18 April 2013: Risks assets broadly slips



Risks assets broadly slipped on Thursday following overnight drop in US and European equities on fears for global growth. Oil prices have dropped substantially. Brent crude fell two dollars trading below USD 98 a barrel. Iran, has asked for an emergency meeting in OPEC, the organization for oil producing states, to discuss the low oil prices as non-OPEC United States is pumping 7,2 million tons a day. This contributes to the imbalance between market demand and supply. Gold dipped further as capital flow out of gold-backed-exchange-traded funds continues.

US-Stocks fell in a broad market sell-off yesterday. The decline in stock prices was led by a sharp drop in Apple which tumbled 5,5% to USD 402,80. Apple has fallen USD 250 since its peak last autumn. A key chip maker, Cirrus, simultaneously presented a disappointing revenue forecast. This together with the slowing demand for Apple products, fueled market worries about a weakening demand for iPhone and iPad. The financial sector was also hard hit by weaker than expected results from Bank of America.

Wednesday’s losses represented the second day of big sell-off during this week. It adds to fears that the market is starting the pullback analysts have been speculating in for months. Expectations have outdistanced economic fundamentals. Monetary easing has additionally injected fresh speculative capital into equities. This development has led to stock rallies without roots in the real economy creating new bubbles.

Investors’ optimism have been based on expectations of a stronger economic growth in China and a recovery in the US. There are positive signs in both markets, but the world economy is still dragged down by an ever deeper recession inside the Euro zone. The plunge in gold and metal prices and a simultaneous sell-off of stocks bear striking similarities with the situation in 2008 where stock markets were running off from realities to end with a hard landing. Bankers’ wild speculations contributed to the misery which led to a financial crisis in the second half of the year where the liberal orientated economic market model was put at serious risk.

Is history in the process of repeating itself?

Nervousness and risk aversion has also plaid into the currency market where the euro come under pressure. Euro/USD fell from Wednesday high on 1.3172 to 1.3043 on talk of more monetary easing by the European Central Bank. USD/JPY trades marginally up at 98,03 indicating a continued slid in the yen and a new test on the symbolic 100 yen a dollar level. The Australian dollar is steady after trimming earlier losses due to the fall in gold and metals and a weaker growth in China.

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