East to West: Asian stocks find support

Asian stocks are finding support after a sell-off over the last three months.

The Shanghai Composite Index is showing a slight bullish divergence on the Trend Index. This is secondary in size and suggests a bear market rally.

Shanghai Composite Index

South Korea’s Seoul Composite Index displays a stronger bullish divergence. Breakout above 2350 and the descending trendline is still unlikely but would indicate that a bottom is forming.

Seoul Composite Index

Japan’s Nikkei 225 broke through resistance at 23,000, signaling an advance to the January high at 24,000.

Nikkei 225 Index

India shows strong buying pressure, with long tails on the Nifty suggesting another strong advance.

Nifty Index

Europe

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 600 is trending lower. Support at 374 is secondary but the Trend Index near zero indicates hesitancy.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600 Index

The Footsie found medium-term support at 7250 but a declining Trend Index warns of another test of primary support at 6900/7000.

FTSE 100 Index

North America

The S&P 500 retracement respected support at 2875, suggesting an advance to the long-term target of 3000.

S&P 500

Canada’s TSX 60 on the other hand is undergoing a correction, perhaps exacerbated by concerns over NAFTA. Expect support at 935/940.

TSX 60 Index

Nothing much has changed. While Japan and India are bullish, China and South Korea remain in a bear market. Europe looks hesitant, while the S&amp:P 500 continues in a strong bull market.

The generally accepted view is that markets are always right — that is, market prices tend to discount future developments accurately even when it is unclear what those developments are. I start with the opposite view. I believe the market prices are always wrong in the sense that they present a biased view of the future.

~ George Soros

ASX 200: Correction to test 6000

The ASX 300 Banks index continues to test support at 7700. Declining Trend Index warns of medium-term selling pressure. Breach of support is likely and would signal a test of primary support at 7300.

ASX 300 Banks Index

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is also headed for a test of primary support, at 3400. A Trend Index peak at/below zero would warn of rising selling pressure and a primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Commodities are already in a primary down-trend but Australian stocks are partially cushioned by a weakening Aussie Dollar.

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

The ASX 200 found medium-term support at 6150 but this unlikely to hold. Bearish Divergence on the Trend Index warns of medium-term selling pressure. Expect a correction to test the rising long-term trendline at 6000.

ASX 200

I remain cautious on Australian stocks, holding over 30% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

Capital spending on the rise

Just released July 2018 manufacturers’ new orders for capital goods, excluding defense and aircraft, show that the recovery is gathering speed.

Manufacturers New Orders: Capital Goods excluding Defense & Aircraft

Any fears that easy money has undermined capital budgeting restraints — and that the economy is entering the final heady stages of a boom before the bust — can be dispelled by adjusting the above graph for inflation.

Manufacturers New Orders: Capital Goods excluding Defense & Aircraft adjusted for Inflation

Adjusting manufacturers orders by the GDP implicit price deflator shows that the recovery in capital spending has barely started and is a long way from the excesses preceding the Dotcom crash and the GFC.

Wage increases haven’t made a dent in profits

Average hourly earnings growth continues to rise, albeit at a leisurely pace. Average hourly earnings for all employees in the private sector grew at 2.92% over the last 12 months, while production and nonsupervisory employee earnings grew at 2.80% over the same period. The Fed is likely to adopt a more restrictive stance if hourly earnings growth, representing underlying inflationary pressures, exceeds 3.0%. So far the message from Fed Chair Jerome Powell has been business as usual, with rate hikes at a measured pace.

Average Hourly Earnings

Rising wage rates to-date have been unable, up to Q2 2018, to make a dent in corporate profits. Corporate profits are near record highs at 13.4%, while employee compensation is historically low at 69.5% of net value added. Past recessions have been heralded by rising employee compensation and falling corporate profits. What we are witnessing this time is unusual, with compensation rising, admittedly from record low levels, while profits rebounded after a low in Q4 2016. There is no indication that this will end anytime soon.

Corporate Profits and Employee Compensation as Percentage of Value Added

Weaker values (1.17%) on the Leading Index from the Philadelphia Fed reflect a flatter yield curve. A fall below 1.0% would be cause for concern.

Philadelphia Fed Leading Index

Our surrogate for real GDP, Total Payrolls x Average Weekly Hours Worked, is lagging behind recent GDP growth (1.9% compared to 2.9%) but both are rising.

Real GDP and Total Payroll*Average Hours Worked

Another good sign is that personal consumption expenditure, one of the key drivers of economic growth, is on the mend. Services turned up in Q2 2018 after a three-year decline. Durable goods remain strong. Nondurables are weaker but this may reflect a reclassification issue. New products such as Apple Music and Netflix are classified as sevices but replace sales of goods such as CDs and videos.

Personal Consumption

There is no cause for concern yet, but we will need to keep a weather-eye on the yield curve.

Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux, and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.

~ George Soros

Australian households are spending more than they are earning | ABC

Interesting chart from Stephen Letts at the ABC:

Thomson Reuters: Australian Consumption v. Disposable Income

Household consumption is growing at a faster rate than disposable income, with savings rates (net savings / disposable income) falling. This is clearly unsustainable. Savings rates, which include compulsory super contributions, fell to just 1.0% in Q2, with savings outside of super being rapidly eroded.

That relationship is even more unsustainable now house prices are falling, according to Deutsche bank’s Phil Odonaghoe.

“Strengthening housing wealth accrued by the household sector has been an important factor supporting the decline in saving. With house prices now falling, that support has been removed.”

From Households are now spending more than they are earning — and that’s not sustainable | Stephen Letts | ABC.

Hat tip to Macrobusiness.

East to West: Bonds & tariffs hurt developing markets and crude prices

10-Year Treasury yields are consolidating in a triangle below long-term resistance at 3.00 percent. Breakout above 3.00 would signal a primary advance, ending the decades-long bull market in bonds. This would have a heavy impact on developing economies, including China, with a stronger Dollar forcing higher interest rates.

10-year Treasury Yields

A Trend Index trough above zero would signal buying pressure and a likely upward breakout.

Crude oil prices, as a consequence of higher interest rates and the threat of trade tariffs, are starting to form a top. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure. Breach of support at $65/barrel would signal reversal to a primary down-trend.

Nymex Light Crude

Commodity prices are leading, breach of support at 85.50 already having signaled a primary down-trend.

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is in a primary down-trend. Trend Index peaks below zero warn of selling pressure. Breach of support at 2700 is likely. The long-term target is the 2014 low at 2000.

Shanghai Composite Index

Germany’s DAX is headed for a test of primary support at 11,800. Descending peaks on the Trend Index warn of secondary selling pressure. Breach of primary support is uncertain but would offer a target of 10,500.

DAX

The Footsie also shows secondary selling pressure on the Trend Index, warning of a test of primary support at 6900/7000.

FTSE 100

In stark contrast, North American tech stocks have made huge gains in the last four months, but are now retracing to test support. Breach of the rising trendline and support at 7400 would warn of a correction; a test of the long-term rising trendline at 7000 the likely target.

Nasdaq 100

The S&P 500 has also made new highs. Penetration of the rising trendline would warn of a correction to the LT trendline at 2800.

S&P 500

North America leads the global recovery, developing markets including China are falling, while Europe is sandwiched in the middle, with potential loss of trade from East and West if a trade war erupts.

From the AFR today:

President Donald Trump said he’s ready to impose tariffs on an additional $US267 billion in Chinese goods on short notice, on top of a proposed $US200 billion that his administration is putting the final touches on.

“….I will say this: the world trading system is broken.” Trump is “dead serious” in his determination to push China to reform its trade policies, [White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow] added.

Can’t say he didn’t warn us.

Gold stocks face selling pressure despite plunging Aussie Dollar

The Yuan continues to test support at 14.5 US cents.

CNY/USD

The Dollar Index recovered above support at 95. Respect of support would confirm another advance, with a long-term target of 103, but bearish divergence on the Trend Index still warns of selling pressure.

Dollar Index

Gold is testing resistance at $1200/ounce but Trend Index peaks below zero warn of strong selling pressure. Respect of the descending trendline would indicate another decline with a long-term target of the 2015 low at $1050/ounce.

Spot Gold in USD

The Australian Dollar is plunging, having broken short-term support at 72 US cents. Trend Index peaks below zero indicate strong selling pressure. Expect a test of the 2015/2016 low at 70 US cents.

Australian Dollar/USD

The falling Aussie Dollar may cushion local gold stocks, to some extent, from weaker gold prices but the All Ordinaries Gold Index (XGD) continues its downward path. Tall shadows on the last three candles flag selling pressure. Breach of short-term support at 4550 is likely and would offer a long-term target of 4000/4100.

All Ordinaries Gold Index

ASX 200: Banks & miners lead correction

The ASX 300 Banks index continues to test support at 7700 after respecting its new resistance level at 8000. Breach of support is likely and would signal another test of primary support at 7300.

ASX 300 Banks Index

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index broke short-term support at 3600 and is headed for a test of primary support at 3400. A sharp fall on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 200 is testing medium-term support at 6150. Bearish Divergence on the Trend Index warns of (secondary) selling pressure and breach of 6150 is likely. Expect a correction to test the rising long-term trendline at 6000.

ASX 200

I avoid commercial banks because of higher funding costs, falling credit growth and rising default risk. Also hold few mining stocks because of exposure to volatile commodity markets. I remain cautious on Australian stocks, holding over 30% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

East to West in three charts

The S&P 500 is making new highs while a rising Trend Index indicates buying pressure. Target for the advance is 3000.

S&P 500

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is in a primary down-trend. Trend Index peaks below zero warn of selling pressure. Breach of support at 2700 is likely and would offer a long-term target of the 2014 low at 2000.

Shanghai Composite Index

The Footsie broke support at 7600. Follow-through below 7500 warns of a correction to test primary support at 6900/7000.

FTSE 100

North America leads the global recovery, China is falling, while Europe is sandwiched in the middle, with potential loss of trade from East and West if a trade war erupts.

Gold reacts to Dollar weakness

The Yuan continues to find support at 14.5 US cents.

CNY/USD

The Dollar Index is testing support at 95. Respect of support would confirm another advance, with a long-term target of 103, but declining Trend index peaks warn of selling pressure.

Dollar Index

Gold rallied to $1200/ounce but failed to make further progress. Respect of the descending trendline would warn of another decline with a long-term target of the 2015 low at $1050/ounce.

Spot Gold in USD

The Australian Dollar respected resistance at 73.50 US cents, warning of another decline. Trend Index peaks below zero reflect selling pressure.

Australian Dollar/USD

The All Ordinaries Gold Index (XGD) continues its downward path, tall shadows on the last two candles reflecting selling pressure. Breach of short-term support at 4550 is likely and would offer a long-term target of 4000/4100.

All Ordinaries Gold Index