Thursday, February 17, 2011

20110217 1826 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3725, changed : -20 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : turned falling, seller taking exposure.
Support : 3700, 3650, 3620 level.
Resistance : 3720, 3750, 3800 level.
Comment :
132 points range FCPO closed weaker recorded small loss with higher volume changed hand after news on China possible move to cut taxes on some of the importing food.
Daily chart formed a down doji bar candle with long lower shadow after market opened gap up, traded lower tested support level and recovered upward to closed off the low positioned below middle Bollinger band level with the reading suggesting a side way range bound market development with MACD negative divergence confirmed crossed down today. 
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.

20110217 1740 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1502.5 changed : -3 points,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, seller taking profit.
Support : 1500, 1485, 1470 level.
Resistance : 1515, 1530, 1540 level.
Comment :
Range bound FKLI closed recorded small decline lesser and lesser volume traded doing 6 points discount compare to cash market despite regional market closed mostly higher.
Daily chart formed a small down bar candle after market opened gap up traded range bound followed by last minutes sell down to closed near the low of the day with the reading remained suggesting a correction range bound downside 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.

20110217 1633 Palm Oil Breaking News.

Reuters: Malaysian Palm Oil falls nearly 2% on news of Chinese import taxes, uncertainty over impact on Chinese palm oils imports.

20110217 0923 Local & Global Economic Related News.

Global: Food surge is exacerbating poverty, World Bank says. Global food prices have surged to dangerous levels, pushing 44 million more people into extreme poverty since June, according to the World Bank, which warned some nations may make the mistake of imposing curbs on shipments. "The price hike is already pushing millions of people into poverty and putting stress on the most vulnerable, who spend more than half of their income on food," President Robert Zoellick said. During the 2008 food crisis, the bank said 100 million may be driven deeper into poverty. The bank defines "extreme poverty" as living on less than USD1.25 a day. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: FOMC saw stronger recovery, disappointed on jobs. Officials "continued to express disappointment in both the pace and the unevenness of the improvements in labor markets," while also judging the recovery to be on a "firmer footing," the Federal Open Market Committee said in minutes of its Jan. 25-26 meeting. Policy makers raised projections for economic growth this year and made little change to forecasts after 2011 or for unemployment and inflation. Central bankers projected U.S. inflation-adjusted gross domestic product will rise 3.4% to 3.9%, compared with November forecasts of 3% to 3.6%. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: Industrial production fell 0.1% MoM in January, dragged down by a decline in utilities as milder temperatures curbed demand for heating. Output fell 0.1% MoM after a 1.2% MoM increase in December that was larger than initially reported. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: Fed made USD 13b on lending programs in crisis, paper says. The Federal Reserve earned USD 13b in interest and fee income on its liquidity programs from August 2007 until December 2009, according to the New York Fed. The facilities generated USD 20b in interest and fees before taking into account the USD 7b cost of funds, Michael Fleming and Nicholas Klagge, staff members at the New York Fed said. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: Mortgage demand falls to two-year low as refinancing drops. The Mortgage Bankers Association's index of loan applications decreased 9.5% WoW in the week ended Feb. 11, dropping to the lowest point since November 2008. The group's refinancing measure slumped 11% WoW to the weakest point since July 2009, and the purchase gauge fell 5.9% WoW. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: January housing starts rise more than forecast, reflecting a surge in multifamily units. Housing starts climbed 15% MoM a 596,000 annual rate. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.K: Consumer confidence fell in January as rising taxes and soaring inflation put pressure on household budgets, Nationwide Building Society said. An index of sentiment dropped 7 points to 47, almost erasing the 8-point gain in December, the customer-owned lender said in a report. A measure of whether now is a good time to spend dropped 20 points to 70, the lowest since November 2008. (Source: Bloomberg)

S. Korea: Unemployment rate rose to a four-month high in January as the number of workers in agricultural, fishery and forestry industries declined. The jobless rate rose to 3.6% from a revised 3.5% in December, Statistics Korea said. (Source: Bloomberg) 

Malaysia: Growth probably slowed; rate pressure to stay
Malaysia may report economic growth slowed last quarter as manufacturing output moderated after surging during the recovery from the global financial crisis. Malaysia’s GDP increased 4.6% in the three months through December from a year earlier, after a 5.3% expansion in the previous period, according to the median forecast of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. (Bloomberg)

Japan:Japan, India sign free trade pact
Japan and India signed a free trade pact under which the high-tech nation and the South Asian population giant pledged to scrap tariffs on 94% of goods within a decade. Japan’s Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and India’s Commerce Minister Anand Sharma signed the agreement in Tokyo, hoping it will boost two-way trade, which totaled JPY900bn (USD10.7bn) in 2009. (Star Biz)

EU: Spanish exports accelerate as austerity hits spending
Spanish exports accelerated in the fourth quarter, offsetting weaker demand at home as the deepest austerity measures in three decades undermined the economic recovery. Exports rose 3.9% from the previous three months, when they increased 0.5%, and expanded 10.5% from a year earlier, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said. Spending was flat in the fourth quarter, with household spending increasing 0.3%, after a 1% decline in the previous three months, and government consumption falling 0.7%. (Bloomberg)

UK: January unemployment claims unexpectedly rise
UK unemployment claims unexpectedly rose in January, underlining the fragility of the labor market a year after the economy emerged from recession and as public-spending cuts start in earnest. The number of people receiving jobless benefits rose 2,400 to 1.46 million, the Office for National Statistics in London said. The median of 25 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey was for a drop of 3,000. Unemployment based on International Labour Organization methods rose by 44,000 in the fourth quarter to 2.49 million. (Bloomberg)

US:Economy production increases, housing stagnates
Production at US factories climbed in January for a fifth consecutive month, while builders began work on fewer single-family houses, showing the expansion remains driven by manufacturing as housing stagnates. Manufacturing output increased 0.3% after a revised 0.9% jump in December that was more than twice as large as previously reported, figures from the Federal Reserve showed. Total production, including mining and utilities, unexpectedly dropped. Single-family home starts decreased 1% to a 413,000 annual pace, the fewest since May 2009, according to the Commerce Department. (Bloomberg)

20110217 0922 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Sime Darby: To challenge suit by Abu Dhabi firm. Sime Darby Engineering Sdn Bhd (SDE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sime Darby has confirmed that Emirates International Energy Services (EMAS) has indeed filed the suit against the company and vowed to challenge the suit. EMAS has written a letter to SDE claiming compensation in the amount of USD20m for not accepting several projects EMAS had identified for SDE. However, SDE stressed that it was under no obligation to accept EMAS's recommendations and had no time bound requirements to decline EMAS's recommendations. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

QL Resources: Boilermech gets nod to float on Ace Market. Boilermech Holdings Bhd (BHB), an indirect associate company of QL Resources, has obtained approval to list on the Ace Market of Bursa Securities. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

Supermax: Counts on new income stream. Glove maker Supermax Corp Bhd is banking on a new income stream derived from global sales and marketing network to mitigate any effects of higher production cost. The company would aggressively globalise its operations via its network of about 700 distributors worldwide. The new income stream is expected to contribute 5% of its 2011 net profit. (Source: The Star)

Metro Kajang to buy plantation land in Kalimantan
Metro Kajang Holdings is in negotiations to acquire 20,000ha of plantation land in East Kalimantan. It signed a MoU with a local land owner last week, with salient terms such as pricing still being discusses, said executive chairman Datuk Alex Chen. This acquisition could double the size of its plantation land bank which measures about 16,000ha at present. (Financial Daily)

Coal-powered plant plan in Sabah is off
The proposed coal-fired power plant project in Lahad Datu has been scrapped after more than three years of controversy. Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said a consensus had been reached that coal would not be used as a source of energy for Sabah and added that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had asked TNB and Petronas to come up with alternatives to replace the proposed 300MW coal-fired plant in Lahad Datu. (The Star)

Tambun Indah to acquire 3 companies, increase GDV to RM1.4bn
Tambun Indah Land is acquiring three property developers, which in turn will raise the group's total GDV to RM1.4bn to keep the group busy until 2016. The proposed acquisitions would increase its GDV by RM245m from more than RM940m currently. Besides, it would also increase its land bank by 6.4ha to 95.2ha. The acquisition, costing about RM11.6m, is part of Tambun Indah's strategy to strengthen its footprint on Penang Island. (Bernama)

Azizul pares down stake in Ramunia
Ramunia Holdings’ major shareholder Datuk Azizul Rahman Abdul Samad has pared down his stake significantly recently, raising speculations that he may exit the group soon. His indirect shareholding in Ramunia fell to 73.3m shares, representing 11.1% stake, from 14.3% or 94.7m shares as at 30 Dec, 2010. (Financial Daily)

Green Packet defers EBITDA breakeven target to end-2011
Green Packet has deferred its target of breaking even at EBITDA level to the end of this year as opposed to the first quarter of 2011, said its CEO Puan Chan Cheong. The deferment was due to the more competitive environment and lower price point in the nomadic broadband segment that its subsidiary Packet One Networks (M) SB planned to grow going forward. (Financial Daily)

20110217 0918 Renewables Energy Related News.

MADRID, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Spanish renewable energy Gamesa said on Wednesday it has signed new contracts to produce 600 megawatts of wind power in China.

SYDNEY, Feb 16 (Reuters Life!) - A car powered primarily by wind and kites has made it across a vast swathe of Australia, enduring searing heat and freezing cold along the way -- and all for roughly $10 Australian.
The more than 5,000 km (3,100 mile) journey of the "Wind Explorer" was the first major test for the prototype car, which its German inventors hoped would show that the technology already exists to power cars with renewable energy even through tough trips like this one.

VANCOUVER, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Magma Energy Corp  is looking for investments outside the geothermal energy sector, the company's chief executive said on Tuesday, lamenting the geothermal's limited scope for growth.
Ross Beaty, CEO of Magma, one of the world's biggest developers of geothermal energy resources, also said he is disappointed by the lack of "real return" to investors in the sector over the past few years.

VANCOUVER, Feb 15 (Reuters) - A unit of General Electric Co  plans to invest C$40 million ($40.4 million) in a wind energy project being developed in the Canadian province of British Columbia by Finavera Wind Energy Inc  , the small developer said on Tuesday.
GE Energy Financial Services has agreed to the indicative terms of an equity investment in a 77-megawatt Wildmare project that Finavera plans to build in northeastern British Columbia, Finavera said.

MILAN, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Installed photovoltaic capacity in Italy, a major solar market in Europe, surged more than 160 percent last year, state energy services agency GSE said on Tuesday, citing preliminary estimates.
Wind power generation capacity jumped about 20 percent in 2010, while total installed renewable energy capacity rose above 30 gigawatts at the end of last year, GSE Chairman Emilio Cremona said in a statement referring to "first estimates".

LONDON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Rapid recent solar and wind price falls are likely to bring new markets and mass adoption a step closer over the next decade and raise the prospects of mergers.
The financial crisis coupled with a ramp-up in China, which now leads the world wind and solar manufacturing, have led to over-capacity and pressured prices in the past three years.

SAO PAULO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Brazilian sugar and ethanol group Sao Martinho  reported a 133 percent surge in quarterly net income on Monday as financial expenses fell and revenue jumped due to soaring sugar and ethanol prices.
Sao Martinho earned 53.8 million reais ($32 million) for the three months to Dec. 31, compared with 23.1 million reais in the same period of 2009, according to a securities filing.

VANCOUVER, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Innergex Renewable Energy Inc  said on Monday it will buy privately owned Cloudworks Energy Inc for C$185 million ($187 million), expanding its hydroelectric power assets in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
The acquisition will help diversify the assets of Innergex, a small Canadian clean energy producer, which operates run-of-river hydroelectric projects and wind farms mostly in its home province of Quebec.

VANCOUVER/OTTAWA, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The outcome of an autumn election in Ontario could stunt a budding renewable energy industry in the Canadian province just as it is becoming one of the world's hot investment destinations.
If the opposition Progressive Conservatives win power on Oct. 6, the party has promised to scrap generous rates for renewable energy producers just two years after their launch by the Liberal government.

LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The world added about 16 gigawatts of new solar photovoltaic (PV) power in 2010, double the growth seen a year earlier, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association told Reuters on Monday.
Uncertainty about Italian figures made a precise figure difficult, after an end-of-year rush to qualify for a higher solar power price premium, called a feed-in tariff.

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama proposed on Monday boosting funds for clean energy research and deployment in his 2012 budget by slashing subsidies for fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.
The budget provides the Department of Energy $29.5 billion for fiscal year 2012, up 4.2 percent from the proposed 2011 budget, and up 12 percent from the enacted 2010 budget. Some $8 billion would support research in clean energy like wind, solar and advanced batteries.

BELGRADE, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Serbia and Italy signed a deal on Friday to boost a share of renewables in their energy output and alleviate shortages by building three hydro-power plants in the Serbian west worth 819 million euros ($1.11 billion).
Under the deal Serbia's state-run utility EPS and Italy's company Seci Energia will build the plants with a combined capacity of 365 megawatts on the Drina river bordering Serbia and Bosnia, Serbia's Energy Minister Petar Skundric said.

COPENHAGEN, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Danish wind turbine manufactuer Vestas  is in talks with Swedish company Arise Windpower to supply turbines for a 200-megawatt project, Vestas said on Friday.
Arise Windpower said earlier on Friday it had concluded an "agreement in principle" with Vestas for delivery of the turbines, but Vestas said the order was not yet firm.

BEIJING, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Power consumption in areas served by State Grid Corp of China (SGCC) may have increased by an average of 9.4 percent in January from a year earlier, up from a nationwide 5.4 percent rise in December, an industry report showed on Friday.
Electricity consumption in areas covered by the Northwest Grid, one of SGCC's five regional units, rose 14.01 percent year on year to 30.9 billion kilowatt-hours last month, according to the report posted on, a website overseen by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

OTTAWA, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Clean energy developers Northland Power Inc   and privately-held Skypower Ltd said on Thursday they will work with aboriginal groups in Ontario to develop wind and solar power projects.
Northland Power will develop a 60-megawatt wind farm in northern Ontario in a joint venture with aboriginal company Mnidoo Mnising Power.

OVALLE, Chile, Feb 10 (Reuters) - A long drought has dried up hydroelectric power production in Chile, sending electricity costs soaring and making renewable power sources like wind, solar and geothermal more attractive, particularly to energy-hungry miners reaping a copper windfall.
"Renewable energies require a greater investment but they have low production costs," said Mabel Weber, an energy analyst with Banchile Investments. "The more prices rise, the more viable alternative energies look."

JAKARTA, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Indonesia's energy ministry said on Thursday it will issue a decree ordering state-owned utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) to buy electricity generated from geothermal power plants at a ceiling price of 9.7 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour.
The regulation is expected to pave the way for 31 geothermal power projects that have been hampered, because PLN has previously not signed power purchasing agreements with geothermal developers, saying it is still waiting for a legal basis to buy the electricity.

LOS ANGELES, Feb 9 (Reuters) -  U.S. solar company First Solar Inc  said on Wednesday it will build a 250-megawatt plant in Nevada that will supply enough electricity to power about 80,000 homes.
California utility Southern California Edison will purchase the plant's output, the companies said.

ESSEN, Germany, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Denmark's Dong is to take a decision on a German offshore wind project in the spring of 2011, its Chief Executive Anders Eldrup said on Wednesday.
The state-controlled oil and gas group, which is the world leader in wind energy, is studying whether to go ahead and build a 380 megawatts (MW) project in Germany's North Sea, called Borkum Riffgrund 1, Eldrup said in an interview.

LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Britain's plans to cut financial support for large solar power projects may stunt the nascent sector's growth, push investors abroad and prevent the country from meeting its renewable energy targets.
The British energy ministry said on Monday it may soon slash the premium paid for power produced by large-scale solar plants -- called feed in tariffs (FITs) -- in a bid to prevent a small number of big projects from absorbing money meant to be shared with household and community solar projects.

20110217 0917 Biofuels Related News.

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - As world food prices reach new highs, a handful of U.S. politicians and hard-hit corporations are readying a fresh effort to forestall the use of more U.S. corn and soybeans as motor fuel.
They are likely doing so in vain, say experts.

WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday it has deregulated a variety of corn genetically engineered to produce a common enzyme that speeds the breakdown of starch into sugar, a vital step in making ethanol.
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said Syngenta , the Swiss maker of the enzyme, called alpha-amylase, will create an advisory council and take other steps to alleviate concerns by foodmakers about the genetically engineered corn variety. Syngenta requested APHIS deregulate the corn variety in 2005.

OTTAWA, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Canada is proposing a July 1 start date for requiring 2 percent renewable content in all diesel fuel and heating oil, the government said on Thursday.
Canada's renewable fuels regulations, published in September 2010, already require an average of 5 percent renewable content in gasoline.

PALM BEACH, Florida, Feb 10 (Reuters) -  The U.S. government has few options to slow down the ethanol boom that has played a big role in drawing down corn supplies to their lowest level in 15 years, a top U.S. Agriculture Department official said on Thursday.
"The fact is the industry has pretty much been built," USDA chief economist Joe Glauber told reporters on the sidelines of a Commodity Markets Council conference.

20110217 0916 Global Market Related News.

Gold edges up as Middle East tensions support
SINGAPORE, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Spot gold was a tad stronger , on course for a fourth straight day of gains, as escalating tensions in the Middle East buoyed sentiment, though physical demand remained lackluster.
"There's not much activity on the physical market, as prices have gone up quite a bit from before the Lunar New Year," said a Hong Kong-based dealer."In Asia, buyers are a bit reluctant to get in now, because they think prices are too high."

Asian stocks gain on U.S. hopes, oil rises
HONG KONG, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Asian stock markets rose, buoyed by strong corporate earnings and as the Federal Reserve expressed cautious optimism about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery.
"The mood in global equity markets is extremely positive and if external circumstances don't change much, the current rally can carry on until the Nikkei reaches 11,000," said Kazuhiro Takahashi, general manager at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets. 

OIL: Crude climbs on Middle East tension, stock data
SEOUL, Feb 17 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures extended gains  in early Asian trades on Thursday, helped by a less-than-expected  rise in U.S. crude inventory and fresh tension between Israel  and Iran that fuelled concern about Middle East unrest.
The Energy Information Administration's weekly stock report  showed crude oil stockpiles rose only 860,000 barrels last week, against a forecast for stocks to be up 2.2 million barrels.

COMMODITIES: Oil, gold up as Israel, Iran add to Mideast tension
NEW YORK, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices ended higher on Wednesday after spiking to $104 a barrel in London, and gold edged up as well, as tension between Israel and Iran accentuated the widening unrest in the oil-rich Middle East.
"Troubles in the Middle East are back on the agenda," said Rob Montefusco, an oil trader at Sucden Financial.

GLOBAL: Asian stocks gain on U.S. hopes, oil rises
Feb 17 (Reuters) -     HONG KONG, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Asian stock markets rose on  on Thursday, buoyed by strong corporate earnings and as the Federal Reserve expressed cautious optimism about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery.
"The mood in global equity markets is extremely positive and if external circumstances don't change much, the current rally can carry on until the Nikkei reaches 11,000," said Kazuhiro Takahashi, general manager at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets.

Argentina Wheat Output To Rise; Corn, Soybean May Fall (Source: CME)
Argentina's production of corn and soybeans will likely fall this year but the crop prospects have improved significantly in the last few weeks and wheat production is sharply higher than a year earlier, a senior industry executive said. "The situation for corn and soybeans is no longer as bad as it was a few weeks earlier because of recent rains and lower temperature," Freddy Pranteda, Director of grain trading company Cosur SA, said on the sidelines of a grains conference organized by Centre for Management Technology. He said less evaporation and continuous rains have saved several million metric tons of Argentina's standing crop of corn and soybeans. Corn output is likely to fall to 19.5 million tons this year from 22 million tons last year, Pranteda said. He said Argentina's output of soybeans may fall to 48 million-49 million tons from 55 million tons.
Earlier, market participants were concerned that Argentina's corn output could fall to 14 million tons and output of soybeans to below 44 million tons because of dry weather. However, lower output will drag down exports of corn to 11 million tons-12 million tons from 16 million tons last year and that of soybeans to 9 million-10 million tons from 12 million tons, he said. Argentina has already sold 6.5 million tons of new crop soybeans to China for the April-July period, he noted. Pranteda said wheat output is estimated to jump to 15 million tons from 8.5 million tons because of exceptionally high yields in some regions. Wheat is harvested in October and November, while corn and soybeans are harvested in March and April. Dry weather just ahead of the harvest late last year gave a boost to wheat yields, said Pranteda.
He said in some regions the wheat yields almost doubled to 7 tons a hectare from 3.5-4.0 tons. Last year the wheat crop was affected by drought in some areas, he noted. However, the protein content in wheat is lower this year by 1.0-1.5 percentage points at 11.0%-11.5%. Argentina's wheat exports are likely to almost double to around 9 million-10 million tons this year and some of the low-protein grades may be shipped to Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Pranteda said.

China PBOC: To Support Grain Output, Price Stability (Source: CME)
China's central bank said that it will use monetary policy tools to promote grain production, the latest sign of concern from top Chinese policy makers over food price pressures. The move comes after a rose of more than 10% in food costs helped keep January inflation close to two-year highs, despite a slew of cooling measures by Beijing. The People's Bank of China said in a statement that it will pay close attention to trends in domestic and international grain prices, and use various monetary policy tools in order to stabilize prices. The PBOC will use refinancing and rediscount loans, among other tools, to expand support for drought relief efforts and will direct financial institutions to provide financing for irrigation projects as well as purchases of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, it said.
Outstanding loans to the agricultural sector and rural areas at the end of last year totaled CNY11.76 trillion, up CNY2.6 trillion from a year earlier, it said. China's food prices, which make up about 30% of the consumer price index basket, jumped 10.3% on year in January, quicker than a 9.6% rise in December, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday. Overall prices gained 4.9%.

Divisions threaten hope for G20 policy deal
PARIS, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Wide differences between rich and poor countries may frustrate France's hope of taking a bold step towards stabilising the global economy at a Group of 20 finance ministers meeting this week.
The two-day talks in Paris will launch debate on French President Nicolas Sarkozy's ambitious agenda for his country's year-long presidency of the G20. The agenda includes grand proposals to curb the volatility of food and fuel prices and to reduce gradually the world's reliance on the U.S. dollar.

PRECIOUS-Gold rises to 4-week high as dollar retreats
LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose to four-week highs above $1,375 an ounce in Europe on Wednesday as a retreat in the dollar and concerns over the medium-term inflation outlook helped support the precious metal.
Spot gold  hit a peak of $1,377.65 an ounce and was bid at $1,376.14 an ounce at 1013 GMT, against $1,372.95 late in New York on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures for April delivery  rose $2.30 an ounce to $1,376.40.

FOREX-Euro up on Asian buying, sterling hit by BOE report
LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The euro rose on Wednesday, helped by buying by Asian central banks, while sterling fell after the Bank of England cut its growth outlook while hiking inflation forecasts, raising the spectre of stagflation.
Sterling  fell to the day's low of $1.6040, compared with around $1.6140 before the report was released. It also lost ground against the euro, with the common currency rising to a session high of 84.29 pence  from 83.85 pence.

U.S. wheat claws back losses, risk of more fund selling
SYDNEY, Feb 16 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures rose around 0.5 percent as buyers took advantage of a 3.6 percent plunge the previous session to shore up supplies, while bullish fundamentals including drought in China helped support prices.
"It is not unexpected to a see a little bit of a recovery but it really depends if we see continuing fund selling in the U.S. tonight," said Adam Davis, a senior trader at Merricks Capital in Melbourne.

Global stocks rise; sterling up on rate view
LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Global stocks rose on optimism about a strong outlook for corporate earnings, while expectations for higher interest rates in the UK lifted sterling and the euro gained against the dollar on sovereign demand.
"There is a growing confidence in the outlook for the global economy. The recovery looks like it is being transformed into a sustainable expansion and that does mean that the outlook for earnings is very positive," said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin.

Argentina soy, corn exports seen down
SINGAPORE, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Argentina's soybean and corn exports are likely to drop in the 2010/11 marketing year as dry weather shrinks output, though   recent rainfalls have boosted initial estimates of soy production, an industry official said on Wednesday.
Exports from the world's third-largest soybean supplier are likely to drop to 9 million to 10 million tonnes from 12 million tonnes in the 2009/10 season, Freddy Pranteda, director of grain trading firm Cosur, told Reuters.

20100217 0912 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Soy product futures ended mixed, with soyoil managing to stabilize after facing sharp declines in the past week. Strong global vegoil prices and bullish global demand outlooks for world vegoil markets underpinned prices, analysts said. Soymeal stumbled to 5-week lows in step with soybeans, succumbing to further profit taking on prior gains amid slowing demand, analysts said. CBOT March soyoil ended 0.07 cents or 0.1% higher at 56.61 cents per pound, and March soymeal traded $2.30 or 0.6% lower at $364.30 a short ton. (Source: CME)

Palm oil falls to 2-wk low on concern prices overheated
JAKARTA, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures fell more than 3 percent tracking many commodity prices lower, as traders said many opted to book profits as the vegetable oil had overrun its positive fundamentals in recent weeks.
"For the first half, production will remain slow and the bullishness will remain, but in the second half, Indonesian production should pick up hugely," said one Indonesian trader.

China Feb soy imports seen the lowest in a year
BEIJING, Feb 16 (Reuters) - China's soy imports in February are seen at 3.13 million tonnes, the lowest monthly level since March 2010 due to seasonal low demand as crushers shut down for Lunar New Year holidays.
But unlike last year, imports in March and April are not expected to jump.