Action Required: The State of the Peg
MKR Holder DAI-gest: Week 17, 2020
Governance Recap April 23, 2020
MKR Holder DAI-gest is a weekly Maker governance recap that is written by the community for the community. The best source of Maker Community information is through active participation and engagement. This supplemental publication strives to present all relevant facts and remain free of editorial opinion (Big 3 takeaway excepted). The statements made herein are not the opinions or statements of the Maker Foundation. DAI-gest is Now Available on Amazon Alexa as a Skill. You can enable it at https://skills-store.amazon.com/deeplink/dp/B087NH82D1?deviceType=app&share&refSuffix=ss_copy for all of your Alexa compatible devices. Then say, "Alexa, Open Maker Governance Digest" and you'll hear the latest issue. Coming soon to Itunes. Subscribe to MKR Holder's DAI-gest on Substack
Corrections / Comments / Suggestions / Other: @adrianhacker-pdx in the Official Maker Forums or [email protected]
Big 3 Take-Aways for the Week:
- Understanding the MIPS framework that is being proposed right now is essential. It is a lot of information to sort through, so take it in small pieces if that will help you to focus and retain the information. Here is a link to an indexed list of all the MIPS (outside the forum). It is the entire framework of an introductory governance framework and collateral on-boarding procedures. You will find the MIP number, title, and sentence summary with a link to the forum discussion. See below for two additional sub-proposals added to MIPS 0 through 12.
- The state of the peg has caused concern within and without the MakerDAO community. Some of the larger Maker holders stepped forward and posted their concerns around the state of the peg directly in the Maker forum. This spurred a lot of momentum in the platform, discussed further in this issue.
- Intention to implementation. The DAO is getting very busy, and thought needs to be given to determining the feasibility of proposals, getting buy-in, and recruiting the appropriate skill sets in the community. Timing is key. The DAO is in need of a project management framework that is effortless and easily integrated into the current systems.
Dispositioned Governance Agenda
- LongForWisdom is proposed, second governance facilitator. He said "Yes!".
- Wrapped BTC has been proposed for collateral on-boarding.
- USDC Risk parameter adjustment and on-boarding additional stable coins such as PAX and TUSD.
- On-boarding LINK as a new collateral type.
- Self-sustaining DAO: MIPS 0 - 12 - Ratification timeline and two additional sub-proposals have been shared in the forum.
- System Reserves - Deciding a prudent reserve amount of DAI for emergency events. A forum poll is now open.
- Urgent - State of the Peg - Getting DAI back on soft-peg to a Dollar after it has been trading high following black Thursday.
- SCD shutdown going to Executive Vote on April 24, 2020, three-week delay to follow for a final shutdown date of May 12, 2020.
- Zero bid auction post mortem data evaluation - Maker Man currently completing the data analytics from black Thursday. This part is moving behind the scenes. A report is forthcoming in the next several weeks.
- Public relations consortium - Communication team to create consistent and representative communications on behalf of the DAO and to report meaningful ecosystem sentiment back to the governance community. The team has been having weekly meetings, a first report is due by the end of the month.
- Governance vote cadence - the timing for which executive voting happened for certain parameters. This may be overridden by the MIPS governance cycle.
- Compensating Zero Bid Vault Owners. The poll was affirmative to compensate vault holders. Currently waiting on data analytics from Maker Man before restarting in another thread.
- DeFi Emergency shutdown consortium
- Dark fix - "
- Flip / Flop auction usability
- Maker token authority
- Precedent for on-chain polling. Signaling started to determine the governance community's feelings about having foundation member proposals require on-chain polling. The forum thread seems to have died.
- GSM delay - raise the delay from 4 hours to 12 hours for enacting Executive Votes, as a safety precaution.- Ratified
- Ranked-choice polling
- MKR Debt Auctions - Completed successfully
- USDC On-boarding
- Deep dive into collateral on-boarding - Presentation to community completed, see forum for the movement
- Governance cycle: MIPS 3 Presented in G and R Call - Presentation completed, see forum for the movement
Governance Polls and Executive Votes
- Lower the USDC Stability Fee from 12% to 8%
- Raise the Sai Stability Fee from 8% to 8.5%
- Lower the Dai Stability Fee from 0.5% to 0%
- Note: This will set the DSR to 0%
- Lower the USDC Stability Fee from 8% to 6%
- Lower the USDC Liquidation Ratio from 125% to 120%
- Whitelist Set Protocol on ETH/USD Oracle
- Create BTC/USD Oracle + Whitelist Set Protocol and dYdX
- Create ETH/BTC Oracle + Whitelist tBTC
- Deactivate the MKR Oracle in SCD
- Raise the Governance Security Module delay from 4 hours to 12 hours
- Raise the DAI Debt Ceiling from 90 Million to 100 Million
Governance Hot Topics
State of the Peg
Since the Black Thursday event of March 12, 2020, DAI has consistently been trading above the one Dollar price soft-peg it is supposed to maintain. Sometimes grossly over peg by over ten cents. In recent weeks it has been slowly trending back to a Dollar but has not quite gotten there.
Confidence has not yet fully returned regarding the recent market volatility. Also, people are holding on to stable coins due to market fears. This has caused a serious lack of DAI liquidity, creating high demand, and affecting the peg.
Prices this last week ranged from one to two cents above peg. Paraficapital, a larger corporate Maker holder in the governance community posted their concerns in the forum and related the sentiment of worry in the ecosystem regarding DAI being off the peg. This brought about immediate discussion and action regarding monetary policy and collateral on-boarding. The most recent passed Executive Vote contains monetary policy to make minting DAI more lucrative from USDC. Also, some exciting new collateral types are being considered for use in the MakerDAO platform. More on that next...
WBTC as a new collateral type?
WBTC also is known as wrapped Bitcoin is currently being evaluated by the Maker governance community to be on-boarded as approved vault collateral. Wrapped Bitcoin is Bitcoin that is held by the WBTC DAO and then tokenized 1:1 on the Ethereum (ERC-20) blockchain. Bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain you ask!? It's already here, you can trade it on the https://Oasis.app
Many players in the DeFi ecosystem are excited about this step. Bitcoin is the most popular and most valuable cryptocurrency. While there is a small amount of WBTC use on current DeFi platforms, it was stated that people have been waiting for Maker to adopt WBTC as a collateral type. It was also said that using WBTC as ERC-20 collateral is the primary use case for ERC-20 Bitcoin. Forum links are listed below for this subject.
Other Collateral Considerations
In addition to WBTC, LINK is being considered for on-boarding as approved vault collateral as well as additional stable coins such as PAX and TUSD. All of these collateral options are hoped to help bring back sufficient DAI liquidity and help return the DAI price peg to exactly one Dollar. Again, see below for the forum links regarding these new collateral types.
MIPS 0 - 12 Due for Initial Polling; if Passed Moving on to Executive Vote
MIPS 0 through 12 has been a high focus subject in the governance community for the last few weeks. These are the first documents that spell out a governance and collateral on-boarding framework for a self-sufficient DAO. This is the beginning of the two to three-year process of handing full control of MakerDAO to the governance community and dissolving the foundation. The very nice flow chart below shows the two possible scenarios for approval or rejection of these MIPS in the Timing Governance Poll. Forum links can be found below for further information.
![MIP Implementation Timeline](https://i.imgur.com/sny6rOf.png
Single Collateral DAI shutdown is very close. An Executive Vote for shutting down SCD is supposed to be posted on or shortly after April 24, 2020. There will then be a 3-week delay for shutting down. This will give time for people to close out their vaults, and hopefully drain the migration contract.
Stability fees are going to be set to zero to incentivize the closing of vaults. If you are still holding SAI as of the time it shuts down, you should be able to redeem your SAI for ETH via the migration portal at https://migrate.makerdao.com
Forum Activity and Signaling MakerDAO Community and Governance/Risk Forums
Trending Issues in the Forum:
Weekly Governance and Risk Meeting
Here is a guide from MakerDAO about becoming involved in Governance. The meeting is held every Thursday, 17:00 UTC. During the postmortem and corrective action phase of the recent crypto market prices and resulting fiasco there has been a daily call. This is expected to drop to two calls over the next week. Please check the forums
for information related to ad-hoc governance and risk calls that may be happening. Governance and Risk Meeting Community Guide
* Understand the issues that are discussed and governance themes that get explored to build a healthy, secure, Maker Platform. * Get info on how to connect by phone or webcam. * Explore meeting archives.
- May 1, 2020 DeFi Full-Stack Virtual Summit (virtual)
- May 7, 2020 Ethereal Virtual Summit 2020 (virtual)
- May 11, 2020 Consensus: Distributed (virtual)
- May 14, 2020 Blockconf (virtual)
- May 15, 2020 PolyFinTech 100 API Hackathon 2020 (virtual)
- May 18, 2020 Crypto Asia Summit (Virtual)
- Sep 22, 2020 Money 20/20 Europe 2020Amsterdam, NL
- Oct 21, 2020 ANON 2020 Vienna, AT
- Dec 9, 2020 Paris Blockchain Week Summit Paris, FR
- MakerDAO Community Events Calendar
- Weekly Community Development Meeting - Tuesdays 09:00 PST
- Weekly Governance and Risk Meeting - Thursdays 09:00 PST
While there was some nuance in yesterday's pre-open trading, with Asia at least putting up a valiant defense to what would soon become another US rout, this morning the market theme is far simpler: a global sea of red.
Stocks fell across the globe as worries over softening demand for the iPhone prompted a tech stock selloff across the world, while the arrest of car boss Carlos Ghosn pulled Nissan and Renault sharply lower. Even China's recent rally fizzled and the Shanghai composite closed down 2.1% near session lows, signalling that the global slump led by tech shares would deepen Tuesday, adding a new layer of pessimism to markets already anxious over trade. Treasuries advanced and the dollar edged higher.
S&P 500 futures traded near session lows, down 0.6% and tracking a fall in European and Asian shares after renewed weakness in the tech sector pushed Nasdaq futures sharply lower for a second day after Monday's 3% plunge
and crippled any hopes for dip buying. News around Apple triggered the latest bout of stock market selling, after the Wall Street Journal reported the consumer tech giant is cutting production for its new iPhones.
Europe's Stoxx 600 Index dropped a fifth day as its technology sector fell 1.3% to the lowest level since February 2017, taking the decline from mid-June peak to 21% and entering a bear market. Not surprisingly, the tech sector was the worst performer on the European benchmark on Tuesday, following Apple’s decline to near bear-market territory and U.S. tech stocks plunge during recent sell-off. The selloff was compounded by an auto sector drop led by Nissan and Renault after Ghosn, chairman of both carmakers, was arrested in Japan for alleged financial misconduct. The European auto sector was not far behind, dropping 1.6 percent, and the broad European STOXX 600 index was down 0.9 percent to a four-week low.
“Most of Europe had a red session yesterday and that has been compounded by the news on Apple and tech stocks overnight, The overall climate is risk off,” said Investec economist Philip Shaw. “Beyond stocks, the Italian bonds spread (over German bonds) is at its widest in about a month now, and Brexit continues to rumble on - uncertainty is very much hurting risk sentiment,” he added.
Earlier, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 1.2 percent, with Samsung Electronics falling 2 percent. In Japan, Sony Corp shed 3.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 1.1 percent, with shares of Nissan Motor Co tumbling more than 5% after Ghosn’s arrest and on news he will be fired from the board this week.
Meanwhile, as noted yesterday, the CDS index of US investment grade issuers blew out to the widest level since the Trump election, signaling renewed nerves about the asset class.
Exactly two months after the S&P hit all time highs, stocks have been caught in a vicious decline and continue to struggle for support as some of the technology companies that helped drive the S&P 500 to a record high earlier this year tumbled amid a slowdown in consumer sales and fears over regulation, many of them entering a bear market.
At the same time, a more gloomy macro outlook is emerging, with Goldman chief equity strategist David kostin overnight recommending investors hold more cash even as it reiterated its base case of S&P 3000 in 2019.
Ray Dalio disagreed, and said that investors should expect low returns for a long time after enjoying years of low interest rates from central-bank stimulus.
“The easy days of long, global bull markets where you can invest in a tracker for five basis points -- I say this as an active fund manager -- and watch the thing go up, I think those days are gone,” Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Barclays Bank PLC and Standard Life Aberdeen PLC, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “It’s going to be a move back to value investing, and back to the Warren Buffett-style of investment.”
In the latest Brexit news, UK PM May is reportedly drawing up secret plans to drop the Irish border backstop and win support from angry Brexiteers, while reports added PM May has received agreement from the EU to drop the backstop plan if both sides can agree on alternative arrangements to keep the border open. Meanwhile, Brexiteers reportedly still lack the sufficient number of signatures required to trigger a no-confidence vote against UK PM May, the FT reported. In related news, Brexit rebels reportedly admitted attempts to oust PM May has stalled as Eurosceptic MPs turned on each other. The Telegraph also reported that the confidence vote now appears to be on hold until after Parliament votes in December on Mrs May's Brexit deal.
Sky News reported that the UK government are to publish new analysis before the MPs’ meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement comparing the “costs and benefits” of Brexit. The impact of three scenarios will be measured; no Brexit, no deal, and leaving with the government's draft deal and a free trade agreement.
In rates, Treasuries rose, driving the 10-year yield down to its lowest level since late September, ahead of Thanksgiving Thursday. Italian government bond yields jumped to one-month high on Tuesday and Italian banking stocks dropped to a two-year low, hurt by risk aversion and concerns over the Italian budget. Euro zone money markets no longer fully price in even a 10 bps rate rise from the European Central Bank in 2019, indicating growing investor concern about the economic outlook in the currency bloc.
In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index whipsawed in early London trading even as it stayed near a more than one-week low on concern cooling global growth will slow the pace of Fed rate hikes, keeping Treasury yields under pressure. At the same time, the pound stabilized as Theresa May appealed to business leaders to help deliver her Brexit deal, and evidence mounted that a plot to oust her as U.K. Prime Minister is faltering.
The euro slid as Italian bonds dropped, pushing the yield spread to Germany to the widest in a month; the currency had opened the London session higher, supported by corporate buying in EUGBP. The yen rallied to a month-to-date high as Asian stocks followed a U.S. equity slide while the New Zealand dollar got a boost from a jump in milk production; the Aussie was on the back foot even after the RBA said Australia’s unemployment rate could fall further in the near term. India’s rupee rallied a sixth day after the central bank signaled a compromise with the government in their dispute over reserves.
Bitcoin extended its drop below $4,500 for the first time since October 2017.
WTI crude oil futures hovered around $57 a barrel after oil prices lost steam as fears about slower global demand and a surge in U.S. production outweighed expected supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Brent crude slipped 0.9 percent to $66.21 per barrel.
In other overnight news, BoJ Governor Kuroda said there is currently no need to ease further, while he added that there was a need for bold monetary policy in 2013 and now we need to persistently continue with policy. Furthermore, Kuroda suggested that the chance of reaching the 2% inflation target during FY2020 is low. Japanese PM Abe says the next initial budget is to have measures to address sales tax.
India's Finance Ministry sources expect that the RBI will stand pat on rates at its meeting next month.
RBA Governor Lowe states that steady policy is to be maintained for 'a while yet' and it is likely that rates will increase at some point if the economy progresses as expected.
Expected data include housing starts and building permits. Best Buy, Campbell Soup, Lowe’s, Medtronic, Target, TJX, and Gap are among companies reporting earnings. Market Snapshot
Top Overnight News
- S&P500 futures down 0.8% to 2,676.00
- STOXX Europe 600 down 0.5% to 353.25
- MXAP down 1% to 150.89
- MXAPJ down 1.2% to 481.70
- Nikkei down 1.1% to 21,583.12
- Topix down 0.7% to 1,625.67
- Hang Seng Index down 2% to 25,840.34
- Shanghai Composite down 2.1% to 2,645.85
- Sensex down 0.8% to 35,498.94
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 5,671.79
- Kospi down 0.9% to 2,082.58
- German 10Y yield fell 1.4 bps to 0.359%
- Euro down 0.2% to $1.1433
- Italian 10Y yield rose 10.4 bps to 3.223%
- Spanish 10Y yield rose 0.3 bps to 1.653%
- Brent futures down 0.8% to $66.23/bbl
- Gold spot little changed at $1,223.14
- U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 96.29
Asian stock markets were lower across the board as
- Bank of England governor Carney appears before lawmakers on Tuesday. He’ll be joined by fellow interest-rate setters Jon Cunliffe, Andy Haldane and Michael Saunders. Treasury Committee Chair Nicky Morgan has already asked the BOE to assess any agreement
- While Salvini is threatening to hijack the EU agenda as the dispute over Italy’s 2019 budget heats up, his closest adviser is trying to steer the populist coalition away from a head-on clash with Brussels, according to senior government and League officials who asked not to be named discussing confidential matters
- Credit markets are set for the worst year since the global financial crisis as investors abandon hope of a late-2018 rally
- Turmoil engulfed cryptocurrency markets again on Tuesday, with every major coin extending a rout that’s rocking confidence in the nascent asset class. Bitcoin, which started the year at more than $14,000, has fallen below $4,500. Rivals including Ether, Litecoin and XRP joined the slide, though they pared losses that reached as much as 17 percent
- Evidence is mounting that the plot to oust U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is faltering. One rebel leader said in private that more than 50 Tories had claimed they would submit letter but they hadn’t all followed through
- Germany and France have warned the EU to do more to prevent the U.K. from being able to claim victory in Brexit talks, according to EU diplomats. Spain’s Foreign Minister said the EU shouldn’t accept a text on a Brexit agreement that Spain isn’t happy with
- U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said he wants to keep a second Brexit referendum open as an option
- Australia’s unemployment rate may fall further in the near term based on leading indicators of labor demand, the central bank said in minutes of its November meeting
- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda says he welcomes a diversity of opinion on the effectiveness of negative rates. He also said he believes continuing current policy is best approach for achieving the central bank’s inflation target
the risk averse tone rolled over from Wall St, where the tech sector led the sell-off as Apple shares dropped nearly 4% on reports it had reduced production orders and with all FAANG stocks now in bear market territory. As such, the tech sector underperformed in the ASX 200 (-0.4%) and Nikkei 225 (-1.1%) was also pressured with Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan among the worst hit after their Chairman Ghosn was arrested on financial misconduct allegations. Shanghai Comp. (-2.1%) and Hang Seng (-2.0%) were heavily pressured after the PBoC continued to snub liquidity operations and as China’s blue-chip tech names conformed to the global rout in the sector, while JD.com earnings added to the glum as China’s 2nd largest e-commerce firm posted its weakest revenue growth since turning public. Finally, 10yr JGBs were weaker amid profit taking after futures recently hit their highest in around a year and following mixed results at today’s 20yr auction. Top Asian News
- BlackRock Doesn’t Expect Significant Growth Slowdown in China - China Stocks Lead Global Losses as Tech Rout Hits Fragile Market - Stock Traders in Asia Keep Finding New Reasons to Hit ’Sell’ - World’s Largest Ikea to Open in Manila as Company Bets on Asia Major European indices are largely in the red
, with the SMI outperforming (+0.1%) which is being bolstered by Novartis (+1.0%) following their announcement of a joint digital treatment with Pear Therapeutics for substance abuse disorder. The DAX (-0.7%) is lagging its peers, weighed on by Wirecard (-5.0%) following a disappointing change to guidance forecasting as well as weak sentiment across IT names after the FAANG stocks entered bear market territory on Wall St. In particular, the Stoxx 600 Technology sector (-1.9%), dropped to its lowest level since Feb 2017. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank (-2.5%) are in the red due to reports that the Co processed payments for Danske Bank in Estonia. Top European News
- Draghi’s Man in Rome Shows Populists Alert to Budget Backlash
- BASF Targets $2.3 Billion Profit Boost From Corporate Revamp
- Danske Fights Back as Hush Money Claims Raise New Questions
- The One Thing Supercharging Europe Earnings in 2018 Is Crashing
- As Things Stand, Spain Will Vote Against Brexit Deal: Sanchez
the DXY index remains technically prone to further downside pressure having closed below another Fib support level yesterday and testing the next bearish chart area around 96.050-10 ahead of 96.000 even. However, a more concerted bout of risk-off trade/positioning saved the DXY and broad Dollar from steeper declines as the tech-induced sell-off in stocks intensified, and jitters over Brexit alongside the Italian budget returned to the fore. NZD/AUD
- The Kiwi is bucking the overall trend and outperforming in contrast to this time on Monday, with Nzd/Usd rebounding firmly to 0.6850+ levels and Aud/Nzd retreating through 1.0650 to just south of 1.0600 following overnight data showing a hefty 6.5% y/y rise in NZ milk collections for October. Conversely, the Aud/Usd has slipped back under 0.7300 again, and close to 0.7250 in wake of RBA minutes underscoring no rush to hike rates and subsequent affirmation of wait-and-see guidance from Governor Lowe. In fact, he asserts that the jobless rate could decline to 4.5% vs 5% at present without inducing wage inflation, while also underlining concerns about the supply of credit. JPY/CHF
- Both benefiting from their more intrinsic allure during periods of pronounced risk aversion and investor angst, as Usd/Jpy probes a bit deeper below 112.50 and a key Fib at 112.46 that could be pivotal on a closing basis with potential to expose daily chart support circa 112.16 ahead of 112.00. Meanwhile, the Franc has inched closer to 0.9900 and over 1.1350 vs the Eur that remains burdened with the aforementioned Italian fiscal concerns. GBP/EUR
- Almost a case of déjà vu for Sterling and the single currency as early attempts to the upside vs the Greenback saw Cable and EuUsd revisit recent peaks around 1.2880 and 1.1470 respectively, but a combination of chart resistance and bearish fundamentals forced both back down to circa 1.2825 and 1.1425. In terms of precise technical/psychological levels, 1.2897 and 1.1445 represent Fib retracements, ahead of 1.2900 and 1.1500, while the Pound has remained relatively unchanged and unresponsive to largely on the fence pending Brexit rhetoric from the BoE in testimony to the TSC on November’s QIR. In commodities,
gold has stayed within a USD 5/oz range and traded relatively flat throughout the session moving with the steady dollar ahead of US Thanksgiving. Similarly, copper traded lacklustre breaking a 5-day rally because of a subdued risk sentiment stemming from ongoing US-China trade tensions; with Shanghai rebar adversely affected from these factors. Brent (-0.1%) and WTI (+0.2%) are following a relatively quiet overnight session, while recent upticks in the complex resulted in WTI reclaiming the USD 57/bbl and Brent edging closer to USD 67/bbl. This follows comments from IEA Chief Birol that Iranian oil exports declined by almost 1mln BPD from summer peaks. Looking ahead, traders will be keeping the weekly API crude inventory data which is expected to print a build of 8.79mln barrels. On today's light data calendar,
in the US, there should be some interest in the October housing starts and building permits data, especially following Fed Chair Powell’s recent comments acknowledging a slowdown in the housing market and yesterday’s homebuilder data. Away from that, the BoE’s Carney is due to appear before the Parliament’s Treasury Committee to discuss the Inflation Report, while the ECB’s Nouy and Bundesbank’s Weidmann are both scheduled to speak at separate events. US Event Calendar
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
- 8:30am: Housing Starts, est. 1.23m, prior 1.2m; MoM, est. 1.79%, prior -5.3%
- 8:30am: Building Permits, est. 1.26m, prior 1.24m; MoM, est. -0.79%, prior -0.6%
With the sell-off of the last 24 hours we have now traded through the last of our YE 2018 top level credit spread forecasts as US HY widened 6bps to +424bps (YE 2018 forecast was 420). We still think US HY is the most expensive part of the EUR & US credit universe but as discussed above, last night we’ve become more optimistic on all credit in the near-term after what has been the worst week of the year. Credit massively under-performed equities last week but equities caught up on the downside yesterday. The sell-off was underpinned by the FANG names selling off, an accounting scandal emerging at Nissan, oil swinging around and the US housing market spooked by weak data.
Just on the market moves first, the NASDAQ and NYFANG indexes slumped -3.03% and -4.28% yesterday, registering their fourth and third worst days of the year, respectively. Facebook and Apple fell -5.72% and -3.96% respectively, as the sector remains pressured amid a slew of negative PR and the spectre of stricter government regulation. Over the weekend, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview that “the free market is not working” and that new regulation is “inevitable”. This negatively impacted highly-valued social media companies. Twitter and Snapchat traded down -5.02% and -6.78% respectively. The tech sector was further pressured after the WSJ reported that Apple had cut production orders in recent weeks for the new model iPhones, with chipmakers broadly trading lower and Philadelphia semiconductor index shedding -3.86%. The S&P 500 and DOW also slumped -1.66% and -1.56% respectively while in Europe the STOXX 600 turned an early gain of +0.71% into a loss of -0.73%. In credit, cash markets were 2bps and 11bps wider for Euro IG and HY and 2bps and 6bps in the US. CDX IG and HY were, however, 3bps and 11bps wider, respectively. Elsewhere, WTI oil first tested breaking through $55/bbl yesterday, after Russia stopped short of committing to supply cuts, before recovering to close +0.52% at $56.76.
Bond markets were relatively quiet, with Treasuries and Bunds ending -0.4bps and +0.6bps, respectively, albeit masking bigger intraday moves. BTP yields rose +10.6bps to 3.597%, within 10 basis points of their recent closing peak, as rhetoric between Italian officials and their European peers continued to intensify. Finance Ministers from Austria and the Netherlands separately spoke publicly about their concerns, and expressed their hope that the European Commission will loyally enforce the fiscal rules. Italian Finance Minister Tria tried to calm conditions by framing the disagreement as relatively minor, though he also accused the Commission of being biased against expansionary policies, which he argued are needed to avert a macro slowdown.
Back to credit, as we highlighted yesterday, the recent weakness in the asset class has become a talking point for broader markets and while our view is now that value is starting to emerge, there are an increasing number of idiosyncratic stories plaguing the market. There were a couple more examples yesterday with the aforementioned story about Nissan removing its chairman after being arrested for violations of financial law. This caused Renault’s CDS to widen +25.0bps (equity down -8.43%), while Vallourec bonds dropped 15pts after falling 11pts on Friday as concerns mount about the company’s rising leverage in the wake of recent results. Like we’ve see in equity markets, it does feel like credits are now getting punished with sharp moves in the wake of negative headlines Certainly something to watch, but as we said above, credit is now much more attractively priced than it has been for some time.
From steel tubing to Downing Street, where we’ve actually had a rare temporary lull for Brexit headlines over the last 24 hours, although behind the scenes it does look we’re getting closer to the threshold for a confidence vote in PM May with the Times yesterday reporting that “senior Brexiteers” had told reporters that they had “firm pledges” from over 50 MPs to submit letters. As a reminder, 48 are needed to trigger the process. Looking further out, yesterday DB’s Oliver Harvey published a report arguing that there is still a path towards an orderly Brexit based on the existing Withdrawal Agreement should May survive a confidence vote. This path is provided by the political declaration on the future economic relationship. The latter has yet to be negotiated, and as the EU27 and UK recognise in the joint statement, the existing temporary customs arrangement (TCA) already provides a basis for a future economic relationship. Oli argues that the UK should push for the political declaration on the future relationship to explicitly commit the UK to a form of Brexit that might be described as “Norway plus.” The temporary customs arrangement would become permanent, but under the governance framework of UK membership of the EEA and EFT. The UK should tie the political declaration on the future relationship to the good faith clause in the existing Withdrawal Agreement, meaning that if negotiations were not pursued on these lines after the transition period had begun, the UK could withhold payments from the EU27. This would help to allay concerns from across the political divide that the UK would be “trapped” in a sub optimal customs union with the EU27.
Meanwhile, to complicate matters, Bloomberg has reported that the EU is mulling over issuing a series of separate statements on Brexit on Sunday, in addition to the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration. This comes after pressure from some EU countries not to appease any additional UK demands. Elsewhere, the SUN has reported that the PM May has drawn up a secret plan to scrap the Irish backstop arrangement in an attempt to win over angry Tory Brexiteers after a meeting with them yesterday. However, if a mutually agreeable solution couldn’t be found over the last couple of years, it seems tough to imagine one was finally found yesterday afternoon. We’ll see.
Further adding to the complexity of where Brexit heads, last night the DUP abstained on the UK finance bill, which implements the budget. This stops short of their prior threat to actively vote against the legislation, but is still a surprise and signals that further political turbulence between PM May and the DUP is likely. The bill only just scraped through. Sterling finished +0.14% yesterday and this morning is trading flattish (+0.02%) in early trade.
Sentiment more broadly in Asia is following Wall Street’s lead with almost all markets trading in a sea of red. The Nikkei (-1.25%, with Nissan Motors down as much as -5.41% and Mitsubishi Motors -6.71%), Hang Seng (-1.84%), Shanghai Comp (-1.63%) and Kospi (-0.96%) are all down along with most other markets. Elsewhere, futures on S&P 500 (-0.29%) are extending losses as we type.
Back to yesterday, where as we mentioned at the top, weak US homebuilder sentiment survey data played its part in the moves for markets. The November NAHB housing market index tumbled to 60 from 68 in October after expectations had been for just a 1pt drop. That’s the lowest reading since August 2016 and biggest one-month drop since February 2014. The details weren’t much better and falls into line with the expectation of a softer outlook for housing. As you’ll see in the day ahead we’ve got more housing data in the US today so worth keeping an eye on even if the October data for starts could be distorted by Hurricane Michael.
As far as the day ahead is concerned, we’re fairly light on data today with Q3 employment stats in France, October PPI in Germany and November CBI total orders data in the UK the only releases of note. In the US, there should be some interest in the October housing starts and building permits data, especially following Fed Chair Powell’s recent comments acknowledging a slowdown in the housing market and yesterday’s homebuilder data. Away from that, the BoE’s Carney is due to appear before the Parliament’s Treasury Committee to discuss the Inflation Report, while the ECB’s Nouy and Bundesbank’s Weidmann are both scheduled to speak at separate events.
Stocks in Europe faded early gains and S&P futures fell after a mixed session in Asia as chip stocks were taken to the woodshed on poor guidance from Nvidia and Applied Materials sparked fears that the chip bull run is over, while investors wondered whether China and America can de-escalate their trade war after mixed signals by US officials just days before the G-20 summit.
The euro failed to rebound while the sterling halted its biggest drop in 2 years after some of the most dramatic 24 hours yet in the Brexit process and another turbulent week for world markets. With reports of a UK leadership coup still rife and fear that the country could crash out of the EU without an agreement, cable struggled to rise above $1.28.
Meanwhile traders around the world were waiting for an outcome from the ongoing Brexit saga: “If and when a vote on the withdrawal agreement occurs is uncertain. Whether the withdrawal bill is passed by both houses of Parliament is uncertain,” Joseph Capurso, a senior currency strategist at CBA, said in a note. “Whether the Prime Minister resigns or is challenged for the leadership is uncertain. And, whether there is a second referendum and/or an election is uncertain.”
Fears over political turmoil in the UK and Italy dragged Europe's Stoxx 600 back into the red, set for its first weekly drop in three, trimming Friday’s gain as AstraZeneca's drop weighed on the gauge after a cancer-drug setback while telecom names were outperforming. Utilities started the session lower in the wake of yesterday’s ECJ decision which deemed the UK’s scheme for ensuring power supplies during the winter months as a violation of state aid rules. Other individual movers include Vivendi (+4.2%) sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 after posting impressive Q3 sales metrics and announcing a potential sale of part of their Universal Music Group division. Elsewhere, AstraZeneca (-2.3%) and Shire (-1.3%) have been seen lower throughout the session after both posting disappointing drug updates.
Not helping sentiment, ECB head Mario Draghi said the bank still plans to dial back its stimulus at the end of the year, but acknowledged the economy had hit a soft patch and inflation may rise more slowly than expected
. “If firms start to become more uncertain about the growth and inflation outlook, the squeeze on margins could prove more persistent,” Draghi told a conference.
Earlier in the day, Asian shares ended the session in the red (MSCI Asia -0.2% to 151.52), led lower by declines in Japan, even as China and Hong Kong rose after initial reports the United States might pause further China tariffs were denied by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross who damped hopes of any imminent trade deal with China. The Nikkei fell 0.6% pressured by a drop in the USDJPY after China Mofcom began an investigation into alleged dumping of machine tools by Japanese firms. The Hang Seng (+0.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) swung between gains and losses after continued liquidity inaction by the PBoC which skipped Reverse Repos for a 16th consecutive occasion.
S&P futures were hit on fresh slowdown concerns, this time out of the semiconductochip space, after Nvidia gave a dire sales forecast, projecting a 20% drop in revenue while a disappointing outlook from Applied Materials indicated the chip industry is holding off on expansion plans
in the face of a murky outlook for electronics demand. The chipmaking sector saw another bout of selling in Asia, wiping at least $11.2 billion in market value amid signals that demand for servers, personal computers and mobile is falling.
Also falling after hours were shares of AMD and Intel, dragging Nasdaq futures lower.
"It started with Apple, then Nvidia ... Since performances of these companies set the tone for the global tech and chip industries, related Japanese stocks will likely be sluggish for a while,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, a strategist at Pictet Asset Management.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after Fed Chairman Powell flagged his concern over potential headwinds for the U.S. economy, while the pound staged a modest rebound on reports that some pro-Brexit ministers decided to stay in their governmental posts. The pound gained as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May defied demands to quit and amid reports her environment secretary wouldn’t resign, following the resignation of several ministers Thursday. The yen rallied as trade stress simmered, with investors trying to gauge whether China and the U.S. can de-escalate their dispute.
Also under water was the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which hit a one-year trough overnight. It had tumbled 10 percent early in the week when support at $6,000 gave way. It was last changing hands at $5,500 on the Bitstamp platform.
Treasuries were steady while 10-year yields on German bonds were set for their biggest weekly fall in three weeks, in a sign that the Brexit uncertainty and worries about Italy’s finances, continued to support demand. Italian bonds edged higher even as European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview with Il Sole 24 Ore that the country’s government was openly defying EU budget rules.
Emerging-market currencies consolidated recent gains while oil prices extended their rebound.
Oil prices rose, helped by a decline in U.S. fuel stockpiles and the possibility of a cut in OPEC output. Brent (+1.3%) and WTI (+1.1%) are both in the green and continuing their rebound seen yesterday with WTI hovering around USD 57.00bbl. Energy newsflow remains light, post-yesterday's DoE report, however, Iraq’s North Oil Co. have announced that they have resumed Kiruk oil exports heading towards the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Looking ahead, the main highlight on the calendar will be the Baker Hughes rig count. Elsewhere, natural gas futures are relatively steady after their 19% decline yesterday which came in the wake of a 20% increase the day before.
In geopolitical news, US Republican and Democrat Senators filed a bipartisan bill seeking to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to war in Yemen and killing of journalist. North Korean Leader Kim inspected test of new high-tech tactical weapons, according to Yonhap citing North Korean state media
Today's data include October industrial production and capacity utilization. Viacom is among companies reporting earnings Market Snapshot
Top Overnight News
- S&P500 futures down 0.3% to 2,725.25
- STOXX Europe 600 down 0.01% to 358.38
- MXAP down 0.2% to 151.52
- MXAPJ up 0.2% to 486.84
- Nikkei down 0.6% to 21,680.34
- Topix down 0.6% to 1,629.30
- Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 26,183.53
- Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 2,679.11
- Sensex up 0.5% to 35,446.11
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% to 5,730.55
- Kospi up 0.2% to 2,092.40
- Brent futures up 1.2% to $67.41/bbl
- Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,216.36
- U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 96.93
- German 10Y yield rose 0.8 bps to 0.368%
- Euro up 0.2% to $1.1346
- Italian 10Y yield rose 0.3 bps to 3.12%
- Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.4 bps to 1.617%
Asia-Pac stocks traded indecisively as the region lacked fresh catalysts
- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has laid out a scenario for a pause in the central bank’s interest-rate hiking campaign sometime next year by highlighting potential headwinds to the U.S. economy.
- British Prime Minister Theresa May is defying demands to quit as she battles to keep control of her fractious government long enough to deliver a Brexit deal that’s drawn ire from across the political spectrum.
- Pro-Brexit ministers Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Chris Grayling, Penny Mordaunt and Andrea Leadsom have decided together not to quit the government, Times reporter Tim Shipman said on Twitter.
- ECB’s Draghi sees no reason for expansion to come to abrupt end, he said at an event in Frankfurt, Germany.
- PG&ECorp. rallied as much as 49 percent in extended trading Thursday after the head of the California Public Utilities Commission said he can’t imagine allowing the state’s largest utility to go into bankruptcy as it faces billions of dollars in potential liability from deadly wildfires
- Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Corp. have been contacted by U.S. criminal investigators for information about transactions they handled for a small bank branch in Estonia that’s at the center of one of the biggest money-laundering investigations in history, according to two people familiar with the matter.
and as uncertainty regarding Brexit and US-China trade played on investor’s minds. ASX 200 (-0.1%) and Nikkei 225 (-0.6%) were choppy with outperformance of tech and mining names in Australia overshadowed by a lacklustre broader market, while the Japanese benchmark was subdued by mild flows into the JPY and after China Mofcom began an investigation into alleged dumping of machine tools by Japanese firms. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+0.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) swung between gains and losses after continued liquidity inaction by the PBoC which skipped OMOs for a 16th consecutive occasion, while participants were also tentative amid ongoing trade uncertainty after conflicting reports regarding the next round of China tariffs being placed on hold which USTR Lighthizer later denied. Finally, 10yr JGBs were mildly higher with prices underpinned amid an indecisive tone seen in stocks and with the BoJ also present in the market for JPY 680bln of JGBs in the belly to super-long end. Top Asian News
- China’s Kindergarten Crackdown Is the Latest Disaster for Stocks - Modi Is Said to Enlist Tata for Jet Airways Rescue Ahead of Vote - Philippines Shuts 3 Miners, Suspends 9 Others After Review - Indian Central Bank Board to Discuss Surplus Funds Transfer European equities trade relatively flat
(Eurostoxx 50 +0.2%) in the wake of mixed trade headlines overnight for the US and China. Performance across European indices is relatively equal whilst focus once again falls on the FTSE 100 (U/C) which remains at the whim of Brexit-inspired fluctuations in the GBP. Once again, potential upside for the index is being capped by losses in domestically focused banking names (RBS -3.0%, Lloyds -2.1%) as Brexit uncertainty continues to dampen investor sentiment. In terms of sector specifics, most sectors are trading higher with mild outperformance seen in telecom names. Utilities started the session lower in the wake of yesterday’s ECJ decision which deemed the UK’s scheme for ensuring power supplies during the winter months as a violation of state aid rules. Other individual movers include Vivendi (+4.2%) sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 after posting impressive Q3 sales metrics and announcing a potential sale of part of their Universal Music Group division. Elsewhere, AstraZeneca (-2.3%) and Shire (-1.3%) have been seen lower throughout the session after both posting disappointing drug updates. Top European News
- Finnish Software Company Basware Is Said to Explore Sale
- Vauxhall Owner Said to Weigh Closing a Factory Post-Brexit
- Amid Brexit Gloom, Deutsche Bank Sees Frankfurt as Next London
- Nyrstar Surges on Hopes Over Trafigura Refinancing Talks
- GBP- The Pound is not the biggest net mover for a change, but still one of the most volatile and vulnerable as Cable pivots 1.2800 and EuGbp trades between 0.8850-80. The fall-out from Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting continues as UK PM May strives to sell the Brexit draft, but facing a rising rebellion within the Conservative Party that appears to have reached the critical mass required to trigger a no confidence vote. However, some positive news with a key Minister deciding not to follow others out of the Government, as Gove opts to stay rather than go. In terms of technical impulses, Cable is holding above yesterday’s 1.2725 low, ahead of chart support around 1.2710-00 that protects mtd and ytd troughs at 1.2696 and 1.2662 respectively, while near term resistance is seen around 1.2836 before 1.2850, but 1 bn option expiries at 1.2800 could well exert more influence into the NY cut. For EuGbp, several MAs form support blow 0.8850 and the 100 DMA at 0.8910 may hamper further gains if0.8900 is breached.
- JPY- Maintaining a firm underlying safe-haven bid as broad risk sentiment remains fragile and China is reportedly investigating machine dumping by Japan – Usd/Jpy near the bottom of a 113.20-65 range.
- EUCAD/CHF- All narrowly mixed vs the Greenback, with the single currency keeping afloat of 1.1300 and eyeing a Fib at 1.1358, while the Loonie is holding recent recovery gains through 1.3200 as oil prices continue their rebound and the Franc meanders between 1.0075-50 vs 1.1000+ earlier this week when the broad Dollar and DXY were in the ascendency (index well above 97.000 vs just below the figure presently).
- EM- The Lira is off best levels, but still relatively bid after reports that the US could Turkish cleric Gulen in an attempt to assuage President Erdogan to adopt a less aggressive stance against Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi killing. Usd/Try now near the middle of a 5.3240-3940 band.
gold (+0.2%) is trading relatively flat after hitting new weekly highs of USD 1218.39/oz earlier in the session; following uneventful overnight trade. Elsewhere, Shanghai Zinc prices have risen due to London Metal Exchange stockpiles falling to decade-low levels. Brent (+1.3%) and WTI (+1.1%) are both in the green and continuing their rebound seen yesterday with WTI hovering around USD 57.00bbl. Energy newsflow remains light, post-yesterday's DoE report, however, Iraq’s North Oil Co. have announced that they have resumed Kiruk oil exports heading towards the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Looking ahead, the main highlight on the calendar will be the Baker Hughes rig count. Elsewhere, natural gas futures are relatively steady after their 19% decline yesterday which came in the wake of a 20% increase the day before. US Event Calendar
- 9:15am: Industrial Production MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.3%; Manufacturing (SIC) Production, est. 0.2%, prior 0.2%
- 11am: Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 11, prior 8
- 4pm: Total Net TIC Flows, prior $108.2b, Net Long-term TIC Flows, prior $131.8b
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