Goldman Sachs to clients: whoops. Just six weeks into 2016, the New York-based bank has abandoned five of six recommended top trades for the year.
The dollar versus a basket of euro and yen; yields on Italian bonds versus their German counterparts; U.S. inflation expectations: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) was wrong on all that and more.
The fumbles underscore the volatility that has beset global markets, accelerating price swings across currencies, stocks and bonds. Signs the world economy is suffering amid a slowdown in China have fueled unease about the creditworthiness of banks and other corporations, spurring a bid for haven assets such as the yen and the euro.
Neither Himmelberg nor Francesco Garzarelli, Goldman Sachs’s London-based co-head of fixed-income strategy, could immediately be reached for further comment, when contacted by phone and e-mail.
The New York-based bank closed its call for dollar strength versus an equally weighted basket of the euro and yen on Tuesday, recording a potential loss of about 5 percent, Himmelberg wrote in his note. Goldman Sachs also ended a bet on five-year five-year forward Italian sovereign yields versus their German counterparts for a loss of about 0.5 percent, he wrote.
Japan’s currency strengthened past 115 per dollar for the first time since 2014 on Tuesday while the euro rose to a more than three-month high. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s gauge of global currency swings rose to 11.9 percent on Tuesday, its highest in more than two years. Measures of stock-market and bond volatility also climbed.
Goldman Sachs was forced out of three of its top picks for the year last month: a bet on large U.S. banks against the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, a wager on 10-year break-evens, and a call on the Mexican peso and Russian ruble strengthening versus the South African rand and Chilean peso. The latter closed on Jan. 21 for a potential loss of 6.6 percent.