Displaying items by tag: China

Saturday, 08 June 2024 12:06

Treasury Market Impacted by Chinese Selloff

The U.S. dollar's dominance as the global currency could face a challenge from China. In the first quarter of 2024, China sold a record $53.3 billion in U.S. Treasuries and agency bonds, indicating a push towards diversification.

 

Over the past 17 months, China's central bank has been significantly increasing its gold reserves, raising concerns about a shift away from reliance on the U.S. dollar. This move may be part of a strategy to protect against U.S. sanctions and reflect China’s broader economic ambitions. 

 

Other countries, including India, Russia, and Turkey, are also reducing their U.S. asset holdings amid concerns over America’s debt and political stability. While the dollar's decline isn't immediate, investors should consider diversifying their assets to navigate potential changes in the global financial landscape.


Finsum: These sorts of shifts could have drastic impact on Treasury prices so investors should monitor international changes.

Published in Wealth Management

Demand for US Treasuries continues to be strong despite high levels of issuance. According to the Treasury Department, foreign holdings of Treasuries saw their fifth monthly increase, reaching new highs.

As of the end of February, foreigners held $7.97 trillion of US Treasuries, nearly 9% higher than February 2023. Japan is the largest holder of Treasuries, outside of the US, at $1.17 trillion, which is the most since August 2022. 

However, some believe that the country may be looking to boost the value of its currency, as it hit a 34-year low against the dollar earlier this week. In 2022, Japan intervened in currency markets by selling dollars and buying the yen when it was at similar levels. As a result, its holdings declined by $131.6 billion due to these transactions. 

Another trend is that China’s holding of Treasuries continues to decline. The country held $775 billion in Treasuries, a decline of $22.7 billion from the previous month. This is the lowest amount since March 2009. 

Europe saw the biggest monthly increase of $27 billion and owns $320 billion in total. Great Britain also saw a $9 billion increase in Treasury holdings to reach $701 billion. 


Finsum: Despite recent volatility in US Treasuries, foreign holdings continue to rise. Japan remains the largest owner of Treasuries, while China continues to reduce its stake.

Published in Bonds: Total Market
Friday, 29 March 2024 03:47

What Analysts Got Wrong About Oil

Oil prices have continued to defy Wall Street analysts. Last year, the consensus view was that prices would weaken as the US economy slipped into a recession, with the rest of the world facing a sharper contraction in economic growth. While growth did slow, the US economy continued to expand, and global oil demand increased more than expected. In Q1, the IEA upped its forecast for US oil demand by 110,000 barrels per day due to stronger than expected economic data. 

Additionally, despite predictions from EV boosters, there has been no material impact on oil demand from increased adoption. Similarly, China’s economy has been mired in a slump, yet Chinese oil demand also defied expectations and increased more than expected. In fact, a major lesson of the post-pandemic period is the inelasticity of oil demand. 

On the supply side, US production also surpassed forecasts and made up for any production cuts from OPEC. A major factor is increasing well productivity due to newer drilling techniques. 

Looking ahead, many were skeptical that OPEC+ would remain disciplined, given individual countries’ incentives to increase revenues by boosting production. So far, the cartel has managed to successfully reduce production, which is contributing to the current tight market and a major factor in oil’s upward move YTD. 


Finsum: Last year, many analysts got it wrong when it came to oil. Overall, they were too bearish on the economy and overestimated how much a weak economy would impact oil demand. 

Published in Eq: Energy
Friday, 09 February 2024 05:38

Earnings Decline for Energy Sector

Lower prices for crude oil and natural gas will lead to a more than 30% decline in earnings for the energy sector in Q4. In contrast, the S&P 500 is expected to see a 1.4% drop in earnings. However, these numbers are somewhat skewed by the 7 largest, mega cap tech stocks which have seen a 53.7% increase in earnings. Subtracting these stocks from the S&P 500 reveals earnings decline of 10.5% for the index.

 

Overall, energy will see the biggest decline in earnings among all sectors. The weakness was recently highlighted by top-line misses for Exxon Mobil and Chevron. The biggest losses are expected in Oil & Gas Refining and Marketing with a 63% contraction in earnings, followed by Integrated Oil & Gas at -34%, and Oil & Gas Exploration & Production with a 20% drop. On the other side, Oil & Gas Equipment & Services and Oil & gas Storage & Transportation, both saw earnings growth.

 

Many producers are dealing with a bearish outlook for oil and gas prices due to weaker demand from Europe and China despite elevated geopolitical risks. At the same time, these producers are dealing with higher costs due to inflation, creating incentives to increase revenue by adding production. 


Finsum: As Q4 earnings season enters its later stages, it’s clear that the energy sector will see the biggest decline in earnings. Here are some of the major factors behind the drop. 

 

Published in Eq: Energy
Tuesday, 06 February 2024 05:40

3 Important Trends in the Energy Sector

The last couple of years have been a wild ride for energy markets including developments like oil prices briefly going negative during the pandemic, Saudi Arabia releasing supply to discipline OPEC members, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, etc. While some volatility and uncertainty is assured given geopolitics, investors in the sector will be rewarded for having a long-term mindset and focus on fundamentals.

 

This includes being aware of the trends shaping the industry. In terms of oil, it’s clear that supply and demand is trumping geopolitical risk. This is evident as oil prices remain under $80 per barrel despite a large increase in MidEast tensions and the war between Russia and Ukraine continuing. More relevant to price is that production remains plentiful, especially from the US, while demand has been less strong than expected due to weakness from China and Europe. 

 

Another trend is that M&A should continue in the sector following a slew of deals at the end of last year. Large producers are eager to lock down high-quality properties. Valuations also remain attractive, while companies in the sector have large amounts of cash on the balance sheet following years of capital discipline. 

 

Finally, investments in renewables will continue despite recent struggles. The IEA is forecasting that 460 gigawatts of renewable energy production will be added. In the US, the EIA sees wind and solar production surpassing coal for the first time. 


Finsum: Oil prices have remained under $80 per barrel despite a slew of geopolitical risks due to robust supply and weaker than expected demand. 

 

Published in Eq: Energy
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