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VRS - who has written 39533 posts on Opalesque Commodities Briefing.


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Oil gloom won’t hit aluminium industry: Expert

Posted on 04 March 2015

Qatar’s aluminium industry remained resilient to the global economic downturn and dwindling oil prices. The total annual production of aluminium in Qatar is continuously growing and expected to touch 640,000 tonnes in 2015, which is 9.4 percent higher than the installed capacity of Qatalum plant (585,000 tonnes), a senior official of Qatalum said.

ETFs Characteristics for Short-Term Trading

Posted on 04 March 2015

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) offer the best of both worlds—the benefits of diversification and money management like a mutual fund, and the liquidity and tick-by-tick real-time trading like a stock. Other benefits include lower transaction charges for ETF trading, tax-efficient structures, and a variety of sectors/asset classes/focused investment schemes suitable to the needs of both traders and investors.

The First Bitcoin ETF Offers Easy Way to Profit from Virtual Currency (GBTC)

Posted on 04 March 2015

The first Bitcoin ETF for “ordinary” investors to buy is almost here… The Bitcoin Investment Trust got approval last week from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to sell its shares on the OTC Markets. It should start trading within the next couple of weeks. It is currently listed on the OTC Markets “pink sheets” under a temporary symbol, BTCV, but will have a permanent ticker of OTCMKTS: GBTC.

Denmark Intervenes in Currency Market in a Big Way

Posted on 04 March 2015

Denmark’s central bank bought a record amount of foreign currency last month in a bid to protect the krone’s peg to the euro, underscoring the fallout from the European Central Bank’s efforts to boost economic growth.

Commodity Currencies Gain After Australia Refrains From Rate Cut

Posted on 04 March 2015

The Australian dollar led currencies of commodity-producing countries higher after the nation’s central bank refrained from a second interest-rate cut in as many months. Canada’s dollar rose the most in two weeks after a report showed fourth-quarter gross domestic product grew more than forecast, as policy makers prepared to meet Wednesday.

Nineteen EU nations hand out 500 mln free 2015 CO2 permits

Posted on 04 March 2015

Nineteen countries, including Germany, Britain and France, have so far handed out a total of around 500 million free European Union carbon permits to industry to cover their 2015 emissions, European Commission data showed on Tuesday.

Study: Increasing EU carbon price would have ‘extremely limited’ impact on business

Posted on 04 March 2015

Despite claims that increasing the price of carbon in the EU could harm businesses, a new study suggests that this is not the case. According to the paper, even a ten-fold increase in the carbon price is likely to have an “extremely limited” impact on exports and imports.

Why Commodities Are More Than Economic Indicators

Posted on 03 March 2015

We track the prices of everything from crude oil to milk for clues about the state of the economy. But what could they tell us about the environment? Tune in to any television or radio newscast, and you’ll hear how the stock market is performing today. The New York Times puts market indicators alongside the current temperature at the top of their website. Changes in unemployment or the prices of commodities like oil and milk regularly make headlines.

China, Commodities Bust To Force RBA’s Hand

Posted on 03 March 2015

It would be fair to say when China sneezes, Australia catches a cold. The Reserve Bank of Australia knows this all too well and is why it is likely to pull the trigger on another 25 basis point cut in interest rates to stave off pneumonia.

Economist’s faith in oil price rebound vindicated

Posted on 03 March 2015

Oil prices have been climbing steadily since the end of January, a rebound that has brought some cheer to TAC Economics chairman Thierry Apoteker. Not because the chief economist of the French-based research firm had bet big on the nascent rally that has taken the shine off naysayers’ predictions that oil prices would stay depressed.

Oil price volatility to curb M&As

Posted on 03 March 2015

The oil market volatility will likely curb merger and acquisition activity across several sectors in in the first half of 2015, though a sustained low oil price environment will eventually trigger a consolidation trend among small producers in the oil and gas industry, experts told The Daily Star.

U.S. Oil Prices Fall

Posted on 03 March 2015

U.S. oil prices fell Monday on concerns about a continued oversupply of crude, paring earlier gains. Light, sweet crude for April delivery settled down 17 cents, or 0.3%, to $49.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

India’s Gold Buying to Pick Up After Budget

Posted on 03 March 2015

Traders are bracing for a short-term bump upward in India’s gold demand after the world’s largest consumer of the precious metal maintained an import duty in a budget unveiled Saturday. In the weeks leading up to the budget announcement, India’s gold imports slowed. Some wholesalers delayed purchases, anticipating that the government would announce a cut in taxes on gold imports.

Gold Extends Gains On Seasonal Demand, Global Cues

Posted on 03 March 2015

Gold prices maintained its upward journey for the second day with a gain of another Rs 180 to Rs 27,300 per 10 gm, supported by increased buying and a firming trend overseas. Silver also moved up by 400 to 37,600 per kg on increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers.

Gold market ‘is booming’ in Bahrain

Posted on 03 March 2015

Bahrain’s gold market has been booming over the last two years, according to official figures. The amount of gold jewellery, bars and other items sent for testing at the Gem and Pearl Testing Laboratory of Bahrain (GPTL) more than doubled from 6,000 at the end of 2013 to 13,000 at the end of last year.

Speculators Continue To Shed Gold Futures But At Slower Pace — CFTC

Posted on 03 March 2015

Speculative traders continue to be bearish the gold market but the pace of selling appears to be slowing, according to the latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Will 2015 Be Gold’s Year?

Posted on 03 March 2015

A volatile beginning to 2015 is helping gold to regain some of its mojo. The U.S. stock market got off to a shaky start in January, and instability in currency markets initially lifted the price of gold bullion. The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) is already up around 7% year-to-date. Likewise, ETFs that leverage exposure to gold and related assets like the ProShares Ultra Gold ETF (UGL) and the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3x Shares (NUGT) have soared 14.6% and 72% respectively.

Copper: A Rebound - Don’t Get Too Bullish

Posted on 03 March 2015

I have been writing a lot about copper lately because I think it is one of the most important commodity prices to monitor. Copper is a building block staple - growing economies require copper to build infrastructure. When it comes to economic growth, copper is a barometer. Doctor copper is a misnomer - copper is really the patient.

Leveraged ETFs Versus Margin ETFs (FAS)

Posted on 03 March 2015

Both leveraged exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and buying ETFs on margin allow you to maximize your upside potential by using debt. On the other hand, if your investments don’t go well then you’re going to suffer substantial losses. The key is to figure out which option is better. But first it’s important to understand the difference.

Investing in Alternative Mutual Funds and ETFs

Posted on 03 March 2015

Alternative investments are gaining popularity, especially those offered in a liquid format by mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) providers. Mutual fund companies can’t develop new alternative products fast enough to offer to financial advisors or directly to individual investors.

London Metal Exchange aims to double cuts to warehouse logjams

Posted on 03 March 2015

The London Metal Exchange (LME) announced new rules and proposals on Monday aimed at slashing delivery backlogs at its global network of warehouses twice as quickly as under current reforms.

Hedge funds expect to top $3 trillion in 2015: Deutsche Bank

Posted on 03 March 2015

Despite producing an average return of 3.3 percent last year, the hedge fund industry is on track to surpass $3 trillion in assets this year, according to a new survey by Deutsche Bank.

Hedge funds resume bearish swing in ag bets

Posted on 03 March 2015

Hedge funds, after a one-week break, resumed their bearish trend of positioning on agricultural commodities, with grains and sugar taking the brunt of the selling. Managed money, a proxy for speculators, cut by more than 30,000 contracts its net long position in futures and options in the main 13 US-traded agricultural commodities in the week to last Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulator.

Has Azerbaijan’s National Currency Run Away Scared?

Posted on 03 March 2015

Since independence Azerbaijan’s kleptocratic Aliyev regime has chased away independent media, political opposition and civil society. Throughout all these repressions, only one thing stood firm by the ruling family’s side as a symbol of the “stability” that President Ilham Aliyev, son of the country’s first president, Heydar, never tires of boasting about on Twitter: the country’s national currency, the manat.

As currency war erupts, buy American

Posted on 03 March 2015

The U.S. economy is facing a predicament the Federal Reserve didn’t anticipate — a stronger than expected U.S. dollar. While a strong dollar is great in theory because it reduces the cost of foreign goods for American consumers (including commodities like oil), the stronger currency will have negative consequences for corporate earnings and the markets.

China’s War on Air Pollution May Cause More Global Warming

Posted on 03 March 2015

China’s efforts to improve urban air quality are often viewed as a helper for fighting climate change, but a new joint China-U.S. study says otherwise. The study—carried out by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tsinghua University in Beijing—was released last week.

Business and Carbon Pricing

Posted on 03 March 2015

At the UN Climate Summit last September, the World Bank and others put the carbon pricing – or perhaps more correctly carbon valuation – discussion squarely back on the agenda, first with a Statement on Carbon Pricing signed by over 1000 companies and 70 governments and then with a series of side events and meetings which also carried through to COP20 in Lima. The World Bank is now building on their initiative throughout 2015 as we head towards COP21 in Paris.

Commodities languish but signs of recovery emerge

Posted on 02 March 2015

Is this as bad as it gets? The question is suggested by the fact that, even while commodities are performing poorly, green shoots of hope are emerging (as oil prices have been showing). Canada’s Scotiabank reports its commodities index plunged again in January, dropping below the April 2009 low (post the GFC). Commodity prices are now at ­levels last seen in January 2007.

India: Budget on commodities

Posted on 02 March 2015

An important proposal that will impact the commodity industry is the plan to merge commodities market regulator Forward Market Commission with capital market watchdog SEBI. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said “the proposed merger would help streamline the monitoring of commodity futures trading and curb wild speculation.”

Commodities Set to Extend Gains as China’s Rate Cut Spurs Demand

Posted on 02 March 2015

Commodities including iron ore, oil and copper are set to extend gains on Monday as China’s interest-rate reduction spurs demand from the construction to energy industries. China’s second cut to benchmark rates in three months will fuel gains as investors anticipate that cheaper credit will stimulate demand, Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank AG, said.

Explaining the global oil-price drop

Posted on 02 March 2015

The Middle East is burning. Jets fighter from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt have attacked numerous Islamic State (IS) movement targets in Syria, Iraq and Libya, mainly in response to the sadistic killing of a captured Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh.

Oil prices at $60 is ‘new normal’, says Colombian finance minister

Posted on 02 March 2015

Mauricio Cárdenas, Colombia’s finance chief, says country is adjusting to new era of lower prices. The era of $100 oil is over, according to Colombia’s finance minister, who said the country was preparing for a “new normal” of between $60 and $70 per barrel.

‘Happy Naimi’: Calm Saudi Arabia signals $60 oil price for the long-haul

Posted on 02 March 2015

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia is feeling vindicated after a strategy of allowing oil to flood the market has begun to achieve what it was aiming for. As a global oil glut pushed prices down 60 percent between June 2014 and January 2015, signs began to emerge that OPEC’s rivals, including North American producers, will have to curtail output of their expensive barrels.

Oil prices can ‘bounce back’ to $80 per barrel

Posted on 02 March 2015

Davy Stockbrokers is forecasting a recovery and tightening in global oil prices in the second half of this year, adding that numbers can rise from the current $59 to $60 per barrel level to a long-term price of $80 per barrel.

Iraq tips oil price jump to $US65

Posted on 02 March 2015

Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi says he expects the price of crude oil, which dropped to a six-year low in January, to continue recovering to reach $US64 ($A82.12) or $US65 per barrel. “I don’t think they (prices) will return to their former levels immediately… We expect them to rise more, probably to $US64 or $US65,” he told reporters.

India Budget 2015: High profile oil & gas sector gets no mention by FM Jaitley

Posted on 02 March 2015

Barring duty rejig for petrol and diesel, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not mention the high profile oil and gas sector in his Budget speech yesterday. This happened against the backdrop of certain inputs by the Petroleum Ministry being found among the stacks of stolen documents.

Oil Drops as Gain in Saudi Arabian Output Boosts OPEC Production

Posted on 02 March 2015

Oil fell after capping its first monthly gain since June as increased production from Saudi Arabia lifted OPEC’s output beyond its collective quota for a ninth month. Futures decreased as much as 1.1 percent in New York. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 30.6 million barrels a day in February, above the group’s output target of 30 million a day, according to a Bloomberg survey.

US Will Never Gain Oil Market Crown Says IEA Head

Posted on 02 March 2015

No matter how much oil the United States produces over the next few years, it will never become the next Saudi Arabia in the global oil market, according to Fatih Birol, the new executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). What’s especially interesting about this forecast is that it directly contradicts what Birol said only three months ago, and he gave no explanation for his change of mind.

Australia’s gold output at decade high as miners cash in on currency drop

Posted on 02 March 2015

Australia recorded its highest annual rate of gold production in a decade in 2014, accelerating the depletion of high-grade mine reserves, a survey released on Sunday said. Gold output in Australia, the second highest producing nation after China, rose to 284 tonnes in 2014, up 11 tonnes or four percent on 2013, mining consultants Surbiton Associates Pty said in its latest survey of Australian gold mining.

Analysts see gold price recovery ahead

Posted on 02 March 2015

Analysts are warming up, albeit cautiously, to gold after more than three years of falling prices that put the great majority of Canadian gold exploration companies in the deep freeze. CIBC World Markets senior economist Peter Buchanan is predicting an uptick this year to $1,300 US from $1,200 in 2014, and a modest gain to $1,325 in 2016.

India Announces New Gold Schemes: What to Know

Posted on 02 March 2015

Investors who want to buy gold will soon have a new option. This was among a number of proposals announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget to reduce India’s import of gold as well as put to work the vast amount of gold deposits held in the country.

India’s new gold scheme may hit Qatar market

Posted on 02 March 2015

India’s new “gold monetisation scheme”, announced by country’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his annual budget speech yesterday, is expected to hit hard Qatar’s gold market, especially the demand for gold bars and coins (bullion, sold in 24 and 22 carats), according to trade sources.

Investors hard to come by in mining industry downfall

Posted on 02 March 2015

As the beleaguered mining sector suffers through another year of its deepening slump, the industry’s boom days are but a distant memory. It’s an ugly time for the junior mining industry, as companies descend on Toronto for the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference. Already starved for cash, small mining companies are facing their fourth consecutive year of declining commodity prices.

ETF Performance Report: February

Posted on 02 March 2015

While pullback somewhat in the last week , U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds advanced toward new highs in February, shaking off the January doldrums. Over February, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 5.6%, the Nasdaq Composite increased 6.7% and the S&P 500 gained 5.4%.

Hedge Funds Flee Coffee at Fastest Pace in a Year: Commodities

Posted on 02 March 2015

It’s raining in Brazil, and the coffee bulls are running for cover. Downpours in the past month mean moisture levels are adequate in most growing areas, replenishing soil left parched by a drought in 2014, according to MDA Weather Services. The rains in the top coffee producer and exporter spurred hedge funds to cut their bullish wagers by the most in a year.

Sebi-FMC merger: Soon, commexes may start equity trading

Posted on 02 March 2015

Merger of the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) allows a commodity exchange to expand in segments permitted under a stock exchange and vice versa. From the proposed Bill in this regard, “all recognised associations under the Forward Contracts Regulation Act shall be deemed to be recognised stock exchanges under the Securities Contracts Regulation Act”.

China has joined the currency wars

Posted on 02 March 2015

The Chinese rate cut over the weekend is, ostensibly aimed at shoring up “fundamental trends in growth, inflation and employment.” But like other central banks around the world the PBOC has another, unstated, goal in its recent RRR and rate cuts.

Emerging-Market Currencies Tumble on Growth, Stimulus Prospects

Posted on 02 March 2015

Currencies in some of the world’s biggest emerging markets tumbled Friday, as investors fret over slowing economies and signals that central banks are willing to take extra stimulus measures to juice up growth.

EU Environment Committee Backs Emissions Trading Reform

Posted on 02 March 2015

A draft law to reform the European Union’s Emissions Trading System, by cutting the surplus of carbon credits available for trading so as to support the price, has won approval from the European Parliment’s Environment Committee.

Malta calls for reforms of emissions trading scheme

Posted on 02 March 2015

The joint ministerial letter signed by Energy and Climate Change Ministers from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Malta, and Norway calls for the introduction of a new Market Stability Reserve in 2017.

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