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Commodities Briefing - Archive | February, 2014

Keeping the faith in commodity trading

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commodities trading landscape is changing. Faced with rising costs, increased regulation and directionless markets, big banks such as Deutsche Bank are retrenching or retreating from the sector. It is a trend that looks set to continue.
“Sentiment-driven and largely directionless markets, alongside declining client interest, has seen total revenues for the leading 10commodities investment bank businesses across the globe fall to just below a third of their peak, from $14.1bn in 2008 to $4.5bn in 2013, with no foreseeable prospect of recovery,” the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UK commodity regulator embraces more openness: Kemp

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

By publishing a new primer on the changing landscape for commodity markets and emerging issues for regulators, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has taken a welcome first step towards greater transparency.
Despite its rather dull title, the FCA’s “Commodity Markets Update”, released on Thursday, is the best summary of how markets are changing in response to the fading super-cycle and tougher regulation in the wake of the financial crisis……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodities houses pose oversight challenges

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The greater role being played in commodities markets by trading houses poses regulatory challenges and risks to market integrity, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority warned Thursday.
As tighter regulatory requirements have reduced banks’ activities in the sector, their places have been taken by specialist companies, many of which are closely held and have substantial operations outside direct oversight of market regulators………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fed extends comment period for new commodity rules

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The U.S. Federal Reserve gave market parties 30 more days to comment on its plan to submit Wall Street banks to greater restrictions in dealing physical commodities, the central bank said on Thursday.
The Fed last month took a first formal step to rein in banks’ ownership of oil tankers, metals warehouses and other such assets, worried that a major catastrophe could jeopardize one of the banks it oversees………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The need for commodities is ‘as solid as a rock’

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the head of the International Council on Mining and Metals doesn’t believe anyone will see the big run up in metals we did a few years ago, the miners should be optimistic about the economy. “While there are not fantastic times ahead, there are very positive signals in the world economy,” said Dr. Anthony Hodge.
“The growth projections for China are solid at 7% to 7.5%, although we may see a shrinkage in the early part of 2014, but it’s almost guaranteed that it will pop back up and China will meet those targets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC February crude production falls to 2 1/2-year low in survey

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC crude production dropped to the lowest level in more than two years in February, led by declines in Libyan and Saudi Arabian output, a Bloomberg survey showed.
Output by the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decreased 11,000 barrels to an average 29.877 million barrels a day from 29.888 million in January, the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts showed. It was the least since June 2011. Last month’s total was unrevised………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Israel to join OPEC?

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An enterprising American named Gideon Tadmor has made a discovery which will put Israel seriously on the energy production map. 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, not 50 miles off the coast of Israel, set the tiny Middle Eastern nation in a position to, if not actually join OPEC, certainly compete with them.
Even better, for the one nation in the region absolutely aligned with American interests, the USGS says there is at least twice that much, still to be discovered………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The petro states of America

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Keystone XL pipeline should be an open-and-shut case from a climate perspective, the criterion President Obama has set for judging it. In a speech in June, he said he would approve the pipeline “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”
By that standard, this should be an easy, data-driven call to make. It hasn’t been. And the core reason the Keystone saga has dragged on inconclusively for years has little to do with the well-aired talking points both sides of the debate trot out on cable TV talk shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s demand to bolster gold prices in 2014, say analysts

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold demand will remain steady in China as incomes rise, keeping prices hovering between $1,000 and $1400 an ounce, according to analysts’ predictions.
Gold is on track for the first back-to-back monthly gain since the two-month advance last August. It traded at $1,340 an ounce at 10:34GMT in London after rising to $1,345.46, the highest price since 30 October, 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold prices up, but is it just seasonal buying?

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bullion prices are sitting at a four-month high this week, but figuring out whether this is a bounce back for the beleaguered precious metal, or just seasonal buying, is tricky.
Gold ended its 12-year bull run last year after falling 28%, taking down some big names with it. This year has been a little kinder, with gold rallying in 22 of the past 30 sessions and tacking on 10% year to date………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold could slip to $1308, silver buying opportunity at $20.87

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mixed trend is seen in US gold futures in Asian trading hours after witnessing a fall on Wednesday night as US Fed Reserve is likely to continue with its tapering measures. US Gold futures for April delivery rose to $1331.3 before falling to $1329 an ounce.
According to TFF Market Analysis based on XAU/USD:”The correction we have been anticipating and hoping for over the past few sessions is underway. Silver had been underperforming recently and GDX and its junior have both been sluggish after strong January and February rebounds. As long as the momentum continues tomorrow Silver is fast approaching our next recommended buy order at $20.87. The action today for GDX and GDXJ suggests this should happen.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Gold march may continue upto $1355 levels near term

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

US gold futures rallied to a high of$1339 an ounce before falling bak to $1334 an ounce on profit booking and investor expectations that Federal Reserve will go ahead with its plans to reduce stimulus measures.
At India’s Multi Commodity Exchange, gold futures for April delivery has been trading range bound in 30,000 levels ocassionally falling to 29800 levels last week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s biggest gold ETF eyes 1st monthly inflow in over a year

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York’s SPDR Gold Shares, is on track for its first monthly inflow of metal in more than a year after a run of weaker U.S. data boosted investment interest in gold.
The SPDR fund, which issues securities backed by physical metal and attracted big inflows in the wake of the financial crisis, has added 10.5 tonnes to its reserves so far this month. That means that, barring a large outflow on Friday, February would be the first month to show an increase since December 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The man behind $2-trillion in ETFs

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Reginald Browne tilts his 6-foot-5-inch frame forward to reach a chirping phone. “What do you want, what do you need?” he asks. It’s his standard greeting for just about anyone who calls, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its April 2014 issue.
This time, it’s a representative of a large public pension fund who’s thinking about moving money into exchange-traded funds for the first time. Browne launches into his education mode, patiently answering questions on how closely an ETF will really track its index, how quickly the investor can get in and out and how much it will cost to trade………………………………………..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

China’s currency suddenly reverses direction, stuns world markets

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The value of China’s currency, the yuan, is arguably the most debated and contested in the world. The country’s trading partners, especially the U.S., have long criticized Beijing’s policymakers of keeping the yuan artificially cheap to give Chinese exports an unfair advantage in global markets.
However, for several years now the direction of the yuan has been generally the same: Steadily (though very slowly), the yuan has gotten stronger against the dollar. The progress has been so consistent that many in financial markets assumed that it would continue to get stronger indefinitely………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Yuan to supersede dollar as top reserve currency: Survey

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The tightly controlled Chinese yuan will eventually supersede the dollar as the top international reserve currency, according to a new poll of institutional investors.
The survey of 200 institutional investors - 100 headquartered in mainland China and 100 outside of it - published by State Street and the Economist Intelligence Unit on Thursday found 53 percent of investors think the renminbi will surpass the U.S. dollar as the world’s major reserve currency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘UK should not vote on currency union’ - Salmond

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the event of Scottish independence, people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should not be given a formal say on whether Scotland enters a currency union with them, according to First Minister Alex Salmond.
Mr Salmond rejected suggestions that a second referendum should be held on sharing sterling if Scotland votes for independence on September 18. “A referendum would not be required, it should be a negotiating position between the rest of the UK and the Scottish Government after a Yes vote,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IEA says system transformation key to low-carbon future

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

International Energy Agency said expanding the use of renewable energy resources like wind and solar requires transforming the system to be cost effective. IEA published a 238-page book Wednesday that said technologies like wind power and solar photovoltaics are “crucial” to a future energy mix, though there are “unique” questions remaining in terms of cost and reliability.
“Electricity generation from both technologies is constrained by the varying availability of wind and sunshine,” the IEA said. “This can make it challenging to maintain the necessary balance of electricity supply and consumption at all times.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

America’s first carbon-trading program can boast some impressive numbers

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

How do you turn $1 billion into $2 billion, all the while helping to slow down global warming? By capping carbon dioxide pollution and charging for emissions permits, then plowing the revenues into clean energy and energy-efficiency programs.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a carbon-trading program that covers nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, charged power plants about $1 billion for the right to pollute the climate from 2009 to 2012. Of that, $707 million has so far been invested into green programs, and $93 million has been transferred into states’ general funds, according to a new RGGI report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors wary of commodity gains despite new money

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A new burst of investment in commodities after a hellish 2013 is expected to fizzle out in coming months, with investors alert to the fickle nature of rallies across basic resources such as gold and agriculture.
The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity Index has gained 6.6 percent in February, its biggest monthly increase since October 2011, and up nearly 8 percent this year. It has outperformed global equities, based on MSCI’s all world index, which has flatlined so far in 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities rip higher. Good news?

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity markets have rallied sharply over the past month. That could be good or bad. Good if it signals a recovery in the global economy. Bad if it’s mostly a result of Chinese financial speculation.
The Dow Jones-UBS Commodities Index has rallied 7% since mid-January and is now at the highest level it’s been since the end of last April. Indeed, the one-month rally is the strongest since the summer of 2012, when the euro crisis was finally broken by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s promise to do “whatever it takes” to rescue the single currency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities forecast suffers

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As rising supplies and slowing demand compound dips that led to last year’s bear market in gold, copper and corn, Bloomberg reports that banks expect commodities to head that way again in 2014.
The super cycle that led commodities to almost quadruple since 2001 is reversing, with prices set to drop 3% in 12 months, reports Goldman Sachs Group Inc………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Several reasons why commodities prices could fall soon

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities as a whole are outperforming the equity benchmark S&P 500 index so far this year. But can it last? Both gold and silver are up around 9% or so in 2014. On the energy side, crude oil gained 4% while natural gas has gained nearly 15%. As for stocks, the S&P 500 is just about flat for the year.
That may change, says commodities expert and portfolio manager John Stephenson of First Asset Investment Management. The author of “The Little Book of Commodity Investing” believes commodities may be a long-term buy but, for the time being, are not………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World energy issues

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Each year, the World Energy Council releases its World Energy Issue Monitor and highlights what the global energy industry needs to consider when developing and expanding. Below are brief discussions of some of those issues.
Uncertainty surrounding the global climate framework is top on many priority lists. Negotiations around policies and carbon tax as well as involvement in initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol is never certain. The time frame in which decisions will be made is also uncertain as each individual nation has different criteria they wish to fill………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Have commodities entered a new bull market phase?

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

So far, 2014 has been the “year of the dog!” What do I mean by this? Year-to-date, the best performing assets were the “Dogs of the past 3-years.” I shared this theme a few weeks ago, which reflected the Dogs and what assets are doing well this year.
As you might know already, the majority of the Dogs of the past 3-years are commodities, with many doing well this year. Most would agree that commodities in general have been in a bear market over the past few years. So does the rally mean the bear market is over?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Report reveals benefit of lifting U.S. crude oil ban

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Washington-based think-tank believes lifting a ban on U.S. crude oil exports will reduce gasoline prices. A team of economists and energy experts was assembled by Alan Krupnick, director for the Center for Energy Economics and Policy of the group Resources for the Future.
“Current U.S. policy to ban oil exports has taken on a lot of importance in U.S. energy policy circles in recent months,” said Stephen Brown, professor of economics at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. “We believed that we could contribute some valuable work to better understanding the issue.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dream of U.S. oil independence slams against shale costs

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The path toward U.S. energy independence, made possible by a boom in shale oil, will be much harder than it seems. Just a few of the roadblocks: Independent producers will spend $1.50 drilling this year for every dollar they get back. Shale output drops faster than production from conventional methods.
It will take 2,500 new wells a year just to sustain output of 1 million barrels a day in North Dakota’s Bakken shale, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Iraq could do the same with 60………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Germany must scrap its green energy law, say experts

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A commission of experts appointed by the German parliament has recommended Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to abolish all subsidies for green energy, highlighting mounting opposition to plans to reform instead of scrap the system.
Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is finalising much-disputed changes to the Renewable Energy Law (EEG) which includes reductions in subsidies for green energy before he presents it to cabinet in early April………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Three warning signs from higher gold prices

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It is not often the financial markets reach a consensus. No one can agree whether the euro zone is now fixed or just getting ready for another crisis. Nor on whether the end of quantitative easing will crash the markets, or signal a return to normal growth. Or indeed on whether China is about to implode messily, or will power forward to dominate the coming century.
But at the start of this year there was one idea that everyone could sign up to. Gold was toast. The price had been declining all through 2013, and was going to keep on going down………………………………………..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

Have the gold and silver prices resumed the uptrend and if so why?

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold is now above $1,330 and setting a pattern of short consolidations up against overhead resistance before breaking through and moving higher. This seems to contradict the popular opinion that gold should be sold and funds invested in equity markets.
In 2013, the hope that the economic recovery would gain traction in the U.S. caused a persistent trend of selling gold from U.S. based gold Exchange traded Funds. In April 2013, after Goldman Sachs forecast a heavy fall in the gold price, together with their clients and J.P. Morgan Chase, they unloaded around 400 tonnes of physical gold into the market in short time. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Platinum turns hot in India, imports surge 140pct in January

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As government restrictions continue to keep gold imports under check, the most recent data released by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) indicates that platinum exports have more than doubled during January this year. India’s platinum imports during the month totaled $1.51 million, soaring by nearly 140% over the year.
According to Platinum Guild International, the retail demand for platinum jewellery grew by 30% in 2013. The imports statistics for 2013 substantiate the strong rise in demand. The country’s platinum imports surged from 18 tons in 2012 to 40 tons in 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The other precious metal: Tin reaches 20-week high

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tin reached a 20-week high in London after a minimum price was set by the only exchange allowed to trade the metal before export from Indonesia, the world’s biggest shipper of ore.
The tin committee at the Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange agrees on the price each Monday, according to Sukrisno, president director of PT Timah, the country’s biggest producer and a panel member. Rules requiring tin to be traded on the exchange before export took effect Aug. 30. Tin stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange are at the lowest since January 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU derivatives rules sow confusion in metals markets

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

New European Union rules designed to bring stability and clarity to opaque derivatives markets are sowing confusion among metals brokers, raising more questions than answers for clients and throwing the fate of smaller firms into doubt.
The bloc’s European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) is a package of reforms drawn up in response to the global financial crisis, in which less regulated market conditions allowed contagion to spread quickly………………………………………..Full Article: Source

High yield ETFs: It’s more than fees that matter….

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The incredible growth of the high yield asset class is evident through various product innovations such as high yield exchange traded funds (ETFs). Since their introduction in 2007, ETF assets have swelled to about $35 billion.
The two largest, the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond (HYG) and SDDR Barclays High Yield Bond (JNK) account for about two-thirds of the high yield ETFs outstanding. High yield ETFs are passively managed pools of high yield bonds designed to track an index, yet trade on exchanges, just like stocks. Their attributes include low fees, diversification, and intraday liquidity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities are hot this winter

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold prices continue to shock investors – especially those who unloaded their shares in the SPDR Gold Trust ETF during late December, when they were trading for as little as $115. On Monday, GLD climbed 1.11 percent to close at $128.99. The spot price of gold, which had fallen to $1,181.40 on New Year’s Eve, has since climbed 13.25 percent to $1,338 per ounce.
Gold prices had been expected to suffer from the tapering of the of the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program. This makes it even more shocking that the first month of the taper would bring such a surge in gold prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Where will copper ETFs go from here?

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commodity ETF space had seen some all-stars to start the year thanks mainly to soft stock markets and the excessive under valuation in the natural resource world. Some metals like gold and silver surged on their safe haven investment status, while some soft commodity ETFs (like cocoa) have added double digits on a supply crunch.
However, significant weakness has been seen in the industrial metals space (such as with copper) in the year-to-date frame. All three exchange traded pure plays on copper haven’t seen gains so far this year. Notably, copper exchange traded products lost around 16% last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil ETFs warm up as U.S. chills again

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil prices are off to great start in 2014 thanks to a prolonged and severe winter in the northern hemisphere, supply shortage and slowly building Chinese demand. Most of the oil ETFs gained around 10% in the last month to reach a fourth-month high.
Chilly weather across most parts of the U.S. aided oil demand among residential/commercial consumers. In fact, the nation is not yet done with polar vortexes and snowstorms, as another spell of snow is forecasted for this week. This will surely heighten the demand for heating oil in the coming days……………………………………….Full Article: Source

MCX slashes transaction charges across commodities

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX), the country’s largest commodity exchange by market share, has reduced transaction charges across commodities, in a move aimed at lowering the cost of trading and pushing up volumes.
“This move by MCX would make trading in agri-commodities more accessible for the farm community and other participants in commodity market ecosystem, and improve overall hedging efficiency,” said Manoj Vaish, managing director and chief executive officer. “This is an important incremental step towards market inclusion.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

U.K. FCA: Commodities houses pose oversight challenges

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities-trading houses are posing a challenge to market oversight, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority warned Thursday. As tighter regulatory requirements have reduced banks’ activities in the sector, their places have been taken by specialist companies, many of which are closely held and have substantial operations outside direct oversight of market regulators.
The best known, such as Cargill, Vitol Group SA and Trafigura Beheer B.V., churn through hundreds of billions of dollars of sales every year through global operations that span from London to Singapore and control the movement of huge volumes of essential goods—ranging from grains, cocoa and coffee beans to industrial metals and oil………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ukrainian currency hits 10-year low

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, has fallen to a new low of 10 to the US dollar. The currency’s decline reflects political upheavals and longer-term persistent economic weakness.
But it is also likely to aggravate those underlying problems and adds to Ukraine’s need for international financial assistance. The pressure is on the West and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help, as Russia seems unlikely to………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s falling currency could spark global tensions

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Whenever a major global economy reverses policy, global markets pay attention. That’s exactly what’s happening in response to the sharp, quick decline in China’s currency.
The Chinese yuan has fallen more than 1% against the U.S. dollar in the past week, after appreciating almost 40% in the past few years. Citing “people familiar with the central bank’s thinking,” The Wall Street Journal reports “China’s central bank engineered” the drop in order to reduce speculation in the currency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity-driven currencies in focus

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It has been a relatively quiet week in the FX markets so far. The main reason for this has been the lack of economic news, while receding concerns over emerging markets have seen the likes of the Turkish Lira and Mexican Peso stabilise.
However not all EM currencies have steadied. The Russian Ruble, for example, has extended its falls against both the euro and the dollar amid concerns that Ukraine will be unable to pay for its energy imports due to the on-going geopolitical crisis in Kiev. The USD/RUB and EUR/RUB currency pairs are therefore definitely worth watching as the standoff between Russia and the EU/US regarding Ukraine unfolds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s smog suffocating agriculture?

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s air pollution is putting the country’s agriculture sector at risk, experts say. Smog has blanketed Beijing for at least a week, and much of north and central China — about one-seventh of the country — was also covered in smog last weekend, state-run news agency Xinhua reports.
On Wednesday evening, PM2.5 levels — the measurement of air pollution particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, which pose health risks — averaged 446 micrograms per cubic meter over a 24-hour period, readings from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU plan to cut supply of carbon permits passes into law

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A plan to prop up EU carbon prices was published in the official journal of the European Union on Wednesday, enacting into law the so-called backloading measure that keeps on track the European Commission’s aim to allow the withdrawal of a maximum 400 million permits this year.
The plan involves cutting the supply of permits to be sold under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in an effort to incentivize more investment in low carbon technologies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia should cut emissions by 19 pct to play fair role

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia should reduce emissions by 19 per cent from 2000 levels by the end of the decade – a significantly stronger target than the current pledge of a 5 per cent cut – to play its part in stopping dangerous global warming, expert advice to the government says.
A review by the independent Climate Change Authority has also found Australia should then dramatically ramp up its efforts in the following decade through a target to cut 40 to 60 per cent of its emissions by 2030………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global carbon market to reach record volumes by 2016

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2014, the value of the globally-traded carbon market will rise by two thirds from 2013 reach €64bn, (€39bn in 2013), with volume increasing by 3 percent to 9.6 Gt CO2e, according to analysis by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, the leading provider of market intelligence, news, analysis, forecasting and advisory services for the energy and environmental markets.
Most of this year’s growth by value is expected to come from the 8.3 Gt EU Allowances (EUAs) that will change hands. This 3 percent volume increase (up from 8 Gt last year) will produce value growth of 70 percent; generating both the largest volumes and value globally………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities investing is still fundamentally sound

Posted on 26 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Globally, commodity assets under management plummeted from $418 billion at the end of 2012 to just $319 billion by the end of 2013, according to a February 14 report by analysts at Barclays. During the past few years, numerous commodity hedge funds have been forced to close amid disappointing returns, while December 2013 saw the largest monthly outflow from commodity index products since late 2011.
Nonetheless, commodities enjoyed a “surprisingly strong” start to 2014, helped by the impact of sub-zero temperatures on US natural gas and reduced supplies of precious metals due to a miners’ strike in South Africa………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Should I invest in commodities?

Posted on 26 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

You’ve got stocks, bonds, ETFs and cash in your portfolio - but what about commodities? Do they belong alongside your other investments, and if so, how much money should you allocate to them?
This can be a very confusing question, especially for inexperienced or young investors. Some might also believe that you have to trade risky futures contracts just to invest in commodities. However, there are actually a wide range of available investment options available, making it much easier………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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