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Has China’s base metals import appetite peaked?

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
Not any more, though. Net imports of refined aluminium, nickel, zinc and tin all fell last year, some of them precipitously. China isn’t a net importer of refined lead at all, a steady flow of exports helping explain why this particular market is so out of favour with investors right now………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil prices will normalise soon: OPEC

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The current slump in oil prices will be short-lived, OPEC’s secretary-general said, defending the oil-producing group’s November decision not to cut its production. “I tell you, the price will rebound and we will go back to normal very soon,” Abdalla Salem el-Badri said while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Oil prices have fallen more than 50 per cent since June amid surging production in the US and steadfast output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, despite an increasingly sluggish demand picture. In the past, OPEC has cut its output to prop up oil prices, but Mr el-Badri said the producer group couldn’t keep cutting back to prop up non-OPEC suppliers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Economists Predict Africa’s Growth to Go Beyond Oil, Commodities in 2015

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Economic experts from across the African continent say this may be an exciting year for African economies, which could be ready to move out of their traditional roles and into new sectors. African nations have struggled for decades to go beyond their role as providers of basic raw materials, like oil, gas, minerals and agricultural products.
Their efforts have had mixed success. While nations like South Africa and Kenya have managed to diversify their economies, others, like Angola and Nigeria, are largely known to investors as energy sources………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iran sees no OPEC shift toward a cut, says oil industry could withstand $25 crude

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iran sees no sign of a shift within OPEC toward action to support oil prices, its oil minister said, adding its oil industry could ride out a further price slump to $25 a barrel. The comments are a further sign that despite lobbying by Iran and Venezuela, there is little chance of collective action by the 12-member OPEC to prop up prices - entrenching the reluctance of individual members to curb their own supplies.
In remarks posted on the Iranian oil ministry’s website SHANA, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh called for increased cooperation between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) forecast demand for the group’s oil would drop to 28.78 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2015, down 140,000 bpd from its prior estimate and well over 1 million bpd less than it is currently producing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The end of OPEC as we have known it is here

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
Early last Fall, when oil prices had fallen by about $25 a barrel and it became clear the decline was more than a temporary blip, the big question was how far prices would fall? And that would depend on whether and when Saudi Arabia and its partners at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would support the world oil price by cutting their own production………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
“We expect gold prices to test new lows in 2015,” analysts Suki Cooper and Kevin Norrish wrote in a report dated yesterday (Monday), predicting that prices will drop to less than $1,130 an ounce. “The lows of this year and next are likely to offer attractive entry-level prices for the longer-term investor.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

OPEC vs. U.S.: Who will blink first on oil?

Posted on 14 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers this definition for the word capitulate: “to stop fighting an enemy or opponent; to admit that an enemy or opponent has won.” I’m not sure who oil companies are fighting, whether it’s oil traders, OPEC, Russia, or some invisible market force, but they’re losing. The domestic standard, West Texas Intermediate crude oil, fell below $45 per barrel on Tuesday, while the global standard, Brent crude oil, is now well under $50.
Who is going to stop the bleeding? OPEC is not cutting production, the U.S. is expected to increase output in 2015, and Russia has little choice but to sell whatever crude oil it can just to make money. But someone will have to capitulate if these players aim to halt the slide in oil prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold, Silver more prone to risks in 2015: Barclays

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold and silver are prone to further downside risk in 2015 but lower PGM prices are likely to prove to be good buying opportunities, according to the latest report by Barclays.
The report says the macro environment is likely to be pivotal for the precious metals in 2015, in particular given the expectation that the dollar may strengthen and for the first rate hike in June. This dynamic is likely to present significant headwinds for gold that has potential to weigh upon the rest of the precious metal complex, the report said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil Declines From 5 1/2-Year Low as OPEC Members Seek Recovery

Posted on 12 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil extended losses from the lowest level in more than 5 1/2 years as Venezuela and Iran called for members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to work together to assist in a recovery of the crude market.
Futures slid as much as 1.5 percent in London after a seventh weekly drop. Prices need to return to $100 a barrel for economic equilibrium, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said in comments broadcast on state television during a tour of OPEC producers in the Middle East………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Facts and fantasies about commodities

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities were the worst performing asset class for the third year running in 2014. Investors, including some of the world’s largest pension funds, have seen billions of dollars of wealth disappear as a result of investing in commodity index products over the last decade.
So it is essential to understand what went wrong to help prevent a similar problem recurring in future. “Facts and fantasies about commodity futures,” first published in 2004 by Gary Gorton and Geert Rouwenhorst, proved one of the most influential research papers in 21st century finance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC Finds Everyone Else Guilty in Oil-Glut Blame Game

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When OPEC blames everyone else for a glut that’s sent oil prices to the lowest in 5 1/2 years, it’s not without some merit. The CHART OF THE DAY shows crude production in the U.S. increased 75 percent over the past 5 years while output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries grew 5 percent.
Canada boosted supplies by 42 percent while Brazil pumped 24 percent more, according to data from New York-based Energy Intelligence Group. Brent crude collapsed by 48 percent in 2014, its biggest price slide since 2008, as OPEC resisted calls to cut output amid a global surplus that Qatar estimates at 2 million barrels a day………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rare Earths and Technology Metals – Was 2014 a Lost Year?

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In a space in which there are too many “lost years” of late, we cannot deem 2014 as anything but yet another lost year, especially for the Rare Earth space. Let’s hope it will be the last of such periods. The first half was pretty good with many, including ourselves, calling a turn in fortunes but this was a more generalized improvement linked to a better vibe in the mining space in general.
It was certainly not linked to price appreciation in Rare Earths or indeed, in any of the specialty metals. REE prices remained firmly stuck were they were with the Chinese sending out vibrations that didn’t give much hope for improvement either………………………………………..Full Article: Source

No OPEC Member Has Formally Requested Emergency Meeting

Posted on 08 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC members have so far refrained from formally asking for the group to hold an emergency meeting despite Brent oil prices dipping below $50 a barrel for the first time in 5½ years, delegates from the oil cartel said. Brent crude fell below $50 a barrel earlier Wednesday, though it recovered later to around $50.9 per barrel.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by its top producer Saudi Arabia, decided in November to keep their production ceiling unchanged, instead of cutting back output to bolster falling prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC trying to punish US oil frackers: Kovacevich

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The refusal by OPEC to cut production in the face of prices plunging to 5½-year lows shows the cartel is looking to put a lid on the U.S. fracking boom, former Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO Richard Kovacevich told CNBC on Tuesday.
U.S. crude prices were lower again in early Tuesday trading—below $49 a barrel at one point—following Monday’s 5 percent drop in New York to lows not seen since April 2009. The price collapse has been pressuring stocks, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average fall 331 points Monday, the worst session in three months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sheiks vs. Shale: the Future of O.P.E.C.

Posted on 06 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

America enjoys scolding the rest of the world. It certainly enjoys ragging on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (O.P.E.C.), which the West largely credits for holding the magic wand of setting world oil prices. As the price of crude benchmarks has plunged by nearly 50 percent since June, many commentators are now calling into question O.P.E.C.’s ability to control pricing and bring stability to the markets.
Accordingly, U.S. shale producers and their Wall Street investors are hanging on the every word of O.P.E.C.’s de-facto leader — Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi — as if he is either an oracle to be heralded or an untrustworthy demon to be castigated………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold Coin Sales Fall as Prices Stagnate

Posted on 06 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sales of gold coins from some of the world’s largest mints declined last year as stable prices discouraged investors and demand declined in Asia. The U.S. Mint and Australia’s The Perth Mint recorded markedly weaker sales of gold bullion coins as the broader market muddled through a year in which gains were capped by expectations for higher interest rates as the U.S. recovery gained steam. Gold is often seen as an alternative store of value during periods of economic uncertainty.
The Perth Mint said it sold 373,351 ounces of gold bullion coins last year, down 28% from 2013. Sales of The U.S. Mint’s American Eagle coins were down 39% at 524,500 ounces………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold great value protector in 2014 – silver not

Posted on 06 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Are we too focused on gold’s US dollar performance to see its real value for those outside the USA? LBMA Gold price end 2013: US$1 201.50; Gold price end 2014: $1 199.25 – only down a minute 0.19% over the year. Thus, by effectively marking time vis-à-vis the US dollar over the full year gold outperformed virtually all other currencies in maintenance of value.
Frank Holmes of US Global Investors pointed this out neatly with the graph below in a recent article. Indeed its LBMA afternoon price on December 30 at $1 206 was actually 0.4% higher than its 2013 close in US dollars too but something of a dollar rally on the morning of December 31 brought it down a little………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Precious Metals: A Fundamental Review For 2015

Posted on 05 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold and Silver started 2015 in positive territory, gaining 0.56% and 1.19% respectively. But there are plenty of fundamental headwinds facing precious metals heading into 2015, many that dominated the headlines in 2014. A stronger dollar, slowing global economies, and deflation concerns, to name a few.
Can precious metals regain their luster? Here’s a quick look at spot Gold and Silver prices on the first trading day of the year. As you can see, Gold prices remain under $1200/oz, while silver lingers around $15-$16/oz. In 2014, capital flowed into equities and bonds, and out of commodities. Of the precious metals, Gold fared the best, closing just under break even for the year. On the other hand, Silver joined Crude Oil as commodities that got hit hard. Below is a performance chart of Gold and Silver for 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Known unknowns dim global market outlook

Posted on 05 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When you see 2015 financial and commodity markets forecasts that list 10 reasons why those markets will collapse this year, or bring in talk of the Black Death as the most pertinent portent for what is now occurring, it’s probably wise to resist the temptation to stick one’s neck out.
So let us remain content with listing all the known unknowns. First, though, that Black Death thing: with the news that yields on German bonds actually went negative last week, and eurozone governments can now borrow at less that 1 per cent, one commentator argued nothing of this low yield/low interest rate magnitude had been experienced since the 14th century, when England defaulted on Italian loans and the Black Death carried off at least 25 million people………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Expect More Volatility in Gold for 2015 as Interest Rates Rise

Posted on 02 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold has only fallen 3% on the year as the metal has spent much of 2014 consolidating between $1,200 per ounce and $1,400 per ounce. That consolidation is precisely what investors should continue to expect in 2015, says Eric Zuccarelli, an independent metals trader. Investors should also expect more volatility for the metal in the new year.
Interest rates, which are expected to climb in 2015, will likely put pressure on gold prices, especially with inflation as low as it is, he explained………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Most pundits are wrong. The oil price fall is good news at last

Posted on 22 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It looks very much as though 2015 will be a good year for the world economy, after all – and, if it is, that will be thanks to the fall in the oil price. It won’t be good for everyone and we have already seen the pressure it puts on the Russian leadership – though, before you conclude that sometimes there is natural justice in the world, remember that the people who are hurt are not leaders such as Vladimir Putin.
Other oil- and gas-exporting countries are damaged, too, and I think we will see further fallout in unpredictable ways. But the net impact is strongly positive, more so than most commentators at present acknowledge. The winners far outnumber the losers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold still on hold

Posted on 19 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold prices did not show a huge reaction to the FOMC meeting announcement today in which the Fed appeared to sound more dovish–and perhaps a bit confusing as well. The metal is now hovering around the $1,200 area, and it is likely that no significant changes in price action are seen until the new year.
The central bank left in its language the phrase “considerable time” when referencing interest rate policy and the notion of beginning the tightening cycle. Other parts of the central bank’s statement were considered to be more hawkish, however, and some investors feel that the Fed gave some mixed signals with regards to its intentions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Opec’s 2015 oil revenues to slump to $446bn - EIA

Posted on 18 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The amount Opec countries, excluding Iran, earn from net oil revenues next year is set to tumble to levels not seen for a decade as the dramatic slide in prices shows no signs of relenting.
Forecasts from the US Energy Information Administration - the wealthy nations’ energy watchdog - suggests revenue from oil exports next year will dip to $446bn - down 46 per cent on 2013’s income - as Brent crude is projected to average just $68 a barrel in 2015, compared to $109 a barrel last year…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia Has its Reason for an Oil Price Drop, Others Need a Plan

Posted on 18 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Not all producers will be hurt by a few years of lower prices. Let’s not forget that OPEC’s leading member, Saudi Arabia, has long believed that if oil prices are too high they undermine long-term demand for the country’s main export.
When prices hovered around $100/barrel, oil importing countries in the global north and the faster growing south, poured money into energy diversification and technologies to reduce emissions…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Is the end of QE bearish for gold?

Posted on 17 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The conventional view is that Fed money creation is necessarily bullish for gold and that a tightening of monetary conditions beginning with the cessation of Fed money creation is necessarily bearish for gold. It’s strange that this view is popular given that gold was clearly hurt more than helped by the QE program that extended from October of 2012 through to October of this year.
If gold is now going to be hurt by a ‘tighter’ Fed, the implication is that regardless of what the Fed does it’s bearish for gold. If the Fed aggressively pumps money into the economy, it’s bearish for gold. If the Fed stops pumping money, it’s bearish for gold. If the Fed not only stops pumping money but starts hiking interest rates, it’s astronomically bearish for gold!…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Copper to gain on supply constraints

Posted on 17 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The metal may inch towards $6,950/tonne. Base metals have witnessed a lot of ups and downs this year due to geo-political tensions arising out Russia -Ukraine standoff in the first half, followed by faltering growth in China during the second half.
Although efforts have been made by the People’s Bank of China, they have not been enough to contain the falling trend in base metals. In addition to this, the euro zone, possibly, slipping into a third recession since the resurfacing of financial crisis, has been a matter of concern……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global agri-commodities prices likely to remain volatile in 2015

Posted on 16 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agricultural commodities are likely to remain volatile globally in 2015, with strong buying support on lows to keep prices elevated in the first half. However, global oversupply could pull these down in the second half.
A Rabobank study says the fundamentals in agri commodities appear more balanced through 2015, resulting in narrower trading ranges for many commodities versus 2014. On the demand side, growth has slowed in recent years. However, lower price levels should now encourage consumption growth, which will support prices. However, a strengthening dollar, uncertain Chinese demand growth, slowing biofuel demand and weakness in crude oil prices might spoil the party………………………………………Full Article: Source

Natural Gas Tops Commodity Gains as Traders Brace for Cold Month

Posted on 16 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Natural gas climbed the most in almost two weeks as traders braced for a colder end of the month than previously forecast. Futures rose as much as 3.7 percent, the most since Dec. 2, making the fuel the best performer among 22 raw materials in the Bloomberg Commodity Index. Colder-than-normal temperatures are expected for the upper Midwest by Dec. 26, for Texas by Dec. 27 and the east coast by Dec. 28, forecaster Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in an e-mailed report.
“The market is reacting to new forecasts pointing to a colder end to December,” Moses Rahnama, an analyst at London-based consultants Energy Aspects Ltd., said by e-mail today. “We don’t know how cold it will get, but definitely colder than previously forecast. Models are also pointing to possibly a colder January.”……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Precious Metals Starting To Show Bullish Signs

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

We’ve believed that Gold would need to break $1100 before we thought a bottom could start to develop. While that could still be the case, we are starting to see building evidence that precious metals could be forming a bottom.
In the past we’ve written about the importance of Gold’s performance against other asset classes. Relative strength in Gold has preceded important bottoms in the Gold price during 2001, 2005 and 2008. That relative strength is starting to show. Below we plot Gold against various asset classes, which are noted in the chart. Several days ago Gold against foreign currencies (and the EUR) closed at a 15-month high………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Do oil and gold mix?

Posted on 12 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Has gold finally bottomed out? And what does its prospects tell us about the outlook for oil? Three weeks ago, you may recall, I reached a bearish conclusion from my array of gold timing indicators that are based on the performance of the top-performing advisers.
Gold today is $33 higher than where it stood then, or 2.8%—largely on the basis of a big rally on Tuesday of this week, when bullion shot up by more than $40 an ounce. Have any of the top performers changed their minds because of recent action? As always in Hulbert On Markets, I turn to the top performers for answers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold forecasts for 2015 - Scotiabank mining panel

Posted on 12 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The most direct question to Scotiabank’s gold panel came from the audience at the end of a wide-ranging discussion of the gold market at the bank’s recently held mining conference: where would the price of gold go by the end of 2015?
Most of the panel cringed at the request, but nonetheless made their wagers (or almost so). Andy Montano, ScotiaMocatta director, went first. “If I give you a forecast, I guarantee you one thing it will be wrong,” he said. Still, he added, “I would say right where we are now.” Next up was Marcus Grubb, the World Gold Council’s (WGC) managing director of investment and strategy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What Big Banks Are Saying About Commodities in 2015

Posted on 11 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As 2014 winds to a close, several analysts have already published their predictions for the coming year, with the vast majority seeing the U.S. take the lead in the global economic recovery. On the commodities front, 2014 has been yet another difficult year, as a strong U.S. dollar put downward pressure on commodity prices.
This year, the energy sector came into the spotlight, as crude oil prices fell more than 30% on increased supply levels and slow global demand. Many believe the crude story will likely continue into the new year. Below, we highlight what big banks are saying about energy in 2015, as well as their outlook for the overall commodity market in the New Year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Opec opens door to emergency meeting with oil downgrade

Posted on 11 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Drop in global oil demand growth will raise bets that Opec will meet early next year to review output quotas amid ongoing slump in prices. Opec has slashed its oil demand growth forecast for next year in a move that could bring its members to the table in an emergency meeting to agree on cutting production in the first quarter of 2015.
The group, which is comprised of 12 oil producing states mainly from the Middle East, said Wednesday that it now expects the world will require 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) less oil next year than it had previously anticipated. The cartel now expects that total global oil demand could reach 92.26m bpd next year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Market, not OPEC, will determine oil price: UAE official

Posted on 10 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Market forces and the response of high-cost crude producers to the recent fall in prices will determine the cost of oil in the coming months, rather than OPEC, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) oil official said on Tuesday.
Prices have fallen more than 40 percent since June and Brent crude for January delivery hit $65.33 a barrel on Tuesday, its lowest since September 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Not much change likely in Indian gold demand

Posted on 09 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

India’s gold demand might, it is believed, rise by no more than three per cent in 2015 over this year. Data compiled by rating agency ICRA forecasts the demand at 850 tonnes, compared to the 825 tonnes estimated in 2014.
The World Gold Council (WGC), which represents the mining industry, puts India’s demand between 850 and 950 tonnes in 2014. Easing import curbs, the government early this month withdrew the 16-month-old ‘80:20’ scheme, under which at least a fifth of any import consignment had to be supplied to jewellery exporters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

When Oil Becomes Optional

Posted on 08 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Is this the beginning of the end for oil’s long, tyrannical reign? Amid turmoil in two of the world’s largest oil-producing regions, Russia and the Persian Gulf, the price of oil has declined from $110 in last summer to below $70 last week. Explanations for the drop are many, ranging from an oil glut resulting from booming U.S. shale oil production to a Saudi plot to make U.S. shale unprofitable by driving down the price.
Volatility in the price of oil is nothing new. The essential dynamic — the global economy riding a roller coaster in which the cost of crude jerks and swerves from a punishing $125 per barrel to a still-painful $60 to $70 — is well established. But over the past two years, prices stabilized in the range of $90 to $110 per barrel. Then, last summer, oil began its precipitous dive………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum will be in deficit for full year: Barclays

Posted on 05 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The first quarterly platinum supply and demand data show the platinum market swung into a surplus in Q3 14 to the magnitude of 155koz, as platinum prices fell by 13% over the quarter to close at $1293.1/oz. Producer inventory is estimated to have fallen by 15koz,according to Barclays.
The newly formed World Platinum Investment Council released the first quarterly analysis of platinum supply and demand fundamentals today. This is the first time quarterly data has been presented for platinum; historically, balances have been presented on an annual basis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Drooping Commodities Hurt Down Under

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What a shocker! If you need a reason for why the Australian dollar and interest rates are likely to remain under pressure, then the third quarter growth data from Down Under is it. The Australian dollar was treated with extreme prejudice on Wednesday morning, with the currency tumbling more than half a U.S. cent to a fresh 4 ½ year low in the moments after headlines flashed the disappointing news that year-on-year growth of 2.7% had missed market expectations of 3.1% growth.
Worse still, nominal GDP contracted 0.1% in the quarter, the first decline since 2009. Welcome to life after the commodities boom. The waning of the massive investment in new mining and energy projects weighed heavily on the third quarter GDP numbers, so too moves by many miners to defer planned projects given the hammering of iron ore and coal prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What’s Driving Gold Now?

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold enthusiasts around the world are trying to figure out what just happened in the gold market. The price action has been dramatic, and I think I can shed some fairly bright light on the situation. The general consensus is that the price of gold fell on Friday, due to anticipation of a Swiss citizen rejection of the “Save Our Gold” campaign. The Swiss vote went as anticipated, but by Monday morning, gold had soared $80, and Silver surged $2.
How can this bizarre price action by explained by the events in Switzerland? The likely answer is: It can’t. In the big picture, events in India have always been a key driver of gold prices. It appears that India is also now becoming the main short term driver of the price, and rightly so, in my professional opinion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Good old-fashioned gold: how consumers and banks still rely on it

Posted on 03 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

London property and gold — the two safest places to put your money, or so the saying goes in recent years. For the past several years, owners of London property have watched with delight as the values of their homes have spiked annually well into double digits.
With gold, as has been the case for thousands of years, it has provided a tradable commodity which investors have turned to in uncertain times. It’s a safe haven, the asset of last resort. But with quality gold ore becoming increasingly hard to find, a Canadian company has ventured 125 kilometers (78 miles) into the Arctic circle to build Europe’s largest gold mine………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil plunges as Opec tests the mettle of US shale industry

Posted on 28 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Opec threw down the gauntlet to US shale oil producers by deciding not to cut its production, in a move that sent the oil price tumbling by more than 8 per cent to a four-year low. The cartel said it was leaving its output ceiling of 30m barrels a day unchanged, in a significant departure from its traditional policy of cutting production to prop up falling oil prices.
Any further fall in the price of crude, which has dropped by nearly 40 per cent since mid-June, will mean more pain for oil exporting countries and global energy companies, and could endanger billions of dollars of investment in new oil projects……………………………………Full Article: Source

Saudis to push OPEC to cut output: CNBC survey

Posted on 27 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia will this week push the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production by up to 1.5 million barrels a day to help re-balance the market and lift oil prices from their four-year lows, analysts and strategists told CNBC.
Nineteen out of 30 market professionals contacted by CNBC say OPEC’s leading member Saudi Arabia will spearhead an agreement to cut supply at its November 27 meeting. “Only a 1.5 million barrel-a-day reduction would help stabilize the price at this stage,” Ole Sloth Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, told CNBC…………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC’s Easy Days Setting Oil Production Are Over, Veteran Says; You Need Russia, Norway, Mexico

Posted on 24 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The days when OPEC members could almost guarantee consensus when deciding production levels for oil are long gone, according to a veteran of almost two decades of the group’s meetings.
The global glut of crude, which has contributed to a 30 percent decline in prices since June 19, has left the organization dependent on non-members to shore up the market, said former Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah. The 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is scheduled to meet in Vienna on Nov. 27…………………………………Full Article: Source

Iran, Venezuela urge oil price support ahead of OPEC meeting

Posted on 17 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC hawks Iran and Venezuela on Saturday called on fellow crude producers to shore up prices that have plunged more than 30 percent to four-years low ahead of an OPEC meeting later this month. Oil prices have fallen to below 79 US dollars on abundant and weak demand from 115 dollars a barrel in June. Skepticism that OPEC will cut supply when it meets on November 27 have also weighed on the prices.
So far, only Kuwait and Iran have said a reduction is unlikely, while a Libyan OPEC official, Venezuela and Ecuador have all called for OPEC to cut output. Privately, some delegates are talking of the need for some action, although they warn an agreement will not be easy to reach……………………………………Full Article: Source

Giving in? OPEC finally admits reduced oil demand in 2015

Posted on 14 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global demand for oil from Opec next year will be far below its current output level because of the US shale boom, the group said on Wednesday, as its top producer, Saudi Arabia, kept silent on whether it will cut output to remove surplus oil from the market.
Saudi Arabia, unusually, has not commented publicly on the fall in oil prices to their lowest since 2010, which has prompted industry watchers to wonder whether the kingdom may be moving away from a policy of managing the market and instead pursuing geopolitical goals…………………………………Full Article: Source

UAE Oil Minister Says OPEC Has Not Contributed To Oversupply

Posted on 12 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

United Arab Emirates energy minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazrou said on Tuesday that oil market fundamentals had not changed, and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had not contributed to oversupply.
Speaking at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi, he said: “Fundamentals in the market didn’t change, OPEC didn’t contribute to an oversupply … We shouldn’t panic.” Asked who was oversupplying the market, the United States or Russia, he replied: “We all know that this supply in the past years came from the revolution in shale oil and (if) you look at numbers you will find this.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Precious Metals demand is shifting to emerging markets, led by China and India

Posted on 11 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Since 2006, when India and China absorbed about a third of total gold global mining supplies, the average of India and China per capita GDP has approximately tripled to $4,100 (in 2013) with a total population of 2.7 billion. This rapid per capita GDP growth trend is likely to continue and has the potential to accelerate. China surpassed India in 2013 as the world’s largest consumer of gold.
Together, China and India consumed about 70% of global gold production in 2013, up from about 32% in 2006. In many emerging markets, cultural - and in some cases - religious affinities for the precious metals , notably gold are boosting demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold Bulls Accelerate Retreat to This Year’s Fastest Pace

Posted on 10 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds made their biggest cut of the year in bullish gold wagers as prices tumbled to the lowest since 2010. The net-long position in New York futures and options contracted 36 percent as long holdings fell the most in almost two years, U.S. government data show. Investors sold 14.4 metric tons of bullion held through exchange-traded products last week, trimming assets to the least since August 2009.
Gold dropped 15 percent from this year’s high in March as signs of a stronger U.S. economy drove the dollar to a five-year high and fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve is moving closer to raising interest rates. Lower oil costs are helping to keep inflation in check and U.S. equities touched records………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Banks brace for Senate’s commodities hearing

Posted on 07 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan is preparing to take one last swing at Wall Street before leaving Congress. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Mr. Levin (D., Mich), announced Thursday a two-day hearing into banks’ involvement in the ownership and trading of physical commodities in late November.
The hearing, which follows a two-year investigation by the subcommittee, is likely to delve into whether banks’ participation in the market for physical commodities influenced prices and harmed consumers. The subcommittee has held discussions with officials from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley , among others. It wasn’t immediately clear who will appear before the subcommittee, but regulators and companies are expected to appear………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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