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Just Charts: Architectural Billings

Takeaway: The ABI fell out of bed in April, signaling contraction for the first time in eight months.

The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) fell out of bed in April, signaling contraction for the first time in eight months.  The index is supposed to lead non-residential construction activity by 9-12 months. The index suggests that, while non-residential construction activity may continue to strengthen through 2013, it may soften around year-end/early 2014.  The weaker ABI is a potentially negative data point for a number of non-residential construction exposed companies/industries, such as TEX, MTW, URI, Steel & E&Cs.  Given the significant optimism around the non-residential construction rebound, it is a noteworthy reversal.

 

Just Charts: Architectural Billings - Picture1


Where Are We Now? - Jim Rickards on Currency Wars, Complexity & the Crack-Up

Takeaway: Jim gave us his updated perspective on global markets. We like his process, we disagree on a couple of key conclusions.

We hosted a conference call with Jim Rickards back on 8/29/2012 where he outlined his bull case for the Euro.  On 5/21/2013 we had a follow up call with Jim to get his updated perspective on global markets, policy implications, and the current manifestations of the currency war.

 

A replay of the call and the presentation materials can be accessed via the following links:

Replay: CLICK HERE

Materials: CLICK HERE

 

Below we review the key themes of the call, highlight some of the notable callouts and provide some discussion around points where Hedgeye and Jim are in disagreement.

 

THE SETUP:  Below we highlight the key themes of the call (paraphrased and extended where appropriate to provide context).

 

 

Inflation vs. Deflation and Dynamic vs. Static 

A snapshot view of the economy and the, thus far,  “well-tamed” inflation readings belie entropy building under the hood as the inflationary (policy) and deflationary tug of war plays out under the surface.   “Nothing happens on the fault line of two tectonic plates most of the time until it does” – the inflation-deflationary dynamics represent the interplay of a complex system with the potential for a decidedly unexpected and non-linear outcome.   

 

The goal of monetary policy in a deleveraging period is to stimulate inflation and drive positive nominal growth in an attempt to offset the deflationary forces inherent to a debt deflation scenario.   Achieving positive, nominal growth is critical because debt is  nominal, so nominal growth is required to ease the real debt burden and because of negative real interest rates, the goal of financial repression and the policy supported yield chase, requires that nominal interest rates (inflation) be positive.  

 

 

The FED’s Sisyphean Fight

Monetary policy remains a blunt instrument.   The Fed, through policy initiatives and open market operations, can effectively control the base money supply.   What it can’t control is private sector  demand for credit or banks willingness to lend.   While the Fed can print as much money as it wants in hopes of moderating both an acute shock and a protracted deleveraging, if that money simply sits at the Fed as excess bank reserves, it can’t work to drive credit creation, money turnover (M1 Velocity) or end demand growth

 

So, what we’ve observed over the last 5 years is a continual rise in base money and a continued collapse in velocity as Fed printing has proved ineffectual in the face of declining consumer and investment demand and a lack of risk appetite from lenders. 

 

 

Velocity:  A Socio-psychological phenomenon

In a deleveraging, and when interest rates are already at their lower bound, increasing the money supply is not an effective enticement for consumers to spend, re-lever or accelerate economic activity broadly.  The Fed has two primary approaches to attempt to bend the velocity curve: 

  1. Negative Real Interest rates:  Negative real interest rates make borrowing a negative cost (i.e. the bank is effectively paying the borrower to borrow).  Note that while interest rates are at nominal lows, real rates are still slightly positive and well above historic lows in real rates.
  2. Inflation Shock:  The theory of Inflation inertia (which remains the prevailing economic theory) suggests that inflation expectations drive actual inflation in a type of self-fulfilling prophecy.  Thus, if the Fed provides a 2% inflation target, actual inflation will likely come in at ~2%.  However, what the Fed needs is an inflation shock to catalyze accelerating consumption – this only occurs if actual inflation is significantly different than expected inflation.  Thus, the Fed needs inflation of ~4% (vs. the 2% target) to drive a real behavior change. 

 

Nominal vs Real Growth:  The Fed needs 4% inflation

As stated above, the Fed needs nominal growth to help ease the real debt burden and avoid a painful, debt deflation.

If deflationary forces overcome inflationary policy efforts you could have a situation in which Real growth accelerates.  This would occur simply if deflation is greater than the drop on nominal growth (i.e. -1 Nominal growth less -4 Inflation = +3 Real Growth).

 

In this situation, positive real growth is realized but with broader negative economic consequences;

  • Negative nominal growth means debt burdens get more expensive in real terms which leads to liquidity traps, defaults & bankruptcies, Declining Tax revenues, rising Debt/GDP levels, etc.
  • Federal Tax revenues decline as the gov’t can’t tax real income growth that occurs via negative nominal GDP and inflation growth.

 

 We Are In A Depression

We are in a depression that won’t end until a host of policy changes occur.” 

  • We have 50M people on foodstamps, 20M unemployed or underemployed,  11M on disability (most for life) alongside a secular decline in hours worked, stagnant personal incomes, flat/negative real wage growth, and a dearth of business investment
  • 2 Reasons for Business Non-Investment:
    • Precautionary savings – rainy day savings allowing for corporate self-financing in case of a re-current credit/liquidity event and a shut-down in the commercial paper mkt.
    • Regime Uncertainty:  So many policy shifts that businesses just go to the sidelines – healthcare, taxes, regulatory/environment policy…all uncertain/unstable from a multi-year perspective and stymieing multi-year, high ROI Investment. 

 

Complexity Theory:  If the Fed gets the inflation they are looking for, can they actually handle it?

 

The fed continues to use equilibrium models when they should be using non-equilibrium and complexity based models.  In effect, they believe they can use a thermostat to control the temperature of the economy.  In actuality, the economy/inflation functions more like a nuclear reactor in that once a threshold is breached, the system goes critical and is no longer  amenable to conventional “dial it up, dial it down” policy initiatives. 

 

In effect, inflation becomes non-linear and is more likely to go from 2% to 4% then straight to 8-10%.  In large part, this occurs because of a behavioral/psychological shift occurs in the collective consumer/business psyche and once the velocity curve is bent, its hard to bend it back the other way in short order.    

 

To review the critical components and characteristics of complex systems:

 

Commonalities of Complex Systems:  All 4 factors apply to capital markets

  1. Diversity - you need a lot of agents or participants and they need to be diverse from each other.
  2. Connectedness - how are the agents arranged, so that they can observe and perceive one another to figure out what the others are doing, or not?
  3. Interaction - if I do something does that affect what other people do, or vise versa?
  4. Adaptability - based on the experience do I adapt, do I learn?

Characteristics of Complex Systems:

  1. Emergent Properties - the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That is to say, things come out of the system that one would not infer based on knowing all the pieces in the system.
  2. Phase Transitions
  3. Critical State Dynamics - when the players in the system are arranged in such a way that they’re vulnerable to some kind of a collapse, what physicists call a phase transition.
  4. Power Law Distribution – it’s an exponential function that is scale dependent.  In other words, if the size of system is doubled, risk goes up by 10X, not 2X. 

 

QA: 

Q: If deflation gets some traction, do big moves have to occur in JGB’s or Treasury yields?

A: The prevalence of deflation would cause a big rally in treasuries.  “I could see the 10Y going to 80bps” similar to yields we’ve seen in Japan.  “We are Japan, we’re just 7 years in while Japan is 20Y in”.   Monetary Policy may be able to get us out from here, but they need to bend the velocity curve.

 

Q:  How do you view the Behavioral component as it relates to the market/policy currently?

A:  If velocity does turn, it will go to 1,2,3..then go straight to 7,8,9 which is exactly what happened in the 70’s. Velocity increasing is a psychological phenomenon and you can’t bend it back once it gets some mojo - thats what makes it an exponential phenomenon

 

Q: How does the Fed navigate from here?

A: There will be trades as we move along.  The dollar will rally but then they will come back in with messaging and a reminder that they will dial it up to get inflation and dollar devaluation. They clearly want the wealth effect - 50% of the wealth of the American people is in housing and stocks. 

 

The problem is if they are too successful, you get an asset bubble and the bubble could pop.  This would destroy confidence and kill velocity – exactly the factors policy was attempting to cultivate.   So, how do you inflation the bubble without popping it?...you deflate it every once in a while, and you do this via communication – hint that a ‘taper’ is being considered and let equities correct a bit.  It is all communications management.  “This is just lying, propaganda, money illusion”…”they are just trying to lie to us & head-fake us”

 

Q: How would you have handled the crisis if you had been chairman of the Fed?

A: I would have acted similarly in 2008/2009 in the early stage in providing liquidity.  But I would have let the banks fail & nationalized them by executive order.

  • All liabilities are guaranteed, strip out bad assets, clean up the balance sheet, break it up & then re-IPO the banks
  • Clean banks with clean balance sheets could actually do some lending
  • Would have raised rates (25-50bps) signaling that USA is open for business & trying to attract capital – grow via saving and investment and not debt & consumption
  • Negative impacts would have been steeper & worse early on, but we would be back to growing 4-6% at present

 

RICKARDS RECOMMENDATIONS

Gold:  Keep 10% of investible assets in gold.  Gold wins either way -  Fed gets the inflation they want & gold goes up or deflation wins out & you want gold in a deflationary environment (for example, gold went up 75% during Depression) as the treasury bids up gold as a way of causing generalized inflation (ie if gold goes up, silver goes up, oil goes up, etc).

Yen:  Keep shorting the Yen.  “Yen is not done declining, its going to go to the 110 to 120 level”. 

Sterling:  When Yen hits 110, rotate out of short yen/long gold to short sterling/long gold.

Euro:  Long Euro/Short USD

Europe:  Only Economy I’m really bullish on is Europe. Very Virtuous cycle present there:

  • Falling Labor costs
  • Inflow of foreign capital & technology
  • Currently Inefficient with increasing labor & capital mobility offering efficiency upside
  • Demographics are not a problem if you look at it from a labor force perspective – immigration for eastern Europe and Turkey and secular unemployment presents a positive setup for protracted big labor force increases.

 

 Notable Quotes:

“We are in a Depression that won’t end until policy changes”   

“China is completely unsustainable. Probably headed for a collapse in 2014, maybe 2015 at the latest”

“Yen is not done declining, its going to go to the 110 to 120 level”. 

“Private Equity is completely out of ideas”

 

  

Rickards vs. HEDGEYE:  We very much like Jim’s process and his contextualization of current macro dynamics.  We disagree with some of the conclusions. 

 

Process:   Jim has an attractive analytic framework for processing information and contextualizing market and policy events (he’s also uniquely adept at articulating the complex in a straightforward & tractable manner).  A dynamic, complexity based model with a behavioral overlay is the right approach and parallels our own.  

 

Deflation: We understand the need for nominal growth in a debt deflation scenario.  However, we think there is a fair probability price deflations play out in a more nuanced fashion – essentially, more of what has been occurring over the last year. Targeted and rotating asset class deflations – commodities (currently), treasuries (likely next), etc – are economically manageable and present trade-able opportunities.  Inflation/Deflation need not be a completely binary, On/Off or all-or-nothing type dynamic here.  

 

Inflation/Growth:   Jim used 5% nominal growth as his bogey, with a base assumption that we only get ~1% real growth.  If we do, in fact, get a continuation in domestic #GrowthAccelerating then the inflation component necessary for hitting that 5% nominal target comes down.  Here, the magnitude and need for negative real rates is reduced as is the level of ongoing easing initiatives.   With employment, housing and confidence accelerating and $USD dollar strength and credit trends supportive, we think key pieces are in place for driving a positive reflexive economic cycle in the immediate/intermediate term. 

 

$USD:  Citing falling labor costs, inflow of foreign capital, upside to efficiency, and positive labor force demographics, Jim indicated he likes both the Euro currency and the setup for the European economy relative to that of the USA.  While we wouldn’t necessarily take issue with that reasoning we think it holds the potential for significant duration mismatch. 

 

Being inefficient (efficiency upside) and having significant, secular unemployment (labor force upside) may indeed be opportunities, but ‘if’, the magnitude of, and the timeline over which that upside may be realized is highly uncertain.  Here,  our disagreement may be principally a function of duration.   At present, we continue to like U.S. consumption related exposure and select European exposure on the long side (ie. Germany,at a price) while holding a negative view of EU country exposure broadly. 

 

Gold:  Jim continues to like gold and thinks it wins under both inflationary or deflationary scenario’s. Here again the difference of investment opinion may be duration based.  We have been bearish on gold since November and continue to see further upside for the $USD  and further downside for gold over the intermediate term as the domestic macro data improves and monetary policy leans incrementally hawkish on both an absolute and relative basis.  

 

We always enjoy the opportunity to host Mr. Rickards.  We are fans of his process and the conversations are open and constructive.   We occasionally differ in our interpretation of the data and investment conclusions, but that's what makes a market.  We looking forward to catching up with Jim again.     

 

 

Christian B. Drake

Senior Analyst 

 


WILL THE YIELD-CHASING BID RETURN TO MEXICO ANYTIME SOON?

Takeaway: Domestic and international headwinds are weighing on Mexican capital markets and that’s not something that we see reversing anytime soon.

SUMMARY BULLETS:

 

  • Mexican capital markets are getting hammered from both sides – domestically on political risks and internationally on rising duration risk – and that’s not something that we see reversing anytime soon – at least until President Nieto’s reform agenda gets firmly back on track. Using the yield on the 10Y US Treasury as a proxy for financial repression in the US, it’s no surprise to see that Mexican 10Y yields have a +0.85 positive correlation to their American counterparts on a trailing 3Y basis.
  • Additionally, with no trustworthy way of modeling intraparty and interparty political risk, we have deferred to our quantitative risk management signals, which have confirmed a TRADE & TREND breakdown in the Mexican equity market. We have interpreted that to mean there is a high probability of more political consternation ahead.
  • With super-sovereign yields backing up globally now (review our detailed thoughts HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE), it’s no surprise to see one of the favorite yield chasing plays of US and Japanese investors throughout recent years is getting tattooed. Moreover, with everything we now know about EM crises cycles (CLICK HERE for our 120+ page presentation), it’s getting a lot easier to spot these risks in real-time and reallocate assets before it’s too late.
  • We’ve obviously been the bulls on domestic equities and USD exposure in the YTD, but for those of you who must remain invested in emerging markets, we continue to like consumption-oriented markets like the Philippines, India and Indonesia in lieu of commodity/inflation oriented markets such as Russia, Brazil, South Africa and Peru. If you’re looking to play our thesis in the FX market, we continue to warn of material downside across the currencies of Latin American and African commodity producing nations.

 

Two weekends ago, National Action Party (PAN) Chairman Gustavo Madero decided against his party’s wishes to remove 45-year-old former Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero from his post as PAN Senate leader (24 of the PAN's 38 senators signed a letter in support of Cordero). The internal struggle atop the PAN, one of Mexico’s three main political parties, has accentuated the divide between PAN lawmakers willing to work with the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and those who believe the party must mount a robust opposition to the galvanizing Pena Nieto in order to mitigate the risk becoming irrelevant (i.e. Cordero and the 24 senators that openly support him).

 

The key issue with this is that President Pena Nieto's PRI, which remains short of a majority in Mexican Congress, needs support from the conservative PAN to advance his economic reform agenda, which includes re-working the Mexican Constitution to overhaul state oil behemoth Pemex and to broaden the tax base. It would be hard to argue that President Nieto’s reform agenda has not been the primary driver of positive sentiment among international investors surrounding Mexico’s economic outlook in the YTD, so to the extent this creates a sustained rift within the PAN, you could see incremental selling pressure upon Mexican capital markets.

 

All that being said, some solace should be taken in the fact that Madero has openly stated that removing Cordero was merely an attempt to improve relationship between PAN party leaders and senators, insinuating that the move was unrelated to differences about party’s future in the  “Pact For Mexico” alliance (i.e. the tri-party political vehicle responsible for streamlining economic reforms). At any rate, it’s tough to see how much of the reform agenda is permanently derailed by this act until the political dust settles, which, last month, included allegations of corruption upon PRI officials at the state level.

 

With no trustworthy way of modeling intraparty and interparty political risk, we have deferred to our quantitative risk management signals, which have confirmed a TRADE & TREND breakdown in the Mexican equity market. Specifically, we have interpreted that to mean there is a high probability of more political consternation ahead.

 

WILL THE YIELD-CHASING BID RETURN TO MEXICO ANYTIME SOON? - 1

 

Since early last week, the Mexican political scene has been relatively quiet with no major developments regarding the now-shaky Pact For Mexico and President Nieto’s economic reform agenda. What has weighed on Mexican capital markets in recent days has been rising investor expectations that the Federal Reserve’s QE program is poised to be pared back at some point over the intermediate term.

 

Mexico, due to its proximity and economic integration with the US (as opposed to a recessionary Europe and structurally slower China; the US accounts for 80% of Mexican exports) has been a darling for yield-chasing capital during the Ben S. Bernanke financial repression era. As such, we’re really starting to see Mexican capital markets break down in recent weeks amid the recent backing up of global interest rates. Through yesterday’s close:

 

  • Mexico’s benchmark IPC Index fell -4.2% MoM and -9% on a trailing 3M basis;
  • The Mexican peso (MXN) dropped -1.1% WoW vs. the USD and -2.6% MoM;
  • 3M Implied Volatility on the USD/MXN increased +16.9% WoW and +24.4% MoM through yesterday’s closing price of 11.485 – the highest level since last SEP;
  • Yields on 2Y sovereign peso bonds are up +21bps WoW and 14bps MoM; and
  • Yields on 10Y sovereign peso bonds are up +39bps WoW and +68bps MoM.

 

Net-net, Mexican capital markets are getting hammered from both sides – domestically and internationally – and that’s not something that we see reversing anytime soon – at least until President Nieto’s reform agenda gets firmly back on track. Using the yield on the 10Y US Treasury as a proxy for financial repression in the US, it’s no surprise to see that Mexican 10Y yields have a +0.85 positive correlation to their American counterparts on a trailing 3Y basis.

 

With super-sovereign yields backing up globally now (review our detailed thoughts HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE), it’s no surprise to see one of the favorite yield chasing plays of US and Japanese investors throughout recent years is getting tattooed. Moreover, with everything we now know about EM crises cycles (CLICK HERE for our 120+ page presentation), it’s getting a lot easier to spot these risks in real-time and reallocate assets before it’s too late.

 

We’ve obviously been the bulls on domestic equities and USD exposure in the YTD, but for those of you who must remain invested in emerging markets, we continue to like consumption-oriented markets like the Philippines, India and Indonesia in lieu of commodity/inflation oriented markets such as Russia, Brazil, South Africa and Peru. If you’re looking to play our thesis in the FX market, we continue to warn of material downside across the currencies of Latin American and African commodity producing nations.

 

Best of luck navigating these globally-interconnected risks.

 

Darius Dale

Senior Analyst


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CHART DU JOUR: MACAU GROWTH ACCELERATING?

  • Our math suggests that July GGR could grow 20% YoY due to an easy comparison and the recent VIP volume growth
  • We expect May to come in at +13% growth with June slightly higher
  • These numbers are likely to keep the momentum going in the Macau stocks
  • MPEL remains our top pick

CHART DU JOUR: MACAU GROWTH ACCELERATING? - ggr


European Banking Monitor: Mixed

Below are key European banking risk monitors, which are included as part of Josh Steiner and the Financial team's "Monday Morning Risk Monitor".  If you'd like to receive the work of the Financials team or request a trial please email .

 

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European Financial CDS - Though unremarkable, European financial swaps were broadly wider last week with a median increase of 8 bps. Barclays (+13 bps), Deutsche Bank (+10 bps) and UBS (+8 bps) showed the largest deterioration, while DNB of Norway, Investor AB of Sweden and Danske Bank of Denmark were all tighter.

 

European Banking Monitor: Mixed - tt. banks

 

Sovereign CDS – Sovereign swaps were mixed last week with Italy and Spain widening by 15 and 8 bps, respectively, while Germany and France tightened by 2 and 4 bps. Meanwhile, Japan widened 7 bps to 72 bps. The U.S. was unchanged at 30 bps, one basis point narrower than Germany.

 

European Banking Monitor: Mixed - tt. sov 1

 

European Banking Monitor: Mixed - tt. sov 2

 

European Banking Monitor: Mixed - tt. sov 3

 

Euribor-OIS Spread – The Euribor-OIS spread tightened by 1 bps to 13 bps. The Euribor-OIS spread (the difference between the euro interbank lending rate and overnight indexed swaps) measures bank counterparty risk in the Eurozone. The OIS is analogous to the effective Fed Funds rate in the United States.  Banks lending at the OIS do not swap principal, so counterparty risk in the OIS is minimal.  By contrast, the Euribor rate is the rate offered for unsecured interbank lending.  Thus, the spread between the two isolates counterparty risk. 

 

European Banking Monitor: Mixed - tt. euribor

 

ECB Liquidity Recourse to the Deposit Facility – The ECB Liquidity Recourse to the Deposit Facility measures banks’ overnight deposits with the ECB.  Taken in conjunction with excess reserves, the ECB deposit facility measures excess liquidity in the Euro banking system.  An increase in this metric shows that banks are borrowing from the ECB.  In other words, the deposit facility measures one element of the ECB response to the crisis.  

 

European Banking Monitor: Mixed - tt. facility

 


What’s Up With the Swissy?

TRADE Call (3 weeks or less): The CHF remains overvalued versus the USD and EUR; expectations that the SNB could shift the floor in the EUR/CHF or cut rates to negative may burn the CHF lower. (etf: FXF)

 

TREND Call (3 months or more): We’re bullish on the USD versus the CHF as our #StrongDollar remains intact. However, the CHF could strengthen against major currencies if it moves back to “safe-haven” status, especially should we experience another round of sovereign or banking risk scares out of the Eurozone, and/or if the SNB does not cut below 0%.

 

The Swiss Nation Bank (SNB) meets next on June 20th to discuss its interest rate policy. There’s speculation based on comments from the SNB’s head Thomas Jordan last week that it could implement negative interest rates and shift the floor in the EUR/CHF. [Last Wednesday the EUR/CHF hit 1.2614, the weakest level for the franc since May 2011].  We believe over the immediate term TRADE there’s more weakness in the EUR/CHF and USD/CHF. Beyond the potential policy moves by the SNB, we’ve seen investors pulling assets from the “safe-haven” trade and we remain grounded in our #StrongDollar call.

 

As we show in the first chart below, beginning in September 2011 (following the CHF appreciating to an all-time high in August) the SNB bought foreign reserves to maintain a floor in the EUR/CHF at 1.20 francs. Since September 2011 the SNB has increased its FX reserves by +125%, and we have reason to believe that the SNB wants to get involved in the global currency war. Both a cut to the 3M target interest rate (currently at 0%) into negative territory, and continued FX buying and/or an adjustment in the EUR/CHF higher could burn the CHF lower versus the EUR and USD, at least over the near term.  

 

What’s Up With the Swissy? - YY. FX RESERVES

 

What’s Up With the Swissy? - YY. CHF LT

 

 

Policy Challenges


In many ways the SNB is in a tough spot to manage the economy. These challenges include:

  • Swings in the currency to and from safe-haven status
  • Steady deflation
  • Low interest rates

The amount of FX buying from the SNB shows just how terrified it is of a strong currency. The worry here is two-fold -- that a strong currency 1.) will cripple export demand and 2.) force domestic companies to lower prices to ward off cheaper imports.

 

With about 60% of exports destined for the EU, it’s interesting to note that there’s a relatively weak relationship between the overall price of the currency and export demand. Below we show that the correlation between the CHF/EUR and Swiss Exports is +0.41. We think some of the weakness in this correlation can be explained by its basket of export goods, with a heavy mix of pharmaceutical and luxury exports, which command pricing power.

 

So while rhetorically there might be great emphasis placed on the threat of a strong CHF on exports, we do not think it holds up. 

 

What’s Up With the Swissy? - YY. EXPORTS

 

On deflation, Switzerland has been hit by a steady level of deflation since late 2011, with CPI falling for 19th straight months (currently at 0.40% Y/Y). We believe that while Switzerland has benefitted from falling energy prices from a stronger USD, the Bank wrestles with its policy to promote inflation. It fears that under an environment of steady deflation consumers will put off purchasing, assuming prices will go lower in the future.

 

So, while the Bank is hardly worried about stoking inflation with a rate cut, it’s aware of the policy risks around cutting from 0%:

  • further taxing savers
  • stoking a mortgage and housing bubble
  • chasing away safe-haven assets
  • no ability to guarantee that negative rates will incentivize banks to increase lending

While we’ve yet to see signs of a dangerous expansion in the mortgage and housing market (the SNB cut to 0% in August 2011), this threat remains on the minds of policy makers. We’re also seeing investors park less of their assets in Francs or Franc-denominated assets as the risk climate in the Eurozone improves.

 

One big question mark that remains is the extent to which banks, especially if the SNB cuts to negative rates, increases their lending to seeks a better return on money.  

 

What’s Up With the Swissy? - YY. CPI

 

 

Broader Fundamentals Appear Strong, Relatively


Below is a snapshot of Swiss GDP. Our call-out here is that with GDP low to depressed across much of the region, we think Switzerland’s relative outperformance will continue to anchor a market of strong investment despite low interest rates.  A weaker CHF versus its trading partners on the margin will also remain a positive.

 

Swiss GDP is forecast to rise +1.3% this year versus -0.50% in the Eurozone. With a Swiss budget surplus of +0.3% of GDP in 2012 and debt of 53% of GDP last year, its fiscal house remains in order and could quickly transition back to its safe-haven status should we get another round of sovereign or banking risk scares out of the Eurozone.

 

What’s Up With the Swissy? - YY. GDP

 

Below is a graphic illustrating our levels on USD/CHF via the etf FXF. We outline the intermediate term TREND line that the FXF violated. We view this as a bearish signal and expect weakness into the SNB’s June 20th meeting. Should the bank act, either in cutting rates, and/or adjusting the floor, or setting future expectations for either, we’d expect further weakness. 

 

What’s Up With the Swissy? - XX. FXF

 

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) is up 20.5% YTD, leading the pack as the best performing European index YTD. The SMI is up 4.6% MTD and as we outline in the chart below (via the etf EWL), is in a bullish formation. 

 

What’s Up With the Swissy? - XX. EWL

 

 

Matthew Hedrick

Senior Analyst

 

 

 

 


Hedgeye Statistics

The total percentage of successful long and short trading signals since the inception of Real-Time Alerts in August of 2008.

  • LONG SIGNALS 80.64%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.57%
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