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Commodities Briefing - Archive | September, 2014

Rising political risk could lure commodity investors

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities may be out of favour but the political landscape could change that. The macroeconomic environment and the outlook for the geopolitical landscape will often dictate whether investors flock to perceived safe haven assets such as gold. Geopolitical tensions have been escalating in recent months in Ukraine and Russia, as well as in the Middle East, while the Scottish referendum created some uncertainty in the markets.
Meanwhile, central banks continue to diverge when it comes to monetary policy. In spite of all these factors, investors have turned their backs on precious metals, leaving gold out in the cold………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fed Alarm as Commodities Drop Punishes South African Debt

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

South African bonds are on course for their worst returns in eight months, with more pain probably ahead, squeezed between tumbling commodity prices and an emerging-market selloff sparked by the Federal Reserve.
Local-currency debt fell in September, what would be the first monthly decline since January, according to Johannesburg Stock Exchange indexes. The securities lost 6.1 percent for dollar investors in the period, the most after Brazil among 31 developing nations tracked by Bloomberg………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities bear looks to be digging in for long run

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commodities bear market looks entrenched. Strong supply-side responses, or successful economic stimulus by the European Central Bank, would be required to reverse price falls. Neither looks terribly likely. There is no dearth of reasons to explain a 12-per-cent decline in the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index of commodity prices in the past three months.
First, there is the ascendancy of the U.S. dollar, whose index has hit four-year highs and looks likely to climb a lot further. Commodities are priced in the U.S. currency. So, as the greenback gains in value, fewer dollars should be required to buy them. While this relationship doesn’t always hold, correlations show the linkage is near-perfect at the moment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Scotiabank’s commodity index falls sharply in August

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Scotiabank’s monthly commodity price index lost ground in August, dropping 5.4 per cent from July in a broad-based decline. Four of Scotiabank’s commodity subindexes fell, with the biggest declines in the oil and gas sector as well as in agriculture.
Forestry was the only subindex to show an increase between July and August while mining and metals was down slightly. Scotiabank says international oil prices have been pulling back since June because of less concern about the risks to oil supplies from Iraq and Libya………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Do Falling Commodity Prices Spell Doom?

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A week after the Federal Reserve announced its plan to keep interest rates low, it inadvertently bolstered the appeal of the dollar over raw materials as a store of value.As a result, while U.S. equities are on the rise, global commodity prices have hit a five-year low. But is the commodities slump simply an issue for the natural resources industries, or is it cause for concern for the larger economy?
This week’s Chart of the Week shows that the Bloomberg Commodity Index, Brent crude and iron ore are all in a slump. The Bloomberg Commodity Index, an index of 22 raw materials, dropped 5.6% this year. Brent crude dropped 12% – hitting a two-year low last week. The iron ore at the Chinese Qingdao port dropped 41% this year – hitting a five-year low last……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oil Prices Fall, and the Global Economy Wins

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil is in the midst of one of its steepest selloffs since the financial crisis, with prices falling 16 percent since mid-June. This has the Saudis contemplating even deeper cuts in oil production to keep prices from declining any further. The world’s biggest crude exporter told OPEC recently that in August it reduced output by more than 400,000 barrels a day.
It’s not yet clear how well that’s working. The Saudi cuts were offset in part by more oil from Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria—not to mention the continued record increase in U.S. oil production thanks to the shale boom………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shale oil eases the economic pain of Middle East military action

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There was a time when headlines about jets bombing Middle Eastern refineries would have sent oil prices soaring. Granted, Islamic State’s facilities aren’t exactly world class. But it is telling that such violence is doing little to lift the price of crude. Brent is down 13 per cent this year and looks set to post its weakest yearly average price since 2010, before the Arab Spring really got going.
The big culprit for this disconnect is shale. US-led growth in oil output from the industrialised world since the start of 2011 has offset supply disruptions in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to Citigroup………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Speculators Slash Bets on Rising Crude Oil Price

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Speculators slashed bets on a rising Brent crude oil price by 34% in the week ended Sept. 23, the biggest weekly cut in their net long position in three years, as the oil price continued to slide lower.
In the week to Sept. 23, speculators reduced their net long position—the total number of bets that the price of oil would rise minus the number of bets that it would fall—by 33.7%, according to exchange data released Monday. The last time speculators made a cut this sharp was in October 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Solar power could be world’s top electricity source by 2050, says IEA

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Falling cost of solar photovoltaic panels could help technology generate up to 16% of world’s electricity by mid-century. Solar energy could be the top source of electricity by 2050, aided by plummeting costs of the equipment to generate it, a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the West’s energy watchdog, said on Monday.
IEA Reports said solar photovoltaic (PV) systems could generate up to 16% of the world’s electricity by 2050, while solar thermal electricity (STE) - from “concentrating” solar power plants - could provide a further 11%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold price: The world’s wealthy are snapping up bullion

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold may be lingering at nine-month lows but demand for the precious metal is growing among the super rich. The world’s wealthy are buying record numbers of gold bars, similar to the ones held in reserve banks across the globe and featured in the 1969 British caper film, The Italian Job.
But don’t expect a convoy of Mini Coopers hauling their precious cargo through sewer drains. This is no heist. According to BullionByPost, sales of the 12.5 kilogram bars – worth about $US537,000 each based on current gold prices - have soared 243 per cent this year, The Telegraph in London reports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Golden opportunity

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The recent slide in global crude oil and gold prices offers India a reprieve on the current account deficit (CAD), presenting an opportune time for policymakers to ease up on the numerous gold import restrictions. The circumstances which contributed to the unprecedented surge in gold imports in 2011/2012 and resulted in a runaway CAD, have since dramatically changed.
This may be the right time to do away with the 80:20 rule imposed last year, requiring gold importers to compulsorily export a fifth of each consignment. Apart from limiting raw material supplies to the jewellery trade, the rule has created needless hassles for banks tasked with enforcing it………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold prices may revert to long-term trends

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In times of uncertainty, investors typically flock to gold. But the commodity has fallen out of favour among them, in spite of recent economic turmoil. According to figures from the World Gold Council, between April and June 2014, total global gold demand was 964 tonnes, down 16 per cent on the same period a year earlier. It attributes this drop to consumers and investors pulling back and consolidating their activities.
Jewellery remains the largest component of gold demand but global jewellery demand was down 30 per cent year on year in the second quarter of 2014, to 510 tonnes. The World Gold Council does, however, point to a recovery in western markets, with jewellery demand up in the US by 15 per cent to 26 tonnes in the quarter and the UK by 21 per cent to 4 tonnes, citing the increasing popularity of yellow gold………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bearish investor sentiment may pin down Gold prices: Barclays

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It appears as if bearish investor sentiment has indeed set in, and it may continue to pin down Gold prices, a report by Barclays said. Over the longer term, expectations for rising rates and a stronger dollar will continue to pressure gold, keeping the price-negative macro backdrop too large a burden for any seasonal uptick in physical consumption to overturn.
Gold tumbled recently but last week it largely oscillated in a range around $1220/oz. This trend could be sustained in Q4 before once again turning lower, in line with the Barclays’ 2015 price forecast and tactical short recommendation, the report said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China gold demand surging again

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

We cannot emphasise more strongly that gold followers should ignore the mainstream media reports, based on Hong Kong gold export figures to mainland China, that Chinese gold demand has plummeted by anything between 30% and 50% this year. As we pointed out in an article last week, Hong Kong is now no longer the principal port of entry for gold into the Chinese mainland.
When it was still so, gold exports into China were extremely high at the beginning of the year, but since then the Hong Kong figures have tailed off as China effectively opened up gold import routes through other entry points – notably Shanghai and Beijing , resulting in the Hong Kong net gold exports falling back month by month from a peak of 111 tonnes in February to a mere 21 tonnes in August. This is thus no longer an indicator of overall Chinese gold demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold prices may revert to long-term trends

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In times of uncertainty, investors typically flock to gold. But the commodity has fallen out of favour among them, in spite of recent economic turmoil. According to figures from the World Gold Council, between April and June 2014, total global gold demand was 964 tonnes, down 16 per cent on the same period a year earlier. It attributes this drop to consumers and investors pulling back and consolidating their activities.
Jewellery remains the largest component of gold demand but global jewellery demand was down 30 per cent year on year in the second quarter of 2014, to 510 tonnes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel Prices Enter Bear Market Amid Record Inventories

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel entered a bear market as stockpiles reached a record, signaling ample global supplies even as Indonesia bans its exports of the mined metal.
The shipment restrictions in Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of the unrefined ore, drove prices as much as 56 percent higher in 2014 to a two-year high in May. The metal has since fallen more than 20 percent as banks including Credit Suisse Group AG said supplies weren’t as tight as expected………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iron Ore Heads for Record Run of Losses as Global Surplus Builds

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iron ore will complete a third straight quarterly decline today to post the longest losing run on record as a slowdown in China’s economy curbs demand growth in the largest buyer and worsens a global surplus. China lost 17 percent this quarter to $77.97 a dry metric ton, the lowest price since September 2009, according to data from Metal Bulletin Ltd. That follows a 19 percent drop between April and June and 13 percent retreat in the first three months. The steel-making ingredient is headed for the longest stretch of quarterly losses since the data series began in 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Be a Fat Cat. Use the Caymans for Your Commodity ETF

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When an investment area is pronounced dead, it often triggers a blinding rally. Past “dead” investments that went on to rule the leader boards include Japan, solar energy and most recently, long-dated U.S. Treasury bonds.
The latest area where funeral arrangements are being made is commodities. A supply glut, lack of inflation and generally good stock market has commodities out of favor. Some $7.7 billion has flowed out of commodity ETFs in the past 12 months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Inflation-Hedge ETFs Struggle as Commodity Prices Drop

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Traditional inflation-hedging assets and related exchange traded funds are losing ground as the longest commodity decline in over two decades helped keep a lid on consumer prices. For instance, inflation hedging tools such as Treasury Inflation Protected securities have underperformed traditional government debt assets.
The iShares TIPS Bond ETF, which has a 7.64 year duration, declined 1.3% over the past three months while the iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF, which has a 7.64 year duration, gained 0.7%. Additionally, gold, another inflation-hedging tool, has also been under pressure, with the SPDR Gold Shares down 7.6% over the past three months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETFs trump shares and physical metal

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Since the dawn of trade, investors have run for the safety of precious metals, in particular gold, during times of crisis and uncertainty. Renewed appetite for precious metals has coincided with perhaps the most democratising revolution in asset management since mutual funds were introduced: exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
ETFs have been incredibly successful in most asset classes, but arguably the most success has been in commodities, notably physical gold ETFs. Equity ETFs in mining stocks have been very popular as well. Assets under management in gold ETFs peaked at more than $150bn in 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ICE Europe Takes Over Liffe Commodities After 18 Years

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) eliminated the Liffe name and incorporated cocoa, robusta coffee, white sugar and feed wheat futures and options into ICE Futures Europe, owner of the Brent crude contract.
ICE, based in Atlanta, has the dominant position in the softs markets, also owning ICE Futures U.S. in New York where arabica coffee, cocoa and raw sugar trade. ICE Futures Europe now has the biggest share of the cocoa market with 259,410 futures outstanding today compared with 209,687 contracts on ICE Futures U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. ICE’s Brent oil futures have 1.4 million contracts outstanding………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CIC to Cut Stake in Singapore Commodity Trader Noble Group

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign-wealth fund China Investment Corp. is seeking to raise up to 405 million Singapore dollars (US$318 million) by selling a portion of its stake in Singapore-listed commodity trader Noble Group, people with knowledge of the deal said Monday.
CIC, which currently owns close to a 15% stake in Noble Group, will see its holding fall to about 10% post sale, one of the people said. China’s sovereign-wealth fund had spent US$850 million in 2009 to buy a stake in the Hong Kong-based Noble Group, a diversified commodities company with assets ranging from Brazilian sugar mills to Australian iron ore to oilseed-processing facilities in China and India………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brazil’s real currency sinks to weakest level since late 2008

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Brazilian real sank over 2 percent early on Monday to its weakest level in nearly six years as investors grew jittery over growing re-election chances for President Dilma Rousseff, who they blame for driving the economy into a recession.
The real plunged 2.2 percent in early trade to 2.4685 per dollar, its weakest level since late 2008, after the latest Datafolha survey released after markets closed on Friday showed Rousseff gaining on her main opponent, environmentalist Marina Silva………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Venezuela’s Currency Hits New Low

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Venezuela has hit a new, dubious milestone in its slow-motion economic decline: Its largest banknote, the 100-bolívar bill, is worth just one U.S. dollar, at least on the country’s black market.
On Monday, the bolívar held at 100.68 per dollar, unchanged from Friday when it breached the 100 level for the first time, according to DolarToday.com, a significant decline from just 17 per dollar at the start of 2013. DolarToday.com tracks the South American nation’s vibrant currency black market, where many Venezuelans go to get greenbacks and which businesses use as a pricing reference………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s renminbi could soon joint select group of currencies

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The stage is set for the Chinese renminbi to develop further as a world currency by entering the special drawing right, the International Monetary Fund’s composite currency unit used in official financial transactions and reserves.
No decision has been made. But measures already taken by the Chinese authorities to internationalize its currency, and a big increase in financial market interest in China, are pointing towards a broadening of the SDR’s composition from January 2016. This is in spite of the renminbi’s formal inconvertibility, reflecting Beijing’s restrictions on capital-account transactions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bumper Crops Continue To Drive Ag Commodities Lower

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It was another week of falling prices for soft commodities, as oversupply issues continue to dominate across all the major markets. This is clearly evident from the weekly charts. As the largest exporter, it is the US which sets the price for world markets, with the US Midwest corn belt set to produce a record harvest for a second year. soybeans too are expected to generate the largest crop ever on record.
This picture of bumper harvests is also mirrored in Canada, and even events in the Ukraine and Russia have had little impact on prices. China too, is increasingly adding storage facilities to cope with its own booming harvest and imports, with corn and rice now in plentiful supply………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World needs ‘paradigm shift’ towards sustainable agriculture, UN agency urges

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In order to move towards more sustainable agriculture, a broader approach is needed to overhaul the world’s food system, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today, as he pressed for a global reduction in the quantity of chemicals and water in contemporary agriculture.
Speaking at the opening of the 24th session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) in Rome, Director-General José Graziano da Silva called for a “paradigm shift” in global attitudes on agriculture, adding that only by decreasing the amounts of “inputs,” such as water and chemicals, could the sector move towards a more sustainable and productive long-term path………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How Much of World’s Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Come From Agriculture?

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agriculture might seem green by definition, but farming accounts for a lot of greenhouse-gas emissions when the entire food production system is taken into account. Typically, estimates of greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture are around 11%-15% of global emissions.
Estimates discussed earlier this week at the United Nations Climate Summit put that number closer to 50%. This is an important calculation as climate change issues come to the fore, with record greenhouse-gas emissions and international negotiations to halt that rise………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Beijing says emissions fell during first year of carbon trading

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Carbon dioxide emissions from Beijing’s major polluters fell 4.5 percent in 2013 as a nascent emissions trading scheme cut compliance costs for firms, the Chinese capital’s municipal government said on Monday.
Beijing is one of seven cities and provinces in China that have launched pilot emissions trading schemes ahead of a national market to be launched in the world’s biggest-emitting nation in 2016. The Beijing market began in November, but with caps on CO2 emissions for participating companies backdated to the beginning of the year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Teething troubles

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China is poised to launch a national carbon trading market – potentially the largest one in the world - but if its seven regional pilot projects are anything to go by, there is still much to be done.
As the world’s leading carbon emitter, China looms large in the climate change debate. So when a senior government official said in September that China plans to roll out a national carbon market in 2016, it raised hopes that the country is stepping up its efforts to rein in emissions. Although a move in the right direction, China’s early experiences with carbon trading show it has a long way to go………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is the EU’s carbon market safe from fraud?

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Four British men were jailed for their role in a multi-million euro carbon market crime syndicate last week, raising the spectre of security concerns over the future of emissions trading. But could such widespread theft happen again?
The National Crime Agency confirmed on Wednesday that Hanif Patel, 53, Ruman Patel, 32, Mohammed Patel, 52, and Ayyub Ibrahim, 60, were jailed for a total of nearly 19 years for their part in a crime ring that stole 500,000 EU carbon allowances from the Czech emissions registry, which at the time were worth €7m (£5m)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shale, Saudi Arabia and Islamic State Leave Oil Bulls Sweating

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There was a time when headlines about jets bombing Middle Eastern refineries would have sent oil prices soaring. Granted, Islamic State’s facilities aren’t exactly world class. But it is telling that such violence is doing little to lift the price of crude. Brent is down 13% this year and looks set to post its weakest yearly average price since 2010, before the Arab Spring really got going.
The big culprit for this disconnect is shale. U.S.-led growth in oil output from the industrialized world since the start of 2011 offsets supply disruptions in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to Citigroup………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The worrying slide in oil prices and demand

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the price slide has slowed and some crude oils witnessed a rise due to a sudden and unexpected stock drawdown in the US, analysts still see the price direction as headed downward. The price of Brent oil rose to $97 (Dh356) a barrel on September 25 while the Opec basket of crude oils declined slightly to $94.25 a barrel. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) now expects oil prices to stay below $100 a barrel until the end of the decade.
The signals that Opec may reduce its production ceiling by 0.5 million barrels a day (mbd) at the next ministerial meeting in November may not be enough to stabilise the market, especially if further declines are seen from now up to the date of the C meeting. If Opec is serious about price maintenance at some level — and thereby arrest further price erosion — it would be a good idea to start now to seek co-operation from other producers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iran Urges OPEC To Stop Oil Slide, Gulf Members Relaxed

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iran on Friday urged OPEC members to make joint efforts to keep oil prices from falling further, highlighting a split with other members such as Saudi Arabia who face lower budget pressures despite a slide in prices towards $95 a barrel. Oil has fallen from $115 in June, pressured by concern about slowing global demand and higher supplies as Libyan output recovers, raising concern among some oil exporters of lower revenues.
“Considering the downward trend in prices, OPEC members should try to temper production to avoid further price instability”, Iran’s oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, was quoted by the Iranian oil ministry website Shana as saying………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Peak-Oil Predictions Haven’t Come True

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Have we beaten “peak oil”? For decades, it has been a doomsday scenario looming large in the popular imagination: The world’s oil production tops out and then starts an inexorable decline—sending costs soaring and forcing nations to lay down strict rationing programs and battle for shrinking reserves.
U.S. oil production did peak in the 1970s and sank for decades after, exactly as the theory predicted. But then it did something the theory didn’t predict: It started rising again in 2009, and hasn’t stopped, thanks to a leap forward in oil-field technology………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China spurns gold, adding to price woes

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The slump in the gold price that has occurred in recent months shows no signs of letting up, and the latest import data from China will not give any joy to gold bugs. As gold closed at $1,219.40 in New York on Friday, a report out the same day by Commerzbank stated that Chinese gold imports will “fall well short” of last year. Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department shows China imported only 27.5 net metric tons in August.
“This puts net imports only slightly above the previous month’s low level, which constituted the lowest figure since June 2011,” Commerzbank said. The bank notes that net gold imports from Hong Kong are down by a third from the corresponding period last year, to 497 tons. August was the sixth straight month that Chinese gold imports have fallen………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Worst isn’t over yet for gold, says Goldman Sachs

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold has erased almost all of this year’s gains and looks set for its first quarterly decline in 2014. According to Jeffrey Currie, Head-Commodoties Research Team at Goldman Sachs, the worst is not yet over for gold . The yellow metal is likely to slide down further.
According to Jeffrey, gold had taken much of its support from the political deadlock in Ukraine and geo-political tensions in the Middle East. Having those concerns seems to have faded at least for the time being, gold prices are likely to collapse further. The strengthening US economy has spiked a rally in dollar and stock markets. The S&P 500 index has surged to record highs during this month. Goldman Sachs sees lucid exodus of wealth from gold to other risky assets going forward………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will gold fall off the $1200 precipice?

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As I write the gold price is sitting at around US$1225, but it fell at one time yesterday to around US$1206 and it may not take much to drive it down below the key US$1200 psychological support level. If it breaches this level the price could well fall sharply further with computer based stop loss sales coming in strongly. The fall could then become something of a rout.
And with gold bears like Jeffrey Currie at Goldman Sachs getting in there keen to generate further downwards momentum so his end- year US$1050 gold price might actually come about, then who’s to say it won’t freefall to US$1100 or below………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Platinum Prices Skid on Car-Demand Worries

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platinum prices have fallen to the lowest in almost five years, as slowing growth outside of the U.S. has aroused concerns about demand for the precious metal. It has been a bumpy year for platinum, used in jewelry and automobile exhaust filters. A five-month-long strike in South Africa, the longest ever for the nation’s platinum miners, curbed supplies earlier this year and sent prices to a near 10-month high in July.
But the end of the strike, and lackluster economic performance in Europe and Japan, have brought platinum prices down 14% from their July peak of $1,517 a troy ounce. On Friday, platinum for October delivery, the most actively traded contract, shed 0.9%, or $12.20, to end at $1,302 an ounce. That is a level not seen since Oct. 5, 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Driven by demand gold imports likely to double this October

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

India’s gold imports are likely to double in October, driven by demand from consumers who purchase jewellery during the festival season. But investment demand, usually in the form of coins and bars, is likely to be less this year, which in turn may reduce the volume of gold entering the country through illegal routes, say industry executives.
The bullion industry pegs gold imports at 80 tonnes next month. “Last year during October, we had imported around 35-40 tonnes of gold. Gold availability was under pressure due to the 80:20 rule,” Prithviraj Kothari, vice-president of the Indian Bullion & Jewellery Association, told ET………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Precious metals fall

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Platinum has fallen to a near-five-year low and gold ended at its weakest price so far in 2014, hit by the combination of a rising US dollar and concerns about global demand. The greenback gained ahead of data next week that include gauges the Federal Reserve will be watching, such as monthly employment numbers. At the same time, worries that slow growth in Europe, China and Japan would curb demand for cars hit platinum prices. Platinum and its sister metal, palladium, are key components in car exhaust filters.
Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, fell 0.5 per cent to $US1,215.40 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, its lowest close since December 31, 2013……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Time to buy uranium? The best ways to play it

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Patience could finally start to pay off for investors waiting for a revival of the uranium market that imploded in the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear disaster in 2011. After the spot price hit a nine-year low of $28 (U.S.) this spring on oversupply concerns, dragging uranium equities down with it, many investors believe the commodity used to fuel nuclear power plants has finally hit bottom, as the demand picture brightens.
The price has risen about 30 per cent in recent weeks, to $36.50, driven by additional U.S. and European sanctions against Russia, a major uranium supplier, in its conflict with Ukraine. That threatens to put pressure on the global uranium supply, alongside a recent two-week strike at Cameco Corp.’s McArthur River and Key Lake operations in Saskatchewan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Overwhelmed by the number of ETFs? Here’s how to handle it

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The top challenge for people looking to invest in ETFs? It could be this simple: there are just too many of them. “My biggest concern centers around just product proliferation,” said Ben Johnson, Morningstar’s director of manager research for passive strategies, at a panel discussion last week at the Morningstar ETF Conference in Chicago.
“There’s a risk — when the menu expands and expands and expands — just for confusion. We forget why it is we’re here to begin with.” U.S. investors have gone from having just one of these low-cost, index-tracking funds to choose from in early 1993 to more than 1,600 today. Along the way, the number of U.S. exchange-traded funds topped 100 in 2001, then surpassed 1,000 in 2010. Over the past decade, the number of ETFs has increased by 27% a year on average………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Inflows on the rise for US dollar ETF

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A growing number of investors are looking to capitalise on a potential further decline in the Australian dollar with trading data from BetaShares, a leading exchange traded fund (ETF) provider, showing significant inflows into its US Dollar ETF in September.
With the Australian dollar hitting seven month lows against the US dollar, BetaShares has seen approximately $30 million of net inflows into the BetaShares US Dollar ETF (ASX code “USD”) since the start of September. The fund is designed to provide exposure to the performance of the US dollar relative to the Australian dollar, meaning the value of the fund will go up as the US dollar appreciates, and vice versa. The fund now has over $200 million in assets under management………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity ETFs Sail Choppy Seas This Year

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

This was supposed to be the year when commodities, from agriculture to energy to metals, were going to outshine equities thanks to tight supplies and a favorable economic outlook. Instead, most commodity markets have plummeted year-to-date, with some now hovering at four-year-lows, while the U.S. equity market has forged new highs.
There are several explanations for what happened. Some say the supply shocks that marked the beginning of the year met enormously benign growing-season weather across much of the U.S. this summer. Markets such as grains and livestock have been hugely pressured by abundance at a time when global demand is relatively uncertain………………………………………..Full Article: Source

High supplies, fading demand and Ebola fears hit commodities

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The broad-based BBG Commodity Index, which tracks the performance of 22 major commodities, reached a new five-year low before trading close to unchanged on the week. Performances across individual sectors are very mixed, with gains in energy and soft commodities offset by losses in industrial metals and grains.
Stock market weakness, falling bond yields and the strong dollar (which continues to reach new heights) were some of the overall drivers, with geopolitical worries holding steady on the horizon………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Venezuela’s Bolívar Currency Hits Record Low on Black Market

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The plummeting Venezuelan currency breached a new, symbolic low of 100 bolívares per dollar on the black market Friday, according to market-tracking websites, in a sign of the worsening greenback shortage faced by President Nicolás Maduro’s government.
Economists say the bolívar is collapsing as Venezuelans clamor for dollars to protect themselves from an inflation rate topping 60%. But the government, which tightly restricts access to dollars, has cut the supply this year, prompting the value of the bolívar to plunge in unofficial street transactions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China Embraces Carbon Pricing and UN Takes a Shine to Plan

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Millions of visitors and residents could hardly miss the message projected on the side of the world famous United Nations building in New York this week: “Put a price on carbon.”
At the UN’s Climate Summit this week a diverse group of global leaders, from World Bank president Jim Yong Kim to California Governor Jerry Brown, spoke of the need for polluters to pay for each ton of carbon they emit. More than 1,000 companies pledged their support for the effort………………………………………..Full Article: Source

South Korea to test carbon trading market ahead of launch

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

South Korea’s securities exchange says it will test the country’s new emission trading market next ahead of its planned 2015 launch. The Korean Exchange (KRX), the country’s only securities bourse, landed the rights to manage the platform last year after an agreement with the Ministry of Environment.
Set to become the world’s second largest carbon trading market, the scheme will cap greenhouse gas emissions from over 400 of South Korea’s biggest emitters, mainly power generators and manufacturers. Firms will be given free permits by the government based on their historical emission levels, but must buy more in the market if their emissions exceed allocated levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Falling commodity prices flash warning on widening global divergences

Posted on 26 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global gloom-mongers have something new to worry about – falling commodity prices. The closely watched Bloomberg Commodity index, which tracks 20 commodity prices, has dropped this week to a fresh four-year low.
Tumbling prices for metals, oil and agricultural products fit with a narrative of a slowing China and of growth spluttering in advanced economies, despite exceptional levels of central bank support. It is hard, however, to find anyone in equity, bond or currency markets getting seriously concerned – yet. If anything, the opposite is the case………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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