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VRS - who has written 34721 posts on Opalesque Commodities Briefing.


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Investors starting to look at commodities again

Posted on 25 April 2014

After several tough years, investors are once again starting to warm to commodities. That is the view of one of the sector’s most successful hedge fund managers. According to Pierre Andurand, “smart investors” are growing concerned about their exposure to equities and are looking to place contrarian bets in other asset classes such as commodities.

Banks and commodity trading: Sell signals

Posted on 25 April 2014

Thin margins, tough regulations and worries about reputation make trading commodities look like a source of worries not profits for nervous bank bosses. Barclays, one of the biggest in the business, is the latest to head for the exit. This week it announced it would give up most of its metal, crop and energy trading.

Commodity investors brace for El Niño

Posted on 25 April 2014

Commodities investors are bracing themselves for the ever-growing possibility for the occurrence of a weather phenomenon known as El Niño by mid-year which threatens to play havoc with commodities markets ranging from cocoa to zinc.

Indecent exposure [to commodities]

Posted on 25 April 2014

Before there were alternative investments (”alts”) or hedge funds, having some exposure to commodities, served as a good way to diversify a portfolio against stock market volatility. Historical correlations to the stock market are rather low, or at least sporadic, and owning commodities can also be seen as a hedge against inflation (higher costs of raw goods).

Commodity markets shift to brighter view of China

Posted on 25 April 2014

World commodity markets are turning more positive toward China as the country continues to import massive amounts of resources like iron ore, copper and soybeans even as economic growth slows.

Instability in Libya continues to drag down crude oil prices

Posted on 25 April 2014

The price for the U.S. crude oil benchmark has moved closer to $102 per barrel in trading in part because of renewed concerns over Libya, once one of North Africa’s top exporters. On concerns Libya has not yet broken rebels’ grip on oil export terminals, West Texas Intermediate was trading at $101.40 per barrel, while the price for Brent moved at $109.10.

4 reasons why gas prices are rising

Posted on 25 April 2014

Gas prices typically rise in the spring as refineries slow down operations in order to switch from producing winter fuel blends to less polluting summer grades. Gasoline demand is also ramping up as we head into the summer driving season.

Are gold miners predicting an upswing in gold prices?

Posted on 25 April 2014

Over the past couple of days, the price of gold has been heading slightly downward. In fact, bears might argue that because the price of gold has been trading below $1,300 per ounce for a couple of days that we can expect additional downward price action in the gold price.

Gold hoards in ETFs bleed

Posted on 25 April 2014

The demand for gold remained strong in Asian countries during 2013. The rise in gold demand among Asian countries, especially China and India, played a significant role in determining international gold prices. However, the heavy selling of gold hoards in gold backed Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) is likely to offset the rising gold demand in the region.

Silver fails to impress on anniversary of $50 price tag

Posted on 25 April 2014

It’s a special day for the silver market. Why? Three years ago today, states BullionVault’s Miguel Perez-Santalla, the white metal traded at $49.80 per ounce on the New York spot market, meaning that somewhere it was changing hands at $50 per ounce.

Zinc producers eye resuming operations

Posted on 25 April 2014

Strong demand for zinc coupled with the imminent closure of several large mines is tipping the market towards deficit and enticing producers to restart mothballed operations.

Shanghai bourse plans to launch base metals index contract

Posted on 25 April 2014

The Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) plans to launch a futures contract on a base metals index as part of steps to internationalise its business, Chairman Maijun Yang said on Thursday.

Investors exit ETFs as commodities seen fading

Posted on 25 April 2014

Canadian investors are pulling money out of exchange-traded funds for a second year as concern grows that a rally in energy and mining that helped drive equities to the best performance among the world’s largest markets has run its course.

Fidelity rolls out new ETF managed account with BlackRock

Posted on 25 April 2014

Fidelity Investments and BlackRock Inc, already partners in the exchange-traded funds market, are teaming up once again to launch a new ETF-heavy managed account aimed at providing income for investors preparing for retirement.

ETFs increasingly popular for exposure to the UK market

Posted on 25 April 2014

British investors are using low-cost, exchange-traded funds to gain exposure to UK companies and markets, as the products become more mainstream.

Canadians are dumping ETFs on commodity doubts

Posted on 25 April 2014

Canadian investors are pulling money out of exchange-traded funds for a second year as concern grows that a rally in energy and mining that helped drive equities to the best performance among the world’s largest markets has run its course.

Three funds to cash in on a rally in commodities

Posted on 25 April 2014

The outlook for commodities is the best it’s been for a decade, according to Hermes Fund Managers, joining a long line of experts expecting more for the asset class in the coming years.

LME to start clearing collateral in yuan as Asia ascends

Posted on 25 April 2014

The London Metal Exchange will start accepting collateral denominated in Chinese yuan after setting up a clearing house in September as Asia increases its hold over the bourse.

Bank cutting commodities trade severs link with equitiess

Posted on 25 April 2014

Banks’ pullback from commodities trading is weakening the link between raw materials and equities and helping to re-establish supply and demand as the main factor in setting prices, United Nations researchers say.

EU should halve meat, dairy consumption to cut nitrogen-report

Posted on 25 April 2014

People in the European Union, who according to a United Nations body eat way more protein than necessary, could prompt big cuts in nitrogen pollution if they halved their meat and dairy consumption, a U.N.-backed report said.

Strong currency a double-edged sword for New Zealand

Posted on 25 April 2014

The strong New Zealand dollar may be the thing that ends up putting the brakes on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s tightening cycle. The RBNZ raised interest rates Thursday for the second straight month, to 3.0%, as the economic expansion gains momentum and inflationary pressures increase.

The end of Denmark’s monetary experiment

Posted on 25 April 2014

With the eurozone facing the threat of a prolonged period of “low-flation”, the European Central Bank has been urged to stretch its monetary policy toolkit further and deploy more unconventional measures.

Direct action: Coalition will provide an extra $1bln to emissions reduction fund

Posted on 25 April 2014

Only 130 Australian companies will have any limits set on their greenhouse pollution. The Coalition has confirmed it will provide an additional $1bn to its emissions reduction fund but has also revealed that only 130 Australian companies will have any limitations on their greenhouse pollution after the carbon tax is repealed.

Lobbying surprisingly strong on ‘pipe dream’ carbon tax bill

Posted on 25 April 2014

Pronounced dead-on-arrival upon its introduction in 2013, the carbon tax bill authored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is attracting a healthy bit of lobbying, suggesting both industry and environmental groups are looking down the road to a resurrection of legislation that failed in the Senate in 2010.

IMF warns South America on risks after commodity boom

Posted on 25 April 2014

South American countries should consider creating fiscal stabilization funds to buffer their economies against a decline in commodity prices expected to damp growth in the coming years, the International Monetary Fund said.

How to protect your portfolio from rising geopolitical risk

Posted on 24 April 2014

Investors should buy into the energy sector to protect their portfolios from rising levels of geopolitical risk, according to Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist at BlackRock. Data from FE Analytics shows that specialist energy funds have done very well so far this year, with an uptick in performance in recent weeks as the Ukraine crisis has escalated.

Iraq and Saudi Arabia see rise in crude exports in February 2014

Posted on 24 April 2014

Iraq and Saudi Arabia crude oil exports rose by 26 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively in February 2014, according to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI). Saudi Arabia had reportedly shipped 7.76mn bpd in February compared to 7.5mn in January 2014.

Shale boom sends U.S. crude supply to highest since 1930s

Posted on 24 April 2014

The U.S. is stockpiling the most crude since the Great Depression, thanks to the shale boom that has boosted production to the most in 26 years. Inventories rose 3.52 million barrels last week to 397.7 million, the highest level since 1931, according to Energy Information Administration data going back to 1920.

Oil and gas industry ‘worth GBP35bln annually’ to UK economy

Posted on 24 April 2014

The oil and gas industry is worth about £35bn to the UK economy, according to a new study. The research, commissioned by industry body Oil and Gas UK, found more than 3,000 companies were directly involved in the industry.

Iran’s crude oil, gas condensate exports hit $41.6bln: oil minister

Posted on 24 April 2014

Iran exported $41.6 billion worth of crude oil and gas condensate in the past Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Wednesday. Iran’s crude oil was sold at $104 per barrel on the average in the international market, the Mehr News Agency reported.

Gold remains defensive but cycles suggest opportunity

Posted on 24 April 2014

Gold remains defensive amid expectations that the Fed will continue with its taper campaign next week and what seems to be a complete dismissal of the rising geopolitical tensions in Ukraine. Currency markets have been pretty well contained recently, providing little in the way of fresh directional clues for the yellow metal.

Gold prices rise after hitting 2.5-month low

Posted on 24 April 2014

Gold edged up on Wednesday from the 2-1/2 month low it hit in the previous session as a softer tone to equities and the dollar helped arrest its slide, though it remained vulnerable to further losses as investor demand remained slack.

Gold needs to hold $1,278: Peter Hug (Video)

Posted on 24 April 2014

Peter Hug is in studio to talk gold prices, Chinese gold imports as well as where he thinks the metals are headed. “I have not liked this gold market for the past few weeks, I find it very heavy,” he says. “Other than the geopolitical issues in Ukraine, which has caused some support in the market, there have been very little fundamental reasons to be long this market in the short term.”

Gold prices possibly manipulated for a decade (Video)

Posted on 24 April 2014

Tune in to Kitco News’ exclusive interview with Rosa Abrantes-Metz, the researcher responsible for creating waves in the gold market earlier this year regarding manipulation in the London gold fix. Metz speaks with Daniela Cambone to discuss the research paper and her findings, which are soon due for release.

Gold, silver prices weak when there is every reason for it to go up

Posted on 24 April 2014

The mainstream is on an academically-driven mission to politicize conspiracy theories and lump them all into the same category. While gold and silver manipulation is an ancient conspiracy fact, eyes are wide shut to the general awareness in the face of one revelation after another.

Silver $50: Three years after the “shortage”

Posted on 24 April 2014

Silver prices hit $50 three years ago this week. It was on April 25, 2011 that silver traded $49.80 per ounce in the New York spot market. That means silver traded $50 somewhere. There was a lot of business going on at that time, but after holding above $49 for the rest of that week, silver prices began to retreat. Fast.

Platinum prices vulnerable to further losses

Posted on 24 April 2014

Platinum prices could be vulnerable to further losses in the near-term, although metals analysts remain bullish on the white metal in the long-term. Since setting a high on April 14 of $1,471.50 an ounce, basis the New York Mercantile Exchange July contract, platinum prices are down 5%. As of 11:05 a.m. EDT, July platinum traded at $1,399.40.

Aluminium production reaches new high

Posted on 24 April 2014

Global aluminium production reached a new high in March despite cuts to capacity by the biggest manufacturers. Companies such as Alcoa, Rusal and Rio Tinto have been shutting smelters over the past two years in an effort to tackle oversupply, as depressed prices continue to weigh on the industry. But surging output in China has more than offset these cuts.

Copper industry fears overblown

Posted on 24 April 2014

The price of copper has fallen by about 10% in 2014, and it recently hit a four-year low at about $6,550 per ton on the London Metal Exchange. Surprisingly, though, the talk at the conference was rather upbeat.

US steel sheet market continues to see offer prices creeping up

Posted on 24 April 2014

The US steel sheet market continued to report offers from producers above published minimum base prices, as mills look to keep upward pressure on pricing amid supply tightness. Buy-side sources reported higher offers from multiple mills for both hot-rolled and cold-rolled coil, with one Midwest buyer having been offered 450 st of HRC for June delivery at $710/st from an integrated producer.

Tin cancelled warrants rise; support for prices continues - Standard Bank

Posted on 24 April 2014

Tin cancelled warrants on the London Metal Exchange have risen markedly in recent days, and now account for more than 50% of total inventory in listed warehouses for the first time since 2012, according to Leon Westgate, commodities strategist at Standard Bank.

Reasons to stick with energy ETFs

Posted on 24 April 2014

U.S. energy stocks and exchange traded funds are getting plenty of attention and deservedly so. Off its early February lows, the Energy Select Sector SPDR has surged 14.5%. And in recent days, a fair percentage (sometimes half or more) of the ETFs making new all-time highs have been energy ETFs, including XLE and a broad swath of competitors.

BlackRock starts ETF in Brazil to follow S&P 500 Index

Posted on 24 April 2014

BlackRock Inc. (BLK) said it will list an exchange-traded fund on the Brazilian stock exchange to track the U.S. benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

A currency war is coming

Posted on 24 April 2014

While most investors like to believe that things like earnings and the economic data drive the market’s ups and downs, lately it’s been all about moves in the currency market.

Belarusian president to refrain from national currency devaluation

Posted on 24 April 2014

Belorussia’s authorities do not plan to lower the national currency rate through administrative measures, President Alexander Lukashenko told the population and the country’s parliament on Tuesday, adding he saw no causes for massive national currency devaluation.

Carbon Briefing: How energy demand could drink up global water resources

Posted on 24 April 2014

Increasing energy demand is set to put pressure on the world’s water resources over the coming decades, according to a number of new expert studies. Even if the world shifts away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner power supplies, growing demand could help put water supplies under severe strain by the middle of the century.

China carbon cash party over as U.N. credit stream dries up

Posted on 24 April 2014

Revenues for China’s biggest sellers of U.N.-issued carbon credits shrunk last year to a tenth of 2012 values, choking off billions of dollars flowing to clean energy projects in the world’s top carbon-emitter.

Add polymer to carbon market, urges EU

Posted on 24 April 2014

The European Commission urged Germany to take urgent steps to regulate polymer producers under the bloc’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) or face being sued over the breach of EU law.

Barclays confirms plans to exit most commodities businesses

Posted on 23 April 2014

Barclays PLC confirmed plans Tuesday to exit most of its commodities businesses and focus on electronic trading in the markets it stays in. The bank, which is trying to reduce the size of its investment bank to improve returns and cope with new regulations, said it would continue to trade in precious metals, financial oil, U.S. financial gas and index products.

Goldman Sachs unbowed as Barclays joins bank commodities exodus

Posted on 23 April 2014

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., whose three top executives began their careers at the firm in the commodity-trading unit, is poised to gain market share as pressure from regulators drives competitors to scale back.

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