Friday, May 29, 2009

Commodities Head for Biggest Monthly Rally Since July 1974
Signs of a recovery in the global economy have spurred demand for fuel, industrial metals and crops. Crude oil was poised for the biggest monthly gain in a decade, and gasoline has soared more than 30 percent in May. Gold, silver and copper surged, while corn and soybeans reached the highest since September.

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. GDP shrank at a 5.7% annual pace in the first quarter.

  • The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose from 65.1 to 68.7

  • The Institute for Supply Management’s business barometer decreased to 34.9 from 40.1 in April

  • Japan’s retail sales rose 0.6% in April,
    Japan’s unemployment rate rose from 4.8% to 5.0%

  • India’s GDP rose 5.8% Q1.

  • Poland's GDP grew by 0.8% in the first three months of 2009.

  • U.K. house prices rose 1.2% in May

  • Japan Apr. Housing Starts fell 32.4% YoY

  • Germany Apr. Retail Sales rose 0.5% MoM but fell 0.8% YoY

  • Sweden’s Q1 GDP fell 0.9% QoQ

  • Swiss Leading Indicators fell 1.86 %

  • (Bloomberg) -- Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest coffee-shop operator, is pushing some U.S. landlords for as much as a 25 percent reduction in lease rates, taking advantage of a declining real estate market to save on rent.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. durable goods orders rose 1.9% in April -- stronger than expected.

  • U.S. jobless claims fell 13,000 last week to 623,000.

  • YoY Japan's retail sales fell 2.9% in April

  • Japan’s industrial production rose 5.2% MoM

  • Swiss April Trade Balance out at 2.56B vs. 0.12B in March.

  • Germany’s May Unemployment Rate out at 8.2% vs. 8.4% expected and 8.3% in April.

  • Euro Zone May Consumer Confidence was steady at -31 vs. -30 expected

  • YoY Russia’s GDP fell 10.5% in April.

  • South Africa’s lowered its benchmark interest rate by 1% to 7.5%

  • OPEC met and kept official production levels unchanged

  • The U.S. mortgage delinquency rate rose to 9.12% and the share of loans entering foreclosure rose to 1.37%.

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau MoM U.S. new home sales rose 0.3%, but fell 34% YoY

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil fell 5.4 million barrels to 363.1 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline fell 600,000 barrels
    Supplies of heating oil rose 1.1 million barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 81.8% to 85.1%
    Gasoline demand fell 0.4% YoY
  • Distillate demand fell 9.9% YoY

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Quick Overview

  • The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales rose 2.9% MoM

  • Malaysia's GDP shrank a sharper-than-expected 6.2% in Q1

  • YoY Japan's export fell 38.1% in April, but rose 1.9% MoM

  • A survey of 45 forecasters found three-quarters expect the economic downturn to end by Q3

  • The USDA said:
    82% of the corn crop was planted, up from 62% last week. The five-year average for this date is 93%.
    48% of the soybean crop was planted, up from 25% last week. The five-year average for this date is 65%.
    79% of the spring wheat crop was planted, up from 50% last week. The five-year average for this date is 95%.
    61% of the cotton crop was planted, up from 42% last week.

  • Global oil demand is picking up, supported by higher consumption in China, so said Ali Naimi Saudi Arabia's oil minister – he is predicting $80 oil as economies recover.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. consumer confidence rose from 40.8 to 54.9 in May -- the highest since September.

  • YoY the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 U.S. cities fell 18.7% in March.

  • (FT) Speculative bets against the dollar have risen to their highest level since the onset of the financial crisis

  • A total of $162 billion of U.S. treasuries will be auctioned over the next 3 days.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Quick Overview

  • Germany’s business climate index rose to 84.2 from 83.7 in April.

  • Colombia’s April coffee production fell 61% to 345,000, versus 886,000 60-kilogram bags in April last year. Total coffee production in Colombia fell 25% YoY. YoY Coffee exports fell 14%.

  • India's Farm Minister said the federal government may extend the deadline for duty-free raw sugar imports beyond July 31. India's sugar output has fallen to 14.7 million tons in the year ending September from 26.3 million tons a year earlier.

  • The right price range for oil is between $60-75 per barrel, Russia's energy minister said.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

US bonds sale faces market resistance
The Obama administration needs to raise $2 trillion this year to cover the fiscal stimulus plan and the bank bail-outs. It has to fund $900bn by September.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gold bugs at last have their perfect trinity
China has doubled its bullion reserves and left us in no doubt that it will spend more of its $40bn monthly surplus on hard assets rather than the toxic paper of Western democracies.

Friday, May 22, 2009

FX OUTLOOK-US debt ratings worries to weigh on dollar Bill Gross, manager of Pimco, the world's biggest bond fund, warned on Thursday the United States will eventually lose its top AAA credit rating, a fear that could keep the dollar, stocks and bonds under selling pressure.

Quick Overview

  • (Reuters) Stocks rose on Friday as investors snapped up shares of multinational companies, including McDonald's Corp, on hopes that a weaker dollar would underpin profitability

  • Canada’s retail sales rose 0.3% in March

  • U.K.'s GDP fell 1.9% QoQ and 4.1% YoY.

  • The USDA said the U.S. beef production totaled 5.13 billion pounds of beef in April down 5% YoY.

  • The USDA said the U.S. pork production totaled 1.92 billion pounds in April, down 5% YoY

  • The USDA expects world sugar ending stocks at 19% of annual use, making it the lowest stocks to use ratio in 16 years.

  • A report on ethanol predicted world demand for ethanol will rise 9.3% per year for five years.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nomura Says Sell the Dollar as Central Banks Reduce Holdings
The share of Russia’s dollar holdings fell to 41.5 percent of reserves, from 45 percent as of Nov. 1, while the portion of euros rose to 47.5 percent from 44 percent, according to the central bank’s annual report

Quick Overview

  • U.S. leading indicators rose 1%, more than forecast.

  • U.S. jobless claims fell 12,000 last week to 631,000.

  • European manufacturing and services index rose from 41.1 to 43.9

  • Japan's Trade index of services fell 4%

  • YOY Mexico’s GDP fell 8.2% in Q!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quick Overview

  • YoY Canada’s consumer prices rose 0.4% in April

  • British manufacturer expectations improved from -32% to -17% in May

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil fell 2.1 million barrels to 368.5 million barrels
    Supplies of gasoline fell 4.3 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil rose 300,000 barrels.
    Refinery use fell from 83.7% to 81.8% of capacity.
    Gasoline demand fell 1.2%
    Distillate demand fell 12.0%

  • The World Gold Council said gold demand was 1,016 tons in Q1, up 38% YoY

  • The Apiary Inspectors of America and the USDA issued a study that shows that the U.S. is still losing honey bees at an alarming rate. The survey found that from last September through this April the U.S. lost approximately 29% of honey bee colonies. This is down from a 36% loss in 2007-2008 and the 32% loss in 2006-2007.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. housing starts fell 13% MoM 54% YoY -- weaker than expected.

  • YoY U.K. consumer prices rose 2.3% in April

  • Construction output in the EU fell 2.1% MoM and 10.5% YoY

  • Investor confidence in Germany rose from 13 to 31.1

  • Arlan Suderman’s Farm Futures model suggests old-crop beans stocks will fall to 9-day supply. Market must ration demand to prevent that from occurring.

  • China Shipping Container Lines rose 5.6% as Goldman Sachs said it was turning more positive on the transportation industry.

  • China’s imports of iron ore, used in steelmaking, jumped 33% in April, setting a record for a third month, the customs office said.

  • Japan's economy shrank a record 4.0% in Q1.

  • Ahead of Friday's USDA cattle on feed report, Allendale Inc. sees the total number of cattle on feed down 2.9%, which would be the smallest May 1 total in four years.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baltic Dry Index Up 11 Days in a Row: Should You Care? The Baltic Dry Index is currently riding an eleven-day winning streak during which the index has gained 43%. Year to date, the index is now up 228%. Given that it is a measure of shipping rates, the increase in the Baltic Dry Index is regarded by many as an important indicator of an improving global economy. How this translates to the stock market, however, is unclear.

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of homebuilder sentiment rose from 14 to 16 in April.

  • (Reuters) - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Monday that borrowing costs were falling as credit markets gradually thaw, but warned a painful period lies ahead for American consumers.

  • The USDA said:
    62% of corn was planted, down from the five-year average of 85%.
    25% of soybeans were planted, down from the five-year average of 44%.
    50% of spring wheat was planted, down from the five year average of 90%.
    42% of cotton was planted, down from the five year average of 53%.

  • Emirates Airline is predicting the recession in air freight will bottom out by end of May.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Asia will author its own destruction if it triggers a crisis over US bonds
China and Japan together hold 23pc of America's $6,369bn federal debt. This has caused alarm on the US talk radio circuit, but fears of imminent "dollardämmerung" and a collapse of American economic power may prove far off the mark. Who ultimately holds a gun to the head of whom?

The Case of the Missing H-Bomb
Things go missing. It's to be expected. Even at the Pentagon. Last October, the Pentagon's inspector general reported that the military's accountants had misplaced a destroyer, several tanks and armored personnel carriers, hundreds of machine guns, rounds of ammo, grenade launchers and some surface-to-air missiles. In all, nearly $8 billion in weapons were AWOL.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. industrial production fell 0.5% in April

  • The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose from 65.1 to 67.9

  • The N.Y. Federal Reserve regional index of manufacturing rose from -14.65 to -4.55.

  • (Reuters) - General Motors Corp said Friday it will drop about 1,600 U.S. dealers as it struggles to slash billions of dollars in operating costs and debt ahead of an anticipated bankruptcy filing by the end of the month.

  • GDP in the Euro area fell 2.5% QoQ and down 4.6% YoY

  • Consumer prices in the Euro area rose 0.6% YoY

  • Canada’s manufacturing sales fell 2.7% in March

  • The International Sugar Organization expects a 2009-2010, world production deficit of 4.75 million tons.

  • (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday revived the system of Guantanamo military trials for foreign terrorism suspects, angering supporters who said he had broken a promise to end the controversial tribunals set up by the Bush administration.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quick Overview

  • U.S. producer prices rose 0.3% in April, but fell 3.7% YoY -- the biggest YoY decline in 59 years.

  • U.S. jobless claims rose by 32,000 to 637,000 last week.

  • US carmaker Chrysler tells a bankruptcy court that it plans to close 789 of its 3,200 dealerships.

  • The number of home loans in the UK rose by 29% in March, according to lenders.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chinese Stimulus, Lending May Drive Rebound as Exports Slide
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said yesterday that China may emerge “a winner” from the global crisis because the nation is buffered by a high savings rate and the government “has taken very rapid action.”

Quick Overview

  • U.S. retail sales fell 0.4% in April.

  • RealtyTrac said there were 342,038 U.S. foreclosures in April, up 32% YoY.

  • Industrial production in the Euro area fell 2.0% MoM and 20.2% YoY

  • YoY China's industrial output rose 7.3% in April

  • (Reuters) - The U.S. financial system has already completed a big part of the painful adjustment away from its excessively leveraged state, and lending is starting to improve, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. trade deficit widened in March, the gap expanded 5.5% to $27.6 billion, up from $26.1 billion in February.

  • The USDA estimates 2009-2010 U.S. ending stocks of:
    Corn at 1.145 billion bushels, down from 1.600 billion bushels in 2008-2009.
    Soybeans at 230 million bushels, up from 130 million bushels in 2008-2009.
    Wheat at 637 million bushels, down from 669 million bushels in 2008-2009.
    Sugar at 289,000 tons, down from 1.192 million tons in 2008-2009.
    Cotton at 5.6 million bales, down from 6.8 million bales in 2008-2009.

  • The USDA estimates 2009-2010 world ending stocks estimate of:
    Corn at 128 million tons, down from 140 million tons in 2008-2009.
    Soybeans at 52 million tons, up from 43 million tons in 2008-2009.
    Wheat at 182 million tons, up from 167 million tons in 2008-2009.
    Cotton at 58 million bales, down from 62 million bales in 2008-2009.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Enjoy the rally while it lasts - but expect to take a sucker punch
If we are spared – still a big if – we can thank a handful of central bank governors and policy-makers who tore up the rule book, defied tabloid opinion, and took revolutionary action in the nick of time.

Quick Overview

  • Consumer prices in China fell 1.5% YoY

  • Chinese spot steel prices rose 2.8% this week in the second consecutive weekly gain, on growing recovery expectations.

  • GDP in Latvia fell 18% YoY

  • The ICCO forecast that global Cocoa grindings would fall 6% in the year to September 2009 compared with a previous estimate for a decline of 2.1%. Global output is forecast to fall 7 % this year, resulting in a supply deficit of between 80,000 and 90,000 tonnes.
  • The USDA said:
  • 48% of the corn was planted, versus 71% average
  • 14% of the soybean crop was planted, ver. 25% average
  • 35% of the spring wheat was planted, ver. 78% average
  • 32% of the cotton was planted, ver. 39%. Average

  • Very little planted East of Iowa in the past week & the 5-day rain forecast gives little hope that this will change.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. unemployment rate rose from 8.5% to 8.9% in April

  • U.S. employers cut 539,000 jobs in April, after a 699,000 loss in March, the Labor Department said.

  • U.S. Wholesale sales fell 2.4% MoM and down 18.1% YoY

  • Canada‘s unemployment rate unchanged at 8.0%

  • Canada's Mortgage and Housing Corporation said housing starts fell 20% MoM

  • U.K. producer prices rose 0.6%.

  • Vehicle sales in China rose 25% in April

  • The Port of Shanghai’s foreign trade value fell 25% YoY, but rose 34% February to March.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Swine flu could protect against deadly mutation: experts
The global outbreak of swine flu hovering just below the pandemic threshold could provide immunity for those already infected if the virus mutates into a more deadly form, scientists have told AFP.

ECB to buy billions of euros of debt in radical policy departure
The ECB has faced fierce criticism that it's not doing enough to combat a recession that is hitting export-led economies including Germany as much as economies - such as Ireland and Spain - where housing bubbles have burst in spectacular fashion. The policy departure also represents a defeat for Germany, where Axel Weber, the head of the Bundesbank, has resisted any move to buy debt.

Quick Overview

  • (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank President Jean- Claude Trichet said the ECB unanimously agreed on a 60 billion- euro ($80.5 billion) plan to buy bonds as officials step up their response to the worst recession since World War II.

  • (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve determined that 10 U.S. banks need to raise a total of $74.6 billion in capital, concluding its unprecedented probe of the health of the nation’s 19 largest lenders.

  • U.S. jobless claims fell 34,000 last week to 601,000.

  • U.S. non-farm productivity rose 0.8% QoQ and 1.8% YoY.

  • U.S. Unit labor costs rose 2.4%. The # of hours worked in the first quarter fell 9%.

  • Denmark lowered the benchmark interest rate by 0.35% to a record low 1.65%

  • Australia’s unemployment rate improved from 5.7% to 5.4%

  • The ECB lowered its interest rate from 1.25% to 1.00%.

  • England kept its interest rate unchanged at 0.50%.

  • Obama aims to cut $17bn from next year's budget, saying he had found examples of "stunning" waste.

  • China's main ports received 15.3 million tonnes or 3.72 million barrels per day of imported crude oil in April -- up 9% YoY.

  • China has approved a plan to set up 10 million tonnes of refined fuel reserves by 2011 -- about two weeks of current consumption.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Quick Overview

  • (Reuters) - Regulators have told Bank of America Corp it needs $34 billion of capital to withstand a deep economic downturn, as the U.S. government prepares to release results of industrywide stress tests

  • Retail sales in the Eurozone fell 0.6% MoM and down 4.2% YoY

  • Euro zone's composite index of manufacturing and services rose from 38.3 to 41.1 in April

  • Service index in the U.K. rose from 45.5 to 48.7 in April

  • Norway lowered its interest rate from 2.0% to 1.5%.

  • Fujian port volume rose 6.6% in Q1.

  • The USDA estimates that Brazil will produce 36.85 million metric tons of sugar in 2009-2010, up from 32.4 mmt YoY.

  • (Bloomberg) -- Global sugar demand will exceed output by 7.8 million metric tons in the current year, almost double the previous estimate, as farmers harvest smaller cane crops in Asia, the International Sugar Organization said.

  • The USDA estimates that Brazil will produce 28.45 billion liters of ethanol in 2009-2010, up from 26.85 billion liters YoY.

  • Fortis Bank estimates 2008-9 world coffee production at 134.2 million (60-kg) bags and consumption at 127.7 million bags.
  • In 2009-2010, Fortis expects world Coffee production at 141.3 million bags and consumption at 128.9 million bags.

  • Fortis Bank expects world Cocoa production at 3.60 million tons and production 64,000 tons short of world consumption.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 600,000 barrels to 375.3 million barrels
    Supplies of gasoline fell 200,000 barrels
    Supplies of heating oil rose 900,000 barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 82.7% to 85.3%.
    Gasoline demand fell 0.9% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 14.1% YoY.

  • (Spiegel) The power of the three big US rating agencies, Moody's, Fitch and Standard & Poor's, remains unbroken. By awarding high ratings to junk securities, they fueled financial market excesses. Now they are taking countermeasures by brutally downgrading securities. In doing so, they are making the crisis even worse.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Beware surfers: cyberspace is filling up
Nemertes Research experts predict that consumer demand (monthlytraffic across the Internet is now running at about eight exabytes),growing at 60 per cent a year, will start to exceed supply by next year because of more people working online and the soaring popularity of bandwidth-hungry websites such as YouTube and HDTV Web services.

Quick Overview

  • The U.S. Institute of Supply Management's index of services rose from 40.8 to 43.7 in April,

  • (Reuters) - Top chief executives still expect the U.S. economy to remain mired in recession through 2009 but their confidence in the likelihood of a recovery next year is on the rebound thanks to growing optimism about their own businesses.

  • (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are working with the top 19 banks on Tuesday to put the final touches on the results of regulatory stress tests, which are expected to reveal about half the banks need more capital but face manageable losses.

  • Australia kept its interest rate unchanged at 3.0%.

  • YoY Producer prices in the Euro area fell 3.1% in March

  • The USDA said that:
    33% of the corn was planted, down from the five-year average of 50%. 6% of the soybean crop was planted, down from the five-year average of 11%.
    23% of the spring wheat was planted, down from the five-year average of 59%.
    24% of the cotton was planted, down from the five-year average of 28%.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Quick Overview

  • Over the weekend the ASEAN group of nations and Japan agreed to set up $120 billion of reserve to fund to provide emergency loans to the companies in the region.

  • The National Association of Realtors said U.S. pending home sales rose 3.2%

  • U.S. construction spending rose 0.3% MoM and fell 11.1YoY

  • China's manufacturing index rose from 44.8 to 50.1

Friday, May 01, 2009

Quick Overview

  • The Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing index rose from 36.3 to 40.1 in April

  • The University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment rose from 57.3 to 65.1 in April

  • U.S. factory orders fell 0.9% in March

  • YoY Japan’s consumer price index fell 0.3%

  • Japan’s unemployment rate rose from 4.4% to 4.8%

  • Manufacturing in the U.K. rose from 39.5 to 42.9

  • Wheat rose the most in a month on speculation that dry weather will curb yields in Russia and Ukraine.

  • Czarnikow said India’s Sugar output will be 14.7 million metric tons in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, down from a February forecast of 17 million tons. Sucden said that global demand will exceed production by 9 million metric tons.