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Commodities Briefing 24.Feb 2009

Commodities send coded clues on inflation
Global commodity prices to dip further
China expected to step up commodity-related M&As activity
India: Global commodity-linked firms hit hard
OPEC faces extreme difficulty to lift oil prices: CGES
Oil prices tumble below $39 despite OPEC cuts
Oil services sector falls with oil
Europe's nuclear option
Britain may lose out on energy funding in near future
Environmentalists change minds over nuclear
The political economy of green energy
Will the recession cut our CO2 emissions?
West blamed for rapid increase in China's CO2
Bank of Ireland launches renewable energy fund
Panic = gold
Gold fever cools as bullion dips below $1,000
Factors in place to keep silver bull running for 3 years-BMO
Mining companies cash in on gold boom
Gold falls after reaching 11-month high in N.Y.; silver drops
A glimmer of hope for manganese prices?
China, India show interest in Aussie mining assets
The rise and rise of ETFs
ETF market grows as more products launched
European states defend currencies
Sterling gains strength against dollar and the euro
Risk and return: Considerations for investing in managed futures
DJ-AIG commods business "on as usual" -spokeswoman
CME avoids merger route in overseas growth strategy
CME names Goldblatt to new commodities director post
International Assets buys partner's stake in Dubai Commodities Business
China trade team heads to EU for big deals
Five Asean exchanges to begin electronic trading
Price controls thwart futures market for cereals
Cotton falls as plunging equities signal deteriorating economy
What’s coming next, from the ‘Man who saw it coming’

Posted on 24 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Reuters: After an 8-year period of remarkable stability, the ratio between gold and oil prices has broken down spectacularly. The relative rise in gold is consistent with other indications that the market is bracing for a delayed upturn in inflation between 2010 and 2012.

From 2000 to 2008 one ounce of gold bought between 6 and 15 barrels of light sweet crude oil but for months the markets have been moving in opposite directions….. Full Article: Source

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From Commodityonline.com: Global commodity prices have been witnessing a decline since mid of 2008, mainly because of waning demand due to the global economic crisis and it would go to some extend more, said Westpac Banking Corp senior economist Andrew Hanlan in a statement.

“If, as we expect, international demand remains weaker for longer, then expectations of a recovery in markets will be met with disappointment in the early stages,” he added….. Full Article: Source

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From Miningweekly.com: There was strong potential for increased commodity-related mergers and acquisitions (M&As) activity by Chinese players abroad and in Africa, said Frontier Advisory CEO Dr Martyn Davies.

China certainly had the cash to take advantage of acquisitive opportunities. Any foreign investment in the commodities market in Africa would also be welcome, he asserted, especially during such difficult economic times….. Full Article: Source

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From Business-standard.com: The poor performance of the corporate sector in the current financial year is reflected in the fact that the number of sectors posting net losses has more than doubled quarter-on-quarter — from seven in the first quarter to 15 in second to 37 in the third quarter.

Of the 124 sectors classified by the Business Standard Research Bureau, only 80 reported net profits in the first three quarters of the previous as well as this financial year….. Full Article: Source

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From AFP: The OPEC cartel will find it “extremely difficult” to boost oil prices by cutting output because of the uncertain economic climate, energy consultancy CGES said on Monday.

Crude oil prices have slumped dramatically since hitting record highs above 147 dollars per barrel in July, as a spreading global economic slowdown has slashed demand for energy….. Full Article: Source

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From Theglobeandmail.com: Oil prices tumbled below $39 (U.S.) a barrel Monday as traders shrugged off reports that OPEC had slashed production, focusing instead on falling stock prices.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery for April delivery fell 4 per cent, or $1.59, to settle at $38.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices got an early bump on reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries had made good on a pledge to cut production by more than 4 million barrels per day….. Full Article: Source

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From Forbes: Shares of oil services companies fell on Monday as crude oil prices slid and on analyst expectations that the sector’s sharp downturn could be longer and worse than expected.

Despite slashes in daily production by OPEC, the price of oil fell $1, or 2.4 percent, to $39 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as investors worried about a nationwide plunge in energy demand, due to rising unemployment and shuttered businesses amid the deepening economic recession….. Full Article: Source

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From Commodities-now.com: Members of the Europe Union are shifting their energy positions. Carbon emission policies there are giving nuclear energy added appeal — even among nations that once eschewed such ideas.

The continent has expressed continued concerns over global warming and volatile oil prices. With the exception of a few nations such as Germany and Austria, most countries there say the nuclear option is appearing increasingly viable and particularly since the EU’s most recent carbon reduction proclamation in December….. Full Article: Source

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From Dailymail.co.uk: Vital funding needed for energy investment in Britain could be mopped up by foreign countries including the U.S., a report suggests. The study by accountants Ernst & Young, for Centrica, found the UK needs to spend an extra £234billion on its energy infrastructure by 2025.

But there is a mounting threat that investment capital will be channelled overseas where returns are more attractive….. Full Article: Source

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From Telegraph: Britain must build new nuclear power stations if it is to meet climate change targets, according to leading environmentalists. It is the first time the green lobby has decided to embrace the technology after years of opposition.

Campaigners have traditionally been against nuclear power because of the fear of proliferation of weapons and the problem of disposing of waste….. Full Article: Source

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From Newledger.com: We’re used to thinking of “green energy” as a solution to the problem of energy independence, and to the problem of global warming (which now goes by other names, like “climate change”).

Energy independence has been an urgent matter because the high cost of fossil fuels results in a massive transfer of wealth from consumers to producers….. Full Article: Source

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From Guardian: Economic activity is slumping, the price of carbon trading credits plunging – but analysts forecast only a negligible slowdown in global warming. As the recession bites, the economies of many countries are slumping. But is the consequent fall in demand for energy and goods significantly ­reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

In Europe, the emissions trading scheme provides a clue. Firms with high levels of pollution must buy carbon credits, the price of which has fallen below €9 from €30 last summer….. Full Article: Source

A SQUARE’s report on recent webinar on carbon-led investing - with voice-over (which non-A SQUARE subscribers can purchase individually) can be accessed here:
http://www.opalesque.com/asquare/509/Webinar_Carbon_Led_Investing.html

Posted on 24 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Guardian: The full extent of the west’s responsibility for Chinese emissions of greenhouse gases has been revealed by a new study. The report shows that half of the recent rise in China’s carbon dioxide pollution is caused by the manufacturing of goods for other countries - particularly developed nations such as the UK.

Last year, China officially overtook the US as the world’s biggest CO2 emitter. But the new research shows that about a third of all Chinese carbon emissions are the result of producing goods for export….. Full Article: Source

A SQUARE’s report on recent webinar on carbon-led investing - with voice-over (which non-A SQUARE subscribers can purchase individually) can be accessed here:
http://www.opalesque.com/asquare/509/Webinar_Carbon_Led_Investing.html

Posted on 24 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Bank of Ireland launched a 100 million euros ($129.2 million) fund to support renewable energy projects on Monday in line with government requirements under a multi-billion euro recapitalisation programme.

Dublin wants Bank of Ireland and rival Allied Irish Banks to support environmentally-friendly investments along with increased lending for first-time house buyers and small businesses in return for injecting 3.5 billion euros into each of them….. Full Article: Source

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From Hardassetsinvestor.com: It’s axiomatic that gold has a role as safe haven for many investors. That this is largely a matter of collective psychology is irrelevant - it has worked for centuries, and it’s unlikely to stop working tomorrow.

But lately, gold been more than a mere market hedge; it’s been a panic hedge….. Full Article: Source

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From FT: Gold’s rally paused on Monday as haven buying showed signs of easing after bullion surged above the $1,000 level on Friday.

Gold dipped 0.1 per cent to $991 a troy ounce, trading between a low of $976.65 and a high of $995.65 but unable to recover the 11-month high of $1,005.40 hit on Friday….. Full Article: Source

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From Mineweb.co.za: BMO Global Commodity Strategist Bart Melek asserts factors are in place “to keep the silver bull running for the next three years.”

In a recently published analysis, Melek advised, “BMO expects gold to be a strong performer for at least the next three years, with silver following suit and perhaps even outperforming gold.”…. Full Article: Source

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From Commodityonline.com: Even as the world is dumping equity markets and rushing for gold, there is big opportunity for mining companies. When gold prices soared, gold mining companies’ stocks are witnessing a surge also.

An indication for this was visible at the BMO Capital Markets’ annual global mining conference. About 300 investors are expected at the meet, which will end on Wednesday….. Full Article: Source

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From Bloomberg: Gold fell in New York as some investors sold the metal after a rally last week to the highest price since March. Silver also declined.

Investment in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange- traded fund, or ETF, backed by bullion, rose 4.4 percent last week to a record 1,029 metric tons. …. Full Article: Source

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From Mineweb.com: Manganese, a crucial steelmaking ingredient, produced super profits for its miners, especially during 2008, as confirmed on Monday in results from African Rainbow Minerals, or ARM, and also OM Holdings.

Huge manganese profits featured heavily in Anglo American results, released on Friday, where Samancor Manganese was shown to have contributed USD 980m to Anglo American’s 2008 group profits, compared to USD 225m in 2007….. Full Article: Source

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From Thestar.com.my: The current alarming rise in the stockpiles of major commodities in the world has not deterred merger and acquisition (M&A) interest, especially from China and India, in the huge mining assets in Australia, Africa and Latin America.

Australia’s debt-laden mining assets of Rio Tinto and Oz Minerals are being chased by Aluminium Corp of China (Chinalco) and Minmetals Corp, also from China….. Full Article: Source

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From Investorschronicle.co.uk: While UK investors may still regard exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with some scepticism, in the US these funds have been around for almost 20 years, with some crediting them as the saviour of the American Stock Exchange (Amex).

One of the world’s first ETFs, the ‘Spider’ - short for Standard & Poor’s Depositary Receipts - was developed in 1993 by an executive with the American Stock Exchange….. Full Article: Source

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From Asiaone.com: Banks are increasingly putting the power of wealth management directly into the hands of investors - who are said to be somewhat wary of institutions after the recent market turmoil.

So far this month, two banks here have launched five new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the Singapore Exchange (SGX)….. Full Article: Source

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From BBC: The central banks of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania have issued statements saying recent falls in their currencies were unjustified.

The four countries’ currencies have fallen sharply against the euro in recent weeks amid concern about the effects of the economic downturn….. Full Article: Source

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From Theherald.co.uk: Sterling rose against the dollar and euro yesterday, as foreign exchange traders took heart from Stephen Hester’s plans to revive Royal Bank of Scotland.

The US currency, seen as a safe haven, fell on talk that, while the American government might take a stake of up to 40% of troubled banking giant Citigroup, it was not looking at full nationalisation….. Full Article: Source

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From Nuwireinvestor.com: Some investors are looking for alternative assets to diversify their holdings after taking a beating in the markets last year, and others need to rebalance their portfolios to account for changes in their asset allocation over time.

One investment that might provide a vehicle for diversification and enhanced returns is managed futures funds. Some of these funds offer lower minimums for retirement accounts and are available through self-directed individual retirement accounts (IRAs)….. Full Article: Source

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From Reuters: The commodity index business jointly operated by Dow Jones and American International Group Inc is performing as usual despite reports of fresh financial woes at insurer AIG, a spokeswoman for the index said on Monday.

“Our business is on as usual,” Naomi Kim, public relations manager (North America) for Dow Jones Indexes, told Reuters, referring to the DJ-AIG Commodity Index .DJAIG. “There’s no change to that as of now.”…. Full Article: Source

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From Efinancialnews.com: Unlike its US compatriots, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, CME Group is striking out into new territories without a high-profile cross-border exchange merger.

After absorbing a series of US-based exchange mergers including Chicago Board of Trade in 2007 and the New York Mercantile Exchange in 2008, the world’s largest futures and options exchange has been dipping a more cautious toe in the water outside the US….. Full Article: Source

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From Chicagotribune.com: CME Group Monday named Barry Goldblatt as managing director for commodities, energy and metals, a newly created position for developing listed futures contracts and over-the-counter products for the Chicago-based exchange operator.

Goldblatt, 49, previously worked at Merrill Lynch as a managing director for commodities, derivative sales and global structured notes. He will be based in New York….. Full Article: Source

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International Assets Holding Corporation has announced the purchase of the 50% interest held by Nilesh Ved in INTL Commodities DMCC, the Company’s Dubai commodities joint venture. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, INTL Commodities DMCC will continue to expand its successful commodities trading activities in the region.

Scott Branch, President of the Company, stated, “We are pleased to have worked with Nilesh Ved in establishing INTL Commodities DMCC as a major player in the regional precious metals market and look forward to a continuing relationship with Lakhoo Jewellery Trading Co LLC, owned by the Ved family.” …. Full Press Release: Source

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From Chinadaily.com.cn: A high-level business delegation heads to Europe today to sign deals potentially worth billions of dollars on a “wide range of buying interests”.

Some media reports put the price tag at 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) while others believe that the figure could be considerably higher - but Ministry of Commerce (MOC) officials said there was no way to arrive at an amount before the contracts were actually signed….. Full Article: Source

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From Themalaysianinsider.com: Malaysian investors can purchase directly trade stocks listed in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia once the proposed Asian trading board starts operation next year.

Bursa Malaysia Bhd’s chief executive officer, Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff, said the multilateral trading gateways was a result of more than one year of groundwork by a working group comprising all the five stock exchanges whose bourse capitalisation size was estimated to be more than US$1 trillion (RM3.65 trillion)….. Full Article: Source

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From Bdafrica.com: The push by the grain sector players to establish a centralised commodity exchange market in the country has been thrown into disarray following the re-introduction of price controls in the cereals market.

Grain market players say their latest cloud of doubt springs from the dimming fortunes being experienced by the warehouse receipt system, a ground-breaking grains handling system launched in Nakuru early last year, which was touted then as a precursor to the long awaited grains futures market….. Full Article: Source

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From Bloomberg: Cotton futures fell as sliding global equities triggered mounting concerns that the deteriorating economy will erode use of the fiber and other commodities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at the lowest level since 1997 on signs of a deepening U.S. recession. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials fell to the lowest since June 2002. …. Full Article: Source

Posted on 24 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From FT: The litany of dire predictions for currencies, commodities and the global economy in general not only seems endless - it is getting more predictable by the day.

That is because few pundits are making any waves - or money - out of playing Pollyanna, as everyone from Jim Rogers to Nouriel Roubini well know….. Full Article: Source

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