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Whirlpool is testing support at its 50-day moving average after erasing a double-digit gain from the buy point.
Whirlpool is testing support at its 50-day moving average after erasing a double-digit gain from the buy point.
The longer-term uptrend is likely to remain intact as long as prices can hold above the major 50% level at $1788.50.
(Bloomberg) -- One of the biggest Brexit battlegrounds between the European Union and the U.K. now has a price tag: at least $2.4 million a day.That’s how much any move by the European Union to cut off access to London’s dominant clearinghouses for derivatives could cost traders in euro interest rate swaps, net of buying, according to an estimate from Albert Menkveld, professor of finance at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, who has sat on advisory panels to European regulatory authorities.Fragmenting cross-Channel clearing would result in additional costs because global dealers would need more collateral for their positions in multiple clearinghouses in the U.K. and in the EU, Menkveld said. They wouldn’t be able to offset, or net, the positions as easily and that would require dealers to raise extra funds.Those additional costs would likely be passed on to pensions, money managers and other users of derivatives in the local jurisdiction, Menkveld said, who compares the burden on financial markets to traffic jams caused by passport controls.“This is the price we all paid for control by national authorities,” Menkveld wrote in a blog post. “As a European citizen I can now zip onto the Autobahn at 100-plus kilometers per hour, but my pension fund might soon pay for crossing the border with the U.K. to diversify risk.”His tally is one of the first to show the immediate fallout if authorities stop the seamless, cross-Channel settlement of trillions in euro interest rate swap contracts, which currently takes place largely in London. The actual cost could be far greater if it weakens London’s attractiveness as a global financial center. The business is widely viewed as a core pillar of London’s standing and the EU’s desire to pull more of that business away has prompted sabre-rattling from politicians, financiers and even the governor of the Bank of England.The U.K. and major lobby groups for the biggest banks and money managers in the world are calling for the EU to maintain easy access to London clearinghouses, including the London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s LCH unit which is the world’s biggest for euro interest rate swaps. The European Commission in Brussels wants the bloc’s traders to move more of their euro-denominated business inside the EU and not rely so heavily on London. A ruling last year extended access to London through June 2022.Clearinghouses serve as a key hub in the global financial system, settling hundreds of trillions of dollars in deals between banks, hedge funds, pensions and a wide range of corporations. The firms collect collateral, or margin, from buyers and sellers to reduce the risk that the default of one side spreads panic to the other and, in turn, across the broader system.If the temporary decision isn’t renewed, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has said a quarter of euro-derivatives clearing business would need to shift to the EU. The rest would likely stay in London because it is currently the most efficient place for it, he said.Additional CostsThe estimated net price impact probably understates the total additional costs to traders in the market from the disruption that would ensue, Menkveld said.Costs could mount because traders would probably have a harder time offsetting positions in euros, pounds and other currencies as well as the increased compliance burden. In more stressed markets, traders could face much higher costs from the split and difficulty using clearinghouses in both the U.K. and the EU, he said.“There is a trade-off here between the benefits of local control by regulators, and the additional costs that fragmented clearing imposes,” Menkveld said. “The benefit is hard to quantify but the costs are non-trivial.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The husband-and-wife duo that ran private lender Bridging Finance Inc. has been fired by a court-appointed receiver as Canada’s main securities regulator investigates the firm over alleged mismanagement and self-dealing.PricewaterhouseCoopers, which took control of Bridging at the request of the Ontario Securities Commission, fired David and Natasha Sharpe from the firm they co-founded almost a decade ago. The move came less than a week after the regulator said it was investigating the executives at the firm, which had about C$2 billion ($1.7 billion) in assets under management as of December.“The decision of the receiver is regrettable but not surprising,“ David Sharpe said in an emailed message. “Notwithstanding our termination, we will cooperate with the receiver to the extent possible in the interests of investors while we address the OSC’s misguided allegations.”The Toronto-based firm lends to small and mid-sized companies involved in everything from milling flour to delivering groceries. It attracted a following in particular among high-net-worth individuals with promises of steady gains from its loan portfolio. Those investments are now frozen, and it’s unclear how much will be recouped after the company emerges from receivership.In court documents made public last weekend, the OSC alleged the firm and senior executives mismanaged funds and failed to disclose conflicts of interest.Among the alleged conflicts, David Sharpe received C$19.5 million in undisclosed payments into his personal checking account from a company controlled by entrepreneur Sean McCoshen, the commission says in documents. During that same period, Bridging’s funds had lent more than C$100 million to other companies of McCoshen’s, the commission said in the documents.According to an affidavit by OSC forensic accountant Daniel Tourangeau, much of the undisclosed money was moved into David Sharpe’s personal investment accounts.The OSC said Friday that Bridging and some of its directors and officers, including David Sharpe, may have taken actions “which they knew or reasonably ought to have known perpetrated a fraud on unitholders” of the funds. They may have made statements that were “misleading or untrue” to the regulator, according to an OSC document. Bridging may have also “failed to deal fairly, honestly and in good faith with its clients.”Another central accusation is that Bridging misappropriated about C$35 million “to complete an acquisition for its own benefit” -- a deal with investment manager Ninepoint Partners LP for an interest in an income fund the two firms had been jointly operating.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Global central banks are starting to wind down the trillion-dollar money printing machines set in motion to rescue their economies in 2020. Getting ahead of them is becoming this year’s biggest currency trade.Early changes to bond-buying programs from Canada and Britain have been rewarding for foreign-exchange players. Meanwhile, Norway, which hasn’t needed to deploy more unconventional policy such as asset purchases, is already talking about raising rates. The trio’s currencies are leading the Group of 10 this year, posting gains of more than 4%.Yet that acceleration may already be losing momentum now that those policy makers have shown their hands. That has left traders on a mission to identify economies that are heating up too fast for comfort -- and those where tightening is a far-flung prospect -- in order to pick the next winners and losers.One strategy is to follow the commodity boom and bet on exporters such as Australia and New Zealand, where growth is roaring back. Another playbook involves buying the currency of a country likely to hike rates, while selling that of a country committed to ultra-low rates.“Some central banks outside the Fed like the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand may find themselves in a position similar to the Bank of Canada, where they could be tightening much sooner than what they’ve initially indicated,” said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist at TD Securities. Canada’s move “may give a little bit more confidence to the policy community to begin making little tweaks to their own policy outlooks as well,” he added.Balancing ActLife in developed nations is returning to normal thanks to vaccines that have arrested the spread of coronavirus. But for central bankers, extricating themselves from the programs that staved off economic collapse last year is a delicate balancing act.The Federal Reserve, often called the central bank of the world, is taking a softly-softly approach toward policy normalization designed to avoid market chaos reminiscent of 2013’s taper tantrum. Ditto the European Central Bank, whose chief Christine Lagarde recently said talk of tapering is “premature.” But waiting as growth roars back runs the risk of falling so far out of step with economic reality as to provoke a policy overshoot.“The challenge for the Fed is that it should not wait too long because they may have to move faster, and that may shock the market,” said Athanasios Vamvakidis, head of G-10 FX strategy at Bank of America Corp. “It all depends on data.”The latest data may justify the Fed’s steady hand: April’s disappointing jobs report Friday recast inflation and rate-hike expectations.Tapering BeckonsWhether or not central bank chiefs are ready to talk about it now, tapering is drawing closer. Asset purchases from the Fed, the ECB, the Bank of Japan and BOE will likely slide to around $3.4 trillion this year from almost $9 trillion in 2020, before falling to just $400 billion in 2022, according to Bank of America.Traders are going all-in at signs of forthcoming policy tweaks: the euro gained Friday after ECB Governing Council member Martins Kazaks said the institution could decide to scale back its emergency bond-buying program as early as next month.“Growth is clearly accelerating in the G-10 countries, with vaccination campaigns picking up momentum. said Philippe Jauer, global head of FX at Amundi Asset Management. “This means policy could accelerate more than anticipated by the market.”North Meets SouthWhile those debates roll on, FX investors may get more joy betting that central banks Down Under take the lead of their northern Commonwealth peer.At Robeco Institutional Asset Management, fund manager Bob Stoutjesdijk cashed out of the Canadian dollar after the BOC’s taper last month. He’s got Australia and New Zealand on his radar, though he’s wary of lingering border controls that will sap tourism revenues and mixed signals from their central banks.Speculative investors, including hedge funds, held bullish bets on the New Zealand dollar for a sixth consecutive week through May 4, according to the latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. They increased net longs on the Aussie dollar for the first time in three weeks. Meanwhile, net shorts on the yen held near the most in two years. The divide between currencies backed by central banks taking steps toward pulling back support and those that are further off is also palpable in the options market.Sentiment on the Australian and New Zealand dollars versus their Japanese peer has turned less pessimistic this year, as seen in risk reversals. The premium on options betting on declines in the Aussie and kiwi against the yen has narrowed across the curve from end-2020 levels, for tenors starting at one-week all the way up to a year.There’s room for upside in the Canadian dollar versus the yen, and in the Norwegian krone against the Swiss franc and euro, given the contrast in their policy paths, according to Audrey Childe-Freeman, Bloomberg Intelligence chief G-10 FX strategist.The Aussie and kiwi dollars are likely to outperform based on higher yields alone, she said, even if their central banks have resisted adjusting to more hawkish policy language so far.While the RBA has been adamant that it will keep pumping monetary support into the economy until it is fully repaired, its most recent outlook showed upbeat trajectories for growth and jobs, showing it’s on track to drive faster pay gains and inflation back toward its target. Rising inflationary pressures and house prices have also been highlighted by the RBNZ.“No central banks want to shock the market, but they will have to watch data. If the data is strong, we would expect the Fed to normalize the policy. We expect the same for RBA and RBNZ,” said Vamvakidis at Bank of America. “They will be the ones to watch because of their potential to surprise to the upside.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
While some technology stocks got a boost Friday after a disappointing U.S. jobs report, some portfolio managers say that blow-out earnings from several large technology companies over the last few weeks are not enough to keep making outsized bets on the sector. Instead, those fund managers say that they are continuing to rotate into value and cyclical stocks - whose fortunes are closely tied to economic conditions - in anticipation that the economic recovery will be longer and more gradual than originally anticipated. The notion that the U.S. jobs recovery has not yet peaked was reinforced by data from the Labor Department on Friday that showed U.S. employers hired far fewer workers than anticipated.
Shares of online betting platform DraftKings (DKNG) were down nearly 7% at market close on Friday. But DraftKings CEO and co-founder Jason Robins struck an optimistic tone when speaking to Yahoo Finance Live on Friday,
Stocks traded mixed Friday as investors digested a disappointing April jobs report, which showed the U.S. economy added back far fewer jobs than expected last month despite easing stay-in-place restrictions.
Survey says 53% of workers have, or are considering, earning a second income in 2021.
LONDON (Reuters) -BMW remains on course to meet its profit targets for 2021 despite rising raw material costs, the German carmaker said on Friday, having largely steered clear of the semiconductor chip shortage battering rivals like Volkswagen. Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess had said on Thursday that Europe's top carmaker was in "crisis mode" over the chip shortage, which would hit profits in the second quarter, while Ford Motor Co last week said the lack of chips could halve its second-quarter vehicle production. BMW is known for its strong relations with suppliers and has been working with them to avoid disruptions.
The stage is set for an explosion in the amount of stock buybacks, says Goldman Sachs.
A bruising bond market sell-off earlier this year appears to remain high on the minds of Federal Reserve officials, who in a report on Thursday singled out the event as illustrative of continuing liquidity issues in the $21 trillion U.S. Treasury market. The Feb. 25 drubbing followed a historically poor auction of 7-year Treasury notes and sent yields surging as market liquidity evaporated in minutes. The event, coming less than a year after the Fed had to inject $2 trillion into the bond market in the space of about five weeks to keep it from a complete melt down, "highlighted the importance of continued focus on Treasury market resilience," the Fed said in its semi-annual Financial Stability Report.
Families can get up to $50 off their bill to stay connected during the pandemic.
(Bloomberg) -- Stocks climbed as data showing the world’s largest economy is strengthening overshadowed inflation worries ahead of Friday’s jobs report. The dollar retreated.The S&P 500 traded near session highs, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to a record and the Nasdaq 100 underperformed. China’s shares traded in New York briefly extended losses after Bloomberg News reported the Biden administration is likely to preserve limits on U.S. investments in certain companies from the Asian nation.Applications for U.S. state unemployment insurance fell last week to a fresh pandemic low as labor market conditions continued to improve and the economy reopened more broadly. Separate data highlighted a rebound in productivity as the pace of output exceeded a pickup in hours worked. Traders are now awaiting Friday’s employment report, which is expected to show the U.S. added about 1 million jobs in April.“With jobless claims hitting a pandemic-era low, anticipation for the full jobs picture tomorrow mounts,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*Trade Financial. “Today’s read is another proof point that we’re one step closer to full economic recovery. As we see some serious momentum building on the jobs front, all eyes will be on how this plays into action taken by the Fed.”After closing at a fresh high on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Transportation Average -- considered a barometer of economy activity -- surged 25% above its 200-day moving average. The move could be “perceived as indicative of strength likely to continue in the broader equity market,” said Bloomberg Intelligence’s Gina Martin Adams.These are some of the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 rose 0.5% as of 3:43 p.m. New York timeThe Nasdaq 100 rose 0.4%The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7%The MSCI World index rose 0.5%CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.4%The euro rose 0.5% to $1.2062The British pound was little changed at $1.3895The Japanese yen rose 0.1% to 109.05 per dollarBondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 1.57%Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.23%Britain’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to 0.79%CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.3% to $65 a barrelGold futures rose 1.7% to $1,815 an ounceFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Markets are vulnerable to “significant declines” should risk appetites falter, the Federal Reserve has warned. At the moment, there are very few signs of that happening.Stocks, in particular, seem able to shrug off any scenario the economy can spit out. Growth running hot? Banks and transports gain, as they did for all five days this week. Hiring hobbled? Big rebound in stay-at-home tech plays, like Friday’s in the Nasdaq 100 and Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF. Surging commodities sowing inflation angst? Buy materials makers, which just had their best week in six months.“That is amazing. No matter what, we’ve seen the market predominantly go up, not down,” Susan Schmidt, head of U.S. equities at Aviva Investors, said by phone. “The market overall is still saying, we believe in the business recovery and we’re still betting on it.”While the various twists have taken momentary tolls on all manner of peripheral indexes, they’ve all been virtual manna from the S&P 500, which just rose for its eighth week in 10 and is now up almost 13% year-to-date. More impressive is the index’s resilience in the face of valuation measures that are by many metrics as rich as they’ve been since the dot-com bubble.How precarious is the market’s altitude? Consider data from Leuthold Group, which compared prices today to their average levels since 1995, a starting point picked to correspond with a broad upward shift in valuations. When plotted against metrics like sales and earnings, the S&P 500 is at risk of falling 37%, should a reversion to the mean occur.Despite the drumbeat of bubble warnings, stocks march on. To skeptics, it’s a precarious perch riven with risks. Others simply see the persistent buoyancy underlining broad-based strength, allowing traders to find ways to stay invested as long as the economy holds up.“The psychological and the behavioral part of the market is that animal spirits are incredibly powerful this year,” said Omar Aguilar, chief investment officer of passive equity and multi-asset strategies for Charles Schwab Investment Management. “The more people get vaccinated, the more they feel comfortable that things will plug forward and that is reflected in the market.”With vaccines and policy support in place, consensus is building that the pandemic-ravaged economy will return to normal activity. What’s debatable is the pace of the recovery. The murky picture is pitting investors against each other, whipping up violent rotations among stocks.The phenomenon was on display over the week. Richly-valued tech stocks sold off Tuesday after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said interest rates may have to rise moderately to keep the economy from overheating. Even though it’s a point she later walked back, traders took the cue from a surge in commodity prices, bidding up cyclical stocks.That reflation narrative took a hit Friday, when hiring data significantly missed economist forecasts, casting doubt on the economic momentum. That sparked a rebound in the battered stay-at-home trade.The back-and-forth between investment styles -- value versus growth, or cyclical versus defensive -- has been playing out all year. In some way, the split view on the trajectory of the economy is dividing the market like never before. Take a look at the relationship between the Russell 1000 value and growth indexes. Over the past six months, they have shown the lowest correlation on record. In other words, they’ve never been decoupled like this.Professional investors have yet to fully embrace the reflation trade. Despite value’s outperformance this year, active funds still favor growth, according to data compiled by Bank of America strategists led by Savita Subramanian. They also avoid inflation beneficiaries such as energy and shun small-caps.ETF traders, on the other hand, take an opposite approach. They have favored value strategies over growth every month in the past year, data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence show. The biggest ETF tracking the Nasdaq 100 has experienced redemptions after $1.7 billion of withdrawals in April, and is on course for its first back-to-back monthly outflows since early 2019.Whatever the preference is, the prevailing inclination among investors is: stick to stocks. They poured money into U.S. equity funds in 12 of the past 13 weeks, according to EPFR Global Inc. data.“As the world’s growth prospects recover and global growth improves, there are a lot of other places you can find companies growing earnings substantially and seeing a nice earnings recovery,” said Matt Miskin, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management. “That is where investors are dedicating their capital right now.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The dust hadn’t yet settled on Archegos Capital Management’s implosion, when hedge funds started shifting their bets toward banks that avoided getting hurt, hoping to keep leveraging up just like before. Good luck with that.For weeks behind the scenes, Wall Street’s giants have been autopsying failures at rivals including Credit Suisse Group AG and Nomura Holdings Inc., identifying risks that they plan to address by more thoroughly vetting hedge funds or imposing more onerous terms on their trades, according to people close to the discussions. No one wants to be the next to tell shareholders and regulators how they failed to heed the lessons of Archegos.Inside Bank of America Corp., which refused to do business with Archegos, Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan has been quizzing subordinates on what more is needed to protect the firm. The episode has hardened the resolve of Wells Fargo & Co. executives that low-risk margin lending is wiser, even if less profitable. UBS Group AG CEO Ralph Hamers has signaled that clients will have to hand over more information when borrowing.And in New York, managers of small hedge funds who lack the negotiating clout of trading whales are grousing. For the little guy especially, the saga will make it harder to borrow money from banks to finance bets.While specific measures will vary by bank and client -- and in many cases are still being ironed out -- the talks and tensions point to greater pressure on clients to reveal their biggest wagers, stricter margin limits on those positions, more frequent collateral adjustments and more rigorous audits. The deliberations were described by executives close to prime brokerage desks and money managers.“There will be more calories expended, both in terms of those desks doing due diligence in the market as well as in some cases they may outright ask clients about that,” Mike Edwards, deputy chief investment officer at Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers, a $3 billion hedge fund. Previously, it was “not a requirement at most places that you would disclose to a swap counterparty that you have the same position on at multiple places.”Such concerns have risen to the top of the regulatory world. Fed Governor Lael Brainard, the head of the Board’s financial stability committee, called for “more granular, higher-frequency disclosures” on Thursday.“The Archegos event illustrates the limited visibility into hedge-fund exposures and serves as a reminder that available measures of hedge-fund leverage may not be capturing important risks,” she said.The Securities and Exchange Commission will consider adjusting some of its rules that require investors to publicly report large stock holdings so they will also cover swaps, Gary Gensler, the regulator’s new chairman, told lawmakers on Thursday.Two Sigma’s MoveThe thirst from banks to boost business with clients like Bill Hwang’s Archegos allowed him to shop for the most generous terms and amplify his wagers. He was able to parlay over $20 billion of his fortune into total bets that exceeded $100 billion, built on the back of banks tripping over each other to fuel his leveraged empire. Hwang used that to to make aggressive asks, demanding strikingly off-market margin terms -- such as $8.50 in leverage for every $1 he put in -- for building his book in Chinese stocks. Some banks demurred, others played ball.In the wake of his fund’s collapse, it’s less likely that other hedge funds will be able to win such terms. Bank officials declined to be interviewed.No bank got hit harder than Credit Suisse when Archegos was unable to meet margin calls from prime brokers in March. The Swiss bank lost more than $5.5 billion after losing a race with peers to sell off the family office’s unusually concentrated and leveraged bets on stocks, in a portfolio that swelled to more than $100 billion.Not too long after, Two Sigma heard from contacts at Credit Suisse, according to people with knowledge of the exchange: Could the investment firm please trim its exposure and move a few billion dollars somewhere else?It wasn’t a hardship; investment firms as big as the $58 billion quant money manager are used to shifting between brokerages. But it adds to a broader outflow, as Credit Suisse adjusts risk tolerances and practices, slashing lending to hedge funds by a third. Hedge fund manager Marshall Wace, with more than $50 billion in assets, also shifted business from Credit Suisse to some U.S. banks, a person familiar with the matter said last month.Unusual ReviewWithin days of the Archegos blowup in March, Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas SA alone had received more than $10 billion in inflows from a number of clients pulling away from Credit Suisse, according to a person with knowledge of the moves. The investors included D.E. Shaw, Two Sigma and Marshall Wace. Representatives for the firms declined to comment.Additional inflow recipients include Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America, according to people with knowledge of their businesses, both of which are working on measures to keep risks in check.Inside Bank of America, executives fielding that money have been conducting an unusual review: Examining what went right in the lender’s decision to refuse Archegos as a client this year. That could help the firm avoid potential headaches. Discussions there have revolved, in part, around boosting collateral for certain types of swaps, depending on the situation.When Archegos came up at the bank’s annual meeting last month, Moynihan lauded senior executives for paying close attention to the amount of risk the board is willing to take.Archegos had around $3 billion at the start of 2020 before it lost roughly half within a few months, according to a bank executive that worked with the investment firm. By March of this year its portfolio had soared to $23 billion -- making it a prized customer at a handful of banks around the world.Warning SignsReviews by prime brokers have pointed to an array of warning signs that not everyone heeded, such as the dramatic month-to-month swings in the value of its portfolio. There also was its heavy preference for swaps -- rather than direct stakes -- that hid its concentration of bets on a handful of companies. And it used an accounting firm not normally associated with money managers commanding so much firepower.As Archegos swelled, the reaction among prime brokerage managers was split: At one bank, they expressed amazement to colleagues, at another executives saw it as radioactive and steered clear. Employees at that firm have since been examining other hedge fund clients for similar patterns and expect to have conversations with some about adjusting the terms of their business.Many big hedge funds set up multiple prime brokerage relationships, sometimes using a few of the industry’s giants -- JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -- as well as a few others such as Credit Suisse for supplementary leverage on their bets.But managers overseeing smaller mounts of money typically find they don’t have as many options. Though some banks such as Morgan Stanley make a point of serving fledgling funds, smaller money managers say they generally face more-onerous terms on trades.Worsening TermsThe Archegos blowup is going to make that situation all the worse, two veteran managers atop smaller firms said. Deeper due diligence costs prime brokerages time and money. Fewer mid-sized prime brokerages will offer as much margin or the breaks on trading terms that were available just months ago. The money managers worry that they face a more take-it-or-leave-it environment than interest in doing business.The frustrations over Archegos are shared by bigger firms too.In a letter to investors, Marshall Wace co-founder Paul Marshall raged over how Archegos caught prime brokers by surprise using opaque swaps.“The prime brokers have paid the price for extending so much risk,” he wrote last month, chiding them for not asking enough questions. “PBs will improve.”(Updates with comment from SEC chairman in ninth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Things can't just go back to normal after 18-month reprieve, lawmakers say.
(Bloomberg) -- Cars are back in vogue courtesy of the pandemic. They’re also getting more expensive, thanks in part to surging commodity prices.Many of the essential ingredients for automakers, such as copper, steel and aluminum, are hitting or approaching record highs this year as the lagging supply can’t keep up with stimulus-driven demand. The Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index jumped to its highest since 2011, with metals up 21% so far this year.Should the current rally morph into a supercycle, rising car prices could forebode inflation across the board. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. estimate the price of an auto’s raw materials have climbed 83% in the year through March. Those pieces typically make up about 10% of the cost of building a vehicle, meaning the price tag for a $40,000 car would have to increase 8.3% to offset the rally, analysts for the bank wrote.“We’re definitely feeling the commodity headwind,” Jim Farley, chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., said last week. “We’re seeing inflation in a variety of parts of our industry, kind of in ways we haven’t seen for many years.”Carmakers usually struggle to pass on higher costs, but demand is booming as major economies reopen and many consumers continue avoiding public transportation. The global semiconductor shortage also is inhibiting production, keeping inventory tight and driving up vehicle prices.In the U.S., car supply is so limited that rental companies are resorting to buying used vehicles at auction rather than new ones.The main contributor to higher commodity costs hitting the industry is the steel needed for chassis, engines and wheels. The metal’s recent rally has smashed records as China -- by far the biggest producer -- took measures to curb output.The boom in copper prices adds to the costs of electric vehicles just as the industry implements an energy transformation to meet tighter emissions standards. EVs use nearly 3 1/2 times more copper than gas guzzlers because of the larger amount of wiring inside, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie Ltd.The increases may hurt automakers like Tesla Inc. and Volkswagen AG that are trying to make EVs more price-competitive with traditional cars.They also may encourage automakers to explore alternative chemistries for their EV batteries. The majority of cells use some combination of lithium, cobalt and nickel, which have jumped a minimum of 47% each in the past 12 months.Ford and BMW AG were among those investing $130 million this month in battery startup Solid Power Inc., which is working on cells that would remove the need for those metals, leading to a 10-fold decline in power pack costs.“They are looking to spread that risk,” said Caspar Rawles, head of price and data assessments at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. “There is no hedging for lithium or cobalt.”BMW expects headwinds from rising commodity prices of as much as 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) for the year, Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter said Friday during an earnings briefing. The luxury-car maker singled out rhodium, steel and palladium as particular worries in the coming months.Longer term, BMW is working to be less exposed to price squeezes in key raw materials. From 2025, the automaker plans to produce vehicles on a new architecture that will allow recycling of materials such as steel, aluminum and plastics to make new cars.“We’re seeking partnerships” to refine the necessary technologies, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said.Jeep maker Stellantis NV -- formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group –- said it needed to recover some of its higher costs, and the marketplace is supportive, so far.“It’s hard to imagine a better environment with which to pass through the impact of supply shock and price inflation to consumers who are effectively lining up to take delivery of their new car off the car carrier,” analysts at Morgan Stanley wrote in a note. “It’s a seller’s market in autos.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Stocks traded mixed Thursday morning, with the Nasdaq looking to extend its losing streak to a fifth straight session as technology stocks came under more pressure.
(Bloomberg) -- Copper soared this week to an all-time high, continuing a sizzling rally that’s seen prices double in the past year.The previous copper record was set in 2011, around the peak of the commodities supercycle sparked by China’s rise to economic heavyweight status — fueled by massive amounts of raw materials. This time, investors are betting that copper’s vital role in the world’s shift to green energy will mean surging demand and even higher prices. Copper futures rose as high as $10,440 a ton in London on Friday. What’s the big deal about copper?Through human history, copper has played a critical role in many of civilization’s greatest advances: from early monetary systems to municipal plumbing, from the rise of trains, planes and cars to the devices and networks that underpin the information age.The reddish brown metal is mostly unrivaled as an electrical and thermal conductor, while also being durable and easy to work with. Today, a vast array of uses in all corners of heavy industry, construction and manufacturing mean it’s a famously reliable indicator for trends in the global economy.The copper market was one of the first to react as the Covid-19 coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, with prices slumping by more than a quarter between January and March last year. Then as China’s unprecedented steps to control the domestic spread of the virus started to yield results, copper rapidly rebounded -- and it hasn’t looked back since.But it’s not just China driving the rally. While the country accounts for half of the world’s copper consumption and has played an integral part in copper’s surge, demand there has actually softened this year. Yet prices continue to drive higher.Why is copper surging now?It’s partly due to evidence of recoveries in other major industrial economies, with manufacturing output surging in places like the U.S., Germany and Japan. But investors have also been piling into copper on a bet that global efforts to cut carbon emissions are going to mean the world needs a lot more of the metal, putting a strain on supply. New mine production may be slow to arrive, as mines are hard to find and expensive to develop.Electric vehicles contain about four times as much copper as a conventional car, and vast amounts of copper wiring will be needed in roadside chargers to keep them running. Bringing electricity from offshore wind farms to national power grids is also a copper-intensive exercise.Governments around the world have announced ambitious infrastructure investment plans, much of which involves construction, green energy, or both.Are things that use copper getting more expensive?Increasingly, yes. Major manufacturers have been hiking prices for air-conditioning units and fridges over the past few months, and they’re warning there may be more to come.Still, copper is often used in small quantities in complex consumer goods, and so the doubling in prices over the past year won’t be nearly as painful for consumers as an equivalent jump in food or fuel prices would be. Similarly, governments rolling out big spending programs might not be too worried about a rise in copper alone.But with other raw materials rising too, there are growing signs that they’ll get less bang for their buck as the cost of big-ticket items like wind turbines rise.What does it mean for the economy?There are mounting concerns that the broad rally in everything from lumber to steel will force central bankers to step in to stop inflation in raw-materials markets spiralling out of control.In turn, the stellar economic rebound that’s driving the commodities rally may start to stall as businesses are hit by higher interest rates, compressed margins, and waning demand from consumers. The key question for policymakers at the Federal Reserve — and traders on Wall Street — is whether the broad spike in commodities prices will be temporary.Could the rally fizzle out?In the case of copper, there are some signs that spot demand is starting to cool, particularly in China, and some analysts and traders say the record prices aren’t justified by today’s fundamentals.The view among policymakers is that the rise in commodities prices will prove short-lived, as consumers will focus their spending on services and experiences as economies open up, easing the strain on demand for commodities-intensive items such as second homes, electronics and appliances seen during lockdown.For copper though, it’s not just about strong demand today. In fact, a lot of expected spending on renewables and electric-vehicle infrastructure is yet to really materialize. When it does, it could transform the outlook for copper usage in countries such as Germany and the U.S.How high could copper go?Trafigura Group, the world’s top copper trader, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. both say prices could hit $15,000 a ton in the coming years, on the back of a global surge in demand due to the shift to green energy. Bank of America says $20,000 could even be possible if drastic issues arise on the supply side.The copper market itself may also be facing a big shift. Trafigura predicts that demand growth in China will be eclipsed by rising consumption in the rest of the world over the coming decade, in a dramatic reversal of the recent trend. That could help underpin a new “supercycle” in the copper market, driving prices higher for years on the back of a step-change in global demand.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Moderna stock continued a two-day dive Thursday despite reporting its first profit after the first full quarter of Covid vaccine sales. But sales lagged forecasts. Shares are below a buy point.