Monday, April 4, 2011

20110404 1830 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3382, changed : +42 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 :
Quiet FCPO closed recorded gains with decreasing volume traded while soy oil price trading higher after last Friday marginal loss with crude oil price continue edge up higher.
Daily chart formed an up doji bar candle positioned above middle Bollinger band level after market opened gap up, tested little downside and surged higher before eased little downward to closed but managed to closed near the high of the day.
Technical study still suggesting a correction range bound downside biased market development possibly testing higher resistant near upper Bollinger band.
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.

20110404 1810 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1556 changed : +10 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : upside biased with possible pullback.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer in control.
Support : 1550, 1540, 1530, 1515 level.
Resistance : 1565, 1580, 1590, 1600 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded gains again for the 5th day in a row with improving volume transacted doing half point premium compare to cash market that registered minor gain while overnight U.S. market closed higher after data released showing improving unemployment data and regional market traded mostly higher.
Daily chart formed an up doji bar candle with longer lower shadow positioned above upper Bollinger band level after market opened gap up, tested higher unchanged, followed by mild profit taking pressed price to ease lower before recover upward to closed near the higher of the day. 
Chart study still suggesting an upside biased market development with potential downward pullback correction after 5 consecutive days of climbs with a pattern similar to double bottom breakout forming.
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.

20110404 1721 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Asia stocks hit 3-year high; euro extends gains
SINGAPORE, April 4 (Reuters) - Asian shares rose to their highest in nearly 3 years after strong U.S. jobs growth spurred optimism about the global economy, and the euro hit an 11-month peak against the yen amid expectations of a euro zone rate hike later this week.
"Firmness in U.S. shares and the weakness of the yen, especially against the euro, encouraged buying in the export-related sector," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management in Tokyo.

US crude climbs to 2-1/2 yr peak on MidEast tension, jobs data
SINGAPORE, April 4 (Reuters) - U.S. crude prices extended gains hit their highest in more than 2-1/2 years above $108, while Brent also edged up, supported by positive jobs data from top oil consumer the United States and supply worries triggered by the unyielding turmoil in the oil rich Middle East.
"We have supply concerns which we haven't had for the last few years and this is mostly related to Libya now," said John Vautrain of energy consulting firm Purvin and Gertz.

U.S. revives pipeline safety push, asks Congress to act
WASHINGTON, April 4 (Reuters) - The Obama administration renewed its push on Monday for tougher pipeline safety regulation following accidents in recent years that killed dozens of people and disrupted energy markets.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood sought to revive legislation that would put more teeth into inspections and fines that critics claim are woefully inadequate for the size and importance of the U.S. oil and gas network.

Libya rebels battle Gaddafi forces in oil town
BREGA, Libya, April 3 (Reuters) - Warplanes flew over Brega on Sunday as rebels fought troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi for control of the east Libyan oil town, rebel fighters said.
Near the eastern gate of Brega, a sparsely populated settlement spread over more than 25 km (15 miles), aircraft and the thud of explosions and machinegun fire could be heard.

Corn rises for third day on tight supply, highest since '08
SYDNEY, April 4 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures rose for a third straight session  touching their loftiest since the 2008 global food crisis and could be on track to set a fresh record soon on fears of tight supplies.
"That's the primary factor supporting the corn market. And the other grains are largely riding on corn's coattails."

Thailand likely to miss 2011 rubber target - traders
BANGKOK, April 4 (Reuters) - Thailand, the world's biggest rubber producer and exporter, may miss its target of producing rubber at 3.3 million tonnes this year as some rubber plantation areas were completely destroyed by flood and landslides, traders said on Monday.
"It's too early to estimate at this moment, but I don't think we can achieve the 3.3 million tonnes we aimed to produce earlier as a significant amount of rubber trees were destroyed," Prapas Uernontat, secretary general of the Thai Rubber Association, told Reuters.

Copper slips; jobs jubilation swamped by China demand fear
SINGAPORE, April 4 (Reuters) - Base metals fell in London, down 0.5 percent on average, led by copper's 0.7 percent slide in light trade during a two-day market holiday in China.
"The focus right now is less about the U.S. jobs market and more about Chinese buying -- or rather their reluctance to buy," said a trader in Singapore.

Australia sees risk of cyclone off Pilbara iron ore districts
PERTH, April 4 (Reuters) - A tropical low off Australia's northwest coast may develop into a cyclone off the coast of the Pilbara iron ore district by mid-week, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Monday, potentially disrupting mining and shutting down oil and gas platforms. 
The low, which is currently off the Kimberley coast, could cause rain and flooding in the coastal region of the Kimberly on Monday, the bureau said. 

Gold edges up on high oil prices, euro strength
SINGAPORE, April 4 (Reuters) - Spot gold edged up, as higher oil prices amid the ongoing Middle East crisis and a firm euro on expectations of a European Central Bank rate hike lent support.
"We saw the continuous geopolitical risk in the Middle East crisis, and oil prices going higher. It certainly looks to me that gold has been tracking both oil and euro quite closely in past few days," said Darren Heathcote, head of trading at Investec Australia. 

20110404 1108 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Asia stocks hit 3-year high; euro extends gains
April 4 (Reuters) - Asian shares rose to their highest in nearly 3 years after strong jobs growth in the United States was seen as lifting the prospects for the global economy, and the euro hit an 11-month peak against the yen amid widespread expectations of a euro zone rate hike this week.
U.S. crude oil rose near its highest in 2-1/2 years as unrest in the Middle East and fighting in Libya stoked fears of supply disruptions.

Oil : Crude hovers at 2-1/2 yr peak on supply concern
SEOUL, April 4 (Reuters) - U.S. crude prices extended gains in early Asian trade on Monday as geopolitical unrest in the Middle East and Africa stoked concerns about oil supply.rr
Gulf Arab states voiced deep concern on Sunday over what they called Iranian interference in their affairs after Iran objected to the despatch of Saudi troops to Bahrain and a spying row raised tensions.

NATURAL GAS: Natural gas ends off slightly, milder weather nears
NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended lower on Friday, pressured by milder Northeast and Midwest weather forecasts for next week and Thursday's bearish weekly inventory report.
"A coming break from the cold weather has inspired some profit-taking today. The contract looks softer, but the bulls haven't given up. We still have the hurdle of next week's large draw to ponder," Gelber & Associates analyst Pax Saunders said in a report.

COMMODITIES: Oil jumps, gold falls after strong U.S. jobs data
NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures finished Friday with strong gains, jumping more than 1 percent after robust U.S. labor market data suggested healthy demand for fuel would continue, but that same sound reading sent investors holding gold as a safe haven running for the exits.
"It provides more evidence that the economy is gaining a self-sustaining momentum, but it also says we still have a long way to go," said Julia Coronado, a senior economist at BNP Paribas in New York.

Venezuela to send Argentina 12 mln barrels fuel from May
CARACAS, April 3 (Reuters) - Venezuela will send Argentina 12 million barrels of diesel and fuel oil starting in May, an official from Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA said on Sunday.
PDVSA trade and supplies chief Asdrubal Chavez said the Venezuelan shipments will include 9 million barrels of fuel oil and 3 million barrels of diesel.

Gas-sipping cars drive March US sales gain
DETROIT, April 1 (Reuters) - Sales of small cars raced ahead in March as buyers flocked to more fuel-efficient vehicles, a trend major U.S. automakers expect to persist if gasoline prices continue to rise.
In addition to gas-sipping cars, the improving U.S. job market helped most major automakers race past expectations for U.S. sales in March with the main exception being General Motors Co , which pulled back on its incentives.

Fears hit EU nuclear plans, boost gas prospects
BRUSSELS/VIENNA, April 1 (Reuters) - Japan's nuclear crisis will speed the elimination of nuclear power from some European countries and render many planned projects too risky, ultimately increasing Europe's dependence on gas.
The depth of change, however, still depends on how quickly Japan can stabilise the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

20110404 1100 Local & Global Economic Related News.

Malaysia: Minister says no rise in RON 95 price for now
The Government will not increase the price of RON95 petrol for the moment so as not to burden the people. Domestic, Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri yaakob, said however, there was no guarantee that the ON 95 price, now at RM1.90 per litre, would not increase in the future in view of the turmoil in some of the oil-producing countries, pushing the oil price up. He was earlier asked to comment on the 20-sen increase of RON 97 petrol to RM2.70 per litre from last night following the increase in world crude oil price to USD114 (RM345.19) per barrel last week from USD105 the previous week. (Bloomberg)

EU: European unemployment fell in February, led by Germany, Italy
European unemployment fell in February as companies from Germany to Italy added workers to meet reviving global demand, offsetting job cuts in debt- burdened Spain. The 17-nation euro region’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 9.9% from a revised 10% in January, the European Union statistics office in Luxembourg said in an e-mailed statement last Friday. At 20.5%, Spain had the highest jobless rate and the Netherlands the lowest, with 4.3%. European companies may be reluctant to boost hiring as the euro-region economy shows signs of slowdown. Economic confidence dropped in March and manufacturing growth weakened. While a rebounding global economy has spurred earnings across the region, surging energy costs are sapping consumers’ purchasing power just as governments cut spending to narrow budget gaps and the European Central Bank prepares to raise borrowing costs. In the 27-nation EU, unemployment fell to 9.5% in February from 9.6%. Thirteen EU member states reported a drop from a year earlier, while 12 had an increase in unemployment. (Bloomberg)

US: Jobless rate unexpectedly drops to two-year low in March
The unemployment rate in the U.S. unexpectedly fell to a two-year low of 8.8% in March as employers created more jobs than forecast, adding to evidence the labor-market recovery is gaining traction. Payrolls rose by 216,000 workers last month after a 194,000 gain the prior month, the Labor Department said yesterday in Washington. Economists projected a March increase of 190,000, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. A separate report showed manufacturing expanded at close to the fastest pace in seven years. “It does look like things have turned the corner,” Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, said in an interview with Lisa Murphy on Bloomberg Television’s “Fast Forward.” “We’re finally seeing small- and medium-sized companies hiring.” (Bloomberg)

US: Construction spending in US decreases more than forecast
Construction spending in the U.S. fell more than forecast in February, indicating the economic recovery has not yet spread to the building industry. The 1.4% drop was the third in a row and brought the value of all projects down to a USD760.6bn annual rate, the lowest since October 1999, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.2% decline. Outlays on home building dropped during the month as new- home prices and sales continued to fall. In addition, deficit- strapped state and local governments are restricting funding for public works. (Bloomberg)

US: Two-year Treasuries decline on fed stimulus views, payroll gains
Treasury two-year notes fell, with the yield touching a 10-month high as Federal Reserve officials said the central bank may have to unwind stimulus measures and employers added more jobs in March than forecast. The US paid the highest yields in almost a year at government auctions this week of two-, five- and seven-year notes totaling USD99bn. Two-year note yields pared gains yesterday as New York Fed President William Dudley said before next week’s release of the Federal Open Market Committee’s March 15 minutes that the recovery is still tenuous. Yields on two-year notes increased this week seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 0.80%. The yields climbed yesterday to 0.89%, the highest level since 10 May 2010. The benchmark 10-year note yields were little changed at 3.44% after rising yesterday to 3.52%, the highest level since 9 March. (Bloomberg)

China: Manufacturing growth accelerates even as policy tightens
China’s manufacturing growth accelerated for the first time in four months, easing concern that monetary tightening may lead to a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy. The Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 53.4 in March from 52.2 in February, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in a statement on its website last Friday. The reading compared with the median forecast of 54 in a Bloomberg News survey of 17 economists. A separate PMI released by HSBC Holdings Plc also gained. Today’s data indicate that Premier Wen Jiabao is succeeding in sustaining economic growth while cracking down on inflation that topped the government’s 4% target in the first two months of this year. The central bank will boost interest rates again this quarter, according to all 20 economists in a Bloomberg News survey on 22 March. (Bloomberg)

UK: BOE to hold rate next week as It gauges strength of recovery
The Bank of England will hold off raising interest rates next week as it awaits further evidence that the recovery is strong enough to withstand policy tightening to fight inflation. The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Mervyn King, will leave the benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.5% on 7 April, according to all 57 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. It will also keep its bond-purchase plan at 200 bn pounds (USD320bn), said all 32 economists in a separate poll. Policy makers have split four ways on whether to focus on boosting growth or curbing inflation. While consumer-price growth accelerated to the fastest pace in almost 2 1/2 years in February, the government’ fiscal watchdog cut its 2011 growth forecast this month amid the biggest fiscal squeeze since World War II, while officials are still weighing the potential impact on the global economy of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. (Bloomberg)

U.S: Manufacturing expands at close to seven-year high in March. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index was little changed at 61.2, after February's 61.4 reading that was the highest since May 2004. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion. (Source: Bloomberg)

E.U: Factory growth in March slows as World relies on China. A gauge of manufacturing in the 17-member euro region fell to 57.5 from 59 in February. Measures for the U.K., Switzerland and the Czech Republic weakened. By contrast, manufacturing growth in China, India and Russia picked up. (Source: Bloomberg)

Ireland: Cut by S&P as Fitch puts rating on watch negative after the cost of rescuing Irish banks reached as much as EUR 100b (USD 141.5b). S&P lowered the rating to BBB+ from A-, putting the country on the same level as Thailand and the Bahamas. The outlook is stable, S&P said in a statement. Fitch placed its long-term foreign and local-currency issuer default ratings of BBB+ on negative, "indicating a heightened probability of a downgrade in the near term," it said in a statement. (Source: Bloomberg)

India: March manufacturing grew for a 24th straight month, adding to the case for higher interest rates to curb price gains. The Purchasing Managers' Index was unchanged at 57.9 in March from February, when it accelerated at the fastest pace in three months, HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics said. A number above 50 indicates expansion. (Source: Bloomberg)

Thailand: Inflation accelerated to a seven-month high in March, supporting the case for the central bank to raise borrowing costs further. An index of consumer prices increased 3.14% YoY last month compared to a 2.87% YoY gain in February. (Source: Bloomberg)

Indonesia: Inflation slowed for the second straight month in March as rice prices declined during the harvest period. Consumer prices in Southeast Asia's biggest economy rose 6.65% YoY last month, compared with a 6.84% YoY gain in February, the Central Bureau of Statistics said in Jakarta. (Source: Bloomberg)

Vietnam: Central bank raised borrowing costs for the second time in less than a month, boosting its repurchase and refinancing rates after inflation climbed to the highest level in 25 months. The refinancing rate was increased to 13% from 12%, the State Bank of Vietnam said in a statement on its website. The repurchase rate for the seven-day term was raised to 13% from 12%, Pham Thi Minh Hue, deputy director of the money market operations division at the central bank, said separately. (Source: Bloomberg)     

20110404 1056 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

KLCI chart reading :
upside biased with potential pullback.

TNB unit signs deal for Manjung plant
Tenaga Nasional unit TNB Janamanjung (TNBJ) has signed an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with a consortium led by Alstom Power System SA for the multi-billion-ringgit 1,000 MW Manjung coal-fired power plant project. It told Bursa Malaysia that the agreement was between TNBJ and the consortium which comprised of Alstom Power System SA, Alstom (Wuhan) Engineering & Technology Co Ltd, Alstom Services, China National Machinery Import & Export Corp and CMC Machipex. It said the consortium would be responsible for the design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the power plant. (StarBiz)

Europlus gets letter for highway job
Kumpulan Europlus subsidiary West Coast Expressway has received a letter yesterday from the Public Private Partnership Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department, approving in principle the proposed construction of West- Coast Expressway (Taiping-Banting). The project is to be privatized on a build-operate-transfer basis, and is subject to further negotiation on technical and financial terms and conditions. They expect negotiations to be completed within six months from the date of the letter. (StarBiz)

Compensation issue for KLIFD
The wheels have been set in motion for 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) project, along Jalan Tun Razak, to start although compensation issues that have yet to be ironed out may throw a small spanner in the works. Documents for pre-qualification tenders under KLFID’s masterplan, which is being finalized by 1MDB, were released last Wednesday. However, traders operating in Pasarakyat, which occupies a piece of land acquired by 1MDB for the KLIFD project, have refused to move until they have been compensated. It is learnt that a meeting between the representatives from the traders,1MDB, a minister from the Prime Minister’s Department and Bukit Bintang Member of Parliament Fong Kui Loon was scheduled to take place last Thursday, but has been rescheduled to another date that is yet to be determined. (Financial Daily)

Sunway Construction unit wins RM22m contract
A unit of Sunway Construction, the construction arm of Sunway Holdings, has been awarded a RM22.57m contract from Perumahan SLG Sentral, a subsidiary of Singapore’s Sim Lian Group Ltd. The letter of award is for the piling work for the proposed development of three blocks of commercial buildings, located in Jalan Tun Razak, KL, said Sunway Holdings. The proposed project is to be completed by 30 Sep 2011, with a construction period of six months. (Malaysian Reserve)

Felda Global plans sweet IPO
Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd, the commercial arm of the Federal Land Development Authority, plans to list some of its businesses starting with its sugar operations this year. The IPO of wholly-owned Malayan Sugar Manufacturing may raise more than RM1bn, sources said. This could also make it one of the biggest IPOs for the year. CIMB and Maybank Investment Bank are expected to be in the running to arrange these IPOs. The IPOs will help Felda Global to fund its expansion. Although its financial numbers could not be obtained, the figures for its unit, Felda Holdings Bhd, give an idea of the group's immense size. Felda Holdings' pre-tax profits have more than doubled to RM804.3m in 2009 from 2005 while revenue has jumped by almost two-thirds to RM11.8bn in the same period, according to its website. Felda Global is the world's biggest plantation group by land, producing mainly palm oil, followed by rubber and cocoa. It is also the country's biggest palm oil refiner and controls some 70% of Malaysia's sugar market. (BT)

YTL Power: Japanese partner to bid for RM9b Java project. YTL Power International Bhd has teamed up with a Japanese consortium to bid for a 2,000MW coal-fired power plant project in Central Java worth USD3b (RM9b). YTL Power and its Japanese partner have agreed to a 20:80 debt equity ratio, with the Japanese consortium assuming the larger portion of the risk. (Source: The Malaysian Reserve)

Kenanga-ECM Libra: Merger in the works? ECM Libra Financial Group and K&N Kenanga Holdings Bhd are believed to be exploring a potential merger with a possibility of ECM's shareholders selling out to Kenanga. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Boustead: Eyeing majority stake in Esso M'sia with LTAT. Boustead Holdings Bhd and its parent company Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) are believed to be eyeing Exxonmobil International Holdings Inc's 65% stake in Esso Malaysia. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Plantation: World Bank lifts palm oil moratorium. The World Bank last Friday lifted an 18-month global moratorium on lending for new palm oil investments, endorsing a strategy that focuses on supporting small farmers that dominate the sector. (Source: Business Times)

Construction: Three foreign players in race for Pudu Jail redevelopment. Three foreign players are among the 10 companies shortlisted by the master developer, UDA Holdings Bhd for the redevelopment project of the Pudu Jail site. The companies are Dubai-based Damac Group teaming up with UEM Land, state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corp that has tied up with Kumpulan Jetson Bhd and Keppel Land Ltd. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

20110404 1048 Global Market Related News.

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

Japan Post-Quake Tankan Shows Companies Less Optimistic (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese large manufacturers’ business confidence fell after the nation’s strongest earthquake on record devastated the northeast region on March 11.

Two-Year Treasuries Decline as Employment Gains Revive Inflation Concern (Source: Bloomberg)
Treasury two-year notes fell, with the yield touching a 10-month high as Federal Reserve officials said the central bank may have to unwind stimulus measures and employers added more jobs in March than forecast.

U.S. Unemployment Rate Unexpectedly Drops to Two-Year Low of 8.8% in March (Source: Bloomberg)
The unemployment rate in the U.S. unexpectedly fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March as employers created more jobs than forecast, adding to evidence the labor-market recovery is gaining traction.

Brazil Currency Rally Said to Prompt Talks on New Measures to Stem Inflows (Source: Bloomberg)
The Brazilian currency’s rally this week, the biggest in more than 20 months, is prompting Finance Minister Guido Mantega to consider new measures to stem the dollar’s decline, a government official said.

Dudley Signals More ‘Healing’ for Economy Needed Before Fed Pulls Stimulus (Source: Bloomberg)
Faster-than-expected payroll growth last month shouldn’t alter the U.S. central bank’s plans to buy $600 billion in Treasuries through June to prop up the recovery, said William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Ireland’s Rating Cut to BBB+ By S&P as Bank Rescue Costs Hit $142 Billion (Source: Bloomberg)
Ireland’s credit rating was cut one level by Standard & Poor’s and put on watch for a possible downgrade by Fitch Ratings after the cost of rescuing Irish banks reached as much as 100 billion euros ($141.5 billion).

Construction Spending in U.S. Decreased More Than Estimated in February (Source: Bloomberg)
Construction spending in the U.S. fell more than forecast in February, indicating the economic recovery has not yet spread to the building industry. The 1.4 percent drop was the third in a row and brought the value of all projects down to a $760.6 billion annual rate, the lowest since October 1999, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.2 percent decline.

Japan Auto Sales Plunge Record 37% as Quake Deters Buyers, Shuts Factories (Source: Bloomberg)
Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) led a record drop in Japan’s March auto sales after the nation’s biggest earthquake and ensuing nuclear crisis deterred buyers and forced automakers to shut factories.

Japan Stocks Rise After U.S. Jobs Grew Faster Than Forecast; Canon Gains (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks rose after a report showing U.S. jobs grew faster than forecast and a weakening yen boosted optimism in an economic recovery.

Yen Weakens on View European Prices, U.S. Services Data will Show Growth (Source: Bloomberg)
The yen fell to a 10-month low versus the euro before reports this week that economists said will show European producer-price inflation rose and U.S. services industries grew, reducing demand for Japan’s currency.

Fed hawks challenge easy money stance
CHARLOTTE, N.C./PITTSBURGH  March 31 (Reuters) - Federal Reserve hawks on Thursday renewed skepticism about the U.S. central bank's easy money policies, with one official saying interest-rate rises may be needed before the end of the year.
Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Narayana Kocherlakota said the Fed could raise rates by the end of 2011, far sooner than expected by financial markets, according to an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Most analysts do not expect rate hikes until the second half of 2012.

China may raise rates in April after inflation jump -media
BEIJING, April 1 (Reuters) - China's central bank may have to raise both interest rates and reserve requirements in April to combat a possible jump in consumer inflation to a nearly three-year high, a government researcher said in remarks published on Friday.
The comments by Fan Jianjun, a researcher with the Development Research Centre, a think tank under the State Council, followed reports in official Chinese media this week that April would be a "sensitive window" for more tightening moves because of a likely pick-up in inflation.

Factories buoyant, price pressures rising
LONDON/BEIJING, April 1 (Reuters) - Factories in Europe eased off the accelerator last month but Chinese and Indian manufacturers bumped up production, so far unscathed by Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami, surveys showed on Friday.
Worryingly for policymakers, sustained growth in orders allowed European manufacturers to pass on the costs of soaring raw materials to customers, with prices rising at their fastest rate since at least late 2002.

Honda, Mazda to resume some production
TOKYO, March 31 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co  and Mazda Motor Corp  on Thursday became the latest major automakers to say they would resume some production in Japan after halting plant operations following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11.
Honda said it would resume production of parts for overseas use on April 4, and production at all its car factories on April 11. Operations are scheduled to resume at about 50 percent of its original plan.

Commods investors to keep powder dry on allocations
NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - Commodity traders waiting for a fresh onset of institutional investment with the dawning of the second quarter may be in for disappointment.
Two years of steady allocations into raw material, energy and agricultural markets may stall for the time being, with several weeks of moribund activity extended by deep uncertainties in the Middle East, Japan and eurozone.

FOREX-Euro advances in Q1, but debt woes could weigh in Q2
NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters) - The euro firmed against the U.S. dollar in the first quarter, buoyed by expectations of euro zone rate hikes, but gains could stall in the next few weeks due to nagging peripheral debt concerns.
"In our view, the euro will weaken on a longer-term horizon ... There's an awful lot of (rate hikes) priced in at the moment and that's because of the change in language from ECB President (Jean-Claude) Trichet," said Frances Hudson, investment director for strategy at Standard Life Investments in Edinburgh.

Stocks up, euro weakens ahead of U.S. jobs data
LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - World stocks rose and the euro weakened slightly against the dollar on the opening day of the second quarter, ahead of U.S. jobs data expected to give further impetus to those investors betting on improving world growth. "A strong non-farm payrolls number would be reflected in the dollar/yen and it could rise to 84.50 in the short term," said Simon Derrick, head of currency research, at Bank of New York Mellon. "We expect to see prolonged yen weakness due to loose monetary and fiscal policy in Japan."

20110404 1039 Global Commodities Related News.

Oil Rises for a Third Day in New York on Optimism About U.S. Energy Demand (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil climbed for a third day in New York, reaching a 30-month high, after the U.S. added more jobs than economists forecast, signaling fuel demand may increase in the world’s biggest crude-consuming nation.

Corn Gains 0.8% to $7.4175 Per Bushel in Chicago; Wheat Contract Advances (Source: Bloomberg)
Corn futures gained as much as 0.8 percent to $7.4175 a bushel, the highest price for the most- active contract in a month on the Chicago Board of Trade. They traded at $7.40 a bushel, up 0.5 percent at 7:52 a.m. Singapore time. Wheat futures gained 1 percent to $7.6725 a bushel, while soybeans traded at $14 a bushel, up 0.5 percent.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures finish sharply higher as Thursday's USDA's lower-than-expected inventory forecast fuels supply fears for a second day. Tight stocks confirm high prices hasn't slowed down demand from grain users, including livestock producers, and point toward a cut in government's season-end supply outlook next week. "Corn prices need to rise strongly in the near term to ration demand, including feed," says Goldman Sachs, which projects corn at $8.60/bushel in three months. CBOT May ended up 42 3/4c, or 6.2%, at $7.36. The daily trading limit Monday will revert back to 30c from Friday's extended level of 45c.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures close slightly lower as traders book profits after a 5% rally yesterday. Markets pull back after climbing on spillover support from limit-up move in the corn market. But wheat lacks supply concerns that supported corn, as global wheat inventories are large. USDA yesterday pegged March 1 US wheat inventories above traders' expectations but estimated corn inventories below expectations. CBOT May wheat slips 3 3/4c to $7.59 1/2 a bushel; KCBT May drops 1 1/2c to $9.06 1/2; MGE May loses 1 1/4c to $9.22 1/2.

Oats (Source: CME)
Oat futures rallied, succumbing to spillover support from corn and lingering concerns about plantings in the northern Plains and Canada. Oats for May delivery rose 7 3/4 cents, or 2.1%, to $3.75 a bushel.

Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures finish lower on profit-taking, retreating after rising Thursday on spillover support from rallies in corn and wheat. Corn led the grains rally Thursday on a lower-than-expected inventory estimate from the USDA and extended gains Friday. But rice lacked a supportive storyline of its own, analysts say. CBOT May rice closes down 17 1/2c at $13.81 per hundredweight.

Ukraine Winter Grains In Good, Satisfactory Condition On 93.2% Of Planted Area Mar 31 (Source: CME)
Of the 8.088 million hectares in the Ukraine planted with winter grains for the 2011 harvest, as of Mar. 31 crops were in good and satisfactory condition on 93.2% of the planted area, the agriculture ministry reported. Crops were in good condition on 4.43 million hectares, or 54.8% of the total planted area, and in satisfactory condition on 3.1 million hectares or 38.4% of the total planted area. Crops in a weak condition were reported on 545,400 hectares or 6.8% of the total planted area. Crops were destroyed on 1,800 hectares or 0.02% of the total planted area. The ministry said winter wheat was in good condition on 3.68 million hectares or 56.3% of the total winter wheat planted area. Wheat in satisfactory condition was reported on 2.45 million hectares or 37.6% of the total wheat planted area. Wheat was destroyed on 10,600 hectares or 0.2% of the total wheat planted area. Winter barley was in good condition on 565,000 hectares or 45.4% of the total barley planted area.
Barley in satisfactory condition was on 558,000 hectares or 44.9% of the total barley planted area. Barley in poor condition was on 121,000 hectares or 9.7% of the total barley planted area. Winter rye was in good condition on 187,000 hectares, or 65% of the total rye planted area, and in satisfactory condition on 84,500 hectares or 29.4% of the total rye planted area. Ukraine Hydro Meteorological Center said Dec. 1 that despite the winter grain planted area being 5.5% less than a year ago, Ukraine was likely to harvest this year 24-25 million metric tons of winter crops, 15%-20% more than in 2010, because the crops were in a better condition than last year. The agriculture ministry expects this year's grain harvest at 42 million metric tons. Ukraine's grain harvest in 2010 fell by 14.8% on the year to 39.23 million tons in clean weight because of drought.

China Pressuring Companies To Avoid Price Increases To Rein In Inflation (Source: CME)
Ramping up efforts to rein in inflation that has fueled widespread public discontent, China is pressuring companies that sell food and daily necessities-including global giant Unilever PLC-to avoid price increases. Unilever had planned to raise prices on items including shampoo and laundry detergent to offset higher commodity costs, but the Anglo-Dutch consumer-goods company postponed the increases following a meeting earlier in the week with officials from the National Development and Reform Commission, according to a Unilever spokesman. The officials from the NDRC, the country's economic-planning agency, said they didn't want price increases because of concerns over public alarm about inflation, the spokesman said. "We were asked, and we chose to comply," said the spokesman. He said it was the first time the Chinese government had asked Unilever not to raise prices. The company hasn't determined how long the delay will last.
Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holding Corp., one of China's biggest sellers of instant noodles, also delayed plans to raise prices after meeting with the planning agency, a company spokeswoman said, adding that it was ultimately Tingyi's own decision. The company said it doesn't know how long it will hold off the increase. The National Development and Reform Commission didn't respond to requests for comment. In recent months, consumer prices have been rising at their fastest clip in two-and-a-half years, despite a raft of government measures to tame inflation, which Premier Wen Jiabao said last month is the government's highest economic priority this year. Two surveys of purchasing managers in China released Friday showed that manufacturing activity was up in March from the previous month and pricing pressures stayed high, although there were signs the rate of increase had started to slow. Ultra-high inflation has historically been a cause of social unrest in China.
While current rates are well below the levels associated with such incidents, there are clear signs that inflation is causing alarm among consumers. Over the past week, Chinese shoppers cleared supermarket shelves of soap, laundry detergent and shampoo following state-media reports that detergent makers including Unilever and Procter & Gamble Co. planned price increases of 5% to 15%. Those figures haven't been confirmed. P&G declined to comment earlier in the week, and again Friday. Food prices-up 11% in February from a year earlier, more than twice the 4.9% rise in the broader consumer price index-have sapped household budgets in recent months, causing a decrease in consumer confidence, according to a survey by the China Economic Monitoring and Analysis Center and media research firm Nielsen Co. Consumers have begun to stock up on nonperishable goods that they use daily and anticipate will be more expensive in the future.

Aluminium price to ride high on energy, bank deals
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - Soaring power costs, lucrative bank deals that keep metal away from the market and strong demand growth will boost aluminium prices this year.
Behind the potentially game-changing factors of Middle East regime change and a global rethink of nuclear -- that have hit the whole energy sector -- aluminium's own electricity costs have been boosted by more regional pressures across the world.

Mexico's January copper, silver output jumps
MEXICO CITY, March 31 (Reuters) - Mexican copper output jumped 41.7 percent in January compared to the same month last year as production was ramped up at the massive Cananea copper mine, which only recently reopened after a three year strike.
Copper output reached 26,891 tonnes in the first month of this year, compared to 18,973 tonnes in January 2010,  the national statistics agency said on Thursday.

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.

Black Sea steel billet stable, sales volumes low
LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - Black Sea region steel billet was little changed this week and sales volumes were low as worries about political tension in North Africa and the Middle East, falling scrap prices and holidays in Iran, hindered sales.
Black Sea billet sold at $620-$630 a tonne free-on-board (FOB), a similar level compared with last week, traders said.

Costs the key for Europe steel outlook-Fitch
PARIS, March 31 (Reuters) - The performance of European steel makers this year will be shaped by their ability to pass on higher raw material costs and by contrasting growth in the industries they supply, a Fitch analyst said on Thursday.
"Possibly the biggest issue for steel producers this year is their ability to pass through costs," Peter Archbold, European head of basic materials at Fitch Ratings, told reporters.

Strike at Bolivia silver mine drags, markets calm
LA PAZ, March 31 (Reuters) - A nine-day-old strike at Bolivia's largest silver mine continued to halt output and exports on Thursday with no talks in sight, but the dispute was seen having little impact on prices for the precious metal.
Bolivia's San Cristobal is the world's third-largest silver producer and the sixth-largest producer of zinc, according to Japan's Sumitomo Corp , which owns the mine.

METALS-Copper hits 2-week low as demand still slow
LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - Copper hit a two-week low on Friday, extending the first-quarter's 2.4-percent loss as a lull in Chinese demand worried investors, and as strength in the dollar eclipsed economic optimism supported by U.S. jobs data.
"The survey today should help things," Charles Kernot, an analyst at Evolution Securities, said.

PRECIOUS-Gold falls 1 pct after U.S. payrolls data
LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in March, lifting the dollar and supporting expectations U.S. authorities may move towards tighter monetary policy.
"Nonfarm payrolls data was better than expected, further evidence of the economic recovery in the United States," said BNP Paribas analyst Anne-Laure Tremblay.

US May corn futures rally by 5 pct on declining stockpiles
SINGAPORE/BEIJING, April 1 (Reuters) - Corn prices surged rallying more than 5 percent, as strong demand whittled down stocks even as farmers geared up to plant the second-largest area with the grain since 1944.  "The low stocks reported for corn and soybeans were a surprise and will likely support prices as the planting campaign begins," Rabobank said in a report.

Ukraine sows 761,000 ha for spring grain March 31
KIEV, April 1 (Reuters) - Ukrainian farms have sown 761,000 hectares for the 2011 spring grain harvest as of March 31 compared to 986,000 at the same date last year, Ukraine's Farm Ministry said on Friday.
It said farms had sown 566,000 hectares of spring barley, 101,000 of peas and 47,000 of spring wheat.

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.

EU cleared 480,000 tonnes wheat exports this week
PARIS, March 31 (Reuters) - The European Union this week granted export licences for 480,000 tonnes of soft wheat, taking the total since the beginning of the 2010/11 (July-June) season to 15.4 million tonnes, official data showed on Thursday. The total so far in 2010/11 remained well ahead of levels last season, when 13.4 million tonnes of export licences had been cleared by the same stage. 

Cocoa eases early as Ouattara makes further gains
ICE cocoa futures were slightly lower as forces loyal to Ivory Coast president claimant Alassane Ouattara made further gains, raising the prospect that cocoa could soon start to flow again from the world's top producer.  Raw sugar futures on ICE edged up in early trade but the market remained stuck within its recent trading band.

India release 1.7 mln T non-lvey sugar for April-Govt
MUMBAI, April 1 (Reuters) - India has made available 1.7 million tonnes of non-levy sugar for April, little changed from 1.684 million tonnes it had released in March, the government said in a statement on Friday. The quota includes 100,000 tonnes of unsold stocks from March, the statement said.

India withdraws tax breaks for raw cotton exports
NEW DELHI, April 1 (Reuters) - India, the world's second-biggest cotton producer, has withdrawn tax incentives for raw cotton exports with retrospective effect from April 21, 2010, a government statement said on Friday. "When the intention of the government is not to encourage exports of specific commodity, DEPB benefit ... would be contradictory to its intention," the statement said.

China 2011 cotton area seen up 6.2 pct-industry survey
BEIJING, March 31 (Reuters) - China's cotton planting area in 2011 is seen rising 6.2 percent from last year, according to a survey published on Thursday on an industry website under the China National Cotton Reserves Corp. The estimate was revised down from its December forecast of a 6.8 percent increase, the website showed, due to fluctuating cotton prices and rising production costs.

U.S. farmers plant huge crops as stocks dwindle
WASHINGTON, March 31 (Reuters) - U.S. farmers say they will plant some of the biggest corn and soybean crops ever this spring, racing to keep pace with unrelenting global demand that's rapidly depleting stockpiles and driving up food costs.
A government survey found corn plantings would be the second-largest since World War Two and soybeans the third highest ever. But traders focused on a companion report that showed unexpectedly small stockpiles, sending corn prices up by 4.5 percent, hitting the 30-cent daily limit for price swings.

U.S. cotton plantings fall short, rekindles rally
NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters) - U.S. farmers will plant far less cotton than expected this spring, a government survey showed on Thursday, prompting cotton futures to resume a rally that many assumed had run its course.
ICE cotton futures  surged by their daily limit after the U.S. Agriculture Department's annual intentions report projected 2011 cotton plantings at 12.566 million acres, much lower than the estimate for 13.21 million to 13.24 million acres that the industry anticipated.

20110404 1033 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

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

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soybean futures stumbled, backpedaling as traders took profits following recent rallies. Market was a bit overbought, following a 4.1% jump in prices in the past week, analysts said. Support from tighter government supply forecasts was offset by harvest progress and outlooks for more competition for soybean export sales from South America. Futures drew further pressure from lower cash basis levels at ports in Brazil and talk of China rolling back cargoes of previous purchases in export markets amid poor domestic crush margins, analysts added. CBOT May soy settled 16 1/2c or 1.2% lower at $13.93 3/4 a bushel; Nov soy ended down 5 3/4c or 0.4% at $13.89 1/4.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Soy product futures lower, with soymeal stumbling in unison with the profit taking setback in soybeans. Soyoil futures end lower as well, but did manage to trim earlier declines on spillover support from crude oil futures, analysts say. Crude oil influences soyoil due to its use in making renewable fuels. CBOT May soyoil settled 0.10c or 0.2% lower at 58.68 cents per pound, and May soymeal ended $9.80 or 2.6% lower at $360.90 per short ton.

Palm oil hits one-week peak after US plantings report
JAKARTA, April 1 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose to a one-week high after a key plantings report in the United States showed soybean stocks were tight. "The market is up today on the back of the USDA report," said a trader. "Planting average for soybean is higher than the previous years. The problem is the stocks."

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.