Zollikon - Saxo Bank, the online multi-asset trading and investment specialist, today releases its annual batch of ten Outrageous Predictions for 2013. This is Saxo Bank’s annual exercise in rooting out relatively extreme market and political events for which the probability is perhaps low, if still vastly under-appreciated.
Among these predictions is that Germany will move toward accepting the mutualisation of Euro debt, which combined with other strains could cause the DAX to plunge by about a third from near multi-year highs to 5,000. Another is that gold will fall by around 500 dollars to USD 1,200 per ounce on faster US growth and a stronger US dollar and despite the overhang of Fed’s easy monetary policy.
Other events Saxo Bank believes would have a significant impact should they come to pass include Spanish interest rates rising to 10% despite the ECB’s OMT mechanism as Greece exits and social tensions rise, and the un-pegging of the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) from the USD and its re-pegging to the Chinese Renminbi as China attempts to take more control of its economic destiny away from the US and its central bank’s policies.
Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank, comments:
“This year’s Outrageous Predictions are once again a selection of mainly negative events, any of which can change the financial landscape and in some cases even the political status quo. Here at the end of 2012, we have extremely low volatility in all asset classes due to the lack of real price discovery from heavy handed manipulation by central banks. In such an environment, almost any move outside of two standard deviations is becoming ‘outrageous’.
“These ten predictions are not Saxo Bank’s official forecasts for 2013. They could, however, prove far more relevant for investors because of the huge impact if any one of them sees the light of day in the New Year. Before trading or investing, investors must know the worst case scenario - capital preservation is a must and portfolios need to be able to weather a perfect storm, or for that matter any storm.”
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Saxo Bank’s Outrageous Predictions 2013
1. DAX plunges 33 percent to 5000
China’s economic slowdown continues, putting a halt to Germany’s industrial expansion. This causes large price declines in industrial stocks and low consumer confidence. Approval ratings for Angela Merkel plunge ahead of the German election, and in a weak economy combined with political uncertainty as Germany moves closer to signing up for further EU debt mutualisation, the DAX stock market index declines to 5,000, down 33 percent for the year.
2. Nationalisation of major Japanese electronics companies
Japan’s electronics industry, once the glory of the country, enters a terminal phase after being outmatched by South Korea. With combined annual losses of USD 30 billion for Sharp, Panasonic and Sony alone, creditworthiness deteriorates greatly and the Japanese government nationalises key industry players, similar to the US government’s bailout of its automobile industry.
3. Soybeans to rise by 50 percent
Bad weather during 2012, which wreaked havoc on global crop production and saw a nine-year low in US soybean ending stocks, leaves the price of new crop soybeans exposed to any new weather disruptions, either in the US, South America or in China. Increased demand for biofuel will also play its part in exposing the price to spikes, and speculators will be ready to re-enter the market, pushing the price higher by as much as 50 percent. Food security becomes a buzz phrase.
4. Gold corrects to USD 1,200 per ounce
The strength of the US economic recovery in 2013 surprises the market and especially financial investors in gold. This and a lack of pick-up in physical demand for gold from China and India, both struggling with weak growth and rising unemployment, trigger a major round of gold liquidation. Gold slumps to USD 1,200 before central banks eventually step in to take advantage of lower prices.
5. WTI crude hits USD 50
US energy production continues to rise, primarily through advanced production techniques such as in the shale oil sector. US production of crude oil rises strongly, and with domestic inventory levels already at a 30-year high and export options limited, WTI benchmark crude oil prices come under renewed selling pressure and slump towards USD 50 per barrel.
6. USDJPY heads to 60.00
The Liberal Democratic Party comes back into power in Japan, with its supposedly JPY-punishing agenda. Only half-measures are introduced however, and at the same time the market has become over-positioned for JPY weakness and Japanese investors repatriate a portion of their trillions of USD invested abroad as risk appetite retrenches. The yen vaults to the fore as the world’s strongest currency, with USDJPY heading as low as 60.00 – ironically paving the way for the LDP government and the BoJ to reach for those more radical yen-weakening measures they promised in the first place.
7. EURCHF breaks peg, touches 0.9500
European Union tail risks are re-aggravated – perhaps by the Italian election – or over the nature of Greece’s exit from the European Monetary Union and the worry that Spain and Portugal will follow suit. This sends capital flows surging into Switzerland once again and the Swiss National Bank and Swiss Government decide it is better to abandon the Swiss franc’s peg to the euro for a time rather than push reserves past 100% of Switzerland’s GDP. As a consequence EURCHF touches a new all-time low below parity before Switzerland is forced to introduce capital controls to stem its strength.
8. Hong Kong unpegs HKD from USD – re-pegs to RMB
Hong Kong moves to unpeg its dollar from the US dollar, and repeg it to the Chinese renminbi. Other Asian countries show signs of wanting to follow suit. RMB volatility increases as China loosens its grip on the currency’s movements, and Hong Kong quickly grows to become a major world currency trading centre and the most important centre for trading the RMB.
9. Spain takes one step closer to default as interest rates rise to 10 percent
With social tensions in Spain already high, the public sector simply cannot cut its public outlays further. In 2013, Spanish sovereign debt is downgraded to junk and the social strain pushes Spain over the edge, seeing Spain reject the extend-and-pretend policies of EU officialdom. Yields rapidly increase after the downgrade and as an inevitable default is priced in.
10. 30-year US yield doubles in 2013
The Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy forces investors to leave fixed income. With no or even negative return, the substitution of bonds with stocks is appealing. The bond market is far larger than the equity market and a 10 per cent reduction of funds allocated to bonds and reallocated to stocks would amplify equity fund inflows by around 30 per cent. This could lead to higher US rates and also be the beginning of decade-long outperformance by stocks over bonds.