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Bank-led commodity decorrelation theory rejected by analysts

Posted on 08 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Unctad economists’ argument that bank withdrawals are loosening correlation between commodities and equities “doesn’t make any sense”, say analysts. Analysts have criticised the findings of two economists at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), who claim the withdrawal of banks from commodity markets has driven down the correlation between commodities and other asset classes.
“To say that banks exiting creates a decorrelation doesn’t make any sense to me,” says Michael Haigh, New York-based global head of commodities research at Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking (SG CIB)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BTG Pactual’s Esteves sees commodities increasingly adding to profit

Posted on 08 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The contribution of commodities sales and trading to Grupo BTG Pactual SA’s profit will rise in coming quarters, Chief Executive Officer André Esteves said on Wednesday, underscoring the synergies the unit has with the investment bank’s trading desk.
A move to extend the offering and trading of specialized products for fixed-income, equities and currencies to commodities since late 2012 was shown to be “the right decision because we leveraged our synergies in a number of key areas,” Esteves said in a conference call to discuss first-quarter earnings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil and gas sales up a fifth according to report

Posted on 07 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

International sales from companies serving the oil and gas sector grew by more than a fifth to reach £10bn in 2012-13, a new report revealed. Overseas sales from companies providing goods and services to the sector increased by 22%, according to new figures from Scottish Enterprise.
Meanwhile total oil and gas supply chain sales from Scotland amounted to £19.9bn in 2012-13, a rise of 15.4% on the previous year. That meant that international deals accounted for just over half (50.2%) of all sales from the sector, up from 47.6% in 2011-12………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Citi Q1 commodities revenue almost doubles as polar vortex hits

Posted on 06 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Citigroup Inc’s revenue from commodities transactions nearly doubled in the first quarter of 2014 year-over-year, making it the latest bank to benefit from this past winter’s soaring power and gas prices as the coldest weather in three decades gripped the United States.
The bank brought in $224 million in principal transactions revenue in “commodity and other contracts,” up almost 90 percent from the first quarter last year and just $43 million shy of its total commodities trading haul for all of 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global Fossil Fuels Face A Loss Of $30 Trillion

Posted on 02 May 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The global fossil fuel industry faces a loss of $US28 trillion ($A30.2 trillion) in revenues over the next two decades, if the world takes action to address climate change, cleans up pollution and moves to decarbonise the global energy system.
The assessment, made by leading European broking house Kepler Chevreux, underlines what’s at stake for the fossil fuel industry from a push to cleaner fuels and concerted efforts to reduce emissions, and helps explain the enormous push back from the oil and coal industries in particular against such policies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Some banks haven’t given up on trading commodities. And that’s a good thing.

Posted on 30 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As expected, the recent by some of the largest energy trading banks has created a temporary dearth of capability, and sometimes liquidity, in the international commodity markets. Born a child of the Financial Crisis and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and later ensconced into law through Dodd-Frank, the Volker Rule and other international regulations, the anti-bank sentiment amongst policymakers has driven many of the largest players into various stages of transition toward smaller footprints.
The likes of JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Bank America – to name a few – are staring at the exit signs for some or all of their business. This is not good………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. commodity regulators looking into banks’ swaps move

Posted on 30 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

U.S. commodity regulators are inquiring about Wall Street banks’ recent push to remove parent-company backing of some overseas swaps. Scott O’Malia, a Republican commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said in an interview he has asked the agency’s acting chairman, Mark Wetjen, a Democrat, to issue a legal opinion as to whether any of the banks’ exercises have run afoul of the agency’s rules.
On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported that banks, including Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley, were changing the terms of some swaps made by their offshore units so they could avoid U.S. regulations, according to people familiar with the situation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fossil fuel subsidies growing despite concerns

Posted on 30 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Government subsidies for renewable energy cause great consternation to those who believe in the sanctity of free markets. “If they can’t stand on their own feet, then why support them?” the argument goes.
But in actual fact, most energy sources are subsidised, and none more so than fossil fuels. Indeed in straight numerical terms, subsidies for oil, coal and gas far outweigh those for renewables………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Financial intermediation and shadow banking through commodities

Posted on 29 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity trading firms are not systemically risky because they do not engage in the sort of maturity transformation that banks do. They also tend mostly to operate on a hedged basis, via “basis trade” exposure.
Short-term assets meanwhile are funded with short-term debt while long-term assets are funded with long-term debt, meaning the institutions are not heavily leveraged at all, though balance sheets are exposed to liquidity or rollover risk………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Here’s why some of the world’s big banks are dumping their commodities desks

Posted on 29 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A number of the world’s big banks have either dumped or downsized their commodities trading businesses because of falling returns. The latest, Barclays, announced last week it will stop the majority of its commodities activities as it ups its focus on electronic trading. The UK bank will continue to trade precious metals.
In March JPMorgan Chase sold off its commodities division to Swiss trading company Mercuria for $3.5 billion and has also retained precious metal trading activities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

On the intriguing drop in commodity correlation

Posted on 29 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Banks are selling off their commodity divisions for regulatory reasons but also because commodities are turning out to be less profitable for them than they used to be.
On which note, an interesting development has emerged since banks started winding down their commodity divisions in 2013. According to David Bicchetti and Nicolas Maystre, who wrote a paper in 2012 highlighting increasing correlations between a number of major commodities and indices from 2008 onward, these correlations have now begun to dissipate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Trafigura says commodity traders don’t pose same risk as banks

Posted on 28 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity trading firms probably don’t pose systemic risks to the global economy as the companies draw increased scrutiny and banks step back from raw materials, Trafigura Beheer BV said in a report.
Trading houses, such as Amsterdam-based Trafigura, are smaller than banks and have less debt, according to the study, written by Craig Pirrong, a finance professor at the University of Houston. The firms use financial derivatives mostly to hedge their physical activities, rather than to speculate on price swings, Pirrong said in the report……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Banks and commodity trading: Sell signals

Posted on 25 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Thin margins, tough regulations and worries about reputation make trading commodities look like a source of worries not profits for nervous bank bosses. Barclays, one of the biggest in the business, is the latest to head for the exit. This week it announced it would give up most of its metal, crop and energy trading.
Barclays is following JPMorgan Chase, which last month sold its physical commodities division to Mercuria, a private trading firm based in Switzerland, and South Africa’s Standard Bank, which sold its commodities unit in London to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in January………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank cutting commodities trade severs link with equitiess

Posted on 25 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Banks’ pullback from commodities trading is weakening the link between raw materials and equities and helping to re-establish supply and demand as the main factor in setting prices, United Nations researchers say.
As Barclays Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley leave parts of the business, prices of commodities are moving more independently of stocks. The correlation between U.S. equities and corn, cattle and wheat fell to less than 0.05 in January, compared with almost 0.3 in 2008, an analysis by David Bicchetti and Nicolas Maystre, economic affairs officers at the UN Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva, shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil and gas industry ‘worth GBP35bln annually’ to UK economy

Posted on 24 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The oil and gas industry is worth about £35bn to the UK economy, according to a new study. The research, commissioned by industry body Oil and Gas UK, found more than 3,000 companies were directly involved in the industry.
The number of people employed by UK firms grew by more than 20,000 in the four years to 2012. The report said a key challenge was the availability of skilled and experienced workers. It also suggested the industry needs to increase exports to sustain growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Money flowing back into commodities

Posted on 22 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Money is flowing back into commodity investments this year as the sector has broken out of lock-step with other asset classes and outperformed them, attracting investors who aim to diversify portfolios.
After $50 billion of net redemptions in 2013, total inflows so far this year into passive commodity index products and commodity-linked exchange traded funds (ETFs) have amounted to about $5.8 billion, according to estimates by Citi………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Influence of banks, hedge funds on commodities lowest since 2008

Posted on 17 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

United Nations economists who previously called for government intervention to tame volatile swings in commodity prices say banks and hedge funds have since reduced their influence to the lowest level since 2008.
In a 2012 report for the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), David Bicchetti and Nicolas Maystre said the rise of financial players in commodities markets over the previous decade had moved prices of oil and grains away from the fundamentals of supply and demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Banks tussle to join next generation of commodity dealers

Posted on 16 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Facing low volatility, a lack of trading opportunities and compliance headaches, major global investment banks are pulling back from commodities. But at the same time, a number of smaller and regional players are actively seeking to increase their involvement.
A sinking feeling has pervaded Wall Street recently. During the past few years, commodity revenues have been falling at major global investment banks. Industry titans such as Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley have decided to quit large parts of the commodities market, or leave it altogether………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. bank regulator issues bulletin on oil, gas lending risks

Posted on 10 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A U.S. regulatory agency on Wednesday issued tips for bankers and examiners on potential risks involved with loans for oil and natural gas production, as the domestic energy boom continues.
The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published on its website a bulletin laying out supervisors’ expectations for energy production lending and spelling out new examination procedures for banks issuing the loans………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why are banks closing commodity arms?

Posted on 10 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Higher regulatory pressure and diminishing profit potential. Are these just excuses, or are they the real reasons we’ve seen a major shift by the investment banks out of commodities and physical trading?
Over the past two years, if we look at two headliners for commodities and metals - gold and corn- we can see why. Not pretty. Actually, ugly. So as you can see, probably more of a problem with diminishing profitability rather than regulatory oversight………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank reform seen by Schreiber pushing commodities into opacity

Posted on 09 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Banks pulling out of commodity trading because of rules on proprietary investing and capital requirements are pushing raw-material trade into less regulated and more opaque territory, investor Eric Schreiber said.
Regulations such as Basel III and the Dodd-Frank Act have a “significant impact” on banks, pushing commodity business to trading houses, according to Schreiber, the former head of commodities at Swiss wealth manager Union Bancaire Privee………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How banks are cutting risk by leaving the commodities business

Posted on 09 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In January 2014, the Federal Reserve issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) in which it raised questions regarding increased limits and restrictions on the physical commodities activities of financial holding companies (FHCs) under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956.
In the ANPR, the Fed cites recent environmental events as a reason for its review of physical commodities activities by FHCs. The notice cites the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the incident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and other environmental events to support its concerns that “the costs and liability related to physical commodity activities can be difficult to limit and higher than expected”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Do commodities belong in your allocation?

Posted on 08 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The market price of a basket of commodities should increase roughly in line with inflation, but why would there be returns beyond this? While the spot prices of commodities tend to track inflation, futures contracts of commodities have historically delivered positive returns.
John Maynard Keynes laid the foundation of modern thinking on commodity futures markets . He proposed that investors in commodity futures are providing risk capacity to the producers of commodities by allowing them to lock in a fixed price for commodities to be delivered at a future date. In other words, investors in future contracts are essentially insuring commodity producers against a decline in prices in the future………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Money is leaving emerging markets for riskier bets at the investment frontier

Posted on 08 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Many of Africa’s roads are scarred with potholes, so the fresh tarmac on the drive between Ndola and Kitwe, two cities in Zambia’s copper belt, is something of a treat. The country’s roadbuilding is financed by a $750m Eurobond (as dollar bonds issued outside America are known) issued in September 2012. The timing was perfect.
The Federal Reserve had an open-ended commitment to buy Treasuries to keep yields low. Investors in America and Europe were hungry to buy dollar-denominated debt offering juicy yields. Zambia drew $12 billion of orders for a ten-year bond paying only 5.4%. Spain could not borrow as cheaply at the time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is structured commodity finance a hidden bubble?

Posted on 28 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity markets focus on bringing commodities from their place of origin to the centres of demand in the most efficient manner. Banks, trade houses, consumers and producers all aim to bring efficiency to this flow, but there is always room for improvement.
Structured finance, the activity of lending against inventory held as collateral, focuses on ameliorating and streamlining two aspects of the commodity business – cash flow and flow of goods. Structured finance has usually been the forte of large financial institutions, but recently commodities trading firms have entered this business. This has resulted in excess lending capacity, which has led to lower costs of capital for borrowers………………………………Full Article: Source

Will the stagnant demand in commodities encourage hedging

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commodity market, which had defied gravity during the last few years, is showing signs of slowing down. It is not a breather but a shift to a bear cycle. No doubt the “investors” have vanished and the herd mentality has gone out.
The standard explanation during the period of price surge was that the booming demand, particularly from China, was clashing with stagnant supply of energy, metals and agricultural produce. Talks of stagnant or falling demand are now in the favour…………………………………Full Article: Source

JPMorgan named top commodities bank, day after selling physical business

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

JPMorgan commodity chief Blythe Masters laid out an ambitious plan four years ago to become the top Wall Street bank in energy and metals trading.
Last year Masters achieved that goal, a closely watched report said on Thursday, the day after the bank announced the sale of the giant physical commodities operation she had assembled………………………………………..Full Article: Source

J.P. Morgan to sell commodities business for $3.5 bln

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has become the latest bank to scale back its commodities business, striking a deal to sell its physical assets and trading arm to Swiss trader Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. for $3.5 billion in cash.
The deal, expected to be completed in the third quarter, marks the largest ever acquisition completed by Mercuria, a closely held company founded in 2004 by Swiss traders Marco Dunand and Daniel Jaeggi that is relatively unknown outside the physical commodities trading industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Banks and commodities never mixed

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s decision to sell its commodities trading unit ends a chapter of anything-goes banking that dominated the 2000s after the so-called financial modernization laws passed a little over a decade ago.
The bank on Wednesday said it agreed to sell the unit for $3.5 billion cash to Mercuria Energy Group Ltd., the Swiss trading giant. J.P. Morgan’s move follows similar sales or shuttering of commodities units by Deutsche Bank AG , Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley to name a few. Exiting what amounted to a more-than-a-decade experiment in the nation’s banking system wasn’t without costs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman says Chinese commodity financing may unwind in 24 months

Posted on 19 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Financing arrangments in China using commodities from copper to rubber as collateral to obtain credit may be unwound in 12 to 24 months, driven by increased yuan volatility, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said.
As much as 1 million metric tons of copper and 30 million tons of iron ore could be released if the deals unwind, the bank said in a report today. The unwinding would be bearish “given relatively limited physical liquidity to absorb the shock,” analysts led by Jeffrey Currie wrote………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Financial markets focus on commodity prices

Posted on 13 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The price moves are not for the most part very big, but it is beginning to look as if the markets are rolling over. The dollar, yen and Swiss francs are all relatively strong. Equity markets are under pressure. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index and the Emerging Equity Index are off 1.3%-1.5%. Europe bourses are also in the red, with the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 off almost 1%. Core bond yields are lower and the periphery higher.
There is much focus at the moment on the decline of copper, iron ore and crude oil prices. Copper prices continue to plunge. The 5% limit was hit in Shanghai. The four-session (though today) swoon, copper prices have fallen nearly 10%. The break of the $300 level is important as that represents the shelf that extends back to 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities trading jumped 23pct last year even as banks retreat

Posted on 11 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities derivatives trading jumped 23 percent last year, led by the U.S. and China, even as the biggest banks pulled back amid slumping revenues.
The increase in commodities trading, which accounted for 18 percent of volumes across all products, outpaced gains in interest rate and currency derivatives, the World Federation of Exchanges said in an e-mailed report today. Equity volumes fell 5.3 percent, it said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Glencore sees growing demand for commodities

Posted on 05 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities trader and producer Glencore Xstrata says global demand for its raw materials is expected to grow, but that its earnings have been hit by big one-time charges. The expenses, many associated with Glencore’s takeover of Xstrata, pushed the company to a net loss of $7.4 billion last year, compared with a profit of $1 billion the previous year. Not counting those expenses, profits rose 20 percent to $3.67 billion.
Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg says the company sees healthy demand growth in key commodities, “underpinned by the long term trend of urbanization in emerging markets and parts of the developed world returning to trend growth.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Speculators boost bullish oil bets to record on cushing

Posted on 03 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds increased their bullish bets on West Texas Intermediate oil to a record as rising flows of domestic crude to Gulf Coast refineries cut demand for more costly foreign grades.
Money managers bolstered net-long positions, or wagers on rising prices, on the U.S. benchmark by 2.2 percent in the week ended Feb. 25, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. The positions climbed to the highest level in CFTC data going back to 2006………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Exemption list in commodities transaction tax may be reworked

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The exemption list in the Commodities transaction tax (CTT) may be reworked before the final budget is presented in May 2014. The restructuring of the exemption follows recommendations from the industry to expand the exemption list by including processed items of all agricultural commodities and not some like at present.
To this effect, the consumer affairs department under ministry of finance has also sought a clarification from revenue regarding the structure of the exemption list of CTT………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Interest rates “key” to 2014 gold price

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

U.S. interest rates are “key” to the direction of the gold price in 2014, according to analysts and fund managers. Historically, the gold price has “traditionally had a negative correlation with long-term US real interest rates,” says Walter de Wet, head of commodities research in London for Standard Bank, moving higher when interest rates fall after accounting for inflation, and vice versa.
“A lower bond yield would imply a higher gold price,” says de Wet. But further ahead, his colleagues at Standard Bank “continue to expect US bond yields to move higher towards year-end,” with the 10-year Treasury bond falling in price until its yield rises a whole percentage from today, up to 3.75%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Senator urges curbs on banks buying commodities

Posted on 26 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown on Tuesday said he pushed a pair of nominees for key regulatory posts to take steps to deter big banks from owning and storing oil, aluminum and other key commodities. Brown, chairman of a Senate panel that monitors financial institutions, has been urging regulators to crack down on behavior that could lead to higher prices for consumers.
Some large banks buy and hold commodities in a strategy that can lead to higher prices for things such as beer, canned food or fuel. Brown met with Chris Giancarlo and Sharon Bowen as they made the rounds among senators after their nomination to the Commodities Future Trading Commission. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Hedge fund natural gas wagers jump on tumbling supplies: Energy

Posted on 24 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds increased bullish bets on natural gas for the fifth time in six weeks as arctic weather stoked demand for the heating fuel, depleting stockpiles and sending prices to a five-year high.
Money managers’ net-long positions, or wagers on rising prices, jumped 5 percent in the seven days ended Feb. 18, to the highest level since May, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Bearish bets slid 7.3 percent to the lowest level in more than two years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

G-20 finance chiefs vow to boost world economy by $2 trillion over next 5 years

Posted on 24 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Finance chiefs from the 20 largest economies agreed Sunday to implement policies that will boost world GDP by more than $2 trillion over the coming five years. Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, who hosted the Group of 20 meeting in Sydney, said the commitment from the G-20 finance ministers and central bankers was “unprecedented.”
The world economy has sputtered since the 2008 financial crisis and global recession that followed. Progress in returning economic growth to pre-crisis levels has been hampered by austerity policies in Europe, high unemployment in the U.S. and a cooling of China’s torrid expansion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities revenue at top 10 banks declined 18pct last year

Posted on 20 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities revenue at the 10 largest investment banks dropped 18 percent last year, according to analytics company Coalition Ltd. Revenue dropped to $4.5 billion from $5.5 billion in 2012, Coalition said in an e-mailed report. In November, the company anticipated a 14 percent drop in revenue.
“Revenues continued to decline, affected by a depressed client environment and low volatility,” Coalition said. “In 4Q13, performance in U.S. power and gas was particularly weak.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Major banks’ commodities revenue slid 18 pct in 2013

Posted on 19 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities revenue at the top 10 investment banks dropped 18 percent in 2013 in a third year of declines due to weak investor interest and low volatility, a consultancy said on Tuesday.
Revenue from commodities for top banks fell to $4.5 billion last year from $5.5 billion the previous year, London-based financial industry analytics firm Coalition said in a report. Many banks have slashed their commodities businesses and others have completely shut down commodities units, which also have been hit by tougher regulation and higher capital requirements after the global financial crisis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds raise gold bull bets as Paulson holds: Commodities

Posted on 17 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds raised bullish gold wagers to a three-month high as signs of slowing U.S. economic growth spurred demand for haven assets. Billionaire John Paulson maintained his bullion holdings last quarter.
The net-long position climbed 17 percent to 69,291 futures and options in the week ended Feb. 11, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Long wagers rose 8.8 percent, the most since March. Net-bullish holdings across 18 U.S.-traded commodities rose 18 percent to 1.07 million contracts, the highest since October 2012, led by silver and coffee………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Yellen promises new rules governing banks’ commodities activity

Posted on 12 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen pledged that the regulator will make changes in its oversight of banks’ role in the commodities business, which has attracted regulatory and lawmaker scrutiny.
“The Federal Reserve’s main focus in our supervision of these areas is to make sure that banks operate in the commodities activities in a safe and sound manner,” Yellen said at a House Financial Services hearing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity groups launch next attack on U.S. position limits rule

Posted on 12 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A group of commodity firms came out against a new U.S. rule to curb market speculation in a letter on Monday, after banks successfully shot down an earlier version of the position limits rule in court.
The new rule by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission attracted well over 100 comment letters by industry participants after the agency - which regulates swaps and futures - launched it in November………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds raising gold wagers dump copper

Posted on 03 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds raised bullish gold wagers by the most since July and sold copper holdings as emerging-market turmoil boosted concern the global economy will slow and increased demand for precious metals as a haven.
The net-long position in gold jumped 40 percent to 60,672 futures and options in the week ended Jan. 28, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Long wagers rose 5.5 percent to the highest since September, and short bets dropped 16 percent. Net-bullish copper holdings tumbled 62 percent as shorts gained by the most in 11 weeks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Banks look to exit commodities

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

JPMorgan is rumored to be selling its commodity business. The deal could be worth around $2 billion for the bank. Commodities have been profitable for banks in the past. But now several banks are changing course.
To understand what’s changing, let’s start with how this business actually works. Banks do more than trade commodities. Their holding companies will actually take possession the physical commodities, like aluminum or oil………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman sees more pain ahead for commodities

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Banks led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. say commodities are heading for losses in 2014 as rising supplies and slowing demand compound slumps that led to bear markets last year in gold, copper and corn.
Open interest measuring holdings across the 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index fell for three straight quarters through December, the longest slump since the global recession in 2008. The super cycle that led commodities to almost quadruple since 2001 is reversing, with prices set to drop 3 percent in 12 months, Goldman said. The asset class will be a “wallflower” compared with equities, Citigroup said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global gold hedge book continues decline in 3Q 2013

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Net producers de-hedging of gold continued in the third quarter of 2013, according to a quarterly hedge book report from Thomson Reuters GFMS and Societe Generale released on Tuesday. The decline was 188,000 ounces, or 6 metric tons, the firms said.
With the fall, the global gold hedge book stood at 2.94 million ounces, or 92 tons, as of the end of the third quarter. This was lowest volume since the quarterly report began in 2002………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold de-hedging continues, but at reducing rate - SocGen

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

So far the increasing siren songs from the investment bankers that gold miners should return to hedging a proportion of their gold output to protect future margins seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Perhaps not surprising given that gold miners are by nature optimists and most are looking for an increasing gold price ahead – not further price erosion.
Logically the time to hedge is at or near a metal’s high point, not at or near its lows – and most gold miners believe, perhaps more in hope than with true evidence to support their views, that the gold price may have already bottomed, despite the almost unanimous gloomy outlook presented by mainstream gold analysts and projected by some of the biggest investment banking names in the industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities without banks: More expensive, less reliable

Posted on 24 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With its recent announcement that it is to quit almost all commodities trading, Deutsche Bank became just the latest bank to exit the sector. Both Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan are divesting assets, Deutsche has gone, and it remains to be seen who will remain.
The primary driving force of this rush for the exit is regulation. The days of banks being able to over-leverage their capital across numerous geographies and businesses are over. They might have ended naturally anyway – the strategy of maximising your leverage ratio did not work out too well – but regulators are pushing the pace………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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