from Zero Hedge:
Attacking the Second Amendment is a major component of campaign On Tuesday evening in “Devaluation Stunner: China Has Dumped $100 Billion In Treasurys In The Past Two Weeks,” we quantified the cost of China’s near daily open FX operations in support of the yuan.
As BNP’s Mole Hau put it on Monday, “whereas the daily fix was previously used to fix the spot rate, the PBoC now seemingly fixes the spot rate to determine the daily fix,[thus] the role of the market in determining the exchange rate has, if anything, been reduced in the short term.” And a reduced role for the market means a larger role for the PBoC and that, in turn, means burning through more FX reserves to steady the yuan.
Translation and quantification (with the latter coming courtesy of SocGen): as part of China’s devaluation and subsequent attempts to contain said devaluation, China has sold a gargantuan $106 (or more) billion in US paper just as a result of the change in the currency regime.
Notably, that means China has sold as much in Treasurys in the past 2 weeks – over $100 billion – as it has sold in the entire first half of the year. Today, we got what looks like confirmation late in the session when Bloomberg, citing fixed income desks, reported “substantial selling pressure in long end Treasuries coming from Far East.”
The question or rather, the series of questions, that need to be considered going forward are:
“What happens when China liquidates all of its Treasury holdings is anyone’s guess, and an even better question is will anyone else decide to join China as its sells US Treasurys at a never before seen pace, and best of all: will the Fed just sit there and watch as the biggest offshore holder of US Treasurys liquidates its entire inventory…”
And make no mistake, these are timely questions, because the combination of collapsing commodity prices, China’s devaluation, and the threat of a Fed hike have put enormous pressure on EM currencies the world over and that, in turn, means a drawdown of EM FX reserves and pressure on DM bonds. As JP Morgan put it last month, “the sharp reversal in EM FX reserve accumulation between Q1 and Q2 is consistent with the sharp reversal in DM core bond markets. Core bond market yields collapsed in Q1 but saw a big rise in Q2. This is a good reminder of how important FX reserve managers remain in driving core bond markets.”
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