1.Record Selling of U.S. Stocks and Bonds in December of 2018
In December foreigners sold a record $91bn in US stocks and bonds, see chart below. Roughly 85% of this amount, or $77bn, was the rest of the world selling US Treasuries. Despite this significant upward pressure on US rates during the stock market rout in December 10-year rates still went from 3.20% in November to 2.60% in early January. This reveals how strong the domestic bid is from pension funds and banks for US Treasuries at the moment, see also the second chart below. For more on the rates outlook see also our latest Fixed Income Weekly here.
1.Dollar Back to Even for the Year….Recouped All Early Year Losses.
“The dollar’s not weakening, and the reason for that is that the Fed is just the beginning, in the sense that all other central banks are most likely going to become dovish,” said Momtchil Pojarliev, head of the currencies group.
The greenback climbed 0.5 percent Monday to recoup its year-to-date losses, and is enjoying its longest winning streak since January 2016. The currency’s surprising strength has upended forecasts across Wall Street, with firms such as Morgan Stanley and Nomura having called for dollar losses. It’s also put a chill on U.S. corporate earnings.
While the Fed’s about-face would typically vindicate those calls, the darkening outlook for the dollar’s peers should support it in the days ahead, according to Kit Juckes, a Societe Generale SA global fixed-income strategist. The euro is a case in point: A lurch lower in German yields and sputtering European growth saw the common currency touch its lowest level since November on Monday.
“The problem for dollar bears is that there is a chronic shortage of currencies to like,” Juckes said. “Lower bund yields, not to mention weak growth, political uncertainty and Brexit, make a good set of reasons to hate the euro as much as you hate the dollar.”