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Commodities Briefing 15.Apr 2009

Posted on 15 April 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Investorsoffshore.com: Investors are at their most optimistic about the global economy since December 2005, according to the Merrill Lynch Survey of Fund Managers for March. However, the prolonged banking crisis seems to be stopping them from putting cash into equities.

For the first time in more than three years, investors do not predict lower global economic growth over the next 12 months. Renewed optimism about China’s economy lies at the heart of this revival. Just two months ago, a net 70% of respondents thought China’s economy would worsen in the year ahead. That figure fell to a net 1% this month……Full Article: Source

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From Reuters: Goldman Sachs Group Inc said its daily risk in commodities grew just 5 percent in the first quarter while earnings from the sector, combined with fixed income and credit, hit record highs.

Goldman’s revenues from fixed income, commodities, credit and currencies (FICC) for the quarter ended March 27 surpassed previous records set in the third quarter to Aug. 29, Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said on Tuesday……Full Article: Source

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From Forexpros.com: Treasury notes rose on Tuesday as traders made the move from riskier assets into bonds, following the path of least resistance on the day by moving note values higher and yields lower.

The markets ignored the question of why 0.9% was enough interest to earn to hold notes, especially if equities were unable to move higher……Full Article: Source

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From Businessweek.com: A top adviser to President Barack Obama said Monday that Congress needs to pass a sweeping energy bill to spur the development of renewable energy while curbing the emissions that contribute to global warming.

Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, said the country needs the legislation to help “re-establish the United States as a leader” in clean energy production and fighting climate change……Full Article: Source

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From AP: Wholesale prices dropped sharply last month as the cost of gasoline and other energy plummeted, fresh evidence that inflation appears to pose little threat to the economy.

The Labor Department said Tuesday the Producer Price Index, which measures price changes before they reach consumers, fell by 1.2 percent in March, compared to analysts’ expectations of no change. The PPI increased 0.1 percent in February……Full Article: Source

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From Forbes.com: An unexpectedly sharp drop in March U.S. retail sales scuttled some commodity investors’ improved economic outlook, pulling copper down from 6-month peaks and undermining oil’s attempt to surpass $50 a barrel.

U.S. retail sales fell a surprising 1.1 percent in March, snapping two months of increases, as purchases of motor vehicles and many other items tumbled……Full Article: Source

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From Thenational.ae: The slide in global oil demand may be slowing, setting the stage for a recovery to start later this year, according to a US government forecast.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted yesterday in its latest short-term energy outlook that world oil consumption this year would fall by 1.35 million barrels per day (bpd). This is slightly less than the 1.4 million bpd drop it predicted last month……Full Article: Source

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From Zawya.com: Oil prices will rebound sharply after the global economy recovers because of an expected supply shortage arising from low investment in the hydrocarbon sector, according to a prominent British research group.

The Edinburg-based Wood Mackenzie, one of the world’s leading research and consultancy companies, said the 12-nation Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries reacted wisely to the sharp slackening in world crude demand as a result of the global financial crisis……Full Article: Source

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From Mns.co.uk: The price of crude oil has significantly declined following a prediction from the International Energy Agency that the global downturn will reduce demand for oil this year. On Friday, the agency said that the demand for oil around the world will decline 2.4 million barrels per day. This will bring figures down to only 83.4 million barrels.

Light crude oil in the US declined to $48.98 per barrel, a $3.26 fall. Brent oil in London fell to $51.04, by $3.02. Since the record high $147 per barrel price for oil during last July, the prices have declined……Full Article: Source

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From Macaudailytimesnews.com: OPEC may cut oil production again if global demand for crude continues to fall in the near future, Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Iran’s representative in the group, said yesterday.
“If demand continues to fall until the next meeting of OPEC, a further output cut is possible,” Khatibi was quoted as saying by Iranian daily Hamshahri. The next meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is on May 28……Full Article: Source

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From FT: Spot oil prices, now just above $50 a barrel, usually attract all the attention. Recently, however, the price movements in some far forward contracts have been more dramatic, with prices hovering at a five-month high of about $80 a barrel.
Take the West Texas Intermediate contract for delivery in December 2015, a relatively liquid future used as a proxy for long-term prices, which closed last week at $79.8 a barrel, the same level as 18 months ago. Spot prices, meanwhile, are at levels of four years ago……Full Article: Source

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From Edie.net: Irish companies managed to cut their greenhouse gas discharges between 2007 and 2008, according to figures supplied to the European Commission (EC) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The statistics mark a continuation of the year-on-year progress that has taken place since the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) commenced in 2005……Full Article: Source

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From Csmonitor.com: One of the newest parlor games in Washington is figuring out who will get a slice of more than a hundred billion dollars’ worth of carbon credits contained in energy and climate-change legislation emerging in Congress.

That game sloshed into Boston Monday afternoon with Obama energy czar Carol Browner, presidential science adviser John Holdren, and US Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., coauthor of new energy-climate legislation, telling a packed auditorium of MIT students, faculty, and business executives that their efforts were critical to solving the major problem facing the world: climate change……Full Article: Source

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From Theaureport.com: For companies with $2 million to $200 million in the bank the magic bullet to riches is perceived to be the acquisition of that one gold property or company that everyone else has missed.
It’s a simple and easy to understand business plan that doesn’t take a genius to grasp – find it and buy it cheap while no one else is looking. I am personally aware of more than a dozen management teams pursuing this model and there are probably another 50 companies that fall into this category……Full Article: Source

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From Mineweb.com: Intentions to mine in Canada and Venezuela are two very different propositions. If that were not enough to explain the apparent Terrane anomaly, consider that just last month Terrane announced receipt from the province of British Columbia an environmental assessment certificate for its Mt. Milligan copper-gold project.
Terrane now looks forward to “successfully completing the federal EA process and building British Columbia’s next major metal mine”……Full Article: Source

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From Fundstrategy.co.uk: ETF Securities, the exchange-traded funds provider, says that its precious metals exchange-traded commodities (ETCs) surged by 400% in the first quarter of this year, breaking the company’s previous records. Precious metal prices rose in tandem with increased interest from investors.

Physical metal ETCs proved especially popular. They are backed 100% by allocated metal in a vault, avoiding bank credit risk and providing liquidity, easy access and no risk of shortages, says the firm. They are also sharia-compliant……Full Article: Source

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From Mineweb.com: Gold bullion prices may have perked up over the past few days, but investors have continued a broad sell off of listed gold and silver stocks, in place for two weeks now, mainly to the benefit of specialist miners of copper, zinc and nickel.

On Tuesday, copper prices made an assault on USD 2.20/lb before profit taking took the price lower, but these levels are way above multi-year lows of USD 1.28/lb, seen in December, and more than half the record highs of USD 4.08/lb seen in mid-2008. Other base metals have also moved broadly higher in the past few months, even aluminium, which remains the most problematic industrial metal on the supply-demand front……Full Article: Source

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From Yourmetalnews.com: LME three month copper forward prices closed above $4500 per tonne on Thursday’s trade after the surge in equity market. Despite copper demand has slowed in the major consuming nations like the USA, Japan and EU-15, China has been a consistent buyer in the market.
In recent months, China has resumed stockpiling base metals to meet its infrastructure demand, giving a boost to prices globally……Full Article: Source

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From Learningmarkets.com: Stock investors no longer have an excuse not to diversify into commodities. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have made it far too simple to gain exposure to the exciting commodities market to pass up the opportunity.

Of course, when you are looking to gain exposure to commodities in your portfolio through ETFs, you have two choices: you can invest in the commodities themselves or you can invest in companies that deal with commodities……Full Article: Source

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From Hindustantimes.com: Mutual fund houses are rushing to cash in on the opportunity offered by rising gold prices and investor interest. While Kotak Mutual Fund is launching its second gold related scheme, Sundaram BNP Paribas AMC and SBI Funds Management are looking to add gold fund products to their kitty.

SBI launched its ETF late last month and Sundaram plans to launch its offering after June as the elections would be over by then and there would be no volatility realting to it, said TP Raman, managing director, Sundaram BNP Paribas AMC……Full Article: Source

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From Fundstrategy.co.uk: Today’s regime, which developed piecemeal, was created for a world that barely resembled the financial environment we inhabit.
It makes sense to step away and revisit the regulatory bodies. Many of the agencies that still oversee banks and investment firms date back in history……Full Article: Source

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From Menafn.com: Three major petrochemical and plastics producers in Southeast Asia have set up their Middle East hub at the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre , or DMCC, free zone complex. The newly DMCC-registered members operating at the free zone are PTT Polymer Marketing DMCC, Titan DMCC and SCG Plastics Company Ltd.

The establishment of these companies’ Middle East base not only assures them of steady supply of raw materials, but also reinforces Dubai’s growing importance as a hub for energy and petrochemical companies……Full Article: Source

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From Bloomberg: Singapore’s dollar rose to a two- month high after the central bank said it sees no reason for “any undue weakening” of the local currency, signaling it doesn’t plan to add to a devaluation announced today.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, following a twice- yearly policy review, today lowered the trading band in which the local currency is managed and said it doesn’t plan to seek further depreciation as the economy is “sound.” Gross domestic product fell an annualized 19.7 percent in the last quarter from the previous three months, more than double the 9.6 percent shrinkage forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists……Full Article: Source

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From Reuters: Sterling hit a five-week high against the euro and held gains versus the dollar on Tuesday as the pound was supported by higher regional share prices before more U.S. firms report earnings this week.

Strong first-quarter earnings from Goldman Sachs on Monday helped to boost global banking shares and in turn sterling, given the economy’s heavy dependence on the banking sector. A broadly weaker euro also pushed the currency higher against its European counterpart……Full Article: Source

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From FT: White sugar prices rallied to a seven-month high on Tuesday after India, the world’s greatest consumer, said it would allow tax-free imports of refined sugar to cover a large shortfall in its domestic production.

New Delhi said over the Easter break that it would allow tax-free imports of up to 1m tonnes of white – or refined – for the next four months, scrapping a 60 per cent duty. This year, India removed the import duty on raw – or unrefined – sugar……Full Article: Source

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From Indiatimes.com: Sugar prices may rise by 20% in the next five months, even though there is a marginal fall in March, as supply would be tight, a research report has said.

“We expect the price of sugar to rise by 20% by October 2009 despite it weakening by 4% in March,” a report by investment banker Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said, adding prices would remain firm till September 2011……Full Article: Source

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From Telegraph: Here’s a question that everyone wants an answer to at the moment: ‘Is China’s economy showing the first green shoots of recovery?’ The answer (as so often with economics) is that it very much depends who you talk to, and how far ahead you dare to look.

On one level this is a statement of the obvious, but it’s always worth remembering that economics is only in part a numerical science. Motive, interest and ideology all play a huge part in how you read the numbers……Full Article: Source

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From FT: Copper prices hit a near-six- month high on Tuesday as the base metals sector staged a broad advance amid mounting optimism that China’s economy was on course for a rapid recovery, helped by its government’s stimulus package.

Copper rose 2.4 per cent to $4,670 a tonne after spiking to $4,925 a tonne in Asian dealing hours……Full Article: Source

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