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Tag Archives: Copper

Weekly Market Pulse: As Clear As Mud

Is there anyone left out there who doesn’t know the rate of economic growth is slowing? The 10 year Treasury yield has fallen 45 basis points since peaking in mid-March. 10 year TIPS yields have fallen by the same amount and now reside below -1% again. Copper prices peaked a little later (early May), fell 16% at the recent low and are still down nearly 12% from the highs. Crude oil has recently joined in, falling 7% from its recent high. Energy stocks are in a full...

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Sure Looks Like Supply Factors

[unable to retrieve full-text content]If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be inflationary overheating. Or not? As more time passes and the situation further evolves, the more these recent price deviations conform to the supply shock scenario rather than a truly robust economy showing no signs of slowing down.

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Weekly Market Pulse – Real Rates Finally Make A Move

Last week was only four days due to the President’s day holiday but it was eventful. The big news of the week was the  spike in interest rates, which according to the press reports I read, “came out of nowhere”. In other words, the writers couldn’t find an obvious cause for a 14 basis point rise in the 10 year Treasury note yield so they just chalked it up to mystery. Of course, anyone who’s been paying attention knows that rates have been rising for almost a year –...

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Politics Get Weird, Markets Don’t Care

A mob, led by a shirtless man wearing a Viking helmet, stormed the Capitol building a couple of weeks ago and five people died before order was restored. A man from upstate New York sat in a Senator’s office and smoked a joint. Another roamed the halls of Congress with a Confederate flag. A Virginia man who was part of the riot wore a T-shirt mocking the holocaust. A Brooklyn judge’s son was photographed in the Capitol wearing an elaborate outfit of furs accented by...

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If the Fed’s Not In Consumer Prices, Then How About Producer Prices?

It’s not just that there isn’t much inflation evident in consumer prices. Rather, it’s a pretty big deal given the deluge of so much “money printing” this year, begun three-quarters of a year before, that consumer prices are increasing at some of the slowest rates in the data. Trillions in bank reserves, sure, but actual money can only be missing. U.S. CPI Services Core Fed, Jan 1985 - -2020 - Click to enlarge U.S. CPI Services Core percentile, Jan 2009 - 2020...

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What’s Zambia Got To With It (everything)

As one of Africa’s largest copper producers, it seemed like a no-brainer. Financial firms across the Western world, pension funds from the US or banks in Europe, they lined up for a bit of additional yield. This was 2012, still global recovery on the horizon – at least that’s what “they” all kept saying. Zambia did what everyone does, the country floated its first Eurobond ($750 million). At that point, copper was only down modestly from its 2011 peak. By 2014,...

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Copper Confirmed

Copper prices behave more deliberately than perhaps prices in other commodity markets. Like gold, it is still set by a mix of economic (meaning physical) and financial (meaning collateral and financing). Unlike gold, there doesn’t seem to be any rush to get to wherever the commodity market is going. Over the last several years, it has been more long periods of sideways. That’s what makes any potential breakout noteworthy. Dr. Copper’s place in the hierarchy is...

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Monthly Macro Monitor: Market Indicators Review

This is a companion piece to last week’s Monthly Macro report found here. The Treasury market continues to price in lower nominal and real growth. The stress, the urgency, I see in some of these markets is certainly concerning and consistent with what we have seen in the past at the onset of recession. The move in Treasuries is by some measures, as extreme as the fall of 2008 when we were in a full blown panic. That to me, is evidence that this move is overly...

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China Prices Include Lots of Base Effect, Still Undershoots

By far, the easiest to answer for today’s inflation/boom trifecta is China’s CPI. At 2.9% in February 2018, that’s the closest it has come to the government’s definition of price stability (3%) since October 2013. That, in the mainstream, demands the description “hot” if not “sizzling” even though it still undershoots. The primary reason behind the seeming acceleration was a more intense move in food prices. Rising...

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China: Inflation? Not Even Reflation

The conventional interpretation of “reflation” in the second half of 2016 was that it was simply the opening act, the first step in the long-awaiting global recovery. That is what reflation technically means as distinct from recovery; something falls off, and to get back on track first there has to be acceleration to make up that lost difference. There was, to me anyway, a lot of Japan in it, even still if “globally...

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