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Commodities Briefing - Archive | July, 2010

Speculators rediscover agricultural commodities

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Spiegel.de: With the financial crisis fading into the past, speculation on agricultural commodities markets has returned in force. Food prices are climbing once again as hedge funds rediscover the immense profits that can be made — led by a British chocolate baron.
US President Barack Obama has already taken a step in this direction by making derivatives trading more transparent. The Europeans, on the other hand, are balking at taking even this first step to contain speculation……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Commodities funds brace for regulatory ‘confusion’

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Investmentnews.com: New proposal would place funds under scrutiny of both SEC and CFTC; two agencies’ rules ‘can oppose each other’. Mutual fund companies may be largely unaffected by the financial services reform legislation, but they are girding for other types of regulation.
Specifically, commodities funds that invest in futures may soon be more stringently monitored by not only the Securities and Exchange Commission but the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Rule to aid bankrupt commodities brokers’ clients

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: Trustees handling commodities-brokerage bankruptcies will now be allowed in some cases to continue operating the business so that customers’ trading isn’t disrupted, federal futures regulators announced Thursday.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s new rule, which was proposed late last year, would give the agency discretion to decide when to let a bankruptcy trustee continue buying and selling futures contracts on behalf of customers of the failed brokerage……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Commodities should be short-term investments

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Commodities-now.com: Commodity indices and exchange- traded products (ETPs) should be regarded as short- to medium-term investments rather than long-term strategies, as a quick glance at performance over the last 10 years shows.
Their value lies in providing simplicity and liquidity for retail investors and institutions such as pension funds, which do not want the complexity of managing futures positions with their daily margin adjustments and rollovers……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Which is better: A commodity mutual fund or an ETP?

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Hardassetsinvestor.com: Commodities are the lifeblood of this Web site. And with all the ink—er, electrons—devoted to the analysis of exchange-traded products here, you’d think these newfangled notes and funds had sucked up most of the assets allocated to the commodity space.
You’d be wrong, though. Truth be told, most retail investors are getting their diversification dollop through mutual funds—and rather expensive ones at that……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Commodities gain financial ground

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Theglobeandmail.com: Sentiment that the worst of the global recession is over and that rising demand will bolster production is helping boost the financial performance of commodities companies across the spectrum.
Snapshots of good news from companies in four sectors. Percentages over the past 12 months………………………………………Full Article: Source

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All that glitters may not be gold in precious metals

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Chicagotribune.com: Gold has had its ups and downs recently, hitting an all-time high in mid-June and hitting a two-month low just four weeks later. And while many investors flock to this commodity when the market’s in trouble, gold might not be a good fit for your portfolio. If you’re thinking about investing in gold, consider this:
Don’t overdo it. Gold can provide diversification, but investors should be aware of the risks of investing in commodities……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Gold best performing asset class over 6 months, 1, 3, 5 and 10 years

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Mineweb.co.za: Over the most recent ten year period, in UK terms gold has outperformed its nearest competitor (bonds) by over 240%. As investors have paid the penalty for increasing risk exposure over the period, the presence of gold in a portfolio matrix has boosted returns into positive territory.
Meanwhile ETF investment outstripped coin and bar demand last year……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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The ins and outs of investing in gold

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Helium.com: An investment in gold can be done through physical purchase or securities trading. The purchase of gold bullion and bullion coins is possible with banks, precious metals and coin dealers. When storing in a locker at a bank rental, insurance costs are charged.
Investors can invest directly in the market or via brokers in certificates, funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This aspect entails physical delivery. Certificates are dependent on the solvency of the issuer and do not affect the demand situation of the material……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Is fear driving people to invest in gold?

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Commodityonline.com: Is it the best time to invest in gold, the hottest commodity in the world? Gold price has been moving up for the last several years and investors have been making money out of the yellow metal.
Where is gold price heading? Is gold price in a bubble that would burst soon? Will the yellow metal market collapse thanks to overheating? Will global economy recovery signals dampen the craze for gold investment? Is fear driving people to invest in gold?………………………………………Full Article: Source

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Copper may rise as commodities draw more money, survey shows

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Copper, up 11 percent this month in London, may rise next week as investors allot more money to commodities, according to a survey.
Eleven of 21 analysts, investors and traders surveyed by Bloomberg, or 52 percent, said the metal will gain next week. Eight predicted lower prices and two forecast little change……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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OPEC official sees oil prices holding $70-$80 a barrel in 2010

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Dow Jones: The president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Thursday that oil prices are expected to remain steady between $ 70 and $80 a barrel for the rest of the year amid continued world economic growth.
Wilson Pastor, Ecuador’s minister for non-renewable natural resources, said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires that the outlook is favorable for oil prices as the world economy is growing, although slowly, and Asian giants continue with high rates of consumption……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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OPEC meets only half July oil output curbs -survey

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: OPEC is meeting only half its promised cuts in oil supply this month thanks to a big jump in exports from Nigeria and despite a smaller decline in production in Angola, a Reuters survey showed on Thursday.
Supply from the 11 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with output targets, all except Iraq, has averaged 26.95 million barrels per day (bpd) this month, up from 26.75 million bpd in June, according to the survey of oil firms, OPEC officials and analysts……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Developments in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Here are some developments in BP Plc’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest offshore oil disaster in U.S. history.
The tide of lawsuits unleashed by BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico breaks into federal courtroom in Idaho Thursday where judges heard arguments from lawyerson how piles of spill-related lawsuits should be merged………………………………………Full Article: Source

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The IEA’s reality check on green energy

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Petroleum-economist.com: A green-energy revolution is beginning, but the world must invest in low-carbon technologies on a much bigger scale to avoid climate change, says the IEA.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill could prove a tipping point in the world’s energy-consumption habits, says the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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ETFs: Discounts and premiums

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Etftrends.com: As you look for exchange traded funds (ETFs) to purchase for your portfolio, you need to concern yourself with a number of factors. Not least of these is the issue of discounts and premiums.
All ETFs have a net asset value (NAV), which is calculated by dividing the total value of all the securities in the portfolio by the number of outstanding shares……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Opalesque exclusive: Meridian Fund Managers’ gold and energy funds hit by negative performances of -3.68% and -17.16% in Q2

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Precy Dumlao, Opalesque Asia: Meridian Fund Manager’s two BVI registered hedge funds, the Meridian Global Gold & Resources Fund and the Meridian Global Energy & Resources Fund sustained losses in June and in the first half of this year.
The funds’ investment advisor is U.S. Global Investors, Inc., a San Antonio, Texas-based investment management firm which manages over $2bn in offshore and U.S. based mutual funds, and Meridian Fund Managers Ltd., based in Bermuda, provides investment management services to the two funds……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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CIC reports 11.7pct global return for 2009 on commodities bets

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: China’s sovereign wealth fund posted an 11.7 percent return on its overseas portfolio in 2009, reversing a loss a year earlier, as it raised bets on commodities to benefit from a rebound in global markets.
Net income surged 80 percent to $41.7 billion. Total return on equity, including gains from the overseas portfolio and holdings in local banks, was 12.9 percent, compared to 6.8 percent in 2008……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Black-box funds perform as bubbles burst

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Black-box funds based on mathematical models give investors a means of reducing risk and can perform strongly even when asset bubbles burst, the chief executive of one such fund told Reuters on Thursday.
Paul Mulvaney, who owns more than 95 percent of Mulvaney Capital, said managed futures funds or CTAs (commodity trading advisors) performed strongly when the Internet bubble imploded and when the credit crisis struck……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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IMF bound by politics in Chinese yuan debate

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Substantially. That single word, left out of the International Monetary Fund’s assessment of China’s undervalued currency, laid bare the tricky IMF internal politics that govern even its most routine interactions with the world’s newest economic power.
IMF staff, under pressure for years from member countries to tell it like it is when assessing a country’s economic health, said China’s yuan was “substantially” undervalued……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Soaring Czech koruna sparks intervention jitters

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: The Czech National Bank could soon take action to tame its soaring currency, analysts warn, after the koruna this week shot to its highest level against the euro since late 2008.
The Czech currency popped to a 20-month high against the euro on Wednesday before pulling back slightly to 24.775 per euro Wednesday afternoon in New York. That leaves the euro weaker than the psychologically significant point of 25 koruna for the first sustained period since the darkest days of the global financial crisis……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Where next for the wrecked US climate bill?

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Guardian: Gore and environmental leaders made a tactical error several years ago when they declared the science “settled” and refused to engage the forces of denial and delay.
The basic science was indeed settled, but the resulting message vacuum was the perfect medium for those who sow doubt and confusion about global climate change……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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America’s climate policy: Capped

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Economist.com: No one expected a bang; but the idea of a cap on America’s carbon emissions died with barely the bathos of a whimper.
Despite months of legislative fiddle piled on procedural faddle, no one ever drafted a bill with a carbon cap, and the sort of trading system necessary for industry to meet its demands, that stood a chance on the Senate floor. So the majority leader, Harry Reid, finally decided the whole issue should be quietly flushed away………………………………………Full Article: Source

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Commodities, equities, bonds or cash?

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Seekingalpha.com: At the end of May I reviewed a very simple ETF rotation system using the free tools available at ETF Replay involving GLD, SPY, and SHY (low duration Bond ETF, used as a proxy for cash).
Using the average of the 3 month return (weighted 40%), 20 day return (weighted 30%), and 20 day volatility (30%), SHY is currently ranked highest among the three……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Coffee prices on the rise

Posted on 30 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Ctv.ca: Hedge funds are helping push up the price of that other major fuel – coffee – to fresh highs. That could soon mean another price hike at your local coffee shop, as the cost of beans hit a 12-year peak.
Hedge funds aren’t the only reason for the run up. Wet weather and aging infrastructure in Colombia, one of the world’s most robust growing regions, is expected to reduce supply at a time when global stockpiles are already at their lowest level in years……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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World Bank says foreign investors are crowding out African producers

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Guardian: Leaked report says wealthy investors are threatening local resources as they buy up farmland to gain on commodity prices.
After a spate of investments in African land by sovereign wealth funds looking for gains on rising commodity prices and by countries such as China worried about their own food security, the World Bank launched research into the area……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Copper mines offer no relief for allied markets

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Indiatimes.com: Global copper mine performance deteriorated further in the first part of this year, offering no prospect of relief for hard-pressed smelters and extending one of the key bull drivers of the refined copper market.
World mine production grew by an anaemic 1.4%, equivalent to just 70,000 tonne, in the first four months of this year, according to the latest assessment by the International Copper Study Group (ICSG)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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China’s hunger may help copper

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Commodityonline.com: China’s copper hunger is back with the country importing around 550,500 tonnes of the metal in June, which is higher than the 479,000 tonnes imported in May.
According to market analysts, low spot prices and a fluctuating price ratio is restricting growth in copper concentrate imports. However, China’s YTD imports of copper concentrate are still positive up 8.21% and a result of expanding copper smelting capacity during H1 2010 and limited raw material substitutes……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Steel futures contracts: Who’s doing what?

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: As financial markets race to grab a larger share of steel futures trading, big steel producers remain opposed to the idea, while smaller, medium-sized mills warm to it.
Below are details of existing on-exchange contracts. The London Metal Exchange is on Wednesday merging its two regional billet contracts to create a global one under the Mediterranean contract……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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LME’s steel billet goes global, eyes Asian business

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: The London Metal Exchange on Wednesday merges its two regional steel futures contracts to create a global one, aiming to generate more business in Asia, where metals trading is on the rise.
The Exchange is merging two regional contracts — Mediterreanean and Far East — under the former, which already accounted for almost all of the steel futures volumes……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Uranium back with a boom

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Commodityonline.com: Till now a neglected metal, uranium has come back with a boom posting a 5 percent gain last week to $43.50 per pound.
The catalyst for the overall optimistic mood is the fact that some suppliers have experienced labour concerns and equipment failures, increasing overall expectations that present supply projections for the years ahead will fall short while Asian utilities plan to step up their buying activity……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Mining sector has had too big a say on resource tax: Stiglitz

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Smh.com.au: Nobel Prize-winning US economist Joseph Stiglitz has warned that the mining sector has too much influence on the political debate on Australia’s mining tax.
The former World Bank chief economist drew parallels between the advertising campaign run by the Australian mining industry on the resource rent tax and the US finance industry’s ability to water down finance-sector reforms passed by Congress……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Short sellers drive down gold again

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Mineweb.co.za: Belief that the economic downturn is ending and August options expiry has led to gold and other precious metals being caught in a wave of short selling, with prices slipping sharply.
The big question facing investors is does this indicate the end of the 10-year gold bull market and if so, will the other precious metals decline in its wake, or will they be supported by the presumption that their industrial usage will see demand hold up?………………………………………Full Article: Source

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Precious metals: Gold investors worried yet?

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Themarketfinancial.com: Gold has faltered this month. Since the end of June gold futures prices are down 6.3%, versus a 7% rise for the S&P 500. Tuesday Gold is down 2%. And it’s looking more and more like it wants to nose below its 200-day moving average of around $1,149 an ounce.
“Gold is in full collapse, as people exit the goldbug bus,” wrote David Lutz, in one of his concise trading notes Tuesday……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Gold prices pop on physical demand

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Theaureport.com: Gold prices have been reversing losses this morning amid a spate of physical buying, and as bargain hunters jump in to purchase the yellow metal after it hit three-month lows amid weak consumer confidence numbers.
Gold for August delivery was up $1.40 to $1,159.40/oz. on the Comex. The gold price Wednesday has traded as high as $1,165 and as low as $1,157.40……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Very bullish on long term gold price: Pierre Lassonde

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Mineweb.co.za: Investment in the gold sector is likely to continue for at least the next five to seven years, says Pierre Lassonde, Chairman of Franco Nevada and it will be good for yellow metal.
Lassonde said, “We’re still early in the pick up phase of what it means for gold - the place of gold as an investment in the spectrum of asset class and when you look at the money in circulation, when you look at the bond market which is in the trillions - 40 to 50 trillion………………………………………Full Article: Source

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China’s growing energy demand “legitimate”: IEA economist

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Xinhua: During the process of rapid economic development, “China will need energy, and it is very legitimate,” Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said.
Last week, the Paris-based energy adviser published a report ranking China as the biggest energy user in the world, which sparked international concern over Beijing’s influence on global energy markets……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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The newest commodity ETF

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Wyattresearch.com: There’s lots of evidence that new ETFs, especially commodity ETFs, are launched at the height of their popularity. They can only fall from those heights.
There are a few exceptions. I will be publishing a special report about my three favorite ETFs - funds that are actually designed to make money, not lose money - in sectors that I think have plenty of upside……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Raising the red flags on commodity ETF’s

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Oilprice.com: Commodity ETF’s tend to own front month futures with huge premiums which quickly disappear, leading to a large underperformance relative to the underlying.
I have been highlighting these risk for the past year, and have done my utmost to steer readers away from the worst offenders……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Inside the not-so-simple currency ETFs

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Etfdb.com: While the majority of the nearly $800 billion in ETF assets is found in equity funds, it is other corners of the market that have accounted for the significant cash inflows and asset growth exhibited in recent years.
Fixed income and commodity funds have been particularly hot, taking in more than $25 billion in aggregate during the first six months of 2010………………………………………Full Article: Source

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IMF staff: China’s yuan ’substantially’ undervalued

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Dow Jones: China’s currency is “substantially” undervalued despite Beijing’s recent decision to appreciate the yuan, the head of the International Monetary Fund’s mission to China said Wednesday.
China has held up the IMF staff report for the fourth year running, objecting to the fund’s characterization of its currency and pressing the board to omit its finding……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Yen rises as signs global recovery slowing boost safety demand

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: The yen rose for a second day against the euro and the dollar as signs the global recovery is slowing boosted demand for Japan’s currency as a refuge.
The yen strengthened against all its 16 major counterparts as Asian stocks declined before reports forecast to show the U.S. economy expanded at a slower pace and confidence at European manufacturers stayed negative……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Forex trading comes of age

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Thestreet.com: At a time when most markets are being starved of yield and Treasury notes returns and mortgage rates are at record lows, the buy-and-hold investors would long for 2% to 3% annualized returns from CD or near-term exposure.
How ironic then, at a time of famine in regard to return, that the average trading range on equity futures on a 24-hour basis is running at 2%……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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CFTC approves Green Exchange

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From MarketWatch: Green Exchange got its approval from federal futures regulators this week to launch a trading platform that will list contracts tied to credits and allowances for greenhouses gases.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Friday it had approved the exchange’s application Thursday. The announcement of its approval comes just one day after U.S. Senate Democrats decided to table a climate-change bill. That bill would have helped spur a much larger derivatives market to help companies offset their carbon emissions……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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LME, SGX set to introduce mini metals futures in Asia

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: The London Metal Exchange and Singapore Exchange Ltd. plan to introduce cash-settled metals futures contracts for individual investors that will be traded and cleared at the SGX, as the Singapore company is known.
Copper and zinc so-called mini contracts may begin trading in the first quarter of next year, followed by other metals later in 2011, subject to clearance from regulators, according to a statement today from Singapore Exchange……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Singapore Mercantile Exchange plans to open in August

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Theedgesingapore.com: Singapore Mercantile Exchange will start trading in the second half of August to tap growing demand for commodities in Asia, Vice Chairman Jignesh Shah said.
The exchange will offer futures in gold and crude oil, and some currency pairs, Shah said today in a Bloomberg Television interview, confirming a previously announced timetable……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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CFTC begins publishing new large-trader report for financial futures markets

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Lexology.com: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will begin publishing a new report, entitled Traders in Financial Futures (TFF). The TFF report expands upon the disaggregation of data in the CFTC’s weekly Commitments of Traders (COT) Reports implemented by the CFTC last year.
The TFF report uses the same data that appears in the COT reports, but separates large traders in the financial futures markets into the following four categories: Dealer/Intermediary; Asset Manager/Institutional; Leveraged Funds; and Other Reportables……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Deutsche snaps at heels of commodities leaders

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Euromoney.com: Bank claims to be ahead in five-year commodities strategy; Certain rivals suffer profit decline. Declining commodities revenue at rival firms is allowing Deutsche Bank to burst into the top league in commodities, the German bank claims.
Among global banks, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are the traditional twin leaders in global commodities trading. Their lead will be hard to beat, says one banker, especially in physical trading, where capabilities are best built up over decades……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Baltic index up, stronger demand push sought

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index .BADI, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, rose on Wednesday with better cargo activity boosting sentiment.
But freight market participants said gains were likely to be modest until stronger demand, especially for iron ore, picked up in the fourth quarter……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Wheat prices jump on global supply worries

Posted on 29 July 2010 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From AP: Wheat prices surged to their highest level in more than a year Wednesday as concern grows about production in Russia.
Wheat for September delivery jumped 20.50 cents, or 3.5 percent, at $6.155 a bushel Wednesday afternoon. Prices haven’t been that high since June 2009……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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