Will China Nuke Its Own Treasury Portfolio?

George Yacik - INO.com Contributor - Fed & Interest Rates - China U.S. government debt


If you’re an investor in U.S. Treasury bonds, should you be worried that China may go nuclear? (No, not that kind of nuclear, the kind in the headline of a recent Reuters article about China’s supposed “nuclear option” to stop buying, if not outright sell, its huge holdings of American government bonds).

According to that report – speculation, really – China may consider retaliating against President Trump’s tough tariff talk by pulling its indirect support of the U.S. government, namely its holdings of about $1.2 trillion of Treasury securities. That makes it the largest foreign holder of that debt. Japan is a close second with $1.1 trillion, while Ireland (Ireland?) is a distant third with $328 billion. Altogether, $6.2 trillion of the U.S. government’s total debt of $20 trillion is held by foreign entities or about 31%. That would put China’s share at about 18% of the total foreign-held amount and less than 6% of the grand total.

In case you were wondering, the Federal Reserve holds about $4.5 trillion of the national debt or about four times what China owns. The Social Security Administration owns about $2.8 trillion.

So, is this something we really need to be worried about, even under the remote possibility that China would actually, in financial terms, cut off its nose to spite its face? Continue reading "Will China Nuke Its Own Treasury Portfolio?"

Are We Really In A Bond Bear Market?

George Yacik - INO.com Contributor - Fed & Interest Rates


The U.S. bond market took it on the chin again last week. The question is: Was this is a harbinger of even higher yields to come or just an overreaction to some potentially scary headlines – some of which turned out to be fake news – and therefore a potential buying opportunity?

“Bond King” Bill Gross started the fun on Tuesday when he tweeted out these ominous words: “Bond bear market confirmed.” He did tone that down in his market commentary to his Janus Henderson clients, saying, “We have begun a bear market although not a dangerous one for bond investors. Annual returns should still likely be positive, although marginally so.”

Still, that’s not a whole lot to be happy about, unless you’re heavily invested in stocks, where the returns may be even worse, i.e., negative. The other so-called Bond King, Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital, predicted that the S&P 500 Index would end the year with a negative return. He also said that if the 10-year Treasury yield pushes past 2.63% – which it almost did last week – it will accelerate higher.

The news got worse after that. Continue reading "Are We Really In A Bond Bear Market?"

A Tumbling Copper Could Hit The Floor

Aibek Burabayev - INO.com Contributor - Metals


Greed is one of the strongest human motivators. It is easy to get greedy, but it is hard to push it down after it gets extreme. The main point of my previous update in August was to focus your attention on the price action in the $3 area as the price could hit this psychological level and then retreat. My advice was to book profits and wait to see what would happen next.

I hope that you heeded my advice and didn’t get greedy as copper was pushed down below the $3 level very quickly.

In the same post, I thought that this upside move in the metal that had started last year could just be a consolidation before another drop down. In the chart below I go into more details about it.

Chart 1. Copper Monthly

Monthly Chart Copper
Chart courtesy of tradingview.com
Continue reading "A Tumbling Copper Could Hit The Floor"

China: Signals From Dim Sum Bonds

Lior Alkalay - INO.com Contributor


Over the past three years, a dark cloud has been looming large in China—a massive debt bubble. It seems that, with each bit of good news, whether it’s GDP growth hitting 6.9% for the second quarter in a row, exports climbing to 7.2% Year on Year or Retail Sales surging by 10.4%, the dark cloud of a looming debt crisis grows darker and more menacing. So, when investors suddenly find their appetite whetted for Offshore Chinese debt, one should sit up and take notice.

Chinese Offshore RMB bonds, amusingly nicknamed Dim Sum bonds, are relatively new in the market, existing only since 2007. The Dim Sums’ appeal is, that they trade on offshore markets, rather than in mainland China, thereby allowing investors to buy Chinese debt without the risk of interference from Chinese regulators. As a result, the performance of Dim Sum bonds reflects the sentiment of Chinese debt more accurately. Continue reading "China: Signals From Dim Sum Bonds"

Copper Eyes $3 Amid Upbeat Chinese Data

Aibek Burabayev - INO.com Contributor - Metals


Back in May, I posted an update for copper where I shared my concerns about the possible negative impacts of the cooling Chinese economy. At the same time the technical chart didn’t confirm those concerns and on the contrary, showed a possible upside move for the metal.

In this post, I would like to share some macro economic charts and an update of the technical chart.

Chart 1. Copper Vs China Industrial Production (Monthly)

China Industrial Production vs. Copper
Chart courtesy of tradingeconomics.com

I chose the period of the chart above from the start of 2016 intentionally to highlight the time when the metal began to consolidate after a huge drop down. Continue reading "Copper Eyes $3 Amid Upbeat Chinese Data"