Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Quick Overview

  • (Bloomberg) Informa Economics Inc. said farmers will plant corn on 90.755 million acres, less than a November forecast of 93.055 million. Soybeans will be sown on 77.565 million, down from a record 77.714 million this year, the Memphis-based researcher said today in a report. Informa said farmers may plant the most acres of cotton in five years, after prices jumped to a record.

  • U.S. Sugar Corp. said five nights of freezing Florida weather in the past 10 days “severely damaged” a cane crop.

  • A shortage of high-quality arabica coffee has led to “precariousness of the supply/demand balance,” the ICO said.

  • Bank of America has halted all transactions for WikiLeaks, joining other institutions that refuse to process payments for the website that has exposed a trove of US government cables.

  • Elwynn Taylor: The La NiƱa to date is tracking the 1973-4 event, a Risk factor for 2011

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mad Soybean’ Disease May Cut Some Brazil Output
(Bloomberg) -- Soybean farmers in Brazil, the world’s second-largest producer of the oilseed, are facing a new crop disease that threatens to curb yields in some areas by as much as 60 percent, a government researcher said

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quick Overview

  • The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing survey rose to 24.3 from 22.5 in November.

  • Yields on 10-year notes have risen so far this month by about 72 basis points, making it one of the worst months in 20 years.

  • U.S. housing starts rose 3.9% in November. Permits for new construction fell 4%.

  • U.S. Jobless claims fell by 3,000 to a total of 420,000 in the latest week, the third decline in the past four weeks.

  • TheU.S. current-account deficit widened to $127.2 billion in Q3 from $123.2 billion in Q2.

  • Annual inflation in the euro zone remained stable at 1.9 % in November

  • Rabobank said the U.S.  may use as much as 5.1 billion bushels of corn to produce ethanol the grain-based gasoline additive in 2010-2011 -- eroding inventories. The extra ethanol consumption implied a corn stock to use ratio at less than 4%.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Quick Overview

  • U.S. consumer prices rose 0.1% in November

  • (Guardian) Time’s poll found that almost six out 10 Americans believe Assange should face criminal charges for releasing the cables.

  • U.S. industrial output rose 0.4%, the biggest gain since July.

  • The DOE said:
  • Crude oil supplies fell 9.85 million barrels to 346 million last week. Stockpiles were forecast to decrease by 2.5 million barrels.
  • Gasoline supplies rose 809,000 barrels to 214.8 million.
  • Refineries operated at 88% of capacity.
  • Distillate supplies rose 1.09 million barrels to 161.3 million.

  • (Bloomberg) Silver, the leading performer in metals this year, is likely to repeat its success in 2011, reaching $40 an ounce on new applications and industry demand, said the head of commodity trading in Japan at Standard Bank Plc.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why I'm Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange By Michael Moore
Openness, transparency -- these are among the few weapons the citizenry has to protect itself from the powerful and the corrupt. What if within days of August 4th, 1964 -- after the Pentagon had made up the lie that our ship was attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin -- there had been a WikiLeaks to tell the American people that the whole thing was made up? I guess 58,000 of our soldiers (and 2 million Vietnamese) might be alive today.

Quick Overview

  • U.S. retail sales rose 0.8% in November, marking fifth straight monthly increase

  • U.S. PPI rose 0.8% in November -- the biggest gain since March.(prices for fresh fruits and melons rose 13.6%)

  • The FT reports that Portugal has become the first EU country with a sugar shortage.

  • Indian inflation in November declined to 7.48 % from 8.58 % in the previous month.

  • YoY China's exports grew by 34.9% in November to US$153.33 billion, while the nation's imports surged by 37.7% to $130.43 billion
  • China's trade surplus declined to $22.89 billion in November, down from $27.1 billion in October, reports Xinhua.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reclaim the Cyber-Commons For his film (Astro)Turf Wars, Taki Oldham secretly recorded a training session organised by a rightwing libertarian group called American Majority. The trainer, Austin James, was instructing Tea Party members on how to “manipulate the medium”(11). This is what he told them:
“Here’s what I do. I get on Amazon; I type in “Liberal Books”. I go through and I say “one star, one star, one star”. The flipside is you go to a conservative/ libertarian whatever, go to their products and give them five stars. … This is where your kids get information: Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster. These are places where you can rate movies. So when you type in “Movies on Healthcare”, I don’t want Michael Moore’s to come up, so I always give it bad ratings. I spend about 30 minutes a day, just click, click, click, click. … If there’s a place to comment, a place to rate, a place to share information, you have to do it. That’s how you control the online dialogue and give our ideas a fighting chance.”

No update today

Quick Overview

  • Precious metals will probably give investors the best returns among commodities in the next year, and livestock the worst, Goldman Sachs  said. Goldman also sees cotton prices hitting 125 cents a pound in a year's time, and soybeans at $14.00 a bushel.

  • YoY China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 18.7% in November
  • China’s CPI rose 5.1%, the PPI rose 6.1%.
  • China kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged.

  • CoreLogic said 10.8 million homes, or 22.5% of those with mortgages, were “underwater” as of Sept. 30th. That's down from 11 million, or 23% in June.
  • JPMorgan has quietly reduced a large "short" position in the US silver futures market.
  • (Bloomberg) -- Sugar production in Australia, the third-largest exporter, may plunge to the lowest in almost two decades as wet weather forces producers to leave some cane unharvested this season.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quick Overview

  • GE raised its quarterly dividend to 14 cents a share from 12 cents a share, the second increase this year.

  • China's inflation surged to a two year high last month despite government control efforts, prompting fears that U.S. consumers will soon face paying more for Chinese made products.

  • (Spiegel) It is a triumph for Mexico and a step forward in the fight against global warming: the Cancun climate conference reached a compromise in a dramatic conclusion to negotiations on Saturday. The deal preserves the UN's leadership in climate talks. But the compromises reached were modest

  • The United States recorded a larger-than-expected $150 billion budget gap last month.

  • The USDA raised projected Corn ending stocks by 5 million to 832 million bushels.
  • The USDA has Soybean ending stocks to just 165 million bushels. That represents a 18-day supply.
  • The USDA estimates wheat ending stocks to 858 million bushels.

  • OPEC ministers announced Saturday the oil output would remain unchanged, while Saudi Arabia said it favors a price between 70 to 80 dollars per barrel.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Global bond rout deepens on US fiscal worries
The US tax deal adds $1 trillion of stimulus over two years, according to BNP Paribas. America's budget deficit will remain stuck near 10pc of GDP, not just in 2011 but also in 2012. This will push gross public debt to 110pc of GDP under the IMF definition, near the brink of a debt compound spiral. The contrast with fiscal tightening in Europe has become starkly evident.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Quick Overview

  • China November trade surplus narrows to $22.9 Bln.

  • The U.S. Treasury sold $13 billion in 30-year bonds at a yield of 4.41% -- lower than traders expected.

  • U.S household debt fell at an annual rate of 1.75% in Q3 to $13.4 trillion. U.S. household financial assets gained from 43.8 trillion dollars in Q2 to 45.7 trillion dollars in Q3, with household deposits increasing from 7.62 trillion dollars in the second quarter to 7.66 trillion dollars in the third quarter, a sign of U.S. consumers changing habit of saving more and spending less.

  • U.S. wholesale inventories rose 1.9% in October

  • U.S. weekly jobless claims fell 17,000 to 421,000

  • An Italian court sentenced the founder of Parmalat to 18 years in prison for his role in the Italian dairy company's 2003 collapse.

  • Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan agreed to launch the Common Economic Space (CES) of the Customs Union on Jan. 1, 2012

  • Over the past decade trade between the United States and India has surged by 169 per cent to reach US$38.5 billion in 2010. US exports to India have risen by almost 350% since 2000, US imports from India have risen by 107 %.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Australia's unemployment rate fell 0.2 % to 5.2% in November.

  • Japan's GDP grew at an annualized 4.5% rate in the three months ended Sept. 30.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Keith Olbermann comment on Bush tax

Quick Overview

  • US stocks lost gains late in the session after rallying for most of the day on the back of the extension of the Bush tax cuts.

  • YoY Bank lending in Japan fell 2.1% in November, marking the 12th successive month of decline.

  • YoY Japan's current account surplus rose 2.9 % in October to 1,436.2 billion yen (17.20 billion U.S.)

  • MoM Japan's core machinery orders declined 1.4% in October

  • The American shipping community - and its customers - praised the US and South Korean governments for reaching consensus on a new free trade deal, and said they look forward to enjoying its benefits once ratified.

  • ETF Securities says it has approval from European regulators to launch three physically backed metals ETF’s. Expected to begin trading Friday in London, the ETF’s specialize in copper, nickel and tin.

Monday, December 06, 2010

AkzoNobel has become man's best friend in China thanks to Dulux and its dog
The winning allure, surprisingly, is Dulux's old English sheepdog peering out of paint pots through a mop of white hair. "Having a dog in China has become a status symbol," said Karen Yin, Dulux's marketing director in China. "A dog represents loyalty and the warmth of the family."

Quick Overview

  • India's gold imports this year are likely to be 700 metric tons, about 46% more than last year

  • Standard Bank said China’s demand for gold is likely to total 600 tons this year up from less than 500 tons last year, with around 250 tons having to be imported.

  • Price increases are decelerating at the greatest pace in nearly 30 years, a paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco said.

  • Bernanke said the central bank may boost purchases of U.S. debt.

  • (FT)The euro falls after Germany casts doubt on the future of eurozone stability by rejecting calls to increase the size of EU bail-out fund and issue a single euro bond.

  • Moody’s cut Hungary’s credit rating to just above junk.

  • The prospect of additional US stimulus boosts demand for precious metals.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Next update Sunday Dec. 5

Quick Overview

  • Goldman: American soybean inventories potentially on course to fall to 4.0%, as a proportion of use, the lowest since the 1960s.

  • U.S. pending-home sales rose 10.4% in October

  • Weekly U.S. jobless claims rise 26,000 to 436,000

  • European Central Bank keeps rates at 1%

  • China may have a refined sugar shortage of 2.5 million metric tons in the 2010-2011 marketing year that needs to be met by imports or selling reserves, the China Merchandise Reserve Management Centre said.

  • BNP Paribas has raised its average 2011 gold-price forecast to $1,500 an ounce and looks for the metal to average $1,600 in 2012.

  • The Federal Reserve might need to curtail its $600 billion bond purchase plan if the economy grows more strongly than anticipated, said Charles Plosser.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Quick Overview

  • Fed Beige Book: US economic growth continues to improve

  • U.S Private-sector employment rose 93,000 in November, the largest gain in three years

  • Casino revenue rose 42% YoY in November, according to Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

  • (FT)ECB president’s comments that the bank could step up purchases of Eurozone bonds help stabilize European sovereign debt markets and propel global equity markets.

  • ISM manufacturing index slips to 56.6% in November

  • U.S. Q3 nonfarm productivity revised to 2.3% from prior estimate of 1.9%.

  • China's Purchasing Managers Index at 55.2 beat forecast of 54.7.

  • South Korea’s imports of iron ore in October were an all-time record at 5.32 Mt – up 34% YoY.

  • India’s coal deficit will deepen sharply next year, its coal minister said, forcing Asia’s third largest economy to import more of the fuel on which it relies.

  • EU Purchasing Managers index rose to 55.3 from 54.6 in October.

  • The unemployment rate in the euro zone hit a record high of 10.1 percent in October.

  • S.Korea’s CPI grew by 3.3 % YoY.

  • YoY Canada’s GDP grew 1.0 %in Q3

  • (Bloomberg) -- China’s gold imports jumped almost fivefold in the first 10 months