Sunday, May 14, 2017

Monday Watch

Today's Headlines
  • China's Premier Li Reiterates Prudent Monetary Policy, Stability. China’s Premier Li Keqiang said the nation will continue with its prudent monetary policy and will be able to maintain stability in the financial markets, according to China Central Television. The nation will prioritize preventing financial risks while continuing with market-based, managed floating exchange rate, Li said in a meeting with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, according to the state-run television channel. China will keep the yuan at a reasonable and equilibrium level, Li said.
  • Macron Takes Charge of Divided France as Youngest President. Emmanuel Macron became the youngest president of France on Sunday, leading a country where economic malaise and security concerns drove extremist parties to their highest-ever scores in this year’s election. Macron, 39, is the eighth directly elected president of the Fifth Republic, after assuming the role in a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
  • China Watchers Caught Off Guard as End to Bond Rout Hard to Call. The ferocity of China’s bond rout is surprising some of the market’s top observers. The yield on sovereign debt due in a decade surged to a two year high of 3.7 percent last week, wrong-footing analysts from Citic Securities Co. and Haitong Securities Co. -- the country’s two biggest brokerages -- who had in April predicted a maximum level of 3.6 percent in the near term. The tumble comes amid intensifying efforts to crack down on excessive borrowing, a drive that has beaten down stocks and pressured the yuan.
  • China Eyes U.S. Energy After Inking $20 Billion in Deals. China is setting it sights on U.S. energy as a growing reliance on imports forces it to look beyond traditional suppliers, according to the head of the country’s biggest oil and gas company. China National Petroleum Corp. will import more crude oil and natural gas from the U.S. and will consider participating in America’s growing liquefied natural gas export industry, Chairman Wang Yilin said in an interview Sunday with Bloomberg TV on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. The energy giant will sign $20 billion in deals during the two-day event, a meeting of countries involved in China’s initiative to connect Europe, Asia and Africa through infrastructure and investment.
  • Libyan Oil Output Creeps Higher Ahead of OPEC Decision on Cuts. Libya is ratcheting up oil output with less than two weeks to go before the world’s biggest exporters decide whether to extend production cuts to clear a supply glut. The OPEC member with Africa’s largest crude reserves is pumping more than 814,000 barrels a day, thanks partly to rising output from two fields that re-started last month, Jadalla Alaokali, a board member at the National Oil Corp., said Sunday by phone. Libya was producing about 700,000 barrels a day at the end of April, he said at that time. Output from the politically divided country is at its highest since October 2014 when it pumped 850,000 barrels a day, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
  • Bets on OPEC Rally Are Gone and That May Be a Good Thing for Oil. Hedge funds have undone all their wagers on an OPEC-driven oil rally, and that could be good for prices. Bets on West Texas Intermediate futures have all gone back to where they were before OPEC agreed to cut output, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission show. The silver lining is that this is how money managers lay the groundwork for a rebound, and the steady drop in U.S. supplies may be just the fodder optimists needed to start anew.
Wall Street Journal:
Zero Hedge: 
Night Trading
  • Asian indices are -.25% to +.25% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 89.50 +.75 basis point.
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 20.50 unch.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.47 unch.
  • S&P 500 futures +.03%.
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.04%.

Earnings of Note
  • None of note
Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
  • Empire Manufacturing for May is estimated to rise to 7.0 versus 5.2 in April.
10:00 am EST
  • The NAHB Housing Market Index for May is estimated at 68 versus 68 in April.
4:00 pm EST
  • Net Long-Term TIC Flows for March.
Upcoming Splits
  • (BLL) 2-for-1
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The China Retail Sales/Industrial Production/Fixed Assets reports and the Piper Jaffray Financial Institutions Conference could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are mostly lower, weighed down by financial and industrial shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open mixed and to rally into the afternoon, finishing modestly higher. The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the week.

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