Wednesday, January 19, 2011

20110119 1804 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3732, changed : +62 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, seller lock in profit.
Support : 3720, 3700, 3650 level.
Resistance : 3750, 3800, 3850 level.
Comment :
FCPO continue to recover after recent fall recorded gain with higher volume changed hand ahead of tomorrow or Friday export data while soy oil futures price continue to trade firmer.
Daily chart formed a 42 points range up bar candle after market opened gap up and continue to surged higher to closed near the high of the day heading toward middle Bollinger band resistant level with an unchanged side way range bound market reading testing support and resistant level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110119 1720 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1567.5 changed : -4.5 points,  volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : weakening, buyer reducing position.
Support : 1560, 1550, 1530 level.
Resistance : 1570, 1580, 1590 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded loss with higher volume traded despite regional market ended mostly positive after IBM and Apple reported a better than estimated earnings.
Daily chart formed a down bar candle with lower shadow after market opened gap up and traded downward followed by last minutes small recovery positioned nearer and nearer to the middle Bollinger band support level with the reading remain suggesting a side way range bound upside biased market development.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110119 0944 Local & Global Economic Related News.

E.U: ECB steps up bond purchases as Governments aim to revamp tools. The Frankfurt-based ECB said it completed EUR 2.313b (USD 3.07b) of purchases last week after settling EUR 113m the previous one. It will take seven- day term deposits to neutralize EUR 76.5b of liquidity created through bond purchases since the program started on May 10. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: BoJ cut its economic assessment of seven of the country's nine regions, the most since April 2009, as export growth cooled and government stimulus measures started to fade. "Compared with the assessment in October 2010, a large number of regions observed that the pace of improvement seemed to be pausing," the central bank said in its quarterly Sakura Report, the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Reserves Beige Book. (Source: Bloomberg)

India: Facing inflation surge, central bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said, fueling speculation he may raise interest rates at the Jan. 25 policy meeting. "We recovered from the crisis sooner than other countries but inflation also caught up sooner," Subbarao said in a speech, referring to the global financial crunch. "A lot of other countries are still flirting with deflation. On the other hand, we have a surge in inflation." (Source: Bloomberg)

Philippine: Remittances sent home by Philippine citizens abroad rose in November. The funds increased 10.5% YoY to USD1.61b, the central bank said in a statement. That compares with a 9.3% YoY gain in October. Cash transfers from Filipinos living or working overseas climbed 8.2% YoY to USD17.1b in the 11 months through November. (Source: Bloomberg)

Malaysia: Bank Negara expects 7% GDP growth in 2010
Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz expects the Malaysian economy to grow in the region of 7% for 2010. She said while the external sector may be affected by the slower global growth, the growth momentum of domestic demand is projected to be sustained this year. She expects overall growth to remain strong this year, albeit at a more moderate pace. Zeti also called for greater vigilance on the part of the policymakers in the region. (Financial Daily)

Singapore: Export growth slows as best year since 2003 ends
Singapore’s exports rose at a slower pace in December, ending a year in which shipments jumped the most since 2003 as the global economic recovery boosted demand for the island’s goods. Non-oil domestic exports climbed 9.4% y-o-y, after a revised 9.9% gain in November. Shipments rose about 23% in 2010, the most in seven years. Electronics shipments fell 1.1% in December y-o-y to SGD5.2bn after a 10.8% gain the previous month, the first decline in more than a year. Non-electronics shipments, which include petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, gained 16.2%. Pharmaceutical shipments dropped 2.8% after falling 34.2% in November. (Bloomberg)

Indonesia: Rating raised by Moody’s to 13-year high
Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Indonesia’s foreign and local-currency bond rating to Ba1 from Ba2, the highest level since the 1997 Asian financial crisis, citing the nation’s “economic resilience” and improving public debt position. That’s still one step below investment grade and puts Indonesia on par with Greece, which was placed on review for a possible downgrade by Moody’s last month. Moody’s also commented that the rating’s outlook is “stable.” S&P lifted Indonesia’s sovereign credit rating to BB from BB- last year, two levels below investment grade, with a positive outlook. (Bloomberg)

China: December property prices rise for 19th month
China’s real estate prices rose for a 19th month in December, raising concerns that the government will expand curbs to limit the risk of asset bubbles in the world’s fastest-growing major economy. Prices in 70 cities rose 6.4% in December y-o-y, the smallest increase in 13 months. Prices gained 0.3% m-o-m. Investment in realestate development rose 12% to RMB557bn y-o-y while full-year investment climbed 33% to RMB4.83trn. Property sales increased 22% to RMB1.02trn, with 218 million m2 of real estate sold, a 12% gain y-o-y. (Bloomberg)

Australia: December annual inflation gauge increases 3.8%
A gauge of Australia’s inflation remained above the central bank’s target range for a fourth straight month, led by higher costs for fruit, vegetables and fuel. Consumer prices increased 3.8% last month y-o-y, after advancing 3.9% in November, according to an index compiled by TD Securities Ltd and the Melbourne Institute. Prices increased 0.2% m-o-m. The survey was taken before floods devastated parts of northeastern Australia, which may force the Reserve Bank of Australia to accept higher inflation in the short term as food and commodity costs rise and growth slows in the disaster zone. (Bloomberg)

Japan: REITs seen doubling down as bond spreads narrow
Japan’s real estate investment trusts may double property purchases in the next fiscal year to JPY 1trn (USD12bn) by boosting bond sales amid the lowest borrowing costs in three years, Credit Suisse said. The extra yield investors demand to lend to Japanese real estate firms instead of the government has fallen to 26 basis points, or 0.26% point, on 17 Jan this year from 230 in April 2009. The comparable premium for US REITS has narrowed to 199 basis points from 1,079 in the same period, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Bond Indices. (Bloomberg)

Euro: Default swaps beat bonds in highlighting EU stress
Credit-default swaps are a better gauge of euro-region creditworthiness than bonds as the European Central Bank’s EUR 74bn (USD98bn) of debt purchases make investors skeptical about what is driving spreads narrower. The cost of insuring Portuguese debt against default surged to a record on 10 Jan this year on speculation that Germany and France would force the country to seek aid. By contrast, the yield spread between 10-year Portuguese debt and German bonds shrank by the most in a month. (Bloomberg)

UK: Pound Losing to Euro as Cameron Collides With King
No major currency is performing worse than the pound as Prime Minister David Cameron’s budget cuts slow growth and accelerating inflation limits the Bank of England’s ability to spur the world’s sixth-largest economy. GBP has weakened against all 16 of the most-traded currencies, depreciating even more than the Euro, since the start of August. The three most accurate strategists for the pound expect it to continue falling and futures traders this month were the most bearish since September. (Bloomberg)

UK: Inflation accelerates more than forecast to 3.7%
UK inflation accelerated more than economists forecast to an eight month high in December as fuel and food prices rose, adding to pressure on the Bank of England to raise the key interest rate from its record low. Consumer prices rose 3.7% from a year earlier after a 3.3% increase in November, the office for National Statistics said today in London. The median forecast of the 31 economists in a Bloomberg survey was 3.4%. (Bloomberg)

US: Global demand for US assets increased in November
Global demand for U.S. stocks, bonds and other financial assets rose in November as private investors stepped up purchases.Net buying of long-term equities, notes and bonds totaled USD 85.1bn during the month, the highest since August, compared with net buying of USD 28.9bn in October, according to data released today in Washington. Europe’s sovereign debt crisis has driven investors to the relative safety of US Treasury securities. Investors are also attracted by rising corporate profits and share prices as the world’s largest economy maintains its recovery from the deepest recession since the 1930s. (Bloomberg)

U.S: New York manufacturing picks up as orders, sales gain in January. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's general economic index rose to 11.9 from a revised 9.9 in December. Readings greater than zero signal expansion in the so-called Empire State Index, which covers New York, northern New Jersey, and southern Connecticut. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: Builder confidence in January held back by lack of credit. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment index registered a reading of 16, the same as the past two months. Readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor. (Source: Bloomberg)

E.U: Germany balks at crisis response; EU sees complacency. Germany pushed back at European Union calls for a rapid reinforcement of the safety net for debt-strapped countries, saying the rally in southern European bond markets buys time to craft a new strategy. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said there is no urgent need to act, eyeing a late-March deadline to strengthen the EUR 750b (USD 1tr) rescue fund, hammer out a permanent anti-crisis tool and tighten fiscal rules for the 17- nation euro area. (Source: Bloomberg)

Germany: Investor confidence jumps to six-month high in January. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict developments six months in advance, increased to 15.4 from 4.3 in December, its third straight advance. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.K: Consumer confidence rose from a 20 month low in December as more Britons thought it was a good time to buy household goods before this month's increase in sales tax, Nationwide Building Society said. The sentiment index climbed 8 points to 53, reversing the decline seen in November, when the gauge fell to its lowest since March 2009, the customer owned lender said in an emailed report. (Source: Bloomberg)

China: Foreign direct investment rose to a record USD105.7b last year, underscoring confidence that rising incomes will boost demand in the world's fastest growing major economy. Investment climbed 17.4% YoY, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement in Beijing. Spending in December rose 15.6% YoY to USD14b. (Source: Bloomberg)

S. Korea: Department store sales growth accelerated in December, boosted by holiday demand and the nation's economic recovery. Outlays at the three biggest chains climbed 11.6% YoY in December, after rising 10.1% YoY in November, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a statement. Sales have increased for 22 consecutive months, according to the ministry's data. (Source: Bloomberg)

Thailand: Export growth slowed in December, a sign the surge in global demand that lifted Asian economies earlier in 2010 may be starting to ease. Overseas sales increased 18.8% YoY last month to USD17.4b after rising 28.5% YoY in November, the commerce ministry said. Exports climbed 28.1% YoY to USD195.3b in 2010. (Source: Bloomberg) 

20110119 0942 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Axiata, DiGi: To save RM2.2b with network deal. Celcom Axiata Bhd and DiGi Telecommunication Sdn Bhd have signed a Network Collaboration Agreement. The scope of the tie-up will initially focus on the sharing of telecommunication sites, access transmission (microwave links), aggregation transmission and trunk fibre transmission. Full realization of cash savings is estimated to be about RM2.2b over 10 years. They expect to see incremental savings as early as 2012 and gradually ramping up to an average annual savings of RM150m to RM250m after 2015. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

Proton: Seeks RM2.35b funding to revive Lotus. Proton Holdings Bhd is in talks with CIMB Bank and several others to secure loans and investments totaling GBP480m (RM2.35b) needed to turn around Group Lotus. The funds will mainly come from loans and the rest will be from Proton's additional investments and revenue from Group Lotus. (Source: The Star)

Jetson: Buys lands in Penang for Rm14m. Kumpulan Jetson Berhad's 51% owned subsidiary, Jetson Development Sdn Bhd has acquired 48,290 sq ft of lands in Penang for RM14m from Malaysian Building Society Bhd (MBSB). The three pieces of land are located in Georgetown. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

Property: Transactions may hit RM100b. A total of 342,179 property transactions worth RM96.8b were recorded between January and November last year, which means the full year's transactions could reach the RM100b mark. This is the first time transactions value has reached this figure. (Source: The Star)

Manufacturing: To attract over RM50b. Malaysia expects investments in the manufacturing sector to surge to more than RM50b this year. The manufacturing sector, which was the fastest growing sector last year, attracted RM47.2b in approved investments in 910 projects, a 44.8% jump compared with RM32.6b received in 2009. The US was the largest source with investments totaling RM11.7b, mainly in electrical and electronics (E&E), machinery and equipment and scientific and measuring equipment. Other top investors were Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Germany. (Source: Business Times)

AirAsia: Introduces fly-thru service. AirAsia introduces "Fly-Thru" service for its guests on multiple-flight travel from Thailand to perform a single check-in for their original and connecting flights right through to their final airport of destination. Fly-Thru is available to guests traveling on selected AirAsia (short-haul) and all AirAsia X (long-haul) flights transiting through Kuala Lumpur. Guest could connect to their next flight to their intended destination without the need for immigration clearance or a transit visa in Malaysia. (Source: Bernama)

Malaysian Smelting: Expects SGX listing soon. Malaysia Smelting Corp Bhd (MSC) expects its proposed secondary listing on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) main board to take place before the end of this month. This will make MSC dual-listed on both Bursa Malaysia and SGX. The size of the IPO is between 12.5m and 25m new MSC shares, with an expected gross proceeds of RM100m. (Source: The Star)

LTAT: Declares 14% dividend and bonus. The Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) has declared a 14% dividend and bonus for 2010 with a total payout of RM616.3m, 7.2% higher than the RM575.2m paid in 2009. LTAT registered a total income of RM747.5m in 2010, which was not only the highest recorded since the fund's establishment 38 years ago, but was also 34.7% higher than 2009's income of RM554.7m. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

O&G: Petronas' multi-billion ringgit job award likely by end of the month. Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is expected to award multi-billion ringgit contracts for the development of marginal oil fields by the end of this month to several consortia comprising local and foreign companies. Petronas will unveil a new business model on the development of the marginal oil fields and possibly, more incentives for the industry. (Source: The Star)

Plantation: Local refiners snap up cheaper Indonesian palm oil. Malaysian refiners are snapping up more Indonesian crude palm oil, taking advantage of its widening discount to local production. Indonesian crude palm oil for February delivery was trading at RM3,690 per tonne, some RM60 lower than in Malaysia despite dealers pricing in a possible Indonesian government move to raise export taxes next month. Indonesia is likely to raise export taxes to 25% in February from 20% currently. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Bursa, Thai bourse to start cross-trades by year-end
Malaysia and Thailand will start cross-trading of shares by year-end as part of a plan to make Southeast Asian markets more accessible and spur trading, Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff said. Singapore, followed by the Philippines, will be next to join the drive to link the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Yusli said yesterday. The bourses aim to promote investment in a region with "one of the highest savings rates in the world", Veerathai Santiprabhob, Stock Exchange of Thailand's chief strategy officer, said by phone. (BT)

Khazanah portfolio value surges
Khazanah Nasional's investment portfolio value rose to a record high of nearly RM113bn last year, helped by rising asset values and stable and careful debt-positioning. Khazanah Nasional saw the value of its investment portfolio rising by about RM21bn to an all-time high of nearly RM113bn last year, helped by rising asset values and stable and careful debt-positioning. The government's investment arm will remain cautious in its investments in 2011. Its realised asset value (RAV) grew by 23.5% year-on-year to RM112.6bn for 2010 while RAV less total liabilities stood at RM75bn. Khazanah invested almost as much as it earned in 2010, with a total of RM6.5bn investment in 12 transactions and RM6.2bn realised through the divestment of its holdings through seven transactions. It made gains of about RM3.5bn through its divestment activities last year. (BT)

Bids for Pos stake selloff
Khazanah Nasional will call for bids to buy its stake in Pos Malaysia this week, as part of what it calls the second stage of its divestment plan of the postal firm. Khazanah owns 32.2% of Pos Malaysia. Its managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the first stage of the divestment plan was about ironing out regulatory issues such as the postage stamp hike and salary of postmen that were necessary to start the bidding process. Khazanah is giving bidders about a month to get back to it with proposals. "The next milestone would be the Postal Bill. Hopefully it will go through in the next Dewan Rakyat sitting," Azman said. (BT)

Proton to seal £480m Lotus funding soon
Proton Holdings will finalise plans to raise as much as £480m (RM2.34bn) to fund the turnaround plan for its unit Group Lotus plc in as early as February. The funds will mainly come from loans and the rest will be from Proton's additional investments and revenue from Group Lotus, a sports carmaker based in Norwich, the UK. It is understood that CIMB Group Holdings Bhd's chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Seri Nazir Razak met with Proton's board of directors at Group Lotus headquarters in Hethel, Norwich, although it is unclear what was discussed. Under its five-year turnaround plan, Group Lotus plans to more than double its production to some 8,000 cars a year after 2014 by launching five new models. Proton also expects Group Lotus to be profitable and contributing a significant chunk to its net profit by the end of 2014. (BT)

KPJ unit to acquire medical centres in Sibu
KPJ Healthcare‘s wholly-owned Kumpulan Perubatan (Johor) SB (KPJSB) is buying a 100% stake in Sibu Medical Centre Corp SB (SMCC) and Sibu Geriatric Health & Nursing Centre SB (SGHNC). KPJSB will pay RM26.9m for SMCC and RM1.24m for SGHNC. (BT)

PBA to cooperate with Indonesian water body
PBA Holdings’ wholly-owned subsidiary, PBA Resources SB (PBAR), and Persatuan Perusahaan Air Minum Seluruh Indonesia PERPAMSI) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate in educational and training programmes related to water services industry. Under the proposed cooperation, which is for two years, PERPAMSI will organise, promote and market the Water Management Certified Programme on behalf of PBAR to the relevant parties within the industry in Indonesia. (BT)

Puncak seeks clarification from Selangor
Puncak Niaga Holdings (PNHB) is seeking clarification from the Selangor government on certain terms with regard to the latter’s offer for its water assets. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Puncak Niaga (M) SB (PNSB) and 70%-owned unit, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor SB (Syabas) have yet to receive any confirmation and/or clarification from the Menteri Besar Selangor (Incorporated) (MBI) on certain terms of the offer documents received by both companies on 7 Jan. (FinancialDaily)

KNM gets 4-year loan extension
KNM Group has received another four years’ extension until 21 Feb 2015 for its term loan facility secured from Malayan Banking (Maybank). The loan’s principal balance outstanding as at 7 Jan 2011 was at RM351.33m. The term loan was for the purpose of refinancing the bridging loan that was secured for the high-profile acquisition of German-based Borsig BmbH, which was completed on 6 June, 2008. (FinancialDaily)

Dayang fixes rights issue at RM1.10
Dayang Enterprise Holdings (DEBH) has fixed the issue price for its rights shares at RM1.10 per rights share,, which is a 63% discount to its closing price of RM2.97 yesterday. The issue price represents about 49.21% discount to the theoretical ex-all price of RM2.1656 per Dayang share. (FinancialDaily)

SP Setia secures prime land in Bangsar, announces RM1.1bn fund raising
 SP Setia announced a fundraising exercise via a proposed placement of 15% of new shares to be done via bookbuilding that could easily raise RM1.1bn. It had received an approval-in-principle from the Prime Minister’s Department to talk over terms for the proposed development of a new integrated health and research complex for the Ministry of Health in Setia Alam. In return, SP Setia’s 50% subsidiary, Sentosa Jitra SB, gets 40 acres of prime land along Jalan Bangsar where the present facilities belonging to the health ministry are located. (Financial Daily)

PLUS bins Jelas Ulung’s takeover offer
PLUS will not consider Jelas Ulung SB’s takeover offer after it failed to meet several conditions set earlier. It is understood that Jelas Ulung was not able to cough up the RM50m deposit and a letter from the financier on its ability to complete the transaction. PLUS has accepted UEM Group and EPF’s joint bid. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Hing Yiap receives bid from major shareholder
Hing Yiap has received an unconditional takeover offer from its largest shareholder at RM1.50 a share. The shareholder, Everest Hectare SB, bought a 50.5% stake in Hing Yiap yesterday from some of the group's directors for RM31.3m or RM1.50 a share. Everest, which is partly owned by Ng Chin Huat, managing director of another garment maker, Asia Brands Corp Bhd, ultimately aims to maintain Hing Yiap's listed status. (BT)

Axis REIT to sell Port Klang complex
Axis REIT hopes to complete the sale of an industrial complex in Port Klang for RM14.5m by the end of June this year. It will make a net gain of RM0.8m from the sale to Freight Management. (BT)

QL places out 20.8m new shares at RM5.60 each
QL Resources has completed the bookbuilding exercise for the offering of 20.8m new shares pursuant to its private placement exercise, which is estimated to raise some RM116.6m. The issue price has been fixed at RM5.60 per share, which is a 3% discount to its closing price of RM5.76 yesterday. (StarBiz)

20110119 0928 Global Market Related News.

China 2010 corn, sugar imports surge; soyoil down -CCS
BEIJING, Jan 19 (Reuters) - China imported 1.573 million tonnes of corn in 2010, a rise of 1,762 percent from 2009 while sugar imports jumped 66 percent on year to 1.77 million tonnes, according to data supplied by CCS ( China Customs Statistics) Information Center.
In 2010, China imported 44 percent less soyoil, or 1.34 million tonnes, while palmoil imports fell 15.6 percent to 4.31 million tonnes, figures showed.

Gold poised for third day of gains; platinum at 30-mth high
SINGAPORE, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Spot gold was on course for a third consecutive day of gains, supported by dollar weakness and physical buying, while platinum hit a 30-month high, buoyed by an improved economic outlook.
"It looks like gold is following the euro, which had a relatively strong run overnight," said Darren Heathcote, head of trading at Investec Australia, adding that the dollar weakness was expected to continue supporting gold prices.

Asian shares rise on Wall St gains, euro edges up
SINGAPORE, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Asian stocks rose, taking a cue from Wall Street gains and on hopes for more robust U.S. earnings, while the euro edged back towards a one-month high hit the previous day.
"After Google reports tomorrow investors will shift their   focus back to Tokyo companies," said Hiroaki Osakabe, a fund   manager at Chibagin Asset Management.  

OIL: Crude extends fall on pipeline restart, OPEC
TOKYO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures extended declines on Wednesday, pressured by the restart of the Trans Alaska Pipeline and as the International Energy Agency said OPEC may have quietly raised production in response to prices nearing $100.
Alaska's main oil pipeline should restore shipments to its normal rate of 630,000 barrels per day in under a week from around 510,000 bpd, after its recent shutdown due to a leak, the operator said on Tuesday.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Grains jump on weather; others edge up on dollar
NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Corn and wheat prices jumped on Tuesday on dry crop weather in Argentina and the U.S. Plains, while other commodities saw modest gains on support from a weaker dollar.
"To break into new highs, you're going to need some type of fundamental impetus and today, you just don't have it," said Michael Gross, a commodity futures analyst at in Tampa, Florida.

POLL-US crude stocks seen down on Alaske pipeline shutdown
NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil inventories were forecast to have fallen last week as the shutdown of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System due to a leak forced producers to curb output, a Reuters poll of analysts showed on Tuesday.
The average forecast in the preliminary poll of eight analysts called for a 300,000 barrel decline for the week to Jan. 14. The poll was taken ahead of weekly industry and government data this week, a day later than usual due to Monday's holiday.

Alaska oil pipe seen at normal rates in 5-7 days
ANCHORAGE, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Alaska's main oil pipeline should restore shipments to its normal rate of 630,000 barrels per day in under a week after its recent shutdown due to a leak, a spokeswoman for operator Alyeska said on Tuesday.
The pipeline, which resumed shipments on Monday following the installation of a bypass around the leaky section, was transporting around 510,000 bpd as of Tuesday.

COLUMN-Fed hits its 3rd mandate: rising shares - James Saft
James Saft is a Reuters Columnist. The opinions expressed are his own
HUNTSVILLE, Ala, January 18  (Reuters)  - Apparently not satisfied with being unable to fulfill its duel target of price stability and maximum employment the Federal Reserve has set itself a third mandate: higher asset prices.
Speaking on CNBC at a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-sponsored forum on small business lending last week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was asked how, in essence, his $600 billion quantitative easing programme could be called a success when interest rates and commodity prices had actually risen in response."We see the economy strengthening, its gotten better over the last three or four months, a 3-4 percent growth number for 2011 seems reasonable," he said.

Indian finance firms eager for commodity options trade
MUMBAI, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Indian finance service firms hope the embattled government has enough reform zeal to pass a bill to allow commodity options trade, enabling them to offer more tools to hedge exposure to raw material costs.   
Multi-national firms like PepsiCo Inc  and Coca-Cola Co  are major buyers of sugar in India and also close trackers of exchange rates and other costs like freight that can be indexed. Domestic sugar buyers like ice cream and sweets maker Kwality Dairy Ltd  are also keen to hedge costs.

US senators threaten currency bill ahead of Hu visit
WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - A group of U.S. senators, on the eve of Chinese President Hu Jintao's arrival in the United States, said it was vital that Congress pass legislation to get tough with China over its currency practices.
"There's no bigger step we can take to preserve the American dream and promote job creation, particularly in the manufacturing sector ... than to confront China's manipulation of its currency," Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said.

Funds' commodity holdings could hit $500 billion
LONDON/NEW YORK, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Commodity investments could near half a trillion dollars by the end of 2011 as the return of $100 oil and a broad-based rally heighten interest in the asset class to levels not seen since 2008.
But the wave of money now hitting commodities is more sophisticated and discerning than its predecessor three years ago. Investors are increasingly looking for active management rather than 'buy-and-hold' plays, which left many counting their losses after the financial crisis hit.

PRECIOUS-Gold gains as euro rally gathers pace
LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Gold rose for a second day on Tuesday, buoyed by a fall in the dollar and a stream of demand from key Asian consumers, along with a degree of uncertainty over a permanent resolution to Europe's debt crisis.
Gold has fallen by more than 3 percent this month, under pressure from investors eager to cash in on the 30-percent price gain of 2010 and also from a waning need for safe-haven assets as data paints a picture of a more robust global economy.

FOREX-Euro buoyed by sovereign demand, strong German data
LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The euro rose on Tuesday on buying by sovereign funds and after an influential German survey pointed to robust growth in Europe's largest economy, pushing euro zone debt concerns into the background.
The euro  rose more than 1.0 percent at $1.3430, extending earlier gains made on demand from Middle East accounts and reports that Russia was considering buying euro zone debt.The ZEW's headline economic sentiment indicator surged to 15.4 points in January from 4.3 points in December, racing past forecasts for a reading of 6.8.

Wheat up 1 pct on demand, soy pressured by Argentine rains
SINGAPORE, Jan 18 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat rose around 1 percent buoyed by strong purchases of the grain led by Algeria which snapped up 600,000 tonnes in a tender, while corn climbed to a 2-1/2 year high on prospects of tightening global supplies.
"The wheat market is supported by pretty strong exports overnight which is contributing to a firmer tone."

World stocks at new high, euro up on debt hopes
LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - World stocks hit a fresh 28-month high while the euro climbed on hopes for an easing of the euro zone debt crisis.
"Players are not too keen to push the euro much lower," said Paul Mackel, director of currency strategy at HSBC.

Alaska oil pipe restarts
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Alaska's crude oil pipeline resumed operations on Monday, restoring the flow of about 12 percent of U.S. oil production nearly a week and a half after the line was shut due to a leak.
A bypass line to circumvent the leak was completed earlier on Monday and operators are expecting to ramp up throughput to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) within 24 hours, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co said in a statement.

20110119 0927 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

ITS CPO export up 3.68% to 589,010 tonnes for the period of 1~15 Jan 2011.
SGS CPO export up 3.7% to 568,535 tonnes for the period of 1~15 Jan 2011.

Soy product futures ended mixed, with soyoil divorcing itself from weakness in the rest of the complex on solid underlying global vegoil demand. Soymeal futures ended lower, succumbing to weakness in soybeans and adjustments in the meal/oil spread relationship. CBOT March soyoil ended 0.28 cent, or 0.5%, higher at 57.55 cents per pound, and March soymeal traded $4.70, or 1.2%, lower at $383.40 a short ton. (Source: CME)

Brazil's Advance Soy Sales Reach 44% Of 2010-11 Crop (Source: CME)
Brazilian farmers have sold 44% of their 2010-11 soy crop compared with 25% one year ago, consultancy Celeres said in a report. The figure is a rise from 42% one week ago, according to Celeres, which is based in Uberlandia. Brazil growers are selling more of their crop in advance this year though the planting of the 2010-11 crop was done at the same time as the year-earlier seeding, according to Celeres in its weekly report. The estimates released are for the period ended Jan. 14. Farmers are selling more in advance this year "basically because of the good prices," Leonardo Menezes, an analyst for Celeres, told Dow Jones Newswires by telephone from Uberlandia last week. The soy farmers reduce their risk by selling more of their crop in advance, he said. The consultancy, however, recommends that new sales should be made only to cover liabilities as "soy will be able to maintain prices at high levels" during 2011.
"Our strategic recommendation is to immediately suspend sales," Celeres said in its report this week. The consultancy said growers should hold their beans for probable new rounds of price increases. Brazil, the world's second-largest soy grower after the United States, finished seeding its 2010-11 crop late in 2010, Celeres said earlier. Harvesting began in Mato Grosso, Brazil's largest soy-producer state, earlier this month. Collecting the country's crop ends in May with the harvest in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost state and the country's third-largest producer of the oilseed. Celeres estimates the 2010-11 Brazilian soy crop will reach 68.1 million metric tons, 0.6% below the figure for the year-earlier crop. The estimate is unchanged from its forecast made in December. Brazilian soy exports set a new record in 2010 with China responsible for almost 66% of the shipments, Celebes said, citing a government report in Brasilia, the federal capital.
Brazil exported 19.1 million tons of soybeans to China last year, Celebes said in the report, citing a Brazilian secretariat that compiles trade data.

Palm rebounds from one-mth lows on supply tightness
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Brazil soy crop seen heading for record - AgRural
SAO PAULO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's 2010/11 soybean crop is expected to reach a record 69.65 million tonnes, after good rains and a record area planted to the oil seed prompted grains analysts AgRural to raise their estimate on Monday.
In December, AgRural put the new crop at 69.43 million tonnes, greater than the current record 68.7 million tonnes harvested in 2009/10.

Rains bring relief to Argentine soy, risk persists
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Weekend rains over Argentina's main soy-farming region brought relief to drought-stricken crops, but more rain is needed to halt yield losses that are increasing every week.
Argentina is one of the world's biggest exporters of soy and corn, but scarce rain caused by the La Nina weather phenomenon has driven down harvest estimates and boosted global grains prices in recent months due to supply fears.