worth Just $79.5 Billion
–  JPMorgan Is Bullish on Gold as a Hedge Against Rising Inflation
– Gold – It Might Be Different This Time
– Euromillions Winners To Invest In Gold In 2019?
– Gold Still on a Long Term Track to Reach $2,000 An Ounce
– “Gold Is A Global Thermometer Of Risk” – CEO Q+A: Stephen Flood, GoldCore
– U.S. Mint Suspends Silver Bullion Coin Sales After Sales Double In February
– MMT: Modern Monetary Madness Will Lead To Higher Taxes and Inflation

davidrussell
GATA STORIES WITH RESPECT TO GOLD/PRECIOUS METALS.

CME renews its discounts to central banks/governments// engaging in secret trading

(GATA)

Futures exchange operator renews discounts for secret trading by governments and central banks

 Section: 

11:36a ET Thursday, March 7, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Market manipulation by governments and central banks is right out in the open again, hiding in plain sight in the confidence that mainstream financial news organizations, financial letter writers, and gurus who purport to bring “technical analysis” to bear on markets will avert their gaze.

For as GATA’s friend Jim Anderson of SD Bullion Inc. in Michigan (https://sdbullion.com/) pointed out this week, CME Group, operator of the major U.S. futures exchanges, has just renewed its “Central Bank Incentive Program,” in which governments and central banks receive discounts for surreptitiously trading all major futures contracts on CME Group exchanges — not just financial futures but also monetary metals futures and even agricultural futures.

CME Group’s previous discount schedule, called to your attention by GATA a year ago January —

http://www.gata.org/node/17976

— was dated December 2017:

http://www.gata.org/files/CMEGroupCBIP-Q&A-December2017.pdf

Now a new one has been posted, dated last month —

https://www.cmegroup.com/company/membership/files/CBIPFAQ.pdf —

— and has been copied to GATA’s internet site here:

http://www.gata.org/files/CMEGroup-CentralBankIncentiveProgram-Feb2019.p…

It has added bitcoin futures.

Some of the discounts have changed but governments and central banks continue to receive 15 percent discounts on fees for trading gold and silver futures.

Of course CME Group’s trading discount schedule doesn’t prove that any particular government or central bank has been trading any particular contract lately. But on Page 6 of its 2019 10-K form filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, CME Group continues to acknowledge that “the customer base of our derivatives exchanges includes professional traders, financial institutions, institutional and individual investors, major corporations, manufacturers, producers, governments, and central banks“:

http://investor.cmegroup.com/node/43571/html

For safety’s sake the form is copied to GATA’s internet site here:

http://www.gata.org/files/CMEGroup-SEC-10-K-2019.pdf

This futures trading is never announced by governments and central banks, so some surreptitious intervention in the U.S. futures markets by governments and central banks is happening, but it continues to escape the curiosity of nearly everyone who would seem obliged to alert investors to it. Perhaps this is because if this surreptitious intervention was exposed, its efficacy would collapse, as government and central bank policy here is based on deception.

GATA will send this new documentation to many major financial news organizations and financial letter writers. Please send it to any monetary metals companies you are invested in, and let us know if you see anyone pick up on it.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
CPowell@GATA.org

END

In case you missed yesterdays story that China increased its gold reserves by 9.9 tonnes

(courtesy Xinhua News Agency/GATA)

China’s gold reserves continue to grow in February

 Section: 

The news here isn’t the tiny increase in China’s gold reserves but that the People’s Bank of China has announced increases for three months straight after years of reporting no change.

* * *

China’s Gold Reserves Continue to Grow in February

From Xinhua News Agency, Beijing
Thursday, March 7, 2019

BEIJING — China increased its gold reserves for a third straight month in February, data from the central bank showed.

… 

The country’s gold reserves amounted to 60.26 million ounces by the end of last month, a slight growth from January, according to the People’s Bank of China.

The gold reserves were equivalent to around $79.5 billion, edging up from 79.3 billion dollars in the previous month, the PBOC said.

The latest gold purchase by the world’s second-largest economy came at a time when global central banks are hoarding the precious metal. …

… For the remainder of the report:

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-03/07/c_137876175.htm

END

Philadelphia is the first USA city to ban cashless stores

(courtesy Calvert/WallStreet Journal/GATA)

Philadelphia is first U.S. city to ban cashless stores

 Section: 

By Scott Calvert
The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Philadelphia is the first major U.S. city to ban cashless stores, placing it at the forefront of a debate that pits retail innovation against lawmakers trying to protect all citizens’ access to the marketplace.

Starting in July, Philadelphia’s new law will require most retail stores to accept cash. A New York City councilman is pushing similar legislation there, and New Jersey’s legislature recently passed a bill banning cashless stores statewide. A spokesman for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, declined to comment on whether he would sign it. Massachusetts has gone the farthest on the issue and is the only state that requires retailers to accept cash.

… 

The measures seek to blunt a nascent trend that could rapidly accelerate thanks to Amazon.com Inc.’s power to shape nationwide retail trends. They represent an attempt to strike a balance between equity for lower-income consumers and merchants’ eagerness to embrace technological advances.

Businesses that have gone cashless point to greater efficiency for employees, who don’t have to make change or count cash at closing time, and improved safety because workers don’t have to carry large bank deposits.

But backers of measures forcing stores to accept cash say they worry about people who don’t have credit or debit cards. Supporters also say some consumers prefer to pay with currency for privacy reasons. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/philadelphia-is-first-u-s-city-to-ban-cashl…

* * *

Join GATA here:

Mining Investment Asia
Marina Bay Sands Conference and Exhibition Center
Singapore
Tuesday-Thursday, March 26-28

https://www.mininginvestmentasia.com/

Mines and Money Asia
Hong Kong Conference and Exhibition Center
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tuesday-Thursday, April 2-4

https://asia.minesandmoney.com/

* * *

Help keep GATA going:

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

http://www.gata.org

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

http://www.gata.org/node/16

END

The megamerger mania by Barrick to take over Newmont/Goldcorp will see increased interest in this space as some gold miners will eye new partners

 

(courtesy Bloomberg/GATA)

Megamerger push has gold miners eyeing new dance partners

 Section: 

By Danielle Bochove and Justina Vasquez
Bloomberg News
Thursday, March 7, 2019

A push by the world’s biggest gold miners to get even bigger will likely have a knock-on effect among their competitors, adding new vigor to an industry that failed to inspire investor support in 2018.

The megamerger mania now under way for Newmont Mining Corp., Barrick Gold Corp., and Goldcorp Inc. is likely to result in some of their assets being sold, helping to diversify portfolios for other miners and boosting the interest of investors. More importantly, it could force mid-tier companies to team up in order to successfully compete.

… 

This is a competitive marketplace in terms of attracting capital, and you have to make a decision at some point,” Michael Siperco, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Markets, said in a telephone interview. “Yamana, Kinross, Iamgold — what’s the strategy here in terms of not getting absolutely left behind?” …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-07/-dance-partner-hunt-h…

* * *

END

Chinese demand looks fine averaging around 159 tonnes per month or almost 40 tonnes per week..

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: China’s gold demand looks to be slowing this year so far

Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) figures for February’s gold withdrawals are now in and using our assumption (contentious in some analyses) that SGE gold withdrawals equate closely to overall Chinese gold demand it looks as though the nation’s voracious appetite for gold may be slowing. The total of withdrawals for the first two months of the year comes to 318.31 tonnes as against 342.0 tonnes in 2018 and 332.65 tonnes in 2017. Indeed the February 2019 gold withdrawal figure is the first monthly sub 100-tonne total for over 3 years.

Although the fall in the withdrawal figure as total Chinese gold demand would seem to be confirmed by other available data – notably a fall in deliveries of re- refined gold from Switzerland both to Mainland China and to Hong Kong so far this year, perhaps not too much should be read into the decline at this stage of the year. The Chinese (Lunar) New Year, which encompasses a week-long Golden Week holiday commenced on February 5th this year so the whole holiday period – over which time government bodies like the SGE were closed – occurred in February thus reducing total gold withdrawal figures that month. In 2018 the New Year holiday commenced later in the month, but still meant the SGE would have been closed for a full week during February, while in 2017 the New Year holiday commenced on January 28th meaning there will have been a couplke more February trading days in February then.

Table: SGE Monthly Gold Withdrawals 2017-2019 (Tonnes)

Table: SGE Monthly Gold Withdrawals 2017- 2019 (Tonnes)

Month 2019 2018 2017 % change 2018-2019 % change 2017-2019
January 218.54 223.58 184.41 -2.30% 18.51%
February*   99.77 118.42 148.24 -15.75% -32.70%
March   192.61 192.25    
April   212.64 165.78    
May   150.58 138.08    
June   140.59 155.51    
July   137.41 144.71    
August   190.59 161.41    
September   188.12 214.24    
October*   142.94 151.54    
November   179.08 189.1    
December   178.04 185.21    
Year to date 318.31 342.00 332.65 -6.93% -4.31%
Full Year   2,054.54 2,030.48    

Source:  Shanghai Gold Exchange.  Lawrieongold.com

* Months include week long New Year and Golden Week holiday periods

So although we say that perhaps not too much sway on overall Chinese demand should be placed on cumulative figures for the first two months of the year because of the week-long February holiday period, the data taken in conjunction with that from other sources does, at this stage, suggest that Chinese demand is indeed turning down along with the slippage in the nation’s GDP growth. Even so China remains the principal driver of global demand for gold bullion, although the gap that has built up between it and India may be slipping.

According to the latest figures from the World Gold Council there has also been a downturn in the Chinese gold ETF Huaan Yifu which shed 3 tonnes in February – a month which saw the giant GLD gold ETF in the USA see withdrawals of 40 tonnes. The big anomaly here though is that the second largest gold ETF in the USA – the iShares Gold Trust – added 7 tonnes of gold that month. European gold ETF withdrawals and additions just about balanced each other out.

(For those who may not have come across my assessments of Chinese gold demand before, we equate SGE withdrawal figures to the nation’s total annual gold absorption as they tend to be far closer to the sums of China’s own gold production plus imports from known sources which publish country-by-country breakdowns of their gold exports plus an allowance for unknown imports plus an allowance for scrap conversion than estimates of Chinese gold consumption by the major Western gold consultancies. China does not publish its own figures, although, in the past, The China Gold Yearbook has equated demand to the SGE withdrawal figures! As the Singapore-based bullionstar.com website put it a couple of years ago: Some high-profile precious metals consultancies such as GFMS and the World Gold Council still publish annual Chinese gold demand figures that are far lower (for example 900 tonnes per annum) than the annual SGE gold withdrawal figures. These discrepancies are so large that they call for rigorous analysis and explanation. Note that other bodies, such as the China Gold Association (CGA) do state that Chinese gold demand equals SGE gold withdrawals.)

08 Mar 2019



iii) Other Physical stories
Due to the criminal conviction of trader Edmonds, the USA prosecution is seeking to halt the civil lawsuit. I was misinformed: all discoveries in a civil suit are public and because of that, the prosecution gives the defendants the right to plead the 5th if their testimony incriminates them
(courtesy zerohedge/Chris Powell)

US seeks halt in civil lawsuit accusing JP Morgan of manipulating metals market, citing criminal case

  • The U.S. wants a federal judge to halt a civil lawsuit accusing J. P. Morgan of manipulating precious metals markets. The Justice Department cited an ongoing criminal case as its reason for the request.
  • A former J. P. Morgan trader pleaded guilty in Connecticut last month to manipulation charges.
  • In the guilty plea, the trader said he had learned to make bogus trade orders from senior traders at the bank and that he used the strategy hundreds of times with the knowledge and consent of his immediate supervisors.

A sign of JP Morgan Chase Bank is seen in front of their headquarters tower in New York.

Amr Alfiky | Reuters
A sign of JP Morgan Chase Bank is seen in front of their headquarters tower in New York.

The Justice Department is asking a judge to put the brakes on a civil lawsuit against J. P. Morgan Chase, citing an ongoing probe into a “related criminal case” that involves alleged manipulation of precious metals markets.

The department wants a six-month postponement in the proceedings of the civil lawsuit, which was filed in 2015 by hedge fund manager Daniel Shak and two commodity traders. The government also says it could ask for a longer delay in the case, according to a court filing on Monday.

The move comes days after Shak’s lawyer, David Kovel, sought permission to reopen questioning of two former J. P. Morgan traders and the bank’s current global head of base and precious metals trading.

Kovel, in making the request with the Manhattan federal judge in the civil case, cited last month’s guilty plea by one of those former traders, John Edmonds, in federal court in Connecticut.

Edmonds admitted making bogus bids on precious metals contracts while working at the bank from 2009 to 2015.

Neither J. P. Morgan Chase nor Kovel’s clients have opposed the Justice Department’s request.

In arguing for a delay, the Justice Department said Shak’s lawsuit is “related” to Edmonds’ criminal case and that Edmonds has “pleaded guilty and acknowledged his own participation in such conduct, as well as that of other traders.”

“Edmonds awaits sentencing, but the broader investigation is ongoing,” the Justice Department said. The U.S. wants to delay the civil case “to protect the integrity of its ongoing criminal investigation,” it said.

J. P. Morgan did not respond to a request for comment by CNBC. Kovel declined to comment.

Tuesday night, after this story first was published, Judge Paul Engelmayer ordered the federal prosecutors to explain in detail by Monday why postponing proceedings in the civil lawsuit would not harm those involved, and why reopening questioning “would be detrimental to the Government’s ongoing criminal investigation.”

Englemayer also wrote that he regards Edmonds’ guilty plea “as potentially highly consequential” to the civil case.

In his guilty plea, the 36-year-old Edmonds said he had learned to make bogus trade orders from senior traders at the bank and that he used the strategy hundreds of times with the knowledge and consent of his immediate supervisors. He admitted to working with “unnamed co-conspirators” at J. P. Morgan, according to the Justice Department.

Kovel wants to question Edmonds again as well as Michael Nowak, the bank’s global head of base and precious metal trading, and former J. P. Morgan Chase Managing Director Robert Gottlieb. The three had previously answered questions under oath in the civil case.

Kovel said in court filings that Nowak was the immediate supervisor of Edmonds, while Gottlieb was Edmonds’ mentor.

In his prior deposition, Edmonds said that Gottlieb sat only a “couple feet” away from him for about five years, and that he was “somebody [he] looked up to in the business,” who helped guide and train him.

Nowak is described by Edmonds as his direct supervisor, with whom he would sometimes discuss trading strategies. Nowak was also the person responsible for overseeing the performance and risk of Edmonds’ portfolio, according to the deposition.

Edmonds also stated in his prior deposition that he would enter precious metals trades for both Nowak and Gottlieb, among others.

The civil lawsuit claims Shak and his fellow plaintiffs lost tens of millions of dollars as a result of actions by J. P. Morgan’s traders.

A federal judge tells traders that they can combine cases (with the other 6 banks) as they accused JPMorgan of rigging the precious metals market
(courtesy CNBC)

Federal judge tells traders they can combine cases accusing JP Morgan of rigging metals market

  • Litigation in a separate civil case has been put on hold until at least May at the behest of the Justice Department, which is investigating a “related criminal case” that involves alleged market manipulation by precious metals traders at J. P. Morgan.
  • Judge John Koeltl of the Southern District of New York appointed the White Plains, N.Y., law firm Lowey Dannenberg as interim lead counsel for the proposed class action.

71671201

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

A group of traders from across the U.S. who allege that J. P. Morgan Chase manipulated precious metals markets for years are one step closer to bringing a class action suit against the nation’s largest bank.

Earlier this month, a federal judge said five separate lawsuits making similar allegations against the bank could be combined, potentially including thousands of people who traded in the precious metals market from Jan. 2009 through Dec. 2015.

Litigation in a separate civil case has been put on hold until at least May at the behest of the Justice Department, which is investigating a “related criminal case” that involves alleged market manipulation by precious metals traders at J. P. Morgan.

J. P. Morgan declined to comment on this story.

Judge John Koeltl of the Southern District of New York appointed the White Plains, N.Y., law firm Lowey Dannenberg as interim lead counsel for the proposed class action.

Vincent Briganti, a partner at the firm, filed the first suit seeking class action status in November on behalf of Dominick Cognata, a trader who alleges he suffered losses due to J.P. Morgan’s illegal trading conduct in the silver and gold futures and options markets.

That was after the federal court in Connecticut unsealed a criminal plea agreement by John Edmonds, a former J.P. Morgan metals trader. In his guilty plea, Edmonds, who is 36-years old, admitted that he and other “unnamed co-conspirators” fraudulently manipulated the precious metals markets while they were employed at J. P. Morgan from 2009 to 2015.

Edmonds said he had learned the illegal trading tactics from senior traders, and then used them hundreds of times with the knowledge of and consent of his immediate supervisors.

Briganti’s lawsuit also names John Edmonds and a group of yet-to-be-identified precious metals traders and the bank as defendants.

On Wednesday, the lawyers sent a letter to Judge Koeltl saying they were having difficulty locating Edmonds to serve him legal papers and requested a 30-day extension to do so, which the judge granted on Thursday. Briganti noted that they have been in contact with Edmonds’ attorney in the criminal case. Edmonds’ attorney and Briganti could not be reached for comment.

“We are hopeful that this extension will result in completing service on Mr. Edmonds without formal motion practice and a request for alternative means of service,” Briganti said in the letter.

The next step in the civil case is for the plaintiffs to file an amended class action complaint and set a schedule for defendants to respond.

In addition to the proposed class action, J. P. Morgan also faces a separate civil suit which also accuses the bank of rigging precious metals markets.

end

March 4.2019

Parker City News

JP Morgan faces potential class action lawsuit after guilty pleas by a former metals trader

Traders from across the U.S. are banding together to accuse J. P. Morgan Chase of manipulating precious metals markets for years.

At least six lawsuits, all making similar allegations against the nation‘s largest bank, have been filed in New York federal court in the past month, since federal prosecutors in Connecticut with a former J. P. Morgan Chase metals trader.

The cases could potentially include thousands of people who traded in the precious metals market. The White Plains, N.Y., law firm Lowey Dannenberg is asking the court to combine the cases and name it as the lead.

The law firm‘s commodities group is led by Vincent Briganti, the attorney who filed the first lawsuit on behalf of Dominick Cognata, a New York resident who alleges he suffered losses due to J. P. Morgan‘s trading conduct in the silver and gold futures and options markets.

A combined case, seeking class action status, would include anyone who purchased or sold futures contracts or an option on NYMEX platinum or palladium or COMEX silver or gold between at least Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2015. The lawyers believe that “at least hundreds, if not thousands” of traders would be eligible to join the case.

Named as defendants in all of the lawsuits are John Edmonds, a 36-year old former metals trader at J. P. Morgan, a group of yet-to-be-identified precious metals traders and the bank.

Edmonds, a New York resident, pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to defraud the market and manipulate prices of precious metals futures contracts and one count of commodities fraud. In the criminal plea, Edmonds admitted that he and other “unnamed co- conspirators” at J. P. Morgan, fraudulently manipulated precious metals markets from 2009 to 2015, the same time frame covered in the class action suits.

Briganti filed the initial class action on Nov. 7, just one day after the Justice Department unsealed Edmonds‘ plea in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut.

Edmonds admitted in his guilty plea that he deployed the illegal trading scheme hundreds of times with the direct knowledge and consent of his immediate supervisors. Plaintiffs say they have suffered economic injury, including monetary losses, as a direct result of actions by Edmonds and the other unnamed J. P. Morgan metals traders in the futures and options contracts.

One of the suits alleges that “the number of unlawful trades that JP Morgan traders executed in precious metals futures markets is at least in the thousands.”

J. P. Morgan declined to comment. Lowey Dannenberg did not respond to a request for comment by CNBC.

The Justice Department‘s criminal investigation is still ongoing and recently caused a separate related civil case to be put on hold for at least six months while the government continues its investigation. That civil lawsuit, which also accuses J. P. Morgan of rigging the precious metals market, was filed in 2015 by hedge fund manager Daniel Shak and two commodity traders.

After reviewing the details of the plea agreement, David Kovel, the attorney for Shak‘s suit, sought to re- interview Edmonds, along with two other current and former senior traders at the bank. However, the government argued that reopening questioning would be detrimental to the ongoing criminal investigation. The federal judge overseeing the proceedings ordered a six-month stay in the civil case.

Kovel declined to comment.

Edmonds was originally scheduled to be sentenced in Hartford, Conn., on Wednesday, Dec. 19, but a court filing on Nov. 27 shows the sentencing has been postponed until June. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut could not elaborate on why the sentencing was postponed since the court filing is under seal.

-END-

Justice Department stalls another class action in gold market rigging, this one against JPM

 Section: 

9:47a ET Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Proceedings in the federal class-action anti-trust lawsuit against JPMorganChase charging the investment bank with manipulating the gold and silver futures markets —

http://www.gata.org/node/18844

— have been suspended for three months at the request of the U.S. Justice Department, just as the department has arranged suspension of proceedings in the class-action anti-trust lawsuit against Deutsche Bank charging similar market manipulation.

… 

In both cases the Justice Department has told U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that proceedings would jeopardize its criminal investigation into market rigging, which has been admitted by a former JPMorganChase trader, John Edmonds, who awaits sentencing.

According to court filings, the White Plains, New York, law firm representing the plaintiffs against JPMorganChase, Lowey Dannenberg, concurred in the government’s request to suspend proceedings. The stay is to continue for three months and may be extended.

The Justice Department’s motion, granted by the court on February 26 —

http://www.gata.org/files/JPMorganChaseClassActionStay.pdf

— said “the government is not seeking an open-ended stay that could indefinitely postpone this matter and thus jeopardize the parties’ interests in a timely resolution.” The motion added, “Any developments in the criminal case during the period the consolidated action is stayed may reduce or completely resolve the need to litigate certain issues in the consolidated action.”

Much of the Justice Department’s motion is redacted to conceal from the public evidence still under investigation. Edmonds has said he and other traders manipulated the gold and silver markets for years with the knowledge of their supervisors at JPMorganChase. In its motion to conceal that evidence, also granted by the court on February 26, the Justice Department said disclosure “could lead to destruction of evidence, flight from prosecution, and otherwise interfere with the government’s ability to conduct its investigation”:

http://www.gata.org/files/JPMorganChaseClassActionStaySeal.pdf

Monetary metals investors may be skeptical of the Justice Department’s stalling the Deutsche Bank and JPMorganChase cases, since the department and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission do not seem ever to have responded conscientiously to complaints of gold and silver market rigging until the class actions commenced.

How much time will the court give the Justice Department to delay getting to the bottom of the issue? The court might hasten matters if enough monetary metals mining companies protested the harm done to them and their shareholders by market rigging, but of course most monetary metals mining companies don’t mind at all.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
CPowell@GATA.org

* * *

 

-END-

Your early FRIDAY morning currency, Asian stock market results,  important USA/Asian currency crosses, gold/silver pricing overnight along with the price of oil Major stories overnight/9 AM EST

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED/ LAST AT: 6.7221/

 

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  6.7319   /shanghai bourse CLOSED DOWN 136.56 POINTS OR 4.40% /

 

HANG SANG CLOSED DOWN 551.03 POINTS OR 1.91%

 

 

2. Nikkei closed DOWN 430.45 POINTS OR 2.01%

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED RED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/USA dollar index FALLS TO 96.49/Euro FALLS TO 1.1303

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. –.03/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 111.15/ THIS IS TROUBLESOME AS BANK OF JAPAN IS RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY./JAPAN 10 YR YIELD IS NOW TARGETED AT .11%/JAPAN LOSING CONTROL OF THEIR BOND MARKET

 

3c Nikkei now JUST BELOW 17,000

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

3e WTI:: 55.71 and Brent: 65.03

3f Gold UP/JAPANESE Yen UP CHINESE YUAN:   ON -SHORE  DOWN  /OFF- SHORE: 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 DOWN for WTI and DOWN FOR Brent this morning

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO +.06%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 2.51% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD DOWN TO 1.05%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.45: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO : 3.83

3k Gold at $1293.40 silver at:15.12   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 19/100 in roubles/dollar) 66.48

3m oil into the 55 dollar handle for WTI and 65 handle for Brent/

3n Higher foreign deposits out of China sees huge risk of outflows and a currency depreciation. This can spell financial disaster for the rest of the world/

JAPAN ON JAN 29.2016 INITIATES NIRP. THIS MORNING THEY SIGNAL THEY MAY END NIRP. TODAY THE USA/YEN TRADES TO 111.15 DESTROYING JAPANESE CITIZENS WITH HIGHER FOOD INFLATION

30 SNB (Swiss National Bank) still intervening again in the markets driving down the SF. It is not working: USA/SF this morning 1.0092 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1325 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.

3p BRITAIN VOTES AFFIRMATIVE BREXIT/LOWER PARLIAMENT APPROVES BREXIT COMMENCEMENT/ARTICLE 50 COMMENCES MARCH 29/2017

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year FALLING to +0.06%

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 2.64% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 3.02%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 5.4681

 

Goldilocks Is Over: Global Stocks Tumble On Fresh Growth Fears, China Crash

Just days after Goldman warned that the Goldilocks rally is over, a selloff swept across world markets with global stocks set for their biggest weekly drop since December, after a plunge in Chinese stocks set the tone for global markets on Friday, with equities in Europe sliding alongside U.S. futures amid growing concerns about the state of US-China trade negotiations and global growth following yesterday’s ECB shocking GDP downgrade. The yen climbed with gold as investors once again scrambled to buy safe havens.

Traders will be closely watching the February U.S. jobs report on Friday (exp. 170K) for more clues on the state of the world’s biggest economy after ECB President Mario Draghi delivered fresh stimulus as he downgraded the outlook for the euro area. The move came during a week that saw China cut its goal for economic expansion, the Bank of Canada dial back its expectations for policy tightening and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development lower its global outlook.

Until then, Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index sank the most in a month, with carmakers and miners leading declines, as global growth concerns continue to dominate market sentiment following yesterday’s ECB TLTRO announcement, pushing back of rate guidance and lowering of growth & inflation forecasts. Sectors are broadly in the red, led by the aforementioned Chinese trade data and fears of another global recession. Significantly underperforming its peers at the bottom of the Stoxx 600 are GVC Holdings (-17.0%) after the company CEO sold 2.1MM worth of shares alongside the Chairman selling 900k shares; with both sales at the price of GBP 6.66/shr. Not helping fears about an imminent European recession, German factory orders fell more than expected in January.

Shares from Sydney to Hong Kong fell, with China’s market slumping the most since October and suffering one of its worst days in years as traders interpreted a rare sell rating from the nation’s largest brokerage as a sign the government wants to curb gains.

Hang Seng (-1.9%) and Shanghai Comp. (-4.4%) slumped with underperformance seen in the mainland in which the CSI 300 slipped by the most so far this year. 10yr JGBs tracked the gains in T-notes amid declining yields in the aftermath of the dovish ECB, while the widespread risk averse tone and BoJ presence in the market in the short-end also contributed to the support for government bonds.

Weak Chinese trade data added to the negativity, with exports plunging over 20%, while imports from the US crashing the most on record.

Stocks in emerging markets dropped the most in almost three months, and their currencies weakened on the back of China’s slump.

“All these different variables are beginning to come together to paint a more dismal outlook for global growth,” Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Nicolaus & Co., told Bloomberg TV from Minneapolis. “We saw the ECB wake up to the acknowledgment of a weaker growth and inflation profile in Europe, but this is sending a broad-based signal that contagion may be coming to the U.S.”

In Fx, the dollar weakened modestly after seven days of gains; the euro steadied after tumbling to its lowest level since 2017 on Thursday after the European Central Bank slashed growth forecasts, while the Swedish krona touched its lowest level since 2002 versus the dollar. The yen was among the biggest gainers in the major currencies amid rising concern about global growth and signs that China is trying to slow the country’s equity rally. The pound was steady after the European Union was said to make a new offer to the U.K. in an attempt to break the Brexit impasse.

Treasuries advanced ahead of U.S. payrolls data. Core European bonds continued higher, as volumes in European bonds were more than double recent averages. German 10Y bund yield dropped to just 6bps, and rapidly approaching a negative yield last seen in late 2016.

Elsewhere, Brent (-1.7%) and WTI (-1.6%) prices are extending on their losses, as global growth concerns weigh on risk tone; both WTI and Brent are trading at the bottom of the sessions range, with WTI prices dropping under USD 56.00/bbl to the downside exacerbating the price decline; with session lows of around USD 55.80/bbl. Looking ahead we have the Baker Hughes Rig count, a decline in the crude rig count would be the third consecutive week of oil rigs decline; and as such may provide some reprieve to Brent and WTI prices.  Gold (+0.6%) is shining as the yellow metal benefits from the global growth concerns which are dominating markets.

Economic data include housing starts and the February jobs report. Vail Resorts, Allogene Therapeutics and Big Lots are due to report earnings.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.5% to 2,742.00
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.4% to 372.29
  • MXAP down 1.4% to 156.20
  • MXAPJ down 1.5% to 514.96
  • Nikkei down 2% to 21,025.56
  • Topix down 1.8% to 1,572.44
  • Hang Seng Index down 1.9% to 28,228.42
  • Shanghai Composite down 4.4% to 2,969.86
  • Sensex down 0.1% to 36,679.26
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1% to 6,203.76
  • Kospi down 1.3% to 2,137.44
  • German 10Y yield fell 1.4 bps to 0.053%
  • Euro up 0.2% to $1.1210
  • Brent Futures down 1.1% to $65.56/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 11.9 bps to 2.116%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 1.6 bps to 1.06%
  • Brent Futures down 1.7% to $65.19/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,294.58
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.2% to 97.45

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Chinese stocks tumbled the most in nearly five months as traders took a rare sell rating from the nation’s largest brokerage as a sign that the government wants to slow down the rally
  • The U.S. leaned on German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month to conduct a naval maneuver in Russia’s backyard aimed at provoking President Vladimir Putin, according to three people familiar
  • Some European Central Bank policy makers consider the institution’s downgraded growth forecast for 2019 to still be too optimistic, according to people with knowledge of the matter
  • China’s exports slumped in February as seasonal factory shutdowns and continued uncertainty from the trade war combined to drag on shipments, adding to concerns over a weakening global economy. Meanwhile, a report showed German factory orders fell more than expected in January
  • Italian Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini threatened to pull the plug on the populist coalition as a fight over a proposed high-speed rail line to France risked spiraling out of control
  • Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila stepped down just weeks before an election after failing to push through parliament plans to overhaul health services and social care in the face of an aging population

Asian equity markets were negative across board on spill-over selling from their global peers after the ECB’s latest policy announcement, while sentiment further deteriorated on disappointing Chinese trade data. ASX 200 (-1.0%) and Nikkei 225 (-2.1%) were lower with the top-weighted financials sector front-running the broad-based declines in Australia, while Japanese sentiment was dragged by a stronger currency with Kawasaki Kisen the worst hit after it widened its FY net loss guidance by fivefold to JPY 100bln. Hang Seng (-1.9%) and Shanghai Comp. (-4.4%) slumped with underperformance seen in the mainland in which the CSI 300 slipped by the most so far this year of more than 3% in early trade, as concern regarding global growth took its toll and with selling exacerbated after Chinese trade data showed the steepest decline in exports for 3 years. Finally, 10yr JGBs tracked the gains in T-notes amid declining yields in the aftermath of the dovish ECB, while the widespread risk averse tone and BoJ presence in the market in the short-end also contributed to the support for government bonds.

Top Asian News

  • Foreigners Exit China Stocks at Fastest Pace This Year: Chart
  • China’s NPC to Push Forward Property Tax Legislation in 2019
  • Alibaba, Ant Are Said to Form Oversight Group to Tighten Control
  • China Property Developers Post Sudden Sharp Losses Before Close

Major European indicies are in negative territory [Euro Stoxx 50 -0.6%] as global growth concerns continue to dominate market sentiment; following yesterday’s ECB TLTRO announcement, pushing back of rate guidance and lowering of growth & inflation forecasts. Overnight the Shanghai Composite (-4.4%) was at its worst level in 5 months; also exacerbated by poor Chinese trade data. Sectors are broadly in the red, with the automobile sector lagging on the aforementioned Chinese trade data and growth concerns. Significantly underperforming its peers at the bottom of the Stoxx 600 are GVC Holdings (-17.0%) after the Co’s CEO sold 2.1mln worth of shares alongside the Chairman selling 900k shares; with both sales at the price of GBP 6.66/shr. Elsewhere, and towards the top of the Stoxx 600 are Azimut (+2.1%) benefiting from being upgraded at Kepler Cheuvreux. Elsewhere, following the Norwegian government stating the sovereign wealth fund should cut energy stocks from the investment benchmark, there was an immediate negative reaction in energy names including Total (+0.6%), BP (-1.5%) and Shell (-1.9%).

Top European News

  • Hunt Warns EU Could ‘Poison’ Relations for Years: Brexit Update
  • Italian Monthly Industrial Output Surges Above Expectations
  • GVC Falls Most Since 2010 on CEO, Chairman Share Disposals
  • ‘Outright Short’ Iliad, ‘Value Trap’ Vodafone Drop on Exane Cuts

In FX, the dollar index and Greenback overall have succumbed to a bout of broad profit-taking and consolidation along with the aforementioned stronger demand for the Yen, as attention turns towards the looming NFP report and at least partly away from Thursday’s dovish ECB policy moves. The DXY has duly backed off from a new 2019 peak at 97.711 to straddle the 97.500 level as G10 (and EM) counterparts claw back some lost ground.

  • JPY – The traditional and enduring safe haven currency is outperforming amidst heightened risk off sentiment, as worrying Chinese trade data and an unexpected decline in German manufacturing orders exacerbate global growth concerns. Usd/Jpy has subsequently retreated further from 112.00+ highs to just under 111.00, and through key technical support in the shape of the 200 DMA at 111.39.
  • NZD/AUD – Although risk aversion has been stoked by the factors noted above, short-covering and cross-positioning have protected the Antipodean Dollars from further depreciation and fall-out. In fact, the Kiwi has rebounded firmly enough from recent lows to vie with the Jpy at the top of the major league as its Aussie peer remains depressed following recent worrying data that has prompted yet another bank to predict 2 RBA rate cuts this year. Nzd/Usd is back up over 0.6775 and Aud/Nzd slips below 1.0350, as Aud/Usd languishes between 0.7028-04 with a hefty 1.5 bn option expiry at the 0.7000 strike exerting another gravitational pull.
  • EUR/CHF – Some respite for the single currency and Franc, with Eur/Usd pivoting 1.1200 after testing a key chart support at 1.1187 on follow-through selling in wake of the ECB’s decision to offer more TLTROs and delay rate hikes. However, the headline pair looks hemmed in by option expiries at 1.1220-25 (1.6 bn) and 1.1250 (2.6 bn), and with nothing significant on the downside in terms of technical levels until 1.1110-33, aside from another expiry at 1.1150 (1 bn). Meanwhile, Usd/Chf is in a tight band around 1.0100 and now eyeing NFP for the next directional lead.
  • GBP/CAD – Marginal underperformers, with Cable looking increasingly bearish after losing grip of 1.3100 and hopes of a Brexit breakthrough appearing more and more forlorn as the latest EU offer on the backstop is not deemed sufficient to appease the majority of UK MPs that rejected the WA at the 1st time of asking. The Loonie has stabilised somewhat after its midweek collapse on a more cautious and uncertain BoC, but remains on the backfoot vs its US rival around 1.3450 ahead of jobs data from both sides of the NA divide.
  • SEK/NOK – The Scandi crowns are both weaker vs the Eur and Usd, with the former ruffled by comments from Riskbank’s Floden expressing surprise at the Sek’s recent decline and the fact that the ECB’s policy actions in March will be taken into account when the Swedish Central Bank meet at the end of next month. A rebound in household spending and upward revisions to back data has nudged Eur/Sek off the highs, but the pair remains above 10.6000, while a deeper retreat in oil prices is undermining the Nok, as Norway’s SWF pulls the plug on energy stocks in its benchmark portfolio. Eur/Nok currently around 9.8500.

In commodities, Brent (-1.7%) and WTI (-1.6%) prices are continuing to extend upon their losses, as global growth concerns weigh on risk tone; both WTI and Brent are trading at the bottom of the sessions range, with WTI prices dropping under USD 56.00/bbl to the downside exacerbating the price decline; with session lows of around USD 55.80/bbl. Looking ahead we have the Baker Hughes Rig count, a decline in the crude rig count would be the third consecutive week of oil rigs decline; and as such may provide some reprieve to Brent and WTI prices. Gold (+0.6%) is shining as the yellow metal benefits from the global growth concerns which are dominating markets. With gold at the top of it’s USD 10/oz range, trading around USD 1294.60/oz. Conversely, copper prices are down afflicted by the poor Chinese trade data exacerbating growth concerns in the worlds largest importer of the metals.

Looking at the day ahead, it’s all about the February employment report in the US while January housing starts and building permits is also due out. Away from that the ECB’s Nowotny is speaking at a conference in Prague this morning, and we should also note that the Fed’s Powell is due to speak tonight at 10pm at the Stanford Institute on monetary policy normalization – so that should be worth a watch.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Housing Starts, est. 1.2m, prior 1.08m; Housing Starts MoM, est. 10.86%, prior -11.2%
    • Building Permits, est. 1.29m, prior 1.33m; Building Permits MoM, est. -2.94%, prior 0.3%
  • 8:30am: Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 180,000, prior 304,000
    • Unemployment Rate, est. 3.9%, prior 4.0%
    • Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.1%; Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 3.3%, prior 3.2%
    • Labor Force Participation Rate, est. 63.2%, prior 63.2%; Underemployment Rate, prior 8.1%
  • 10pm: Powell Discusses Monetary Policy Normalization and Review

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

The ECB meeting didn’t really impact our spread forecasts as the trade dispute resolution (or the lack of one) will likely be the make or break on those. However what it did do was confuse us greatly and it won’t go down as the most coherent mix of policy and guidance from the ECB. Initially the surprise of an early announcement of TLTRO 3 was greeted positively. However as soon as the ECB provided their revised growth and inflation numbers the market turned to suggesting that the policy response was nowhere near substantial enough if that was there view. So giving with one hand and then taking with two others. To be honest there was lots of other moving parts to the meeting (Draghi’s tone for one) and also with the market reaction but let’s try to decipher it. Warning! We may fail!

So surprisingly we got the TLTRO3 announcement now rather than a strong hint of it however important question marks still remain about the specific details. The guidance on rates was pushed back as well, but it was about as conservative as possible since it only technically extended the earliest potential date for a hike by three months and still way before the market thinks is likely. However the press conference and Q&A was undoubtedly dovish. Inflation forecasts were slashed, growth was revised down albeit not overly significantly, but Draghi did reiterate the maintenance of growth risks to the downside. Finally banks didn’t get any help from the tone on answers about the impact of negative rates. Mark Wall has a full write-up here and we’ll go into a bit more detail after we round up the market reaction.

Indeed it was European Banks and Bunds which really moved on during the day with the former closing down -3.32% for the biggest one-day loss since 20 December. The high-to-low range was also -4.53% which was the biggest since September last year. They initially rallied on the new TLTRO before dropping back on the unfavourable details and the poorer macro forecasts. Bunds closed down -6.3bps at 0.0643% – a level they haven’t closed at since October 2016 – with the bulk of the move coming in the press conference after the inflation forecasts were released. In the morning, they’d flirted with 0.14%, less than a week after breaking through 0.20% for the first time in four weeks. The Bund curve is also now negative out to nine and a half years again. It’s hard to feel this is a healthy development. OATs were down -9.0bps and the most since April 2017. BTPs rallied -12.1bps, which was -18.1bp off their highs. As for other equity markets, the STOXX 600 dropped -0.43% with the FTSE MIB reversing -1.49% from the highs to close down -0.74%. Italian Banks also closed -2.61% and were down -3.82% from the highs.

Credit also suffered however it wasn’t quite as dramatic. The iTraxx Main index closed +1.4bps wider but was as much as -1.4bps tighter during the start of the Q&A and prior to the economic forecasts release. Senior Financials went from -3.1bps tighter to +0.3bps wider. Cash HY spreads were +4bps and +7bps wider in Europe and the US, respectively. Meanwhile in FX the euro followed rates and ended the session down -0.72% at 1.1193, reaching its lowest closing level since October 2016.

Sentiment didn’t improve on Wall Street with the S&P 500 closing down -0.81% for its worst day in over a month. Banks stocks followed their European cousins to be down -0.95%, and the macro bellwether transports sector fell -0.96% for its tenth consecutive decline. That’s the longest streak for the transport index since February 2009. Seven down days in the last eight for the S&P 500 is something we haven’t seen since mid-late December last year. Meanwhile the DOW closed -0.78% and the NASDAQ -1.13%. Treasuries rallied -5.4bps and are down -11.4bps from the March 1st highs. EM FX felt the pinch with a broad index down -0.79%. The Argentine peso led losses, depreciating -4.07% versus the dollar to its weakest level ever.

Coming back to the ECB, with regards to the TLTRO3, the details of the refinancing operations that we did get appeared broadly in line with what was eventually expected to be implemented. It’s a 2-year maturity quarterly operation (compared to 4-year for TLTRO2) priced off the refi rate and with a cap as to how much banks can borrow (up to 30% of eligible loans) to prevent overreliance. Our economists rightly noted that the uncertainty is how big the first ‘T’ of TLTRO3 will be – the statement does say that it “will feature built-in incentives” but it is not clear yet what those will be, so we’ll have to wait for further details which Draghi suggested would come in “due course”. However, after the meeting, reports circulated that the ECB will favour a rate above the refi rate, which would obviously make the new loans much less attractive, as well as unconfirmed press reports that the final decision could be deferred until later this year instead of the April meeting. Given the lack of clarity from Draghi and the muddled message from anonymous sources after the meeting, it’s apparent that the Governing Council remains divided about how exactly to structure the new loans.

As for the new economic forecasts, markets reacted most to the news that 2019 inflation was being revised down to 1.2% from 1.6%, and 2020 and 2021 forecasts revised down two-tenths to 1.5% and 1.6% respectively. Growth is now expected to be 1.1% in 2019 compared to 1.7% previously (DB already at 0.9% from earlier in the year). The revisions further out were a lot more modest however, with 2020 growth down one-tenth to 1.6% and 2021 unchanged at 1.5%. So the inflation forecasts were notably dovish and Bunds dropped a couple of their collapsing basis points in tow after the forecasts were released. Five-year by five-year inflation swaps dipped -4.0 basis points to 1.47%, its fifth steepest drop since 2016. Headlines came out after the close suggesting some ECB officials were worried they hadn’t cut growth forecasts enough. So another confusing sign.

During the press conference Draghi’s language on growth appeared more dovish, saying that “weakening data points to sizeable moderation in growth” and “we are maintaining our growth assessment to the downside”. He also said that the ECB is “very open to act when needed” on more easing. As for the banks and negative rates question, Draghi avoided directly answering a question on tiering and that “mitigating measures for negative rates were not discussed”. He did suggest that there was a discussion about the need to examine the matter in detail but clearly it wasn’t what the market wanted to hear. Overall it would be hard to suggest that this was one of the most successful pieces of communication/policy responses from the ECB.

Asian markets are heading lower this morning with Chinese bourses leading the declines amidst weak February trade data – the Shanghai Comp (-3.14%), Shenzhen Comp (-1.90%) and CSI (-3.07%) are all down. Sentiment in China is also getting impacted by a rare sell rating from the nation’s largest brokerage which traders are taking as a sign that the government wants to slow down the rally (as per Bloomberg). Citic Securities Co. issued a sell rating on People’s Insurance Company (Group) of China Ltd., and advised clients to sell the shares, saying they are “significantly overvalued” and could decline more than 50% over the next year. The Nikkei (-1.96%), Hang Seng (-1.37%) and Kospi (-1.06%) are also down. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are down -0.19% and the Japanese yen is up +0.32% this morning. Overnight we saw China’s February trade data with exports falling -20.7% yoy (vs. -5.0% yoy expected) while imports fell -5.2% yoy (vs. -0.6% yoy expected) resulting in trade balance of $4.12bn (vs. $26.20bn expected). February numbers are impacted by Lunar New Year holidays as well as the impact of the trade war. So a fair amount of uncertainty in the data. China’s trade surplus with the US has declined in YtD 2019 in USD terms by -1.97% yoy to $42.02bn.

In other news, Bloomberg reported that the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had productive meetings on how to address Chinese industrial policies and reform the WTO while adding that the EU chief trade negotiator urged President Donald Trump to stop imposing tariffs on the bloc if he wants a partner to help the US pressure China to abide by rules governing the global economy. She said, “we have a problem: China is dumping the market, China is subsidizing their industry, this creates global distortions. We can agree on that. So what is the solution? Well, we think it is to cooperate on China,” while adding that the EU member states have made resolving the US duties on European steel and aluminium a precondition before any bilateral trade deal can be concluded.

Looking ahead there’s little rest for markets today with the February employment report due in the US this afternoon. Markets are expecting a +0.3% mom earnings reading which would be enough to push the annual rate up to +3.3% yoy and match the post-recession highs from the end of last year. Our US economists also expect a +0.3% mom/+3.3% yoy earnings reading while for payrolls the market is at 180k and our colleagues slightly above that at 195k. A reminder that January was 304k and December 222k so we’ve had two successive strong prints. Indeed our colleagues expect some payback in the data today especially given that it was a few sectors which contributed to January’s outsized gain. Elsewhere the unemployment rate is expected to nudge down to 3.9% and hours hold at 34.5.

Back to yesterday, where the Brexit newsflow continues to remain fairly worrying ahead of next week’s votes with Reuters quoting a UK government source as saying that there is nothing to suggest anything is going to change in talks with the EU this week with the latter not budging from its position. Cox has supposedly been told to rework his backstop proposals and return to Brussels today with talks likely to continue into the weekend again. News yesterday suggested that PM May would not travel to Brussels this weekend so it appears that there is a concerted effort to play down expectations for Tuesday’s vote from the UK government. Overnight Bloomberg reported that Mrs May is likely to say in a speech today that the outcome of the Brexit vote on 12th March is in the hands of the EU and will add that she still hopes to get legally binding changes from the EU ahead of the vote next week. The report also said that the EU has made a new offer in a bid to break the Brexit impasse, though it falls short of what the UK has demanded. Sterling is trading (+0.09%) up this morning. Expect a long and busy weekend of headlines.

On the trade war front, there were no major developments yesterday as the US and China continue to negotiate. There were some noteworthy comments from European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, who spoke at several events in DC. She emphasized that the US and EU need to work together and that the EU would be willing to discuss the automobiles in talks. She also met with USTR Lighthizer, who reportedly did not comment on the recent Commerce Department report on auto imports, which could result in a recommendation to raise tariffs on US imports from Europe. She said that she is “watching carefully” for the report’s conclusions, much like the rest of us.

Fed Governor Brainard spoke yesterday, and her views are often tracked as a bellwether for the center of the committee. She said that “modest downward revisions” to rate hike expectations would be consistent with the slight downward changes to the growth and inflation outlook. Our economists had thought that Brainard’s December rate forecast was for three hikes this year, so she may have moved to one hike but is unlikely to have moved to zero. That’s consistent with our economists’ projections for one more hike this year. That said, she did emphasize the “heightened downside risks” which could yet detail her outlook.

Turning to yesterday’s data, US jobless claims came in at 223,000, down from 226,000 in the prior week. That’s right in the middle of the last 1-2 year range and consistent with a resilient labour market. Continuing claims fell 50k to 1,755,000. Consumer credit grew slightly more than expected at $17.05bn in January, though the December figure was revised down slightly. Elsewhere, China’s FX reserves rose $2.3bn to $3.09trn in February, which is consistent with the view that the PBoC has not been intervening to weaken or strengthen the currency while trade talks are ongoing.

In terms of the day ahead, this morning in Europe we’ve got January factory orders data out of Germany and January industrial production in France and Italy. This afternoon it’s all about the February employment report in the US while January housing starts and building permits is also due out. Away from that the ECB’s Nowotny is speaking at a conference in Prague this morning, and we should also note that the Fed’s Powell is due to speak early tomorrow morning (3am GMT) at the Stanford Institute on monetary policy normalization – so that should be worth a watch.

 

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)FRIDAY MORNING/ THURSDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 136..46 POINTS OR 4.40% //Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 551.03 POINTS OR 1.91%  /The Nikkei closed DOWN 430.45 POINTS OR 2.01%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN .90%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP  at 6.7221 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil UP to 56.84 dollars per barrel for WTI and 65.78 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED 

ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN // LAST AT 6.7221 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7319: / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED  : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW A FULL TRADE WAR COMMENCED

 

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

 

 

 

i)North Korea/

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

3 C CHINA

China/last night

Chinese stocks crash last night as we start to see a rare “sell rating” on many stocks and that shook traders.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Chinese Stocks Crash As Rare Sell Rating Shocks Traders

The question whether Beijing will tolerate another stock market bubble – one which it appeared to carefully cultivate until now – got an answer on Friday when Chinese stocks crashed, tumbling the most in five months. And it all started with a single sell rating. 

The Shanghai Composite tumbled 4.4% to close below the key 3,000 point level, ending an 8 week rally, with the Shenzhen Composite and Chinext all following.

The drop was catalyzed by a limit-down plunge in state-owned insurer People’s Insurance Company of China, which had become a poster child of the ramp-up in equities, and which saw its shares sink by the 10 percent daily limit, after state-owned brokerage Citic Securities advised clients to sell the shares, saying they are “significantly overvalued” and could decline more than 50% over the next year.

The signal was heard loud and clear, and by the time the selling – which accelerated in the last hour of trading – was over as stocks hit lows at the close, the Composite had one of its worst days in years.

Until Friday’s plunge, PICC had surged by the maximum allowed by the exchange for five straight days, however the downgrade sparked speculation that the order to put a lid on market euphoria had come from the very top:

“Such a sell rating must have been authorized by the regulators,” said Yang Wei, a fund manager at Longwin Investment Management Co. “The stock market is overheating, there is too much speculation. Regulators want to see a slow bull market, not a mad bull market.

The plunge also appeared to end what seemed the world’s most remarkable bubble: so far in 2019, Chinese stocks had been unstoppable, gaining the past eight weeks to beat every other national market in the world, sparking memories of China’s 2015 stock bubble which ended in a massive crash and killed investor sentiment for the next three years. However, investor confidence was revived in 2019 thanks to the government’s focus on economic growth, the new securities regulator’s less stringent take on financial risk and optimism over China’s relationship with the U.S. However, the $1.8 trillion rally since January has been so fast it triggered signs of overheating in all of the country’s major benchmarks.

And nowhere were signs more evident than in shares of PICC Group, which listed in Shanghai in November, and whose shares had almost quadrupled through Thursday to close at 12.83 yuan.

This is where the government decided to finally step in: the “rational” price is between 4.71 and 5.38 yuan, Citic Securities analysts including Tong Chengdun wrote in a note. PICC Group’s Hong Kong-listed shares, which trade at a discount of about 74 percent, fell as much as 3.6 percent Friday. Goldman and JPMorgan also have negative ratings on the yuan-denominated stock. The $65 billion firm, which was the first insurer to list on the mainland in seven years, had become the 11th most valuable company on the Shanghai Composite.

As Bloomberg notes, this was the first time this year that China appeared to take steps to cool a buying frenzy that added almost $2 trillion to equity values and lifted market turnover to a more than three-year high. The government has until now been a big supporter of the rally, seeing it as a potential salve for overstretched corporate balance sheets and shaky consumer sentiment. But memories of the country’s disastrous 2015 boom and bust are still fresh.

The downgrade shocked investors who had been taking signs from the government as encouraging a new asset bubble.

China’s new securities watchdog had removed many of the curbs designed to keep out speculators, signaling an end to the highly restrictive era that started when a boom in the country’s stocks turned to bust in 2015. The resulting appetite for risk has sent the ChiNext, Shanghai Composite, Shenzhen Composite Index and CSI 300 Index all into bull markets and triggered a surge in turnover not seen in years, as Bloomberg notes. This is why Friday’s downgrade caught virtually everyone wrong-footed:

“This sell rating is like a depth charge for the market,” said Lin Qi, fund manager at Lingze Capital. “The unwritten rule is that a securities firm will not be short on the market, much less single out a specific company. Given the size and importance of Citic Securities, such a move is significant.”

Adding economic insult to bubble injury, stock losses extended Friday after trade data showed China’s economy was weaker than expected in February as exports tumbled the most in 3 years. Economists forecast both exports and imports would shrink, although not by as much.

It was not the first time Beijing targeted a specific stock to mute investor euphoria: in November 2017, China’s official media singled out a rally in liquor-maker Kweichow Moutai, saying the shares should rise at a slower pace. The result was the company’s biggest one-day decline in over two years.

This time, it’s financial stocks which have been at the forefront of China’s soaring equity market, and just as they soared on the way up, they tumbled on Friday, and securities firms were among the biggest losers on Friday – a Bloomberg index tracking the stocks slumped 9.2%, paring its annual advance to 52%. Ironically, the company that downgraded PICC, Citic Securities, saw its own shares plunge by the 10% daily limit, the most on China’s large-cap gauge. Turnover on China’s exchanges totaled 1.18 trillion yuan ($176 billion), the most since November 2015.

Summarizing perfectly the bizarre state of the Chinese “stock market”, where everyone is either buying, or selling at the same time, or simply oblivious, was Dong Baozhen, a fund manager at Beijing Lingtongshengtai Asset Management, who said that “the market in China can never find stability on its own, it’s either reaching for the sky or in the doldrums,” adding that “the government needs to be very adept and subtle in its words to moderate the market. If they stay aloof, risks will pile up.”

“It’s about time that stocks took a pause, as regulators are increasingly concerned by a market that’s growing fanatic,” said Zhu Junchun, a Shanghai-based analyst at Lianxun Securities Co. “While authorities want an active market, they don’t want one that’s overactive.”

Investors will be now be closely watching Monday’s open for an indication if China’s notorious momentum traders are now done. A positive start would signal that stocks can resume their climb at a pace that’s more acceptable to authorities, while another lurch lower might fuel concerns over disorderly selling by margin traders, who have added massive amounts of leverage in recent weeks. It will follow a crackdown by the Guangdong bureau of China’s securities regulator, which on Friday anned brokerages from working “in any form” with entities that offer loans for investments in the stock market.

It remains to be seen if with this one intervention, the Chinese speculative mania has now been crushed and stocks will now selloff for the foreseeable future, or if China’s momentum-chasing hordes are just taking a break for a few hours before plowing fresh trillions into the “market” that has become the world’s greatest casino and where even the government is now saying to stay out.

end

The Trump/Xi summit in Mar a Lago is now being delayed as the Chinese are getting cold feet on the trade deal

(courtesy zerohedge)

Mar-A-Lago Summit Delayed As Beijing Gets Cold Feet On Trade Deal

With US stocks headed for their worst week of the year, the last thing traders (both human and machine) wanted to see Friday morning was another story about how Chinese negotiators are getting cold feet about further trade negotiations. As the NYT reported last night, wariness about the possibility that President Trump might reject a carefully worked out deal at the last minute – as he did late last summer when he scrapped a round of talks planned by Steve Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow – has reportedly made them hesitant to keep negotiating, as most of the major concessions have come from the US side.

Trump

But that’s exactly what they got.

This time, it was the FT confirming the narrative: The UK’s financial paper of record reported that the date of a possible Mar-a-Lago summit has been pushed back, from late this month to some unknown later date, as the Chinese push for guarantees that the deal will effectively be finished before the two leaders meet.

A summit between US president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping has been pushed back from the end of March, as both sides try to pin down details and avoid an embarrassing failure. While the dates were not yet finalised, the two sides had been discussing a meeting at Mar-a-Lago on March 27 or March 28, immediately following Mr Xi’s planned trip to Europe. Those dates are now off. In an interview with American media on Friday, US ambassador to China Terry Branstad said that there are no dates for the summit, but the two sides are still negotiating.

Interestingly enough, sources familiar with Beijing’s thinking said the Chinese had been “spooked” by President Trump’s decision to walk out of the Hanoi summit with Kim Jong Un.

Mr Trump’s decision to walk out on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without an agreement at last month’s summit in Vietnam “just totally spooked” the Chinese side, said Jake Parker, of the US-China Business Council in Beijing. “They want a signing ceremony, they don’t want a negotiation.” “Both sides would like it to happen,” he added.

Given this, we can’t help but wonder: Was the president set up to fail by the North Koreans as a ploy to give Beijing more leverage over the trade talks?

In any case, pressure is mounting on Beijing, as another batch of disappointing economic data (last night’s exports collapse) followed a massive credit injection.

Exports

But as we pointed out, this doesn’t bode well for the US, either.

DB

And with futures deep in the red Friday morning, it’s only a matter of time before President Trump fires off a few tweets proclaiming how “everything is awesome” between the US and Beijing. And, to be sure, he’s getting some help from Beijing on this, which is apparently being careful not to poke the bear.

Hu Xijin 胡锡进@HuXijin_GT

Signals sent by China side show China-US trade talks are speeding up. This conforms with optimistic information of the US side. My personal estimation is that the trade deal is very likely to be signed in a month.

But depending on whether Friday’s February jobs number lives up to the hype from January, the market ructions may or may not be resolved on their own.

end

My goodness!~ Despite the massive credit injection exports collapsed by a huge 20.7% in February and the miss is simply stunning

(courtesy zerohedge)

Chinese Exports Collapse In February Despite Largest Credit Injection Ever

While a few will blame the total and utter collapse in China exports in February on the lunar new year’s early date this year,the scale of the miss is simply stunning.

For a few brief seconds, everything was awesome as Bloomberg’s initial headline proclaimed a big RISE in exports, but they quickly corrected – causing heart attacks across every tape-reading algo in the world…

Exports plunged 20.7 percent in February while imports fell 5.2 percent, leaving a trade surplus of $4.12 billion, the customs administration said Friday.

Economists forecast both exports and imports would shrink, although not as much as the fall. The Lunar New Year break fell about 10 days earlier than last year, likely boosting January’s shipments and weighing on February’s.

But Chinese imports from the US crashed the most on record...

In addition to the shutdown that happens each year, February was an uncertain period for Chinese exporters, with negotiations through the month on whether the U.S. would raise tariffs from March 1.

Analysts were quick to defend the crash as an outlier…

“There is big progress in the trade talks compared with a few months ago.But the trade tension itself brings uncertainties to companies, who could slow or delay their investment, or even move some of their production overseas” UBS AG economist Tao Wang said in a conference call on Thursday. A potential economic slowdown in the U.S. and Europe, together with their monetary policies, will also add to the external challenges for China, she said.

And the rest of the world better hope so too… because if this correlation holds up – all hell is about to break loose back in the ‘decoupled’ USA…

US equity futures dropped on the headlines…

And Chinese stocks were already suffering their biggest drop of the year…

As a reminder, this collapse is occurring after the PBOC announced it had flooded the economy with a gargantuan 4.64 trillion yuan in various new forms of debt which comprise China’s Total Social Financing in January, including notably, the “shadow” credit which Beijing had been aggressively cracking down on: an aggressive credit expansion which many took as a tacit confirmation that China was losing the fight with deleveraging.

So if 4.64 trillion didn’t help… and RRR cuts… and promises of tax cuts… just what is the US and Chinese equity market pricing in?

end
Kyle Bass is no doubt one of the key experts analyzing the financial scene with respect to China.  He has been shorting the yuan big time and now he is doubling down. His main contention is that China will need its huge pile of 3.1 trillion dollars reserves to bail out ailing operations.  Also huge number of citizens are cashing out of their yuan into dollars.
(Kyle Bass/zerohedge)

Why Kyle Bass Is Doubling Down On “Big Yuan Short”

If there was one investor who should be worried about a favorable outcome of any China trade “deal” which according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would result in the “strongest ever” currency agreement with China, preventing Beijing from aggressively devaluing its currency, it would be long-time China bear, Kyle Bass who has been shorting the Yuan ever since 2015 as a bearish bet on China’s economy.

But Bass is not worried; in fact according to a new Bloomberg interview, the Texan is eager to take advantage of the recent yuan appreciation to add to his short, as any demand for China to keep its currency stable as part of a trade agreement will fail to support the yuan against the dollar in his opinion. Of course, the Hayman Capital founder is also talking his book: the firm entered its short bet on the offshore yuan in 2015 (just ahead of China’s August 2015 devaluation), and while the trade has seen its share of profits (in 2018) and losses (in 2017)  Bass has stayed the course even as many of his China beah peers have thrown in the towel as Wall Street banks are increasingly revising forecasts to predict strength in the Chinese currency, which is outperforming almost all its counterparts across Asia in 2019.

Undaunted, and still believing in fundamentals, Bass repeats his long-running thesis, and says that it’s just a matter of time before China’s deteriorating economy “changes the whole narrative, spurring a weaker yuan and forcing policy makers to eat into foreign-exchange reserves to support it.”

Bass also expects that China’s $3.1 trillion FX stockpile – the world’s largest – can only fall so far, and he believes that a drop below the $1.5 trillion-to-$2 trillion range would impede the flow of trade, much of which is financed in greenbacks.

More importantly, the Hayman Capital founder believes that China’s secular slowdown also means Beijing will have no choice but to abandon any pledge for currency stability, sparking a sizable yuan depreciation.

“The Chinese can say they’ll do whatever they can do to keep it stable, but in the end, they’re losing reserves,” Bass told Bloomberg (even though overnight the PBOC announced that reserves rose to a 6 month high of $3.09 trillion) adding that “there’s a number at which the Chinese economy will actually come to a halt, meaning they won’t be able to operate imports and exports.”

Ultimately, Bass’ bearish thesis is not so much about China’s terms of trade, but its gargantuan leverage, which according to the IIF is now well over 300%, and which he believes will force China into a painful deleveraging after a decade of rapid credit expansion (although the recent gargantuan surge in total social financing suggests that Beijing is intent on kicking the can as long as possible).

For Bass the “spark” for Chinese instability will be the same global economy which Beijing rescued in the years after the financial crisis when it unleashed a historic credit-funded growth spree: should the world enter even a mild recession in 2020, that will force a “comeuppance” in China, sparking bankruptcies of state-owned firms and restructuring of the financial sector, Bass said.

As a result of what Bass perceives as China’s accumulated imbalances, the yuan will slide 30% against the dollar in the next two to three years. This call echoes a prediction he’s been making since 2015, a period in which other hedge funds abandoned bearish yuan bets.

That’s not the only catalyst however: Bass said the devaluation will likely come from a combination of shifting Chinese policy and market forces, as FX reserves shrink and traders wager against the currency.

* * *

Going back to the terms of the US-China trade deal, Bass said that “devaluations aren’t up to the government,” adding that “this will not be up to China, this will happen to China. The market will realize the exchange rate on the screen isn’t close to where it should be.”

Putting money where his mouth is, in November Bass said at a Reuters conference that he had added to his his yuan short position days after it approached its weakest level against the dollar since it started trading in 2010. Since then the currency has rallied around 3% to 6.73 per dollar. The recent strength follows a turbulent 2018, which saw the Chinese currency drop 5% against the dollar amid escalating trade tensions, raising speculation that China was deliberately weakening its currency.

As discussed here previously, China’s currency manipulation has long been a focus of President Trump and his hawkish trade advisors, who vowed during his 2016 presidential campaign to name China a currency manipulator, though his Treasury Department has repeatedly refused to do so in its official semi-annual assessments.

At the end of the day, what Bass’s view boils down to is that forces in the roughly $5 trillion-a-day FX market will upend any currency agreement this time around, according to Bloomberg.

“To keep it stable, this basically assumes that the Chinese can control the rate at which the rest of the world values their currency,” Bass said. “It’s our view that their ability to do so is slipping.”

Bass will, undoubtedly, be proven right, but the real question is when. In the past decade China has shown a remarkable resiliency to refute doomsayers, kicking the can at just the moment when a hard landing appeared inevitable time and again. As for Bass, the question is will his China bet prove to be another subprime shorting triumph, or the latest JGB short fiasco for a fund manager who has previously called to short Japanese government bonds only to find himself in the same boat as so many other now defunct investors, toppled by the world’s biggest “widowmaker” trade, with the continued help of the BOJ of course.

END
As the battle with Huawei heats up, Chinese foreign minister Yi urges Huawei to take up legal weapons against the USA.
(courtesy zerohedge)

China’s Foreign Minister Urges Huawei To “Take Up Legal Weapons” Against The US

As Huawei gears up for what looks to be a protracted legal battle with the US government (a battle where the odds are stacked against it, as CNBC’s Jim Cramer pointed out yesterday), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is Beijing’s top diplomat, became the most senior government official to weigh in on the lawsuit when he responded to questions from journalists during a press scrum on the sidelines of China’s National Party Congress on Friday.

Reiterating Beijing’s line that the US’s actions against Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou are tantamount to “deliberate political suppression”, Wang went on to characterize Huawei’s lawsuit as an act of social justice, encouraging the company to “take up legal weapons to safeguard their rights & interests and not be silent lambs,” per CNN.

Hinting that Beijing sees the US’s struggle against Huawei through the lens of a broader conflict, Wang said “we must protect not only a company’s rights and interests, but a country and a nation’s legitimate rights of development.”

China

Wang Yi

In the past few months, Washington has embarked on a prolonged campaign to encourage US allies to block Huawei from providing technology for their 5G network infrastructure (a campaign that has met with mixed success),  while the DOJ has filed two indictments against the company accusing it (and Meng) of violating US sanctions and stealing US intellectual property from T-Mobile.

Huawei responded by filing the lawsuit in a Texas district court earlier this week. The suit claims that by passing a law to exclude government agencies and government contractors from using Huawei products, Congress passed an unconstitutional “bill of attainder” – serving as “judge, jury and executioner” and depriving Huawei of income and causing reputational damage to the company without offering it any legal recourse.

Russia’s Kaspersky labs made a similar argument in a lawsuit filed last year where it tried to get around an order prohibiting federal agencies from using its software (which the US government had said could be used by the Russian government for espionage-related purposes).

Most legal experts believe Huawei’s case will end in a similar result. But in the meantime, it might give the company a platform to expose US hypocrisy while helping the company undermine the US’s “national security” concerns.

END

NOT GOOD!  A Chinese boat rams into a Vietnamese vessel in disputed waters in South CHINESE SEAS

(courtesy zero hedge)

Tensions Soar After Chinese Boat Rams, Sinks Vietnamese Vessel In Disputed Waters

Tensions in the South China Sea are once again soaring after a Vietnamese fishing boat reportedly came under attack by a Chinese vessel near the contested Paracel Islands, a Vietnamese official said Friday. According to the Australian Associated Press the dangerous incident has sent tensions in the region to “a new high”.

The Vietnamese boat was fishing near Discovery Reef some 370 kilometers off Da Nang in Paracel island chain when according to Hanoi government officials it was rammed by the presumably larger Chinese vessel. The fishing boat capsized, leaving five Vietnamese crewmen clinging to the side of their upturned vessel for two hours before they were rescued by another nearby fishing boat.

 

Illustrative image of prior ramming incident between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels, via the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

Crucially, the Paracel archipelago is an intensely disputed island chain and territory, claimed by both Vietnam and China, the latter which took control of the islands in 1974. It’s known as Xisha in Chinese and Hoàng Sa in Vietnamese, and the People’s Republic of China has over the past years attempted to solidify its hold by building up reefs and artificial islands, including the construction of military installations and harbors.

This has resulted in a significant uptick in similar “ramming attack” incidents on Vietnamese boats of late. The Chinese coast guard is said to be especially active in intercepting and chasing away all non-Chinese boats, assisted in this regard by civilian boats who act as a maritime militia enforcing Chinese claims over the waters.

Over the past year more than a dozen such incidents have been reported in regional press, something that’s become commonplace enough for one analyst and east Asian affairs expert, Greg Poling at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to comment: “China’s neighbors have become so numb to the constant exercise of low-intensity violence and intimidation that it will warrant barely a mention in regional press.”

Meanwhile, entirely to be expected Beijing had a very different version of events, according to the Associated Press:

The official Chinese Communist Party newspaper reported that a Chinese government vessel received a distress call from a Vietnamese fishing boat and sailed to the area, where it found the boat partly sunk. The online report, quoting Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, said the Chinese ship immediately contacted China’s maritime search and rescue center to dispatch a rescue vessel and the five Vietnamese fishermen were rescued.

Not only did Chinese authorities claim that no attack occurred, but they implied China was actually involved in mobilizing a rescue.

The AP report continues:

Lu said nothing about a vessel, Chinese or otherwise, ramming the Vietnamese ship other than to cite the original Vietnamese report. He also didn’t specifically say that the Chinese ship rescued the fishermen.

China’s expanding territorial claims in the South and East China Seas have sent tensions soaring with other American allies in the region as well, including the Philippines, which has recently expressed concern over increasing US “freedom of navigation” exercises and flyovers of airspace near the Chinese coast, given the potential for the Philippines to be dragged into any explosive scenario that could result in increased US-China confrontations.

For example, on Monday of this week two US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress long-range bombers took off from Guam and entered disputed airspaces of the South and East China seas to conduct “routine training missions” — as confirmed by US Air Force official statements.

China has routinely condemned such operations as dangerous provocations, in some cases communicating dire warnings to American planes or ships to depart “Chinese territory”.

Greg Poling

@GregPoling

Chinese ship reportedly rams and sinks a Vietnamese fishing boat in the Paracels (again). China’s neighbors have become so numb to the constant exercise of low-intensity violence and intimidation that it will warrant barely a mention in regional press. https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/chinese-ship-sinks-vietnamese-fishing-boat-off-paracel-islands-3890834.html 

Chinese ship sinks Vietnamese fishing boat off Paracel Islands – VnExpress International

A Chinese vessel rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat off the central coast Wednesday, but its five-member crew was rescued unscathed.

e.vnexpress.net

131 people are talking about this

In a rare statement issued Tuesday, the Philippines’ top defense official, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, warned that increased US activity in the region could spark unnecessary tensions possibly leading to war with China.

He said the Philippines-US Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) runs the risk of causing “confusion and chaos during a crisis,” especially as the US ramps ups such aerial patrols of the region and “freedom of navigation” exercises.

“The Philippines is not in a conflict with anyone and will not be at war with anyone in the future. But the United States, with the increased and frequent passage of its naval vessels in the West Philippine Sea, is more likely to be involved in a shooting war. In such a case and on the basis of the MDT, the Philippines will be automatically involved,” Lorenzana said, according to CNN Philippines, using the local term for the South China Sea (the West Philippine Sea).

The United States, for its part, has long held its operations, even when sailing close to disputed islands claimed by China or flying overhead, are intended to assert that the area is international waters and in international airspace.

4.EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

FRANCE

The French city of Grenoble firebombed as we have witnessed the 4th straight night of protests after police were blamed for teenage deaths.
(zerohedge)

French City Firebombed In 4th Night Of Protests After Cops Blamed For Teenage Deaths

Rioters in the French city of Grenoble hurled molotov cocktails and set cars ablaze during the fourth consecutive night of demonstrations against the police, following the deaths of two teenagers in a high-speed chase.

The young men, aged 17 and 19, were killed on Saturday after they refused to pull over for police who had flagged them down for not wearing helmets. A chase ensued, which ended quickly after the scooter collided with a bus.

Finamor@finamor64

Grenoble, France, 2019 .

Riots broke out the following night as approximately one hundred hooded youth took to the sreets, hurling around 30 molotov cocktails, while around 2,000 angry citizens marched on Tuesday in memory of the boys, Adam and Fatih.

Embedded video

Ruptly

@Ruptly

Around 2,000 march in memory of teens killed in police chase

In previous nights, rioters launched fireworks and gasoline bombs at police officers, who responded with tear gas. According to RT, at least 65 vehicles have been destroyed in the protests.

Embedded video

Ruptly

@Ruptly

Third night of rioting shakes after two teens die in police chase

 END
UK
Our resident expert on Brexit weighs in.  He states that May is making a big mistake and that she should let the EU make its move on Ireland
(courtesy TomLuongo)

Brexit Ultimatums Fly Freely Betraying Bad Faith

Authored by Tom Luongo,

So the EU has given the U.K. a 48 hour ultimatum to come up with an acceptable change to the Irish Backstop. But, the problem is, and Brussels knows this, there is no acceptable change to the Irish Backstop.

There can be no re-implementation of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland and the EU will not accept an open border because then it will negate its entire legal structure as a customs union.

Rock meet hard place, but this isn’t the U.K.’s problem. It is the EU’s. And Theresa May has been avoiding the issue the entire time allowing Brussels to set the terms of the surrender negotiations rather than say, “Ball’s in your court. We’re happy to leave the border open.”

That arrangement is anathema to the other 27 countries in the EU. But, again, that is their problem. And it shouldn’t be Theresa May’s responsibility.

Brussels’ bullying on this is pure theatre. There is a solution but they don’t want to admit it. They don’t want to admit it because they don’t have to… yet.

Why? Because they still believe they can get the British people to stand down and allow Parliament to deliver BRINO (Brexit-in-Name-Only) using the Irish border as the stalking horse.

Because that’s what the majority of Parliament wants. What they don’t want is to be on the hook for it, so they can go back to their voters and claim they fought the good fight.

Blame shifting thy name is politician.

Time is running short for these kinds of games. Both May and the EU are playing hardball with a British people who are beyond tired of the shenanigans. Leave means Leave and the reality is that many of the important Labour Remainers are in very vulnerable seats if there is a betrayal of Brexit, regardless of how the media and the Twitterati try to spin this.

Because if the public opinion was so in favor of Remain, we wouldn’t be where we are today. There would already have been a second referendum called or Parliament would have voted for Mrs. May’s deal which is the closest thing there could be to BRINO.

The Yvette Coopers and Anna Soubry’s are grandstanding for their paymasters behind the scenes but the backbenchers all know what the political fallout from this will be if they don’t just get on with this business.

Embedded video

Bruges Group@BrugesGroup

Dynamite! – Brexit Party Planning to Fight General Election – Leader of Party strongly indicates plan to fight General Election – not just EU elections – if Conservatives fail to deliver Brexit! Please Retweet! Thanks!

And that’s why May hasn’t stepped down as Prime Minister. She knows what the political fallout would be and is trying to stay in power long enough to deliver BRINO or hang her opposition with an unwanted delay.

The Remainers have made their case ad nauseum, ad infinitum and it is time to admit defeat. Gods know Mario Draghi at the ECB just did.

Every day the economic data coming out of the EU gets worse and the data coming out of the U.K. is better than advertised by the Europhiles. That’s why the fear-mongering isn’t working.

People can see through that, they can see the obnoxiousness coming from Brussels and their own government and they simply aren’t buying it.

Another few months of this will only make it worse, not better.

Finance Minister Philip Hammond has now issued his ultimatum, again, out of weakness. Either vote for Mrs. May’s deal (which is what he wants anyway) or face another three to six months of torture.

But it’s people like Hammond who will have to face reality that betraying Brexit will be the real shock. The next general election in the U.K. is 2022 but the EU in its current form may not last that long.

And the British people can sense this as well. What’s so great sticking around in a political union that is sinking into an abyss financially?

The institutions that make up the EU are fraying. Political unity is not a guarantee at this point.

Viktor Orban in Hungary is warning the EU that if they are intent on forcing political integration much further, it will not hold together.

“If we are left alone and they do not force islamisation on us, Europe can continue to live as the club of free nations,” Orban said, but added that if Brussels forces Hungary “to accept the UN migration pact or the European Commission’s decisions so as to make us fit their own Western concessive policies, a breakup [of the EU] cannot be ruled out.”

 

end

Germany

Two basket cases are now resuming merger talks. Deutsche bank thinks it can hide its huge derivative exposure

(courtesy zerohedge)

Deutsche And Commerzbank Resume Merger Talks

Now that Cerberus Capital (which owns a large slug of Deutsche Bank shares) has joined the German Finance Ministry (a major shareholder in Commerzbank) in pushing for a merger between the two troubled German megabanks, the long-anticipated tie-up – a deal that would spawn a new German “national champion” to combat the creeping influence of JPM and other US investment banks – is looking increasingly likely.

Commerz

According to reports in German newsmagazine Focus, which were cited by Reuters and Bloomberg, the CEOs of both banks, who once sounded apprehensive about the prospect of a merger, have resumed deal talks.

Here’s a summary from BBG:

Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing has been in intense talks with Commerzbank CEO Martin Zielke for some days, after receiving a mandate from their management and supervisory boards, according to Focus.

The idea of a merger between Germany’s two biggest banks has been pushed by German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz as a way of creating a “national champion” to serve the backbone of the country’s export economy.

In September, Sewing said his bank was open to a merger, but only once it boosts its profitability over the following 18 months. The lender’s ability to avoid a merger with Commerzbank could rest on its performance in the first quarter of 2019, Bloomberg reported in January.

Given that two wrongs don’t make a right, and combining two struggling banks won’t automatically produce a success, some may wonder: what’s the logic behind a merger? Well, the FT went over this in detail earlier this week in a deep-dive on the German government’s long-running campaign to coax the two banks to merge.

DB and Commerzbank both large their peers in key metrics like price to book and return on equity. But a combined bank would not only allow for synergies (i.e. massive job cuts), it would also strengthen their core capital, enabling a combined bank to take more risk, and possibly produce a higher ROE.

DB

But as the WSJ revealed last month, there are some serious cultural barriers to this approach. The biggest among them being that DB traders can’t trade their way out of a paper bag. This could be one reason why the bank’s trading desks have resorted to market manipulation – as the many ‘cartel’ prosecutions have illustrated – to goose their profits.

end

Italy

Strange:  Italy’s government is now on the verge of collapse due to the high speed rail linking Italy  (Turin) and France  (Lyon).  The major costs are a huge 36 mile tunnel through the Alps

(courtesy zerohedge)

Italy’s Government On Verge Of Collapse Over A Train

With the Italian government seemingly on the verge of collapse every few months, and with tensions between the two parties in the ruling coalition – Five Star and the League, especially as the former has been sliding in the polls at the expense of the latter’s rising popularity – escalating in recent weeks, it was only a matter of time before Italian bondholders had a PTSD flashback to May 2018 when the populist government first stormed on the stage, sending Italian bonds plunging. All that was missing was a catalyst.

Said catalyst emerged as a lingering dispute within Italy’s ruling coalition over the future of a train, or technically a high-speed rail link with France, escalated suddenly on Thursday, once again raising the risk of a government collapse, with the 5-Star chief accusing his partner of acting irresponsibly.

The Alpine rail line has been backed by the ruling League party but is fiercely opposed by its coalition partner, the 5-Star Movement, which argues Italy’s share of the funding would be better spent upgrading existing roads and bridges. And after League leader, the outspoken Matteo Salvini who continues to enjoy rising popularity with every new poll, said in an evening television interview he would not back down and his party would “never sign” a decree to block the project, 5-Star chief Luigi Di Maio accused him of threatening to bring down the government.

While the tensions between Di Maio and Salvini were for the most part contained before closed doors, the animosity between the two “equal” vice premiers erupted in public when Di Maio said in a statement that Salvini “will bear the responsibility before millions of Italians” adding that he considers “this to be irresponsible behavior” adding that he was “stunned by the threat of a government crisis” coming from Salvini.

The TAV project (Treno Alta Velocita) is a joint venture between the Italian and French states to link the cities of Turin and Lyon with a 58-km (36-mile) tunnel through the Alps on which work has already begun. According to Reuters, the EU has pledged to fund up to 40 percent of costs, Italy up to 35 percent and France up to 25 percent.

Earlier on Thursday, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that recently updated traffic projections for the line warranted a review of the project’s long-term viability and, if necessary, a renegotiation of the way the funding is split. Conte told reporters he had strong personal doubts about the validity of the venture and he would take responsibility for a final decision based on a cost-benefit analysis already carried out by the government.

That analysis, commissioned by Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli, a 5-Star politician, found the TAV was a waste of public money, estimating the economic return would be a negative balance of 7.0 billion-7.8 billion euros ($7.9 billion -$8.8 billion). Conte, who is technically not a member of either party but is closer to 5-Star, called the funding of the TAV “iniquitous” and said he would speak to France and the EU “to share our doubts and perplexities.”

However, as Reuters noted, despite his doubts, Conte acknowledged the ruling coalition remained “deadlocked” over the issue, as a Monday deadline approaches when the tenders must be launched to build or block key parts of the project.

And while Conte dismissed media speculation the Alpine rail link could be the issue that finally brings the government down as “absurd” saying that the dispute between the ruling parties was transparent and constructive, others disagree, and on Thursday night, Matteo Salvini who is currently Italy’s most popular politician and many believe can become Italy’s next premier outright without the need for a coalition, said he was ready “to go all the way” on the TAV dispute.

On Friday the spat continued, and the ruling coalition made no progress in defusing the dispute ahead of Monday’s looming deadline.

As Reuters updates, on Friday Salvini walked away from the negotiating table telling reporters he would not reopen discussion until after the weekend, in a move that seemed designed to allow the tenders, due to be opened on Monday, to go ahead.

In turn, a clearly displeased Di Maio said during a news conference that “(Salvini) can’t tell me ‘we’ll see each other on Monday’. This needs to be a weekend of work,” adding that he had asked Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to do his best to block the tenders.

Some League politicians proposed that the tenders could be launched on schedule but with a clause that they could be revoked depending on the outcome of the coalition dispute. Di Maio rejected this, saying it made no sense to commit money to a project and then discuss whether to go ahead with it.

“Putting the government at risk over the TAV is absurd,” he said, appealing to Salvini to work with him for a deal, however as of this moment, Salvini has clearly refused to engage in negotiations, raising the probability that a government collapse could be imminent, and resulting in another episode of Italian bond volatility as the next Italian government will likely be even more populist than the current iteration.

For now markets, which have generally stopped responding to newsflow and instead are only focused on what central banks do next, have shrugged off the mounting coalition tensions, and on Friday Italian 10-year bond yields were heading for the biggest weekly drop since September, and the spread over German Bunds hovered around 245 basis points, compared with a recent high of 280 on Feb 22, on the back of the ECB’s TLTRO announcement which some have speculated makes the probability of a ruling crisis even greater as the risk of a market crash has been pushed back largely thanks to Draghi’s surprisingly dovish reversal unveiled on Thursday.

5.RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

Israel’s navy is now prepared to block Iranian oil from sales abroad.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Israeli Navy Prepared To “Block” Iranian Oil Transit, Netanyahu Threatens

Short of last month’s incident wherein Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared via Twitter that he’s seeking “war with Iran”, new comments issued this week represent the most aggressive declaration of how far Israel is willing to go to thwart Iran in the region.

Echoing the Trump administration’s desire to bring Iranian exports to zero through sanctions, Netanyahu said on Wednesday that he’s considering ordering Israel’s Navy to target Iranian oil tankers to prevent them from selling oil abroad. This as a number of other signatories to the P5+1 nuclear deal have vowed to continue buying despite US sanctions and threatened repercussions from Washington.

 

Image via Kuwait Times

“Iran is trying to circumvent the sanctions through covert oil smuggling over maritime routes, and to the extent that these attempts widen, the navy will have a more important role in blocking these Iranian actions,” Netanyahu said.

Of course what the Israeli prime minister calls “covert oil smuggling” Iran would see simply as its right to conduct valid and legal shipping as a sovereign economic power. But given the tightening economic noose and expansive US naval presence in international waters, Iran has reportedly been switching off location transponders on its ships as well as other measures to conceal its maritime traffic (using “ghost ships” to flout US sanctions), including even altering names of ships or flag registries.

Netanyahu continued, as reported by Reuters, “I call on the entire international community to stop Iran’s attempts to circumvent the sanctions by sea, and of course, by any (other) means.”

It appears Netanyahu could be setting the stage for some kind of Israeli escalation against Iranian assets abroad and on the water, though as Reuters speculates, “It was not clear how Israel would stop such shipping activities or whether it would risk direct confrontation at sea with Iranian vessels.” Especially as “The Israeli navy, whose largest vessels are missile corvettes and a small submarine fleet, is mostly active in the Mediterranean and Red seas.”

Perhaps more likely Netanyahu’s words, like many speeches before, were for an audience of one — aimed at the White House in the hopes that Trump could be willing to take more direct action to prevent Iranian oil from reaching Europe or China.

If Israel can get Iranian oil shipping operations commonly deemed as “smuggling” by the United States and international allies, this could justify future naval direct intercepts and action, which itself to spark a major incident leading to war. But as Netanyahu indicated last month in a tweet (but later tried to walk back the words), this could bring the hoped for “war with Iran” he said Israel is seeking.

end
Turkey/USA
The Pentagon gives Erdogan an ultimatum:  if he buys Russian S 400’s he will not get the F 35’s
(courtesy zerohedge)

Pentagon Gives Erdogan An Ultimatum: Don’t Expect Our F-35s If You Buy Russian S-400s

The Pentagon is getting close to slamming the door on Turkey regarding the contentious transfer of Lockheed F-35 stealth jets purchased previously by Ankara, an issue debated this week in Congressional hearings. The Department of Defense (DoD) has now offered a stern ultimatum and warning, telling Turkey: don’t expect to receive F-35s if Russia’s anti-air defense system is bought.

F-35B Stealth fighter jet, file photo

Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers said Friday morning that there will be “grave consequences” if Turkey moves forward in purchasing Russia’s S-400, according to Bloomberg — this after the top US commander in Europe, Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, recommended to Congress this week that delivery to Turkey of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter should ultimately be cancelled, nothing that the S-400 remains “a problem to all of our aircraft, but specifically the F-35.”

Turkey’s currency fell 1.5 percent this week amid fears relations with Washington could worsen over the standoff. President Erdogan has further missed a “soft deadline” previously set by the US over an offer to buy $3.5 billion Raytheon Co. Patriot missile shield system, as an alternative to the Russian S-400. The Pentagon said the Patriot offer would be impossible should Turkey seek the Russian system.

Failure to receive the F-35s could further impact Turkey’s economy given that a number of Turkish defense technology companies have contracts to build and develop systems and add-ons needed for Turkey to operate the aircraft, such as cockpit displays for the multi-national fighter jet.

However, Erdogan has remained unmoved as the issue has come to a head, repeating during a Turkish TV broadcast interview this week, “this is over” in reference to continued debate. “There can never be a turning back. This would not be ethical, it would be immoral. Nobody should ask us to lick up what we spat,” he said.

Thus far Erdogan has dismissed all Pentagon and US ultimatums. “We are an independent Turkey, we are not slaves,” he said during the interview previously this week.

The advanced Russian-made S-400 air defense system sought by Turkey has been seen as a threat by the United States, given the potential for compromising the F-35 advanced radar evading and electronics capabilities.

The main argument for blocking the F-35 transfer is the fear that Russia would get access to the extremely advanced Joint Strike Fighter stealth aircraft, enabling Moscow to detect and exploit its vulnerabilities. Russia would ultimately learn how the S-400 could take out an F-35.

Also this week the US State Department warned that transferal of S-400 systems could result in far reaching sanctions against Turkey under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), despite its NATO status.

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

Canada:

 

7  OIL ISSUES

8. EMERGING MARKETS

 

Venezuela

Venezuela now in total darkness for 24 hours as bus-driver Maduro blames the uSA on an “electricity war”

(courtesy zerohedge)

Venezuela Now 24 Hours In Darkness; Maduro Blames US “Electricity War”

Venezuela’s worst ever power outage in recent history has continued since Thursday, as video and photos continue to come out of the cash and resource strapped country showing entire cities blanketed in darkness.

Stretching into day two of the mass electrical shutdown, 23 out of 24 states remain in darkness, according to the AP, in a prolonged situation now reaching crisis levels given reports that hospitals are struggling to keep back-up generators running and many businesses are forced to remain shuttered.

Caracas streets Thursday evening, via the AFP/Getty

The nation-wide blackout quickly turned into a blame-game over who’s at fault, with many in the opposition blaming the Maduro government’s mismanagement and notorious corruption, and with pro-regime voices blaming right-wing saboteurs taking orders from the United States.

Caracas has even gone so far to point the finger at Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who only yesterday as part of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing said that the US should promote “widespread unrest” in order to bring down the Maduro government. Though offering no specific proof Caracas officials accused the US and opposition activists of causing “pandemonium” for several days, culminating in the blackout.

President Nicolas Maduro gave brief public acknowledgement of the outage on Twitter, saying, “The electricity war declared and directed by the imperialist United States against our people will be overcome!” and added, “No one can defeat the people of Bolivar and Chavez. Maximum unity patriots!”

Annika H Rothstein

@truthandfiction

Doctors fighting to keep this incubator-dependent baby alive during the massive power outage in

Ana María Diez@AnaMariaDiez

Esta tragedia no tiene perdón de Dios. ¿¿Cómo es posible que nos pongan en semejante situación??
La Maternidad de El Valle no tiene planta eléctrica #SinLuz

Embedded video

146 people are talking about this

According to the AP the blackout struck during Thursday evening’s peak rush hour period, and after extending through the night Maduro reportedly ordered all schools and government locations closed. Businesses were further ordered closed in order allow work crews easy access to the failing power infrastructure.

Power in some parts of Caracas has reportedly begun to return, though remains off or intermittent in may other parts of the country. Some parts of the country reportedly had power restored within hours, but others remain in darkness now 24 hours later.

According to VOA news Venezuelan officials “said the hydroelectric station at the Guri Dam, one of the world’s largest, had been sabotaged, but offered no evidence.”

And predictably, US officials capitalized on the Venezuelans’ plight, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo taking to Twitter to say: “Maduro’s policies bring nothing but darkness,” and “No food. No medicine. Now, no power. Next, no Maduro.”

Secretary Pompeo

@SecPompeo

The power outage and the devastation hurting ordinary Venezuelans is not because of the USA. It’s not because of Colombia. It’s not Ecuador or Brazil, Europe or anywhere else. Power shortages and starvation are the result of the Maduro regime’s incompetence.

13.5K people are talking about this

Pompeo also expressly denied pro-Maduro officials’ accusations that the United States and its regional allies were engaged in acts of sabotage aimed at regime change.

Embedded video

NetBlocks.org

@netblocks

Urgent: Network measurements show extraordinary nationwide impact as is knocked offline amid power outages from 8:55 PM UTC (4:55 PM VET); incident ongoing https://netblocks.org/reports/venezuela-knocked-offline-amid-nationwide-power-outage-PW801YAK 

1,886 people are talking about this

According to the AP, limited social media posts coming out of Venezuela by those who still had cell phone charges and signals included images of darkened cities that looked like “ghost towns”.

The AP report described:

One user posted a video of a nurse manually pumping air into the lungs of an infant. Others posted photos of long lines of cars queuing up at gas stations in hopes of getting fuel. A man anguished that he’d gone 17 hours without hearing from his mother.

“What impotence!” he lamented.

Sotiri Dimpinoudis@sotiridi

: Video of the Traffic situation in in the dark! As regime claims sabotage at it’s power grid and power station.

Embedded video

Sotiri Dimpinoudis@sotiridi

: Video of the highway through the city of in , Skyline is complete dark not one single light in the buildings as complete power outage proceeds in the country. pic.twitter.com/ArsitmxAlJ

Embedded video

43 people are talking about this

And crucially, the AP continued, “Netblocks, a non-government group based in Europe that monitors internet censorship, said online connectivity data indicates the outage is the largest in recent record in Latin America.”

The extreme nature of the blackout impacting cell and internet communications also continued in to Friday: “The observatory warned Friday that some of the remaining networks were starting to fall offline as generators and backups began depleting and cell towers shut down,” the AP reported.

However, 23 hours in to the mass outage there were signs of electricity coming back to some regions of the country, with Net Blocks still reporting “new outages slowing the recovery” and internet connectivity back up to 20%, down from just 2% nationwide earlier in the day Friday.

end

Your early morning currency/gold and silver pricing/Asian and European bourse movements/ and interest rate settings FRIDAY morning 7:00 AM….

Euro/USA 1.1216 UP .0018 REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:///ITALIAN CHAOS /AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA RISING INTEREST RATES /FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES RED 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 111.15  DOWN .485 (Abe’s new negative interest rate (NIRP), a total DISASTER/NOW TARGETS INTEREST RATE AT .11% AS IT WILL BUY UNLIMITED BONDS TO GETS TO THAT LEVEL…

GBP/USA 1.3052    DOWN   0.0034  (Brexit March 29/ 2019/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.3457 UP .0014 CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA/CANADA HAS A HUGE HOUSEHOLD DEBT/GDP PROBLEM)

Early THIS FRIDAY morning in Europe, the Euro ROSE by 18 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level  RISING to 1.1216 Last night Shanghai composite closed DOWN 136.46 POINTS OR 4.40%/

 

 

 

//Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 7551.08   POINTS OR 1.91% 

 

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED DOWN 0.90%/EUROPEAN BOURSES RED 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIKKEI: this TUESDAY morning CLOSED DOWN 430.45 POINTS OR 2.01% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED RED 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 551,03 POINTS OR 1.91%

 

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 136.56 POINTS OR 4.40% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED DOWN 90%

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED DOWN 430.45 POINTS OR 2.01%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1292.90

silver:$15.10

Early FRIDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.64% !!! DOWN 0 IN POINTS from WEDNESDAY’S night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

 

The 30 yr bond yield 3.02 DOWN 2  IN BASIS POINTS from THURSDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

USA dollar index early FRIDAY morning: 96.49 DOWN 18 CENT(S) from  THURSDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers FRIDAY MORNING

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And now your closing  FRIDAY NUMBERS \12: 00 PM

 

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.35% UP 1   in basis point(s) yield from THURSDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: -.03%  DOWN 2   BASIS POINTS from THURSDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

 

 

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.05% UP 1   IN basis point yield from THURSDAY

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.50 DOWN 13    POINTS in basis point yield from THURSDAY/

 

 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 145 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: FALLS  TO +.07%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY//

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.43% AND NOW ABOVE THE  THE 3.00% LEVEL WHICH WILL IMPLODE THE ENTIRE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM. AT 4% SPREAD THERE WILL BE A MASSIVE BANK RUN…

 

END

IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR FRIDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1241 UP   .0043 or 43 basis points

 

 

USA/Japan: 111.13 down .509 OR YEN UP 51 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3017 DOWN.0073( POUND DOWN 73  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar UP 22 basis points to 1.3423

 

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The USA/Yuan,CNY closed AT 6.7210    0N SHORE  (DOWN)

 

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  6.7269(  YUAN DOWN)

TURKISH LIRA:  5.4534

the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at -.03%

 

 

 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN 1 IN basis points from THURSDAY at 2.64 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.03 DOWN 1  in basis points on the day /

THE RISE IN BOTH THE 10 YR AND THE 30 YR ARE VERY PROBLEMATIC FOR VALUATIONS

Your closing USA dollar index, 97.35 DOWN 32 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 FRIDAY: 12:00 PM 

London: CLOSED DOWN  53,24 OR 0.74%

German Dax : DOWN 59.96 POINTS OR .52%

Paris Cac CLOSED DOWN 36.70 POINTS OR  0.80%

Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 120.60 POINTS OR  1.30%

Italian MIB: CLOSED DOWN 213.17 POINTS OR 1.03%

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 55.18 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 64.43 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   ROUBLE CROSS:    66.41  THE CROSS HIGHER BY 0.13 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE LOWER BY 13 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS  TO +.07 FOR THE 10 YR BOND 1.00 PM EST EST

END

 

This ends the stock indices, oil price, currency crosses and interest rate closes for today 4:30 PM

Closing Price for Oil, 4:00 pm/and 10 year USA interest rate:

WTI CRUDE OIL PRICE 4:30 PM :  56.09

 

 

BRENT :  65.76

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 2.62.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.01..

 

 

 

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1234 ( up 36   BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:111.11 DOWN .531 (YEN UP 53  BASIS POINTS/..

 

.

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 97.37 DOWN  30 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA:1.3017  DOWN 74 POINTS FROM YESTERDAY

the Turkish lira close: 5.4534

the Russian rouble 66.34   DOWN .05 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( DOWN 5 BASIS POINTS)

 

Canadian dollar:  1.3404 UP 40 BASIS pts

USA/CHINESE YUAN (CNY) :  6.7214  (ONSHORE)/

 

USA/CHINESE YUAN(CNH): 6.7326  (OFFSHORE)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,0.07%

 

The Dow closed DOWN 22.99 POINTS OR 0.09%

 

NASDAQ closed DOWN 13.32 POINTS OR 0.18%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  16.64 CLOSED UP 0.05 

 

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.600%//

 

 

 

FROM 2.594

 

 

 

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY/WEEKLY SUMMARY/FOLLOWED BY TODAY

Trannies Tumble To Worst Losing Streak Since Nixon As Yields Hit 2019 Lows

Biggest US payrolls miss since 2008 and biggest collapse in China exports in years (after the biggest credit injection ever)…

Take your pick from China –

Take your pick from China – tech-heavy small-cap dominated CHINEXT surged over 5% while megacap-heavy China 50 tumbled almost 5%…(SHCOMP ended the week marginally lower with the worst day since October and first losing week of the year)…

 

By the end of the week, only UK’s FTSE managed to hold on to gains as weakness rippled through global markets in the latte half of the week…

Dow, S&P, Nasdaq and Small Caps are down 5 days in a row but The Dow Transports is now down 11 days in a row – the longest losing streak since Nixon in 1972…

 

This week was the first down week for US stocks since 2018… Small Caps were the biggest laggards

 

The machines went wild as always, desperate to get stocks green on the day…

 

Everything green from the shitty payrolls print…

 

Stocks tried twice to accelerate and ignite momentum for a green push but China trade headlines in the last hour spoiled the party briefly before the panic bid ensued, pushing the market above the pre-payrolls levels…

 

“Most Shorted” Stocks are down 7 days in a row (first down week of the year)

 

Buyback-related stocks are also down 8 of the last 9 days…

 

The S&P and Nasdaq both broke back below their 200DMA this week…

 

FANG Stocks suffered their biggest loss of 2019 this week…notably breaking back below its 200DMA

 

Semis were slaughtered – worst week of the year…

About two-thirds of its members are down, led by Marvell Tech after disappointing earnings. There was also a Nikkei report that the global semiconductor market contracted in January for the first time in 30 months. Momentum on the SOX is negative, as measured by the MACD. Falling below the 200-DMA could be an excuse for a broader selloff in stocks, I pointed out yesterday.

Credit spreads have widened 5 days in a row (and VIX is up 5 days in a row), blowing out by the most since Dec 21st…

 

The VIX term structure has re-inverted…

 

Treasury yields tumbled all week, with the belly outperforming…

 

The long-end dropped back to a 3.01 handle – erasing last week’s losses…

 

And the belly reached down to its lowest since the first day of the year…

 

In fact the belly is the richest it has been in years (5Y lowest relative to the 2s10s curve) as bond traders are no longer so concerned about a policy error, but still seem to be pricing in a major growth slowdown in the next few years.

 

And before we leave bond land, we note that 10Y CAD yields are now less than 2bps above the BOC policy rate!!!

 

After rising for 7 days straight, the dollar index tumbled today but remains above the key 97.00 level…

 

Yuan weakened – as you’d expect with USD gains – but closed at the lows of the week after Xi headlines…

 

After yesterday’s bloodbath to a new record low, Argentina’s Peso rebounded notably as BCRA raised its benchmark rate by 500bps to 56.76%!!

 

Litecoin had a big week but the rest of Crypto was practically flat…

 

Despite the dollar surge on the week, PMs and oil gained on the week – rallying after the dismal jobs data…

 

WTI dropped off $57 and bounce back off $55…

 

Today’s dismal jobs data sparked a revival in gold – bouncing off unchanged for 2019…

And Gold rebounded notably against the Yuan…

 

Finally, deja vu all over again?

Because the gap to reality is wide…

MARKET TRADING/FOMC

the market reacts to a gain of only 20,000 people.  Countering that move we witness hourly earnings soar to .4% indicating inflation is lurking.  Also strange: in the Household Survey saw a huge loss in unemployed:  a big drop of 300,000

(courtesy zerohedge)

February Payrolls Shocker: Hiring Plunges To 20K As Wage Growth Soars

Just as we warned moments ago when we cautioned that the whisper number is for a sharply lower print than the expected 180K print, moments ago the BLS confirmed that in February the US labor market hit a brick wall, or perhaps a blizzard, when it added just 20K jobs in February…

… the lowest monthly gain in more than a year and far below all estimates, although revisions to the prior two month actually added another 12K jobs, with the January 304K print revised higher to 311K and Dec also revised higher from 222K to 227K.

As we noted earlier, at least one bank (Goldman) was expecting a drag of at least 40k from above-average snowfall during the February survey week. So the question is how much of the February print is accurate, and how much is weather/government shutdown related. Indeed, as the BLS notes, a whopping 390K people were not employed in February due to bad weather, roughly 80K more than the February average.

What is surprising is that while the Establishment Survey was a big miss, the Household Survey actually saw a big drop in the number of unemployed workers, which tumbled by 300K to 6.235MM.

Additionally, non-employment among the key worker demographic, those Americans aged 35 to 44, plunged in February to the lowest level in 12 years.

Another major surprise: while the jobless rate fell modestly to 3.8% from 4.0, the broader U-6 measure of unemployment plunged to 7.3% from 8.1%, the biggest monthly drop on record, after jumping last month.

The labor force participation rate remained flat at 63.2, while that for the key 25-54 age group continues to hover near post-recession highs, as the number of people not in the labor force increased from 95.01 million to 95.21 million even as the total civilian labor force declined from 163.229MM to 163.184MM.

Going through the report showed that Manufacturing payroll growth slumped to 4,000 (est. 12,000), though the prior month was revised up to 21,000 from 13,000; but the big surprise was construction jobs, which plunged by 31,000. At the same time, Leisure and hospitality showed no growth while education and health services barely grew.

Meanwhile, employees on temporary layoff fell to 820,000, a level in line with prior months, from 937,000 as effects of the government shutdown waned.

Countering the plunge in payrolls was continued strength in average hourly earnings topped both monthly and annual estimates with a 0.4% rise from January and 3.4% from a year earlier, the fastest pace of the economic expansion.

Commenting on the report, Bloomberg economist Tim Mahedy said that “while employment gains in February were well below even the lowest consensus forecast, it is too early to sound the alarm on the labor market. Beyond the usual disclaimer that this is just one month of data, the January number — already incredibly high — was revised up and the net upward revision to the prior two months was 12k. Today’s report looks more like payback from a strong January gain. It will, and should, raise some eyebrows, but we’ll need a couple more months of data before we have a clear picture of where the labor market is headed in 2019.”

Some more details from the report:

  • In February, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up (+42,000), in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months.
  • Health care added 21,000 jobs in February and 361,000 jobs over the year. Employment in ambulatory health care services edged up over the month (+16,000).
  • In February, wholesale trade employment continued its upward trend (+11,000). The industry has added 95,000 jobs over the year, largely among durable goods wholesalers.
  • Employment in construction declined by 31,000 in February, partially offsetting an increase of 53,000 in January. In February, employment declined in heavy and civil engineering construction (-13,000). Over the year, construction has added 223,000 jobs.
  • Manufacturing employment changed little in February (+4,000), after increasing by an average of 22,000 per month over the prior 12 months.
  • In February, employment in leisure and hospitality was unchanged, after posting job gains of 89,000 and 65,000 in January and December, respectively. Over the year, leisure and hospitality has added 410,000 jobs.

The question then is how will the Fed interpret this rather stagflationary report: will the big drop in payroll growth be seen as seasonal, and “transitory” due to excess snowfall and the government shutdown, or will it mark an inflection point in the Fed’s already pessimistic thinking. But what about surging wages, which are now growing at a 3.4% rate, the highest since the financial crisis: will the Fed ignore those too and “overheat” the economy as it keeps rate hikes on pause even as wage growth continues to ramp higher?

end
And now the real story on the jobs report:
(zerohedge)

Where The Jobs Were In February: Who’s Hiring And Who Isn’t

After January’s blockbuster jobs report, which was revised further upward from 304K to 311K, February was the payback month with US payrolls rising by a tiny 20,000, one of the slowest months in the past decade, badly missing consensus expectations of 180K, with the miss largely blamed on wintry weather and the government shutdown.

Winter weather aside, the February report was a bloodbath, with roughly half of occupations posting either flat job growth or shrinking, with the biggest shocker coming from the construction sector, where 31K jobs were lost, the biggest monthly drop since 2011.

Other key sectors also disappointed:

  • Manufacturing payroll growth slumped to 4,000 (est. 12,000), though the prior month was revised up to 21,000 from 13,000;
  • Leisure and hospitality showed no growth while education and health services barely grew.

A more in depth breakdown of the January payrolls report showed the following mostly disappointing numbers:

  • Professional and business services, the silver lining in today’s report, continued to trend up (+42,000), while temp-help jobs rose by 5,888.
  • Health care added 21,000 jobs in February while employment in ambulatory health care services edged up over the month (+16,000).
  • Wholesale trade added +11,000 jobs.
  • As noted above, construction jobs declined by 31,000 in February, partially offsetting an increase of 53,000 in January. Employment declined in heavy and civil engineering construction (-13,000).
  • Manufacturing employment changed little in February (+4,000),
  • Employment in leisure and hospitality was unchanged, after posting job gains of 89,000 and 65,000 in January and December, respectively.

And visually:

Looking over the past year, the following charts from Bloomberg show the industries with the highest and lowest rates of employment growth for the most recent month. Additionally, monthly growth rates are shown for the prior year.

Finally, the silver lining in today’s jobs report – the biggest annual increase in wages – had little to do with actual wage growth and everything to do with a drop in weekly hours worked. In fact, average weekly earnings growth dropped in February vs January.

end
Warren calls for the break up of the Big Tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon
(courtesy zerohedge)

FANG Stocks Slump As Warren Calls For Breaking Up ‘Big Tech’

Elizabeth Warren has finally found some common ground with President Trump.

In her latest soaring policy pronouncement, Elizabeth Warren on Friday is preparing to announce a new plan calling for the breakup of the biggest tech firms – with a focus on Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon – to combat their abusive practices and anti-competitive behavior. Her proposal comes as the Trump Administration takes its first tentative steps toward breaking up big tech with a new FTC task force. President Trump has repeatedly accused Amazon of being a monopoly and accused it of killing jobs and stifling competition.

Warren

According to the New York Times, Warren plans to officially announce the policy during a stump speech in Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood where Amazon had planned to open one of its HQ2s before pressure from local progressive politicians prompted the company to pull out.

The proposal — which comes on the same day Ms. Warren will hold a rally in Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood that was to be home to a major new Amazon campus — calls for the appointment of regulators who would “unwind tech mergers that illegally undermine competition,” as well as legislation that would prohibit platforms from both offering a marketplace for commerce and participating in that marketplace.

Warren’s plan would create a two-tiered regulatory system that would require the biggest tech firms to ensure their products are separated from the marketplace in which they are sold, a provision that appears to be aimed chiefly at Amazon, which took aim at the few partners it hasn’t already put out of business by ceasing purchases from some of its wholesale vendors.

Ms. Warren’s plan creates two tiers of companies that would fall under the new regulations: those that have an annual global revenue of $25 billion or more, and those with annual revenue of $90 million to $25 billion. The upper tier would be required to “structurally separate” their products from their marketplace. Smaller companies would be subject to regulations but would not be forced to separate themselves from the online marketplace.

Under the plan, several big tech mergers would be forcibly unwound.

Ms. Warren’s plan would also force the rollback of some acquisitions by technological giants, the campaign said, including Facebook’s deals for WhatsApp and Instagram, Amazon’s addition of Whole Foods, and Google’s purchase of Waze. Companies would be barred from transferring or sharing users’ data with third parties. Dual entities, such as Amazon Marketplace and AmazonBasics, would be split apart.

“I want a government that makes sure everybody — even the biggest and most powerful companies in America — plays by the rules,” Ms. Warren said in a statement. “To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”

Unsurprisingly, the fact that Warren has now made breaking up big tech a bipartisan issue is weighing on FANG stocks:

AMZN

Pushing FANGs to one-month lows…

 

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this did not help today: Xi removes Mar A  Lago trip from his calender.
(courtesy zero hedge)

Stocks Slide On Report Xi Has Removed Mar-A-Lago Trip From Calendar

As President Trump tries to push more positive trade talk on the markets, reports that China might be getting cold feet about a sweeping trade deal with the US just keep coming.

With barely 40 minutes left in the session and stocks in the midst of another intraday rally, Fox News poured cold water on the market’s party when it reported that President Xi had removed a tentatively-planned trip to Mar-a-Lago from his calendar. The report appeared to substantiate earlier reports that the Chinese leader was wary of traveling all the way to Florida, only to leave without a deal.

Stocks

Confirming that the anxiety was trade-related, the dollar simultaneously took a leg higher against the offshore yuan, leaving it to finish out the week near the highs.

USDCNH

Now we wait to see if the US manages to revive hopes for a trade deal before stocks close with their worst weekly drop of the year.

ii)Market data/

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

Bricks and mortar continue to falter: today it is dollar tree closing up to 390 stores

(courtesy Mac Slavo/SHTFplan.com)_

Retail Apocalypse Continues: Dollar Tree Closing Up To 390 Stores

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

The retail apocalypse is now in full swing.  As consumers drift toward the ease of online shopping, brick and mortar stores begin to close up. Dollar Tree is the latest in a wave of companies announcing that they will be closing several hundred stores in the following months.

Dollar Tree reported a $2.3 billion loss, which has propelled the company to announce store closures and renovations.  Dollar Tree plans to close 390 Family Dollar stores this year while renovating 1,000 other locations.

 “We are confident we are taking the appropriate steps to reposition our Family Dollar brand for increasing profitability as business initiatives gain traction in the back half of fiscal 2019,” CEO Gary Philbin said in announcing the results according to CNBC.

On an unadjusted basis, the company had a loss of $2.31 billion, or a loss of $9.66 a share, compared with a profit of $1.04 billion, or $4.37 a share, during the same quarter last year, which included an extra week.

This news comes as the clothing retailer Charlotte Russe announced they will close all of their stores and immediately begin to liquidate their inventory.

 “We are partnering with the buyer and remain in talks to sell the (intellectual property), are optimistic about the future of the brand, and remain in ongoing negotiations with a buyer who has expressed interest in a continued brick and mortar presence to continue to serve our loyal customers in the future,” the fashion retailer said in a statement to USA TODAY.

In a court hearing in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday, Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein approved the sale of Charlotte Russe’s assets to SB360 Capital Partners LLC, a liquidation company. According to court documents, store liquidation sales “shall commence no later than March 7” and end “no later than April 30.”

Charlotte Russe Holdings had been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy for some time, having announced a deal to renegotiate certain debts more than a year ago.

The San Diego-based mall chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early February and outlined plans to close 94 stores. The chain also put itself up for sale and said if it didn’t find a buyer it would liquidate. –USA Today

A furious wave of retail store closures is underway.  Many companies have too much debt and can no longer remain competitive with companies such as Amazon.  The bankruptcy marks the latest in a series of similar cases among mall retailers that have been unable to identify any realistic sustainable path amid declining foot traffic and intense digital competition.

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A good commentary;  a terrific summary on the monthly credit score.  We witness 37 million card holders who are 90 days past due and this is something that the Fed is now taking agood look at
(courtesy zerohedge)

Deadbeat Nation? 37 Million Credit Cards Were 90 Days Past Due In 4Q18 

As those who follow our monthly consumer credit updates already knew, aggregate household debt balances jumped in 4Q18 for the 18th consecutive quarter, and were $869 billion (6.9%) above the previous peak (3Q08) of $12.68 trillion. As of late December, total household indebtedness was at a staggering $13.54 trillion, $32 billion higher than 3Q18. Overall household debt is now 21.4% above the 2Q 2013 trough, according to quarterly data from the Fed.

“The increase in credit card balances is consistent with seasonal patterns but marks the first time credit card balances re-touched the 2008 nominal peak,” according to the report.

There are approximately 480 million credit cards in US circulation, that is 1.47 credit cards per citizen, and up more than 100 million since the 2008 financial crisis.

More troubling is that according to the Fed,37 million Americans had a 90-day delinquent strike added to their credit report last quarter, an increase of two million from the fourth quarter of 2017. These 37 million delinquent accounts held roughly $68 billion in debt.

Credit-card balances slipping into serious delinquency have been growing for the last several years, according to the Fed.  As of 2019, a record number of Americans also have auto loans that are 90 days past due.

“The substantial and growing number of distressed borrowers suggests that not all Americans have benefited from the strong labor market and warrants continued monitoring and analysis of this sector,” economists Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw noted in a Feburary report.

Rising delinquency levels pose a serious risk to consumer spending, which accounts for more than 2/3 of economic activity.

Almost a third of the credit card debt is held by the baby boomer generation, while millennials are up to their eyeballs in student loans.That could be troubling because some of the oldest and youngest borrowers are financially dependent on family members, according to Josh Wright, the chief economist at iCIMS and a former Federal Reserve staffer.

“This tells us that if the expected economic slowdown gets serious, these are the groups that will pose the biggest threat to the economy,” he said.

While President Trump continues to promote the “greatest economy ever” on Twitter, 1Q19 GDP expectations have crashed, a troubling sign that consumers have topped out.

Last week, Goldman published its 1Q19 GDP tracking estimate at a paltry +0.9%. This forecast, as Goldman’s chief economist Jan Hatzius said, “reflects an expected drag from inventories, sequentially slower consumption growth, a decline in residential investment, and a four-tenths drag from the government shutdown.”

Goldman wasn’t the only one echoing low-growth forecasts for 1Q19, but also the NY Fed’s GDP Nowcast, which showed growth crumbled from 1.22% (and 2.17% as recently as a month ago), to a stunning 0.88%, as a result of the collapse in Personal Consumption, Housing Starts, Wholesale Inventories, and others.

The most shocking: Atlanta Fed’s 1Q19 GDP nowcast – recently tumbled to just 0.5%. And while it is possible that consumers hit their maximum threshold of borrowing ahead of the holiday spending season, the growing refusal to service their credit card debts is an ominous sign of a nearing recession.

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SWAMP STORIES

Cohen lies again:  he directly asked Trump for a pardon

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Says He Refused “Fraudster” Cohen When He Asked For A Pardon 

With markets are headed for their worst week of the year, President Trump obviously would like to shift the narrative away from this morning’s surprisingly weak jobs report and China trade deal uncertainty, and back to the Democrats’ skullduggery.

So the master of distraction has pulled out another one of his legendary diversions: Following reports that Michael Cohen’s attorney asked Trump’s legal team about the possibility of a pardon after reportedly being instructed to do so by his client (which would suggest that Cohen lied to Congress last week when he said he had never asked for a pardon), President Trump tweeted Friday morning that he refused the “bad lawyer and fraudster” when he asked him for a pardon directly.

That. means, as Trump pointed out, that Cohen lied to Congress again.

Trump didn’t offer any details about when this request was made, or even when he spoke to Cohen last. As for why Trump waited until now, a week and a half after the hearing, for this big revelation – well, that’s also unclear.

But the tweet certainly grabbed our attention.

SWAMP STORIES/MAJOR STORIES//THE KING REPORT
and special thanks to Chris Powell of GATA for sending this down for us:

ECB Communique: Monetary policy decisions

(1)   The interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively…

(2)    The Governing Council intends to continue reinvesting, in full, the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the asset purchase programme for an extended period of time past the date when it starts raising the key ECB interest rates, and in any case for as long as necessary to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation.

(3)   A new series of quarterly targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO-III) will be launched, starting in September 2019 and ending in March 2021…

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pr/date/2019/html/ecb.mp190307~7d8a9d2665.en.html

The rally continued in anticipation of Draghi’s usual dovish assurances.  Traders were thrilled and giddy that Draghi delivered dovish remarks.

Draghi announced the largest downward revision to GDP since the ECB commenced QE.

  • 2019 GDP 1.1 vs. 1.7%; 2020 GDP 1.6% vs. 1.7%; 2021 GDP unchanged at 1.5%
  • 2019 inflation 1.2 vs. 1.6%; 2020 inflation 1.5% vs. 1.7%, 2021 inflation 1.6% vs. 1.8%

 

@ecb: Draghi: While there are signs that some of the idiosyncratic domestic factors dampening growth are starting to fade, the weakening in economic data points to a sizeable moderation in the pace of the economic expansion that will extend into the current year

    The persistence of uncertainties related to geopolitical factors, the threat of protectionism and vulnerabilities in emerging markets appears to be leaving marks on economic sentiment

    Underlying inflation continues to be muted. The weaker economic momentum is slowing the adjustment of inflation towards our aim.

    The Governing Council stands ready to adjust all of its instruments, as appropriate, to ensure that inflation continues to move towards the Governing Council’s inflation aim in a sustained manner

    The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook are still tilted to the downside, on account of the persistence of uncertainties related to geopolitical factors, the threat of protectionism and vulnerabilities in emerging markets     Negative rates have been quite successful

 

Some ECB Officials Doubt 2019 Outlook Even After Cut

Draghi push for enhanced package [TLTRO] backed by Governing Council

     Some European Central Bank policy makers consider the institution’s downgraded growth forecast for 2019 is still too optimistic, according to people with knowledge of the matter…

    Officials also discussed the effect of negative interest rates on bank balance sheets at the meeting, pressed by the Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau. The Governing Council commissioned a new study on the matter from staff…

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-07/some-ecb-officials-are-said-to-doubt-2019-outlook-even-after-cut

The rally peaked eight minutes after Draghi’s presser began.  The S&P 500 eMini futures tumbled from 2781.75 to 2750.25 by 9:52 ET.  The plunge created the ‘Empire State Building’ formation

Chinese Officials Becoming Wary of a Quick Trade Deal [Nothing new; IP & enforcement snags]

The biggest barrier to a deal continues to be the enforcement of terms… The United States has insisted that it retain the right to raise tariffs if China violates the agreement, without retaliation by Beijing. But some Chinese officials have criticized the arrangement as a potential infringement of China’s sovereign rights. There are also disagreements over whether Beijing is going far enough in its promises to curb the forced transfer of American intellectual property as a condition of doing business in China…

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/business/us-china-trade-deal.html

US households see biggest decline in net worth since the financial crisis [Fed Flow of Funds data]

Net worth at the end of 2018 was at $104.3 trillion, a drop of $3.73 trillion drop from the third quarter

    Financial assets totaled just over $85 trillion at the end of the year, while real estate value was $29.2 trillion…   https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/07/us-households-see-biggest-decline-in-net-worth-since-the-financial-crisis.html

@epomboy: Flow of Funds Report (q4): Unfunded Pension Liabilities rose +$678bln to $6.93 trillion.

WaPo: Manafort gets 47 months… judge calls government’s sentencing range ‘excessive’

[Mueller wanted 19 to 24 years.  Judge Ellis asserted that Manafort’s crimes had nothing to do with Russian collusion or Trump.  DJT haters are livid; libs are now tough on crime and sentencing]

Trump’s dismal hiring record is diminishing his base support.  Mr. Orange keeps hiring NeverTrumpers, Democrats, RINOs and globalists – philosophies that he campaigned against to gain the presidency.

 

Former Trump chief of staff John Kelly slams president for immigration rhetoric and the wall – and says he would have worked for Hillary if she won in 2016 – Former White House chief of staff John Kelly has lashed out of some of the Trump administration’s immigration policies in his first public comments since his departure [DJT hired his top aide to head DHS, halt illegal immigration!]

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6782343/amp/Former-Trump-chief-staff-John-Kelly-slams-president-immigration-rhetoric-wall.html

 

Trump Abandons ‘America First’ Reforms: ‘We Need’ More Immigration to Grow Business Profits – For the fourth time in about a month, Trump suggested increasing legal immigration levels… “We’re going to have a lot of people coming into the country. We want a lot of people coming in. And we need it,” Trump said…

     The comments are a direct rebuttal of the president’s commitments in 2015, 2016, and 2017, where he vowed to reduce overall legal immigration levels to boost the wages of U.S. workers and reduce the displacement of America’s working and middle class…

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/03/06/trump-immigration-workers-more/

@ColumbiaBugle: Trump on immigration in 2015: “[T]here will be a pause where employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers,”

    Trump CPAC 2019: “We need an immigration policy that’s going to be great for our corporations”

OAN’s @RyanGirdusky: 95% of Republicans support the President – the 5% who hate and resist him either work in the media or the administration… I’m sitting on a major story of how the anti-MAGA crowd flooded the administration. I’ve recently received dozens of internal WH and RNC memos…

@RyanGirdusky on Mar 3: A White House staffer told me he’s been fed this line [economy is so strong new immigrants will be needed to fill jobs] by the powers that be in WH, especially Mulvaney, Kushner, and Nielsen. The source said if the crowd would have turned on Trump and booed him it would have caused chaos for the Never Trumpers in the WH

Trump decimated the Bush GOP.  He continues to disrupt and alter the GOP.  Dems are undergoing a Balkanization due to philosophical, ethnic, and religious schisms.  Where is the Democratic Party headed?

NYT: Ilhan Omar Controversy Caps a Month of Stumbles for Democratic Leaders

Democrats have introduced so many plans all at once and failed to account for political blowback…

    In addition to her own members, Ms. Pelosi must now be concerned about the Democratic presidential candidates… [Socialist schemes and far leftists’ incessant rantings are a huge problem.]

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/us/politics/ilhan-omar-israel.html

WSJ’s @KimStrassel: A Somali-American Democrat engages in repeated anti-Semitism, and Democrats pass a resolution that condemns “white supremacists” (and gets in a reference to Charlottesville).

@WSJopinion: The most important question after this fiasco may be who’s really the Speaker of the House—Nancy Pelosi, or the young radicals led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

Speaker Ocasio-Cortez – House leaders seem to be afraid of their radical backbenchers.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/speaker-ocasio-cortez-11551917962?mod=e2two

The Guardian’s @Bencjacobs: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now raising money by saying AIPAC is coming for her and comparing the bipartisan consensus on the US-Israel relationship to the Iraq War

https://twitter.com/Bencjacobs/status/1103774281450835973

@seanmdav: The number three Democrat in the House just said Holocaust survivors need to check their privilege because they couldn’t possibly understand the personal struggles of anti-Semite Rep. Ilhan Omar.    http://thefederalist.com/2019/03/07/top-democrat-tells-holocaust-survivors-check-privilege/

[Far-left Rep.] Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) pushes to lower federal voting age to 16 [Tide pods eaters?]

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/mar/6/ayanna-pressley-pushes-amendment-lower-voting-age-/

Judicial Watch Uncovers DOJ Records Showing Numerous Bruce Ohr Communications with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele – Ohr Repeatedly Thanked Steele for ‘Updates’ and Assures Steele he will ‘Pass this [Information] along to my Colleagues’…[Steele more active than known] 

https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-uncovers-doj-records-showing-numerous-bruce-ohr-communications-with-fusion-gps-and-christopher-steele/

-END-

Let us close out the week with this offering from Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog

(courtesy Greg Hunter)

Dem Party Fractures, Border Crisis Explodes, Evil is Good

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (WNW 374 3.8.19)

The Democrat Party swinging to the far left is not pulling the rest of it with it. From the widely disliked and unworkable Green New Deal, to the most recent blow up about some anti-Semite comments from a few members, it looks like the party is tearing apart. A simple anti-Semite condemnation could not be agreed upon by the party in a House vote this week. Is the Democrat Party fracturing? It sure looks that way, and the split looks to be getting wider just in time for the 2020 election.

Homeland Security expects one million people to try to cross the southern U.S. border this year. There are record arrests at the border right now. Yes, the Dems and some Republicans do not want to fund a border wall or support Trump’s National Emergency Order.

Democrats are pushing far left policies and are no longer hiding a socialist/Marxist far left platform. Are the Democrats pushing what is evil is good and what is good is evil? Is some Biblical judgment about to happen?

Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.

-END-

I WILL SEE YOU MONDAY NIGHT

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