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The VIX drops to a 24-year low, iron ore falls again, and it's election day in Korea. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
With the French election result snuffing out yet another potential source of global uncertainty, market volatility continues to fall. Yesterday the CBOE Volatility Index, known as the VIX, closed below 10, its lowest level since 1993. Gold has also seen a plunge in price swings, with moves narrowing last month to the tightest in a decade. Speaking at the annual Sohn Investment Conference yesterday, former Federal Reserve Governor Kevin Warsh said he believes the market is risky when measures of risk are low.
Iron ore's attempt at a rebound did not last long as prices dropped again on Tuesday. Futures lost as much as 1.8 percent -- signalling a possible return to the $50s for the benchmark spot price. Rising supply and a crackdown on leverage in China have pushed the price of 62 percent content to $60.15 a dry ton, the lowest since October. In the oil market, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for June delivery was trading at $46.40 as of 5:35 a.m. Eastern Time with the push-pull of OPEC supply cuts and U.S. shale production continuing to keep the price from sustaining a move in either direction.
Voting in South Korea's presidential election closes at 7:00 a.m. ET, with results expected a few hours later. The front runner is liberal Moon Jae-in, the son of North Korean refugees, whose victory would end nine years of conservative rule. He has promised to reform the country's corporate conglomerate system and advocates talks with North Korea.
Overnight, the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index fell 0.5 percent, while Japan's Topix index closed 0.3 percent lower following yesterday's broad-based rally. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.5 percent higher at 5:50 a.m. with energy producers and banks leading the gains. S&P 500 futures were flat.
DoubleLine Capital's Jeffrey Gundlach recommended shorting the S&P 500 Index and going long emerging market stocks yesterday at the Sohn Investment Conference in New York. Among other trade ideas at the meeting, was shorting U.K. rates ahead of Brexit, a bullish call on United Continental Holdings Inc. and a recommendation for Tesla Inc.'s 2022 convertible bonds.
What we've been reading
This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- JPMorgan tells banks to partner up as a U.S. deposit drains looms.
- Investors are once again on China contagion alert.
- Some reasons to like the euro again.
- This map shows where robots are coming for your job.
- Carney and the Bank of England are playing it safe.
- Your password is terrible and everyone wants to fix that.
- Mint the coin, redux.