Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quick Overview

  • ADP Employer Services said that they show a loss of 23,000 U.S. private sector jobs in March

  • Unemployment in the EU rose from 9.5% to 9.6% in February

  • Consumer prices in the EU rose1.5% in March

  • The USDA expects farmers in 2010-2011 to plant:
    88.8 million acres of corn, up 3% YoY.
    78.1 million acres of soybeans, up slightly YoY.
    53.8 million acres of wheat, down 9% YoY.
    13.9 million acres of spring wheat, up 5% YoY.
    10.5 million acres of cotton, up 15% YoY.

  • The USDA said that on March 1st, there were:
    7.69 billion bushels of corn stocks, up 11% YoY.
    1.27 billion bushels of soybean stocks, down 2% YoY.
    1.35 billion bushels of wheat stocks, up 30% YoY.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 2.9 million barrels to 354.2 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline rose 300,000 barrels
    Supplies of heating oil supplies rose 1.0 million barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 81.1% to 82.6% of capacity last week.
    Gasoline demand rose 1.5%
    Distillate demand fell 1.0% YoY

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The Standard and Poors/Case-Shiller index of home prices in twenty cities fell 0.4% in January and down 0.7% YoY.

  • The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence rose from 46.4 to 52.5 in March, better than expected.

  • U.K.’s GDP rose 0.4% Q4 and fell 3.1% YoY

  • Japan's unemployment rate was unchanged in February, at 4.9%
    Japan’s industrial production fell 0.9%.
    Japan’s household spending fell 0.5% in February

  • (FT) Global miners have agreed to a record increase in iron ore prices after they signed deals to replace the 40-year-old pricing system based on annual contracts with new short-term deals linked to the spot market

  • The WSJ reported that Apple plans to make an iPhone that will work with Verizon’s CDMA (Qualcomm) network

Monday, March 29, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. personal incomes were unchanged in February

  • U.S. Consumer spending rose 0.3%.

  • YoY Japan's retail sales rose 4.2% in February

  • USDA said that there were 63.988 million head of hogs and pigs in the U.S. on March 1st -- down 2.8% YoY

  • The World Gold Council said China's gold consumption was 11% of world demand in 2009 and that it was expected to double in the next ten years.

  • Weekly soybean shipments = 29.3 mln bu; shipments to date exceed seasonal pace needed to reach USDA target by 170 mln bu & gap is growing (Arlan Suderman)

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia sounded a hawkish warning over interest rates.

  • China is expected to grow 12% in the first three months of this year due to faster-than-expected factory output.

  • In 2009, China produced 189 million tons of crude oil, but imported an extra 199 million tons, and the oil import dependence well exceeded the warning line of 50%t for the first time to reach 51.29 percent.

  • Demand for steel around the world will rise 11 percent in 2010 as the global economy recovers, World Steel Association said.

  • (WSJ) Demand for uranium looks set to drive a fresh wave of Chinese investment in Australia-listed miners as nuclear power generators seek supply for dozens of planned reactors.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Shares started to trim their gains amid reports that a South Korean navy ship had sunk in waters near disputed maritime border with North Korea.

  • Barack Obama and Russia's Dmitry Medvedev agreed on cuts in the nuclear arsenals of both nations.

  • The U.S. economy grew at the fastest pace in six years during the final three months of 2009, fueled by a huge inventory adjustment, strong business investments and modest consumer spending, the Commerce Department estimated Friday. U.S. real gross domestic product increased at a 5.6% annualized pace in the fourth quarter, revised down from the 5.9% pace reported a month ago

  • The University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment unchanged at 73.6 in March,

  • Euro zone / IMF officials reached an agreement to provide emergency aid to Greece, if necessary.

  • YoY Japan's consumer prices fell 1.1% in February

  • U.S. beef production totaled 1.96 billion pounds in February, down 2% YoY

  • U.S. Pork production totaled 1.76 billion pounds in February, down 3% YoY

  • The US Supreme Court has denied an injunction from Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox to close the Chicago Canal to block entry of Asian carp considered to be an invasive species that threaten the Great Lakes environment.
    The carp, which have made their way up he Mississippi from the Gulf of Mexico, grow up to 100 pounds and eat 40 per cent of their body weight a day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Jobless claims fell 14,000 last week to 442,000

  • YoY U.K. Retail sales rose 4.9% in February

  • The International Grain Council predicted that world corn planting will be up 2% in 2010-2011

  • (Reuters) - Euro zone leaders agreed on Thursday to create a joint financial safety net with the IMF to help debt-ridden Greece and to try to restore confidence in their common currency after weeks of wrangling.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Macquarie foresaw big falls in global oil inventories and said the huge surplus of oil in tankers at sea could be gone by summer.

  • U.S. durable goods orders rose 0.5% in February January's # were revised up from 2.6% to 3.9%

  • The Mortgage Bankers Association said that its index of mortgage applications fell 4.2% last week.

  • Fitch Rating Services cut the credit rating for Portugal one step to AA-.

  • Industrial new orders in the EU fell 0.2% MoM, but rose 6.3% YoY

  • Services and manufacturing index in the Euro area rose from 53.7 to 55.5 in March

  • YoY Japan's exports rose 45% in February -- Imports rose 30%.

  • The U.S. DOE said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 7.3 million barrels last week to 351.3 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline fell 2.7 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil rose 300,000 barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 80.6% to 81.1% of capacity
    Gasoline demand rose 1.2% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 0.9% YoY.

  • Figures from Hong Kong Airport Authority showed that cargo volume rose 30% YoY in February to 257,000 tonnes.

  • Air cargo demand is rocketing in response to global economic recovery, says Lufthansa Cargo CEO Carsten Spohr.

  • (FT) China’s second-largest mobile operator has announced it will remove Google’s search function from new handsets developed with the US company in the first concrete fallout of the clash with Beijing over internet censorship.
    (Spiegel) Google has stopped playing by the Chinese rules and moved its search engine to Hong Kong. The move allows the company to keep one foot in China while fulfilling its promise to end self-censorship.

  • (WSJ) Bank of America said it would offer more borrowers reductions in their mortgage-loan balances in the latest twist on efforts to avert foreclosures

  • The Department of Transportation’s second-highest official told senators that DOT’s preference for freight shipping is keep goods on waterways and rail as much as possible, getting them away from trucks except for the final delivery

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Existing home sales fell 06% MoM.

  • The Richmond Fed's regional index of manufacturing rose from +2 to +6 in March

  • Canada’s leading indicators rose 0.8% in February

  • The USDA said there were 516.8 million pounds of frozen pork in storage, down 17% YoY.

  • The USDA said frozen supplies of orange juice concentrate in storage totaled 1.295 billion pounds, up 3% YoY.

  • The International Copper Study Group said that world production of copper exceeded usage by 365,000 tons, up from a 224,000 ton surplus in 2008. In December alone, production exceeded usage by 115,000 tons. May copper ended down .0015 at $3.3790.

  • YoY U.K.'s consumer prices rose 0. 3.0% in February

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. jobless claims fell 5,000 last week to 457,000

  • U.S. leading indicators rose 0.1% in January.

  • The Philadelphia Fed regional index of manufacturing rose from 17.6 to 18.9 in March

  • YoY Greece's jobless rate rose to 10.3% in Q4 from 7.9

  • F.O. Licht raised its forecast for the global sugar deficit in 2009/10 to 7.7 million tonnes, up from a previous projection of 6.0 million.

  • (AP) U.N. rejects ban on Atlantic bluefin tuna.. It has been done in by the growing demand for raw tuna for traditional dishes such as sushi and sashimi. The bluefin variety - called "hon-maguro" in Japan - is particularly prized with a 200-kilogram (440-pound) Pacific bluefin tuna fetched a record 20.2 million yen ($220,000) last year.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Mortgage applications fell 1.9% last week.

  • U.K.'s unemployment out at 7.8%, down from 7.9% MoM

  • EU construction output fell 2.0% in January.

  • Japan's tertiary index of services rose 2.9% in January

  • The U.S. Department of Energy said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 1.0 million barrels last week to 344.0 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline fell 1.7 million barrels
    Supplies of heating oil fell 1.4 million barrels.
    Refinery use fell from 80.7% to 80.6% of capacity
    Gasoline demand rose 1.3% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 3.1% YoY

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. housing starts were at an annual rate of 575,000 in Feb, down 5.9% MoM, but up 0.2% YoY

  • Canada’s manufacturing sales rose 2.4% in January.

  • YoY Consumer prices in the EU rose 1.4% in February

  • The Fed kept the federal funds rate unchanged at 0.125%, as expected.

  • The World Bank raised its forecast for China's growth this year to 9.5%

  • (WSJ) The Bank of Japan decided to loosen monetary policy further by increasing the amount of low-interest loans available to the money market, stepping up its efforts to energize the country's anemic private demand to eradicate deflation.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Industrial production rose 0.1% in February

  • The New York Fed's regional index of manufacturing fell from 24.9 to 22.9 in March

  • Canada's existing home sales fell 1.5% in February.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lehman’s Fuld ‘Negligent’ as Firm Hid Leverage, Examiner Says
Then-Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld was “at least grossly negligent” for letting Lehman file financial reports in which a key gauge of strength was “reverse-engineered” through transactions known as Repo 105s, bankruptcy examiner Anton Valukas said in a report yesterday. Lehman auditor Ernst & Young LLP could be accused of “professional malpractice,” he said.

Quick Overview

  • U.S. Labor Department said that jobless claims were down 6,000 last week to 462,000

  • Falling domestic demand for oil and foreign cars narrowed the US trade gap in January. The result was net imports of $37.3 billion, down from $39.9 billion in December.

  • YoY consumer prices in China rose 2.7% in February

  • Australia's unemployment rate rose from 5.2% to 5.3% in February

  • Japan's GDP was rose 0.9% in Q4 and 1.4% YoY.

  • MoM U.S. silver imports rose 23.4% in January but fell 9.9% YoY.

  • (Spiegel) The German government has discovered the Internet and data privacy as a political issue. The new debate over who should control the online world reveals a clash of two cultures, with the American ideal of freedom contrasting with the European desire for privacy.

  • Ship container volumes from Asia to Europe rose for a third consecutive month in January, growing by over 10% YoY.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Japan's machinery orders fell 3.7% in January.

  • YoY China's exports rose 46% in February and imports rose 45%.

  • The USDA's 2009-2010 U.S. ending stocks estimate of:
    Corn was raised from 1.719 to 1.799 billion bushels.
    Soybeans were lowered from 210 to 190 million bushels.
    Wheat was raised from .981 to 1.001 billion bushels.
    Sugar was raised from 1.055 to 1.075 million tons.
    Cotton was lowered from 3.3 to 3.2 million bales.

  • The USDA's 2009-2010 world ending stocks estimate of:
    Corn was raised from 134 to 140 million tons.
    Soybeans were raised from 60 to 61 million tons.
    Wheat was raised from 196 to 197 million tons.
    Cotton was lowered from 52 to 51 million bales.

    OJ was raised from 129 to 131 million boxes, but yield was lowered from 1.56 to 1.53 gallons per box

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Markopolos Sums it up

Fitch warns Britain and questions Greek rescue as sovereign risks grow
A string of European states are stepping up the pace of retrenchment, aiming to cut deficits to 3pc of GDP within three years. The risk is that Britain will soon stick out like a sore thumb, left behind with a shockingly large deficit long after such loose fiscal policy can be justified as a crisis measure. The UK deficit this year is 12.6pc of GDP, the highest among G10 states.

Quick Overview

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Luxembourg's Prime Minister Juncker said today that Europe and the U.S. must take quick action to regulate credit-default swaps before more financial crises occur.
  • (It’s like buying fire insurance on your neighbor’s house — you create an incentive to burn it down)

  • Lumber closed up its $10 daily limit.

  • The U.S. DOE expects world oil demand to increase from 84.0 to 85.5 million barrels per day in 2010, up from last month's estimate of 85.3.

  • U.K. exports fell 6.9% in January while imports fell 1.6%.

  • Japan's coincident index rose from 97.4 to 99.9 in January, better than expected

  • Sugar prices endure another pounding after estimates for India's production this season were revised higher.

  • The CME is to launch a US dollar-denominated cash-settled crude palm oil futures contract on May 23

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Quick Overview

  • (Bloomberg) -- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said European officials are lucky that the euro region’s first major crisis was sparked by one of its smaller members and he’s confident the currency will survive.

  • U.S. rail carload freight reaches highest level in more than a year

  • World oil consumption has recovered back to its pre-crash peak. Numbers published for December 2009, and January 2010 show that demand for the crude once again touched 86.4 MB/d – or A Thousand Barrels a Second.

  • (WSJ) China faces mounting pressure from trading partners to loosen currency controls and is giving signs it might raise the value of the Yuan to ease strains on its fast-growing economy.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture should permit importation of an extra one million tons of raw sugar because domestic stocks are in danger of running out, said John Sheptor, chief executive of Imperial Sugar Company.

  • China's high speed rail network (HSR ) is shaping up at an extraordinary speed. The country saw its first experimental HSR in operation in 2003, but by 2014, it will have reached 28,000 km in length - twice as large as similar networks in the rest of the world combined.

  • A nationwide referendum is taking place in Switzerland on a proposal to give animals the constitutional right to be represented in court.

  • (FT) Reykjavik vowed to seek a fresh debt repayment deal with Britain and the Netherlands, but urged the two countries to heed the ‘strong cry of defiance’ delivered by voters in the weekend referendum on the issue.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. unemployment rate stayed at 9.7% in February while non-farm payrolls fell 36,000.

  • (Bloomberg) -- Borrowing by U.S. consumers unexpectedly rose in January for the first time in a year, led by auto loans and indicating Americans are gaining confidence in the economy.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. jobless claims fell 29,000 last week to 469,000

  • U.S. factory orders rose 1.7% in January

  • U.S. non-farm productivity increased 5.8% in Q4

  • Japan's business investment fell 17% in Q4

  • The Bank of England kept its interest rate unchanged.

  • The EU kept its interest rate unchanged at 1.00%,

  • EU GDP fell 2.3% in Q4

  • Japan's business investment fell 17% in Q4

  • Greece’s five-year bond was three times oversubscribed.

  • Analysts in China expect the country's iron ore imports in March this year could reach an all-time record high of 60 million mt.

  • Australian Iron ore exports may rise to AU$35 billion ($31 billion) in the 12 months ending June 30, 2011, from AU$29 billion ($26.2 billion) this year.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The Institute of Supply Managements' index of U.S. services increased from 50.5 to 53.0 in February --the highest since December of 2007.

  • The Mortgage Bankers Association said U.S. Mortgage applications rose 14.6% last week.

  • Australia's GDP rose 0.9% in Q4 of 2009 and up 2.7% YoY

  • An index of services in the U.K. rose from 54.5 to 58.4

  • YoY container volumes on the transpacific eastbound trade from Asia to the US fell by 15.3% in 2009 to 10.1 million TEU

  • The International Cocoa Organization expects world production of cocoa to fall short of consumption by 18,000 tons in 2009-2010.

  • The U.S. DOE said:
    Supplies of crude oil rose 4.1 million barrels last week to 341.6 million barrels.
    Supplies of gasoline rose 700,000 barrels
    Supplies of heating oil fell 400,000 barrels.
    Refinery use rose from 81.2% to 81.9%
    Gasoline demand rose 0.1% YoY
    Distillate demand fell 4.8% YoY.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Data, data everywhere
WHEN the Sloan Digital Sky Survey started work in 2000, its telescope in New Mexico collected more data in its first few weeks than had been amassed in the entire history of astronomy. Now, a decade later, its archive contains a whopping 140 terabytes of information. A successor, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, due to come on stream in Chile in 2016, will acquire that quantity of data every five days.

Such astronomical amounts of information can be found closer to Earth too. Wal-Mart, a retail giant,..

Quick Overview

  • YoY global air travel rose 6.4% in January.

  • Australia hiked its interest rate to 4%.

  • Canada kept its interest rate unchanged at 0.25%

  • Japan’s unemployment rate improved from 5.2% to 4.9% in January

  • The CME said YoY interest rate futures volume rose 37%. Its equity index volume dropped 14% while energy contracts rose 5% and foreign exchange surged 82%. Metals contracts rose 57%.

  • The Indian prime minister's economic advisory panel said white sugar stocks could "rapidly approach the nil level", and urged imports of 3m-5m tonnes.

  • Shanghai, the world's second largest container port after Singapore, experienced a throughput increase of 18% to 2.24 million TEU in January, reported Xinhua.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Don't go wobbly on us now, Ben Bernanke
The Fed's Monetary Multiplier dropped to an all-time low of 0.809 last week.

Quick Overview

  • (WSJ) The EU's monetary affairs commissioner said the EU is ready to support Greece, but urged the country to take further measures to shrink its budget deficit.

  • U.S. personal incomes rose 0.1% in January

  • U.S. consumer spending rose 0.5%.

  • The Institute of Supply Management said its index of U.S. manufacturing fell from 58.4 to 56.5

  • MoM U.S. construction spending fell 0.6%.

  • Canada’s GDP rose 0.6% in December