Thursday, March 24, 2011

20110324 1831 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

 FCPO closed : 3270, changed : -36 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : falling, seller in control.
Support : 3270, 3200, 3150, 3100 level.
Resistance : 3300, 3350, 3420, 3450 level.
Comment :
High Volatility FCPO closed recorded loss with ultra high volume participation ahead of tomorrow export data despite soy oil trading range bound without big movement in quiet volume resulted palm oil trading at big discount compare to soy oil prices.
Daily chart formed a down doji bar candle with long long lower shadow positioned nearer to lower Bollinger band level after market opened gap down, plunge lower once recorded 4% loss and touched below lower Bollinger band followed by after lunch session profit taking activities lifted price upward to recovered upward substantially to closed near opening price.
Chart reading wise, market is still likely to trade downside biased with a little possibility of having a pullback as today formed a hammer candle pattern and the 4th down bar candle.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant/breakdown with larger cut loss and profit target.

20110324 1738 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1513.5 changed : +8 points,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound little upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer taking small exposure.
Support : 1500, 1485, 1470, 1458 level.
Resistance : 1515, 1530, 1540, 1550 level.
Comment :
Quiet market FKLI closed recorded gains with decreasing volume changed hand doing par with cash market while regional markets closed mostly higher.
Daily chart formed an up doji bar candle with lower shadow positioned above middle Bollinger band level after market opened gap up little lower and traded with a 6.5 points range bound market before closed near the high of the day.
Reading wise, market is likely to trade within a side way range bound little upside biased market development testing support and resistance 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.

20110324 1454 Global Market Related News.

SINGAPORE, March U.S. wheat tumbles on moisture forecast
KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 23 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures ended more than 1 percent lower on Wednesday as forecasts for beneficial rain and snow in the southern Plains improved crop prospects that have been dimmed by prolonged dry weather in the wheat belt.
"There is a chance of about 0.10 to 0.50 inch of moisture in that HRW belt from northern Oklahoma northward" over the next few days, Palmerino said.

Recurring rains lift Argentine soy growth- exchange
BUENOS AIRES, March 23 (Reuters) - A second week of rains in central and southern parts of Argentina's farming belt should help maturing soy crops after a dry spell late last month, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Wednesday.
Argentina, the world's third-biggest soy exporter, had dry weather earlier this season, but heavy rains from mid-January onward brightened the outlook for the oilseed.

Gold extends gains as Middle East crisis supports
SINGAPORE, March 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Thursday as it drew support from the spreading turmoil in the Middle East and talk of extended loose U.S. monetary policy after lackluster home sales data.
"Gold is expected to remain firm, as there is a lot of geopolitical uncertainty and money printing going on," said a Singapore-based trader, referring to the looser monetary policy adopted by Japan's central bank after the earthquake hit nearly two weeks ago.

Euro pressured by Portugal; shares mostly gain
SINGAPORE, March 24 (Reuters) - The euro was under pressure on Thursday after Portugal's prime minister resigned following parliament's rejection of his austerity plans, while Asian stocks outside Japan rose as higher commodities prices lifted materials shares.
"We are unlikely to see further gains in the near future, unless there's an end to the nuclear crisis in sight," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities. 

20110324 1005 Local & Global Economic Related News.

Malaysia: Central Bank sees faster inflation as economy expands
Malaysia’s inflation is set to accelerate and the economy may expand as much as 6% this year, the central bank said, signaling it would move to counter rising prices and “financial imbalances.” GDP may expand 5% to 6% in 2011, BNM said in its annual report. That matches the finance ministry’s forecast in October, and compares with the decade-high 7.2% pace in 2010. Inflation may accelerate to a range of 2.5% to 3.5% this year from 1.7% in 2010, it said. “Growth is likely to improve during the course of the year with better growth performance in the second half of the year,” the central bank said. “Compared to 2010, when monetary policy focused on preventing the risk of financial imbalances and sustaining economic growth, the upside risks to inflation have become increasingly visible in 2011.” (Bloomberg)

Malaysia: Inflation seen at 2.5%-3.5%
The headline inflation outlook for this year is expected to average 2.5% to 3.5%, higher than last year’s 1.7%. The higher inflation is expected to be driven by supply, especially from higher global commodities prices and further adjustments to domestic administered prices. Global commodity prices are expected to increase due to distruptions in supply due to adverse weather conditions, geopolitical developments, speculative activity and strong demand from emerging economies. (Financial Daily)

Singapore: Consumer prices climb 5% on transportation, food cost
Singapore’s inflation held above 4.5% for a third month as the cost of transportation, food and housing climbed, sustaining pressure on the central bank to join regional policy makers in damping inflation. The consumer price index increased 5% last month from a year earlier, a Department of Statistics statement showed. That compares with an inflation rate of 5.5% in January. The median estimate of 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 5.4% gain. Prices fell 0.1% from January, without adjusting for seasonal factors. (Bloomberg)

Japan: Forecasts earthquake damage may swell to USD309bn
Japan’s government estimated the damage from this month’s record earthquake and tsunami at as much as JPY 25trn (USD309bn), an amount almost four times the hit imposed by Hurricane Katrina on the US. The destruction will push down gross domestic product by as much as JPY 2.75trn for the year starting 1 Apr, report showed. The figure, about 0.5% of the JPY 530trn economy, reflects a decline in production from supply disruptions and damage to corporate facilities without taking into account the effects of possible power outages. The figures are the first gauge of the scale of rebuilding Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s government will face after the quake killed more than 9,000 people. (Bloomberg)

China: Can grow 8% for 20 years to top US, World Bank says
China can grow 8% annually for the next two decades to become twice the size of the US economy, World Bank Chief Economist Justin Lin said. The nation can continue to exploit a “latecomer” advantage by borrowing the technologies and industries of advanced countries at low risk and cost, Lin said. The world’s second-biggest economy may be twice as large as the US in two decades’ time, based on so-called purchasing-power parity calculations, Lin said. Using market exchange rates, it may be the same size, he added. China’s growth averaged more than 10% over the past decade as the economy vaulted past Japan, Germany, the UK and France. (Bloomberg)

UK:Banks bring jobs to London as finance pays most tax in UK
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employs almost as many people in London today as it did in 2007, before Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for the biggest bankruptcy in history, sparking a global recession. Goldman Sachs isn’t alone. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, recipient of the world’s biggest bank bailout, has more workers in its securities unit than four years ago. Barclays Capital, under Robert Diamond, hired 1,800 in 2010. Investment banks in Europe’s financial capital are adding jobs, helping to bolster headcounts at law and accounting firms across London, as the rest of Britain struggles to recover from the worst economic contraction since the 1930s. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has little alternative except to do all he can to keep companies such as Barclays Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc from leaving London. (Bloomberg)

U.S: New-home sales unexpectedly fall to lowest on record in February. Sales decreased 16.9% to a 250,000 annual pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed. The median price fell 8.9% YoY from the same month in 2010. (Source: Bloomberg)

E.U: Industry orders in January rise for a fourth month on intermediate goods such as car engines and steel, adding to signs the economy is gathering strength. Orders in the euro area rose 0.1% MoM from December, when they increased 2.7% MoM. Orders jumped 21% YoY. (Source: Bloomberg)

Portugal: Parliament rejects government's deficit plan, threatening to topple Prime Minister Jose Socrates's government and increasing the chance of an international bailout. (Source: Bloomberg)

20110324 1004 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

 KLCI chart reading : side way range bound

TNB buys stake in Integrax
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has acquired 66,538,269 ordinary shares of RM1 each in Integrax Bhd, representing 22.12% equity interest in the company for RM106.5m cash. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, TNB said it would become a substantial shareholder of Integrax upon completion of the acquisition, adding that the company intended to fund the purchase consideration entirely through internally generated funds. “The strategic acquisition will enable TNB to secure the coal handling services for its said power plant and enhance the efficiency and operations of its power station,” the statement said. TNB had on 23 March acquired the shares through a direct business transaction. The acquisition was made pursuant to a share sale agreement entered into with Halim Rasip Holdings SB. It said the purchase price of RM1.60 per share represents a premium of 13.5% to the five day weighted average market price of Integrax shares up to and including 18 March 2011, being the market day immediately preceding the share sale agreement of RM1.41. (Financial Daily)

ADCB meets investment bankers
RHB Capital Berhad’s single largest foreign shareholder Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank had called for a beauty parade among investment banks last week to pitch for an adviser role on the sale of its 25% stake in the local banking group. It is believed that CIMB Bank was among the shortlisted banks asked to participate in the pitch in which the majority of participants were foreign investment banks. “ADCB is expected to make a decision as early as end of this week on which investment bank will win that mandate” said a source.(StarBiz)

Malaysia Airlines may raise surcharge
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has warned that it would raise its fuel surcharges as the conflict in the Middle East was accelerating the pace of crude oil price hikes, which in turn threatens airline margins. Fuel is a major component that makes up 30%-35% of an airline's overall cost and jet fuel prices have been on the rise, hovering slightly below three-year high of almost USD134 a barrel in Singapore. Crude oil for May delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was at USD105.38 a barrel yesterday evening. “We would have to add (at these levels) but we are also watching the markets. When and where we impose the fuel surcharges will depend on our route analysis,'' MAS chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said. MAS recently raised its fuel surcharges that it had imposed since 2008. MAS has 25% of its fuel hedged at USD88 a barrel. While Munir said that “provides some comfort in an extremely challenging situation,'' the hike in fuel surcharges were “inevitable.'' (StarBiz)

Sime settles Qatar oil project dispute
Sime Darby Bhd and Maersk Oil Qatar A/S (MOQ) have agreed to end their dispute pertaining to a project in Qatar. Sime Darby yesterday said its unit, Sime Darby Engineering SB (SDE), had signed a closeout agreement with MOQ on 17 March to settle all claims related to the project. In its filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Sime Darby said the settlement will result in a writeback of some RM100m. Four years ago, MOQ contracted SDE to deliver an oil and gas-related project worth USD632m (RM1.9bn) in Qatar. In financial year ended 2010, Sime Darby had made provisions of RM733m for the MOQ project. Sime Darby said the settlement entails full and final settlement of all claims, including back charges and other claims between MOQ and SDE. SDE had been relieved of all remaining works under the contract except for warranty obligations, it added. The warranty period has been reduced from 24 months to 18 months from the date of the closeout agreement. Additionally, the 10% performance bond provided by SDE had been reduced to 2.5% of the contract price, or equivalent to USD16 m (RM49 m). (BT)

BNM expects announcements on Islamic mega banks this year
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) expects the two entities given the provisional licences to set up Islamic mega banks in the country to announce their investment plans this year. "We are giving them more time (to make the announcement) given the environment is more challenging," said its governor, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, adding that the investments would be huge. On when the announcement would be made and the identities of those behind the mega Islamic banks, she said "it will be premature to say at this point of time". "As soon as they have made their final submissions that include business plans, their senior management and board members and the details surrounding their applications then the announcement will be made," she said at the press conference in conjunction with the release of BNM's Annual Report 2010 and Financial Stability and Payment Systems Report 2010 here Wednesday. (Bernama)

TM: UniFi subscribers almost doubled to 60,000 last year. Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) has almost doubled the number of customers for its high speed broadband service called UniFi, to 60,000 from 33,000 at the end of last year, beating its own estimates. (Source: Business Times)

Axiata: Suspends all dealings with Alcatel for 12 months. Axiata Group Bhd has imposed a 12-month suspension on Alcatel-Lucent group (ALU), including its Malaysian operations, which would bar it from any new bids for contracts, although it would continue all existing contracts. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

EON Bank: New CEO soon? Eon Bank Bhd may be one step closer to appointing a new group CEO to replace Datuk Michael Lor, with its board looking to submit a name to the central bank for approval soon. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Property: Demand rebound lifts residential property market. The residential property market has been experiencing an upturn since the fourth quarter of 2009 as demand rebounded by 7.1% (2009: -2.3%) following improved consumer sentiments. Meanwhile, the increase in housing stock moderated in 2010 as housing started a declining trend. (Source: The Star)      

20110324 0914 Renewables Energy Related News.

MADRID, March 22 (Reuters) - Spain is better able to ease its hefty dependence on gas and grain than a week ago due to  rain boosting its hydropower and irrigation reserves, official data in the drought-prone country showed on Tuesday.
Water stocks rose during an unusually wet 2010 and are now 31 percent above average levels for the past 10 years, the Ministry for the Environment and Rural Affairs said.

BERLIN, March 18 (Reuters) - Germany's government will discuss plans to raise the size of its renewable energy fund to 1 billion euros from a current 300 million, according to a draft paper seen by Reuters on Friday.
In its effort to make up a shortfall of nuclear power due to a three month moratorium imposed this week, the government aims to boost renewable power and energy saving. It will focus on off-shore wind energy and making buildings more energy efficient.

PODGORICA, March 22 (Reuters) - Montenegro's Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG) expects to produce 3,107 gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2011, a 22 percent drop from a year ago due to expected lower water levels, the utility said on Tuesday.
EPCG posted a 2010 net profit of 16.5 million euros ($23.41 million), up four fold from 2009 when strong hydro power helped generate revenue, said Srdjan Kovacevic, president of EPCG Board of Directors. Italy's A2A utility holds a 43.7 percent stake in EPCG.

KIGALI, March 22 (Reuters) - Rwanda plans to spend $935 million on the development of 310 megawatts of electricity from geothermal sources in the next seven years to tackle severe electricity shortages, a government statement said on Tuesday.
Rwanda is one of East Africa's fastest growing economies, with an expansion rate of 7.5 percent in 2010, but faster growth is hampered by major energy challenges.

MUMBAI, March 22 (Reuters) - Indian utility Tata Power and Australia's Sunengy have entered into a partnership to build the first floating solar power plant in India, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.
Construction of the pilot plant will start in August.

March 18 (Reuters) - Canada's NaiKun Wind Energy Group said its proposed offshore wind power project got environmental approval after more than two years, sending its shares up as much as 90 percent.
British Columbia authorities said the project, which will be the country's first, had passed the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Asset management firm Foresight Group expects Britain's installed solar capacity to rise sharply this year despite a government proposal to reduce support tariffs for large-scale solar projects.
Britain proposed on Friday cutting financial support for new solar plants with a capacity over 50 kilowatts (KW) from Aug. 1 because it wants to focus instead on supporting smaller household and community-level projects.

LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Britain's SeaEnergy said two of its sites were among those identified by the Scottish Government as suitable for developing offshore wind, sending its shares up on Friday.
The study to determine the most appropriate locations for wind energy devices around the Scottish coast, identified SeaEnergy's Beatrice and Inch Cape sites as suitable under the short term option, the company said.

COPENHAGEN, March 18 (Reuters) - Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine maker, is to supply turbines to a Mexican wind energy development with total capacity of 396 megawatts, the customers said on Friday.
The project is owned by a consortium made up of two units of Australian investment bank Macquarie Group and Mexican beverage and retail company FEMSA.

LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Britain proposed on Friday cutting financial support for new solar plants from Aug. 1, following an approval process, saying it wants to focus instead on supporting household and community-level projects.
A public consultation will run from Friday until May 6 on the proposal, and it will then go to parliament for final approval.

LOS ANGELES, March 17 (Reuters) - First Solar Inc  on Thursday said it will build a new solar panel factory in Mesa, Arizona, that will create about 600 jobs.
The company will invest $300 million in the facility, which will produce 250 megawatts of photovoltaic modules per year. Construction will begin in the second quarter of 2011 and will take one year, the company said in a statement.

CAPE TOWN, March 17 (Reuters) - South Africa sees renewable and nuclear energy accounting for two-thirds of new power stations built over the next 20 years as it seeks to cut its reliance on coal, an energy masterplan showed on Thursday.
Africa's biggest economy committed to nuclear expansion as other countries are rethinking their atomic-power plans, following the nuclear crisis in Japan.

MANILA, March 17 (Reuters) - Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp said on Thursday it bought a 50 percent stake in a company that operates a 33-megawatt wind farm in northern Ilocos Norte province and is eyeing investments in hydropower projects.
The country's oldest conglomerate said the group plans to expand its power assets after it started exploring renewable energy ventures under a partnership with a unit of Japan's Mitsubishi Corp last year.

March 16 (Reuters) - China-focused Canadian Solar Inc and SkyPower Ltd have signed a third agreement to build a 10.5 MW solar park in Thunder Bay, Ontario.   
The companies had agreed in December to build a 10.5 MW solar park in Napanee and an 8.5MW solar park located on Thunder Bay International Airport Authority land.

ZURICH, March 16 (Reuters) - Swiss engineering group ABB Ltd is buying a 35 percent stake in German solar power group Novatec Solar, saying it saw potential for its technology particularly in emerging markets.
The move underscores interest in solar at a time when many countries are asking how they can lower carbon emissions in the fight against climate change and meet energy demands as the future of nuclear power starts to look more uncertain.

CAPE TOWN, March 16 (Reuters) - First power from Kenya's 300 megawatt Lake Turkana wind project has been pushed back slightly because of delays in obtaining government guarantees, the project's chairman said on Tuesday.
In January the Kenyan government provided letters of support from the ministry of finance, giving succour to lenders for the 560 million euro ($783 million) project.

COPENHAGEN, March 15 (Reuters) - Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas  retained its world-leading market position in 2010 despite fierce competition from Chinese rivals rising up the ranks, a report published on Tuesday showed.
"Vestas maintained its leading market position in 2010 based on the strength of its global install activity," MAKE Consulting, a specialist in the wind energy industry, said in an extract from the report.

COPENHAGEN, March 15 (Reuters) - German wind park developer PNE Wind AG has agreed to cooperate exclusively with Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas  in offshore wind farms in the North Sea, the companies said on Tuesday.
Vestas will be supplier for PNE Wind's Gode Wind I project, requiring up to 77 turbines, and its Gode Wind III project which is still in the early planning phase but is foreseen with about 15 of Vestas's huge 6-megawatt turbines, they said.

NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) - SunPower Corp does not expect any change in its 2011 output of solar modules because of the massive earthquake in Japan, the company said on Tuesday.
It said its Japanese suppliers have seen some operations disrupted because of the disaster but have not sustained major damage to facilities.

20110324 0912 Biofuels Related News.

--Gavin Maguire is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own. To get his real-time views on the market, please join the Global Ags Forum. --
CHICAGO, March 18 (Reuters) - U.S. fuel blenders on Thursday faced their strongest incentive in nearly a year to increase the ethanol content in gasoline, thanks to a sharp rally in gasoline prices that widened the spread between gas and ethanol to its highest level since last spring.
But this higher level of demand is unlikely to spur increased ethanol output over the near term given the enduring tightness in ethanol production margins, which only recently rebounded into positive territory after dropping into the red a month ago.

SAO PAULO, March 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's development bank, the BNDES, said on Thursday it would provide 1 billion reais ($593 million) in loans to the ethanol industry until 2014 for technology development, in partnership with the Science Ministry.
The aim is to coordinate all government financing for development of technologies related to second-generation ethanol, or cellulosic ethanol, which could boost the quantity of fuel obtained from the same amount of raw material.

SAN FRANCISCO, March 17 (Reuters) - The venture capital arm of Google Inc has invested in a start-up that is developing technology to produce fuel from inedible biomass such as grass and wood chips .
The process, deployed by CoolPlanetBiofuels, also produces a byproduct that can capture carbon and also be added to soil to improve crop yields, leading to what Google Ventures described as a "negative carbon fuel."

CHICAGO, March 16 (Reuters) - A month after receiving regulatory approval, Swiss agricultural company Syngenta is starting to sign up U.S. farmers to grow its new biotech corn seed aimed at ethanol production, but expects to enroll less than 20,000 acres in a contracted growing arrangement this spring, a top company executive said Wednesday.
Syngenta is meeting with growers in the western corn belt, primarily Kansas and Nebraska, to contract for acres for this growing season for planting of the new corn amylase, which Syngenta calls "Enogen.

SAO PAULO, March 16 (Reuters) - Brazil has imported more than 150 million liters of U.S. ethanol this year as producers struggle to supply the local market during cane interharvest, the director of a large ethanol group estimated on Wednesday.
The volume includes several shipments that arrived in the country's northeast, and a cargo of 40 million liters that is heading to Santos, Brazil's No.1 sugar port which is situated in the country's main center-south cane producing region.

20110324 0904 Global Market Related News.

  Chart reading : side way range bound.

  Chart reading : correction range bound downside biased.
 Chart reading : correction range bound downside biased.
 Chart reading : correction range bound little downside biased.

Oil : US oil ends at 2-1/2-yr high on Mideast, gasoline
NEW YORK, March 23 (Reuters) - U.S. crude ended at a 2-1/2 year high on Wednesday as Palestinian rocket strikes on Israel escalated Middle East geopolitical risks and U.S. gasoline inventories posted the biggest seasonal decline on record.
Brent crude fell, narrowing its premium to U.S. oil futures, as part of a wave of profit-taking on the spread between the two contracts which has jumped to record highs this year due to bulging inventories in the U.S. Midwest.

COMMODITIES: Oil, metals jump as investors cherry-pick markets
NEW YORK, March 23 (Reuters) - Oil and metals continued to ramp up on light volume on Wednesday as investors cherry-picked commodity assets in markets fraught with uncertainty due to the festering Middle East crisis and Japan's nuclear woes.
U.S. crude oil hit a two-week high above $105 a barrel as unrest in the Middle East and North Africa flared. Oil was also boosted by a report showing a sharper-than-expected drop in U.S. gasoline stockpiles despite rising pump prices.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Euro pressured by Portugal; shares gain
SINGAPORE, March 24 (Reuters) - The euro was under pressure on Thursday after Portugal's prime minister resigned following parliament's rejection of his austerity plans, while Asian stocks eked out small gains as higher commodities prices lifted materials shares.
The resignation of Prime Minister Jose Socrates was seen as increasing the likelihood that Portugal will join Greece and Ireland in requiring a bailout from the European Union.

U.S. New-Home Sales Unexpectedly Fall to Lowest on Record (Source: Bloomberg)
Purchases of new U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in February to the slowest pace on record and prices dropped to the lowest level since December 2003, adding to evidence the industry is floundering.

Portugal Pushed Closer to EU Bailout After Socrates Budget Cuts Defeated (Source: Bloomberg)
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates tendered his resignation after plans to cut the budget were rejected by parliament, pushing the country closer to an international bailout.

Japan Quake May Cut Global Growth to 3.8%, Morgan Stanley Says (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan’s worst disaster since World War II likely won’t “derail” worldwide economic growth, as the crisis cuts global expansion this year by 0.5 percentage point to 3.8 percent, according to Morgan Stanley.

Fed’s Fisher Sees “Extraordinary Speculative Activity” in U.S. Economy (Source: Bloomberg)
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard W. Fisher said he sees “extraordinary speculative activity” in the U.S. after the central bank pumped record amounts of stimulus into the economy.

Bank of England Voted 6-3 to Hold Rate to Assess Impact of Increase in Oil (Source: Bloomberg)
Bank of England policy makers voted 6-3 to keep interest rates on hold this month and saw “merit in waiting” to assess the impact of rising oil prices on inflation, which they forecast may exceed 5 percent.

Osborne Lowers U.K. Growth Forecast, Increases Borrowing, Cuts Company Tax (Source: Bloomberg)
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the British economy will grow more slowly than forecast in 2011 and the U.K. will need to borrow more than previously thought in the next five years.

Treasuries Decline as Fed Purchases Less Debt Than Average, Stocks Rally (Source: Bloomberg)
Treasuries fell after the Federal Reserve bought less debt than average under its $600 billion program to use asset purchases to support the U.S. economic recovery and stocks rose.

Oil Falls From 30-Month High as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Gain Outweighs Libya (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil fell from the highest since September 2008 in New York as U.S. crude inventories rose more than analysts forecast, overshadowing threats to supplies from the conflict in Libya and Middle East unrest.

N.Z. Dollar Gains After Economy Expands, Recession Avoided (Source: Bloomberg)
The New Zealand dollar rose to a two-week high against the greenback after the nation’s economy expanded by more than some economists expected, avoiding a second straight quarter of contraction.

Tokyo to Distribute Bottled Water After Radiation Levels Climb (Source: Bloomberg)
Tokyo authorities will distribute bottled water to families with infants after determining that tap water may be unsafe for babies following radiation leaks from a nuclear plant disabled by the March 11 earthquake.

Libya Conflict May Spur Sales of Battle-Proven Eurofighter Jet (Source: Bloomberg)
Dogfights over Libya may spur sales of Eurofighter GmbH’s 65 million-pound ($106 million) Typhoon warplane as the enforcement of a no-fly zone against Muammar Qaddafi gives the jet a chance to prove its battle credentials.

Japan’s Government Bonds May Fall on Concerns Stock Gains Will Sap Demand (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan’s 10-year bonds may fall, halting yesterday’s advance, on speculation local stocks will follow gains in U.S. equities and damp demand for the relative safety of government debt.

Dollar Index Near 15-Month Low on Global Recovery Signs; Kiwi Strengthens (Source: Bloomberg)
The Dollar Index was within 0.8 percent of a 15-month low before reports today that economists said will show the U.S. job market and French manufacturing improved, damping demand for the safety of the U.S. currency.

China Should Revive ‘Through-Train’ Hong Kong Investment Plan, Guotai Says (Source: Bloomberg)
China should revive a plan to allow its citizens to invest directly in Hong Kong stocks, said Yim Fung, chief executive officer of Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd. (1788), a unit of China’s second-largest brokerage.

Japanese Stock Futures Rise on Factory Restarts, Oil; Australia Advances (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stock futures rose as some manufacturers said they will restart work at factories following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and after commodity prices increased. Australian stocks gained.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures end lower amid profit-taking after the government didn't confirm talk of export sales to China. Chatter about such deals pushed prices sharply higher last week by renewing concerns about tight supplies. Still, lingering supply worries limited losses today as wet weather may prevent farmers from planting enough corn this spring to replenish inventories, analysts say. The USDA will issue its plantings estimate March 31. CBOT May corn drops 5 3/4c to $6.81/bushel.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures finish lower on hopes snow will ease dryness threatening production in the Plains. Forecasters predict Kansas, the country's top wheat-growing state, will receive up to an inch of badly needed moisture from rain and snow in the coming days. The outlooks weighed on KCBT prices, in particular, as the exchange trades the variety of wheat grown in the Plains, analysts say. CBOT May wheat ends down 8c at $7.14 1/4 a bushel, KCBT May loses 15c to $8.30 and MGE May drops 7c to $8.59.

Oats (Source: CME)
Oat futures extended losses, with the May contract slipping 2 1/2 cents, or 0.7%, to $3.39 1/2 a bushel.

FDA Bans Some Japanese Milk, Produce Imports (Source: CME)
The Food and Drug Administration will ban imports of milk and fresh fruit and vegetables from areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that was damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The FDA issued an import alert late Tuesday, allowing the agency to detain certain food at the border. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has confirmed the presence of radioactive iodine in dairy, fresh produce and infant formula from areas around the nuclear power plant. Specifically, the import alert affects dairy and produce products from the four Japanese prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma. The FDA said it would continue to flag all food entries from Japan in order to determine whether they originated from the affected area, and will test food and feed shipments from the affected area for radiation contamination.
However, the FDA said it appears that food produced in Japan since the earthquake has not reached the U.S. The Japanese government has already ordered a stop to the sale of raw milk, spinach and kakina, a local vegetable, from the affected areas. The FDA said foods imported from Japan constitute less than 4% of foods imported into the U.S., with dairy products representing an even smaller fraction. Most dairy products in the U.S. market are produced domestically.

UN FAO: Global 2011 Wheat Output Seen Up 3.4% At 676M Tons (Source: CME)
World wheat production will total 676 million metric tons in 2011, a growth of 3.4% from last year's levels but still below the bumper harvests of 2008 and 2009, according Wednesday to a report by the United Nations' food body. Wheat plantings in many countries have increased or are expected to increase this year in response to strong prices, the Food and Agriculture Organization noted in its latest edition of the Crops Prospects and Food Situation report. At the same time, yield recoveries are forecast in areas that were affected by drought in 2010, the Russian Federation in particular, the FAO report noted. The majority of global coarse grains and paddy crops are still to be planted, making it difficult to forecast total cereal production for 2011, the report added.

Japan parts paralysis spreads as firms cut output
TOKYO, March 22 (Reuters) - Sony Corp cut output at five more plants and Toyota Motor Corp delayed restarting assembly lines, as the global supply of parts and products began to feel the full impact of Japan's catastrophic earthquake.
Global electronics and autos companies have been hardest hit by the turmoil, but in an illustration of how the ripples are spreading, Rio Tinto, the world's No. 2 iron ore miner behind Brazil's Vale, warned the disruptions posed a threat to its expansion plans.

PRECIOUS-Gold's appeal boosted by Portugal vote
LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Wednesday as investors bought the precious metal on fears that a key vote in Portugal could topple the country's government and on soaring tensions in the Middle East.
"Today there is focus on Portugal. There are debt problems more generally in the western world and of course we should not forget the Middle East, which also leads to safe-haven flows," said Christin Tuxen, analyst at Danske Bank.

FOREX-Euro falls as EU delays bailout fund increase
LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - The euro fell against the dollar on Wednesday on disappointment at a delay in increasing a euro zone bailout fund and on wariness before a Portuguese vote on austerity measures.
"This is another euro-negative piece of news -- countries could struggle to sell this (increased participation) at home," said a London-based head of FX sales.

U.S wheat up on U.S. Weather, corn, soy down on lower demand
BEIJING, March 23 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat rallied  in early Asian trade on concerns dry weather in the U.S. Plains may limit supply, while soy and corn extended losses.  "China is not going to buy corn (at current prices), limiting room for a further price rise," said Wang Zairong, an analyst with COFCO Futures Co. Ltd.

China aims for 8th consecutive grain output rise this yr-Cabinet
BEIJING, March 23 (Reuters) - China will spare no effort in achieving an eighth consecutive grain output increase this year, the Cabinet said on Wednesday.
"Guaranteeing a (grain) supply has a very significant meaning in managing inflation expectations, stabilizing the general consumer prices as well as realizing a stable and relatively fast economic growth and harmonious society," said the State Council in a statement published on the government web site.

Portugal vote dents euro, tempers equities
LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - Investors grew increasingly uneasy over the euro zone's finances ahead of a parliamentary vote in Portugal on Wednesday that could bring down the government, denting the euro and tempering an equities rally. "If these measure are not agreed, it seems more and more likely that Portugal will need some kind of support," said Charles Diebel, head of market strategy at Lloyds Bank.

Radiation in Tokyo water; U.S. curbs Japan food imports
TOKYO, March 23 (Reuters) - Japanese authorities advised against allowing infants to drink tap water in Tokyo due to raised radiation levels and the United States became the first nation to block some food imports from Japan.
The crisis at the tsunami-smashed nuclear power plant, 250 km (150 miles) north of the Japanese capital, appeared far from over with workers attempting to gain control ordered to leave the site after black smoke began rising from one of its six reactors.

20110324 0859 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

 Soy Oil chart reading : side way range bound little downside biased.

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soybean futures stumble, albeit still within recent trading ranges, without any fresh supportive news. The uncertainty of 2011 US soy plantings are keeping traders looking ahead to next week's plantings report. Analysts are concerned wet Midwest conditions could lead to corn seeding delays, and possibly additional soybean plantings. Favorable weather conditions for Argentina crops finishing development and an absence of any significant near term demand attracted sellers as well, says Dan Basse, president of AgResource. CBOT May soybeans fall 1% lower to $13.51 1/4 a bushel. Nov soybeans slip 0.8% to $13.33 1/4.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Soy product futures retreat in unison with soybean futures. Sluggish domestic demand and increased competition for exports from South America leaves futures without fresh support to buoy prices in the face of declining soybean futures, analysts say. CBOT May soyoil falls 0.7% to 55.48c per pound; May soymeal drops 1.7% to $360.00 per short ton.

Palm oil rebounds on technicals, crude markets
KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rebounded on a positive technical outlook with support coming from crude oil markets as growing civil unrest in Yemen heightened concerns of supply disruptions.  "Crude oil is one of the supportive factors for palm oil prices, but it just a temporary reaction. It might not have strong influence on broader commodities," said a trader with foreign brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.