Friday, October 14, 2011

20111014 1622 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Asia Stocks Decline as Spain Downgrade, China Inflation Sow Growth Concern (Bloomberg)
Asian stocks fell, ending a six-day winning streak for the regional benchmark index, after credit- rating downgrades of Spain and European banks fueled concern the region’s debt crisis slow global growth. Chinese companies tumbled as a report showed continued high inflation, lessening the chances of monetary-policy easing in the world’s second-largest economy. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s No. 1 miner, fell 2.1 percent in Sydney after commodity prices slumped yesterday. Esprit Holdings Ltd. (330), a clothier that gets 83 percent of its revenue in Europe, dropped 1.4 percent in Hong Kong. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s biggest lender, fell 1.5 percent after JPMorgan Chase & Co., the No. 2 U.S. bank by assets, said profit declined.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.8 percent to 116.77 as of 4:03 p.m. in Tokyo. The gauge climbed 9.7 percent in the previous six days, setting the measure on course for its biggest weekly gain since March after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged last weekend to deliver a plan to recapitalize Europe’s banks and address Greece’s debt crisis.

Commodity sell-off hits star hedgies' track records
LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - A sharp sell-off in commodity markets in the past few weeks is wreaking havoc with the track records of some of the biggest-name funds in the sector, many of which now languish near the bottom of the $2 trillion industry's performance tables.
Funds like Mike Coleman's Merchant Commodity fund and Willem Kooyker's Blenheim Capital sit on hefty double-digit losses for the year after investors worried about global economic growth recently dumped gold, copper and cocoa for less-risky assets.

US soy dips after 4-day rally, wheat rebounds
SINGAPORE, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Chicago soy fell half a percent, as the market took a breather following a four-day rally, but stayed on track for its biggest weekly gain in almost two years on dwindling stockpiles and firm cash prices.
"We are still bearish on wheat as there is a lot of competition in the market and I don't see any fresh news which can trigger a surge in prices," said Lynette Tan, a grains analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Malaysia turns to South Asian rice as Thai floods delay cargoes -paper
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Malaysia will source rice cargoes from India and Pakistan to meet its import needs after floods swamped farms and mills in Thailand, the world's largest exporter of the grain, the Star newspaper reported on Friday.
It quoted Deputy Agriculture Minister Johari Baharum as saying that while Malaysia has a stockpile of close to one million tonnes of rice that can last more than five months, it was awaiting a consignment from Bangkok where water levels were still rising.

Argentine wheat seen falling to 12.6 mln T-exchange
BUENOS AIRES, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Argentina's 2011/12 wheat harvest is expected to total at least 12.6 million tonnes, down from 15.8 million tonnes last season, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday in its first estimate of the crop.
Dry weather has hurt this season's wheat crop, which is already being harvested in some northern areas. Argentina is a leading global wheat exporter as well as the No. 3 soybean exporter.

China makes big U.S. corn buy, more sales seen
CHICAGO/WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Thursday confirmed the sale of 900,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to China, signaling the country's emergence as a major importer that could prove to be explosive for grains markets.
It was the second largest sale of U.S. corn in a single day to China and was believed to be part of a sale reported by Chinese traders on Wednesday, traders said.

Guatemala, El Salvador coffee exports rise in season
GUATEMALA CITY, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Coffee exports from Guatemala and El Salvador rose in the 2010/11 harvest compared to the previous season, as farmers took advantage of higher prices, the national coffee associations of both countries said on Thursday.
Exports from El Salvador soared to 1.73 million 60-kg bags in the 2010/11 crop year, which ended last month. That amount was 74 percent more than were shipped in the 2009/10 cycle, while Guatemala saw exports increase by 6 percent during the same period.

Brazil cane growers see "small" 2012/13 crop
SAO PAULO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Brazil's 2012/13 center-south cane crop will be similar to that being harvested now as bad weather over the past few months hurt crop development, the head of Brazil's main cane growers group said on Thursday.
The center-south, which accounts for 90 percent of Brazil's cane production, posted its first drop in output in 11 years this season due mainly to unfavorable weather conditions since 2009 and poor yields from aging cane fields.

EU clears 218,000 tonnes wheat exports this week
PARIS, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The European Union this week granted export licences for 218,000 tonnes of soft wheat, taking the total since the beginning of the 2011/12 (July-June) season to 4.1 million tonnes, official data showed on Thursday.
The total so far this season compared with 7.1 million tonnes of export licences cleared by the same stage in 2010/11.

Brent crude firms above $111; trade eyes U.S. data
SINGAPORE, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Brent crude rose further above $111, heading for a second-straight weekly increase, as investors looked to more data from top oil consumers United States and China for cues on economic health and fuel demand.
"Prices are consolidating, on a mix of positive and negative news for oil, as the market looks for a direction to go," said Jeremy Friesen, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Societe Generale, referring to the recent restart of Libyan oil exports and concern global economic growth will falter.

Japan utilities LNG usage up in Sept
TOKYO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Japan's 10 utilities consumed 4.36 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in September, compared with 3.54 million tonnes a year earlier, reflecting their need to offset a fall in nuclear power generation to a record low by burning more gas, industry data showed on Friday.
A massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that hit northeast Japan triggered a crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, forcing utilities to burn more fossil fuels to make up lost output from reactors either hit by the March disaster or unable to restart for a prolonged period amid safety concerns.

Copper rises but Spain fears may limit gains
SHANGHAI, Oct 14 (Reuters) - London copper edged higher , backed by short covering, limited restocking by Chinese consumers and positive sentiment over China's latest inflation data. 
"It's a technical rebound today, but there should still be a downtrend for copper in the longer term as credit remains very tight in China despite talks of Beijing holding its tightening policy for now," said Dongzheng Futures trader Du Xiao Hua.

Japan Sept aluminium stocks down 4.1 pct m/m
TOKYO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Aluminium stocks held at three major Japanese ports at the end of September fell 4.1 percent during the month due in part to higher demand from the automobile sector, but overall demand lacks strength, trading house Marubeni Corp  said on Thursday.
Aluminium stocks at these ports fell by 9,800 tonnes to 231,400 tonnes as of the end of September from 241,200 tonnes a month earlier, said Marubeni, which collects data from the key ports of Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka.

Gold flat after Spain downgrade; G20 eyed
SINGAPORE, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Gold traded flat but was headed for its biggest weekly gains in more than a month, shrugging off the credit rating downgrade of Spain ahead of a G20 meeting whose agenda will be dominated by the euro zone debt crisis.
"The bar is very high for Europe credit news to be considered 'bad' beyond what is priced in," said a Singapore-based trader.

India gold ETF demand likely to explode - WGC
MUMBAI, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Demand for gold exchange traded funds (ETF) in India is likely to "explode" as investors get accustomed to "click-and-park" mode of investing, shying away from sagging stock markets and as high inflation eats into bank savings, a trade body head told Reuters on Thursday.
"Clearly people are seeing convenience in the form of ETF, going through the same broker which he has for equities," said Ajay Mitra, managing director - India and the Middle East, World Gold Council (WGC).

JPMorgan trims commodities trading risk in Q3
NEW YORK, Oct 13 (Reuters) - JPMorgan  trimmed its commodities trading risk in the third quarter while upping its risk in currencies and bonds, as heightened volatility across markets reduced the attractiveness of riskier assets like raw materials.
JPMorgan Chase & Co, the first major U.S. bank to announce results for the period, reported lower third-quarter profits, including a decline in quarterly revenues in its Fixed Income Markets business, which includes commodities.

COLUMN-China commodity trade has something for everybody: Clyde Russell
SINGAPORE, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The marvellous, or vexing, thing about data and statistics is that they can generally be interpreted to fit your preferred narrative, and China's commodity trade numbers for September show this well.
For the bulls there was an 11.8 percent jump in copper imports from the prior month to the highest since May 2010, the biggest iron ore imports since January, slightly higher crude oil imports on a barrels-a-day basis and a gain in coal purchases.  

European aluminium premiums soften on 2012 caution
LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Falling European aluminium premiums reflect concerns over a potential 2012 economic slump, but German industrial demand and financing deals are buttressing demand for now, traders said on Thursday.
Traders noted a divide between countries in the north versus the south of the European Union. German industry has kept orders ticking over, while consumers in the debt-plagued south have preferred to de-risk and de-stock as 2011 business begins to wind down.

Pay protest paralyses Zambia Chinese copper plant
LUSAKA, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Production at Zambia's Chinese-owned Chambishi Copper Smelter ground to a halt on Thursday due to a wage strike that started a day earlier, labour sources said.
In a separate incident, about 500 workers seeking higher wages walked off the job on Thursday at Zambia's largest cobalt plant, Chambishi Metals, which is majority owned by Kazak miner ENRC .

Japan smelters plan 5.7 pct rise in H2 copper output y/y
TOKYO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Japan's copper output will return to pre-quake levels in the October-March half-year, rising 5.7 percent from a year earlier to 762,000 tonnes as manufacturers recover from the March 11 disaster while demand in emerging markets remains solid.
Zinc smelters, which had lost nearly 70 percent of their output capacity after the quake due to damage to facilities, plan 311,600 tonnes of output in October-March, up 16.4 percent from a year ago.

China Sept copper imports up, may rise further in Oct
HONG KONG, Oct 13 (Reuters) - China's monthly imports of unwrought copper and semi-finished copper products rose 11.8 percent in September to a 16-month high and arrivals may rise further in October as importers take more spot metal on improved margins.
The data came as global miner Rio Tinto   forecast continued strong commodities demand in remarks that could allay investor fears over the economic vulnerability of its biggest market, China.

No recent iron ore shipment to China cancelled-BHP
PARIS, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Global miner BHP Billiton  has not had any iron ore shipment to China cancelled or renegotiated in the last few weeks, the company's Chief Executive Ferrous and Coal said on Thursday.
Concern had risen in markets that Chinese steel mills were seeking to postpone shipments or renegotiate fourth-quarter iron ore contracts as spot prices fell to their lowest since November 2010, traders said. "We haven't had any shipment to China cancelled or renegotiated," Marcus Randolph told reporters during the annual World Steel Association conference.

ArcelorMittal mining arm courts external customers
PARIS, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The mining division of ArcelorMittal  is aiming to increase raw material sales to other steelmakers as part of its new role as a standalone business within the world's largest steel group, a company executive said on Thursday.
ArcelorMittal has stepped up mining investments in an effort to secure raw material supply, and the company published for the first time separate results for its mining operations as part of its first-quarter earnings statement this year.

China seeks iron ore contract tweaks as prices fall
SINGAPORE, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Chinese steel mills are seeking to postpone iron ore shipments or renegotiate fourth-quarter contracts as spot prices fall to their lowest level since November 2010, traders said on Thursday.
China is the world's biggest buyer of iron ore, a major money maker for miners Vale , Rio Tinto   and BHP Billiton   which together control around two thirds of the global seaborne market. 

METALS-Copper rises but Spain fears may limit gains
SHANGHAI, Oct 14 (Reuters) - London copper edged higher on Friday, backed by short covering, limited restocking by Chinese consumers and positive sentiment over China's latest inflation data. 
But fears over a rating downgrade of Spain are expected to keep gains in check. 
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange  rose 1.2 percent to $7,396.50 a tonne by 0333 GMT, after dropping 2.9 percent in the previous session.

PRECIOUS-Gold flat after Spain downgrade; G20 eyed
SINGAPORE, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Gold traded flat on Friday but was headed for its biggest weekly gains in more than a month, shrugging off the credit rating downgrade of Spain ahead of a G20 meeting whose agenda will be dominated by the euro zone debt crisis.
Ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgraded the long-term credit rating of Spain by one notch on Friday, knocking the euro down by a third of a U.S. cent as the move followed hard on the heels of a similar downgrade by Fitch last week.

FOREX-Euro dips but poised for best week since Jan
SINGAPORE, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The euro dipped on Friday but hovered above an intraday low hit after S&P cut Spain's credit rating, and was on track for its biggest weekly rally since January after getting lifted by a flurry of short-covering.     
The euro slipped 0.1 percent to $1.3770 , having trimmed its losses after dipping to as low as $1.3723 following S&P's downgrade of Spain's credit rating to AA-minus. The move  mirrored last week's downgrade of Spain by Fitch.

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