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VRS - who has written 38939 posts on Opalesque Commodities Briefing.


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Commodities Explained: Qingdao

Posted on 19 January 2015

Qingdao is a port city in China famous for its Tsingtao brewery, but the name continues to cast a long shadow over the global metals market. Here’s why. What has happened?

Warning: China may trigger fresh rout in commodities

Posted on 16 January 2015

Commodities just can’t catch a break – and China’s upcoming gross domestic product (GDP) release on January 20 could throw another punch at the beleaguered asset class should it underperform expectations, warn analysts.

Latin America 2015 outlook darkens as commodities sink

Posted on 16 January 2015

Latin America has embarked on a painfully long period of greater austerity, and lower commodity prices and economic growth will barely pick up speed this year, a Reuters poll found Thursday. With nose-diving oil and metal prices weighing on government finances and jeopardising investments, economists in the quarterly poll chopped 2015 growth forecasts again for the region’s seven largest countries, from Mexico to Argentina.

December Sees Further Consolidation in Commodity Markets

Posted on 16 January 2015

Commodities were lower in December, largely characterized by fundamental factors, according to Credit Suisse Asset Management. The Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return performance was negative for the month, with 16 out of 22. Index constituents trading lower. Credit Suisse Asset Management observed the following: Energy was the worst performing sector, down 22.06%, led lower by Natural Gas.

Commodities explained: Contango

Posted on 16 January 2015

The oil price plunge over the past several months has spooked the world’s biggest producer countries and energy companies. But those traders who buy and sell physical barrels of oil, such as Vitol and Trafigura, have spotted a moneymaking opportunity. It’s all about “contango”.

What is the future direction of oil prices?

Posted on 16 January 2015

Economics and history suggest that today’s $50 price should be viewed as a probable ceiling for a much lower trading range, which may stretch all the way down toward $20. If one number determines the fate of the world economy, it is the price of a barrel of oil. Every global recession since 1970 has been preceded by at least a doubling of the oil price, and every time the oil price has fallen by half and stayed down for six months or so, a major acceleration of global growth [...]

2015 Oil and Gas Trends

Posted on 16 January 2015

Leave the worrying about the highs and lows of oil prices to obsessed analysts and headline writers. That volatile aspect of the energy business is largely out of the control of industry leaders. Instead, oil and gas companies (producers or refiners) whose strategic future is still a puzzle should be asking a couple of simple questions, mostly divorced from the cost of oil:

Opec claims first blood in oil war with US frackers

Posted on 16 January 2015

Oil production growth outside Opec seen to slow this year as Opec price takes its toll on US shale frackers. Opec has given the first indication that it may be winning its price war with US shale oil producers as it now forecasts that growth production outside the cartel will slow this year.

OPEC sees 2015 supply surplus rising, even as oil slump slows shale boom

Posted on 16 January 2015

The collapse in oil prices is starting to slow growth in U.S. output, OPEC said on Thursday, although the slowdown will not prevent an increasing global surplus in 2015 and demand for the exporter group’s oil falling to its lowest in a decade.

UBS lower 2015 gold price forecast, others also revised downward

Posted on 16 January 2015

UBS has downgraded its average gold price forecast for gold largely because of greater downside risks stemming from lower oil prices and the implied absence of an inflation threat, it said. The broker lowered its 2015 gold price forecast to $1,190 from $1,200 – the spot metal price was last at a little-changed $1,228/1,228.70 per ounce.

Why 2015 will be the year for gold: Top analyst

Posted on 16 January 2015

Suddenly, gold is getting its groove back. After two straight years of losses, gold is off to its best start to year since 2008. And, according to one well known analyst, 2015 could have gold bugs smiling.

Gold Demand Seen Expanding 15% by HSBC on Asia-to-ETP Buying

Posted on 16 January 2015

Gold demand will rebound in 2015 as bullion consumption in Asia increases and investors return to exchange-traded products backed by the metal, according to HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.

Has gold finally bottomed?

Posted on 16 January 2015

As more and more of the market turns bullish on the metals, I think it may be time to be looking for a set up for lower lows within the next few weeks. I know that sounds quite counter-intuitive, but that is simply how markets — and especially metals — work.

This is Why Trees Come Down When the Gold Price Goes Up

Posted on 16 January 2015

A new study establishes a connection between demand for gold and deforestation. The steep rise in the price of gold is a factor in the heightened rate of deforestation in South America, a new study has found.

Will Silver Turn Things Around in 2015?

Posted on 16 January 2015

Silver had a tough 2014. Prices peaked around $22 last February, and except for a couple of stronger months over the summer, silver was mostly in a downward trend to end the year under $16.

Copper Posts Biggest Gain in Four Months

Posted on 16 January 2015

Copper prices notched their biggest one-day percentage gain in four months Thursday as investors took advantage of the recent slide to 5 1/2-year lows.

Swissie Could Induce Commodities ETF Countertrend, but Tread Carefully

Posted on 16 January 2015

The Swiss National Bank rattled global financial markets Thursday with its announcement that it is scrapping the franc’s euro peg, news that sent the CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust and scores of other well-known ETFs surging.

Key oil ETFs see significant decline since June

Posted on 16 January 2015

An investment fund traded on the stock exchange is called an exchange-traded fund (or ETF). An ETF holds assets like commodities, stocks, and bonds. It trades like a stock. Most ETFs track a bond index or stock index. The oil ETF consists of oil company stocks or futures contracts for various oils, gases, and petroleum-based fuels.

Commodities traders’ costs soar with Swiss franc’s leap

Posted on 16 January 2015

A dramatic rise in the value of the Swiss franc sent costs soaring for the country’s commodity trading houses on Thursday, adding to pressures from tax and regulatory uncertainty that has already pushed many abroad.

Swiss Currency Has Shot Up 15% So Far Today. Here’s Why That Matters

Posted on 16 January 2015

Chaos in the currency market is a sign of deep problems for Europe—and the whole global economy. The global economy got a lot more interesting today, and maybe a little more scary, when the Swiss National Bank ended its commitment to a fixed exchange rate between the Swiss Franc and the euro.

Currencies: Going cuckoo for the Swiss

Posted on 16 January 2015

Currencies don’t normally move that far on a daily basis—2 to 3% is a big shift. The exception is when a country on a fixed exchange rate suffers a devaluation; then a 20-30% fall is a possibility. But a 20-30% plus upward move is almost unprecedented. That, however, is what happened to the Swiss franc on January 15th, as Switzerland’s central bank abandoned its policy (instituted back in 2011) of capping the currency at Sfr1.20 to the euro.

To feed the world, food and agriculture industry must embrace innovation

Posted on 16 January 2015

Lower oil prices – you can hardly move without running into news of new lows, which should be good news for us all, right? They should reduce the cost of producing goods and delivering services, in addition to offering relief at the pump. But while the latter may hold true, the picture for goods and services is less clear.

EON Urges Advancing Start of EU Carbon Market Reserve to 2017

Posted on 16 January 2015

EON SE urged European Union lawmakers to speed up a planned reform of the bloc’s emissions market to bolster prices and spur the transition to a low-carbon economy.

UK industry weighs up impact of carbon support on electricity demand

Posted on 16 January 2015

Energy suppliers and experts have expressed conflicting views over the extent to which energy bills and carbon price support will impact the UK’s heavy industry, potentially diverting production to countries with less onerous energy costs and cutting demand from energy intensive users in the process.

Investors Get Commodities Super-Slump Jitters

Posted on 15 January 2015

From super cycle to super slump. Europe’s top mining companies and steel makers bore the brunt of heavy selling on stock markets Wednesday as the renewed slump in commodity prices caught investors off guard amid an increasingly bearish outlook for global economic growth.

Why commodities are taking a beating again

Posted on 15 January 2015

Commodities took a beating Wednesday, as prices for everything from industrial metals to grains slid on global growth concerns. Copper, which is often seen as an important indicator of global growth because of its use in industry, fell as much as 5 percent on Wednesday.

Commodities Sink To 12-Year Low as Copper, Oil Slump

Posted on 15 January 2015

Commodities slumped to a 12-year low, led by the biggest plunge in copper since 2011, after a report from the World Bank fanned concerns of a global economic slowdown.

Expect ‘a rough 6 months’ for commodities: Analyst

Posted on 15 January 2015

Volatility in commodities will continue as long as Saudi Arabia’s next moves are unclear, RBC Capital Markets’ chief commodities strategist told CNBC on Wednesday. Meantime, Helima Croft said, she expects “a rough six months.”

ANZ: Falling Commodity Prices Will Not Help Global Growth

Posted on 15 January 2015

ANZ’s head of market strategy Richard Yetsenga reckons there is more going on in global commodities than just the dynamics of supply and demand. He says even though there has been a big focus on the interaction of supply and price in the big price crashes of iron ore and crude oil, the broad-based nature of the commodity rout means US dollar liquidity is playing a big part in the falls.

‘Crude’ Dismantling of The Commodities Supercycle

Posted on 15 January 2015

It has barely been a few weeks into the new trading year and the Brent front month oil futures contract is already down by over 11% on its opening level for 2 January. Together with the WTI and OPEC basket of crude oil, the global proxy benchmark is well below $50 per barrel with airwaves and internet forums full of chatter about new “six-year lows.”

World Bank cuts global economic outlook despite oil price drop

Posted on 15 January 2015

The World Bank on Tuesday lowered its global growth forecast for 2015 and next year due to disappointing economic prospects in the euro zone, Japan and some major emerging economies that offset the benefit of lower oil prices.

$50 Per Barrel May Be The New Ceiling For Oil Prices

Posted on 15 January 2015

If one number determines the fate of the world economy, it is the price of a barrel of oil. Every global recession since 1970 has been preceded by at least a doubling of the oil price, and every time the oil price has fallen by half and stayed down for six months or so, a major acceleration of global growth has followed.

Oil Continues Down Its Slippery Slope: Where’s The Bottom?

Posted on 15 January 2015

A fundamental shift is underway in the energy complex. The price of oil, as measured by West Texas Light Sweet Crude, has fallen from its most recent high near $107 per barrel in late June of last year, to a current level under $47. This represents a decline in excess of 55%. What’s causing this most precious commodity to plummet?

Oil projects worth billions put on hold

Posted on 15 January 2015

Billions of dollars of spending on oil and petrochemicals projects has been scrapped or put on hold, with Royal Dutch Shell and UK-based Premier Oil announcing the first big cost-cutting moves of 2015 after a brutal slide in crude prices.

The end of OPEC as we have known it is here

Posted on 15 January 2015

Unless oil prices fall so low that it forces oil fields to shut down and investors to abandon drilling projects, expect prolong chaos in the market for oil, says George L. Perry, senior fellow at Brookings Institution.

A guide to the inner workings of Opec

Posted on 15 January 2015

Opec was founded in 1960 to help governments gain a bigger share of revenue from oil production in their own countries. At the time, the oil companies in places such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela were owned by the oil majors – for example, Shell, Exxon and BP. The dominant global producer of oil was Texas, and its ability to produce unlimited volumes enabled the international oil companies to drive hard bargains with the governments of the countries which would ultimately come to form Opec.

It’ll again be a buyers’ market for gold in ‘15 as US rate hikes seen

Posted on 15 January 2015

Gold will extend losses this year as US interest rates increase, providing an opportunity for investors to buy the metal to benefit from a rebound spurred by Asian demand, according to Barclays.

Marc Faber’s Big Bet: Gold to Rise 30% in 2015

Posted on 15 January 2015

Famed investor Marc Faber, famously known as “Dr Doom” for correctly forecasting market crashes and for having a perennially bearish outlook, expects gold prices to rise by 30 per cent in 2015. In Indian rupee, gold could surge from Rs. 27,000 to Rs. 35,000 per 10 gram, without adjusting for exchange rate and duties, if his forecast comes true.

Nichols: Gold price has cleared top two hurdles in 2015

Posted on 15 January 2015

Gold on Wednesday continued its strong 2015 run with futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange adding as much as $10 an ounce to change hands for $1,244 an ounce, the highest since October 22. Gold has now advanced nearly 5% so far this year and is up sharply from close to four-year lows of $1,143 hit early November.

Copper takes a beating – but it may be a panic reaction

Posted on 15 January 2015

Fears grow over global economic health as copper leads a commodities sell-off after the World Bank cuts growth forecasts. Copper prices, seen as a barometer of industrial demand around the world, plunged to a five-and-a-half low on Wednesday as fears grew over the health of the global economy.

Copper slump heightens concern over state of mining sector

Posted on 15 January 2015

Shares in global miners were pummelled on Wednesday after sharp falls in the price of copper exacerbated investor concerns over the parlous state of the sector, already hit by oversupply of many other key commodities.

Is a global economic recession coming? Copper price say ‘yes’

Posted on 15 January 2015

The market for copper, a metal that two years ago was being stolen by thieves looking for big profits, is crashing – the latest in a string of commodities nosedives that have experts worried about the broader implications for the global economy. The copper market crashed overnight to its lowest level since the middle of the financial crisis in 2008, fueling fears that the global economy is slowing more sharply than many experts had anticipated.

2015 Outlook for Oil & Gas ETFs

Posted on 15 January 2015

Currently, oil is deeply entrenched into bearish territory and has fallen below the $50-a-barrel level following OPEC’s decision to hold production unchanged, the effects of booming shale supplies in North America and a stagnant European economy. Moreover, a stronger dollar has made the greenback-priced commodity more expensive for investors holding foreign currency.

Miner ETFs Striking Toward 2009 Lows

Posted on 15 January 2015

The plunge in oil prices is beginning to ripple across sectors, pressuring industrial metal miners and related exchange traded funds. The SPDR Metals & Mining ETF fell 5.4% Wednesday and is down 28.2% over the past year. XME is now trading near its lowest since March 2009.

China’s yuan shifts into currency major league

Posted on 15 January 2015

After a surge in interest last year, China’s yuan is heading for the currency major league, with trading volumes more comparable to the euro, sterling, Australian dollar and Swiss franc than its emerging market peers.

2015: The Currency War

Posted on 15 January 2015

War sounds scary. In the traditional sense, war evokes casualties and loss. For investors, currency wars simply convey economic redistribution. For instance, if there were only two stores in town selling identical items and one store raised prices while the other store lowered prices, demand would certainly follow the discount … but overall demand would be the same.

European lawmakers torn over how early to begin carbon market reform

Posted on 15 January 2015

European politicians meeting on Wednesday ahead of a critical vote next week on reforming the European Carbon market were unable to agree on a single date, putting forward both 2017 and 2019 as deadlines to begin action.

China opens national registry for carbon offsets, doubles supply

Posted on 15 January 2015

China on Wednesday opened its national register for carbon offsets, allowing buyers to transfer credits for emitting carbon from the national scheme to regional exchanges and opening the way for spot trading of the permits. At the same time it approved the issuance of 7 million offset credits, more than doubling the supply.

Top 10 Carbon Market Predictions for 2015

Posted on 15 January 2015

Last week, the Climate Trust, a mission-driven nonprofit that specializes in climate solutions, with a reduction of 1.9 million tons of greenhouse gases to its name, announced its second annual prediction list of 10 carbon market trends to watch in 2015.

China Commodity Imports Surge on Low Prices

Posted on 14 January 2015

China imported record volumes of commodities last year, taking advantage of lower prices to maintain its position as a massive buyer of global resources despite a slowdown in its broader economy.

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