03 lutego 2018

Ogólnoświatowa bańka, 2018 styczeń - monitoring

Pakiet zajawek z newsów za styczeń.


January 29 – Wall Street Journal (Harriet Torry): “Soaring stock prices and improving job prospects have set Americans off on a spending splurge that is cutting into how much they sock away for retirement and rainy days. U.S. household net worth has risen from $56 trillion in 2008 to $97 trillion in the third quarter of 2017. It is natural for people to spend a bit of their rising lifetime savings when asset values are increasing. Economists call that a ‘wealth effect.’ … The U.S. household saving rate dropped in December to its lowest level since the height of the 2000s housing boom, when many Americans were drawing on rising equity in their homes to spend on vacations, new cars, appliances and more.”

February 1 – Reuters (Richard Leong): “The U.S. economy is on track to grow at a 5.4% annualized rate in the first quarter following the latest data on manufacturing and construction spending, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast model showed… The latest estimate on gross domestic product was faster than the 4.2% growth pace calculated on Monday…”

February 1 – Bloomberg (Katia Dmitrieva): “Productivity in the U.S. unexpectedly fell for the first time since early 2016 as working hours slightly outpaced output, underscoring a sluggish pace of efficiency gains during this expansion… Measure of nonfarm business employee output per hour decreased at 0.1% annualized rate (est. 0.7% gain) after downwardly revised 2.7% gain in previous three months.”

January 31 – Bloomberg (Sho Chandra): “Total U.S. employee compensation rose in the fourth quarter and matched the biggest 12-month gain since 2008, as private-sector pay picked up… Index rose 0.6% q/q (matching est.) after 0.7% gain in prior three months… Private-sector wages and salaries rose from a year earlier by 2.8%, also matching the best gain of this expansion.”

January 30 – Wall Street Journal (Laura Kusisto): “The U.S. homeownership rate rose in 2017 for the first time in 13 years, driven by young buyers who overcame rising prices, tight supply and strict lending conditions to purchase their first homes. The annual increase marks a crucial turning point because it comes after the federal government reined in bubble-era policies that encouraged banks to ease lending standards to boost homeownership. This time, what’s driving the market is a shift in favor of owning rather than renting coming from the largest homebuying generation since the baby boomers: millennials.”

January 30 – CNBC (Diana Olick): “The supply crisis in the housing market is not letting up, and consequently neither are the gains in home values. National home prices continued their run higher in November, rising 6.2% annually on S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller's most broad survey, up from 6.1% in October. Another S&P index of the nation's 20 largest housing markets showed a 6.4% gain… ‘Home prices continue to rise three times faster than the rate of inflation,’ says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. Blitzer blames the continued lack of supply for the price gains…”

January 30 – Bloomberg (Matthew Boesler): “Following a surge in the number of Americans forming households as renters over the past decade in lieu of homeownership, the tide is starting to turn in the other direction. The number of owner-occupied housing units rose 2% in 2017, logging the fastest pace of increase over a four-quarter stretch since 2005 -- around the time the homeownership rate peaked. Units occupied by renters were down 0.2% from a year earlier…”

January 30 – Bloomberg (Patrick Clark): “A new generation of affluent homebuyers powered by a surge in inherited wealth is driving the luxury-home market, demanding larger spaces and fancier finishes, according to a report heralding ‘the rise of the new aristocracy.’ Prospective homebuyers under 50 account for most of those shopping for homes priced at $1 million or more… Nearly a quarter of high-net-worth consumers between 25 and 49 said they would look for at least 20,000 square feet when they made their next home purchase… The report is based on a survey of more than 500 consumers with at least $1 million in investable assets, conducted… on behalf of Luxury Portfolio International…”

February 1 – Bloomberg (Shelly Hagan): “U.S. consumer confidence, along with a measure of Americans’ views of the economy, advanced last week to the highest levels in nearly 17 years, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed… Measure tracking current views of the economy increased to 57.8, also the highest since March 2001…”

February 1 – Reuters (Lucia Mutikani): “U.S. construction spending increased more than expected in December as investment in private construction projects rose to a record high and federal government outlays rebounded strongly. …Construction spending rose 0.7% to an all-time high of $1.25 trillion.”

January 30 – Financial Times (Nicole Bullock): “US initial public offerings are off to their strongest start to a year on record, as the equity market rally lures companies to list. According to Dealogic, companies have raised nearly $8bn in IPOs so far this year, the most since it began tracking the market in 1995. At 17, the number of deals is the highest year to date since 1996.”

January 31 – Financial Times (Ed Crooks): “US oil production has returned to its record high point, 47 years after the previous peak during the final days of the last Texas oil boom, as the shale revolution that was temporarily set back by low crude prices has reignited. The government’s Energy Information Administration estimated… that US output was running at just under 10.04m barrels per day last November, fractionally below the previous record set in November 1970. Soaring output from shale wells has put the US on course to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest crude producer, shaking up oil markets and the geopolitics of energy.”

January 31 – Bloomberg (Jeanna Smialek): “The man who made the term ‘irrational exuberance’ famous says investors are at it again. ‘There are two bubbles: We have a stock market bubble, and we have a bond market bubble,’ Alan Greenspan, 91, said… on Bloomberg Television… Greenspan, who led the Federal Reserve from 1987 until 2006, memorably used the phrase to describe asset values during the 1990’s dot-com bubble… ‘At the end of the day, the bond market bubble will eventually be the critical issue, but for the short term it’s not too bad… But we’re working, obviously, toward a major increase in long-term interest rates, and that has a very important impact, as you know, on the whole structure of the economy.’”

January 24 – Reuters (Lucia Mutikani): “U.S. home sales fell more than expected in December as the supply of houses on the market dropped to a record low, pushing up prices and sidelining some potential first-time buyers. The decline in home sales… followed three straight months of strong increases… Existing home sales declined 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million units last month… Unseasonably cold weather probably accounted for some of the weakness as sales in the Northeast and Midwest fell sharply… The number of previously owned homes on the market tumbled 11.4% to 1.48 million units in December, the lowest since January 1999 when the Realtors group started tracking the series… Housing inventory was down 10.3% from a year ago. It has declined for 31 straight months on a year-on-year basis. At December’s sales pace, it would take a record-low 3.2 months to exhaust the current inventory…”

January 22 – Reuters (Ben Hirschler, Sudip Kar-Gupta and Michael Erman): “Biotech deal activity exploded on Monday with French drugmaker Sanofi and U.S.-based Celgene spending a combined total of more than $20 billion to add new products for hemophilia and cancer to their medicine cabinets. The acquisitions will fuel expectations for a busy year of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as large drugmakers snap up promising assets from smaller rivals to help revive growth… The two cash deals were agreed at a prices of $105 and $87 per share respectively. Shares in Bioverativ leaped 63% in early U.S. trading and Juno jumped 27%.”

January 22 – Financial Times (Javier Espinoza): “The investment industry usually operates on a simple piece of logic: money managers pitch to their clients and persuade them to stump up cash. But when CVC Capital Partners, the private equity group best known for the 2005 takeover of Formula One, set out to raise a new fund last year, the investors were the ones begging to gain access… Treated more like celebrities than investment managers, CVC’s star dealmakers were on display for investors wishing to buy into the heavily oversubscribed fund. ‘Every 45 minutes we would swap over,’ says a long-time investor in CVC funds, each time meeting a different executive in the hope that they would let them in their fund. ‘We make sure managers like us and keep us. It’s hard to get [our] money in the door these days.’ …Buyout volumes were up 27% year on year in 2017, according to Thomson Reuters, and are expected to accelerate this year, propelled by a record $1.1tn of cash pledged by investors last year.”

January 24 – Reuters (Richard Leong): “U.S. mortgage application activity climbed to their loftiest level in over four months despite 30-year home borrowing costs rising to their highest levels since March, the Mortgage Bankers Association said…”

January 24 – Bloomberg (Michelle Kaske and Yalixa Rivera): “Puerto Rico said it will have virtually no money to cover debt payments for the next five years as the bankrupt island deals with the crippling blow of Hurricane Maria, which caused tens of thousands of residents to leave and pushed the economy into its deepest contraction in more than a decade. The forecast… shows that the government expects to have a shortfall, before any debt service is paid, of $3.4 billion through 2022. That marks a significant shift from the proposal released before the storm that would have left hundreds of millions of dollars a year to cover its debts.”

January 21 – Financial Times (Alistair Gray): “The big four US retail banks sustained a near 20% jump in losses from credit cards in 2017, raising doubts about the ability of consumers to fuel economic expansion. ‘People are using their cards to get from pay cheque to pay cheque,’ said Charles Peabody, managing director at… Compass Point. ‘There’s an underlying deterioration in the ability of the consumer to keep up with their debt service burden.’ Recently disclosed results showed Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo took a combined $12.5bn hit from soured card loans last year, about $2bn more than a year ago.”

January 25 – Bloomberg (Claire Boston): “A growing share of the trade-ins that U.S. auto dealers and lenders accept for car-purchase financing are worthless on paper, a sign that banks and finance companies are making riskier loans to keep up revenue as vehicle sales slow. Almost a third of cars traded in last year were worth less than the loans that had been financing them… That’s up from about a quarter a decade earlier, said Edmunds, which looked at cars traded in as part of financing packages for new auto purchases in the U.S. The growing proportion of underwater trade-ins means that at least some borrowers are getting deeper and deeper in debt with every car they buy…”

January 25 – Bloomberg (Dani Burger): “Here’s one more piece of evidence that something’s amiss in the U.S. stock market: A usually reliable strategy used by quants is suddenly on the fritz. Quantitative investors have long used liquidity signals to strengthen their automated models. Simply put, bets on the least traded stocks should, in theory, outperform the market because there’s a reward for taking on the extra liquidity risk. But since December the opposite has been occurring, with the most liquid stocks rewarding investors to the greatest degree in nine years.”

January 21 – The Atlantic (Uria Friedman): “‘In God We Trust,’ goes the motto of the United States. In God, and apparently little else. Only a third of Americans now trust their government ‘to do what is right’—a decline of 14 percentage points from last year, according to a new report by the communications marketing firm Edelman. 42% trust the media, relative to 47% a year ago. Trust in business and non-governmental organizations… decreased by 10 and nine percentage points… Edelman, which for 18 years has been asking people around the world about their level of trust in various institutions, has never before recorded such steep drops in trust in the United States. ‘This is the first time that a massive drop in trust has not been linked to a pressing economic issue or catastrophe like [Japan’s 2011] Fukushima nuclear disaster,’ Richard Edelman, the head of the firm, noted… ‘In fact, it’s the ultimate irony that it’s happening at a time of prosperity, with the stock market and employment rates in the U.S. at record highs.”

January 22 – Reuters (Anna Irrera): “More than 10% of funds raised through ‘initial coin offerings’ are lost or stolen in hacker attacks, according to new research by Ernst & Young that delves into the risks of investing in cryptocurrency projects online. The professional services firm analyzed more than 372 ICOs, in which new digital currencies are distributed to buyers, and found that roughly $400 million of the total $3.7 billion funds raised to date had been stolen, according to research…”

January 16 – Wall Street Journal (Martin Feldstein): “Year after year, the stock market has roared ahead, driven by the Federal Reserve’s excessively easy monetary policy. The result is a fragile financial situation—and potentially a steep drop somewhere up ahead. To deal with the Great Recession, the Fed cut interest rates to a historic low. The short-term federal-funds rate hit 0.15% in January 2009 and stayed there until the end of 2015. In a strategy aimed at reducing long-term rates, the Fed under then-Chairman Ben Bernanke promised to keep short-term rates close to zero until the economy fully recovered. The Fed also began buying long-term bonds and mortgage-backed securities, more than quintupling its balance sheet from nearly $900 billion in 2008 to $4.4 trillion now. Mr. Bernanke explained that this ‘unconventional’ monetary policy was designed to encourage an asset-substitution effect. Investors would shift out of bonds and into equities and real estate. The resulting rise in household wealth would push up consumer spending and strengthen the economic recovery.”

January 19 – Bloomberg (Brandon Kochkodin): “Volatility was one of the never-ending talking points of 2017… The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, finished the year with the lowest average daily level on record. During the course of the year, we saw the market’s fear gauge set a new record low when it closed at 9.14 on Nov. 3. Want more perspective? Try this: Arrange all the trading days this millennium from lowest to highest by the value of the VIX that day. The first 41 entries on that list would all be from 2017! Fully 80 of the top 100 calmest days since the turn of the century were in this past year. It’s not as if there wasn’t anything to worry about. The Federal Reserve’s Partisan Conflict Index, a measure of political disagreements with data stretching back to 1981, hit its highest point on record in March. The country endured the most expensive hurricane season. Threats of a federal government shutdown came and went. Not even a nuclear showdown with North Korea could raise investors’ collective pulse.”

January 16 – Reuters (Claire Milhench and Marc Jones): “Investors have raised their stock allocations to two-year highs and cut cash positions to five-year lows, with a majority expecting the equity bull run to continue into 2019, a survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) showed…”

January 17 – CNBC (Jeff Cox): “Stock market optimism among professional investors just keeps on surging, and is now at the highest levels since before the crash of 1987. Bullishness, or the belief that the market is heading higher, is now at 66.7% in the latest Investors Intelligence survey, a widely followed gauge of sentiment among investment newsletter authors. That's the highest level since early April 1986…”

January 17 – Bloomberg (Craig Torres): “Almost all of the 12 Federal Reserve districts reported ‘modest to moderate gains’ in economic activity at the start of 2018, a Federal Reserve survey showed. The central bank’s Beige Book economic report… said the Dallas Fed bank was the exception, reporting ‘a robust increase.’”

January 17 – Bloomberg (Katia Dmitrieva): “U.S. factory production rose for a fourth straight month in December, capping the strongest quarter since 2010 and underscoring a resurgence in manufacturing that’s primed for further advances, Federal Reserve data showed…”

January 16 – Reuters (Uday Sampath and Siddharth Cavale): “U.S. shoppers spent a record $108 billion snapping up discounts on Amazon and other websites during the 2017 holiday season, with more people using smartphones and tablets, Adobe Analytics said… Adobe, which collects its data by measuring 80% of all online transactions from the top 100 U.S. web retailers, said the amount was 14.7% higher than last year’s total.”

January 16 – Bloomberg (Joanna Ossinger): “Volatility can’t stay this low forever -- or so investors have been saying for what feels like forever. They may have finally found their moment. As the market rallies, ‘volatility isn’t that low anymore,’ Pravit Chintawongvanich of Macro Risk Advisors said…, adding that the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) curve is flattening. The VIX rose as much as 22% on Tuesday to as high as 12.41, the highest level in six weeks. That is still around 30% below the average of 18.1 since the bull market started in 2009. The correlation of S&P 500 Index stocks to each other has been increasing as the market rallies, the reverse of what’s typically seen, and this gain over the past two months points to broad buying of equities –- a ‘‘melt up’ so to speak,’ Chintawongvanich wrote.”

January 17 – Bloomberg (Martin Z Braun): “New York City is still reaping the benefits of the real estate boom. The city set a value of $1.26 trillion for its more than one million properties for the fiscal year beginning in July, an increase of 9.4% over the previous period that promises to boost the government’s tax collections. ‘This year’s roll confirms increases in the real estate market and additional construction activity in New York City, which is not just concentrated in Manhattan,’ Jacques Jiha, the city’s commissioner for the department of finance, said…”

January 17 – Wall Street Journal (Leslie Scism): “Long-term-care insurance was supposed to help pay for nursing homes, assisted living and personal aides for tens of millions of Americans when they became unable to take care of themselves. Now, though, the industry is in financial turmoil, causing misery for many of the 7.3 million people who own a long-term-care policy, equal to about a fifth of the U.S. population at least 65 years old. Steep rate increases that many policyholders never saw coming are confronting them with an awful choice: Come up with the money to pay more—or walk away from their coverage. ‘Never in our wildest imagination did we consider that the company would double the premium,’ says Sally Wylie, 67, a retired learning specialist…”

January 11 – CNBC (Huileng Tan): “U.S. bonds sold off on Wednesday — and that may have been the point. Markets took a hit following a Bloomberg News report that cited unnamed sources as saying that officials in Beijing have recommended China, the largest holder of U.S. Treasurys, to slow or even halt its purchases of that debt. U.S. stocks on Wednesday snapped a six-day winning streak, and Treasury yields, already in an upswing, moved higher with the 10-year reaching 2.597%, their highest level since March 15… China's foreign exchange regulator publicly refuted the Bloomberg report on Thursday, saying it cited ‘false information.’ But the jolt to markets may have been designed as a warning to Washington, which is clashing with China over trade and other issues. China holds $1.2 trillion of U.S. debt — more than any country.”

January 8 – Bloomberg (Matthew Boesler): “The last time Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s financial conditions index was pointing to a market environment this good, its then-chief economist was using the gauge to analyze the effects of Federal Reserve decisions that he now helps make. New York Fed President William Dudley developed the index in the 1990s while at Goldman to create an alternative way to measure the impact of monetary policy on the economy. Now, with the index signaling the easiest conditions since 2000 after a big run-up in U.S. stocks, Fed officials are starting to wonder if they will need to address inflated asset prices in order to avoid over-inflated consumer prices.”

January 11 – Bloomberg (Sarah McGregor): “The U.S. budget deficit is widening on increased spending, just as tax cuts look set to knock the other side of the government’s ledger: revenue. The U.S. budget gap rose 7% to $225 billion in the first quarter of the government’s fiscal year from a year earlier, the Treasury Department reported on Thursday. Spending rose at a slightly higher pace than revenue, increasing 5% to $994.5 billion between October and December. Receipts gained 4% to $769.5 billion.”

January 5 – CNBC (Diana Olick): “All signs and numbers point to a huge year for the construction industry. Even in December, with much of the nation frozen, the construction industry added 30,000 jobs… For all of 2017, construction added 210,000 jobs, a 35% increase over 2016. Construction spending is also soaring, rising more than expected in November to a record $1.257 trillion… Spending increased across all sectors of real estate, commercial and residential, with particular strength in private construction projects… Construction firms are clearly looking to hire more workers. Three-quarters of them said they plan to increase payrolls in 2018... Industry optimism for all types of construction, measured by the ratio of those who expected the market to expand versus those who expected it to contract, hit a record high.”

January 8 – Bloomberg (Vince Golle): “U.S. consumer credit outstanding rose in November by the most in 16 years as credit-card balances surged, Federal Reserve data showed… Total credit rose $28b (est. $18b) or at an 8.8% annualized rate after a $20.5b gain.”

January 8 – Wall Street Journal (Gunjan Banerji): “Big stock-market gains are leading a number of investors to abandon defensive positions taken to protect against a market downturn, the latest sign that many doubters are shedding caution as the long rally rolls on. Investors with significant positions in stocks often look to offset that risk by buying put options on stocks or major stock indexes, like the S&P 500. These contracts are a form of insurance… But with the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking through 25000 for the first time, the Nasdaq Composite crossing 7,000 and with market volatility falling to near all-time lows, many investors have decided that spending money to hedge against big declines is a waste of money.”

January 8 – Bloomberg (Sarah Ponczek): “Retail investors in the U.S. are showing the most enthusiasm for stocks since the nine-year bull market began, another signal of growing optimism as financial markets hit new highs. Clients at TD Ameritrade added to stock holdings for a 11th straight month in December, one of the longest buying streaks for retail investors ever recorded by the brokerage. That helped push the firm’s Investor Movement Index (IMX)…to a new record for the second month in a row.”

January 11 – Reuters (Howard Schneider): “Walmart’s tit-for-tat minimum wage battle with Target, ratcheting to $11 an hour for the least experienced workers with likely pressure to move higher, may signal broader gains to come for workers in a tightening U.S. labor market - a moment politicians and policymakers have been hoping for.”

January 9 – Reuters (Robin Respaut): “U.S. states could see revenue growth in 2018 from improving national economics, but difficult demographics and macroeconomic challenges are on the horizon, according to… S&P Global Ratings. States have benefited from continued economic expansion and strong capital markets in recent years, which helped to bring in greater tax revenues. The robust stock market performance in 2017 could also produce windfall capital gains tax revenues to state treasuries in April 2018. But ominous clouds could be looming on the horizon. Periods of faster revenue growth linked to soaring equity markets, while favorable, lend the potential for revenue instability, S&P reported.”

January 8 – CNBC (Robert Ferris): “Major hurricanes and wildfires fueled a record year for costs related to natural disasters in the United States, according to… the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That report also said 2017 was the third-warmest year in 123 years of record keeping, behind only 2014 and 2012. Natural disasters in the United States cost more than $300 billion last year, far surpassing the previous record of $214.8 billion set in 2005…”

January 2 – CNBC (Diana Olick): “The temperature may be frigid across much of the nation, yet home prices are sizzling and sellers are in the hot seat. Sales prices jumped 7% annually in November, according to… CoreLogic. That is the third straight month at that pace, far higher than the price gains in the first half of 2017. Low supply and high demand are fueling the spurt and neither of those is expected to ease up anytime soon. Supply is actually falling even more now, and a strengthening economy is pushing demand. This will have potential buyers out early this year, trying to get a jump on the spring market. ‘Rising home prices are good news for home sellers, but add to the challenges that home buyers face,’ said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic… Nothaft said the limited supply is the worst at the lower end, and will hit the growing number of first-time buyers hardest.”

January 3 – Reuters (Lucia Mutikani): “In November, spending on private residential projects soared 1.0% to the highest level since February 2007 after rising 0.3% in October. The increase was in line with a recent jump in homebuilding and supported expectations that housing would boost economic growth in the fourth quarter after being a drag on GDP since the April-June period.”

January 3 – Bloomberg (Katia Dmitrieva): “U.S. manufacturing expanded in December at the fastest pace in three months, as gains in orders and production capped the strongest year for factories since 2004, the Institute for Supply Management said… Factory index climbed to 59.7 (est. 58.2) from 58.2 a month earlier… Gauge of new orders advanced to 69.4, the highest in nearly 14 years, from 64. Measure of production increased to 65.8, the strongest since May 2010, from 63.9.”

January 4 – Bloomberg (Jordan Yadoo): “American consumers last year were more upbeat on average than at any time since 2001, reflecting more favorable views of the economy, personal finances and the buying climate, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index… Comfort measure averaged 50.0 in 2017, up from 43.6 a year earlier and the best reading since 51.8 in 2001…”

December 30 – Bloomberg (Katia Dmitrieva): “Payrolls at U.S. companies increased in December by the most in nine months, consistent with further progress in the labor market, according to… ADP… Private payrolls rose by 250k (190k est.), exceeding all estimates…”

January 4 – CNBC (Chloe Aiello): “U.S. employers announced plans to cut 32,423 jobs in December, bringing the year's total to a low not seen since 1990, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported… ‘The tight labor market, coupled with uncertainty surrounding health care and tax legislation, possibly kept employers from making any long-term staffing decisions this year,’ CEO John Challenger said…”

January 2 – Bloomberg (Mary Schlangenstein): “Two U.S. airlines -- American and Southwest -- joined the tide of companies offering employees $1,000 bonuses to mark the tax overhaul Congress put in place for 2018… AAON, U.S. Bancorp, Commerce Bancshares Inc. and Zions Bancorporation were among the companies touting similar moves.vBanks, insurers and airlines have led the way on the handouts -- all industries that have important regulatory issues pending with the Trump administration. The moves appear to be an effort to sway public opinion in favor of the unpopular tax bill. Republican legislators pushed to pass the overhaul in December as President Donald Trump’s crowning achievement of 2017.”

January 1 – Wall Street Journal (Shayndi Raice and Eric Morath): “In U.S. cities with the tightest labor markets, workers are finding something that’s long been missing from the broader economic expansion: faster-growing paychecks. Workers in metro areas with the lowest unemployment are experiencing among the strongest wage growth in the country. The labor market in places like Minneapolis, Denver and Fort Myers, Fla., where unemployment rates stand near or even below 3%, has now tightened to a point where businesses are raising pay to attract employees, often from competitors. It’s an outcome entirely expected in economic theory, but one that’s been largely absent until now in the upturn that began more than eight years ago.”

January 2 – CNBC (Lauren Thomas): “Land fit for future fulfillment centers for the likes of Amazon and Walmart saw huge spikes in prices last year, according to… CBRE. In a trend largely stemming from the growth of e-commerce players across the U.S., some plots of land now cost twice the amount they did a year ago, the group found. This is especially true in major markets, including Atlanta and Houston. In surveying 10 U.S. markets, CBRE found the average price for ‘large industrial parcels’ (50 to 100 acres) now sits at more than $100,000 per acre, up from about $50,000 a year ago. Industrial land plots of five to 10 acres, which typically house infill distribution centers for completing ‘last-mile’ deliveries, watched their prices soar to more than $250,000 per acre by the end of 2017, up from roughly $200,000 a year ago…”

January 2 – Wall Street Journal (Laura Kusisto): “The multifamily housing market turned in a lackluster performance in 2017 as demand failed to keep pace with a deluge of new apartment supply, according to a new report… U.S. apartment rents climbed 2.5% in 2017, according to RealPage Inc., RP -0.11% a real estate technology and data firm. That was in line with historical averages but down significantly from the 5.2% posted in 2015, the most recent peak.”

January 2 – Reuters (Ankit Ajmera): “U.S. office vacancy rate rose to 16.3% in the fourth quarter of 2017, from 16.1% a year earlier, rising for the first time in at least five years, according to… Reis Inc. Asking and effective rents increased 0.6% in the quarter, compared with the third quarter, registering the highest quarterly growth rate in six quarters. Rent growth was 1.8% for 2017. ‘The year-end numbers showed a consistent deceleration in occupancy but somewhat higher rent and employment growth than in previous quarters. We expect this trend to continue at the start of 2018 as more office construction is expected to come on line,’ Barbara Denham, senior economist at Reis, said…”

December 30 – Bloomberg (Joanna Ossinger): “Financial imbalances including those in credit markets and cryptocurrencies will shadow an otherwise robust 2018 U.S. economy, said Goldman Sachs… economist Jan Hatzius. Hatzius has already made some predictions for the new year: four Federal Reserve rate hikes, real U.S. gross-domestic product growth quickening to an average of 2.6%, the jobless rate dropping to about 3.5%, and the yield curve not inverting. In a new report, Hatzius reiterated his expectation for overall economic strength, while flagging some concerns. ‘Asset valuations in some areas -- especially credit -- have risen to high levels by historical standards,’ Hatzius said in the ‘10 Questions for 2018’ report… ‘While we have not seen the type of large credit expansions that would be most worrisome for Fed officials concerned about financial imbalances, there are now some signs of speculative behavior in financial markets, e.g. the cryptocurrency boom.’”


January 29 – Bloomberg (Sid Verma and Dani Burger): “Record bullish positions are building up across currency, equity and commodity markets as hedge funds and real-money investors dump the dollar and U.S. Treasuries to crowd into risk assets around the world. Goldman Sachs warns that ‘extreme’ sentiment is propelling global shares to their best start to a year ever, while U.S. government bonds head for their worst on record. Investors are throwing caution to wind to wager more gains are nigh… ‘There are some notable net long and short positions that are moving into stretched territory,’ said Ben Emons, chief economist at Intellectus Partners… ‘This positioning speaks very much to the global synchronization theme out there whereby the dollar plays a pivotal role.’”

January 30 – Bloomberg (Dani Burger): “Volatility is finally starting to rear its head, fueling intense trading on VIX exchange-traded products as buyers try to keep pace. As investors reassess the record bullishness in risky assets, the Cboe Volatility Index is rising for a second straight day, touching the highest level in more than five months. That result: ETPs that tie their fortunes to the VIX -- either by tracking or shorting futures on the gauge -- have begun to furiously change hands. Less than five hours into the U.S. trading session, volume on the ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF has already exceeded 70 million shares. That’s more than twice the historical volume for this time of day, and already half the volume of the fund’s busiest day ever. Another ProShares security, the Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF, has surpassed 17 million shares, within striking distance of its 23 million record trading day. Two of the five most-active ETPs on Tuesday were linked to volatility.”

January 30 – Wall Street Journal (Matt Wirz): “Last fall, a hydroelectric dam in Tajikistan, the government of Portugal and a cruise-ship operator all issued debt at unusually low interest rates. The seemingly unconnected deals are part of a proliferation of aggressive bond sales influenced by a decade of loose monetary policy and a demographic shift in global investing. Historical limits on who can borrow, and at what cost, have broken down as fund managers agree to previously unpalatable terms. Central bankers in the U.S., Europe and Japan helped shape the new breed of deals by simultaneously purchasing over $1 trillion in high-quality bonds since 2009 and lowering benchmark interest rates… Modest economic growth came, but the strategy crowded private investors out of safe debt, prompting them to buy riskier bonds to boost returns. Retiring baby boomers amplified the trend by moving their investments away from stocks into bonds, boosting assets in U.S. bond mutual funds to $4.6 trillion in November from $1.5 trillion a decade earlier…”

January 28 – Financial Times (Kate Allen and Jonathan Wheatley): “The drumbeat for bond investors is that 2018 will mark the end of a historic bull market. But the allocations they are making in the key month of January tell a different story. Sales of debt by eurozone periphery countries and emerging markets have had a blistering start to the year, with Spain’s ability to attract €43bn of orders for a 10-year bond the most vivid demonstration of investors’ willingness to take on risk… ‘There is an enormous amount of cash around in the new year and people want to be invested because they sense that things may change later, but that there are not going to be any big monetary policy moves in the near term,’ said Lee Cumbes, head of public sector debt Emea at Barclays…”

January 28 – Financial Times (James Fontanella-Khan, Eric Platt and Arash Massoudi): “Global dealmaking has made its strongest start since the turn of the century, reflecting boardroom confidence from US tax reform, a strengthening international economy and surging equity markets. A total of $273bn in mergers and acquisitions so far this year marks the busiest January since the peak of the dotcom boom in 2000, data from Dealogic shows.”

January 28 – Bloomberg (Yuji Nakamura and Andrea Tan): “At 2:57 a.m. on Friday morning in Tokyo, someone hacked into the digital wallet of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc. and pulled off one of the biggest heists in history. Three days later, the theft of nearly $500 million in digital tokens is still reverberating through virtual currency markets and policy circles around the world. The episode… has heightened calls for stricter oversight at a time when many governments are struggling to formulate a response to the digital-asset boom.”

January 29 – Reuters (Subrat Patnaik): “Microsoft Corp issued an emergency security update on Monday to plug Intel Corp’s buggy Spectre firmware patch after the chipmaker’s fix caused computers to reboot more often than normal. Microsoft said it was rolling out an out-of-band update that specifically disables Intel’s Spectre variant 2 patch.”

January 22 – Wall Street Journal (Asjylyn Loder): “The first exchange-traded fund was born 25 years ago this week, enabling investors for the first time to buy or sell the S&P 500 index in a single publicly traded share. Over the years since then, ETFs have come to dominate the financial landscape. Today, there are almost 7,200 exchange-traded products world-wide with $4.8 trillion in assets… Growth is accelerating as investors forsake active money managers in favor of passive, index-tracking funds. Last year, U.S. ETFs raked in a record $466 billion, a 61% increase over 2016 inflows…”

January 22 – Bloomberg (Sarah Ponczek and Carolina Wilson): “Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz SE, reiterated his concerns about liquidity in exchange-traded funds. In front of an audience filled with financial advisers during a keynote address at the ‘Inside ETFs’ conference in Hollywood, Florida, the economist… listed some geopolitical and market risks for 2018. And ETFs didn’t escape the short list. ‘Some ETFs, it’s a small proportion, but some of them have inadvertently over-promised liquidity to users,’ he said. ‘The users have assumed much more liquidity than what the underlying asset class can serve.’ El-Erian is talking about the problems that arise as investors move even more money into passive investing products, ‘some of which venture quite far from highly liquid market segments,’ he wrote...”

January 23 – Bloomberg (Sid Verma): “Global stocks and U.S. Treasuries are in the throes of their most ‘extreme’ start to the year ever as bullish sentiment engulfs markets, according to Goldman Sachs… The bank’s cross-asset measure of risk appetite around the world is the highest since it started the gauge in 1991. Euphoria is turbo-charging global equities while 10-year U.S. government bonds are suffering their worst performance in risk-adjusted terms, according to Goldman. ‘Risk appetite is now at its highest level on record, which leads to the question of what future returns can be,’ strategists including Ian Wright wrote…”

January 22 – Bloomberg (Andrew Mayeda): “The International Monetary Fund warned policymakers to be on guard for the next recession even as it predicted global growth will accelerate to the fastest pace in seven years as U.S. tax cuts spur businesses to invest. The fund raised its forecast for world expansion to 3.9% this year and next, up 0.2 percentage point both years from its projection in October. That would be the fastest rate since 2011, when the world was bouncing back from the financial crisis. The strengthening recovery offers a ‘perfect opportunity now for world leaders to repair their roof,’ IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told reporters…”

January 21 – Bloomberg (Shelly Hagan): “The global economy created a record number of billionaires last year, exacerbating inequality amid a weakening of workers’ rights and a corporate push to maximize shareholder returns, charity organization Oxfam International said… The world now has 2,043 billionaires, after a new one emerged every two days in the past year… The group of mostly men saw its wealth surge by $762 billion, which is enough money to end extreme poverty seven times over, according to Oxfam. According to separate data compiled by Bloomberg, the top 500 billionaires’ net worth grew 24% to $5.38 trillion in 2017…”

January 17 – Bloomberg (Daniel Moss): “This is going to be an exciting year for monetary policy. In fact, it already is, thanks to Europe and Japan. Investors were taken aback last week when the Bank of Japan bought fewer bonds and the European Central Bank revealed -- shock, horror -- its language would have to evolve with the euro region's economy. Both developments, and the reaction, were welcome. They say a lot about the strength of global growth and how it still surprises many people… The next potential flashpoint is the Jan. 25 meeting of the ECB's governing council. It's too soon to expect a shift in communications then, but individual council members are off and running.”

January 19 – Financial Times (Gillian Tett): “The $160bn Bridgewater hedge fund produced a chart last year about modern politics that was alarming for at least two reasons. First, the number crunching revealed that the proportion of votes garnered by populist, anti-establishment candidates in the west, such as US President Donald Trump, France’s Marine Le Pen and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour party, exploded from 7% in 2010 to 35% in 2017. Second, the chart showed that the only time an increase of this magnitude occurred in recent memory was in the 1930s, when another financial crisis led to populism. That time, the swing prefigured the rise of nationalism and led to war. Could history repeat itself? The global elite increasingly fears so. The World Economic Forum on Wednesday released its annual survey of the main concerns of its members.”

January 17 – Bloomberg (Adam Haigh): “One of the world’s largest money managers says you should fear the lack of fear in markets. Investors in global equities are enjoying the best start to a year in at least three decades, cutting back on cash positions and plowing more money into riskier assets. However, just as many expect this bull run to last even longer than previously expected, Pacific Investment Management Co. says now is the time for caution. ‘The fact that the fear is gone is the main reason why we should be worried,’ Joachim Fels, a global economic adviser at Pimco, told Bloomberg… ‘That means most investors are now pretty fully invested and that means they will want to get out if the markets start to correct -- exacerbating the downdraft.”

January 9 – Bloomberg (Nikolaj Gammeltoft and Cecile Vannucci): “It made for quite a chart. On the morning of Dec. 20, just as billions of dollars of futures tied to the Cboe Volatility Index were set to expire, the index plunged. The result was a settlement price, a weekly value critical to holders of some the most heavily traded derivatives in the country, that was 13% below the prior day’s close. A nice break, if you were short. For much of last year, the Cboe had to defend itself after an academic study purported to show the VIX settlement is subject to manipulation. While the exchange has seen nothing to alter its view that the claims are baseless, December’s events gave the conversation another stir. ‘There couldn’t have been a more appropriate cherry on top of the 2017 cake,’ said Patrick Hennessy, head trader at IPS Strategic Capital… ‘The VIX settlement in December was one for the books.’”

January 8 – Bloomberg (Luke Kawa): “The most hated rally this is not. Equity euphoria has gripped most of the world to kick off 2018, with the 14-day relative strength index for major stock markets surging to overbought levels. The S&P 500 Index, MSCI Asia Pacific Index, MSCI World Index, Nikkei 225 Index, and MSCI Emerging Markets Index are all in overbought territory, while the Euro Stoxx 600 Index lingers just shy of such a level.”

January 9 – Bloomberg (Dani Burger): “The sound of euphoria just got a bit louder. The new year isn’t even two weeks old, and already $2.1 trillion has been added to the market capitalization of global equities. The market is verging on such overbought levels that not even reliably bullish analysts can keep up with the new highs… The bull market, now in its ninth year, has finally reached the point of euphoria, said Morgan Stanley’s U.S. equity strategists. ‘Now, we have seen a total reversal with people having a hard time even imagining how the market could decline,’ they wrote… ‘We must admit the speed and relentlessness of the move is a bit troubling.’”

January 9 – Bloomberg (Dina Bass): “Microsoft Corp. said fixes for security flaws present in most processors may significantly slow down certain servers and dent the performance of some personal computers, the software maker’s first assessment of a global problem that Intel Corp. initially downplayed. Microsoft’s statement suggests slowdowns could be more substantial than Intel previously indicated. While Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich on Monday said the problem may be more pervasive than first thought, he didn’t discuss the degree of impact -- only that some machines would be more affected than others.”

January 10 – Bloomberg (Yuji Nakamura and Haidi Lun): “The world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange keeps getting bigger. Hong Kong-based Binance.com is adding ‘a couple of million’ registered users every week, with 240,000 people signing up in just an hour on Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer Zhao Changpeng said… Demand is so high that the company is limiting new customers, he said, though Binance may fully reopen in the coming weeks. ‘We did not expect this kind of growth to be honest,’ Zhao said…”

January 7 – Financial Times (Nicholas Megaw): “The short-term outlook for global sovereign and corporate borrowers is at its healthiest level in a decade, according to Fitch, but the ratings agency warned that rising interest rates and political uncertainty will threaten credit quality over the longer term. In its quarterly credit outlook report, …Fitch said the number of governments and organisations with positive credit outlooks now outnumbered the number with negative outlooks for the first time since the financial crisis. The ratings agency is forecasting global GDP expansion of 3.3% in 2018…”

January 2 – Financial Times (Robin Wigglesworth): “Global monetary policy has been a multi-trillion dollar relay race over the past decade. But in 2018, there will be no one to pick up the baton, setting up a potentially anxious year for the world’s bond markets. That is a sharp contrast to recent years. When the Federal Reserve began to unwind its bond-buying programme, the Bank of Japan cranked up its even grander quantitative easing scheme. By the time the Fed started raising interest rates, the European Central Bank had unveiled its own monetary bazooka, quelling the ructions that many feared were inevitable. The coming year promises to be an inflection point for central banks. The Fed has started reducing the pile of the bonds it acquired after the financial crisis — a process that will accelerate. The ECB started to trim its QE programme in 2017 and is expected to end it altogether in 2018. Even the BoJ is expected to raise its bond yield target slightly this year.”

January 2 – Bloomberg (Fergal O'Brien): “Factories across the globe warned they are finding it increasingly hard to keep up with demand, potentially forcing them to raise prices as the world economy looks set to enjoy its strongest year since 2011. A slew of Purchasing Managers Indexes… from countries including China, Germany, France, Canada and the U.K. all pointed to deeper supply constraints. The U.S. reading from IHS Markit rose for the third month in the past four, reaching the highest since March 2015 amid ‘increased capacity pressures.’ Such strains on potential output may mean companies have to hire or invest more to avoid overheating, yet it could also force them to push up prices, propelling inflation enough to squeeze the expansion. JPMorgan… is among the banks predicting global growth will be around 4% this year…”

January 4 – Bloomberg (Charles Stein): “Vanguard Group, the world’s largest mutual fund company, attracted an estimated $368 billion in deposits from customers last year, topping the previous record of $323 billion in 2016. The company’s mutual funds gathered 61% of the haul, while its exchange-traded funds collected 39%... About 52% of the total went to stocks and 41% to bonds. More than half of the money sent to Vanguard came from financial advisers and other intermediaries… BlackRock reported almost $6 trillion in assets under management as of Sept. 30. At Vanguard, the total is approaching $5 trillion…”

January 3 – Reuters (Douglas Busvine and Stephen Nellis): “Security researchers… disclosed a set of security flaws that they said could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc and ARM Holdings. One of the bugs is specific to Intel but another affects laptops, desktop computers, smartphones, tablets and internet servers alike. Intel and ARM insisted that the issue was not a design flaw, but it will require users to download a patch and update their operating system to fix.”

January 2 – Bloomberg (Kanika Sood): “Australian home prices fell in the final three months of 2017, the first such decline in almost two years, as the nation’s biggest market Sydney continued to cool. Values nationally declined 0.3%... Prices in Sydney dropped 2.1% in the quarter, dragging the city’s annual growth rate to 3.1% from 17.1% just seven months ago. ‘Sydney’s housing market has become the most significant drag on the headline growth figures,’ said Tim Lawless, CoreLogic’s head of research.”

January 4 – Bloomberg (Natalie Wong and Erik Hertzberg): “Toronto’s housing market continues to cool as prices fell last month and the supply of homes for sale spiked ahead of new stress-test rules that went into effect this week. The benchmark home price index fell in December for the seventh consecutive month, down 0.2% from November… The index has fallen 8.9% since May…”


January 31 – Bloomberg (Shelly Hagan): “The rise in bond yields has further to go. So says a Bank of America Merrill Lynch global research report… U.S. economist Michelle Meyer and her colleagues argue that the market hasn’t fully taken into account how far the Federal Reserve intends to raise interest rates. While investors seem to believe in the Fed’s ability to more or less hike rates three times this year, they remain skeptical about increases thereafter… ‘We think that the market is mispriced and will ultimately capitulate to the Fed, sending rates higher,’ the economists wrote. They pointed to three main drivers that will push yields up: rising inflation, continued economic growth and a higher equilibrium interest rate.”

January 30 – Bloomberg (Chikako Mogi and Chikafumi Hodo): “Nearly six years after Ford Motor Co. reclaimed its good name in the credit community, the automaker was put on notice Tuesday when Moody’s… signaled its investment-grade rating could again be at risk. Moody’s changed its rating outlook on Ford to negative from stable, citing ‘a more challenging operating environment’ as new Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett seeks to get the 114-year-old automaker back in shape. Dubbed a ‘fitness redesign,’ the turnaround plan includes cutting $14 billion in costs, curbing lower-margin car models and investing $11 billion in an expansive portfolio of electric-powered vehicles.”

January 29 – Bloomberg (David Yong and Lianting Tu): “Asian bond investors may be taking their eyes off the protections on junk bonds in the pursuit of higher yields. The safeguards provided by the fine print in bond documents have dwindled further, according to Moody’s... Its analysis of 10 junk bonds worth $3.34 billion in the last quarter of 2017 showed that covenant strength fell to the lowest level since Moody’s started scoring it in 2011. As ample cash conditions drive spreads of investment-grade credits to their tightest in more than a decade, investors are turning to lower-rated names which come with added risks. The pace of high-yield offerings has accelerated in 2018 after hitting a record $55.8 billion last year…”

January 18 – CNBC (Patti Domm): “The bond market is in the process of making an important move, and stock traders are keeping a wary eye on it. On Thursday afternoon, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield crept close to 2.63%, a level it came near last year but has not really traded above since 2014. The yield was above 2.62% in afternoon trading Thursday. ‘The pain point comes at 2.63%, where everybody believes that's the breakout, and everyone will be keying on that,’ said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. ‘This is a more-than-three-year range that we're attempting to break out of here.’”

January 16 – Financial Times (Roger Blitz, Leo Lewis and Robin Harding): “Global bond investors are casting a nervous eye at Japan. As a wave of selling washed across debt markets last week, the disclosure that the Bank of Japan had trimmed the volume of longer bonds it purchased was seized upon as the trigger for a move higher in yields that prompted veteran investor Bill Gross to again call the end of the three-decade bull run for the $14tn US Treasury market. The intense interest in a standard operation in the BOJ’s quantitative easing programme revealed how sensitive investors are to any perceived changes at a juncture when the European Central Bank is halving its monthly bond buying and the Federal Reserve is tightening policy… Bret Barker, a portfolio manager with asset manager TCW, says the blowback into the US Treasury market reflects how central bank easing through the BoJ targeting a zero yield for the 10-year Japanese government bond, as well as debt purchases and negative rates from the ECB, has acted as an anchor for global interest rates. ‘If those anchors are released . . . that should increase volatility and raise longer rates in the US,’ he says.”

January 17 – Bloomberg (Sophie Caronello): “China and Japan’s combined share of Treasuries fell to about 36% of all foreign-held U.S. government debt in November, the lowest level in about 18 years. China, the biggest foreign holder of U.S. bonds, notes and bills, saw its total drop 1.1% to $1.18 trillion from the previous month… Japan’s holdings dropped 0.9% to $1.08 trillion, the lowest in more than four years.”

January 16 – Bloomberg (Carrie Hong, Annie Lee, Lianting Tu, and Narae Kim): “The boom in Asia’s dollar bond market is ratcheting up a notch, with investors placing orders for five times as much debt as has been sold so far this month. Chances of a steeper path higher for global interest rates that’s lifted government bond yields this year is doing little to damp the appeal for debt from Asian companies outside Japan. The ferocious appetite in 2017, in part due to the hunger from investors chasing higher yields, is extending into January with Chinese property companies finding a flurry of buyers wanting to get their hands on newly issued debt… After a record $322 billion of dollar bond issuance from the region in 2017, Asian firms are off to the strongest ever start to a year. Year-to-date sales have reached $19.3 billion…”

January 10 – Bloomberg: “China added to bond investors’ jitters on Wednesday as traders braced for what they feared could be the end of a three-decade bull market. Senior government officials in Beijing reviewing the nation’s foreign-exchange holdings have recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. Treasuries, according to people familiar with the matter. The news comes as global debt markets were already selling off amid signs that central banks are starting to step back after years of bond-buying stimulus. Yields on 10-year Treasuries rose for a fifth day, touching the highest since March. China holds the world’s largest foreign-exchange reserves, at $3.1 trillion, and regularly assesses its strategy for investing them. It isn’t clear whether the officials’ recommendations have been adopted.”

January 11 – Bloomberg (Eliza Ronalds-Hannon and Sally Bakewell): “More than $2.6 billion flowed into high-yield bond funds during the week ended Jan. 10, according to Lipper Fund Flows…, as investors looked to get a piece of a junk-debt rally already blowing through year-end forecasts. The inflows, which were the sector’s highest since December 2016… come as junk spreads narrowed to the tightest since 2007.”

January 8 – Bloomberg (Sally Bakewell): “When a group of banks led by Credit Suisse and including Barclays cut a $1 billion check to finance a buyout by Apollo Global Management back in mid-2015, they pocketed as much as $25 million in fees. Not an insignificant nugget in its own right but it was, it turns out, just the beginning for the banks. Some of them would make a new loan for Apollo the following April and then proceed to rework the terms of that debt with the firm four separate times over the next 14 months. The dizzying succession of follow-up deals -- aimed at locking in falling borrowing costs and boosting the size of the loan -- handed the banks as much as another $45 million in fees… The torrent of leveraged lending last year generated a record $12.4 billion in bank fees, a 41% surge over 2016, said Freeman Consulting Services.”

January 8 – Bloomberg (Adam Tempkin and Charles E Williams): “Citigroup Inc. led in U.S. collateralized loan obligations by market share last year as sales surged 65% from 2016 to about $120 billion… The momentum in CLO sales is expected to continue this year as global demand for the floating-rate product grows amid investors’ hunt for yield.”

January 11 – Reuters (Richard Leong): “Issuance of U.S. investment-grade corporate bonds in the first seven days of 2018 totaled $53.38 billion for its slowest start to the year since 2015, according to strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The amount of high-grade debt supply was down 38% from a sum of $86.09 billion a year earlier…”

January 4 – Bloomberg (Liz McCormick and Sid Verma): “Investors devoted to the idea that inflation will stay subdued should be worried. Worldwide data have recently made clear that producer-price increases have picked up steam. That’s led bond buyers to begin wagering that consumer inflation could be soon to follow, with U.S. breakeven rates above 2% in many tenors for the first time since March. The shift represents a sea change for investors who have grown complacent about the threat of rising prices over the past few years, when inflation was subdued by modest economic growth rates, suppressed wages and shifts in technology and demographics.”

Rynki wschodzące:

January 29 – Financial Times (Kate Allen): “Emerging markets are loading up on public debt that could mean headwinds for investors, analysts at Citi warn. Growth in many emerging economies is strong, their currencies are appreciating against the US dollar and they are attracting a flood of global investors, lured by the relatively high bond yields they offer. Yet this uptick in economic performance has not fed through into the public finances, David Lubin of Citi Research says. ‘There has been a more or less linear increase in EM public debt to GDP ratios since the great financial crisis,’ he says.”

January 28 – Bloomberg (Kartik Goyal): “The timing for India to sell an estimated record amount of debt couldn’t be worse. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will seek to borrow 6.5 trillion rupees ($102bn) in the fiscal year starting April 1… That compares with the 6.05 trillion rupees expected for the current year. Whereas falling oil prices and bond yields have benefited Modi since he took power in 2014, their steep ascent in the past six months is posing a threat. Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian cautioned Monday that the government can’t rule out a pause in its plan for fiscal consolidation, helping extend a rout that has made Indian sovereign notes Asia’s worst performers.”

January 21 – Wall Street Journal (Nick Timiraos): “In enacting a tax cut that is projected to raise annual federal-budget deficits to nearly $1 trillion in the coming years, Washington could be trading more growth now for the risk of more pain down the road. The U.S. government has traditionally reduced interest rates, boosted spending or cut taxes when the economy contracts. Budget analysts warn that future policy makers would have less ammunition to take such actions during the next recession because tax changes are projected to push already-rising national debt levels even higher. That could make the next downturn more severe than it would otherwise be and put added pressure on the Federal Reserve to respond to future crises. ‘While I’m always for reforming the tax code, the timing of this thing doesn’t make any sense,’ said William Hoagland, a former budget adviser to Senate Republicans now at the Bipartisan Policy Center…”

January 21 – Financial Times (Chris Flood): “The supply of US Treasury bonds is set to almost double to $1tn this year, a dramatic increase that could pose a significant risk for the high-flying US stock market as well as for fixed-income investors. The US government’s rising budget deficit, President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and the Federal Reserve’s push to shrink its balance sheet as it reverses the post-financial crisis bond-buying programme are some of the reasons behind the expected increase. This could drive 10-year Treasury bond yields up from their level of 2.6% to 3% by the end of this year and to 3.5% by the end of next year, according to Deutsche Bank. In addition, the amount of investment grade and high-yield bonds issued by US companies that will mature and require refinancing is forecast to increase significantly over the next two years. As a result, total US fixed-income supply could rise from $1tn last year to just over $2tn in 2019…”

January 22 – Bloomberg (Dani Burger and Sid Verma): “U.S. corporate debt exchange-traded funds have bled a near-historic sum of assets over the past two weeks, but holders of the underlying securities are paying little heed. U.S.-listed corporate bond ETFs are headed for a second consecutive month of outflows, the first time that’s occurred in at least seven years. The pain is across ratings. The iShares iBoxx Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF, LQD, had the biggest day of losses last week since 2016, while BlackRock’s high-yield equivalent, HYG, is in the midst of its biggest two-month outflows on record.”

January 25 – Financial Times (Joe Rennison): “A profit warning… from Swiss baker Aryzta, whose customers include McDonald’s, would not ordinarily be of interest to bond investors. Except the company pointed to faster than expected wage growth in its US business as one of the culprits. The prospect of American workers receiving bigger pay rises taps into a growing anxiety among fixed-income investors: that 2018 may be the year in which inflation finally accelerates, posing a fundamental challenge for holders of long-term bonds that pay ultra low fixed-rate coupons. Signs that a broad-based global economic recovery is gathering pace, rising oil prices and a sweeping US tax cut are raising a red flag for the bond market.”

Hedge Funds:

January 30 – Bloomberg (Saijel Kishan): “Renaissance Technologies, the world’s most profitable hedge fund, said there’s a ‘significant’ risk of a correction in prices and is preparing for possible market turbulence. While accelerating global growth, corporate tax reform and a business-friendly administration in the U.S. have contributed to market gains, it’s not clear these factors justify current valuations, especially in light of sovereign debt levels, Ed Hubner, the quant firm’s head of risk control, wrote… ‘While the fear of missing out may not be a concern for equity investors, increasing euphoria mixed with a bit of complacency certainly is,’ he said. ‘Historically low levels of volatility may well have given investors a false sense of security in the nearly two years since the last market correction.’ Hubner also cited the flattening of the yield curve as a cause for concern and said there are technical pressures on Treasuries… ‘Who is going to buy the paper the Federal Reserve accumulated during the years of quantitative easing? If the Chinese reassess their appetite for U.S. debt, rates will have to move up to finance the projected $700 billion U.S. deficit this year,’ he said.”

February 1 – Bloomberg (Scott Schnipper): “Hedge funds gained 9.03% last year, the best annual performance since a 9.75% gain in 2010, led by Long Short Equity funds, and buoyed by the second-longest bull market in the U.S. Last year, 42% of all funds notched double-digit gains -- the most since since 2013 -- and more than double the 17% that reported negative returns.”

January 24 – Bloomberg (Nishant Kumar and Erik Schatzker): “Billionaire hedge-fund manager Ray Dalio said that the bond market has slipped into a bear phase and warned that a rise in yields could spark the biggest crisis for fixed-income investors in almost 40 years. ‘A 1% rise in bond yields will produce the largest bear market in bonds that we have seen since 1980 to 1981,’ Bridgewater Associates founder Dalio said in a Bloomberg TV interview in Davos… We’re in a bear market, he said.”

January 14 – Bloomberg (Nishant Kumar): “Cheese, sunflower seeds and rough rice sounds like an unappetizing mix -- unless you happen to be a hedge-fund manager. A handful of computer-driven funds had a bumper 2017 by betting on the future price of such ‘exotic’ assets. The success of this type of managed futures strategy, the industry’s term for trend-following, is now drawing new entrants despite the risks created by the low levels of liquidity. Hedge funds returns have been battered by central bank monetary policies that have made it more difficult for them to outperform the market… That’s prompting some trend followers to move into less crowded markets such as over-the-counter securities, electricity and coal.”

January 8 – Bloomberg (Nico Grant): “Two hedge funds tell the up and down story for the industry in 2017. Equity fund Coatue Qualified Partners soared 24% on its tech bets while the Caxton Global macro fund dropped 13.4%... The equity and macro strategies served as bookends for the industry, which delivered a lukewarm overall performance for the year. Hedge funds last year returned 6.5% on average on an asset-weighted basis, the best annual performance since 2013, according to a Hedge Fund Research report… That good news has been overshadowed by the broader stock market rally and flood of money into passive products by investors no longer willing to pay high hedge fund fees.”

January 7 – Financial Times (Hudson Lockett): “The quantitative hedge fund industry is on the brink of surpassing $1tn of assets under management this year after breakneck growth from rising interest in more systematic, computer-powered investment strategies. The amount of money managed by quant hedge funds tracked by HFR, …rose to more than $940bn by the end of October 2017 — nearly double the level of 2010 — and flows have continued to be strong in the fourth quarter… An explosion of interest in automated, algorithmic investment approaches, ranging from the simple to high-octane strategies powered by artificial intelligence, has driven the surge.” 

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