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Fri, 24th March 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “Analysis” Category

US Military Officials Expect North Korean Missile Launch Within Days

On the same day as Kim Jong Un threatens the US with “first-strike’ nuclear ICBM and unveils propaganda showing the destruction of American forces, AP reports U.S. military officials expect another North Korean missile launch in the next several days.

Earlier today a Pyongyang envoy stated that North Korea will pursue “acceleration” of its nuclear and missile programs. This includes developing a “pre-emptive first strike capability” and an inter-continental ballistic missile, according to Choe Myong Nam, deputy ambassador at the DPRK (North Korean) mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

The latest development follows a previous report also from Reuters, in which it said the Trump administration is considering sweeping sanctions as part of a broad review of measures to counter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat. “I think this is stemming from the visit by the Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson) to Japan, South Korea and China…We of course are not afraid of any act like that,” Choe told Reuters.

“Even prohibition of the international transactions system, the global financial system, this kind of thing is part of their system that will not frighten us or make any difference.” He called existing sanctions “heinous and inhumane”.

Here Are The 26 People Responsible For Today’s Market Plunge

As we noted first thing this morning, and as we, and others, have been warning since December, the passage of Trump’s tax plan is conditional on the effective repeal (and/or replace) of Obamacare, which is set for a vote on Thursday.  And yet, it was only today that the market, and the press, appeared to notice that the biggest threat for the market – a market which has long ago priced in the successful passage of Trump’s tax cuts – is that Trumpcare may not pass not only the Senate, but also the House, which in turn would stall Trump’s tax plan schedule well into fiscal 2018 (if not later) as the following Reuters headlines confirms: “Worries about Trump tax plan sink stocks.”

And, unfortunately for Trump and bulls, despite the president’s trip to the Capitol this morning, he failed to whip holdout Republicans. In fact, according to the latest NBC News roll call, there are at least 26 Republicans who as of this moment, 48 hours before the House vote to repeal Obamacare, are either opposed, or lean “strongly against” the health bill despite its recent revisions.

So, for all those who are looking for someone – or someones – to blame for today’s selloff, which is shaping up as the worst of 2017, here is the list of 26 Republican house members who are jeopardizing Trump’s entire domestic agenda. As a reminder, the GOP can only afford to lose 21. If the list below holds, Trump’s biggest legislative push will be a failure on Thursday.

BOJ Minutes (January) – looks like more of the same …

Bank of Japan January meeting minutes

  • Most members agreed price momentum not firm yet
  • Some members noted speculation that BOJ might raise rates in response to rising treasury yields
  • These members said BOJ should focus solely on 2 pct price target
  • Members shared view that yield curve is formed in smooth manner under YCC
  • One member said shape of yield curve should be a little steeper … this member said BOJ should accommodate a rise in yields due to improvements in Japan’s economy
  • Most members said companies will likely raise prices as consumer spending increases moderately
  • Members shared view that risks to economy, prices are to the downside
  • One member said downward pressure on yields should increase, so BOJ should reduce JGB, T-bill purchases
main points summarised via Reuters        
—-
“Most members agreed price momentum not firm yet” … sounds like another way of saying not even close to the inflation target … the BOJ seems to have an endless well of creativity when it comes to describing missing their target. Arrgghhh …. but maybe I just got outta bed on the wrong side today.
This:
“Most members said companies will likely raise prices as consumer spending increases moderately”
at least sounds like they have some hope for seeing inflation move in the direction they want.

Fed’s Mester: Built in >3 hikes to her forecasts for 2017

Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Reserve bank branch in Cleveland:

  • It is important for public to understand that variation on inflation is expected and normal
  • Says she built in more than three hikes into her forecasts for 2017
  • Would be concerned if there were less than three rate hikes this year if US economic data holds up
  • Says on rising business sentiment that there isn’t yet convincing evidence that firms are spending more as a result in her district
  • FOMC continues to discuss implementation and timing of change on balance sheet policy, can offer no further details
  • Balance sheet policy should not substitute for federal funds rate changes
  • Says there is not enough precision to use balance sheet as an ‘active’ tool outside of extraordinary circumstances

Overnight: “PBOC Said to Inject Funds After Missed Interbank Payments”

Bloomberg report, citing “according to people familiar with the matter”
  • the People’s Bank of China has injected hundreds of billions of yuan into the financial system after some smaller lenders failed to make debt payments in the interbank market
  • Tuesday’s injections followed missed interbank payments on Monday
  • The institutions that missed payments included rural commercial banks
Missing payments in the interbank is not a positive … Combined with the slide in metals prices on futures exchanges, not a positive either.

Overnight US Market :Dow closed -238 points.(YTD is up 4.58% )

It has been 109 days since the market moved 1% either way.  All indices down over 1% today.

The US stock market hit the skids today on concerns about the Trump agenda for healthcare, taxes, regulation…you name it.
In the major indices:
  • The Nasdaq traded to new all time highs at the start of the day but ended the day down -1.83%. Ouch.
  • The S&P index fell by -1.24%. The high reached 2381.93. The low extended to 2341.90. The all time high for the S&P reached 2400.
  • The Dow fell by -1.14 points to 20667. It peaked above 21000.
All three indices are now down on the month with the :
  • S&P now down -0.83%,
  • The Dow down -0.69% and
  • The Nasdaq down -0.54%.
For the year, the indices are still higher so all is not lost.  Looking at the major indices, the:
  • Nasdaq up 7.63%
  • S&P up 4.70%
  • The Dow up 4.58%

India ranks 131 on Human Development Index, Norway No.1

India’s human development index (HDI) ranking for 2015 puts Asia’s third largest economy among a group of countries classed as “medium” in the list, as opposed to “low” in the 1990s, thanks to factors such as an increase in life expectancy and mean years of schooling in the past 25 years.

But the bad news from the report released on Tuesday in Stockholm is that regional disparities in education, health and living standards within India—or inequality in human development—shave off 27 % from India’s HDI score.

As it stands, India is ranked 131 out of 188 countries in a list that is topped by Norway.

Yuri Afanasiev, UN resident coordinator for India, noted India’s progress in its HDI score between 1990 and 2015. “The success of national development programmes like Skill India, Digital India, Make in India and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, aimed at bridging gaps in human development, will be crucial in ensuring the success of Agenda 2030,” Afanasiev said, referring to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals unveiled in 2015.

“These programmes, and the long-running affirmative action measures, illustrate the government’s commitment to identifying and mapping human development deficits, as well as taking action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Abu Dhabi looks to Asia to take up oil concessions

Asian companies are increasing their presence in oil concessions in the United Arab Emirates.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. has solicited new bids for the onshore concessions held by the Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Petroleum Operations (ADCO), which expired in 2014. Four Western oil majors — BP, Total, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil — each held a 9.5% of interest in the ADCO concessions, which produce 1.6 million barrels per day of oil.

 Total became the first company to renew its interest in January 2015, followed by Japanese company Inpex’s 5% acquisition in April the same year. South Korea’s GS Energy then acquired a 3% interest in May 2015 and BP acquired 10% in December 2016.

Earlier this year, ADNOC awarded concessions to two Chinese companies. On Feb. 19, it signed an agreement with state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. for an 8% interest. The next day, it struck a deal with private energy company CEFC China Energy for a 4% interest. The agreements cover a 40-year term backdated to January 2015.

“Our agreement with CNPC strengthens and deepens the strategic and economic relationship between the United Arab Emirates and China,” ADNOC chief executive Sultan al-Jaber said. To enter into the concession, CNPC contributed a sign-up bonus of 6.5 billion dirhams ($1.76 billion), according to ADNOC. CEFC paid 3.3 billion dirhams.