FOREX: The yen hit a 2-1/2 year low against the dollar as markets positioned for the Bank of Japan to take bold action to tackle deflation at a policy-setting meeting early next week. (Reuters)
FOREX-Yen hits 2-1/2 year low, bold BOJ easing eyed
SINGAPORE/SYDNEY, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The yen hit a 2-1/2 year low against the dollar as markets positioned for the Bank of Japan to take bold action to tackle deflation at a policy-setting meeting early next week.
"There might be a dip after the BOJ, but the drop could turn out to be surprisingly shallow, and I think from there the direction will be a rise towards 93 yen to 95 yen," Hiroshi Maeba, head of FX trading Japan for UBS in Tokyo said.
China's economy rebounds in Q4, 2012 weakest since 1999 (Reuters)
China's economy regained speed in the final quarter of 2012, pulling out of a post-global financial crisis downturn that produced the slowest year of economic growth since 1999.
Argentina cuts wheat crop view due to bad weather (Reuters)
Argentina will produce 10.1 million tonnes of wheat this season, the agricultural ministry said on Thursday, citing extreme weather as the reason for cutting back its previous estimate of 10.5 million tonnes.
UK Brent oil flow resumes, cargo delayed (Reuters)
A Brent crude cargo in January has been delayed by this week's shutdown of the Brent pipeline system, although the restart of the flow on Thursday suggested no lasting disruption to supply of the oil which forms part of the global Brent benchmark.
OIL: Brent crude steadied above $111 per barrel, supported by a rebound in China's growth and encouraging data from the United States, while a steep jump in the previous session, triggered partly by an Algerian crisis, limited further gains. (Reuters)
China 2012 crude steel output up 3 pct at 716.5 mln tonnes (Reuters)
China produced 716.5 million tonnes of steel in the whole of 2012, up 3 percent from the previous year, despite crumbling profit margins and a slowdown in the economy, data from the country's statistics bureau showed.
BASE METAS: London copper was steady, on track to close the week little changed as improving economic landscapes in China and the United States bolstered the demand outlook, but concerns over the U.S. debt ceiling loomed over prices. (Reuters)
PRECIOUS METALS: Platinum and palladium hovered near multi-month highs hit in the previous session as upbeat data from the world's top two economies bolstered hopes for global recovery, while gold was little changed after marking a one-month peak. (Reuters)
METALS-Copper inches up as China, US data lifts demand outlook
SINGAPORE, Jan 18 (Reuters) - London copper climbed on track to close the week with small gains as improving economic landscapes in China and the United States made for a sunnier demand outlook, but concerns about the U.S. debt loomed over prices.
"The (China) numbers were a little bit higher than expected," said analyst Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone in New York. "We could therefore have a decent uptick going into next week. The macro picture both out of the United States and China look good for metals," Meir said.
PRECIOUS-Palladium hits 16-month high on economic recovery hope
SINGAPORE, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Palladium rose to a 16-month high and platinum hovered near a three-month high hit in the previous session, buoyed by upbeat data from the world's top two economies, as gold traded slightly higher to near a one-month high.
"They are clearly in a sweet spot," said Dominic Schnider, an analyst at UBS Wealth Management in Singapore.
Baltic index up on higher capesize demand
Jan 16 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry commodities, rose for a tenth straight day on Wednesday as demand for capesizes surged.
The main index, which gauges the cost of shipping commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilizer, rose 16 points or 2.09 percent to 781 points.