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Commodities Briefing 08.Jan 2009

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From BBC: The pound has risen to its highest level against the euro for three weeks, ahead of the Bank of England’s interest rates announcement on Thursday. The euro fell 0.5% against the pound to close at 90.1 pence, well below its recent high of 98.04 pence.

“There’s been a change in sentiment for sterling,” said Neil Jones, at Mizuho Corporate Bank in London….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Hardassetsinvestor.com: This week, I had to give thought to something I haven’t considered since my kids were young: Just what kind of a present do you get for a 10-year-old? In this case, the 10-year-old isn’t a child. It’s a currency. The euro - now coin of the realm for 16 nations – celebrated its first decade on New Year’s Day.

So why would we at Hard Assets Investor care about a fiat currency that’s just managed to shake off its training wheels? Two reasons. Well, one and a half, really….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Xinhua: The dollar fell against most major currencies Wednesday amid big job losses in the U.S. private sector in December.

U.S. employers cut 693,000 jobs in December on a seasonally adjusted basis. The cuts were much deeper than what had been expected by economists, according to the latest national employment report from Automatic Data Processing (ADP)….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Iwpr.net: Despite government denials that economy has been “dollarised”, local currency virtually unacceptable as legal tender. Grocery purchases, public hospital bills, property sales, rent, legal fees, vegetables and even mobile phone recharge cards in Zimbabwe are now paid for in foreign currency as the worthless Zimbabwe dollar virtually ceases to be legal tender.

Once a regional economic model, Zimbabwe is in the throes of an economic crisis, with unemployment running at more than 80 per cent and many families unable to afford a square meal. Stratospheric inflation (officially estimated, in July, to have reached 231 million per cent) and an unstable exchange rate have caused the Zimbabwe dollar to lose both credibility and its value as a trading currency…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Mineweb.com: Rises in gold ETF holdings are currently helping the gold price maintain some strength despite big falls in Middle East and Indian imports.

Investment in gold ETFs and ETCs continues to rise and physical gold demand remains in the West strong, although traditional gold markets in the Middle East and India are showing sharp downturns in trade as higher prices and the global financial situation are taking their toll….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: Gold is set to appreciate for an eighth year as investors seek a refuge from declining interest rates at the same time that central banks inject more cash into the banking system, according to Bloomberg.

The metal will average $910 an ounce in 2009, 4.3 per cent more than last year, according to the median forecast of 20 analysts, traders and investors surveyed by Bloomberg. Silver and platinum, which averaged at least 12pc more in 2008, will decline this year, the survey showed….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Theaureport.com: Without rare earth metals, we can no longer make a powerful small motor, a nickel metal hydride battery, a Prius automobile or even lasers. We can’t make cutting tools, military armor, or ammunition without tungsten.

We can’t make high-efficiency cooling systems for our power plants no matter what their fuel source—oil, gas, coal, wind, solar or nuclear—without molybdenum. Either we’re running out of oil or we’re running out of rare earth….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Steelguru.com: Ratings agency Fitch Ratings said that improvement in credit availability and implementation of fiscal stimulus programs could result in stronger demand in the second half of 2009 although growth in the global base metals sector was expected to slow over the next 12 months.

In its newly released base metals outlook report, Fitch stated that earnings were expected to decline in 2009 from the robust 2008 levels, however, runoff of working capital and active management of capital budgets should partially offset the impact on free cash flow….. Full Article: Source

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From Mineweb.com: The platinum’s price’s brief dip to a discount to gold between the 12th and 17th December, for the first time since December 1996, did not last long and a premium has rapidly been re-established, reaching $130 just three weeks later.

This is small beer by comparison with the $1,288 chasm that was reached on 3rd March 2008. Is there further to go or will gold keep tabs on its white competitor?…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Mineweb.com: Even though the platinum price has risen in the past few days on a hoped-for pick-up in auto sales on credit easing this may not occur soon enough to prevent a further short term decline.

Almost unnoticed by the markets the platinum price has been quietly recovering from a very brief fall to a level just below the gold price, to re-assert its position and premium over gold - at least for the moment!…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Glgroup.com: Crude may not see the highs of last year but will trade higher as 2009 ages and gold could test the highs as a result of actions being taken to deal with the financial crisis in America and the stimulus plans to restart the economy.

While demand has fallen due to the current global economic crisis, the fundamentals for crude favor price increase rather than much lower pricing. Some of the same fundamentals that favor a price increase for crude will also have a similar effect on the price of gold….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Energyefficiencynews.com: The £12.5 billion EDF takeover of British Energy (BE) was officially sanctioned by the European Commission earlier this week and will go ahead as planned.

Under the terms of the acquisition, EDF is obliged to divest BE power plants at Sutton Bridge an Eggborough, as well as making available a site for a new nuclear power station at either Dungeness or Heysham….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Commodities-now.com: Standard & Poor’s, the world’s leading index provider, announced today that the S&P GSCI declined 13.32% in December, ending the year with a loss of 46.49% – the worst total return for the Index since its inception in 1970. The previous worst year on record was 1998, when the Index lost 35.75%.

“Fears of a severe global economic contraction as well as plunging equity markets weighed on industrial commodities in 2008, pushing the S&P GSCI into record territory,” says Michael McGlone, Director of Commodity Indexing at Standard & Poor’s and author of the S&P GSCI Commodity Perspective…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Commodities-now.com: The Northeastern region conducted its second carbon credit auction, raising $106 million to be divvied up this month among 10 states in the area and then used to promote clean energy technologies. That process is being viewed by the incoming presidential administration as a possible national prototype.

Trading carbon emissions is a free market approach to controlling greenhouse gases that are tied to climate change….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Cleantech.com: Paul Soffe of EcoSecurities talks about the immediate uses of carbon capture and storage technologies and what’s preventing them from reducing emissions today.

There’s a lot of hype around carbon capture and storage as the technology with the potential to stop emissions in their tracks….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Nytimes.com: Coal-ash — the coal-plant byproduct that recently spilled from a pond in Tennessee, spreading toxic chemicals far and wide — often ends up in a dump.

In some places, however, coal-ash gets reprocessed into a substance that can replace cement in the production of concrete. Brayton Point, a huge Massachusetts coal plant run by Dominion Generation, opened an ash-reprocessing plant in 2006….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Timesonline.co.uk: Yesterday, after three consecutive sessions of hot-blooded, limit-hitting exuberance, trading in Shanghai rubber futures was suspended and given the chance to simmer down. Dealers simply shrugged and made a feverish lunge for Tokyo rubber futures instead.

It was not supposed to be like this. Everyone has seen the doom-laden pictures by now - the trade fleets at anchor, the silent pit-heads and the stone-cold blast furnaces – but risk capital seems to have spotted something more enticing: six vast holes in the ground and the contents of a Chinese fridge….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Publicradio.org: Investors have been trying to re-inflate the commodities boom of last year. Some experts believe food and energy prices could get a lift from the new administration’s stimulus plan.

The aluminum company Alcoa is a fixture on Wall Street. It’s a part of the Dow Jones 30. It’s traditionally the first to report profits during earnings seasons….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Reuters: The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC) governmental agency and asset manager Shariah Capita launched an index tracking the performance of Islamic hedge funds investing in commodities on Wednesday.

The Dubai Shariah Hedge Fund Index is the first to monitor the performance of hedge funds that comply with Islamic law, or sharia, and aims to provide a benchmark for investors, DMCC and Sharia Capital said in a statement….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Theaustralian.news.com.au: While many companies have postponed their plans to float, Australia’s first initial public offering of 2009, a global resources fund, is confident commodities have the legs to see it through the crisis.

The Global Resource Masters Fund, due to list on the Australian Securities Exchange on February 3, is managed by financial planning group Dixon Advisory & Superannuation Services and specialises in self-managed superannuation administration….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Commodityonline.com: With the population of over 80 million, Ethiopia is the second largest country in Africa following Nigeria with the total population of 140 million. However, with per capita income of less than US $200, Ethiopia is one of the least developed countries in the sub Saharan Africa.

Agriculture is the main stay of the economy. Over 80% of the total population is employed in agriculture while the sector contributes about 50% of the Gross Domestic Product and over 80% of foreign exchange earnings….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From AP: Energy prices plunged across the board Wednesday after a government report showed U.S. oil reserves were much greater than expected, suggesting demand continues to fall.

Sweet crude for February delivery tumbled 12 percent, or $5.95, to settle at $42.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after the report was released….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From FT: Oil prices plunged $5 back below $50 a barrel yesterday, dragging most of the rest of the commodities sector lower, after the US government reported a hefty increase in crude oil and products inventories.

The surge in stocks was particularly large at the delivery point of the Nymex West Texas Intermediate futures oil contract in Cushing, Oklahoma, which helped to push the US benchmark lower versus the European benchmark Brent….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Guardian: Copper and aluminium hit one-month highs on Wednesday boosted by the re-balancing of major commodity indices, but demand still looked poor, analysts said.

“The reweighting is helping some markets, nickel in particular,” said analyst Dan Smith at Standard Chartered. “There also seems to be more risk appetite around at the beginning of this year as well,” Smith said….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Forbes: European Union wheat prices fell on Wednesday, weighed down by a strengthening euro and widespread losses in commodity markets, dealers said.

In Paris, milling wheat gave up some of Tuesday’s sharp gains as the dollar fell, reducing the competitiveness of EU grain exports. “There is profit-taking across markets after the U.S. job figures,” a French broker said….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Guardian: U.S. grain and soybean futures fell sharply on Wednesday as traders locked in profits following strong rallies which pushed wheat and soybean prices to three-month highs during the past month.

Wheat futures dropped 4.7 percent during the trading session while corn futures were down 2.6 percent and soybeans were off 2.4 percent.
“There is the very, very widespread belief that we are overdone to the upside and overdue for a correction,” said Vic Lespinasse, analyst for GrainAnalyst.com. “We have had a huge rally in wheat, corn, beans, everything.”…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 08 January 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From AP: Agriculture futures dropped Wednesday on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for March delivery sank 30.25 cents to $6.1325 a bushel, while March corn slid 10.75 cents to $4.2725 a bushel and March oats shed 6 cents to $2.22 a bushel. March soybeans tumbled 26 cents to $9.90 a bushel.

February live cattle dropped 2.78 cents to 85.77 cents a pound, while March feeder cattle shed 2.7 cents to 93.27 cents a pound….. Full Article: Source

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