Tag Archives: $GDX

CDS Market Says: “How Crude” 1:3 Chance of Russian Default; Mining For Gold ETFs in Them Thar Hills

Below extract courtesy of global macro trading think tank Rareview Macro LLC ‘s  Jan 13 edition of daily commentary via “Sight Beyond Sight”

Neil Azous, Rareview Macro
Neil Azous, Rareview Macro

To Russia Without Much Love: Crude Catalyst and Credit Impact

With another day of lower Crude Oil prices, the vice-grip on the Russian Federation continues to be tightened.

The 5-year credit default swap (CDS) spread has widened out to a new high today and the default probability has increased too slightly above ~34%. In November, there was just a 1 in 5 chance of default. In December, there was just a 1 in 4 chance of default. In January, there is now a 1 in 3 chance of default. The Rubble Basket (symbol: RUBBASK) is above 70.00. It has only traded with a “70 handle” during the height of the December 15-18th currency crisis.

With interest rates above 17% and a continuing effort to defend the Rubble exchange rate, the Russian credit market remains the release valve for stress. This should not be a surprise given that Fitch joined S&P last week in lowering its credit rating to BBB-, the lowest level before junk.

As a reminder, at the end of December, S&P put the country on credit watch negative and has 90-days to act. However, in its press release on December 30th the ratings agency said that it aims to resolve its corporate debt ratings by the end of January, after it makes a decision on the sovereign grade. Given the continued breakdown in the Crude Oil price, speculators are increasingly sensitive to the fact that S&P could very soon be the first rating agency to lower Russia to high yield.

Gold Miners:  Quick Update: GDX & GFI Could Gain Continue reading

James Grant: Short $LQD Before Bonds Fall

indexuniverseCourtesy of Olly Ludwig

Sooner or later the bond market is going to start falling, and a perfect exchange-traded vehicle to play the unraveling of the more than three-decade rally in fixed-income markets is “LQD,” a corporate bond fund that happens to be one of the largest fixed-income ETF in the world, James Grant told attendees at IndexUniverse’s Inside ETFs conference this week.

But Grant, the editor and publisher of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, said that while he is short the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond Fund (NYSEArca: LQD), it’s terribly difficult to time such trades, as markets are “unreliably efficient” and “reliably inefficient” and, moreover, the Federal Reserve’s loose-money policies since 2008 essentially mean that interest rates are not in a free market.

Grant’s comment about LQD came in response to a question from IndexUniverse Chief Executive Officer and founder Jim Wiandt, who introduced Grant and asked what investors—faced with the prospect of the end of a secular bull market in bonds since the early 1980s—should now do.

“Short,” said Grant. “I’m short something called LQD.”  The ETF, the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond Fund (NYSEArca: LQD) is quite liquid and has $24 billion in assets under management.

Grant, a longtime critic of the Fed and a proponent of a return to the gold standard, was the grand finale at the 6th Annual Inside ETFs conference, which took place in Hollywood, Fla. from Feb. 10-12. The event, which has become the see-and-be seen event in the world of ETFs, was attended by nearly 1,300 people, most of them financial advisors and fund sponsors. Continue reading