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Commodities Briefing - Archive | October, 2014

Commodities and the End of QE

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As boring as it sounds, I’m going to talk a bit about the end of QE today. Because it’s very important to how markets are going to behave over the next few months. As you probably know, overnight the US Federal Reserve voted to end its policy of quantitative easing. But it will still be reinvesting the interest payments from its $4 trillion plus portfolio and rolling over any maturing treasury securities, so it’s balance sheet will continue to grow, albeit much more slowly.
On the surface, US markets didn’t seem too fussed about the end of an era. Shares sold off around the time of the Fed’s statement and then rallied towards the close. Probably a case of ‘algo’s going wild’ as automated high frequency traders tried to make sense of the Fed’s statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity price plunge may benefit China’s slowing economy

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Price slumps in the global commodity market will likely mean good news for China after the country reported slowing growth for the third quarter. Continued weaker commodity prices led by crude oil are expected to save the country on enormous import bills, boost trade surplus and provide more leeway for Chinese policy makers to fine-tune the economy.
Crude prices started a downward streak in the beginning of July and have fallen considerably from their previous peak. Overnight on Monday, light, sweet crude for December delivery dipped below 80 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, tumbling from over 107 U.S. dollars on June 20. December Brent crude dropped to less than 86 U.S. dollars on the same day, around 25 percent lower than the peak four months ago………………………………………..Full Article: Source

It Looks Like $80 Oil Is Here to Stay

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The oil selloff appears to be permanent. Record-breaking increases in U.S. production, a resurgent Libya, and Saudi Arabia lowering its prices in a bid to keep its share of Asian customers—all of it has combined to knock oil prices down 25 percent since June, and there might be more room to fall.
A “structural transition has been reached,” analysts at Goldman Sachs (GS) wrote this week, and the ability to determine oil prices has shifted from OPEC to the U.S. The report, entitled “The New Oil Order,” argues that it’s time for American oil producers to slow down in the face of weak demand growth around the world and the quick pace of change………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil-Price Drop Has Saudi Officials Divided

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While international oil prices have plunged this month, Saudi Arabia’s normally talkative oil minister Ali al-Naimi has been on vacation.
Mr. al-Naimi’s absence from the fray—people familiar with his agenda say he was on vacation from the end of September and only returned to his office in recent days—is one symptom of the unusually high level of dissent within the secretive kingdom that has left it uncertain over how to respond to oil’s downturn………………………………………..Full Article: Source

These countries are getting killed by cheap oil

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil is selling for roughly $83 a barrel on the global market. That’s bad news for Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, among others. They need the black stuff to trade at far loftier levels in order to balance their budgets.
Iran’s budget, for example, is built on oil at $135 dollars per barrel, according to data from Deutsche Bank and Thomson Reuters compiled by DoubleLine Capital. Russia has oil budgeted at $100, while Saudi Arabia will break even at $95 per barrel……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oil price slide will lead to hiatus in M&A-bankers

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The recent fall in oil prices will put a nascent recovery in oil sector mergers and acquisitions on hold, senior bankers told an industry conference on Thursday.
Until around six to eight weeks ago, there was a sense that the market was recovering and a pickup in deal-making activity, Michael O’Dwyer, co-head of EMEA natural resources at Morgan Stanley, told the Oil and Money conference………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC Oil Output Rises in October as Prices Tumble: Survey

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC crude production rose to a 14-month high in October as oil futures sank into a bear market, a Bloomberg survey showed. Production by the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries climbed by 53,000 barrels a day to 30.974 million, led by gains in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Libya, according to the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts.
Last month’s total was revised 14,000 barrels a day lower to 30.921 million because of changes to the Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Nigerian and Qatari estimates………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC chief sees no big change on oil output in 2015

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is unlikely to change much on its output next year, and there is “no need to panic” at the price drop, said the OPEC’s secretary general Abdalla El-Badri Wednesday in London.Badri said:” I don’t think 2015 will be far away from 2014 in terms of production. There is nothing wrong with the market.”
OPEC’s expected production level is 30 million barrels per day (bpd) this year. “If prices stay at 85 U.S. dollars, we will see a lot of investment, a lot of oil, going out of the market, about 65 percent of the producers, they have high costs. Not OPEC,” he told the conference………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold price ignores Swiss vote on higher dollar

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For gold investors it is an eye-opening prospect: if the Swiss vote Yes in a referendum next month, their central bank could be forced to buy gold equivalent to just over half the world’s annual mine supply, according to one analysis.
Yet the gold price has slipped; it fell to a three-week low on Thursday. Holdings in exchange-traded funds backed by physical gold have also continued to slide………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldcorp CEO Jeannes Sees Gold Price Floor Around $1,200

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold won’t dip much below $1,200 an ounce as Asian buyers help create a price floor, according to the biggest producer of the precious metal by market value.
Gold will probably trade in a range of about $1,200 to $1,400 in the next six to 12 months, Goldcorp Inc. (G) Chief Executive Officer Chuck Jeannes said in a phone interview today. While continuing uncertainty about U.S. monetary policy will keep financial investors hesitant, physical demand will support prices, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Credit Agricole Looks For Gold To Stabilize In 4Q, Soften In 2015

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Credit Agricole sees gold stabilizing in the fourth quarter on “conflicting” influences but then soften in 2015. There is potential for long-term exchange-traded-fund investment to be further reduced, which could weigh on gold in dollar terms. “In the absence of a more persistent financial scare — not in our forecasts — this moderation in longer-term investor demand should continue,” the bank said.
However, potentially offsetting this is speculation about increased reserve demand from the Swiss National Bank, which could lead to increased short-term positioning and thus a stable price into year-end, Credit Agricole said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Why are gold prices down again?

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The U.S. dollar was comforted by the Fed’s October statement, viewed by many as more hawkish than dovish. The broad implication in the minds of many traders is that the Fed is likely to raise interest rates sooner than was thought ahead of the meeting.
Before the meeting investors had assumed that, on account of a benign inflationary environment, the Fed might even make reference to continued or future policy accommodation in light of the financial meltdown during the first two weeks of October. Rather than dwelling on the short-lived asset price dip, the Fed instead focused on the broader, multi-year improvement in the labor market as it closed the book on QE………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Precious Metals Take a Beating on Fed Worries

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold prices slid to the lowest level in nearly a month on Thursday and other precious metals fell sharply, as hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve and strong U.S. economic data indicated the central bank could raise interest rates sooner than expected.
Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, closed down $26.30, or 2.2%, at $1,198.60 a troy ounce, on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the contract’s first settlement below $1,200 an ounce since Oct. 3. Silver fell to a 4½-year low, tracking gold lower………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Huh! Where did that copper market surplus go?: Andy Home

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“Who’s got all the copper?” was the headline question in my last column on the copper market at the end of September. The answer, according to the Wall Street Journal, is Red Kite, the specialist metals hedge fund set up by Michael Farmer, a man who was trading the copper market before many younger readers were born.
Well…maybe. But…maybe not. It’s always a bit tricky to say in the hall-of-mirrors that is the London Metal Exchange (LME). What is not in doubt is that someone has been exerting a vice-like grip on LME copper stocks for many, many weeks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Blow to asset managers in ETF arena

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The long-running war between the mutual fund industry and the burgeoning exchange traded fund sector appears to have reached a turning point. Asset managers who run mutual funds have watched with envy as ETFs have grown into a $2.6tn global asset class by offering investors cheaper products that trade like stocks but passively track indices or other baskets of securities.
Seeking their own slice of the rapidly growing ETF market, asset managers have for years been trying to create specialised versions of exchange-traded products………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How to Invest in ETF’s

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

ETF investment is commonly regarded as a favorite of investors because of their convenience, simplicity, and low cost – so, it is a favorite of new investors and seasoned experts alike. The acronym “ETF” refers to “exchange-traded fund,” an investment vehicle that can be comprised of stocks, commodities, or currencies. It can also be designed to track a particular market or market sector.
ETF investment is similar to financial instruments like mutual funds in that it offers the same benefit of diversification of funds – however, since the majority ETF investment funds do not involve active management, they usually incur lower operating expenses than other investment options………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bad Things are Happening to Silver ETFs

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There is plenty of attention being paid to gold’s slide below $1,200 per ounce and the yellow metals dangerous flirtation with the $1,180 an ounce level, which would represent a four-year low.
That also means silver is being taken to task. To this point in Thursday’s trading session, 20 exchange traded funds have touched new 52-week lows, three of which are physical silver funds. The motley crew is comprised of the iShares Silver Trust, ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) and the Sprott Physical Silver Trust……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Britain’s FTSE feel weight of commodity stocks after hawkish Fed

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Britain’s top share index edged lower on Thursday, under pressure from commodity stocks after the Federal Reserve struck a surprisingly hawkish tone in its outlook for U.S. interest rates.
The FTSE 100 gave away early gains to trade 0.2 percent lower at 6,442.51 at 0903 GMT, underperforming a 0.4 percent rise on the FTSEurofirst 300 and German DAX and a 0.7 percent rise on the CAC………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Argentina, China activate currency-swap deal

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The central banks of Argentina and China on Thursday activated a bilateral currency-swap agreement, with the South American country submitting a request for an initial tranche of yuan equivalent to $814 million.
The Central Bank of Argentina said in a statement that the People’s Bank of China authorized that first installment in keeping with an agreement signed in July by the two monetary authorities. “This instrument will help stabilize bilateral trade balances. At the same time, this Central Bank has authorized an equivalent amount in pesos in favor of the People’s Bank of China,” the statement added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Colombia to launch voluntary carbon credit trading

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Colombian environmental charity will launch a carbon trading platform in mid-2015 to companies at home and abroad seeking to voluntarily offset emissions, it said on Thursday, as projects in the Andean nation to cut greenhouse gases intensify.
The Andean nation, one of the world’s most biodiverse, has up to 17 million potentially reforestable hectares, an area larger than Greece, to generate carbon credits, said Fundacion Natura, the charity heading up the planting initiatives around the country………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emissions trading will be back in the game if Direct Action proves ineffective

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Greg Hunt vows emissions trading is dead and won’t be revived for 20 years or more. But he has quietly given himself the power to bring back a form of carbon trading, and he has advice that if he doesn’t use it, Australia cannot meet the climate promises it has made to the world.
The seeds of an emissions trading scheme are buried in the deal Hunt did with crossbench senators. And the power for them to bloom into a new form of carbon trading also rests with him. The catch is, if he doesn’t allow this to happen, Australia is very unlikely to meet its 2020 emissions reduction targets, and has almost no chance of meeting the deeper targets it will have to commit to after that………………………………………..Full Article: Source

No Need to Panic at Oil Price Drop: OPEC

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There is no need to panic at the recent drop in oil prices, the secretary general of OPEC said on Wednesday, saying low prices would curb competing supplies and require the group to pump far more by the end of the decade.
Abdullah al-Badri said output of higher-cost oil supplies such as shale would be curbed if oil remained at around $85 a barrel, while the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries enjoys lower costs and will see higher demand for its crude in the longer term………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC Chief Says Output Likely to Stay Unchanged Despite Price Fall

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC’s oil output is likely to remain around the same level next year as it has this, while the group is unlikely to cut the ceiling on its production at a meeting next month despite the recent sharp slide in global oil prices, its secretary-general said Wednesday. “I don’t think 2015 will be far away from 2014 in terms of production,” Abdalla Salem el-Badri told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference in London.
Mr. al-Badri’s comments will temper expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could seek to cut its oil output in response to oil price weakness at its next meeting in Vienna, Nov. 27………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC Says Shale Drillers First Affected by Oil-Price Drop

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Shale oil drillers will be hurt by the fall in crude prices before members of OPEC because their costs are higher, according to the group’s Secretary-General. As much as 50 percent of tight oil output will be “out of the market” at current prices, while the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is not in a critical situation, Abdalla El-Badri said at the Oil & Money conference in London.
“First of all, will be the tight oil” affected by the drop in prices, El-Badri said. “If prices stay at $85, we will see a lot of investment, a lot of projects, a lot of oil going out of the market.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Why OPEC’s losing its ability to set oil prices

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC ‘s glory days of steering global oil prices may be at an end. U.S. shale oil will replace the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as the first-mover “swing producer,” according to a Goldman Sachs report from the weekend-meaning OPEC is losing its power to set global prices for crude.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, no longer has “the ability to push prices lower than the production costs of U.S. shale” because any cuts from the kingdom would “accommodate the further expansion of U.S. shale, as well as reduce Saudi profits,” Goldman said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC unable to rebalance oil markets, price to be the leveller: PIRA Energy

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

NYC-based PIRA Energy Group believes that cyclical strengthening is currently underway in the global economy with the U.S. in a better position to support global growth. In the U.S., stock excess modestly widens. In Japan, crude runs ease, but crude stocks draw. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:
World oil market forecast. Cyclical strengthening is currently underway in the global economy with the U.S. in a better position to support global growth. OPEC cannot rebalance oil markets because the surplus is too large………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Energy Boom Can Withstand Steeper Oil-Price Drop

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil prices would need to fall at least another $20 a barrel to choke off the U.S. energy boom, industry experts say, though some smaller American producers would face serious problems from a more modest decline.
Small and midsize companies—not global giants—are behind the surge in U.S. oil output, which hit 8.97 million barrels a day earlier this month, according to federal statistics. Some of these drillers have taken on a lot of debt, which was easier to justify when oil was going for as much as $107 a barrel just four months ago………………………………………..Full Article: Source

PwC: US oil, gas transaction value hits 10-year high in 3Q

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Driven by a rise in billion-dollar deals, midstream activity, and interest in upstream shale plays from foreign buyers, mergers and acquisitions in the US oil and gas industry reached the highest levels in the past decade during the third quarter, according to a quarterly report from PwC US Energy Practice.
During the 3-month period ending Sept. 30, 78 oil and gas deals with values of more than $50 million took place, accounting for $123 billion in total value, compared with 43 deals worth just $16.4 billion in last year’s third quarter. That represents 649% growth in total deal value………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold price could benefit from Swiss vote

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Switzerland enjoys a rather more direct system of democracy than we do. If you want some kind of constitutional change, and you can find 100,000 people prepared to support your proposal with their signature, you can get a referendum called.
If the majority then vote in your favour, the matter is then referred to the 26 cantons – the administrative regions (similar to our counties) – and if the majority too vote yes, you’ll get the change you were agitating for. There’s a referendum coming up next month that could have huge ramifications for gold investors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold is up and defying expectations

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The World Gold Council has encouraged investors to consider gold as a valuable component in an investment portfolio. It comes as the council announced that the price of gold is up, amid record low volatility and against analysts’ forecasts, the World Gold Council has said.
In its six-page investment report, the body has shown that the gold price is up 3.4 per cent in the year-to-date, and has been above its 2013-end price for all but two days this year, defying predictions from analysts who had generally expected lower prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will the Swiss drive up gold prices?

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If you are invested in gold, you should mark November 30 in your diary. That Sunday could have an impact on your portfolio as Switzerland votes in a referendum on a partial return to the gold standard.
The Swiss have a habit of voting for policies that mainstream political parties would never touch. If opinion polls on the ‘Save our Swiss Gold’ campaign are to be believed, they might be doing it again next month. This would not have only have implications for the Swiss National Bank (SNB) – it could also drive up the gold price………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors Turning Their Gaze To Silver

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While silver prices have trended lower over the last three months, investor interest in the white metal has been tracking upwards, said an executive with the Silver Institute.
The Silver Institute released a report Oct. 22, produced by the CPM Group, stating that investors may increase their net silver purchases by as much as 1 billion additional ounces in various investment instruments over the next decade………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Southern Copper cuts view for 2015 copper output

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global miner Southern Copper said on Wednesday that it was revising down its forecast for its copper output next year by 9.8 percent to 758,000 tonnes.
“This number is still under review. We will have, I believe, a better plan when we start 2015,” said Chief Financial Officer Raul Jacob in a conference call with investors following the company’ release of third-quarter results. The company, controlled by Grupo Mexico, will likely produce 658,000 tonnes of copper this year and 912,000 tonnes in 2016, Jacob said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel miners soar as commodity price stages turnaround

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

ASX-listed nickel miners are soaring on the ASX today, as the commodity price stages a resurgence. Nickel prices had fallen more than 20% to below US$7 a pound, as stockpiles surged 45% to record levels, according to Bloomberg.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs is forecasting that China will cut its nickel pig iron output by around 70,000 tonnes a year, in an attempt to reduce pollution levels prior to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting that begins in Beijing on November 10………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. Bank: Any Macroeconomic Improvement Should Boost Base Metals

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Improvement in the global macroeconomic picture is likely to help base metals, particularly since there is some supply tightness, says U.S. Bank Wealth Management. The firm notes that improved economic news for China helped copper prices rebound 1% for the last week, returning prices above the key $3-per-pound level.
Nickel, meanwhile, lost more than 4%, with the metal retracing most of its year-to-date gains as stockpiles have risen in Asia despite the Indonesian export ban. “On balance, this left the industrial metals complex unchanged for the week,” the firm says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETF SEcurities backs commodities

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Advisers and their clients would be wise to capitalise on a “short-lived” downward correction in commodity prices, researchers at exchange-traded product provider ETF Securities have suggested.
In a 10-page report, ETF Securities Commodity ETP Weekly: Commodities back in favour as recent correction deemed excessive, Simona Gambarini, associate director for research, and Nicholas Brooks, head of research and investment strategy, stated: “While most commodity prices continued to lose ground last week, investors started to realise that prices cannot fall much further, prompting inflows into precious metals, West Texas Intermediate crude and agriculture………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors Continue to Abandon Gold ETFs

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

ETF Trends reported that investors continue to pull out of gold exchange-traded funds. They have done so for the last few weeks. As quoted in the market news: ‘Last week, assets in global ETPs fell 0.8 percent to 1,654.2 metric tons, the lowest since September 2009,’ report Debarati Roy and Nicholas Larkin for Bloomberg.
Even with the start of Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, which often leads to increased bullion demand in the world’s second-largest gold-consuming country, investors have not been warming to gold ETFs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETFs Are Required to Be Transparent? Not Always

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Transparency is often talked about as a hallmark of exchange-traded funds. Many investors are used to being able to look up the current holdings of their ETFs daily, generally on the fund firms’ websites.
And last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission said no dice to a proposal for actively managed ETFs that wouldn’t provide daily holdings disclosure. Without portfolio transparency or an adequate substitute, the SEC said, the funds can’t guarantee that shares will consistently trade at or close to the value of the underlying holdings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity Currencies Have BeenThrashed. Reversal In The Cards?

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Traders are poring through the history books, looking for anything that will explain the latest thrashings in the commodity markets. Shockwaves have pulled back from their recent fever pitch, and, as volatility subsided, a new level of stability has finally settled market tensions. But uncertainties remain.
An apparent bottom in commodity indices is forming, roughly 18% below previous high ranges, but the US dollar’s rise to prominence can only account for a third of the drop. The issue now, of course, is what will happen next?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China currency claims a bigger share of reserve manager portfolios

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Central banks from Asia to America are adding the Chinese currency to their portfolios as growing trade ties and a flurry of reforms by Beijing are leading reserve managers to view the renminbi as a viable reserve currency.
Acceptance of the Chinese currency among central banks and sovereign wealth funds which manage billions of dollars in assets is the ultimate objective for Beijing in its quest to make the renminbi globally recognised. “More than 50 central banks are already there, but the number that are thinking about going there is also in the tens,” Jukka Pihlman, managing director and global head, central banks and sovereign wealth funds at Standard Chartered Bank told Reuters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Currency Trading Skirts Turmoil as Volatility Drops

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Traders in the more than $5 trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market have largely sidestepped the rising volatility and turmoil that rocked stocks and bonds this month amid renewed concern the global economy is weakening.
A measure of volatility is poised for its biggest slide since April as price swings in U.S. Treasuries climb the most in a year. While turnover on CME Inc.’s currencies exchange jumped as much as 45 percent above its six-year average, liquidity has remained intact, with the spread between bids and offers below historical levels, JPMorgan Chase & Co. data show………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emissions trading scheme ‘never coming back in any form’ under Coalition, says Greg Hunt

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Environment Minister Greg Hunt says he commissioned a review into emissions trading, which he has vowed to never reintroduce, because the Climate Change Authority, which he failed to abolish, “might as well do work”. Mr Hunt declared on Wednesday emissions trading “is never coming back in any form”, potentially for the next two decades if the Coalition has its say.
A deal between the government and the Palmer United Party was struck late on Wednesday afternoon after protracted negotiations. Under the agreement, the government has backflipped on a promise to abolish the Climate Change Authority and will instead fund the body to undertake an 18-month inquiry into the effectiveness of emissions trading programs around the world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Experts: Reducing Carbon Emissions And Increasing Grid Reliability Are Doable

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With the Clean Power Plan out for comment, a lot utilities are scurrying to figure out their game plan — or just how they would work with their state utility regulators to reduce their carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, from a 2005 baseline. The general feeling is that the goal is doable but it may take a little more time.
Understandably, the utilities and the state regulators want to find better and cheaper ways of doing business. Their level of enthusiasm, though, differs based on which part of the country they live and which fuels they burn to make electricity. The Northeast and California are leading the charge, having created free market exchanges to buy and sell credits to reduce carbon levels — mechanisms that each say is helping to broaden their generation mixes and to boost their economies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Few commodities buck falling trend

Posted on 29 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Most everything we consume begins as a commodity, so when commodity prices go up, it transfers wealth and power from consumers to producers, but when commodity prices fall, it’s as close as it gets in economics to getting two meals for the price of one, or double coupons at your favorite grocery store. Such a moment appears to be happening now.
With few exceptions, most commodities have been falling over the past two months, with some falling rather quickly. Commodity prices are being pushed lower by an increased supply of most commodities, a slowing global economy, as well as a slowing China, the world’s largest consumer of most raw materials. Of the 69 commodities we follow weekly, only biofuels, cattle and sugar are in the positive over the past eight weeks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Energy groups left bruised as falling oil prices bite into profits

Posted on 29 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tumbling oil prices have hit the earnings of two big London-listed energy companies, in one of the first tangible signs of how the oil supply glut is reverberating across the global economy. FTSE 100 oil and gas producers BP and BG Group both reported a fall in third-quarter profits on Tuesday, in part due to the drop in the oil price over the period.
“This is prompting the whole sector to consider the implications of a sustained period of lower oil prices,” said Brian Gilvary, BP’s chief financial officer. BG’s interim executive chairman Andrew Gould said the company might be forced to delay future investments if the current price environment worsens………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Barclays Cuts Oil-Price Forecasts on World Supply Surplus

Posted on 29 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Barclays Plc cut its oil-price forecasts for the second time this month, citing expectations that OPEC won’t cut supplies sufficiently to remove a global surplus. The bank reduced its 2015 estimate for the average Brent price to $93 a barrel from $96, and for West Texas Intermediate to $85 from $89.
Still, oil has probably reached its lowest point for this year as the oversupply temporarily diminishes and “should recover modestly” during the rest of the quarter, the bank said. “OPEC supply-side adjustments are expected, but these are unlikely to be sufficient to overcome a lackluster demand picture in the first half of the year,” analysts Miswin Mahesh and Michael Cohen wrote in a report today………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why the Drop In Oil Prices Caught So Many By Surprise

Posted on 29 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It’s not just Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that got it wrong. Energy consultants and even the U.S. government didn’t foresee the sharp slide in oil prices, which have tumbled 25% since June.
Goldman shocked the market yesterday with a call for U.S. prices to fall to $70 a barrel in the second quarter of 2015. Barclays just released its second price update in three weeks, and other banks are releasing lower forecasts at least monthly. What did they miss?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Why Does Saudi Arabia Seem So Comfortable With Falling Oil Prices?

Posted on 29 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil prices continue to tumble: down about 25 percent since mid-June to a four-year low, and many analysts believe there is no end in sight. While that’s good for consumers and most businesses in the U.S., the falling price is bad for oil-exporting countries such as Russia, Venezuela, Iran and Iraq.
And blame — or credit — for the plummeting prices is falling squarely on Saudi Arabia. The kingdom, often called the “central banker of oil,” is still the key player in oil prices, says Rachel Bronson, author of Thicker Than Oil: America’s Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Crude at $80 a Barrel? No Sweat, Say Oil Producer CEOs

Posted on 29 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

U.S. energy companies are shrugging off a 24 percent plunge in oil prices, confident they can adapt and still make money. Amid predictions that the biggest drop in crude prices since the global financial crisis six years ago will choke off cash flow and slow drilling, industry leaders are reassuring investors they still have the means to return ample profits.
Improved technology is bringing down costs and most shale producers operate in multiple basins, allowing them to shift work to the most profitable sites………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC: Hobbit Or Orc?

Posted on 29 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The recent drop of $20 or so in oil prices from near all-time highs has pundits racing for their typewriters. Okay, laptops or something. Many have declared OPEC dead or ineffective, and one academic has noted that OPEC almost always produces over quota, proving it’s not a competent cartel.
Needless to say, aged methane emissions like me tend to sigh in our beards when we read this. OPEC has been declared dead more times than Mark Twain or the Boston Red Sox (next year for sure!) and yet it continues to hold meetings and set production quotas, as if thousands of pundits aren’t shoveling dirt on their coffin………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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