Friday, April 1, 2011

20110401 1810 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3340, changed : +14 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising higher, buyer taking small exposure.
Support : 3350, 3300, 3270, 3250, 3200 level.
Resistance : 3420, 3450, 3470, 3500 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded small gain with decreasing volume transacted while overnight soy oil price rallied higher after USDA report projected a lower soy bean crop with crude oil prices continue to seek higher ground.
Daily chart formed another doji bar candle with lower shadow positioned at middle Bollinger band level after market opened gap up, slide lower and recovered upward to closed near the high of the day.
Technical reading still suggesting a correction range bound downside biased market development facing immediate resistance near middle Bollinger band and market could still break and test above this resistance level or else market is likely to resume downward movement.
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.

20110401 1727 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1546 changed : +4 points(continuous chart gain 3 points),  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : upside biased with possible pullback.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer in charge.
Support : 1540, 1530, 1515, 1500 level.
Resistance : 1550, 1580, 1590, 1600 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded gains with lower volume participation doing more than 9 points discount compare to cash market that closed at the high as banking stocks and Genting Malaysia continue to stayed under investors radar with TENAGA and Petronas Dagangan facing selling pressure while overnight U.S. market recorded decline, European markets trading higher and Asia markets closed mostly higher except Japan.
Daily chart formed the 4th up bar candle with upper shadow closing at upper Bollinger band level after market opened unchanged, edge up higher before easing little lower.
Chart reading remained unchanged with an upside biased market development with potential downward pullback correction.
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.

20110401 1445 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Asian shares, dollar gain as new quarter begins
HONG KONG, April 1 (Reuters) - Asian shares rose on Friday, looking to extend three straight quarters of gains, while the dollar strengthened against most  major currencies after hawkish comments from a senior U.S. Federal Reserve official.
"At the moment we're getting dragged higher by the momentum we're seeing in the U.S. economy," said IG Markets analyst Ben Potter in Melbourne.

Brent steady above $117, investors look to US March jobs data
SINGAPORE, April 1 (Reuters) - Brent crude was steady above $117, after earlier touching near a four-week high, as investors awaited an expected positive U.S. March payroll report due later on Friday for clues to demand prospects by the world's largest oil importer.
"The Chinese data is stronger than last month, but slightly lower than expected," said Serene Lim, a Singapore-based oil analyst at ANZ Bank.

Floods cut Australia's Queensland coal output 30 mln/t-council
SYDNEY, April 1 (Reuters) - Australia's Queensland state lost about 30 million tonnes of coal production, or 15 percent of its annual output, due to extensive summer flooding, the Queensland Resources Council said on Friday, suggesting official estimates of lost output may be too low.
The Council forecast total coal production for fiscal 2010/11 from the nation's main coal mining state will be cut to 170 million tonnes from a previous estimate of 200 million tonnes, based on feedback from coal-handling terminals.

Surge on shrinking US stocks, corn limit up
CHICAGO, March 31 (Reuters) - Grains surged on Thursday, with corn rallying 4.5 percent as strong demand whittled down stocks even as farmers geared up to plant the second-largest area since 1944.
"Even though we've seen food inflation and everything else that has taken place, the demand has not backed away. Even at these lofty prices, we're still seeing strong demand in the U.S. and in world markets for agricultural commodities," said Shawn McCambridge, analyst with Prudential Bache Commodities.

India allows cotton yarn exports from April 1
MUMBAI, April 1 (Reuters) - India has allowed cotton yarn exports from Friday, an arm of the commerce ministry said in a statement.
"The contracts for export of cotton yarn shall be registered with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) prior to shipment," the DGFT said.

China not buying Argentine soyoil-industry group
BUENOS AIRES, March 31 (Reuters) - Argentine soy processors are operating at a loss this year because China has not resumed soyoil purchases despite resolving a trade row with the South American country, an industry group said on Thursday.
"So far the margins have been bad. They're operating at a loss," Alberto Rodriguez, president of the CIARA-CEC industry group representing leading grains exporters told the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit in Buenos Aires.

Argentine soy harvest gathers momentum - exchange
BUENOS AIRES, March 31 (Reuters) - Argentina's 2010/11 soy harvest intensified in the last week in key growing regions and crop yields varied depending on the amount of rainfall received during the season, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday.
The South American country is the world's No. 1 soymeal and soyoil exporter, as well as its third-biggest soybean supplier, and it was affected by dry weather earlier this season.

Brazil to wring tad more sugar from new cane crop
SAO PAULO, March 31 (Reuters) - Brazil will eke out a small increase in sugar production next crop, despite fears that severe dry weather last year could stall a decade-long expansion for the world's biggest grower, the leading industry association said on Thursday.
Output in the main center-south cane producing region is expected to reach a record 34.6 million tonnes in the coming April/March season, up from 33.5 million tonnes in 2010/11, the Sugar Cane Industry Association (Unica) said in the first forecast of the 2011/12 crop.

Argentina to approve more corn exports
BUENOS AIRES, March 31 (Reuters) - Argentina is about to authorize the export of 3 million tonnes more of 2010/11 corn as the government works to find new markets for the cereal, including China, the agriculture minister told Reuters.
The South American country is the world's second-biggest corn exporter after the United States, but the government restricts exports of corn and wheat to ensure the local market is well supplied.

Ukraine govt seeks to sell grain export quotas
KIEV, March 31 (Reuters) - The Ukrainian government has suggested that the parliament adopt a law which allows selling grain export quotas at auction, Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said on Thursday.
Ukraine on Wednesday extended until July grain export quotas introduced in October to prevent a rise in domestic bread prices after a severe drought, and increased the total volume to 6.2 million tonnes from 4.2 million.

EU sanctions on Ivorian cocoa exports still valid
BRUSSELS, March 31 (Reuters) - European Union sanctions on Ivory Coast remain in force, including an embargo on cocoa shipments from major exporting port San Pedro, EU diplomats in Brussels said on Thursday.
Forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara -- internationally recognised as the winner of November's presidential election -- seized control of San Pedro overnight, raising hopes of a resumption in cocoa exports from the world's top producer.

Copper treads water ahead of US jobs data
SINGAPORE, April 1 (Reuters) - Copper was steady on Friday, after ending the first quarter down 2 percent, as investors marked time ahead of U.S. non-farm payrolls data for March.
"The world is still expecting a pretty significant copper deficit due to declining ore grades, so while we may see a further fall in copper prices, I think it will be relatively well supported around the high $8,000 levels," said Ben Westmore, commodity economist at National Australia Bank.

Sumitomo Metal's H1 copper output down 24 pct
TOKYO, April 1 (Reuters) - Sumitomo Metal Mining Co  said on Friday it plans to produce 155,000 tonnes of copper in the first half of the 2011/12 fiscal year, down 24 percent from the preceding six months due to plant maintenance that will start in September.
The company said it had produced 203,782 tonnes in the October-March period, slightly above its plan for 202,000 tonnes.  

Gold eases before U.S. payrolls data, ETF holdings drop
SINGAPORE, April 1 (Reuters) - Gold dropped on Friday before the release of U.S. non-farm payrolls report which could underpin the dollar and weigh on bullion, while ETF holdings posted their biggest quarterly decline ever.
"I am still positive about gold, but I think it will take time to consolidate. But there's not much going on, especially on the physical side and we are also waiting for the non-farm figure tonight," said Dick Poon, manager of precious metals at Heraeus in Hong Kong.

20110401 1136 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Asian shares, dollar rise as new quarter begins
HONG KONG, April 1 (Reuters) - Asian shares rose on Friday, looking to extend three straight quarters of gains, while the dollar strengthened against most  major currencies after hawkish comments from a senior U.S. Federal Reserve official.
Oil also kicked off the new quarter in positive fashion with U.S. prices climbing after closing at their highest in 2-1/2 years on Thursday against the backdrop of continued fighting in Libya and unrest in the Middle East.

Oil : Oil jumps to 2-1/2-yr highs, posts big Q1 gains
NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters) - Oil prices jumped to their highest close in 2-1/2 years on Thursday in thin end-of-quarter trading that left Brent near a record quarterly rise of more than $22 as Libya's conflict and Middle East unrest kept supply threats in focus and U.S. economic data added lift.
"(E)nd of quarter positioning and today's jobless figures again surprised on the favorable side with further economic optimism likely to be on display tomorrow morning," Jim Ritterbusch, president at Ritterbusch & Associates said in a note.
NATURAL GAS: Natural gas ends up slightly despite bearish EIAs
NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended slightly higher on Thursday in a seesaw session, as chilly Northeast and Midwest weather and some technical buying after an early sell-off offset bearish weekly inventory data  and concerns about high supplies.
"I think nuke concerns inspired some of the buying, and people are looking for a record-challenging withdrawal next week," Gelber & Associates analyst Pax Saunders said, noting news the Nuclear Regulatory Commission planned an intensive safety review of some U.S. nuclear plants.

EURO COAL: Rebounds $2 on strong oil, gas
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - Prompt European physical coal prices rebounded by around $2.00 on Thursday in line with stronger oil and gas prices.
"You have to wonder if anybody wants to actually trade or are they putting numbers out there which they know aren't going to be hit," one trader said.

COMMODITIES: Energy, silver and cotton outperform in Q1
NEW YORK/LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures rose more than 2 percent on Thursday, to the highest settlement in 2-1/2 years, and the global economic recovery also sent cotton, silver and gasoline soaring in the first three months of 2011.
"Silver's seen a perfect storm with a combination of a positive economic outlook to boost its industrial demand, together with inflation risks, geopolitical unrest and natural disasters. Little wonder it jumped so much," said a Singapore-based bullion trader.

20110401 1021 Local & Global Economic Related News.

Malaysia sees wider yuan use in trade
Malaysia will see increasing use of the yuan in trade with China, while keeping the dollar as its key reserve currency, Prime Minister Najib Razak said.
“We have to maintain the US dollar as the most important international reserve currency,” Najib said in an interview this week in Putrajaya, near Kuala Lumpur, ahead of his two-year anniversary in office April 3. “New currencies can emerge. I think we are quite open about it. It has of course to have the traction with countries around the world whether that happens,” he said, adding that it’s “very likely” trade in yuan will rise. (Business Times)

Goldman raises Malaysia’s GDP forecast to 5.5%
KUALA LUMPUR: Goldman Sachs has raised Malaysia’s 2011 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 5.5% from 5.2% previously, driven by robust domestic demand. (StarBiz)

Thailand: Current-Account surplus widens on rising shipments
Thailand’s current-account surplus more than tripled in February after exports surged amid a global economic recovery. The surplus was USD 3.82bn last month, compared with a surplus of USD1.09bn in January, the central bank said. The median estimate of nine economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a USD2.88bn surplus. Thailand’s Finance Ministry kept its 2011 economic growth forecast at as much as 5% this week, saying risks to growth, including unrest in the Middle East and this month’s earthquake in Japan, will be offset by the US recovery and an increase in spending ahead of the Southeast Asian nation’s elections this year. The central bank signaled this week it may raise interest rates further after two increases in 2011. (Bloomberg)

Australia: Retail sales, loans rise, sending dollar to record
Australian retail sales rose in February and lending to businesses climbed for the first time in nine months, according to government reports that sent the nation’s currency to a record against the USD. Sales advanced 0.5% from a month earlier, when they gained 0.4%, the Bureau of Statistics said. That was the biggest increase since July and was higher than the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 24 economists for a 0.4% increase. A separate report from the Reserve Bank of Australia showed total credit extended by Australian lenders last month jumped by the most since May, led by business loans. The signs of stronger consumer spending and a lending revival boosted the local dollar as confidence grew that natural disasters didn’t derail the economy’s expansion. (Bloomberg)

EU: Portugal misses 2010 deficit target, raising bailout risk
Portugal reported a budget deficit of 8.6% of GDP last year, missing a government target of 7.3% and causing a jump in borrowing costs that increases the risk of a bailout. The revisions won’t affect the government’s goal for a 4.6% shortfall in 2011, the national statistics agency said. The agency also revised the 2009 budget gap to 10% from 9.3%, after European Union accounting changes prompted Portugal to add more than EUR 2bn (USD 2.8bn) to the 2010 deficit. The yields on the country’s two, five and 10-year bonds rose to euro-era records. (Bloomberg)

EU: German unemployment fell in March for 21st straight month
German unemployment fell twice as much as economists forecast in March as instability in the Middle East and the crisis in Japan failed to deter companies from hiring. The number of people out of work fell a seasonally adjusted 55,000 to 3.01 million, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said. That’s the lowest level since June 1992. Economists predicted a drop of 25,000, according to the median of 31 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The rate declined to 7.1% from 7.3% of the workforce. (Bloomberg)

EU: Inflation quickens on energy before ECB rate meeting
European inflation unexpectedly accelerated to the fastest in more than two years in March as European Central Bank policy makers prepared to raise interest rates to fight increasing price pressures. Inflation in the 17-nation euro region quickened to 2.6% from 2.4% in February, the European Union’s statistics office said in an initial estimate. That’s the fastest since Oct 2008 and exceeds the ECB’s 2% limit for a fourth month. Economists forecast inflation to hold at 2.4%, the median of 32 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. (Bloomberg)

US:Jobless Claims Fall, Confidence Improves
Fewer Americans filed claims for jobless benefits last week and consumer confidence stabilized, a sign the world’s largest economy is weathering the jump in commodity prices heading into the second quarter. The number of applications for unemployment insurance payments fell by 6,000 to 388,000 in the week ended 26 March, a one-month low, Labor Department figures showed. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 46.9 last week from a seven-month low of minus 48.9. (Bloomberg)

U.S: Business activity expands faster than forecast in March. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said its business barometer fell to 70.6 this month from February's 71.2 reading that was the highest since July 1988. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion. (Source: Bloomberg)

U.S: Orders placed with factories declined 0.1% MoM in February for the first time in four months, reflecting weaker demand for capital goods and military aircraft. Bookings for manufacturers' goods decreased 0.1% MoM after a revised 3.3% MoM gain in January. Orders excluding transportation equipment rose, boosted by demand for non-durable goods. (Source: Bloomberg)

Ireland: Counts on USD 142b package to end worst bank crisis. The central bank instructed four lenders to raise EUR 24b and will merge two of them. The government already injected EUR 46.3b into the financial services industry and set up an agency that paid more than EUR 30b for banks' risky property loans in the past year. The total equates to about two-thirds the size of the Irish economy. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: BOJ is said to mull emergency loan program after quake. The plan may be presented to the central bank's board as early as this month, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussions weren't public. BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa and his colleagues are scheduled to meet on April 6-7 and on April 28. (Source: Bloomberg)

S. Korea: Inflation climbs to 29-month high in March, breaching target. The consumer-price index rose 4.7% YoY compared with a 4.5% YoY pace in February. Prices gained 0.5% MoM from February. (Source: Bloomberg)

Taiwan: Raises key rate as inflation risk outweighs Japan concern. Taiwan raised borrowing costs for the fourth straight quarter, judging inflation risks outweigh the threat of economic disruption from Japan's earthquake. The central bank raised the discount rate on 10-day loans to banks by 0.125 percentage point to 1.75%, it said in Taipei.
(Source: Bloomberg)

Australia: Home-building approvals unexpectedly declined in February as flooding and a cyclone hurt the housing market. The number of permits granted to build or renovate houses and apartments dropped 7.4% MoM from January, when they fell a revised 11.6% MoM, the Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney. (Source: Bloomberg)    

20110401 1019 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

KLCI chart reading :
upside biased with possible pullback, immediate resistance near 1560 level.

Crescendo climbs as Q4 earnings triple
Crescendo Corp, a Malaysian property developer, rose the most in three months in Kuala Lumpur trading after saying fourth-quarter earnings more than trebled to RM14.3 million. (Business Times)

Delloyd acquires factory, land
Delloyd Ventures has acquired two pieces of freehold industrial land with buildings and a paint shop in Perak for RM18m cash. The acquisition represents an opportunity for the company to increase its automotive components manufacturing capacity. (Financial Daily) 

HELP International Corp sees potential in Sri Lanka and Cambodia
KUALA LUMPUR: HELP International Corp Bhd (HIC) is looking to expand into Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Middle East and Africa to franchise its education programmes as well as offer professional niche courses for business continuity to rev up its revenue stream. (StarBiz)

Handal rights oversubscribed
PETALING JAYA: Handal Resources Bhd’s rights issue of 60 million ordinary shares together with 60 million free warrants have been oversubscribed by 76.26%. (StarBiz)

Malaysia Building Society expects to lend RM6bil
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) expects to lend a record RM5bil to RM6bil to civil servants this year after shareholders approved a cash call that would bump up its capital ratios and allow it to lend more money. (StarBiz)

Nam Fatt signs pact with white knight
NAM Fatt Corp has signed a heads of agreement with businessman Tan Sri Ta Kin Yan to help revive the company’s financial condition. The white knight will participate in the proposed plan which includes a reverse take-over exercise. “The main objective of the heads of agreement IS to ultimately implement the proposed regularisation plan to return Nam Fatt to a better financial standing and profitability, thereby benefiting all stakeholders of the company,” the company said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia. (Financial Daily)

SAM to buy engine casing firm
SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) has proposed to acquire an engine casing manufacturing division from Singapore Aerospace Manufacturing Pte Ltd for RM135m and restricted issue of irredeemable convertible unsecured loan stocks (ICULS) of up to 33.75m ICULS to minority shareholders of SAM. SAM in a statement yesterday said the acquisition would be satisfied by the issuance of 101.25m ICULS at an issue price of RM1 each to SAM Singapore and the remaining RM33.75m in cash. The proposals were in conjunction with the proposed restricted offer for sale exercise by Singapore Precision. (StarBiz)

Sapura Res leaps on Q4 profit turnaround
Sapura Resources Bhd, a Malaysian property company and computer distributor, rose the most in almost five months in Kuala Lumpur trading after announcing a fourth-quarter profit of RM21.9 million following a loss during the same period a year ago. (The Edge)

Sunway REIT buys Putra Place for RM514m and plans major renovation
Sunway Real Estate Investment Trust (Sunway REIT) has bought The Putra Place in a public auction for RM513.95m, confirming a Business Times report yesterday. Sunway REIT said the deal will provide geographical diversification and enlarge its portfolio of properties. Sunway REIT Management SB, the manager for Sunway REIT, is planning a major renovation of the property under a turnaround exercise. "Upon completion of this turnaround exercise, the manager believes that the property will enjoy upside on capital appreciation as well as improved yield," it said. (Business Times)

TDM rises on final dividend plan
TDM Bhd, a Malaysian palm oil producer, rose to its highest level in more than three weeks in Kuaala Lumpur trading after the company proposed a final dividend of 13.5 sen a share. (Business Times)

TIME-Measat IPTV deal
TIME Dotcom’s wholly-owned subsidiary, TT Dotcom SB (TTdC), has entered into a collaboration agreement with Measat Broadcast Network Systems SB (MBNS) to provide Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and broadband services across the Klang Valley and Penang. The agreement will be for 10 years beginning from 1 April 2011. With the deal, TTdC is expected to acquire customers at a faster rate in the target areas, and leverage on the strengths of TIME’s 100% pure fibre optics network. (Business Times)

CIMB: In quick U-turn on BLR. CIMB Bank and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd will not raise their respective base lending rate and base financing rate. The two banks back tracked on their decisions in less than 24 hours after having announced a rise in lending rates on Wednesday. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Maybank: Sets price of DRP shares. Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has fixed the issue price of new shares under its dividend reinvestment plan (DRP) at RM7.70 each. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

MAHB: Expects RM1b revenue from commercial services. Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd expects one third of its expected revenue of RM3b to originate from commercial services by 2014. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Perisai: Explains its proposed Garuda Energy deal. Perisai revealed that with the acquisition of Garuda Energy, it would assume a debt of RM120m of the latter. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

O&G: MOX-Linde upbeat on M'sian ops. MOX-Linde Gases Sdn Bhd, a local subsidiary of the Germany-based industrial gas company The Linde Group, is set to invest further in the country. The company planned to set up two production facilities in Iskandar Malaysia. (Source: The Star)

20110401 0957 Global Market Related News.

DJIA chart reading : pullback correction upside biased.
FTSE chart reading : side way range bound.
DAX chart reading : side way range bound little downside biased.
Hang Seng chart reading : side way  range bound.

Drop in U.S. Jobless Claims, Rising Consumer Confidence Point to Recovery (Source: Bloomberg)
Fewer Americans filed claims for jobless benefits last week and consumer confidence stabilized, a sign the world’s largest economy is weathering the jump in commodity prices heading into the second quarter.

Japan Tankan Show Manufacturers Were Optimistic Before Quake (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan’s large manufacturers grew more confident about the economic outlook before the nation was hit by a record earthquake, a central bank survey showed today.

Federal Reserve Releases Discount-Window Lending Records Under Court Order (Source: Bloomberg)
The Federal Reserve released thousands of pages of secret loan documents under court order, almost three years after Bloomberg LP first requested details of the central bank’s unprecedented support to banks during the financial crisis.

Bank of Japan Is Said to Mull Emergency Loan Program After Quake (Source: Bloomberg)
The Bank of Japan is considering offering temporary loans to banks to aid companies with cash- flow shortages in the wake of the record March 11 earthquake, three people familiar with the matter said.

South Korean Inflation Accelerates to 29-Month High, Adding Rate Pressure (Source: Bloomberg)
South Korean inflation climbed to a 29-month high in March, breaching the central bank’s ceiling and adding pressure for another interest-rate increase. The consumer-price index rose 4.7 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 4.5 percent pace in February, Statistics Korea said today in Gwacheon, south of Seoul. That’s the fastest since October 2008 and compares with the median estimate of 4.8 percent in a Bloomberg News survey of 15 economists. Prices gained 0.5 percent from February.

Business Activity in U.S. Expands Faster Than Forecast in Chicago Survey (Source: Bloomberg)
Business activity in the U.S. expanded at a faster pace than forecast in March, signaling manufacturing remains a driver of growth in the world’s largest economy. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer fell to 70.6 this month from February’s 71.2 reading that was the highest since July 1988. The index exceeded the 69.9 median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion.

U.S. Consumer Confidence Gains for First Time in Five Weeks, Index Shows (Source: Bloomberg)
Consumer confidence in the U.S. rose for the first time in five weeks as Americans said their finances were in better shape.

Ireland Counts on $142 Billion Package to End Worst Bank Crisis (Source: Bloomberg)
As Ireland’s bill to clean up Europe’s worst banking crisis reaches as much as 100 billion euros ($142 billion), the country’s authorities are counting on their latest financing plan to be enough.

Portugal Misses 2010 Deficit Target, Raising Chances of European Bailout (Source: Bloomberg)
Portugal reported a budget deficit of 8.6 percent of gross domestic product last year, missing a government target of 7.3 percent and causing a jump in borrowing costs that increases the risk of a bailout.

Bernanke Responds to Pressure for Transparency as Fed Discloses Borrowers (Source: Bloomberg)
For most of its 98-year history, the Federal Reserve has operated with all the transparency and enthusiasm for change of the Vatican. Now the ultra-secretive Fed is starting to change its ways, if somewhat grudgingly. Some of the new openness, such as Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s plan for quarterly press briefings, is the central bank’s idea. Much of it comes under duress.

Orders Placed With U.S. Factories Declined 0.1% in February (Source: Bloomberg)
Orders placed with U.S. factories unexpectedly fell in February for the first time in four months, reflecting weaker demand for capital goods and military aircraft.

Japan’s Bond Futures Fall a Third Day on U.S. Jobs Prospects, Weaker Yen (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan’s bond futures fell for a third day before a report today forecast to show the U.S. added jobs for a sixth month, adding to signs of resilience in the global economic recovery.

Yen Falls a Seventh Day Before Reports on U.S. Jobs, French Manufacturing (Source: Bloomberg)
The yen weakened against all its major counterparts before reports that economists said will show U.S. employers added jobs and a gauge of French manufacturing held at the highest level in nine months.

Japanese Stocks Traded in U.S. Fall as Oil Surges; Australian Shares Gain (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks traded in the U.S. fell after oil prices surged, raising concern that higher energy costs will hamper the nation’s economic recovery. Australian stocks rose.

Fed Program Accepted More Defaulted Debt Than Treasuries (Source: Bloomberg)
The Federal Reserve accepted more defaulted debt than U.S. Treasuries as collateral to back $155.7 billion on the largest day of borrowing from the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, according to documents released today.

G20 lays bare different reform agendas at China forum
NANJING, China, March 31 (Reuters) - China pushed back on Thursday against pressure from Paris and Washington for swift reform of a global monetary system that French President Nicolas Sarkozy said is so unstable that it could tip the world economy back into crisis.
The diverging views, on display at the start of a meeting of the Group of 20 leading economies, underscored the difficulty Sarkozy faces to meet his goal of drafting a blueprint for the overhaul of the global monetary order by the end of the year.

Euro zone inflation surges ahead of ECB rate rise
BRUSSELS, March 31 (Reuters) - Euro zone inflation defied expectations of a small decline and rose in March, an estimate showed on Thursday, a week before the European Central Bank is expected to raise interest rates to stem price growth.
The European Union's statistics office Eurostat estimated that consumer prices in the 17 countries using the euro jumped 2.6 percent year-on-year in March, up from 2.4 percent in February. Economists polled by Reuters had expected 2.3 percent.

FOREX-Euro boosted by rate expectations, month-end demand
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - The euro rose broadly on Thursday as above-forecast euro zone inflation cemented the case for higher interest rates from the European Central Bank, though analysts cautioned against a rapid rise in the currency.
"The euro has priced in a lot of good news so it's hard to see it moving rapidly higher, but it can definitely continue on the upside," said Raghav Subbarao, currency analyst at Barclays Capital.

Stocks set for 3rd quarterly gain; yen falls
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - World stocks climbed to a new three-week high and the euro inched higher ahead of the publication of Irish bank stress tests aimed at capping one of the major risks in Europe's debt crisis.  "Rate differentials are playing a big role, especially as there is no probablility for the BOJ to become more hawkish, even in the medium to long-term." said Manuel Oliveri, currency strategist at UBS in Zurich.

20110401 0950 Global Commodities Related News.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures close up the daily, exchange-imposed 30c/bushel limit on the USDA's tighter-than-expected supply estimate. Government projected March 1 inventories were down 15% from a year earlier and 2.7% below the average analyst prediction. The data set the stage for a cut next week in the USDA's forecast for end-of-season supplies, already projected to reach a 15-year low. Prices need to rise to curb demand, analysts say. "The markets job is to destroy demand," contends Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading. CBOT May corn finishes at $6.93 1/4; Friday's daily limit will rise to 45c.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures close sharply higher on spillover support from a limit-up rally in corn. Corn climbed 4.5% to its 30c limit after USDA said inventories as of March 1 were lower than expected. Corn's gains lift wheat, as both grains are used to feed livestock. USDA data issued Thursday was bearish for wheat, as federal forecasts for plantings and inventories exceeded expectations. CBOT May wheat ends up 36c to $7.63 1/4 a bushel, KCBT May climbs 46c to $9.08, and MGE May surges 37 3/4c to $9.23 3/4.

Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures finish solidly higher as federal forecasters project smaller-than-expected rice plantings. Government pegs rice plantings at 3 million acres, down 17% from last year. Private analytical firm Informa Economics, a closely watched forecaster, recent projected a more-modest 12% decline. Farmers are turning away from rice in the southern US to plant more profitable crops like cotton and corn. CBOT May rice ends up 20 1/2c at $13.98 1/2 per hundredweight.

USDA survey expected to show big U.S. crop sowing
WASHINGTON, March 31 (Reuters) - U.S. farmers will respond to near-record prices by planting the second-largest amount of corn land in seven decades, a government survey is expected to show on Thursday, but supplies will stay tight well into 2012.
Relatively limited additional cropland in the Corn Belt can be put into crops this year, while growers in the Plains could plant wheat on land that was fallow or recently used for grazing, a USDA analyst said.

China reports wider outbreak of wheat diseases
BEIJING, March 31 (Reuters) - China's wheat crop is suffering from a serious outbreak of disease and the spread of pests this year due to the dry spring, the ministry of agriculture said.
Areas suffering crop damage from pests increased by as much as 110 percent, with the density of pests four times greater than last year in parts in the north, the country's bread basket, said the ministry.

Argentina corn crop seen at 21-22 million tonnes
BUENOS AIRES, March 30 (Reuters) - Argentina's 2010/11 corn harvest is expected to fall to between 21 million and 22 million tonnes, down from last season's record 22.7 million tonnes, the head of local corn group Maizar said on Wednesday.
Dry weather at the start of the corn season hit crop yields, dampening early production expectations for a crop of up to 26 million tonnes. However, rains since mid-January have helped some crops recover.

Dry weather not seen damaging French, German wheat
HAMBURG, March 30 (Reuters) - Dry weather in top European Union wheat producers France and Germany is not yet causing serious concern about damage and plants could recover if enough rain falls in the next two weeks, analysts said on Wednesday.
Limited rainfall in France this month has slowed development of winter grains but the situation is not critical and could be solved by rain in the coming fortnight, analysts said.

As US farmers prepare to plant, late decisions loom
OVERLAND PARK, Kan, March 30 (Reuters) - Gary Millershaski would love to see some rain. With more than 2,000 acres of his southwest Kansas farm planted with a young thirsty wheat crop, it's been dry far too long.
Some of Millershaski's neighbors are considering tearing up their drought-stricken wheat fields, which are harvested in the summer, and possibly planting corn this spring instead.

Low Season In Brazilian Harvest To Pressure Arabica Coffee Exports (Source: CME)
Fine quality Arabica coffee exports are set to tighten as Brazil enters its bi-annual low harvest season in 2011, the head of the International Coffee Organization said. "Price levels for fine coffee blends are very tight amid concerns that people are being forced to use low grade coffee instead," ICO acting head Jose Sette said. "We had good inflows of fine quality Arabica over the first few months of this year but it may be difficult to maintain this flow for the rest of the crop year because of the bi-annual low Brazilian season," Sette added. Low harvests in Colombia and Indonesia have led to tight supplies this season for fine quality coffee. Arabica prices are hovering at 14-year highs and analysts predict they could hit the previously-unseen level of $4 a pound, while robusta prices are at three-year highs.
But as Brazil goes into its bi-annual low season in 2011--production is set to fall five million bags to 43 million bags--and domestic consumption continues to rise, markets are likely to face increasing pressure in 2011-12. Regarding global coffee producer stocks, "there is no prospect of a significant recovery in the near future, what will be harvested over the next 9-12 months is to be the amount consumed. Stocks will continue to rest at very low levels by historical standards," Sette added. Rising demand in developing countries is expected to boost world consumption to 132.5 million bags, compared with 131.2 million bags in 2009, bringing the average annual growth rate in the past decade to 2.3%. According to ICO estimates, world stock levels fell by one third last year, to leave opening stocks this season of 13 million bags.
Inventories held in importing countries were estimated at 18.3 million bags at the end of 2010.

Tight Supplies, Plantings Raise Stakes For Crop Production (Source: CME)
Federal forecasters raised the stakes for the upcoming U.S. crop, cutting inventories for grains and soybeans more than expected. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported farmers had 1.6% fewer soybeans and 15% less corn in storage as of March 1 than a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting a slight increase in soybean inventories and a more-modest cut in corn supplies. "Our margin of error has gotten even tighter," said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities, a brokerage firm in Iowa. The USDA in a separate report signaled farmers will reduce soybean plantings due to competition for acreage from corn and cotton, yet still will sow the third-largest crop on record. Farmers intend to plant the second-largest number of corn acres since 1944. Federal forecasters expect farmers to plant more wheat and cotton this year compared to 2010, as prices for those commodities, like corn and soybeans, have surged in the last year.
Tighter-than-expected crop supplies increase the importance for favorable growing weather this spring. Yet meteorologists warn wet weather in northern Plains states like North Dakota could prevent early planting of corn and potentially reduce output if farmers aren't able to get in their fields in a timely manner. The expanded acreage may not mean strong growth in cotton production for the U.S.--the world's largest exporter of the fiber--since bad weather, particularly in dry West Texas, could clip output. The decline in grain supplies reflects strong demand from global consumers, including producers of livestock and biofuels. The USDA reported in its weekly export data the largest sale of corn to date for the current crop year, buoyed by a 1.2-million-metric-ton deal announced last Friday that's suspected to be headed to China. The USDA earlier this month said corn supplies are expected to drop to a 15-year low by the end of the crop year on Aug. 31 and account for 14% of global supplies.
Last year, U.S. supplies accounted 30% of global stocks. U.S. soybean supplies are expected to account for 6.5% of global inventories at the end of the crop year, down from 7% a year ago. "The combination of extremely tight [soybean] stocks and declining acreage is a bullish combination," said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage in Iowa. As for plantings this spring, the USDA forecast farmers will sow 76.6 million acres of soybeans, down about 1% from last year. Analysts on average had expected 77 million acres. U.S. corn plantings are expected to be 92.2 million acres this year, a 5% jump from last year. Analysts on average expected farmers would sow 91.7 million acres. Cotton acreage is forecast to expand 15% to 12.566 million acres. The amount is still below analysts' expectations of just over 13 million acres. Plantings of wheat are projected at 58 million acres, up 8.2% from last year, when wet weather prevented planting in the Plains and Midwest.
That topped traders' expectations for plantings of 57.3 million acres.

Cocoa eases as Ouattara forces take key port (Source: Reuters)
ICE cocoa futures were lower on Wednesday as forces loyal to Ivory Coast president claimant Alassane Ouattara marched into the cocoa port of San Pedro, raising the prospect that cocoa could soon start to flow again from the world's top producer. Coffee prices edged up with the market slowly beginning to move higher again after suffering a major setback from a 34-year peak set earlier this month.

Australia 2010/11 cotton crop seen at record 4 mln bales-industry
CANBERRA, March 31 (Reuters) - Australia's cotton industry on Thursday upgraded its forecasts for the 2010/11 crop to a record of more than four million bales after growers managed to salvage more than expected from devastating summer floods across the nation's eastern states. Australia, one of the world's leading cotton exporters, will produce 4.05 million bales, well above the previous record of 3.5 million bales in 2001/02, and up from the prior forecast of 3.7 million bales, Cotton Australia chief executive Adam Kay said. Around 4.4 bales equals 1 tonne of cotton.

Oil Extends Gains on Concerns Libyan Conflict May Prolong Production Cuts (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil in New York rose for a second day amid concern the conflict in Libya, Africa’s third-largest producer, will prolong output cuts. Prices rose 2.4 percent yesterday to the highest in two- and-a-half years after troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi retook control of the oil port of Ras Lanuf and shelled Brega, another energy hub. Libyan oil output fell 72 percent in March to a 49-year low, a Bloomberg News survey of oil companies, producers and analysts showed.

Crude Oil Advances as Much as 0.7% to $107.50 a Barrel in New York Trading (Source: Bloomberg)
Crude oil for May delivery rose as much as 78 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $107.50 a barrel in New York Mercantile Exchange electronic trading today.

Chile Feb copper output down 6.6 pct yr/yr
SANTIAGO, March 30 (Reuters) - Chile's copper output fell 6.6 percent in February compared with a year earlier to 368,243 tonnes, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said on Wednesday.
Chile, which holds by far the world's top copper reserves and is the globe's No.1 producer, is expected to steadily increase output in the next two years with new mine projects and upgrades.

China's Baosteel 'optimistic' about 2011 prices
BEIJING, March 31 (Reuters) - China's Baoshan Iron and Steel Corp , the country's biggest listed producer, said it remained positive about the direction of steel prices in 2011 even in the face of a weakening market.
"We are cautiously optimistic about steel product prices this year," said Chen Ying, the secretary of Baosteel's board of directors, during an online Q&A session for shareholders.

China to cap 2011 rare earth output at 93,800 T
BEIJING, March 31 (Reuters) - Dominant producer China will cap its total output of rare earth oxides at 93,800 tonnes this year, up 5 percent from last year, the country's land and resources ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Thursday.
The statement also said the ministry would not approve any new prospecting or production licenses for rare earths, tungsten or antimony until June 30, 2012.

METALS-Quiet China demand dents copper, but not for good
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Thursday as dollar weakness attracted non-U.S. buyers but still was headed for its first quarterly loss since June due to soft Chinese demand, Japan's nuclear crisis and unrest in the Middle East.
"We're still in a longer-term uptrend for copper," Alex Heath, head of base metals at RBC Capital, said of the market.

PRECIOUS-Gold recovers as dollar slips, Mideast simmers
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - Gold rose in Europe on Thursday, rebounding after the previous session's late price retreat, as dollar weakness, concern over euro zone sovereign debt and unrest across the Middle East supported buying.
"Until we see a substantial decrease in liquidity or a rise in real interest rates, you would look for an upward trend, and all these other factors like the euro zone debt and Middle East, North Africa issues are also a short-term support," said Standard Bank analyst Walter de Wet.

20110401 0947 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

 Soy Oil chart reading : side way range bound. 

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soybean futures end sharply higher, rallying on bullish market perceptions of prospective planting and quarterly grain-stocks data from federal forecasters. Both planting and supply forecasts were below trade expectations, rekindling market concerns about tightening old-crop inventories while the smaller 2011 acreage means soybeans can't afford to lose yield this summer, says Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics. The USDA data are a sign the market has not raised prices enough to ration usage of already precariously low projected end-of-season inventories, analysts note. CBOT May soybean settled 2.8% higher at $14.10 1/4 a bushel.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Soy product futures ended higher Thursday, leaping to multi-week highs in unison with soybean futures. The outlooks for tighter availability of old crop soybean inventories and lower acreage figures lowering new crop soy supply forecasts for crushing served as catalysts to propel soyoil and soymeal prices, analysts said. CBOT May soyoil settled 1.46c or 2.5% higher at 58.78 cents per pound, and May soymeal finished $10.20 or 2.8% higher at $370.70 per short ton.

Palm oil firm as investors await key US data
JAKARTA, March 31 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose to a one-week high in a thin trading session as investors positioned themselves ahead of a key plantings report in the United States due later.   "Up a little," said one palm oil analyst. "Perhaps due to (possible) news that less soybean will be planted, and hence positive for soy oil and palm oil."