The Everything Selloff

The global selloff intensified yesterday, after the FOMC minutes released Wednesday highlighted that the Federal Reserve (Fed) continues to see significant risks to inflation. And if that’s not enough, Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow printed an eye-popping growth forecast of 5.8% for Q3 on Wednesday, up from 5% printed a day before. Atlanta Fed computes this number using the data available to them at a time t, therefore the number is not necessarily accurate, but it reflects the positive data released lately, and fuels worries that with such a strong growth, the US inflation could only make a U-turn and take a lift. Yesterday, the Philly Fed index printed a surprisingly strong number, as well. This is why, we continue to see the upside pressure in yields persist, in the US and around the world, though we saw some respite in the US 2-year yield that bounced lower from the 5% mark earlier in the week, and the 10-year yield spiked above 4.30% before falling back to 4.25% this morning.

But note that there is more to this story. Long story short, the US Treasury has been printing a lot of T bills lately, and fell well behind the government bond issuance, and the latter helped keeping US liquidity well contained since the US exited its debt ceiling crisis after which the Treasury started refilling its general account. That was supposed to pull liquidity away from the market. But in the meantime, the Fed was pushing liquidity into the system by reverse repo operations, allowing the money market funds to buy T bills and release cash. The problem is, nowadays, the percentage of T bills approaches the 20% level, which is a self-induced limit for the Treasury, and the Treasury will shift back to issuing bonds, instead of T bills. The latter will increase the amount of sovereign bonds in the system at a time the Fed is decreasing its balance sheet by QT, and the banks don’t necessarily want to buy bonds either. So, the increasing supply, and the decreasing demand for US sovereigns will be one major force pushing the US yield curve higher. And if the strong economic data translates into higher inflation, the impact on yields will likely be higher. So, yes, the US 30-year yield is at the highest levels since 2011 and that looks appetizing, especially if the risk sentiment sours – due to multiple reasons ranging from geopolitical tensions to China worries – but the downside risks in the US sovereign bonds market prevails. And Bill Ackman said earlier this month that the 30-year yield could hit the 5% mark.

And the upside pressure in sovereign yields is true for other parts of the world as well, because obviously when the US coughs the world catches a cold. More precisely, higher US yields also translate into a stronger US dollar, and a stronger US dollar is inflationary for the rest of the world. If nothing, the energy and raw material prices that are negotiated in USD terms on international markets simply become more expensive when imports are reverted back to local currencies, and that, alone, is enough to push inflation higher in the rest of the world when the US dollar appreciates. The EURUSD fell to 1.0856, the AUDUSD slipped below 64 cents and the USDJPY spiked above 146.50. The correction is in play this morning and we could see the US dollar retreat further into the weekly closing bell, but the stronger dollar trend is clearly in play and it is worrying. Looking at yields elsewhere the US, the 10-year gilt yield has now surpassed the levels last seen during the Liz Truss induced disaster peak and is headed toward the 5% psychological mark while the German 10-year yield hit 2.70%, a level last seen in 2011 as well. Even the Japanese 10-year yield, which is controlled by the BoJ and should not exceed the 50bp benchmark by ‘too much’, goes up significantly.

As a result, the selloff in equities deepens. The S&P500 sank to 4370 yesterday and is getting ready to test the minor 23.6% Fibonacci retracement on October to July rally, and the base of that positive trend, while Nasdaq 100 is no more than 8 points from its own 23.6% retracement and already fell below the ascending trend base. The Stoxx600 slumped below the 200-DMA and is flirting with its own 23.6% retracement level, and the Japanese Nikkei, which was one of the rising stars of the year, and which recorded a rally past 30% since January, has fallen below its 23.6% retracement and is preparing to test the 100-DMA.

And note that this simultaneous selloff in stocks and bonds is a sign that the market liquidity is draining. Bitcoin, which is a gauge of market liquidity, slumped more than 7% yesterday and traded close to the $25K level. According to CoinGlass, $1 billion left cryptocurrencies over the past 24 hours and Bitcoin suffered almost half of the liquidations.

Swissquote Bank SA
Swissquote Bank SA
Trading foreign exchange, spot precious metals and any other product on the Forex platform involves significant risk of loss and may not be suitable for all investors. Prior to opening an account with Swissquote, consider your level of experience, investment objectives, assets, income and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not speculate, invest or hedge with capital you cannot afford to lose, that is borrowed or urgently needed or necessary for personal or family subsistence. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading, and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts.

Featured Analysis

Learn Forex Trading