A busy schedule for us on this side, sto this week we offer only some brief thoughts and a handful of offshore trading ideas.
$940bn worth of options traded on Thursday last week, making it the single biggest volume day for U.S. options… ever. Interestingly, 70% of the options traded have expiries less than one week. Also worth of note is that options volume was 140% equities volume and the vast majority of those options being bought were calls. …
There are not many good looking setups on the local market for us this week, so we’ve decided to rather look at some bigger picture themes. On that note, last week we wrote about how the market is looking and feeling a little stretched, although it seems that we got it wrong. Overall, sentiment is neither extremely bullish or bearish at this stage and equity positioning by larger active funds is still mostly underweight.
Our bullishness last week was clearly not the right call. Volatility has crept into the market and there is a lot of uncertainty around what happens next. Therefore, in order to clear our own minds of bias, we will be looking at markets from purely a technical perspective this week.
Sometimes markets can be fairly boring. Well, that very much depends on where you look, but if you are looking at the major indices now, things seem fairly boring to be honest. The market keeps grinding higher on better and better looking market fundamentals. Sure at some point the tapering will start and we’ll all suddenly wake up and realise that inflation was not transitory afterall…
So the much anticipated Jackson Hole symposium is over and believe it or not, the wheels did not fall off. Fed chair Jerome Powell was rather dovish in fact. Although he said that the process to begin tapering can begin, he also implied that there is not set (or anticipated) start date. Thus the market infers that there will be no tapering until November. In the meantime, the delta-variant of the covid-19 virus still poses the most immediate risk in the form of further global lockdowns and supply chain disruptions. It seems that the central bankers will remain ‘accommodating’ until they feel this threat is no longer a threat. Apologies to the next generation that has to foot the bill.
All eyes are on Jerome Powell and the Jackson Hole symposium this week. Jerome Powell is expected to talk on the 26th of August and the market is waiting to hear when we can expect tapering. Although tapering the does not mean a sudden and abrupt end to QE, the market certainly will pretend that it does up until the very minute that it actually happens. We think it is almost inevitable now that we see some tapering by the end of the year. This does not mean that we see interest rate hikes, or a complete end to bond/asset purchases by the FED. It does mean though that the rate at which they are providing liquidity to the market will slow down. This could cause a bit of a speed wobble and some risk-off sentiment.
excited about. Overall though, we expect the week ahead to be ‘risk on’. At least for the developed world. South African markets might be facing its own headwinds and continued currency fallout as a result of the cabinet reshuffle last week. Setups are sparse, so play defense and don’t try to force trades that are not there.
As anticipated, the FOMC made no changes to interest rates last week and are unlikely to make any real moves without very clearly communicating it to the market. Our focus now shifts to the Jackson Hole symposium to be held near the end of the month. We think that Jerome Powell will likely use Jackson Hole as the platform on which to start communicating tapering warnings to the market. At some point the FED must admit that the printing is creating inflation. Although it will likely not do so directly, we can watch the language use around the topic. It was interesting to note that Powell essentially admitted that he does not know ‘where’ inflation is coming from. He also stated that inflation is likely to stay around longer than initially anticipated.
markets) seem to be very attractive ‘underperformers’ that seemingly offer a huge amount of value. Generally the thinking is that we are entering into a new global growth phase and that the underperforming emerging markets ‘should’ catch up to developed markets. That is an enticing narrative and one probably worth positioning for. However, there are some warning signs that are not going away and are difficult to ignore.