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VRS - who has written 39041 posts on Opalesque Commodities Briefing.


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Why Hasn’t Silver Completely Broken Out?

Posted on 28 January 2015

Whenever central banks engage in stimulus schemes that flood financial markets with cheap liquidity, attention almost always turns to investments that can store value. Obviously, when a central bank works to actively devalue its currency, it is a good idea to start shoring up, or preserving the value of a currency by tying it to a commodity.

Copper slips to new five-year low

Posted on 28 January 2015

Copper futures have closed significantly lower on the London Metal Exchange with the release of worse-than-expected economic data out of the US sending prices tumbling to near five-and-a-half-year lows. The LME’s three-month copper contract was down 2.8 per cent at $US5,425.00 a metric tonne at Tuesday’s PM kerb close - having been down almost three per cent at an intra-day low of $US5,418.00 a tonne.

Commodities? Brazil Iron-Ore Startup Says Cosmetics a Better Bet

Posted on 28 January 2015

Things are so bad for mining projects in Brazil that startup All Ore Mineracao SA (AORE3) is changing its line of business for something more glamorous: cosmetics. All Ore, whose 2009 listing made it the last iron-ore company to start trading on the Sao Paulo stock exchange, said it’s abandoning commodities to focus instead in the beauty and health-care market.

ETF Assets Reached $2.08 Trillion in 2014

Posted on 28 January 2015

Investor migration to independent advice drives 17% increase in ETFs in 2014; 19% increase in distribution of all passively managed investments. With an eye on key trends that emerged in 2014 including increased interest among investors to move to independent advice models and the growth of passively managed investments, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.released data revealing trends in distribution of long-term mutual funds and ETFs among retail and institutional channels.

Why Jim Rogers Is Wrong About Hot Commodities

Posted on 28 January 2015

“If you’ve got young people who don’t know what to do, I’d urge them not to get MBAs, but to get agriculture degrees,” – Jim Rogers. “All your viewers who got MBAs made a terrible mistake; they should try to exchange them for farming degrees or mining degrees”. – Jim Rogers speaking to a Bloomberg anchor.

Currency-Trading Volumes Jump

Posted on 28 January 2015

Currency-trading volumes soared to records late last year, according to new data released by six central banks, underscoring the profit opportunities created by a series of monetary-policy shifts around the world.

DuPont Warns of Currency Headwinds

Posted on 28 January 2015

DuPont Co. gave a disappointing outlook for 2015, warning its profit would take a significant hit from the strengthening U.S. dollar and weakness in its agricultural-seed business. The company, which faces pressure from activist investor Trian Fund Management LP to split itself up, also said it would reach its goal to cut $1 billion in costs well ahead schedule and outlined plans to return more cash to shareholders through the spinoff of a chemicals division.

Carbon pricing: a challenge for the future

Posted on 28 January 2015

The concept of carbon pricing as a tool to combat climate change is broadly accepted by the international community. But at what price, and under what conditions? As the world looks for ways to cut CO2 emissions, many questions remain unanswered.

EU paper calls for binding CCS targets by 2030

Posted on 28 January 2015

European countries should be given binding targets for installing technology to capture and store carbon emissions, according to a new report for the European Commission. The UN’s climate science panel says such technology could have to account for over a fifth of the world’s carbon cuts by 2050 and the new paper, produced by consultants for the EC, says there is a “genuine and urgent” need for it in Europe.

Commodities Signaling Global Growth Warning

Posted on 27 January 2015

Commodities across the board are signaling there are major risks to global growth. Whether it is copper hitting a 5-and-a-half year low, or oil or even soft products, grains and meats, it is clear that commodities are sending clear economic warning signs. Now we have the results of the Greek election, with the anti-austerity party Syriza taking power, as well as the failure of peace talks in Ukraine and a Russian offensive that will no doubt bring more growth slowing sanctions.

Will Global Commodities Reverse the Crunch of 2014 Final Quarter?

Posted on 27 January 2015

In analyzing the global fourth quarter crash of the commodity markets, it has become quite obvious that the bulk of the un-natural depth of the slump was caused by a desperate attempt by Saudi Arabia to undercut the incredible growth of America’s hydraulic fracturing, which had added a million barrels a day throughout 2014.

China slowdown may further deflate commodity prices

Posted on 27 January 2015

Slowing GDP growth in China is leading to weaker demand for commodities, contributing to lower global commodity prices, QNB has said in a report. According to the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), real GDP growth slowed to 7.4% in 2014, below the government target of 7.5% and the slowest annual growth rate in 24 years.

Prices of Russia’s Top Export Commodities Fall Amid Oil Price Drop

Posted on 27 January 2015

While the plummeting price of oil has occupied headlines in recent months, it’s not the only commodity of key importance to the Russian economy whose price is dropping. In fact, all nine of the World Bank’s key commodity price indices are currently in decline, pulled down by abundant supplies, disheartening global growth forecasts and the appreciation of the U.S. dollar, the World Bank said in a report.

U.S. regulators should study oil slump -CFTC official

Posted on 27 January 2015

U.S. futures market regulators should review the sharp drop in crude oil prices to gain a better understanding of the slide as they pursue rules to crack down on speculation in commodities, a top official said on Monday.

Opec’s Badri expects some oil price rebound soon

Posted on 27 January 2015

Oil prices at current levels may have reached a floor and could move higher very soon, Opec Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said on Monday. “Now the prices are around US$45-US$55 and I think maybe they reached the bottom and will see some rebound very soon,” Mr Badri said in an interview.

Where’s the oil price outrage?

Posted on 27 January 2015

When gasoline prices spiked in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, Congress and the public demanded a federal probe of price manipulation. The same thing happened three years later, when oil prices shot to $145 a barrel and gas prices topped $4 a gallon.

OPEC minister sees oil price floor at $45

Posted on 27 January 2015

An OPEC official predicted that oil prices had bottomed out on Monday, briefly raising hopes that the steep slide might be easing. West Texas Intermediate crude, the benchmark contract in the U.S., moved up early in the morning, but ended the day down 45 cents at $45.16 US a barrel at mid-afternoon on Monday, while Brent crude was down 67 cents at $48.12. Western Canada Select oil is now at $31.81.

OPEC’s El-Badri: $200 Oil Possible If There’s Lack of Investment

Posted on 27 January 2015

OPEC’s secretary-general said oil prices as high as $200 a barrel are possible if producers fail to invest in new supply. “If you don’t invest in oil and gas, you will see more than $200,” Abdalla El-Badri said in an interview in London on Monday, without giving a timeframe. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, erased a decline of as much as 2.7 percent following his comments.

Oil Is Never Going To Reach $200, Not For Any Length Of Time At Least

Posted on 27 January 2015

We’ve two interesting announcements from various players in Opec today, one that the oil price might have hit bottom just at the moment and the second that oil might reach $200 at some point in the future. It’s possible that oil might have reached bottom: but the idea that oil will ever reach $200 a barrel in real terms for any significant length of time is extraordinarily unlikely.

Goldman Sachs: Coal hits ‘retirement age;’ IEA disagrees

Posted on 27 January 2015

If Vegas bookmakers were taking bets on whether Gateway Pacific Terminal would be built, the odds would have been getting longer in the past few months. Earlier this month came the ostensible bombshell that opponents of SSA Marine’s proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point have been waiting for: A clear request from Lummi Nation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny a federal permit for the terminal.

Gold Eases as Greece Uncertainty Fades

Posted on 27 January 2015

Gold prices fell Monday, as investors took profits on the metal’s recent rally after a victorious antiausterity party in Greece didn’t appear inclined to take the country out of the eurozone. Gold for February delivery, the most actively traded contract, closed down $13.20, or 1%, at $1,279.40 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Goldman cuts base metal price forecasts, ups gold

Posted on 27 January 2015

Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Friday slashed its 2015 price forecasts for several base metals including copper and aluminium while raising its estimate for gold by $62 per ounce. “The primary reason for the changes to our forecasts is cost deflation – driven by a combination of actual and anticipated U.S. dollar strength, cheaper energy and other input costs, and our expectation of an improvement in mining productivity,” Goldman Sachs said.

German Regulator Found No Signs of Gold Price Manipulation

Posted on 27 January 2015

Germany’s financial regulatory authority, known as BaFin, has concluded a probe into allegations of manipulation in the gold market and found no signs of rigging, according to Handelsblatt newspaper.

Japanese aluminum stocks hit all-time high, putting pressure on prices

Posted on 27 January 2015

Aluminum stocks had risen to 413,000-419,900 mt in Japan, which is an all-time high, putting pressure on local prices as some companies want to destock before March, the end of the Japanese financial year, market sources said Monday, January 26. Aluminum stocks at three main Japanese ports had swollen by the end of December, according to trading house surveys.

Has China’s base metals import appetite peaked?

Posted on 27 January 2015

Not so very long ago base metals bulls marched to the beat of the monthly release of China’s trade figures. The country’s import appetite was seemingly insatiable as it sucked in ever-increasing volumes to feed its booming infrastructure and property programmes.

ETFs on way to $5 trillion in assets: PwC study

Posted on 27 January 2015

Exchange-traded funds are on their way to $5 trillion in assets, a path that will travel around the globe as more nations dive into the increasingly popular investment vehicle, according to a study released Monday.

ETFs: No Stopping at $2 Trillion

Posted on 27 January 2015

The U.S. exchange traded products industry hit a major milestone last year, eclipsing $2 trillion in assets under management, but industry observers do not see that growth slowing. Rather, it is expected that ETFs will continue their exponential growth rate in the years ahead.

3 Best Commodities Funds to Buy Now

Posted on 27 January 2015

Commodities come in several varieties. Therefore choosing the best commodities funds for your portfolio depends upon what you want them to do for you. From a portfolio management perspective, commodities funds are best used as diversification tools because they typically have a low correlation to a broad market index, such as the S&P 500 Index.

Ex-Round Earth’s Whelahan Said to Start Commodities Fund

Posted on 27 January 2015

Carl Whelahan, a former partner at $200 million commodities hedge fund firm Round Earth Capital, is starting his own fund, according to a person familiar with his plans.

BSEC to formulate ‘commodity exchange’ rules

Posted on 27 January 2015

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has moved forward to formulate rules to open ‘commodity exchange’ in the country for the first time. A committee of BSEC has submitted two reports to the commission in this regard which may help accelerate the process to formulate commodity and exchange rules very soon, officials said.

EM currency boost seen as euro weakens

Posted on 27 January 2015

As the dust settles on the euro in the wake of the European Central Bank’s decision to launch full-blown quantitative easing, investors and analysts are now asking: can the single currency only go down from here?

Yuan suffers biggest loss since 2008

Posted on 27 January 2015

Biggest two-day loss for currency since the onset of global financial crisis. The yuan’s value tested the boundaries of what the authorities will tolerate on Monday, trading as much as 1.94 percent weaker than the lower limit of the People’s Bank of China’s reference rate.

EU paper calls for binding CCS targets by 2030

Posted on 27 January 2015

European countries should be given binding targets for installing technology to capture and store carbon emissions, according to a new report for the European commission. The UN’s climate science panel says such technology could have to account for over a fifth of the world’s carbon cuts by 2050 and the new paper, produced by consultants for the EC, says there is a “genuine and urgent” need for it in Europe.

As Commodities Fall, Some Investors See Reasons to Buy

Posted on 26 January 2015

A few brave investors are betting the gloom oppressing global commodity markets is on the verge of lifting. The world’s farmers, mining companies and oil producers spent billions of dollars over the last decade to increase output. The result: huge surpluses and sharply lower prices for commodities ranging from oil to sugar to iron ore.

Hedge Funds Bet Oil Has Further to Fall as Glut Grows: Energy

Posted on 26 January 2015

Hedge funds boosted bearish wagers on oil to a four-year high as U.S. supplies grew the most since 2001. Money managers increased short positions in West Texas Intermediate crude to the highest level since September 2010 in the week ended Jan. 20, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Net-long positions slipped for the first time in three weeks.

Who needs a ‘long-term economic plan’ when the oil price is falling like this?

Posted on 26 January 2015

The Tories must know their strategy has failed. But, unlike the governments of the 1970s, the energy market has saved them. I have taken part in many a pub discussion about the perennial question of whether governments lose elections or oppositions win them, or a mixture of both. If ever a postwar British government deserved to lose an election it is this one. That is why the Labour party has got to get its act together, and soon.

Why Oil Prices May Not Recover Anytime Soon

Posted on 26 January 2015

Oil prices have collapsed in stunning fashion in the past few months. The spot price of Brent crude reached $115 a barrel in June, and was above $100 a barrel as recently as September. Since then, it has plummeted to less than $50 a barrel.

OPEC is in for long war with US shale producers

Posted on 26 January 2015

It is in the interests of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to slow that process. The situation is analogous to chemotherapy: OPEC hopes low oil prices will curtail shale before they destroy its own finances. That explains why the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah is unlikely to mean a shift in strategy. But OPEC could be in for a longer struggle than many expect.

Despite higher gold price Chinese demand still surging

Posted on 26 January 2015

The latest SGE withdrawal figures show withdrawals of 70 tonnes for the week ending Jan 16th – the third highest weekly figure ever. The recent rise in the gold price, now standing at just below the $1300 mark, does not yet appear to have put a dent in Chinese gold demand as represented by withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE).

Gold becomes the ultimate hedge

Posted on 26 January 2015

Lenin, the implacable Russian revolutionary, despised gold. He thought it should be used to build public lavatories. I was of much the same persuasion early in my career. The yellow metal’s economic utility seemed to me minimal in the light of its declining industrial uses. As an investment it was and remains entirely speculative because it yields no income.

Gold spike in major currencies a remarkable start to 2015

Posted on 26 January 2015

The new year has ushered in a remarkable and unexpected turn of events for gold. It is up significantly in four of the seven top currencies (the euro, British pound, Australian and Canadian dollars), up respectably in two others (U.S. dollar and Japanese yen) and down slightly in the last (Swiss franc).

Gold’s First Big Test In 2015

Posted on 26 January 2015

Some of you might think that Gold has already passed its first big test in 2015 by price being up better than 9% in this young year, despite the Dollar’s rising as well. But regular readers know such positive correlation with the Buck is not a big deal for us, our having demonstrated time and again in these updates that Gold plays no currency favourites.

Precious Metals Coveted Once More as Draghi Acts: Commodities

Posted on 26 January 2015

Investors’ desire for precious metals is deepening after Mario Draghi’s $1.3 trillion pledge drove gold to a five-month high and silver to the brink of a bull market. Their buying helped boost the value of exchange-traded products backed by gold and silver by $8.94 billion this month, the most since September 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Platinum Is Worth Acquiring When Cheaper Than Gold

Posted on 26 January 2015

Platinum is cheaper than gold, which is the opposite of what’s usually the case. The supply side of platinum is bad and will get worse if prices do not improve. Demand for platinum can only increase while substitutes become less attractive.

Global aluminium production; the sound of one hand clapping

Posted on 26 January 2015

What is the sound of one hand clapping? It’s supposed to be a question without an answer, a test posed by the master to the disciple in the Zen journey towards enlightenment. But it’s also as good a description as any of the current state of global aluminium production.

Energy ETF Holds Up Well

Posted on 26 January 2015

Consumers aren’t the only ones fueling up on cheap oil prices. Investors are adding energy stocks to their portfolios as West Texas Intermediate crude oil is showing signs of stabilizing. The Energy Select SPDR exchange-traded fund, which tracks energy companies in the S&P 500, is up 6.9% from its intraday low Jan. 13, outpacing broader market gains and oil itself, which are both up about 3% in the same period.

PwC Exchange traded fund assets will double to $5tr by 2020

Posted on 26 January 2015

Exchange traded fund assets will double to $5 trillion (Dh18.3 trillion) by 2020, according to a detailed study by PwC, far outstripping the asset growth of traditional fund managers, which have come under increasing pressure to prove their worth. The consultancy calls the growth a “game changer” for the asset management industry.

Here Is Why Switzerland Did NOT Start a Currency War

Posted on 26 January 2015

Not too long ago, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) gave up the peg it had maintained for years between its franc and the euro. Market reaction was sudden. Within minutes of the announcement, the franc, or swissie as it is called in currency-trading circles, rose almost 40 percent against the euro. Several articles in the financial media described these events as the start of a “currency war.” That is a catchy phrase.

Global interest grows in China’s currency, debt: Fitch

Posted on 26 January 2015

The Chinese currency yuan, or renminbi, continues its ascent among international payment settlements, trade and currency investment, ratings agency Fitch said in their latest report. A rapidly expanding network of offshore yuan clearing centers has facilitated direct access to China’s onshore financial markets, Fitch said.

Devaluation and discord as the world’s currencies quietly go to war

Posted on 26 January 2015

As quantitative easing spreads from country to country, investors are left nervous and discouraged: and stagnation follows. There is every sign that the European Central Bank’s €1.1 trillion stimulus package is going to unleash a long period of beggar-thy-neighbour currency wars. Maybe not quite in the way that wrecked the global economy in the 1930s – triggering retaliatory trade tariffs and sending industrial production spiralling downwards.

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