Thursday, February 25, 2010

Next Update Sunday (I'm on strike)

Quick Overview

  • (WSJ) Greece set off the crisis rattling the euro zone. Spain could determine whether the 16-nation currency stands or falls.

  • U.S. durable goods orders rose 3.0% in January.

  • U.S. jobless claims rose 22,000.

  • Germany's unemployment rate rose from 8.6% to 8.7% in February.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Fed's Bernanke confirms rates to be kept low

  • U.S. new home sales fell 11.2% MoM -- dropping to the lowest level on record.

  • The Mortgage Bankers Association said its index of mortgage applications fell 8.5% last week.

  • Japan's exports rose 41% YoY.

  • EU industrial new orders rose 0.6% MoM and 6.3% YoY.

  • Germany's GDP fell 2.4% in Q4.

  • The U.S. DOE said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 3.0 million barrels to 337.5 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline fell 900,000 barrels.
    Supplies of heating oil rose 600,000 barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 79.8% to 81.2%.
    Gasoline demand fell 0.3%
    Distillate demand fell 6.8%.

  • China's copper imports rose 9% YoY.

  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission this week announced it would host a public meeting in late March to discuss speculation limits in US metal futures.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The Standard and Poor's/CaseShiller index of U.S. home prices fell 0.2% in December and 3.1% YoY

  • The Conference Board's index of U.S consumer confidence fell from 56.5 to 46.0 -- weaker than expected.

  • Germany business confidence fell from 95.8 to 95.2 in February.

  • China may not buy the International Monetary Fund's remaining 191.3 metric tons of gold up for sale, the English-language China Daily newspaper reported Wednesday.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The London Metal Exchange has approached the Baltic Exchange to develop an electronic exchange for freight derivatives.

  • (FT) Saudi Arabia’s oil exports to the US last year sank below 1m barrels a day for the first time in two decades just as China’s purchases climbed above that level, highlighting a shift in the geopolitics of oil from west to east

  • The London Metal Exchange is launching derivatives contracts on cobalt and molybdenum.

  • World cocoa demand could return to historical growth trends of between 2% and 3% in 2010, Cargill's managing director of cocoa and chocolate said Monday.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Europe's monetary union has become an instrument of deflation torture EMU is slowly suffocating boom-bust states trapped in debt deflation, acting in the same perverse and destructive fashion as the Gold Standard in the 1930s.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. consumer prices rose 0.2% in January and 2.6% YoY

  • Canada’s retail sales rose 0.4% in December

  • Canada’s leading indicators rose 0.9%

  • U.K.'s retail sales fell 1.8% in January, but rose 0.9% YoY.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quick Overview

  • (Bloomberg) The Federal Reserve Board raised the discount rate charged to banks for direct loans by a quarter point to 0.75 percent and said the move will encourage financial institutions to rely more on money markets rather than the central bank for short-term liquidity needs.

  • US states face a funding gap of at least $1,000bn for public sector employees’ retirement benefits, threatening already strained budgets, according to a new study.

  • U.S. jobless claims rose 31,000 to 473,000 -- more than expected.

  • U.S. Producer price index rose 1.4% MoM and 4.6% YoY.

  • The Conference Board's index of leading indicators rose 0.3%.

  • The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's regional index of manufacturing rose from 15.2 to 17.6 in January

  • Japan's composite index rose 1.4 to 97.4

  • The International Monetary Fund said that it will start selling 191.3 tons of gold -- spread out over time.

  • The U.S. DOE said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 3.1 million barrels to 334.5 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline rose 1.7 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil fell 1.4 million barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 79.1% to 79.8%.
    Gasoline demand fell 1.3% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 7.4% YoY

  • Canada's consumer price rose 1.9%

  • World 2009-10 sugar production is expected to fall 9.4 million metric tons short of demand, the International Sugar Organization said Thursday. The second consecutive world deficit follows a shortfall of 11.7 million tons of sugar in 2008-09

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

US bank lending falls at fastest rate in history
David Rosenberg from Gluskin Sheff said lending has fallen by over $100bn (£63.8bn) since January, plummeting at an annual rate of 16pc. "Since the credit crisis began, $740bn of bank credit has evaporated. This is a record 10pc decline," he said.

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Industrial production rose 0.9% in January

  • U.S. mortgage applications fell 2.1% last week

  • Canada’s wholesale sales rose 0.7%

  • Japan's index of services fell 0.9% in December

  • A shortage of ethanol has caused Brazilian state-run energy company Petroleo Brasileiro or Petrobras, to import gasoline for the first time in 40 years.

  • Several Federal Reserve policy makers want to begin selling securities relatively soon to cut back the U.S. central bank's massive help to the financial system as the economy finds a footing, the Fed said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The New York Federal Reserve's regional index of manufacturing rose from 15.92 to 24.91 in February

  • (FT) Foreign demand for US Treasury securities recorded a record drop in December as China purged some of its holdings of government debt, the US Treasury department said

  • Japan's GDP rose 1.1% in Q4 but fell 0 .9% YoY. The Bank of Japan said that it is committed to increasing inflation to a target level of 1.0%.

  • Canada’s manufacturing sales rose 1.6% in December

  • U.K. Consumer prices rose 3.5% YoY

  • YoY Russia’s industrial production rose 7.9%

  • World 2009-10 sugar production is expected to fall 14.8 million metric tons short of demand, sugar merchant Czarnikow said Tuesday. This is wider than the firm's November estimate of a deficit of 13.5 million tons.

  • ICE cocoa prices are gaining on reignited supply concerns amid political turmoil in Ivory Coast, the world's top producer, Barclay's Capital says -- Ivory Coast President Gbagbo dissolved the government and postponed the national election for the seventh time.

  • China’s iron ore imports from Australia rose 42.9 percent in 2009 to 260 million tons

  • As trade in the region grows more lucrative, China has been developing port facilities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and it is planning to build railroad lines in Nepal. These projects, analysts say, are part of a concerted effort by Chinese leaders and companies to open and expand markets for their goods and services in a part of Asia that has lagged behind the rest of the continent in trade and economic development.

Friday, February 12, 2010

(FT)Shifts in commodity prices as El Niño fades
El Niño, the weather-altering Pacific warming which has hit the price of commodities from sugar to natural gas, is starting to fade and could end by June.

Quick Overview

  • U.S. retail sales rose 0.5% in January and 4.7% YoY

  • The University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment fell from 74.4 to 73.7

  • U.S. business sales rose 0.9% in December

  • U.S. Inventories fell 0.2%.

  • U.S. unemployment peaked in October and will retreat through 2011 as the economy strengthens, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

  • EU GDP rose 0.1% in Q4

  • EU industrial production fell 1.9% in January and 4.9% YoY

  • China is raising reserve requirements for banks from 16.0% to 16.5%.

  • YoY India’s industrial production rose 16.8% in December

  • The DOE said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 2.4 million barrels to 331.4 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline rose 2.3 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil rose 1.5 million barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 77.7% to 79.1%

  • (Reuters) - India and China are resisting requests to sign up for the Copenhagen Accord for fighting global warming that risks unraveling without clear support from major emitters.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. jobless claims fell 43,000 last week to 440,000

  • Australia's unemployment rate improved from 5.5% to 5.3% in January.

  • Spain’s GDP fell 0.1% in Q4 and down 3.1% YoY.

  • (FT) The world’s largest financial groups, including JPMorgan Chase and HSBC, are rushing to relocate top officials to focus on opportunities in the fast-growing region

  • (FT) China's leading producer of rare earth metals has been given government approval to build a strategic reserve, exacerbating concerns that Beijing is tightening its grip on the valuable minerals.

  • (Spiegel) In a vote that American officials are calling a "setback for US-EU counter-terror cooperation," the European Parliament on Thursday voted to reject a deal allowing US terrorism investigators access to international bank transfer information. Europe, however, sees a victory for data protection.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quick Overview

  • (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve may raise the discount rate “before long” as part of the “normalization” of Fed lending, a move that won’t signal any change in the outlook for monetary policy, Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said.

  • U.S. Exports rose $4.6 billion in December to $142.7 billion while imports rose $8.4 billion to $182.9 billion -- widening the trade gap by $3.8bn from November, to $40.2bn in December

  • The Mortgage Bankers Association's index of mortgage applications fell 1.2%

  • A Communist Party directive leaked to the Chinese-language edition of the Asia Times said dollar reserves should be limited to US Treasuries or agency mortgage debt such as Freddie Mac that enjoys Washington's implicit backing.

  • Japan’s machinery orders rose 20.1% in December.

  • U.K.’s index of industrial production rose 0.5% MoM but fell 3.6% YoY.

  • Canada’s exports rose C$.5 billion in December to C$32.2 billion while imports rose C$.5 billion to C$32.4 billion.

  • The massacre in Ciudad Juarez at the end of January made it clear that Mexico is losing the war on drugs. Narcotics-related violence is on the rise in other Latin American cities as well. An increasing number of voices are demanding that drugs be decriminalized.

  • Arab ambassador in Dubai annuls marriage after discovering his new wife is cross-eyed, has beard.

  • U.S. silver imports rose 13.5% in December from the previous month, but fell 9.3% YoY

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Germany backs Greek bail-out as EU creates 'economic government'
The breakthrough comes as this week's summit of EU leaders in Brussels rapidly evolves from a policy workshop into an historic gathering that may catapult the EU across the Rubicon towards fiscal federalism and a de facto debt union. The EU's top brass are seizing on the crisis to push for a radical extension of EU powers, saying Greece has exposed the deep flaws in the structure of monetary union.

Quick Overview

  • (Reuters) - European governments have agreed in principle to help heavily indebted Greece, a senior German coalition source said on Tuesday, in what would be the first rescue of a euro zone member in the currency's 11-year history.
  • Billionaire investor George Soros said he is confident Greece will “do whatever is necessary” to remain a member of the Euro.

  • U.S. wholesale sales rose 0.8% MoM and 5.7% YoY

  • The USDA estimates 2009-2010 U.S. ending stocks for:
    Corn was reduced from 1.764 to 1.719 billion bushels.
    Soybeans were reduced from 245 to 210 million bushels.
    Wheat was increased from 976 to 981 million bushels.
    Sugar was reduced from 1.140 to 1.055 million tons.
    Cotton was reduced from 4.3 to 3.3 million bales.

  • The USDA estimates 2009-2010 world ending stocks for:
    Corn was reduced from 136 to 134 million tons.
    Soybeans were reduced from 59.8 to 59.7 million tons.
    Wheat was increased from 195.6 to 195.9 million tons.
    Cotton was increased from 51.7 to 52.1 million bales.

  • The USDA estimate of the Brazil's soybean crop was raised from 65 to 66 million tons.
  • The USDA estimate of the Argentinean soy crop was kept at 53 million tons.
  • The USDA reduced its estimate of the 2009-2010 Florida orange crop from 135 to 129 million boxes. Juice yield was lowered from 1.60 to 1.56 gallons per box.

  • The USDA raised its estimate of 2010 beef production from 25.50 to 25.65 billion pounds.
  • The USDA reduced its estimate of 2010 pork production from 22.6 to 22.5 billion pounds.

  • U.S. soyoil production is expected to increase, thanks to a recent decision by the Environmental Protection Agency that soyoil-based biodiesel will qualify for government production mandates, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

  • Brazilian ethanol mills are reaching out to chemical companies to develop plastics and other products in a bid to diversify. The mills harvest sugar cane and crush it into sugar or ethanol, but the operators are now looking to earn new revenue by sourcing ethanol as a raw material.

  • The agricultural survey group of Brazil's Census Bureau, the IBGE, on Tuesday put the upcoming 2010 coffee crop at 46.8 million 60-kilogram bags. IBGE's new data is 15% above the 2009 crop.

  • National Commodities Supply Corp., or Conab, on Tuesday pegged Brazil's 2009-10 soy crop at 66.7 million metric tons. Conab's fifth crop estimate for the record-breaking 2009-10 soy crop is 16.7% above the 2008-09 crop of 57.2 million tons

  • Thailand will likely produce 6.62 million metric tons of sugar this crop year, down 7.9%, Office of Cane & Sugar Board Secretary General Prasert Tapaneeyangkul said Wednesday.

  • India's federal government may ask state-run trading firms to import refined white sugar and offer them a subsidy to bridge a shortfall in the local market, a government official said

Monday, February 08, 2010

Quick Overview

  • (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks slid and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed below 10,000 for the first time since November amid concern that deteriorating European government finances will derail the economic recovery.

  • Data from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange show net short positions against the Euro rising from 39,500 to 43,700 contracts.

  • YoY Japan’s bank lending fell 1.5% in January.

  • Kingsman increased its estimate of the 2009-2010 world sugar production deficit from 8.3 to 11.9 million tons.

  • (FT) El Niño, the weather-altering Pacific warming which has hit the price of commodities from sugar to natural gas, is starting to fade and could end by June.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S jobless claims were up 8,000 last week to 480,000,

  • U.S. factory orders rose 1.0% in December,

  • Australia's retail sales fell 0.7% in December.

  • Lumber is up its $10 daily limit.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Quick Overview

  • ADP Employer Services said that the US lost 22,000 jobs in January

  • U.S. services rose from 49.8 to 50.5 in January.

  • EU retail sales volume fell 0.1% MoM and 1.0% YoY.

  • Services in the U.K. fell from 56.8 to 54.5 in January

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 2.3 million barrels to 329.0 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline fell 1.3 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil rose 800,000 barrels.
    Refinery use fell from 78.5% to 77.7%.
    Gasoline demand fell 0.5% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 9.1% YoY.

  • Thailand's sugar production in the crop year to Jan. 31 rose 6.8%, but lower yields are offsetting the increased amount of cane being crushed

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The National Association of Realtors index of pending home sales rose 1.0% in December and 10.9% YoY

  • YoY Producer prices in the EU fell 2.9%

  • Debt-hit Greece should not be bailed out, one of the founders of Europe's euro currency has warned.

  • China’s government, seeking to stem property speculation, told banks to raise interest rates on “third” mortgages and demand bigger down payments.

  • China's Cotton Association estimated that cotton plantings will be down 5% this year.

  • (Bloomberg) -- Raw sugar prices probably will decline from a 29-year high this year as a “huge increase” in production driven mainly by Brazil may balance the market, according to German research company F.O. Licht.

  • Global sugar production will trail demand by 8 million metric tons, more than forecast, F.O. Licht said.

  • Swiss lawmaker compares Germany's attempts to get hold of data on cross-border tax evaders to bank robbery.

  • Cement, coal and industrial metals producers across Asia will benefit in coming years from a massive push by India to overhaul its infrastructure, a fund manager at JPMorgan Asset Management said.

  • Copper prices are set to plunge as speculators unwind positions and global inventories expand, according to David Threlkeld, president of metals trader Resolved Inc.

  • Fortis bank estimates the cocoa stock to use ratio at 35% at the end of 2010-11.

Should Germany bail out Club Med or leave the euro altogether?
Germany faces a terrible dilemma. Either Europe's paymaster agrees to underwrite a Greek bail-out and drops its vehement opposition to a de facto EU economic government, treasury, and debt union, or the euro will start to unravel, and with it Germany's strategic investment in the post-war order.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. personal incomes rose 0.3% in December. YoY personal incomes fell 1.4%, the biggest decline since 1938.

  • U.S. Consumer spending rose 0.2%.

  • The Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing index rose from 54.9 to 58.4

  • U.S. Construction spending fell 1.2% MoM. YoY construction spending fell 12.4%

  • Manufacturing in Australia rose from 48.5 to 51.0 in January

  • Manufacturing in the U.K. rose from 54.6 to 56.7 in January.

  • Manufacturing in the EU rose from 51.6 to 52.4 in January

  • Russia's GDP fell 7.9% in 2009

  • Global demand for sugar will exceed supply by 13.5 million tons this season, according to broker Czarnikow Group Ltd.

  • (Bloomberg) -- Soybean fungi are spreading across Brazil and Argentina, the world’s second- and third-largest producers, threatening record crops.

  • The USDA said U.S. cattle inventory fell 0.9% YoY

  • Australia surprised markets with the decision to leave its rates unchanged at 3.75%.

  • Shell plans $1.63B investment in Brazilian ethanol.

  • Weekly charts of interest:
    World Copper stocks, NY weekly adv. Issues.