Monday, 30 November 2015

China manufacturing PMI 49.6 vs. 49.8 forecast


Category: Economic Indicators


Manufacturing activity in China fell unexpectedly last month, official data showed on Tuesday.In a report, China Logistics Information Center said that Chinese Manufacturing PMI fell to an annual rate of 49.6, from 49.8 in the preceding month.Analysts had expected Chinese Manufacturing PMI to remain unchanged at 49.8 l

Forex - Aussie gains on China PMI, RBA rate review ahead


Category: Forex


The Aussie gained in a busy data day in Asia on Tuesday underpinned by manufacturing data regionally and in particular China.Ahead the Reserve Bank of Australia reports its latest decision on interest rates with a steady 2% seen.AUD/USD traded at 0.7258, up 0.45%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 123.18, up 0.06%.The China official manufacturing PMI for November fell to 49.6, compared to 49.8 seen and the same level the previous month, while the Caixin manufacturing PMI rose to 48.6, compared to 48.3 expected and the same level for the previous month.In Japan, capital spending jumped 11.2%, compared to a 2.3% gain seen in the third quarter year-on-yearIn Australia, the AIG manufacturing index for November reached 52.5, a jump from 50.2 last month. As well, official data showed building approvals up 3.9%, compared to a 2.3% decline seen, while the current account deficit widened to A$18.1 billion, compared to a deficit of A$16.5 billion expected. Private house approvals in Australia fell 2.1%.The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.08% to 100.18.Overnight, the dollar remained broadly supported at eight-month highs against the other major currencies on Monday, after the release of mixed U.S. data as mounting hopes for a December rate hike by the Federal Reserve continued to support.

NYMEX crude gains in Asia after regional PMIs, API estimates ahead


Category: Commodities


Crude prices gained in Asia on Tuesday, underlain by mixed manufacturing data regionally and in particular China.On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for January delivery rose 0.42% to $41.83 a barrel.The China official manufacturing PMI for November fell to 49.6, compared to 49.8 seen and the same level the previous month, while the Caixin manufacturing PMI rose to 48.6, compared to 48.3 expected and the same level for the previous month.In Japan, capital spending jumped 11.2%, compared to a 2.3% gain seen in the third quarter year-on-yearIn Australia, the AIG manufacturing index for November reached 52.5, a jump from 50.2 last month. As well, official data showed building approvals up 3.9%, compared to a 2.3% decline seen, while the current account deficit widened to A$18.1 billion, compared to a deficit of A$16.5 billion expected. Private house approvals in Australia fell 2.1%.Ahead the American Petroleum Institute releases its estimates of crude and refined stockpiles last week in the U.S., followed by more closely-watched government data on Wednesday.Overnight, U.S. crude futures inched down on Monday, amid a stronger dollar as investors continue to await Friday's critical OPEC meeting for potential shifts in supply-demand dynamics on global energy markets.On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Brent crude wavered between $44.51 and $45.74 a barrel before closing at $44.58, down 0.27 or 0.59% on the session.North Sea Brent futures ended the month with a four-day losing skid, closing November down by approximately 8.5%.Any fluctuations in crude prices this week are expected to be minor before OPEC's pivotal meeting on Friday in Vienna. Earlier this month, Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, the Saudi Arabian minister for petroleum and mineral resources, indicated that the world's largest crude exporter is ready to use all tools necessary in order to reduce instability in energy markets worldwide.Last November, OPEC rattled markets when it left its production ceiling above 30 million barrels per day. The position triggered an extended battle with U.S. shale producers for market share, flooding markets with a glut of oversupply. As a result, crude futures have slumped by more than 40% over the last year spending the majority of 2015 near lows not previously seen since the Financial Crisis.Elsewhere, U.S. president Barack Obama and Russia president Vladimir Putin spoke for approximately 30 minutes on Monday on the sidelines of United Nations Climate Change Conference outside of Paris. Obama expressed regret over last week's downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkey, while the leaders both discussed tensions in Syria related to the nation's civil war, according to multiple reports.

RBA holds steady at 2% as expected, says scope for cuts if needed


Category: Economic Indicators


The Reserve Bank of Australia, as expected, kept its benchmark cash rate at a record low 2%, but again said inflation levels offer scope for further easing if needed.For the full-text statement, see:Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy DecisionAt its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.0 per cent.The global economy is expanding at a moderate pace, with some softening in conditions in the Asian region, continuing US growth and a recovery in Europe. Key commodity prices are much lower than a year ago, reflecting increased supply, including from Australia, as well as weaker demand. Australia's terms of trade are falling.The Federal Reserve is expected to start increasing its policy rate over the period ahead, but some other major central banks are continuing to ease monetary policy. Volatility in financial markets has abated somewhat for the moment. While credit costs for some emerging market countries remain higher than a year ago, global financial conditions overall remain very accommodative.In Australia, the available information suggests that moderate expansion in the economy continues in the face of a large decline in capital spending in the mining sector. While GDP growth has been somewhat below longer-term averages for some time, business surveys suggest a gradual improvement in conditions in non-mining sectors over the past year. This has been accompanied by stronger growth in employment and a steady rate of unemployment.Inflation is low and should remain so, with the economy likely to have a degree of spare capacity for some time yet. Inflation is forecast to be consistent with the target over the next one to two years.In such circumstances, monetary policy needs to be accommodative. Low interest rates are acting to support borrowing and spending. While the recent changes to some lending rates for housing will reduce this support slightly, overall conditions are still quite accommodative. Credit growth has increased a little over recent months, with credit provided by intermediaries to businesses picking up. Growth in lending to investors in the housing market has eased. Supervisory measures are helping to contain risks that may arise from the housing market.The pace of growth in dwelling prices has moderated in Melbourne and Sydney over recent months and has remained mostly subdued in other cities. In other asset markets, prices for commercial property have been supported by lower long-term interest rates, while equity prices have moved in parallel with developments in global markets. The Australian dollar is adjusting to the significant declines in key commodity prices.At today's meeting the Board again judged that the prospects for an improvement in economic conditions had firmed a little over recent months and that leaving the cash rate unchanged was appropriate. Members also observed that the outlook for inflation may afford scope for further easing of policy, should that be appropriate to lend support to demand. The Board will continue to assess the outlook, and hence whether the current stance of policy will most effectively foster sustainable growth and inflation consistent with the target.

Tokyo, Sydney gain in Asia with Shanghai down after regional PMIs


Category: Stock Market


Sydney and Tokyo shares gained in Asia on Tuesday as manufacturing PMIs came in above or near expectations, while Shanghai dipped on a more mixed picture.The S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.76% after a slew of data as well as the central bank holding rates steady at a record low 2%. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.93%.However, the Shanghai Composite eased 0.53%, following two days of volatile trend on the downside with manufacturing surveys still in contraction.The Reserve Bank of Australia, as expected, kept its benchmark cash rate at a record low 2%, but again said inflation levels offer scope for further easing if needed.The China official manufacturing PMI for November fell to 49.6, compared to 49.8 seen and the same level the previous month, while the Caixin manufacturing PMI rose to 48.6, compared to 48.3 expected and the same level for the previous month.In Japan, capital spending jumped 11.2%, compared to a 2.3% gain seen in the third quarter year-on-year, while the manufacturing PMI eased to 52.6 from 52.8.Also in Australia, the AIG manufacturing index for November reached 52.5, a jump from 50.2 last month. As well, official data showed building approvals up 3.9%, compared to a 2.3% decline seen, while the current account deficit widened to A$18.1 billion, compared to a deficit of A$16.5 billion expected. Private house approvals in Australia fell 2.1%.Overnight, U.S. stocks closed broadly lower closing a strong month on a down note, as a bevy of retail stocks took a hit on Cyber Monday.The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ Composite index both fell slightly on Monday amid sell-offs in the health care and aforementioned retail sectors. The Dow lost 78.50 or 0.44% to close at 17,719.92, while the NASDAQ dropped by 18.86 or 0.37% ending Monday's session at 5,108.67. The S&P 500 Composite index, meanwhile, fell 9.70 or 0.46% to 2,080.41, as five of 10 sectors closed in the red. Stocks in the Health Care, Consumer Goods and Consumer Services sectors lagged, each falling by more than 0.85% on the session.Stocks in the Energy and Basic Materials industries led. Despite Monday's losses, all three of the major indices closed higher for the second straight month – representing the first time the U.S. equities markets posted consecutive monthly gains since the spring.

Indonesian CPI 4.89% vs. 4.88% forecast


Category: Economic Indicators


Consumer price inflation in Indonesia fell less-than-expected last month, industry data showed on Tuesday.In a report, Statistics Indonesia said that Indonesian Inflation fell to a seasonally adjusted 4.89%, from 6.25% in the preceding month.Analysts had expected Indonesian Inflation to fall to 4.88% l

Natural gas struggles near recent lows on warm December outlook



U.S. natural gas prices struggled on Monday, as mild weather and healthy stockpiles continued to weigh on the fuel.Natural gas for delivery in January on the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped 0.1 cents, or 0.02%, to trade at $2.212 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. On Friday, natural gas sank 8.7 cents, or 3.78%.Natural gas plunged 18.8 cents, or 7.83%, last week, as weather forecasts for early December pointed to mild temperatures. For the month, prices of the heating fuel are down 4.5%.Natural gas futures have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on early-winter heating demand.Bearish speculators are betting on the mild weather reducing early-winter demand for the heating fuel. The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.Prices of the fuel typically rise ahead of the winter as colder weather sparks heating demand. But a mild start to the winter heating season underlined concerns over a deepening supply glut, sending prices to four-year lows near $2.00 per million British thermal units at the end of October.Meanwhile, U.S. supply levels remained in focus. Natural gas supplies in storage increased by 9 billion cubic feet last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, above expectations for a build of 5 billion.That compared with a build of 15 billion cubic feet in the prior week, a withdrawal of 141 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change for the week is a drawdown of 36 billion cubic feet.Inventories of the gas are typically built up during the warm summer months and then drawn down in the winter as cold temperatures increase demand for the fuel.But market experts warned that stockpile buildups will probably continue for at least another week, two weeks beyond what is normal, due to tepid winter heating demand so far.Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at an all-time high of 4.009 trillion cubic feet, 13.8% higher than levels at this time a year ago and 6.3% above the five-year average for this time of year.Last spring, supplies were 55% below the five-year average, indicating producers have more than made up for all of last winter’s unusually strong demand.The EIA's next storage report slated for release on Thursday, December 3 is expected to show a build of approximately 5 billion cubic feet for the week ending November 27.That compared with a withdrawal of 22 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change for the week is a draw of 11 billion cubic feet.Elsewhere on the Nymex, crude oil for delivery in January rose 45 cents, or 1.09%, to trade at $42.16 a barrel, while heating oil for December delivery inched up 0.04% to trade at $1.401 per gallon.

Canadas current account balance -16.2B vs. -15.2B forecast



Canadas current account balance fell more-than-expected last month, official data showed on Monday.In a report, Statistics Canada said that Canadas current account balance fell to a seasonally adjusted -16.2B, from -16.6B in the preceding month whose figure was revised up from -17.4B.Analysts had expected Canadas current account balance to fall -15.2B l

German CPI 0.1% vs. 0.1% forecast



Category: Economic Indicators
German consumer price inflation rose last month, preliminary official data showed on Monday.In a report, Federal Statistical Office Germany said that German CPI rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.1%, from 0.0% in the preceding month.Analysts had expected German CPI to rise 0.1% l

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Gold prices ease in Asia as investors watch Middle East, Fed


Category: Commodities


Gold prices ticked lower in Asia on Thursday as investors watched both Middle East tension and for further signal on a widely expected Federal Reserve rate hike next month.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery fell 0.05% to $1,070.20 a troy ounce.Silver futures for December delivery was flat at $14.165 a troy ounce, while copper changed hands at $2.051 a pound, down 0.03%.Overnight, gold futures inched down on Wednesday amid a stronger dollar, as mixed U.S. inflation data for October largely lacked the firepower to sway policymakers at the Federal Reserve as it weighs whether to raise short-term interest rates at a critical meeting next month.On Wednesday morning, the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis said U.S. personal income last month rose by 0.4%, in line with consensus estimates. It followed an upwardly revised increase of 0.2% in September. Consumers spending, meanwhile, ticked up by 0.1% in October, following a 0.1% increase a month earlier.The PCE Price Index also inched up 0.1% on the month falling within the consensus range between -0.1% and 0.2%. The Core PCE Index, which strips out food and energy prices, remained unchanged, after gaining 0.1% in September. On a yearly basis, the core reading stood at 1.3%, also unchanged from a month earlier. The Core PCE Index is the Fed's preferred gauge of inflation as it weighs whether to raise short-term interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.Over the last several weeks, a number of key policymakers from the Federal Open Market Committee have sent strong indications that it is ready to tighten policy as the economy and labor market continues to show improvement. Earlier this month, Fed vice chairman Stanley Fischer said he believes that long-term inflation will move back toward its targeted goal of 2% as temporary factors from a stronger dollar and weaker energy prices continue to recede.Elsewhere, the factory sector is showing signs of renewed strength after durable goods orders surged by 3% in October, significantly above consensus estimates of gains of 1.5%. Orders in the airline sector soared 200% in connection with a prominent air show in Dubai. Consumer sentiment, meanwhile, fell back to 91.3 from a mid-month reading of 93.1, ahead of the start of the holiday shopping season on Friday.

Forex - Aussie weaker as private capital spending plunges in Q3

Category: Forex

The Australian dollar fell on Thursday in Asia after downbeat capital spending data for privaet new capital.AUD/USD traded at 0.7233, down 0.26%, while NZD/USD changed hands at 0.6584, up 0.09%, reversing an earlier decline after trade data. USD/JPY traded at 122.60, down 0.12%.In Australia capital expenditure data for the third quarter with private new capital expenditure plunged 9.2%, compared to a 3.0% drop seen.Earlier, in New Zealand, the trade balance for October showed a deficit of NZ$963 million month-on-month and NZ$3.24 billion year-on-year, both slightly better than expected.The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.02% to 99.81.Overnight, the U.S. dollar rallied to a fresh eight-month high against a basket of six other major currencies on Wednesday, after a deluge of mostly upbeat U.S. economic data reinforced the case for a Fed rate hike next month.The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that new home sales rose by 10.7% to 495,000 units last month.The report came shortly after the U.S. Department of Labor said first time jobless claims declined by 12,000 last week to 260,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 272,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to fall by 2,000 last week.A separate report showed that durable goods orders jumped 3.0% in October, easily surpassing forecasts for 1.5%. Core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, rose 0.5%, beating expectations for an increase of 0.3%.The upbeat data added to already growing expectations the Federal Reserve will raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade at its December 15-16 meeting.Most Fed officials believe there is a strong case to begin raising interest rates next month, as long as U.S. economic data does not disappoint in the coming weeks.Meanwhile, the euro sank to a fresh seven-month low after Reuters reported that the European Central Bank is looking at broadening the scope of its bond-buying program or implementing a two-tier penalty charge on banks that leave cash with the ECB.U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and Friday will be a half day, resulting in thin liquidity conditions.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Forex - Yen hold steady ahead of BoJ minutes, corporate prices



Category: Forex


The yen held steady ahead of central bank board meeting minutes for last month and corporate service prices with investors closely monitoring events in the Middle East after Turkey shot down a Russian jet fighter overnight.USD/JPY was flat at 122.52, while AUD/USD changed hands at 0.7271, up 0.21%.In Japan come the minutes of the October policy meeting as well as the corporate services price index for October, seen up 0.6% year-on-year. In Australia, third quarter construction work done is due with a fall of 2.1% seen quarter-on-quarter.The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.01% to 99.68.Overnight, the dollar trimmed losses against the other major currencies on Tuesday, despite the release of a weak U.S. consumer confidence report, as data showing that the U.S. economy grew more than initially estimated in the third quarter supported the greenback.The U.S. Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence sank to a 12-month low of 90.4 this month from a reading of 99.1 in October, whose figure was revised from a previously reported 97.6. Analysts expected the index to rise to 99.5 in November.The report came shortly after the U.S. Commerce Department said gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.1% in the three months to September, in line with expectations.Preliminary data initially pegged U.S. growth at 1.5% in the third quarter. The U.S. economy grew 3.9% in the second quarter. The upbeat growth data added to expectations that the Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates next month.

Bank of Japan minutes show doubt on 2% inflation aim, weaker yen impact


Category: Economic Indicators


Japan is unlikely to hit sustained 2% inflation by fiscal year 2017 as slowing growth in emerging economies and a planned sales tax hike weigh, Bank of Japan board members said in minutes released on Wednesday.The BoJ held policy steady in October and November, keeping an annual asset purchase target at ¥80 trillion.The October minutes highlighted policy options that may be taken to spur the economy further a factor that may be further in play as at least one board member said a weaker yen has had a smaller impact than expected.

Forex - Yen gains on safe haven buying, BoJ minutes downbeat

November 25 2015 
Category: Forex


The yen gained slightly in Asia on Wednesday after downbeat central bank minutes and data on corporate prices as investors sought safe haven assets after Turkey shot down a Russian jet fighter overnight.USD/JPY traded at 122.47, down 0.05%, while AUD/USD changed hands at 0.7261, up 0.08%.Japan is unlikely to hit sustained 2% inflation by fiscal year 2017 as slowing growth in emerging economies and a planned sales tax hike weigh, Bank of Japan board members said in minutes released on Wednesday.The BoJ held policy steady in October and November, keeping an annual asset purchase target at ¥80 trillion.The October minutes highlighted policy options that may be taken to spur the economy further a factor that may be further in play as at least one board member said a weaker yen has had a smaller impact than expected.The corporate services price index for October rose 0.5%, below the 0.6% gain seen year-on-year.In Australia, third quarter construction work done fell 3.6%, more than the 2.1% drop expected quarter-on-quarter.The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.01% to 99.68.Overnight, the dollar trimmed losses against the other major currencies on Tuesday, despite the release of a weak U.S. consumer confidence report, as data showing that the U.S. economy grew more than initially estimated in the third quarter supported the greenback.The U.S. Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence sank to a 12-month low of 90.4 this month from a reading of 99.1 in October, whose figure was revised from a previously reported 97.6. Analysts expected the index to rise to 99.5 in November.The report came shortly after the U.S. Commerce Department said gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.1% in the three months to September, in line with expectations.Preliminary data initially pegged U.S. growth at 1.5% in the third quarter. The U.S. economy grew 3.9% in the second quarter. The upbeat growth data added to expectations that the Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates next month.

Australian construction -3.6% vs. -2.1% forecast

November 25 2015 
Category: Economic Indicators


The value of Australian construction work done fell more-than-expected in the last quarter, official data showed on Wednesday.In a report, Australian Bureau of Statistics said that Australian construction work done fell to a seasonally adjusted -3.6%, from 1.6% in the preceding quarter.Analysts had expected Australian construction work done to fall to -2.1% in the last quarter

Shares in Asia mostly weaker as geopolitics weigh, regional data soft

November 25 2015 
Category: Stock Market


Asian shares were mostly weaker on Wednesday as geopolitical tension in the Middle East dominated, while regionally downbeat data out of Japan weighed.The Nikkei 225 fell 0.66%, while the S&P/ASX 200 eased 0.40% and the Shanghai Composite opened down 0.06%.Japan is unlikely to hit sustained 2% inflation by fiscal year 2017 as slowing growth in emerging economies and a planned sales tax hike weigh, Bank of Japan board members said in minutes released on Wednesday.The BoJ held policy steady in October and November, keeping an annual asset purchase target at ¥80 trillion.The October minutes highlighted policy options that may be taken to spur the economy further a factor that may be further in play as at least one board member said a weaker yen has had a smaller impact than expected.The corporate services price index for October rose 0.5%, below the 0.6% gain seen year-on-year.In Australia, third quarter construction work done fell 3.6%, more than the 2.1% drop expected quarter-on-quarter.Overnight, U.S. stocks rebounded amid an energy-fueled rally, after Turkey rattled global markets by downing a Russian jet fighter overnight.Equity markets worldwide initially tumbled after reports surfaced that a Turkish F-16 jet plane shot down a Russian jet along the Turkish province of Hatay.The major indices, though, rallied in the afternoon session after U.S. president Barack Obama and France president Francois Hollande soothed markets by taking an aggressive stance against any actions that could result in an escalation of current tensions in Syria.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 19.51 or 0.11% to 17,812.19, extending gains from the previous session, while the NASDAQ Composite index inched up 0.33 or 0.01% to close at 5,102.81. The S&P 500 Composite index, meanwhile, rose 2.55 or 0.12% to 2,089.14, as six of 10 sectors closed in the green. Stocks in the Energy and Basic Materials sectors led, while stocks in the Consumer Services, Financials and Utilities industries lagged.As well, the release of a weak U.S. consumer confidence report and data showing that the U.S. economy grew more than initially estimated in the third quarter pained a mixed picture.The U.S. Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence sank to a 12-month low of 90.4 this month from a reading of 99.1 in October, whose figure was revised from a previously reported 97.6. Analysts expected the index to rise to 99.5 in November.The report came shortly after the U.S. Commerce Department said gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.1% in the three months to September, in line with expectations.Preliminary data initially pegged U.S. growth at 1.5% in the third quarter. The U.S. economy grew 3.9% in the second quarter. The upbeat growth data added to expectations that the Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates next month.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Gold prices down in Asia with investors looking to likely Fed rate hike

November 23 2015 

Category: Commodities


Gold prices fell in Asia on Monday with little regional data at hand and investors firmly focused on a likely Federal Reserve rate hike in December.Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped 0.20% to $1,074.80.Also on the Comex, silver futures for December delivery eased 0.39% to $14.090 a troy ounce.Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for December delivery dropped 0.51% at $2.049 a pound.Copper has weakened as the possibility of higher borrowing costs in the U.S., a broadly stronger U.S. dollar and slower global economic growth, especially in China, weighed.Prices of the red metal are down nearly 30% since May as fears of a China-led global economic slowdown spooked traders and rattled sentiment.The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption.In the week ahead, market players will focus on a flurry of U.S. economic data due on Wednesday for further indications on the strength of the economy and the likelihood of a December rate hike.U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and Friday will be a half day.On Monday, markets in Japan are shut for a holiday. The euro zone is to release survey data on manufacturing and service sector activity. Germany and France are also to release individual reports.The U.S. is to release private sector data on existing home sales.Last week, gold prices ended the week near the lowest level since February 2010 on Friday, as market players prepared for a hike in interest rates by the Federal Reserve next month.Gold fell to $1,062.00 on Wednesday, a level not seen in almost six years, as investors cut holdings of the precious metal amid expectations the Fed will raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade at its mid-December meeting.For the week, prices of the precious metal declined $15.60, or 0.41%, the fifth straight weekly loss and the longest stretch of weekly declines since late July.Minutes of the Fed's October meeting published Wednesday showed that most members of the Federal Open Market Committee believe a rate hike next month would be appropriate but would then proceed with caution on further tightening, assessing economic conditions closely.Recent comments by Fed officials, including Janet Yellen, have bolstered expectations the U.S. central bank will raise interest rates for the first time in nine years when it meets December 15-16.Expectations of higher borrowing rates going forward are considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise.

Forex - Aussie, yen weaker in Asia, Tokyo shut for holiday

November 23 2015 

Category: Forex


The Aussie and yen traded weaker on Monday in Asia with no major regional data and Tokyo shut for a holiday.AUD/USD changed hands at 0.7230, down 0.12%, while USD/JPY traded at 122.90, up 0.06%.The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.08% to 99.73.In the week ahead, U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and Friday will be a half day.The euro zone is to release survey data on private sector activity on Monday, while both the U.S. and the U.K. are to publish revised data on third quarter growth later in the week.On Monday, the euro zone is to release survey data on manufacturing and service sector activity. Germany and France are also to release individual reports. The U.S. is to release private sector data on existing home sales.Last week, the euro fell sharply against the dollar on Friday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi gave the clearest signal yet that the bank may unveil fresh stimulus measures at its December meeting.The ECB is ready to act quickly to boost inflation in the euro zone and can also change the level of its deposit rate to boost the impact of quantitative easing, Draghi said.The comments came during a conference in Frankfurt and underlined the diverging monetary policy expectations between the Federal Reserve and the ECB.Demand for the dollar continued to be underpinned by expectations that he Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates next month.New York Fed President William Dudley said Friday that there is a "strong case" for hiking rates at the central bank’s next meeting in December as long as economic data continues to remain solid. Higher U.S. interest rates would make the dollar more attractive to yield-seeking investors.The greenback turned lower earlier in the week as investors booked profits after a strong rally, before pushing higher again on Friday as investors re-entered dollar positions.

Asian shares steady to higher in thin trade with Tokyo shut for holiday

November 23 2015 

Category: Stock Market


Asian shares held steady to higher on Monday with Tokyo shut for a holiday and no major regional data lined up.The S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.19%, while the Shanghai Composite opened steady.In the week ahead, U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and Friday will be a half day.The euro zone is to release survey data on private sector activity on Monday, while both the U.S. and the U.K. are to publish revised data on third quarter growth later in the week.On Monday, the euro zone is to release survey data on manufacturing and service sector activity. Germany and France are also to release individual reports. The U.S. is to release private sector data on existing home sales.Last week, U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday capping one of its strongest weeks of the year, amid significant rallies in retail sales, emerging markets and the aerospace sector.Bolstered by a surge in Nike Inc (N:N:NKE) shares, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 91.20 or 0.51% to close at 17,823.95, finishing with one of its best weeks since February. The Dow appeared on the verge of posting one of its top weeks of the calendar year, rising by as much as 180 points in the session, before falling back slightly in the final hours of the session.The NASDAQ Composite index ended a bullish week by closing at 5,104.92, up 31.28 or 0.62% on the day, while the S&P 500 Composite index ticked up to finish with its top week of the year.The S&P 500 gained 7.93 or 0.38% to 2,089.17, as seven of 10 sectors closed in the green. Stocks in the Technology, Health Care and Consumer Services industries led, each gaining at least 0.65% on the session. The S&P 500 needed to clear 2,089 to finished with its best weekly session for 2015.On Friday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi gave the clearest signal yet that the bank may unveil fresh stimulus measures at its December meeting.The ECB is ready to act quickly to boost inflation in the euro zone and can also change the level of its deposit rate to boost the impact of quantitative easing, Draghi said.New York Fed President William Dudley said Friday that there is a "strong case" for hiking rates at the central bank’s next meeting in December as long as economic data continues to remain solid.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Gold prices gain in Asia on political risk, Fed outlook weighs

November 20 2015 

Category: Commodities


Gold prices gained in Asia on Friday with investors seeing some support on political risk, but an expected Federal Reserve rate hike next month weights.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery traded up 0.32% to $1,081.30 a troy ounce.Silver for December delivery gained 0.06% to $14.230 a troy ounce. Copper for December delivery rose 0.18% to $2.076 a pound.Gold futures surged by more than 1% on Thursday amid a weaker dollar, as investors covered short positions one day after the precious metal fell to fresh five-year lows.Thursday's rally halted an extended skid where gold tumbled approximately nearly 10% since peaking above $1,185 an ounce in mid-October. On Wednesday, gold slipped below $1,065 after the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's October meeting provided further indications that the U.S. central bank could raise short-term interest rates when it meets again next month.Last week, initial jobless claims in the U.S. fell by 5,000 to 271,000, in line with consensus analysts' forecasts of 270,000 claims for the week ending on Nov. 14. At 270,750, the four-week average is up by 7,500 versus the same reading from October. Gold has been in freefall since a robust U.S. jobs report for October provided the hawks on the Federal Reserve with ammunition for a December rate hike.The minutes from the FOMC's October meeting, released on Wednesday, showed that the majority of the committee's members judged that significant global financial risks had diminished enough to strongly consider a rate hike when it meets next on Dec. 15-16. In each of the last two meetings the FOMC has voted 9-1 to hold its benchmark Federal Funds Rate at its current rate between zero and 0.25%.The rate, which banks use for interbank overnight loans at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has remained at a near-zero level since December, 2008. Nearly a decade has passed since the Fed last raised short-term rates.A rate hike is viewed as bearish for gold, which struggles to compete with high-yield bearing assets.Metal traders also kept an eye on developments related to last week's terrorist attacks in Paris after authorities in Saint Denis detained seven suspects and killed two others in raids on Wednesday. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the attacks, was killed in the roundup, the Paris' prosecutor's office confirmed. Separately, terrorist attacks in the West Bank on Thursday claimed the lives of three people, including an American tourist.Gold is regarded as a safe haven asset for investors in periods of heightened geopolitical instability.

NYMEX crude up in Asia with U.S rig count data eyed

November 20 2015 
Category: Commodities


Crud oil prices rebounded in Asian trade on Friday as investors look ahead to rig count data in the U.S.On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for January delivery traded up 0.49% to $41.92 barrel.Industry research group Baker Hughes (N:BHI) last week said the number of rigs drilling for oil last week rose by 2 to 574, the first weekly rise in three months.Overnight, U.S. crude futures fell mildly on Thursday remaining near 10-week lows, as continuing fears of global oversupply outweighed the impact of a weaker dollar and a spike in gasoline futures.One session earlier, U.S. crude futures slipped under $40 a barrel for the first time since late-August, amid a slight increase in crude inventories over the previous week. At the end of the summer, WTI crude fell below $38 a barrel, tumbling to its lowest level since the height of the Financial Crisis. Over the last month of trading, U.S. crude futures have crashed by more than 8%.On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Brent crude for January delivery wavered between $43.71 and $44.76 a barrel, before closing at 44.24, up 0.10 or 0.23% on the day. North Brent Sea crude futures have also experienced sharp declines over the last month of trading. Meanwhile, the spread between the international and U.S. domestic benchmark of crude stood at $2.47, below Wednesday's level of $3.39 at the close of trading.Energy traders continued to digest a modest build in U.S. crude stockpiles last week after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported an increase of 0.3 million barrels on Wednesday for the week ending on Nov. 13. At 487.3 million barrels, U.S. commercial crude inventories still remain near levels not seen in at least the last 80 years. It came as U.S. crude output fell by 3,000 barrels to 9.182 million barrels per day last week, ending a streak of seven consecutive weekly increases.Crude prices have remained under severe pressure from a glut of oversupply on global energy markets over the last year, as worldwide production continues to hover around all-time highs.Elsewhere, gasoline futures surged more than 1% to an intraday high of $1.304 a gallon, limiting further losses in crude. Future prices for December delivery of gasoline shot up on Thursday after Irving Oil announced that its scheduled reopening of a 300,000 bpd refinery in New Brunswick will be delayed, according to Reuters. The $200 million project, dubbed Operation Falcon, is the largest turnaround effort in the Canadian company's history. As a result, the crack spread, the differential between the purchase price of crude and a refinery's selling price of gasoline, surged more than 20% to its highest level since mid-August.

Shares in Asia tread water on further clarity on likely Fed hike

November 20 2015 
Category: Stock Market


Asian shares were mixed on Friday as investors looked ahead to the U.S. market for further signals on the Federal Reserve's likely move to hike interest rates in December.The Shanghai Composite edged up 0.07%, while the S&P/ASSX 200 gained 0.16%. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.11%.Overnight, U.S. stocks fell slightly on Thursday as a sell-off in the health care sector triggered by market-moving comments from UnitedHealth Group (N:N:UNH), offset gains in the technology and consumer industries ahead of next week's start to the holiday shopping season.On Thursday morning, United Health Group rattled markets with stark warnings that it could leave the public insurance exchanges created by U.S. president Barack Obama's comprehensive health care plan as early as 2017. The nation's largest health care company said it will evaluate whether it can continue serving the public exchanges in 2017 over the first half of next year over mounting concerns that its business in the segment is "deteriorating." After initially showing some reluctance to join the exchanges last year, United Health expanded coverage to 24 states in 2015, covering more than a half million Americans.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4.41 or 0.02% to 17,732.75, while the NASDAQ Composite index dipped 1.56 or 0.03% to 5,073.64 on a choppy day of trading. The S&P 500 Composite index, meanwhile, lost 2.34 or 0.11% to 2,081.24, as six of 10 sectors closed in the green. Stocks in the Utilities, Consumer Goods and Technology sectors led, while stocks in the Health Care and Energy industries lagged.Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's October meeting on Wednesday provided further indications that the U.S. central bank could raise short-term interest rates when it meets again next month.Last week, initial jobless claims in the U.S. fell by 5,000 to 271,000, in line with consensus analysts' forecasts of 270,000 claims for the week ending on Nov. 14. At 270,750, the four-week average is up by 7,500 versus the same reading from October.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Peru stocks lower at close of trade; S&P Lima General down 0.14%

Peru stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the S&P Lima Juniors, Food&Beverages and Industrials sectors led shares lower.At the close in Lima, the S&P Lima General declined 0.14% to hit a new 1-month low.The best performers of the session on the S&P Lima General were Empresa Agroindustrial Pomalca (LM:POM), which rose 1.27% or 0.002 points to trade at 0.160 at the close. Meanwhile, Buenaventura (LM:BVN) added 0.88% or 0.040 points to end at 4.600 and Atacocha (LM:ATB) was up 0.83% or 0.001 points to 0.121 in late trade.The worst performers of the session were Edegel (LM:EDE), which fell 12.18% or 0.380 points to trade at 2.740 at the close. Trevali Mining (LM:TV) declined 11.03% or 0.032 points to end at 0.258 and Sociedad Minera el Brocal SAA (LM:BRO) was down 6.82% or 0.300 points to 4.400.Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lima Stock Exchange by 8 to 7 and 11 ended unchanged.Crude oil for December delivery was up 0.05% or 0.02 to $40.69 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in January rose 1.47% or 0.64 to hit $44.21 a barrel, while the December Gold contract rose 0.08% or 0.90 to trade at $1069.50 a troy ounce.USD/PEN was up 0.31% to 3.3525, while EUR/PEN rose 0.25% to 3.5655.The US Dollar Index was down 0.06% at 99.66.

EUR/USD flat after Fed minutes provide clues of likely rate hike

EUR/USD was relatively unchanged on Wednesday after the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's October meeting showed that the majority of the committee's participants appear ready to raise interest rates when it meets again in mid-December.The currency pair traded in a tight range between 1.0617 and 1.0692 before settling at 1.0659, up 0.0016 or 0.15% on the session. The euro closed under 1.085 against the dollar for the eighth consecutive session in spite of halting a three session losing streak. Over the last month of trading, the euro has fallen more than 6% against its American counterpart as the pair steadily moves toward parity.EUR/USD likely gained support at 1.0519, the low from April 13 and was met with resistance at 1.1496, the high from Oct. 15.As expected, the FOMC held its benchmark Federal Funds Rate at a near-zero level at both of its meetings this fall following China's unexpected decision to devalue the yuan in late-August. At a critical meeting in September, the FOMC voted 9-1 to hold the rate between zero and 0.25%, amid significant concerns abroad. Last month, though, the FOMC noted that nearly all of its participants were in agreement that the global financial risks had diminished over the prior few weeks, the minutes showed. Investors have been awaiting a move for months since the Fed ended a comprehensive Quantitative Easing program last fall aimed at jumpstarting the U.S. economy. The rate has remained near zero since December, 2008 at the height of the Financial Crisis.Before the minutes were released, a trio of regional bankers sent further indications that a rate hike could be imminent. Appearing on a panel alongside New York Fed president William Dudley and Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester, Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lockhart noted that the economy has improved enough for the Fed to strongly consider a rate hike in December."I am comfortable with moving off zero soon, conditioned on no marked deterioration in economic conditions," Lockhart said at the Clearing House Payments System Risk Symposium in New York. "I believe it will soon be appropriate to begin a new policy phase."Dudley, meanwhile, noted that he does not expect to see any unpredictable market reactions when the Fed eventually decides to normalize policy since the potential move has been so well-documented in recent weeks. The New York Fed has a number of tools at its disposal to help adjust the Fed Funds Rate once the decision is made.The CME Group's (O:CME) Fed Watch increased the probability of a December rate hike by eight points to 72% on Wednesday, before it fell back slightly to 68% at the close of trading.The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, reached a seven-month high of 99.96, before closing on Wednesday at 96.66. The index has not eclipsed 100 since mid-March.

Keurig shares surge 20% after per share earnings fall less than expected

Shares in Keurig Green Mountain Inc (O:GMCR) surged as much as 20% in after-hours trading in spite of sharp revenue declines, as the prominent coffeemaker's adjusted earnings decreased less than expected over its fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2015.Keurig has seen nearly two-thirds of its market cap disappear over the last 12 months, amid disappointing sales among its single-serve pod makers and accessories. The subdued growth was reflected in the fourth quarter, as Keurig's revenue excluding currency translation dipped by 11% to $1.04 billion. At the same time, sales in the company's single-serve pods slumped 9% to $861.2 million.As a result, Keurig reported fourth quarter earnings of $94.6 million or 0.61 per share, down considerably from net profits of $141.1 million or 0.86 per share last year during the same quarter. Excluding restructuring costs, the company finished with adjusted per share profits of 0.85, above projections between 0.70 and 0.75."Our results for the quarter and the year reflect the competitive and dynamic marketplace in which we operate as well as the steps we are taking to position our Company for longer-term growth and value creation," said Brian Kelley, Keurig's President and CEO. "I'm particularly pleased with the benefits realized from our cost reduction efforts as well as our strong cash generation, both of which exceeded expectations in the fourth quarter. While we expect marketplace conditions will remain challenging in the near term, we have a stronger product line-up and price positioning as we enter the new holiday season."Keurig hopes to receive a boost from Wednesday's launch of two cocktail mixers for its new cold delivery system. In addition, Keurig announced that its Board of Directors authorized an increase of its annual dividend to 1.30 per share, effective in February."Our priorities for 2016 are to reinvigorate our hot system and continue the disciplined rollout of our Kold system," Kelley added. "We remain confident that our investments in the business and our multi-year productivity program will deliver long-term value to shareholders. Today's announcement of the Board's authorization of a 13% increase in our dividend underscores our confidence in our future prospects and continues our track record of delivering strong cash returns to our shareholders."Shares in Keurig surged 7.07 or 17.46% to 47.57 in after-hours trading.