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Timid silver does not mean bad economic news

Posted on 05 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold’s relationship with silver and the stock market seems to have changed. The mint ratio is the gold price divided by the silver price. Assuming supply stays reasonably stable, the mint in recent times has tended to rise when equities fall.
When the S&P 500 hit its post-dotcom bubble low in 2003, the mint breached 80. Just before Wall Street’s credit crunch trough in early 2009, the mint brushed 90. The inverse correlation is explained by investors lowering the price of silver relative to gold as the tougher economic times hurting stocks are seen reducing demand for the grey metal. Gold has hardly any industrial uses………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold & Silver Investing Strong, Sellers Vanish

Posted on 04 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold investing sentiment jumped in February, writes Adrian Ash at BullionVault, surging from a half-decade low to the strongest level since Spring 2013. That’s according to our new Gold Investor Index today. It tracks the number of buyers vs. sellers on BullionVault, the low-cost gold and silver market online. Used by 55,000 people worldwide, it saw $1.2 billion of metal (£740m, €920m) exchanged in 2014.
And last month, BullionVault’s Gold Investor Index jumped from 50.5 to read 54.5 as the number of people starting or adding to their gold holdings rose, but the number of sellers sank by two-thirds. A reading of 50.0 would signal a perfect balance of net buyers and net sellers across the month. The Gold Investor Index peaked at 71.7 in September 2011……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China, Commodities Bust To Force RBA’s Hand

Posted on 03 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
The pullback in China’s growth to its slowest pace since 1990 was worrying enough for the People’s Bank of China to cut interest rates for a second time in three months on Saturday, and some economists are arguing that RBA Governor Glenn Stevens will follow suit with a second successive rate cut when he convenes the monthly meeting of the central bank’s board in Melbourne on Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will 2015 Be Gold’s Year?

Posted on 03 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
A swift decline in the euro and the recent move by the Swiss National Bank to end the cap on the franc are reminders that currency values can change dramatically. Will Denmark be forced off its krone peg to the euro as well? Amid recent currency ups and downs, gold looms as an alternative………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper: A Rebound - Don’t Get Too Bullish

Posted on 03 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
It does not provide a diagnosis of global economic condition; rather it reacts to the strength or weakness of the landscape. Therefore, copper is a symptom and symptoms occur not in the doctor but in the patient. Since copper traded to all-time highs of $4.6495 per pound in February 2011, the price of the red metal has made lower highs and lower lows. In January 2015, it broke below the $2.72 level, which was the June 2010 lows and key support………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Explaining the global oil-price drop

Posted on 02 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
In this hostile conflict, begun in June 2014, oil prices have dropped significantly, from the highest level of more than US$100/barrel in 2010 to approximately $50 this year. Yet Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) did not do anything to cut oil supply, to stabilize prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What To Make Of Gold Prices In 2015

Posted on 27 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For much of the past decade, gold has been viewed as one of the most stable and predictable investments in existence. The price of gold was rising slowly but steadily, and crises in world politics and financial markets continually proved that the precious metal had value as a protective hedge.
And yet, in mid-2012, this popular outlook began to change as gold prices became more volatile than most modern investors are used to seeing. Take a look at the 10-year gold pricing chart at online precious metal market BullionVault.com, and you’ll see the trend as clear as day. While gold today remains at a significantly inflated per ounce price than what we saw a decade ago, the steady rise that investors got used to between 2005 and 2012 is no more………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is there a Logical Oil Price?

Posted on 25 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If you have been following the price of oil over the last few months, the chances are you are a little confused. On the one hand, you have the likes of A. Gary Shilling who, in this Bloomberg article, loudly trumpets the prospect of oil at $10/Barrel, and on the other, there is T. Boone Pickens, who, at the end of last year was predicting a return to $100 within 12-18 months.
Pickens prediction has moderated somewhat as WTI and Brent crude have continued to fall, but in January he was still saying that oil would return to $70 or $80/barrel in the near future. So, who is correct? ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Comodities ‘super-cycle’ stalls without wheels

Posted on 23 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

We may have been deluding ourselves with regard to the recent commodity super-cycle — the apogee of which, by the way, has probably been over for as long as seven years. It may not been so super after all. Charts produced during the week by London-based Capital Economics reveals a pattern of commodity moves that should confound any view that these items have retained good value over the long term.
For one thing, the price surge that reached its most exciting level just before the GFC struck in 2008, was not the greatest in real terms. Adjusted for inflation, the highest peak for commodities was caused by World War I, followed by the oil shock of the 1970s (and sustained by the gold burst in 1980)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Gold Is Looking Lustrous Once Again

Posted on 23 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Since peaking above $1,900 an ounce in September 2011, gold prices have declined by nearly 40%, settling at around $1,200 an ounce on Friday. I became bearish on gold in January 2013 and discussed why this January 25, 2013 global macroeconomic commentary, citing: 1) the passing dangers of a euro zone breakup (after Spain, Portugal and Greece were bailed out by their richer peers), 2) the recovering U.S. economy, and 3) that gold was highly vulnerable to a major decline after a 12-year bull market.
I slapped a 12- to 18-month price target of $1,100-$1,300 an ounce—when gold traded at $1,660 an ounce. It now appears that the decline in gold prices is nearly over, and that there will be a great long-term buying opportunity in gold this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

We like the fundamentals for gold

Posted on 23 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Medium to long term, we like the fundamentals for gold. On the supply side, although mine production was up for the sixth consecutive year due to mines that were developed over the last decade, we do not believe there is a large enough pipeline of new projects to satisfy future demand.
This is due to a cost structure that is approaching (or even exceeding) the current spot price. On the demand side, we see continued strength in Asia and throughout the emerging markets, central banks and the investment sector as price goes up — hence a real “push/pull” phenomenon in the years ahead………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity Super Cycle Reinforcing Strength: Currie (Video)

Posted on 20 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Jeffrey Currie, global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, and William Rudin, chief executive officer & vice chairman at Rudin Management, discuss the cycle of commodity prices and the expanding cost of luxury Manhattan real estate. They speak on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”.………………………………………Full Article: Source

Gold – Forming a base as selling abates

Posted on 20 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold remained under pressure in the final quarter of 2014 on dollar strength and growing demand for higher-yielding risk assets. Technical selling was also a feature after gold breached double bottom chart support around $1,180. The price weakness stimulated physical demand as gold entered its seasonal peak demand period.
Demand is expected to remain strong early this year while Chinese demand is boosted by New Year-related purchases. Further asset diversification among emerging market central banks has also been evident, absorbing continued liquidation from western institutional investors, also a trend we expect to continue in 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Streets of China Commodity City

Posted on 19 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Yiwu International Trade City, also known as China Commodity City, claims to be the world’s largest wholesale market for small commodities. It is located in a vast warehouse in the province of Zhejiang, where tens of thousands of stalls sell everything from artificial flowers to inflatable pools.
In 2014, the photographer Richard John Seymour captured the “streets” of China Commodity City as part of a project with the design studio Unknown Fields Division. Seymour told me that, despite the disorienting aspects of the market, the familiarity of certain items on sale there—a kitchen sponge, a Christmas decoration—served as a reminder that he “had an intimate connection with this place on the other side of the globe.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

The price of oil is not a reflection of demand and supply

Posted on 19 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“People today are worried about the plunging price of oil, which however is not a reflection of demand and supply alone”, says Dr. R. Seetharaman, Group CEO, Doha Bank. In the last six months, we have seen oil prices come down by 50 per cent – this does not mean that supply has increased by 50 per cent, or that demand has reduced by 50 per cent.
Yes, there indeed is excess supply, but what really has changed is the currency. The Dollar Index, for instance, has moved from 79 to above 94, and has also contributed to fall in prices in the commodity market. When the Dollar is weak, people hedge their risks by buying commodity futures, and when the Dollar is strong they unwind their positions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia’s tycoons suffer commodities hangover

Posted on 18 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commodities slump has dented economies, capital expenditure and profits. Now it is scything the wealth of some of Australia’s most colourful tycoons. Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, the founder and chairman of Fortescue, has seen the value of his one-third shareholding in the iron ore miner fall to A$2.65bn, down from A$6.2bn a year earlier.
The latest Forbes rich list, which was published last month, ranks Mr Forrest as the 10th richest Australian, down from fifth last year. Gina Rinehart remains Australia’s richest, although her wealth fell to US$11.7bn, down US$6bn on the previous year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will commodities be able to sustain their rally?

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The WTI was $52.78/barrel and Brent was $61.52/barrel by the end of last week. It had surged recently due to fall in the number of oil drilling rigs in the US to its lowest since August 2011. The number of rigs drilling for oil in the US fell by 84 last week to 1,056, a clear sign of the pressure that tumbling crude prices have put on oil producers.
Oil prices have rebounded since late January, partly due to expectations the lower rig count will eventually shrink US production, curtailing the supply glut. Oil price also arose on account of eurozone growth of 0.3% in last quarter of 2014. The eurozone’s biggest economy, Germany, was a clear outperformer, growing by 0.7% in the quarter. The positive job data from US economy also contributed to surge in oil prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Silver - The Best Precious Metal Investment For 2015

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Silver, a tangible asset, which is recognized as a store of value, its price can be affected by inflation, values of paper currency and fluctuations in interest rates and deficits. Silver investors insist on staying exposed to the metal despite its price weakness in 2014. Total physical demand for silver stood at a record 1,081 million ounces (Moz) last year.
If gold is poised to hit the $1,400 to $1,500 range in 2015, the biggest question for investors is whether a silver rebound will follow. Other precious metals like Silver and Platinum have generally followed the gold price. Silver is currently trading near all time low levels and has toyed with a rebound for months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities are down-but hardly out

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Do commodities still have a place in the average investor’s portfolio? The 2007-09 recession caused everyone to re-evaluate their tolerance for risk, and nowhere was this felt more strongly than in the commodities arena, where anything from a coffee-eating pest to severe drought could cost an investor hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Several years of negative returns for most commodities haven’t endeared the asset class to investors: For the three years through January, the S&P GSCI Commodity Index posted a negative return of 40 per cent. That came after a 52 per cent decline between June 2008 and June 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Oil Prices Will Rebound Before We Know It

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil industry analysts have been engaging in a burning debate: Have prices hit bottom or do they have further to fall? Energy company CEOs have been voicing their views on the question as they report their quarterly earnings results. The International Energy Agency weighed in as well in a somewhat bearish five-year forecast released Tuesday, saying that oil prices will eventually rebound from current levels but still stay below the $100 a barrel mark.
The group said global stockpiles would rise, putting prices under more pressure before spending cuts by oil producers kick in to ease the supply glut. Here’s a safe call: Get ready for plenty of thrills, chills and volatility along the way. Let’s take a look at five key lessons from energy company conference calls so far this earnings season, and at several stocks that will benefit from the next chapter that’s about to play out in the ongoing saga of oil price volatility………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Top oil analyst: The worst is yet to come

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil prices will get a heck of a lot worse before they get better, a top industry analyst said on Tuesday. Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, predicted that oil prices would bottom during the second quarter of the year “simultaneously to one of the expirations of the WTI contracts.”
He warned that the price of West Texas Intermediate crude could be in the $30s at some point in the second quarter. “I think the cycle has a long way to run out,” Kloza said on CNBC’s “Fast Money,” adding that the spread between Brent and WTI could widen to about $10 or so………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC prediction of $200 a-barrel-oil ignores market realities — or maybe not

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC’s Secretary General Abdulla al-Badri announced that the oil price may have bottomed out and predicted “you will see more than $200 when it comes to future oil prices.” In the current reduced-oil-price environment, we see oil companies cut back on budgets, curtail exploration, and pull in rigs — in many places it costs more to get the oil out of the ground than the present sales price.
In today’s market for crude oil, a reduction in the number of drilling rigs in the United States does not mean overall production declines. It means less production in the future. Tim Snyder, an energy economist with Lubbock, Texas-based Pro Petroleum Inc., who analyzes trends to help his company and others make educated decisions and manage risk, told me: “We anticipate a decrease in ‘new’ production in the U.S. as exploration and production companies reallocate capital expenditures and reduce drilling exposure.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Silver and Gold Truth Versus Fiat Lies

Posted on 11 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What do loss of confidence, loss of faith in financial systems, and pervasive lies have to do with gold and silver? The answer begins with: Gold is far more truthful money – central banks can’t print it or create it from “thin air.” Dollars, euros, yen and others are fiat currency units based on confidence and debt (not assets) and are supported by government mandates that these pieces of colored paper and computerized digits shall be accepted as money.
But confidence in debt based currencies promoted by insolvent governments is clearly waning. The Russians and Chinese understand – they are converting dollars, yuan, and rubles into gold. Europe, Japan and the U.S. are “printing” more euros, yen, and dollars hoping that “extend and pretend” will give the politicians more years in office, another war or two, and more profits for the military contractors and bankers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold rebounds amid demand for haven assets

Posted on 10 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold rebounded as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reaffirmed his government’s rejection of the country’s bailout programme and concern increased that Ukraine’s conflict may worsen, spurring demand for haven assets.
Bullion for immediate delivery added as much as 0.4 percent to $1,239.31 an ounce and was at $1,238.34 at 2.11pm in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Prices fell to $1,228.48 on February 6, the lowest level since January 15, after data showed the US added more jobs than forecast in January, boosting expectations that the Federal Reserve will move toward the first interest-rate increase since 2006………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What price gold in an increasingly unreliable world?

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

You may have noticed that whenever the gold price picks up steam, some in the international media spring into condemnation. The fact that a shiny metal should be favoured over paper money (though equally redundant in its purely physical aspect) sparks their concern.
The reason is that they specifically want savers to lose out relative to spenders, in the quest for economic momentum. The use of gold, then, is a snag in that stratagem. Gold is quiet right now, but its relative slumber may not last if the latest round of deflationary global numbers leads to further desperate official measures worldwide………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The impact of falling commodity prices on the global economy (Video)

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The falling commodity prices have had significant impact on the global economy both at a macro and microl level, in this respect there has been concern that the oil and gas industry has developed faster than legislation. KPMG has put out a report that calls for continued reforms in the oil and gas sector despite a slowdown in exploration project. Mark Essex the director for international advisory services at KPMG joins CNBC Africa for more.……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oil heading for $30, currency war coming: Analysts

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

So much for the rally. Oil will likely still head as low as $30, analyst John Kilduff told CNBC on Thursday. “I still believe we’re going to go to that $30 to $33 area, which is the low point from the financial crisis in 2008, 2009. What you saw over the past several days was technical in nature, a short squeeze. This volatility is a little crazy and I think that $30 target is a downside target is for technicians that are in this market,” the founding partner of Again Capital said.
U.S. crude tumbled 9 percent on Wednesday to settle at $48.45, erasing nearly all of its gains in the previous two sessions. The benchmark commodity—West Texas Intermediate—had soared 22 percent from a nearly six-year low of $43.58 last Thursday, ending the day at $53.05 on Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

3 Factors That Drive Gold Prices

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold is something that fascinates us all at some level. Kings fought for it, explorers risked their lives for it and we’ve all been conditioned to believe it has an almost magical intrinsic value. (If you want to listen to a captivating story explaining why we value gold so much more than any of the other basic elements on the periodic table, check out the Planet Money podcast “Why Gold”.)
As traders and investment educators, our fascination with gold went beyond the element itself. It took us into the realms how traders view gold and what makes them buy it. This exploration led us to write a book for McGraw-Hill in 2011 entitled All About Investing in Gold — a must read, if we do say so ourselves………………………………………..Full Article: Source

My Gold Rush—Away From the Metal

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Last Thursday, gold futures had an electrifyingly bad day, losing 2.4% of their value, their worst performance in more than a year. This was after the Federal Reserve expressed optimism about the economy, indicating that rate increases were still in the offing. Both of these things are bad for gold.
All good news is bad for gold. Gold is a lustrous, highly malleable version of the Grinch. Why anyone would be surprised that gold tanked last week is beyond me. Gold is the world’s stupidest and most annoying metal. It has been disappointing people or getting them killed since the dawn of history………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Are commodities really bottoming out?

Posted on 04 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The news on oil is still mostly bearish—BP announced a $3 billion cut in capital expenditures for 2015 on Tuesday—but analysts and strategists are again trying to call a bottom. Raymond James’ Jeff Saut told CNBC Monday that oil has indeed found a bottom.
This morning, following a disappointing earnings report from Anadarko Petroleum, Stifel upgraded the stock to a “buy” from “hold,” saying it expects oil prices to improve in the second half of the year. “We anticipate a rebound in oil prices as U.S. supply growth slows, demand improves, and the dollar potentially tops and begins to weaken over the next 12 to 18 months,” Stifel analysts wrote………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Energy Economist: Shale oil’s response to prices may call for industry re-evaluation

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Shale oil’s investment cycle is shorter and its decline profile sharper than conventional oil production. Current indicators suggest legacy declines from shale will catch up fast with the industry. This points to a sharp deceleration in US shale oil output. But, while conventional oil takes time to slow down, it also takes time to speed up.
It will be shale that is best placed to benefit from any oil price recovery, as Ross McCracken, managing editor of Platts Energy Economist, explains in this month’s selection from the publication. The full analysis can be found in the February 2015 issue, which is also issue 400 of Energy Economist. Global crude oil production has only fallen in six years since 1984 and then generally as a result of geopolitical disruptions to supply or restraint by OPEC, rather than as a reaction to price………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Physical gold demand likely positive for price in 2015: GFMS

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Underlying physical demand is starting to pick up in 2015 and will “give the market longer-term ballast” although more headwinds remain before a return to a bull market, analytical company GFMS said Thursday. In conjunction with Thomson Reuters, GFMS said in its Gold Update 2 report that professional investors are absent as the dollar “remains king. Fresh professional investment is unlikely much before there is clarity on the Fed’s timing over rate hikes.”
Continued monetary easing in Europe, Japan and China will support the dollar in the medium term, pointing away from gold investment, “especially as US equities, on an historical multiple at least, are not over-extended.” It also cautioned that recent strength in the gold price, which has been as high as $1,307/oz so far in 2015, has been driven by short-covering, not fresh long positioning………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is Aluminum the New Doctor Copper?

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When you’re ill, it often pays to get a second opinion. For many years now, investors have turned to ‘Doctor Copper’ for an indication as to the health of the global economy. The red metal is used in everything from construction to white goods to kitchenware, and so it’s seen as a pretty accurate indicator of economic health.
But some argue copper’s lost its mojo. According to Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank, all the red metal tells us about is the state of some large emerging markets, and, more specifically, China. It may even be in danger of going the way of the Baltic Freight Index – a previous barometer for trade activity based on transportation rates that has fallen out of favor (and was replaced by the Baltic Dry Index)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Jim Rogers Is Wrong About Hot Commodities

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“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.
In 2004, Jim’s book Hot Commodities was published. In the book he focuses specifically on sugar and coffee due to favourable supply demand issues. Over the few years following publication both commodities rallied hard producing gains of 155% and 232% respectively………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold’s First Big Test In 2015

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
Moreover, last April we wrote a Gold Update similarly entitled “Gold’s First Big Test In 2014″: ’twas just before StateSide Tax Day, which a year prior in 2013 infamously marked the unrelenting unraveling of Gold’s price from the 1600s down into the 1100s in just over 11 weeks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Best and worst commodities in 2014

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities are hugely cyclical as is all too evident at the moment, with oil and metal prices in steep decline. A look at what did well in 2014 and what didn’t reveals how fortunes change and unearths a number of surprises. Website Visual Capitalist has run an infographic illustrating the annual returns for all commodities last year - the Periodic Table of Commodity Returns - with accompanying comment.
First, the two worst performers in 2014 were the two best performers the previous year: oil and natural gas. This speaks to the short-term volatility of commodities, as well to the fact that investors need to be looking to the long term. While something may swing up and down in a short time horizon, in the long term it may prove to fulfill the investment thesis based on supply and demand fundamentals……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Declining Commodity Prices Ahead With Weak Global Economy

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil may be holding above $40.00 per barrel, but investors shouldn’t get too comfortable. The chart foreshadows oil prices could falter and maybe even drop below $40.00. It’s true that speculation has influenced the direction of oil to some degree, but much of the negative sentiment has to do with a declining global economy that shows some despair.
And while gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the U.S. is pretty decent, what we are witnessing in the global economy cannot be saved by what is happening domestically. That suggests weaker oil prices ahead—along with weaker commodity prices overall………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil price drop is ‘economic warfare against US enemies’

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The current oil price decline can be explained by heavy selling in US future markets which is part of an all-out economic war between the US and countries like Russia, Iran and Venezuela, says financial journalist, Willem Middelkoop. The current price can only partially be explained by technical factors like growing US oil production which increased by a million barrels per day in the last year.
But I think it’s quite reasonable to expect that the price declines, which we’ve seen over the last few months, were also caused by heavy selling in the American future markets, and you could call that a form of economic warfare – it is an [all]-out economic war between the US and Russia now. If we see who has more problems [caused] by current oil – they are Russia, Iran, Venezuela – these countries can be seen as enemies of the US………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IMF lowers growth outlook for commodity exporters

Posted on 21 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its 2015 growth forecasts for commodity exporters, including South Africa, saying the projected growth rebound for commodity-exporting developing countries will be weaker than had been forecast in the fund’s October World Economic Outlook (WEO).
The WEO Update, released on January 20, lowered South Africa’s 2015 gross domestic product (GDP) projection to 2.1% from 2.3% in October, which was in line with the IMF’s 2014 Article IV Staff Report on South Africa released in December. The fund decreased its 2016 GDP growth projection for South Africa by 0.3 of a percentage point to 2.5%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is the Oil Price Collapse Temporary?

Posted on 21 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What can we expect from the oil price in next six months and beyond? And what impact does this have on the expectations for global growth. If the collapse of crude oil quotes was temporary, it would only add noise to the global economic landscape and, apart from fuelling volatility, would have no lasting consequences.
Yet, there are reasons to believe the fall is not temporary. As Saudi Arabia has made crystal-clear, its strategy is to preserve global market share, not support market prices. This is rational: back in the early 1980s, Saudi Arabia did the opposite, cutting production to support prices, thereby subsidising its competitors, especially outside OPEC. Only in late 1985 did Saudi Arabia reverse gears and double production to regain market power………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tough Times Ahead For Commodities After Harsh Shakeout

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After one of the worst years in memory for commodity funds, even the few managers who found a way to make money last year say they expect a difficult start to 2015. Collapsing oil and grain prices caused havoc for commodity funds in 2014, with the average actively managed fund in the Lipper Global Commodity sector losing 14.35 percent. Big names abandoned the field altogether, and investors redeemed billions.
A handful of managers were nevertheless able to exploit the sudden mid-year surge in volatility and the fall in prices. But even they expect a difficult 2015 with pressure on prices to fall further………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Not your usual oil-price decline effect

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Yup. Analysts and economists still can’t decide whether the fall in oil prices is net positive or net negative for the global economy. Unfortunately for the net positive camp, it looks increasingly like global demand and growth figures are beginning to side with the negativity team.
Indeed, the longer the oil price stays low, the more it looks like global stimulus hopes were overdone due to poor understanding of financial feedback loops in the commodity space. So what’s behind the anomaly? How did a whole school of economists get this potentially so wrong?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Drought, Floods and Cold Save a Few Commodities From Rout

Posted on 19 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity investors at least have the weather on their side. While most raw materials are mired in bear markets, from oil to nickel to corn, cold spells and droughts are fueling a few rallies. The promise of a deep freeze last week in the U.S. sent natural-gas futures to their biggest gain in 11 months. Dry weather in Brazil, the top grower of coffee and sugar cane, sparked advances for both crops. Unusually heavy monsoon rains in Malaysia sent palm oil to the highest since July.
“The weather is always unpredictable and a wild card,” Donald Selkin, the chief market strategist at New York-based National Securities Corp., which oversees $3 billion, said in a telephone interview Jan. 16. “These products are marching to their own tune — for now.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Latin America 2015 outlook darkens as commodities sink

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
Brazil is now expected to grow a meager 0.5 percent in 2015, down from an estimate of 1.1 percent in the prior survey and barely up from an expected 0.2 percent growth in 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why 2015 will be the year for gold: Top analyst

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
Sterne Agee’s precious metals and mining analyst Michael Dudas said that gold should continue to benefit from central banks’ efforts to devalue their currencies. Gold prices rose more than 2 percent Thursday to a four-month high after the Swiss National Bank shocked the world and said it would abandon its euro currency peg. The precious metal is now up more than 6 percent year to date………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Has gold finally bottomed?

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
In November, as the metals and mining stocks were bottoming, more and more articles were coming out about how it is time to sell metals. It was the column written by Howard Gold on Marketwatch, calling for the same, which prompted me to write my column at that time. However, unlike all the others being published at that time, I was looking to the long side………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why commodities are taking a beating again

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
A host of other commodities, including palladium, rice and oats, also saw multiple-percentage point drops on the day. Although separate factors weighed on each asset, some factors affected the international commodities market. That said, some expressed that the pain could soon be drawing to an end for traders………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Expect ‘a rough 6 months’ for commodities: Analyst

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.”
In an interview on “Squawk on the Street” Croft said she thinks the Saudis will be prepared to keep prices down only for the next six months to “bleed out as much non-OPEC oil production as they can.” “We have a situation where the crown prince’s son is quite senior in the oil ministry, and there are some reports in The Wall Street Journal that he’s not entirely happy with the lower-for-longer strategy. So I think we should look if there is a shift in Saudi strategy,” Croft said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Nichols: Gold price has cleared top two hurdles in 2015

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
Expert commentator and economist Jeffrey Nichols of American Precious Metals Advisors, argues in his latest missive titled Gold: Pregnant with Possibility on Wednesday that in 2015 gold will shake off three years of underperformance and continue its long term uptrend:……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodities Fall as Stockpiles Mount Up

Posted on 12 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Two years ago, Daniel Nilsson ’s family bought a hotel in the town of Pajala, Sweden, some 50 miles above the Arctic Circle. The nearby Kaunisvaara iron-ore mine had just started production, and the Nilssons installed new meeting facilities and revamped the nightclub. “We wanted to give the locals and the people working in the mines a great hotel to come to,” said Mr. Nilsson, its 28-year-old manager. “That’s why we bought it—we saw a future for it.”
But the price of iron ore sank last year, and with it the Lapland River Hotel’s fortunes. In October, the mine’s owner, Northland Resources , stopped operations. Two months later, Northland filed for bankruptcy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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