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Why the commodity slump could be a good thing for Africa

Posted on 31 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There is an urgent need for diversification of Africa’s economies and while it is having an immediate negative effect, the recent commodities slump is beginning to drive change. For example, some investors in Nigeria who have historically thrown their lot behind the oil and gas industries are now looking to buy large tracts of agricultural land in a bid to mitigate the effects of the slump in the commodities sector.
After many years in the wilderness, the agricultural sector is fast emerging as one of the most attractive investment opportunities on the continent – and a sector where innovation and supportive policies can be harnessed to drive growth and jobs, so sorely needed across the continent since the Chinese and global economic slowdowns knocked commodity export opportunities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Does organic agriculture boost local economies?

Posted on 30 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For the first time, there is now evidence linking organic agriculture and economic health. The organic industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the United States food industry. Organic food sales grew 11 percent to almost US$40 billion in 2015, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), while the food market as a whole had a 3 percent growth rate.
This growth is partly because organic crops command a premium price over conventional crops—as demand for organic food rises, so does the interest in organic production from farmers and producers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil States Expected to Stick With Saudis : OPEC Reality Check

Posted on 30 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC members gathering in Vienna June 2 are expected to go along with a Saudi Arabia-led policy focused on squeezing out rivals amid signs the strategy is working. That means the meeting may be less fraught than the previous summit in December, which ended with public criticism of the Saudi position from Venezuela and Iran.
By allowing prices to fall, high-cost producers are being forced out, easing the supply glut and spurring a rally of 80 percent since January to about $50 a barrel. All but one of 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will stick with the strategy. An alternative proposal — to freeze output — was finally rejected in Doha last month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Are commodities signaling a Lehman-sized meltdown? Japan’s Abe thinks so

Posted on 27 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Only hours after Brent oil prices shot past $50-a-barrel for the first time in months, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that the past few difficult years for commodities in general could be a red flag for another global financial crisis. Abe made the comments while hosting a meeting of the Group of Seven leaders on Thursday in Ise-Shima, Japan, according to a report from Reuters.
Abe showed his fellow leaders data charting a 55% drop in global commodity prices between June 2014 and January 2016. He said that’s similar to how much prices fell between July 2008 to February 2009 after Lehman Bros. went bankrupt and triggered a global financial crisis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

This is what makes OPEC even less relevant

Posted on 27 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A series of unexpected disruptions in the world oil market has driven crude to the $50 per barrel level more swiftly than expected — a factor that makes OPEC and its meeting next week less relevant. Both international Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude futures crossed above $50 Thursday, though analysts expect prices to temporarily head lower again in the next couple of months as some supply returns and demand drops off as it does every year after summer driving season peaks.
By year end, however, $50 or above is expected to be the norm. Oil production in the last several weeks has dropped by several million barrels a day due to everything from forest fires in Canada to rebel attacks in Nigeria………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China Wants to Set Prices for the World’s Commodities

Posted on 26 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China has put the world’s traditional financial centers on notice that it wants to develop its raw material markets as hubs for setting prices, seeking to marry the country’s commercial heft with a much greater say in determining how much commodities cost.
“We’re facing a chance of a lifetime to become a global pricing center for commodities,” Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said at the Shanghai Futures Exchange’s annual conference in the city on Wednesday. “On the way to realize this goal, we’ll see very intense competition. We have the advantage of trading size and economic growth, but our legislation is still not sound and we lack enough talent.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodities on the rise?

Posted on 24 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Are commodities finally on the rise after years of being in the doldrums? We would all agree that prices in the grocery store continue to rise on many things, but commodity tracking indexes show quite a different story.
The most common method of tracking commodity prices is the CRB commodity index, a commodities future price index which presently tracks 19 common commodities, which include aluminum, cocoa, coffee, copper, corn, cotton, crude oil, gold, heating oil, lean hogs, live cattle, natural gas, nickel, orange juice, silver, soybeans, sugar, unleaded gas and wheat………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Are Weak Commodities Prices the New Normal?

Posted on 23 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Along with an increasingly optimistic outlook for commodities, especially for coal and base metals, this has led to some analysts claiming that both stocks will continue to rally. In fact, some analysts have gone as far as to claim that Teck’s price could even double over the course of 2016, making now the optimal time to invest. While there have been some positive developments for both companies and other mining stocks, the outlook is not as rosy as some analysts would have you believe.
The key driver for both of these companies’ recent rally and improving outlook is the price of commodities. Teck is highly dependent on the prices of metallurgical coal and copper to drive its financial performance. It obtains two-thirds of its revenue from those products………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold Fever: Why Investors Rush to Buy Gold

Posted on 23 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Demand for gold rose by 21 percent in the first quarter of 2016. Recently, billionaire George Soros invested nearly $390 in gold stocks, having decreased investments in other assets. Shortly after, large hedge-funds followed the example of the legendary US investor.
Between January and March 2016, Soros Fund Management established by George Soros increased investments in gold market assets, according to the company’s data. Particularly, the fund bought shares worth $264 million in Canada’s company Barrick Gold, one of the world’s leading gold producers. It also bought an option for nearly 1.05 million shares ($123 million) in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s biggest gold exchange fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Kills US Shale Oil Industry and Buys it for Pennies

Posted on 20 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Saudi Kingdom saw American oil companies invest in the research and development of oil fields and fracking, and then crashed the market so they could scavenge US natural resources and technology on the cheap.
In 2015, the world stared into a global economic recession, with startling downgrades for Chinese economic growth due to an explosion in their stock market, fueled by speculative excess. While the Chinese economy roiled, unrest brewed in much of the world, including in the war-torn Middle East and on European shores, upon which refugees descended en masse. Even the US economy, once stoked by a shale oil renaissance, was not spared the effects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What Does The Next OPEC Meeting Have In Store?

Posted on 20 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The next OPEC meeting on the 2nd of June will act as little more than a forum for continued altercations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The 2 June 2016 OPEC meeting will be held amid a backdrop of oil prices near $50 per barrel, a sharp drop in Nigerian production due to sabotage, turmoil in Venezuela, Saudi Arabia operating with a new oil minister, and Iran aggressively pumping close to pre-sanction levels.
OPEC interactions have become a direct altercation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the remaining members reduced to mere observers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold Bulls Could Lead M&A Stampede

Posted on 20 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold producers have a new spring in their step following a rebound in the value of the precious metal, and it is an optimism that could trigger deals. The price of gold has risen more than 18% since the turn of the year, filling the coffers of producers whose balance sheets had already been strengthened by a focus on debt repayments and years of cost cutting following a downturn in prices in 2013.
“Gold has been one of the best performing commodities this year, as investors have sought safe havens amid equity market volatility and as expectations of a US rate hike have been pushed out,” Goldman Sachs analysts noted in a report that upgraded their gold price forecasts to $1,200 an ounce by the end of the year, up 4%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs Upgrades Commodities

Posted on 19 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs downgraded equities to “neutral” over a 12-month time-frame on growth and valuation concerns, but upgraded commodities to “neutral” on a three-month basis saying there was less downside potential to oil prices.
Goldman Sachs said commodities had rallied on the back of a dovish U.S Federal Reserve, Chinese economic data and supply disruptions. It upgraded commodities, saying that such supply disruptions should support oil prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron Ore Faces Second-Half Slump as Frenzy Cools, Supply Builds

Posted on 19 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After last month’s speculative rally, iron ore is likely to extend declines because of rising supply from the major producers and faltering demand in China, the biggest buyer. “Supply is likely to increase in the second half, so market conditions may ease further,” Rajiv Mukerji, group director of strategic procurement at Tata Steel Ltd., said.
He’ll be speaking at a conference in Singapore on Thursday that’s being attended by producers including BHP Billiton Ltd. and Vale SA. Iron ore has retreated from a 15-month high after widespread predictions the frenzy in China that propelled prices upward in April wouldn’t endure as regulators clamped down and the rallies induced higher production………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Chinese keep piling into commodities

Posted on 17 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From the Dutch tulip craze of 1637 to America’s dot-com bubble at the turn of the century, history is littered with speculative frenzies that ended badly for investors. But rarely has a mania escalated so rapidly, and spurred such fevered trading, as the great China commodities boom of 2016.
Over the span of just two wild months, daily turnover on the nation’s futures markets has jumped by the equivalent of $183 billion (Dh672.15 billion), outpacing the headiest days of last year’s Chinese stock bubble and making volumes on the Nasdaq exchange in 2000 look tame………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold prices could hit $US1400 by year’s end

Posted on 16 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

US gold prices are up 17 per cent since the start of the year and if the pundits are right, prices could be knocking on the door of $US1400 ($1917) an ounce come the end of the year.
Canada’s BMO Capital is among those that reckon the charge from the current spot price of $US1272 an ounce to the $US1400 an ounce level is on the cards, saying it is predicated on uncertainty in the global economy persisting through the remainder of the year. That will drive incremental “safe haven’’ demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Africa Investors Look East as Commodity-Driven Boom Withers

Posted on 13 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors targeting Africa are looking east, as depressed commodity prices and slowing growth in China put the brakes on a two-decade growth surge in the world’s poorest continent. Kenya, Tanzania and host Rwanda are the countries in vogue at the World Economic Forum’s annual confab of Africa’s business and political leaders that began Wednesday in Kigali.
All three economies should expand at least 6 percent this year, double the sub-Saharan Africa average, according to the International Monetary Fund. Growth in Ethiopia, the investors’ darling at last year’s WEF Africa summit, is set to slow to 4.5 percent this year, from 10.2 percent in 2015, as a drought curbs farm output………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global oil demand surprises on the upside: Kemp

Posted on 13 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global oil consumption is growing much faster than most analysts expected at the start of the year but increases in demand remain very uneven geographically and by fuel.
World oil demand increased by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first three months of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday (”Oil Market Report”, IEA, May 2016). First-quarter consumption grew faster than the agency predicted at the end of last year, when it forecast growth of 1.2 million bpd between January and March (”Oil Market Report”, IEA, December 2015)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iraq overtakes Saudi Arabia as biggest oil exporter to India in April

Posted on 13 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iraq overtook Saudi Arabia as the top crude exporter to India in April for the first time since December, according to data compiled by Reuters, as the two biggest OPEC producers fight for market share in Asia’s fastest growing oil market.
Saudi Arabia also lost its top spot in China, Asia’s biggest oil consumer, last month when Russia overtook the world’s biggest crude exporter due to strong purchases by Chinese independent refineries. Overall, April oil imports by India rose 6 percent from March and are up 9.9 percent in the first four months from a year ago………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China: Commodities trading: Trading account applications up 30%

Posted on 12 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Many retail investors in China are trying to get into the commodities market as a rebound in prices continues. And, not too surprisingly, brokerage firms in China are enjoying a jump in account applications.
One needs to complete a web-based video verification as part of the application to open a commodity futures trading account. It’s a process that more and more people are lining up for as they seek to get into the game. Futures brokers say their systems are a bit overloaded with new applications and only one in five people can get through right now………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What OPEC Has To Fear From The New Saudi Oil Minister

Posted on 11 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In a surprise move, Saudi Arabia sacked its long-time oil minister over the weekend, an event that illustrates the near-total control that the new young Saudi prince has obtained over the country’s energy industry.
For many years, Ali al-Naimi, the outgoing Saudi oil minister, was the voice of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry and policy. Even seemingly insignificant remarks from al-Naimi could move oil prices up or down. But the 80-year old oil minister has seen his power eclipsed by the 30-year old Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron ore market in downswing amid speculation-fueled volatility

Posted on 11 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Heavy Chinese speculation is roiling the iron ore market, with the upturn in futures trading leading to volatile spot rates. The spot price of Australian ore headed to China surged above $70 per ton at the end of April, up more than 60% from the end of 2015.
Plans revealed at China’s National People’s Congress in March for transport infrastructure investment of more than 2 trillion yuan ($306 billion) per year caused prices of rebar and other steel materials to skyrocket. Ripples then spread through the Asian market overall, raising prices of products such as hot-coil steel………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil ouster: Three things Saudi Arabia needs to do now

Posted on 10 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ali al-Naimi, who was Saudi Arabia’s oil minister for more than 20 years, was virtually the face of the oil markets during that time. His ouster over the weekend roiled the oil market.
For many in the industry, al-Naimi represented stability and moderation in the inherently chaotic ebbs and flows of oil markets. The minister championed Saudi interests, but always within an eye to balancing the needs of OPEC producers and the world’s consumers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China: Commodities imports drop

Posted on 09 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s imports of commodities fell in April from the previous month as domestic demand weakened, data released yesterday by the General Administration of Customs showed.
Copper imports fell 20.5 percent month on month while those of steel, coal and iron ore dropped 13.4, 4.57 and 2.7 percent respectively. Copper imports fell as China accounted for 78 percent of the global supply and domestic demand eased………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities recovery is ‘probably a little bit too fast’

Posted on 09 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

This year’s respite from the commodities rout is a “bit overdone” and investors should watch out for further retracement, the CEO of one of the world’s largest natural resources companies said.
Crude oil prices have largely rallied since mid-January, after a steep and lengthy rout from June 2014 onwards hit commodities across the board. Other commodities such as zinc, copper and iron ore have also pared some losses this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold to retain its uptrend

Posted on 09 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bullion prices got a breather in the final trading session last week. This was thanks to the weak US Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) data which failed to meet market expectations. The global spot gold had begun the week on a negative note and was on a downtrend all through the week. But the US NFP data on Friday halted this fall and triggered a reversal from the low of $1,269 per ounce.
The yellow metal closed at $1,289 per ounce on Friday, down 0.35 per cent for the week, recovering some of its losses. Among other precious metals, platinum closed at $1,080 per ounce and was up 0.3 per cent. Silver was the worst hit as it tumbled 2.1 per cent and closed at $17.47 per ounce………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Junk investors scramble after commodities rally

Posted on 06 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commodities rally has flummoxed junk-bond investors who bet on the sector staying soft this year, hurting returns at dozens of funds that did not foresee the rebound in energy and metals.
Oil, mining, steel and gas bonds have delivered whopping sector returns this year up to 27%, wrong-footing those who moved underweight after high-yield lost almost 5% in 2015. Investors who were heavy in commodities last year, as the sector was pummeled, but then got out before the bounce-back in recent months, have now been hit coming and going………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is China fueling a new commodities bubble?

Posted on 06 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Remember the massive plunge in commodity prices last year? For some investors in China, it already appears to be a distant memory. Steel and iron ore prices have buoyed in recent weeks. Other commodities — including cotton and even eggs — are also reported to have seen startling surges on Chinese futures exchanges. The moves have prompted some experts to worry that a new bubble is forming.
Higher iron ore prices, for example, have “triggered speculative trading in iron ore futures in China,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific Chief Economist at IHS Insight. But the rally “may falter due to continued excess supply in world iron ore markets,” he warned………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s commodities trading frenzy fades

Posted on 06 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The fever that’s gripped Chinese commodity markets is easing. Speculators who traded 1.7 trillion yuan ($336-billion) futures in a single day last month have retreated as fast as they advanced. Trading volumes across the country’s three biggest exchanges are more than half of what they were at their peak on April 22 and back to levels similar to a year ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The amount of money changing hands on a daily basis has shrunk to $114-billion (U.S.). The slowdown marks a return toward normality after a frenzy that drew comparisons with the credit-driven stock market rally last year that preceded a $5-trillion rout………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iran May Be Ready for Joint Action With Opec Within Months

Posted on 06 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iran said it may be ready for joint action with members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in as little as one or two months, once it regains the market share it had before sanctions were imposed.
Iran, which refused to join other nations in a push to freeze output last month, could reach pre-sanctions export levels of 2.2 million barrels in one to two months or by the end of the summer, National Iranian Oil Co. Managing Director Rokneddin Javadi said in Tehran. Exports averaged 2.1 million barrels daily last month out of total production of 3.7 million, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can gold’s spectacular 2016 run continue?

Posted on 06 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After a pretty miserable few years, it seems that gold’s long bear market is finally over. Gold enjoyed its best start to a year in more than three decades. In the first quarter of 2016, it gained just over 16%. So can it continue? And what’s the best way to profit from it if it does?
Gold has been one of the best investments of 2016 so far. But one sector has outstripped even gold – the gold miners. Back at the start of December, Ed Chancellor wrote a cover story for MoneyWeek magazine suggesting that gold miners had finally hit absolute rock bottom, and that they were ripe for a fresh bull market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities - Will The Rally Continue?

Posted on 05 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The recent rally in commodity prices has surprised many market participants and has greatly supported the stock market’s rebound. It has also made bulls out of a number of former stock market bears, as one of its side effects was to cause an improvement in market internals. But does the rally actually make sense?
As always, there are arguments both for and against the idea. We will take a look at several of them below. First of all, it is widely held that the “commodity super-cycle” as it used to be called (i.e., the secular bull market that started in 1998) is definitely over………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold price at two-year high, demand to see new lows

Posted on 05 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold demand in India, the world’s second-biggest user, will probably shrink in the second quarter as a surge in local prices to the highest in two years deters buying for a festival next week and weddings this month.
Purchases may slide to about 100 metric tonnes in the three months through June from 125 tonnes in the period to March and 154.8 tonnes a year earlier, said Bachhraj Bamalwa, a director with the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities become China’s hottest new casino

Posted on 04 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s market regulator may have succeeded in taking much of the froth off the country’s surging commodities markets last week, but the message is not filtering down to many dedicated retail traders. As Chinese markets reopened on Tuesday after the May Day holiday, a few dozen young traders in Shanghai crowded into a small room provided by a local brokerage.
The mostly 20-something male traders, dressed in jeans and T-shirts, were looking forward to another week of fevered risk-taking in China’s hottest new casino. “It’s better for futures traders to be young because they can learn faster,” said Zhang Jun, 26, who has been trading commodities on the Shanghai Futures Exchange for three years but has only recently begun to make any money………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Shine May Be About to Come Off Gold

Posted on 04 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold’s gilded run may be about to end. The precious metal rallied past $1,300 a troy ounce for the second day in a row Tuesday, prompted by a weaker dollar and buying from speculative investors.
But with the dollar’s recent decline viewed as overdone by some analysts and the likelihood of short-term speculators cashing out of their investments, gold prices could slide lower in the next few weeks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Falling Commodity Prices Leave India With Huge Subsidy Bill

Posted on 03 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The nose-dive in global commodity prices has had an unexpected repercussion in India: a giant new subsidy bill as New Delhi spends billions to mop up wheat, rice, sugar and cotton at government-fixed prices.
India guarantees minimum prices for certain crucial crops to protect its large population of poor farmers. When prices plunge, it has to buy more. It usually sells the commodities it collects at a loss—some to India’s needy and some on global markets. Some of the stockpile just rots in government warehouses………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Get Ready for China’s Commodities Crash

Posted on 02 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s commodities rally has extended beyond its futures market into equities. But now the government is putting on the brakes—and investors could be hit hard.China’s commodity futures markets are looking like its stock markets a year ago, when hordes of investors bet huge sums, setting the stage for a painful crash.
Money started to pile into metals futures in March, after China’s rubber stamp National People’s Congress expanded the country’s fiscal deficit to pump up growth, and approved reforms to reduce overcapacity in the steel and coal industries. Trading momentum got a further boost after China’s real estate market showed green shoots in the form of home-price increases in lower-tier cities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Did OPEC Just Start Preparing for the End of the Oil Era?

Posted on 29 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sunday, April 17, was the designated moment. The world’s leading oil producers were expected to bring fresh discipline to the chaotic petroleum market and spark a return to high prices.
Meeting in Doha, the glittering capital of petroleum-rich Qatar, the oil ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), along with such key non-OPEC producers as Russia and Mexico, were scheduled to ratify a draft agreement obliging them to freeze their oil output at current levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

For commodities markets, the bad times are just beginning

Posted on 28 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For the commodities market, the good times have come and gone, but the bad times are only just beginning. Each commodities supercycle, defined as a decadelong bull market, has always been followed by a downturn that lasted just as long, or longer.
With demand weak and oversupply rampant, it is unlikely that this time will be any different. For many countries and companies, this means the only options are adapt or die………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity hedge funds are hot again

Posted on 27 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity hedge funds netted more investor cash in the first quarter than any other type of hedge fund, and their $4 billion of inflows was their largest for any quarter in more than six years. The group has brought in more money that it has had to redeem for seven straight months, the longest winning streak ever tracked by eVestment.
The quarter has brought a turning point for commodity markets. Oil and gold have had their sharpest rallies in years amid broad gains in the sector. They boosted commodity hedge funds to returns of 1.6% in the quarter, besting all peers except currency and financial derivatives traders, eVestment said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

These 5 Trends in China Will Change the Gold Market Forever

Posted on 27 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Apple spent about five years developing the iPhone, which has changed the smartphone market forever. Until the release, however, nobody could imagine what impact the iPhone would have on the market. And most consumers didn’t know about it at all.
The same thing is happening with China and gold right now. The gold market will soon be very different than from what we see today—largely due to the current developments in China. China’s influence will impact not just gold investors but everyone who has a vested interest in the global economy, stock markets, and the US dollar. After all, China will be a dominant force in all, as most analysts project………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China clamps down on commodities frenzy

Posted on 26 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China moved to clamp down on excessive speculation in commodities on Monday after weeks of frenzied trading boosted prices and ignited fears of another bubble in its domestic markets. Activity on China’s largest commodity exchanges has surged in recent days with turnover in key steel contracts exceeding the combined volume of the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges on one day last week.
Investors around the world have zeroed in on the latest trading binge as the prices of many commodities have risen sharply, with iron ore gaining almost a third in just two weeks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bullish Sentiment On Commodities Remains Tentative

Posted on 25 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commodity squeeze higher continues as nearly all sectors are seeing better pricing despite the continued oversupply and less than stellar global economic performance. The shift seems to be driven by the crude oil recovery following the failed attempt at a unilateral production freeze at the beginning of last week.
That bearish news was brushed aside almost immediately, as the market spent the majority of the week trading higher on some sketchy fundamentals. The strike in Kuwait that reduced production has already ended, and any future hope for a production agreement at the June OPEC meeting appears to be empty speculation as the key players continue to threaten production increases………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold Back in Fashion? Why Precious Metal Has Made an ‘Amazing Comeback’

Posted on 25 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold is coming back into fashion: ‘left for dead’ for almost four years it’s up over 50 percent this year, Manhattan-based financial writer Michael Brush notes. Does it mean the precious metal is ‘back for good’?
Gold has always been regarded as a secure haven for wealth and has played an insurance role in portfolios. “Gold has always played an insurance role in portfolios — against global disaster, geopolitical meltdown or inflation,” Manhattan-based financial writer Michael Brush writes in his article for MarketWatch.com………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities Make a Comeback as Bad Weather Meets Chinese Demand

Posted on 22 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities are roaring back. Soybeans are approaching a bull market on bad weather in South America, and silver crossed that threshold earlier this week. Iron ore jumped above $70 a metric ton and copper is near a one-month high on signs of improving Chinese demand. A Vietnam drought boosted coffee prices. Oil is trading near levels not seen in five months.
Put it all together, the Bloomberg Commodity Index is up 15 percent since Jan. 20 and heading for a third week of gains. The gauge, which tracks returns for 22 raw materials, slipped 0.2 percent on Thursday as oil, coffee and nickel retreated………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fallen angels: Downgrades surge amid commodities rout

Posted on 22 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

More companies were tossed into the investment junkyard during the first three months of this year than in all of 2015, as weak commodity prices helped to undermine once-solid corporate balance sheets.
Moody’s Investors Service, one of the world’s largest credit raters, said in a report that it pushed 51 companies out of its investment-grade category during the first quarter of 2016, a reflection of their increasing risk of default. By comparison, Moody’s downgraded only 45 companies to below investment-grade status during all of last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agricultural commodities rebound

Posted on 21 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Soybeans climbed higher than $US10 a bushel for the first time since July, and corn topped $US4 a bushel as unfavorable weather in South America and an improving demand outlook for US supplies bolstered agriculture markets.
Dryness in Brazil is causing conditions to deteriorate for the country’s second corn crop, and the country suspended import tariffs for the next six months, signalling the grower may need to ship grain in. Flooding in Argentina, the world’s third-largest soybean grower, is expected to cut output of that crop by about 5 per cent, according to Oil World………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iraq Says OPEC Will Pursue Output-Freeze Talks at June Meeting

Posted on 20 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will resume talks at a meeting in June to reach an agreement on freezing oil output, Iraq’s governor to OPEC said just days after politics thwarted a deal to cap production and curb the global glut.
No deal will be possible without a change in “political positions,” Falah Al-Amri said on his Facebook page. Negotiations among 16 oil producers in Doha on Sunday ended without any accord after Saudi Arabia demanded all producers take part in a freeze………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Silver hits 11-month high. It’s up more than gold in 2016

Posted on 20 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

So much for the idea that silver is the “poor man’s gold.” Lately, silver has been on a hot streak — up 22% so far this year — making it one of the best investments of 2016. The rally has outshone gold’s 18% gain so far this year.
On Tuesday, silver shot up 4.5% to its highest level in 11 months. The price of silver has always been just a fraction of gold’s, but precious metal experts have pointed out for weeks — if not months — that silver has been trading a real bargain………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is the commodities rebound over?

Posted on 19 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The collapse of talks in Doha on April 17 among major oil producers aimed at freezing output levels and curbing the global supply glut has renewed broader concerns about the state of the global commodities market.
The meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as non-OPEC oil producing nations in the Qatari capital was called to freeze oil production at the levels of early 2016, an agreement that would have been the first global oil deal in about 15 years. But Iran’s withdrawal from the talks at the last minute triggered Saudi Arabia’s refusal to sign the draft agreement to halt production at January levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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