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Commodities Briefing 04.Feb 2009

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Perhaps the most significant development in financial markets over the last month has been the steepening of the yield curve for U.S. Treasury debt.

Like other indicators based on market expectations, the yield curve is not an infallible guide to the future. But the shift suggests investors are beginning to brace for higher inflation rates between 2010 and 2012, with rising commodity and energy prices likely to drive the increase….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From FT: Commodities investors in simple, long-only passive indices suffered hefty losses last month as they shouldered the unusually high cost of rolling positions into forward contracts as well as falling spot prices, Standard & Poor’s said on Tuesday.

The futures curve for raw materials such as oil, natural gas and corn has moved abruptly to an upward slope in the last few weeks, a situation that makes investing in commodities indices such as the S&P GSCI or the DJ AIG far less profitable….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: Ever since the bow-tie wearing, world-travelling Mr Rogers appeared on the scene as one of the co-founders of the Quantum fund – along with George Soros – a vehicle that delivered a 4,200pc increase in value in a decade, he has not been shy about sharing his views with the world.

From commodities to oil to the dollar, when he speaks, the investment community tends to listen. That appeared to be true two weeks ago when he took on Gordon Brown and slammed sterling, saying the City of London was finished, and that the UK would be too once the North Sea’s oil reserves ran dry. …. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Forbes: World prices for New Zealand’s main commodity exports fell for the sixth month in a row in January, driven by lower dairy and wood pulp prices. The ANZ bank’s commodity price index fell 4.3 percent on the month before and was down 26.5 percent on the same month a year earlier.

When translated into New Zealand dollar earnings the index was down 4.3 percent on the previous month and at an 18-month low. It was 2.6 percent down on a year ago….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Howestreet.com: It was almost sad to see 2008 come to an end. Talk about moving markets As investors with discipline, there was something for everybody.

The first half of the year saw ALL-TIME HIGHS in gold, crude, wheat, unleaded gas, copper, corn and soybeans. But as they say, what goes up must come down, and the force with which commodities fell from the sky was rather amazing….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Livemint.com: The International Monetary Fund said last month gross domestic product in the US will contract 1.6% this year, while Japan’s will fall 2.6% and the euro-area economy by 2%.

Crude oil in New York will average $35 a barrel this year as the global economy contracts, limiting demand for fuels, Morgan Stanley said on Tuesday….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Oil prices rose on Tuesday after OPEC signaled it might deepen its record output cuts to help boost prices and drain bloated stockpiles.

Oil’s gains were encouraged by an uptick on the equities markets, after better-than-expected U.S. pending home sales data boosted sentiment about the economy….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Resourceinvestor.com: Prices communicate information. The NYMEX February oil contract fell over 5% today in New York trading to $34.40. This suggests oil is falling in value, at least in the short term. And maybe that’s not totally a lie.

After all, the current oil price results from two factors. First, the absence of leverage from the oil futures market leaves prices reflecting immediate supply and demand….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Dailymail.co.uk: Suspicions that foreign power giants are picking the pockets of British consumers, while looking after those at home, seemed to be confirmed by figures published yesterday. Britain has faced the highest energy price rises in Western Europe in the past year, while countries such as Germany and France have seen falls.

Most of Britain’s big energy suppliers are owned by German, French and Spanish firms, which have cut prices in their home countries while keeping prices high in the UK….. Full Article: Source

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From Businessweek.com: After years of fighting for stronger, more consistent state and federal support, the renewable-energy industry couldn’t have asked for a better 2008.

Although supplying just a sliver—barely 3%—of the nation’s electricity, nonpolluting renewables such as wind, solar, and geothermal are the fastest-growing type of power being added to the grid. New installations of solar and wind power both hit record levels last year in the U.S. …. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Guardian: Labour looks almost certain to fail on its key environmental pledge to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, the most significant of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

The latest government figures show greenhouse gas emissions overall fell in 2007 and that the UK is on course to reduce the national total by double the target set by the international Kyoto agreement….. Full Article: Source

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From Businessgreen.com: Targets set out in the climate change bill will not be met without the introduction of personal carbon allowances, according to a new report for the The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

The study warns that with carbon emissions from individuals rising and representing some 44 per cent of the UK’s emissions – chiefly from transport – policies that avoid addressing this slice of emissions will not deliver big enough reductions to meet the government’s overarching target of an 80 per cent cut in emissions by 2050….. Full Article: Source

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From Commodities-now.com: Technology that promises to economically sequester carbon dioxide by turning it into fuel is poised to make the move from research labs to the development stage.

Carbon Sciences, a California startup, is planning a prototype project for early 2009 that the company will use to evaluate the challenges of commercializing its new conversion technology. …. Full Article: Source

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From Zawya.com: Gold prices may hit $1,500 (Dh5,509) an ounce in the next 12 to 15 months, Gary Dugan, the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of Merrill Lynch, said yesterday.

Dugan termed his apprehensions of gold striking such a high as a “fear” that may come true. He reasoned that such a price would mean the other commodities and streams of investments have been shunned by investors….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Commodityonline.com: The overheated futures and spot gold market in India on Tuesday lost steam as prices dropped in the wake of the fall of gold futures in the global market against gains made by the US dollar.

In early Asian trade, gold prices extended their downward trend in early Asian trade Tuesday mainly on continued profit taking by investors. Bullion was trading at $901.70 an ounce, down $1.45 from New York’s notional close on Monday, when it dropped more than 2% in selling also driven by weak demand from the jewellery sector….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Resourceinvestor.com: I dropped in on the Cambridge House gold show in Vancouver this weekend. It was busy. People were generally upbeat and felt smart about the bargains they loaded up on during the recent rout.

The analysts were confident about valuations going forward, especially long term. …. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Mineweb.com: To emphasise that capital raising for strong mining companies, particularly in the gold sector, is becoming less of a problem than late last year, Australia’s top gold miner, Newcrest Mining Ltd, has raised A$750 million ($472 million) in a share placement to major institutions.

Indeed this is around 50 percent more than the company had originally targeted due to particularly strong institutional demand. The money is being raised to repay debt and for new mine development. Altogether a total of 27.8 million shares were sold at A$27 each, 13 percent below the last traded price….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Gold fell for a second straight day on speculation that a global slowdown will erode demand for all commodities. Silver and platinum also declined.

The U.S. Senate is weighing an estimated $885 billion economic stimulus plan backed by President Barack Obama. …. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Thehindubusinessline.com: The series of economic stimulus packages announced across the globe may bring in some relief for the battered base metal manufacturers in the second half of 2009.

China, one of the largest manufacturers of base metals, announced spending to the tune of $586 billion in November, primarily aimed at infrastructure and redevelopment of earthquake-hit Sichuan province….. Full Article: Source

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From Bloomberg: Copper traded near a one-week high in London on speculation government spending plans in China and the U.S., the world’s largest copper users, will spur economic growth and boost demand for the industrial metal.

Asian stocks gained for a second day after Japan and Australia widened efforts to revive economic growth….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Xinhua: The dollar fell against major currencies on Tuesday ahead of monetary policy decisions of Europe and major U.S. economic reports.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England are due to update their monetary policies on Thursday. Analysts forecast that the Bank of England would cut its key interest rate, which is at a historic low of 1.5 percent, by up to 1 percentage point. The European Central Bank is expected to keep its key rate unchanged at 2 percent. …. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Forbes: Amid the recession, many British companies have been hoping that the weaker pound would give a boost to their sales overseas, and perhaps even help the U.K. economy. Don’t count on it.

The healthy profits that Vodafone and Imperial Tobacco attributed to the fall in sterling on Tuesday are unlikely to be repeated again. While the pound was the big loser among major currencies in 2008, dropping 30.0% against the euro and around 25.0% against the dollar over the year, it looks set to gain strength against the euro in the coming months. …. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Commodities-now.com: IntercontinentalExchange, a leading operator of regulated global futures exchanges and over-the- counter (OTC) markets, today reported volume of 20.4 million futures contracts in the first month of 2009, a decline of 5% from January 2008.

ICE operates three regulated futures exchanges: ICE Futures Europe, ICE Futures U.S. and ICE Futures Canada. …. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Lankabusinessonline.com: Sri Lankan software firm Millennium IT said it has won the contract to provide the trading platform for India’s new International Multi-Commodity Exchange (IMX).

The exchange is expected to go live in the first quarter of the next financial year, subject to regulatory approvals, according to a statement by Indiabulls Financial Services (IBFSL), the largest shareholder in the new commodities exchange….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Reuters: The world financial crisis may be bullish for the CME Group’s vast complex of derivatives contracts, a top industry consultant said on Tuesday.

“The global financial crisis is a prime opportunity for exchange-traded venues to prove the net value of their clearing and settlement process and counter-party risk guarantees,” Patrick J. Catania, chief executive of Asia West Group and a former top official of the Chicago Board of Trade said….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From FT: You may have heard how the proposed amendment to the US Commodities Exchange Act is likely to impose severe restrictions on credit-default-swap trading.

But there’s more to the bill than just that. The proposal goes before a Agricultural congressional hearing on Tuesday at 6pm and will include testimonies from among others Terrence Duffy, executive chairman of the CME Group, Michael Gooch, the chief executive of GFI and Daniel Roth, CEO of the National Futures Association….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Commodities-now.com: The total amount of CERs ever traded on the Bluenext Exchange broke through the 10 million tons barrier with a total of 10,154,000 tonnes.

A CER is a certificate which is issued every time the United Nations prevents one ton of CO2 equivalent being emitted through carbon projects registered with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). CDM Projects include for example replacing coal fired electricity with clean technology, or methane capture from landfill sites….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From FT: Sugar prices reached a four-month high on Tuesday after India, the world’s largest consumer, lifted duties on the import of raw sugar to bridge a shortfall in domestic production.

The move was also designed to lower domestic prices ahead of a general election expected in April….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: The global slowdown may have hit the value of everything from Indonesian seaweed to Asian brides but there’s one commodity that’s rising steadily in price: opium.

Poppy cultivation is on the rise in Southeast Asia as increasing prices and the deteriorating economic outlook encourage more farmers to plant the product, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 04 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Ytn.co.kr: Having collapsed in the second half of 2008 in the wake of the financial crisis and its negative implications for global aggregate demand, the prices of industrial raw materials are likely to remain at low levels in 2009.

Prices (as measured by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Industrial Raw Materials (IRM) price index) will fall by an average of 41% in 2009. …. Full Article: Source

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