‘Perfect storm’ as market tremors hit China, Europe and the US

Capitulation fever has swept global markets on triple fears of faltering recovery in the US, Chinese credit curbs and Europe’s intractable escalating debt crisis.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Telegraph [UK]
20 May 2010

“It is the perfect storm,” said Andrew Roberts, credit strategist at RBS. “People have been too complacent about risky assets. This is a global deflation scare and people need to get ready for falls in US and European bond yields to 2pc.”

Wall Street shares plunged 3pc after new jobless claims in the US rose to 471,000 last week, the biggest jump in three months. The S&P 500 index of shares fell to 1080, triggering automatic stop-loss sales as it crashed through support on its 200-day moving average.

The US Conference Board leading indicator turned negative in April, the first drop since the depths of the Great Recession. This follows data showing an 11pc slide in building permits, pointing to a double-dip slump in the US housing market later this year. Lumber prices have fallen 26pc from their peak in April.

David Rosenberg from Gluskin Sheff said a fresh “train wreck” may be coming in the US mortgage market as rates on a wave of “option ARM” contracts reset upwards in September. This may compound a deflationary process already eating at the US economy as Washington’s fiscal stimulus wears off and the effects of a stronger dollar feed through. Core inflation has dropped to the lowest since 1964.

Meanwhile, monetary tightening in China has begun to set off tremors. Shanghai’s bourse has tumbled 20pc since mid-April (or 58pc from its 2007 peak), dragging down oil and base metals…

…Above all, nothing has been resolved in Europe. The short-ban on bond trades this week by Germany’s regulator BaFin comes as the Libor-OIS spread used to gauge strains in the interbank market flashes warning signs, rising to a nine-month high of 25 basis points. The iTraxx Crossover measuring corporate bond risk jumped 45 points to 620 yesterday. “The way the market is behaving right now suggests that investors are getting set for something nasty to happen,” said Suki Mann from Societe Generale…

Read the entire article at the Telegraph.

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