Tuesday, July 19, 2011

20110719 1830 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3107, changed : +29 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : resume rising again, buyer in control.
Support : 3100, 3070, 3050, 3020 level.
Resistance : 3150, 3200, 3250, 3270 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded gain with slightly lower volume transacted while soy oil overnight closed lower and rebounding higher.
Soy oil rebounding higher following a U.S. government report which showed more than expected decline in crop ratings as a result of hot weather. Other factor to watch will be tomorrow export data.
Daily chart formed an up doji bar candle positioned above middle Bollinger band level after market opened higher, tested lower support near middle Bollinger band and surged higher breaking above 3100 support turned support level and eased to close little off the high of the day.
Chart wise, FCPO is likely to trade side way range bound for the near term possibly testing resistance level near upper Bollinger band level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110719 1739 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1562 changed : +1 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : falling, seller taking position.
Support : 1550, 1540, 1530, 1515 level.
Resistance : 1565, 1570, 1580, 1590 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed 2 ticks higher with much better volume participation doing 6 points premium compare to cash market that closed lower while Asia markets ended mixed and European markets currently trading higher with overnight U.S. market closed lower.
Market traded in and out of negative territory especially during 2nd half session as European region top companies reported improved earnings while U.S. IBM also reported beat estimates revenue. Mixed sentiment developed ahead of some of the major U.S. companies like Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Apple Inc are scheduled to report earnings in the U.S. today but unsettle U.S. debt ceiling problem still haunting investors.
Daily chart formed a down doji bar candle will relatively long lower shadow closed above lower Bollinger band level after market opened and tested higher resistance level, traded side ways little downward followed by after lunch sell down triggered some stop loss order and recovered upwards salvaged all intraday losses to closed near opening price level.
Chart reading suggesting a side way range bound market development testing support and resistance level possibly having pullback correction after 2 days of severe falls.
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.

20110719 1648 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Stocks and euro are stable but vulnerable
SINGAPORE, July 19 (Reuters) - Asian stocks stabilised on Tuesday, helped by technology shares, while a steady euro kept investors for now from cutting their exposure to risks further in the face of default threats in the United States and Europe.
"There is rising risk that disappointment at the EU Summit (21st July) on the absence of support measures for Spain and Italy will see the crisis worsen. This is our base case scenario, given that Europe will deal with Greece more than one year too late," Royal Bank of Scotland strategists said in a note.

European Stocks Advance on Improved Earnings (Source: Bloomberg)
European stocks gained, rebounding from a seven-month low, as companies from Novartis AG (NOVN) to International Business Machines Corp. reported earnings that beat estimates. U.S. index futures rose while Asian shares fell. Novartis, Europe’s second-biggest drugmaker by sales, climbed 2.6 percent. Technology companies rallied in Europe after IBM’s boosted its forecasts. Electrolux AB (ELUXB), the world’s second-biggest appliance maker, plunged 10 percent as profit trailed projections. The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index rallied 0.7 percent to 264.02 at 8:32 a.m. in London. The gauge has fallen 9.4 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 17 amid concern the region’s debt crisis is spreading, just short of the 10 percent drop that strategists define as a correction. The retreat has left the European gauge trading at about 12.4 times the reported earnings of its companies, the cheapest since 2008.

US corn rebounds as hot weather hurts crop, wheat firm
SINGAPORE, July 19 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures bounced back on Tuesday, rising more than 1 percent, while soybeans were steady following a U.S. government report which showed more-than-expected decline in crop ratings as a result of hot weather.
"The reduction in crop ratings was more than what some had expected, so it is contributing to the strength today," said Adam Davis, a senior commodity analyst at Melbourne-based fund Merricks Capital.

Indonesia's Sulawesi H1 cocoa exports down 41 pct yr/yr
JAKARTA, July 19 (Reuters) - Indonesia's cocoa bean exports from the main growing island of Sulawesi dropped more than 40 percent to 64,591 tonnes in January-June as bad harvest hit production in the world's third-largest producer, industry data showed on Tuesday.
Indonesia could see full-year output falling to its lowest since at least 2004 at 420,000 tonnes after erratic weather triggered the spread of a deadly fungal disease in Sulawesi.

Philippines likely hit Q2 rice output forecast - official
MANILA, July 19 (Reuters) - The Philippines' unmilled rice harvest in the second quarter may have hit the government's forecast of 3.57 million tonnes, putting it on track to meet a record full-year target output of 17.46 million tonnes, a farm official said on Tuesday.
Good weather and government support via improved irrigation would make the full-year rice production target achievable, Maura Lizarondo, assistant director at the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), told Reuters.

Cameroon Arabica coffee exports down by a third
YAOUNDE, July 18 (Reuters) - Cameroon's Arabica coffee exports were down by a third at the end of May to 1,277 tonnes for the 2010/11 season, compared with the same period in the previous one, according to statistics from two industry boards.
The statistics from the National Cocoa and Coffee Board (NCCB) and the Cocoa and Coffee Interprofessional Board (CCIB) sent to Reuters on Monday showed the Central African country exported 1,923 tonnes of arabica coffee for the same period in the 2009/10 season.

Ghana sees cocoa output hitting 1 mln tonnes
ACCRA, July 18 (Reuters) - Cocoa output in Ghana this season should hit a million tonnes by the end of August, the industry regulator said on Monday, enabling it to reach an official target that had been set for the 2012/13 season two years early.
"Total output now is more than 980,000 tonnes and we should be hitting 1 million by August ending," Cocobod Deputy Chief Executive Yaw Adu-Ampomah told Reuters.

Ivorian rainy weather mixed for cocoa crop-farmers
July 18 (Reuters) - Rainy weather punctuated by occasional bursts of sunshine in Ivory Coast's principal cocoa regions last week had mixed results on the last stage of the mid-crop, farmers said on Monday.
The mid-crop in Ivory Coast, which runs from April to September, is tailing off. Farmers say they needs rainfall to decrease and to see more sun to strengthen the development of pods to be harvested until September, farmers said.

Brazil coffee forecast warm for cold risky end-July
BRASILIA, July 18 (Reuters) - Brazil's coffee areas are expected to stay warm at the end of July, the period when risk of crop-damaging frost is usually at its highest, the extended forecast by private forecaster Somar showed on Monday.
Forecasters say a combination of weather patterns has raised the risk of frost in coffee areas this year to its highest in more than a decade. Those fears were realized in June with a fairly minor frost affecting three coffee states.

Brent rises on weaker dollar, likely fall in U.S. crude stocks
SINGAPORE, July 19 (Reuters) - Brent crude rose 20 cents to $116.23 a barrel on Tuesday, reversing the previous session's losses, as the dollar weakened and on expectations oil stocks in the world's top consumer U.S. rose for a seventh week.
"The weakening dollar is pretty much all I can say" is the reason for Brent to recover, said Benson Wang of Commodity Broking Services in Sydney.

High oil prices threaten to stoke South China Sea tensions
SINGAPORE, July 19 (Reuters) - Sustained oil prices above $100 could further heighten tensions over control of the South China Sea, as Vietnam, China and other Asian nations look to stake their claim on potential untapped energy resources and reduce their dependence on costly imports.
Brent oil  prices briefly rose above $127 a barrel in April of this year, the highest since 2008 just before the start of the financial crisis, and sustained levels above $100 were reached in late January on an evolving combination of recovering global demand and reduced supplies caused by unrest in Libya.

London copper gains for 3rd day on China demand hopes
SINGAPORE, July 19 (Reuters) - London copper drifted higher for a third straight day on Tuesday as tight global supplies and hopes Chinese demand will remain firm helped offset investor anxiety over sovereign debt concerns in the United States and Europe.    
"Despite all these uncertainties, we've seen copper very resilient to any downside risk and that could also be explained beyond the supply issues by what we see as healthy appetite from the Chinese despite their price sensitivity," said Xin Yi Chen, commodity analyst at Barclays Capital.    

Tokyo Steel keeps August prices unchanged
TOKYO, July 19 (Reuters) - Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co , Japan's biggest construction steelmaker, kept its prices of all products for August shipment unchanged, saying that political confusion and the yen's strength were clouding the market outlook.
The company kept its price for H-beams, used in construction of buildings, at 76,000 yen ($961) per tonne for a third straight month.

Gold hovers below record, debt worries support
SINGAPORE, July 19 (Reuters) - Gold held steady below its record high on Tuesday after 11 days of consecutive gains, as growing sovereign debt worries on either side of the Atlantic continued to support sentiment.
"If we do see some progress in the debt ceiling talks, it could encourage profit-taking by short-term investors," said Ong Yi Ling, an analyst at Phillip Futures.

20110719 1108 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Stocks and euro stable, limiting risk reduction
SINGAPORE, July 19 (Reuters) - Asian stocks outside Japan were steady on Tuesday, as resilient technology shares and a stable euro are expected to limit the persistent risk reduction sparked by the threat of default in the United States and Europe.
"There is rising risk that disappointment at the EU Summit (21st July) on the absence of support measures for Spain and Italy will see the crisis worsen. This is our base case scenario given that Europe will deal with Greece, more than one year too late," Royal Bank of Scotland strategists said in a note.

OIL: Oil falls on U.S., European debt fears
NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices fell on Monday due to growing fears of a sovereign debt default on either side of the Atlantic and on the possibility of another emergency stock release from the International Energy Agency.
"People are cautious about what's happening, especially in Europe where some see the debt crisis worsening," said Joachim Azria, analyst at Credit Suisse in New York.

NATURAL GAS: Natural gas ends flat in seesaw trade, heat supports
NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended unchanged on Monday in a seesaw session, but forecasts for more heat this week in the Northeast and Midwest drove the nearby contract to a five-week high at midday.
"A good part of the action has been short covering. There's been a material (hotter) shift to the weather forecast," said Martin King, analyst at FirstEnergy Capital in Calgary.

COMMODITIES: Oil, most markets dip on US/EU woes; gold at record
NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - Oil fell more than 1 percent on Monday after fears of a sovereign debt default on either side of the Atlantic drove most commodities lower, while gold hit record highs as investors hunted for safe havens.
"The oil market has been volatile over the past month and with the focus on the debt problems in Europe, traders are moving into 'wait and see' mode during the summer lull," said Joachim Azria, analyst at Credit Suisse in New York.

20110719 1045 Local & Global Economic Related News.

Malaysia may allow Asean banks to open more branches
Malaysia may allow South-East Asian banks to open more branches as it liberalises its finance industry, central bank governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said. Bank Negara is drafting a new financial sector master plan aimed at boosting the country’s international links and reinforce its position as an Islamic finance hub. It currently restricts the number of branches licensed foreign lenders can open. Bank Negara last allowed foreign banks operating in Malaysia to open additional branches in 2005. (Malaysian Reserve)

China: New home prices quicken in Shanghai, Beijing
New home prices rose in 67 Chinese cities in June, with growth in Beijing and Shanghai accelerating for the first time since the government stepped up efforts this year to curb growth. In Beijing, new home prices rose 2.2% last month from a year earlier, compared with 2.1% in May, while in Shanghai they climbed 2.2%, compared with 1.4% growth the previous month, the statistics bureau said. China’s cabinet said last week it will expand measures to rein in residential prices to smaller cities after limiting home purchases in metropolitan areas including Beijing and Shanghai. (Bloomberg)

Japan: Stocks top world as factory output gains with Toyota
Equities in Japan are rising more than any other developed country on speculation earnings will improve as the country recovers from its strongest earthquake. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 2.9% since the start of June, posting the biggest increase among 24 developed countries in the MSCI World Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Toyota Motor Corp. climbed 4.9 % since 17 June after saying production is rebounding faster than forecast. A measure of transport-equipment makers in the broader Topix index rose 3.6% as the government said 29 June that May industrial production expanded the most in 50 years. Companies from Renesas Electronics Corp. to Seven & I Holdings Co. are reopening factories and stores faster than they initially planned. (Bloomberg)

EU: ECB says it didn’t settle any bond purchases for a 16th week
The European Central Bank refrained from buying government bonds for a 16th week even as the sovereign debt crisis threatened to spread to Italy. The Frankfurt-based ECB said today it didn’t settle any bond purchases last week, when yields on Italian government bonds jumped. The ECB will take seven-day term deposits tomorrow to mop up EUR74bn (USD104bn) of liquidity created by its purchase program, which began on 10 May last year. (Bloomberg)

US: Egan Jones lowers US rating to AA+ on spending-cut concern
Egan-Jones Ratings Co. cut its rating on the US by one step to AA+ from AAA, citing the high level of debt outstanding relative to other countries and concern that politicians may fail to reduce spending. “The major factor driving credit quality is the relatively high level of debt and the difficulty in significantly cutting spending,” the firm said 16 July in a report. Egan-Jones placed the U.S. on negative watch on 1 March.(Bloomberg)

US: Global demand for assets rose USD23.6bn in May
Global demand for US stocks, bonds and other financial assets rose in May from a month earlier as China and Japan added to their holdings of government securities, the Treasury Department reported. Net buying of long-term equities, notes and bonds totaled USD23.6bn during the month, compared with net buying of USD30.6bn in April, according to statistics issued. Including short-term securities such as stock swaps, foreigners sold a net USD67.5bn compared with net buying of USD66.6bn the previous month. (Bloomberg)

US stocks fall amid debt limit concerns
US stocks fell, pushing the S&P 500 Index to its worst seven-day period in more than a month, amid concern lawmakers will fail to reach a deal on the nation’s debt limit two weeks before a deadline. The S&P 500 lost 0.8% to 1,305.44, the lowest level since 28 June. During the past seven trading sessions, the index has dropped 3.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 94.57 pts, or 0.8%, to 12,385.16. Financial shares slumped the most among 10 S&P 500 industry groups, with European leaders planning a summit this week as they seek to contain the region’s debt crisis. (Bloomberg)

Singapore Exports Rise Less Than Estimated on Electronics Shipment Slump (Source: Bloomberg)
Singapore’s exports climbed in June at less than a third the pace estimated by economists as manufacturers shipped fewer electronics goods and sales of pharmaceuticals eased. Non-oil domestic exports rose 1.1 percent from a year earlier.

EU Bank Stress Tests Missing Sovereign Defaults Fail to Convince Analysts (Source: Bloomberg)
European banks may have to raise as much as 80 billion euros ($113 billion) of additional capital as the stress tests failed to allay investor concern about a Greek default and governments’ ability to bail out their lenders. The eight banks that failed out of the 90 tested on July 15 had only a combined capital shortfall of 2.5 billion euros.

IBM Sales Beat Estimates as Companies Spend (Source: Bloomberg)
International Business Machines Corp., the world’s biggest computer-services company, reported revenue that beat analysts’ estimates and boosted its full-year profit forecast as companies bought more software and equipment. Second-quarter revenue rose 12 percent to $26.7 billion. That topped $25.4 billion, the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. IBM raised its full-year earnings forecast to at least $13.25 a share, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $13.21.

20110719 1029 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

KLCI chart reading :
little downside biased.

Engtek in privatisation talks
Penang-based HDD components manufacturer Engtek yesterday requested for temporary suspension in trading of its shares, and announced that it had been notified by certain major shareholders of the company that they are currently in discussion of a corporate scheme which may lead to the privatization of Engtek. However, Engtek said that it had not received any definitive proposals. (Financial Daily)

Toyo Tire to invest RM1.2bn to expand Perak operations
Japanese tyre manufacturer Toyo Tire & Rubber Co will be investing RM1.2bn to expand its operations in the South-East Asian and Asian markets. Toyo Tire’s investment would cover plans to increase its existing factory’s production capacity in Kamunting, Taiping as well as for the construction of a new factory on a 20 ha site in another area, which has already been identified. Toyo Tire also plans to increase its labour force at the Kamunting factory from the current 1,400 workers to 2,400 workers. (Malaysian Reserve)

SAAG bags RM26m contract in India
SAAG has received a RM26m contract to build, test and commission equipment for a thermal power project at Mandhva Village in Maharashtra, India. It had received a letter of acceptance from Lance Infratech for the erection, testing and commissioning of boiler ducting, rotary parts, mill RC feeders, ESP with duct support structure and coal piping for boiler unit one and two of the 2x660MW Lanco Vidarbha thermal power project. The 24-month contract is expected to begin on 1 Oct and start contributing positively to group earnings by next year. (Financial Daily)

UK plans Ampang land sale
The British government plans to sell the land where its High Commission in Malaysia sits, sources said. The land located on Jalan Ampang measures some 1.22ha and could fetch as high as RM1,500 per sq ft or RM196 million, real estate agents estimated.It would be interesting to see if the neighbours of the British High Commission will buy the land. They include Boustead Properties, IOI Group, HSC Healthcare and Sri Mersing Hotels Sdn Bhd. (Source: Business Times)

MAA trims forecast for new car sales this year
The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has revised its new car sales forecast downwards by 1.6 per cent or 10,000 units to 608,000 units.    New car sales dropped markedly in June to 41,790 from 54,005 units a year ago, bogged down by the amended Hire Purchase Act 1967 and supply issue. Total industry volume dropped to 297,203 units in the first six months from 301,115 units in the first half of 2010. The MAA had early this year predicted industry sales volume of 618,000 units for the whole year. (Source: Business Times)

Eng Tek shares surge on talk of potential privatisation
Eng Teknologi Holdings Bhd's stock yesterday surged the most in 16 months, after it said that some of its shareholders may come up with a corporate scheme which may lead to the privatisation of the company.The stock jumped 19 sen to close at RM1.99 on a day when most of the markets were heading south. In an out -ofthe-blue statement to the stock exchange, Eng Teknologi said it was making the statement on the possibility of the company  going private due to the unusual price movement and relatively heavy trading activity in its shares. (Source: Business Times)

Malaysia may allow foreign lenders to open more branches
Malaysia may allow Southeast Asian banks to open more branches as it liberalises its finance industry, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said yesterday. Bank Negara is drafting a new financial sector master plan aimed at boosting the country's international links and reinforcing its position as an Islamic finance hub.It currently restricts the number of branches licensed foreign lenders can open. (Source: Business Times)

Icon City phase two launch by September
Mah Sing Group Bhd, the country's fifth largest developer by revenue, will launch by September the second phase of Icon City in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, featuring 570 units of serviced residences worth RM439 million. Group managing director-cum- group chief executive Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum is upbeat that the units, worth RM450,000 to RM1.2 million each or RM700 to RM800 per sq ft, will be snapped up during the launch. Leong's confidence is further boosted by the launch of the first phase of of Icon City last weekend, where sales of RM426.5 million were raked in. The phase one featured i-SoVo tower 3, where 80 per cent of the units, priced from RM599,000 were sold, as well as 30 Jewels and Gourmet Street. Some 96 per cent of 30 Jewels, which is worth more than RM10 million each, and 37 per cent of Gourmet Street, comprising 20 retail outlets worth from RM4.5 million, were taken. (Source: Business Times)

China’s Beiqi Foton Motor chooses Warisan company
WARISAN TC Holdings Bhd’s 70 per cent owned unit, Kereta Komersil Seladang  (M) Sdn Bhd, has been appointed by Beiqi Foton Motor Co Ltd (BFM), China’s top commercial vehicle maker, as the sole and exclusive, assembler and distributor here of light duty commercial vehicles (pick-ups) made by BFM. (Source: Business Times)

20110719 1023 Global Market Related News.

DJIA chart reading :  correction range bound little upside biased.

Hang Seng chart reading :
side way range bound little downside biased.
Stocks, euro fall as debt fears grow
LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - World stocks and the euro fell while gold hit record highs as disappointment over financial health checks on  European banks and escalating U.S. and euro zone debt problems sent investors scrambling for safe haven assets.
Some banking shares took a fresh beating after the stress test results released late on Friday failed to address the potential for a Greek sovereign default], which many economists expect to happen in some form.

Ratings agencies rattle cages in U.S., Europe
NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) - The credit ratings agencies are again angering governments, but this time they are taking on the big fish of the world economy.
From Washington to Brussels, Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch have added to the intense pressure on governments trying to deal with crushing sovereign debt.

Most Asian Stocks Decline on U.S., Europe Debt Crisis (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian stocks swung between gains and losses on concern U.S. lawmakers will fail to reach a deal on the country’s debt limit and Europe’s worsening crisis will slow the global economic recovery. Gold producers rose as the precious metal climbed to a record.

Republicans Pressing for a Balanced Budget Fail to Deliver Details on How (Source: Bloomberg)
Congressional Republicans are clear in their demand for a constitutional amendment forcing the government to balance its budget. What they’re not offering is clarity on how to get there. It’s politically popular to line up behind such an amendment; laying out specific cuts is less appealing. Almost all Republicans and some Democrats will vote to alter the Constitution when the issue comes up as early as this week. Almost none, including a leading co-sponsor of the Senate measure, Orrin Hatch, and Bill Flores of Texas, a co-sponsor of the House measure, say how they’d slash Medicare, eliminate federal programs or shrink education, law enforcement or national defense. Republicans agree that tax increases shouldn’t be part of the equation.

Global Demand for U.S. Assets Rose $23.6B in May (Source: Bloomberg)
Global demand for U.S. stocks, bonds and other financial assets rose in May from a month earlier as China and Japan added to their holdings of government securities, the Treasury Department reported. Net buying of long-term equities, notes and bonds totaled $23.6 billion during the month, compared with net buying of $30.6 billion in April, according to statistics issued today in Washington. Including short-term securities such as stock swaps, foreigners sold a net $67.5 billion compared with net buying of $66.6 billion the previous month. The reporting on long-term securities is a gauge of confidence in U.S. economic policy, and today’s data suggest the country offers safety from the economic crisis in Europe even with the White House and Congress at odds over raising the Treasury’s borrowing authority.

Homebuilder Confidence in U.S. Rises More Than Estimated, NAHB Index Shows (Source: Bloomberg)
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders improved in July from a nine-month low as executives turned less pessimistic on the outlook for sales. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment index climbed to 15 this month, higher than forecast, from 13 in June, data from the Washington-based group showed today. The median projection of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a gain to 14. “It’s still at a very low level,” Michelle Meyer, a senior economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York, said about the homebuilders’ measure. “In order to see a brighter future for housing, we need to see a stronger economy.”

Gloomy U.S. consumers cast dark cloud over economy
WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) - U.S. consumer confidence hit a near 2-1/2 year low in early July and manufacturing output stalled in June, further frustrating expectations of a quick economic growth rebound in the second half of the year.
Worries about stubbornly high unemployment pushed the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment to 63.8, the lowest since March 2009, a report showed on Friday. Economists had expected the index to climb to 72.5 from 71.5 in June.

U.S. Stocks Decline on Concern Over Debt-Ceiling Talks; Bank Shares Tumble (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks fell, pushing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its worst seven-day period in more than a month, amid concern lawmakers will fail to reach a deal on the nation’s debt limit two weeks before a deadline. Financial shares slumped the most among 10 S&P 500 industry groups, with European leaders planning a summit this week as they seek to contain the region’s debt crisis. News Corp. fell 4.3 percent after two people familiar with the matter said independent directors are questioning whether a leadership change is needed after a phone-hacking scandal. LinkedIn Corp. slid 6.9 percent after JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its rating.

Treasury Five-to-30 Spread Near Widest This Year on Debt Ceiling Concern (Source: Bloomberg)
The spread between five- and 30-year Treasury yields was near the widest since November as U.S. officials struggled to reach agreement on how to raise the debt ceiling to avoid a default.

China’s New Home Prices Accelerate Gains in Shanghai, Beijing Last Month (Source: Bloomberg)
New home prices rose in 67 Chinese cities in June, with growth in Beijing and Shanghai accelerating for the first time since the government stepped up efforts this year to curb growth. In Beijing, new home prices rose 2.2 percent last month from a year earlier, compared with 2.1 percent in May, while in Shanghai they climbed 2.2 percent, compared with 1.4 percent growth the previous month, the statistics bureau said on its website today.

China researcher sees more rate rises to cool prices
BEIJING, July 18 (Reuters) - China could raise interest rates in coming months as it keeps monetary policy tight to tame inflation that is running at three-year highs and is still the biggest threat to its economy, a researcher at a government think-tank said.
Chen Dongqi, deputy chief at the Academy of Macroeconomics Research, said he expects China's consumer inflation to quicken to 6.5 percent in July from June's three-year
peak of 6.4 percent, before easing to 4.5 percent by December.

Japan Stocks Fall Amid U.S., European Debt Concerns; Honda, Canon Decline (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks fell on concern U.S. lawmakers will fail to reach a deal on the country’s debt limit two weeks before a deadline and Europe’s worsening crisis will slow the global economic recovery.

Japan Quake Work Trails 1923 Effort on ‘Crazy’ Politics, Kan Adviser Says (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan’s rebuilding is lagging behind the nation’s responses to the Tokyo earthquake of 1923 and Kobe’s 1995 disaster because of political infighting, the head of the reconstruction committee said. “The obstacle to reconstruction is politics,” Makoto Iokibe, the chairman of the government-appointed panel, said in a July 15 interview in his Tokyo office. “It’s absolutely crazy,” Iokibe, 67, said. The March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left more than 20,000 people dead or missing should be serving as a catalyst for reinvigorating the world’s third-largest economy, according to Iokibe. Instead, politicians are focused on the future of embattled Prime Minister Naoto Kan rather than reconstruction, the adviser said.

Japan Stocks Top World as Factory Output Gains With Toyota (Source: Bloomberg)
Equities in Japan are rising more than any other developed country on speculation earnings will improve as the country recovers from its strongest earthquake. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 2.9 percent since the start of June, posting the biggest increase among 24 developed countries in the MSCI World Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Toyota Motor Corp. climbed 4.9 percent since June 17 after saying production is rebounding faster than forecast. A measure of transport-equipment makers in the broader Topix index rose 3.6 percent as the government said June 29 that May industrial production expanded the most in 50 years.

South Korea Will Ban Finance Companies From Kimchi Debt for Local Projects (Source: Bloomberg)
South Korea said it will prohibit financial companies from buying foreign-currency bonds sold by local issuers for domestic use as the government seeks to curb external debt and gains in the won. “Our message is that local firms should raise funds in won when they use the money here,” Kim Han Soo, head of the international planning and coordination team at the Bank of Korea, told reporters in Seoul. The regulation takes effect on July 25, the central bank said in a statement today.

India Government Sees Growth Imperiled With Rising Greek-Like Tax Evasion (Source: Bloomberg)
As Rama Murthy completes the sale of his three-bedroom apartment in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, he accepts from the buyer a bag full of rupees -- a part of the purchase price the tax man will never see. “Almost 40 percent of the sale price I got in hard cash,” said Murthy, 39, who works at a software maker. “It’s illegal, but it’s rampant in India to avoid paying tax.”

Asia Crisis Veteran Zeti Sees Region Surviving Risk (Source: Bloomberg)
Asia’s rising domestic demand and strengthened financial systems have made the region more resilient to global shocks even as slowing U.S. growth and the European debt crisis pose threats, Malaysia’s central bank Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said. Another global recession is unlikely and risks to growth probably won’t materialize, Zeti said in an interview in Jakarta late yesterday. The chance of an economic contraction is less in Asia, said Zeti, one of the region’s longest-serving governors who oversaw Malaysia’s monetary and currency responses to the Asian financial crisis more than a decade ago. “Right now, yes, there are risks but we don’t envisage these risks to materialize,” Zeti said. “Many of us recognized after the 1990s how vulnerable we were, when we were so export- led. Many of us now have promoted domestic demand and this has become more significant. We have a better chance of dealing and managing those risks.”

Germany Says It's Confident EU to Reach Agreement on Second Greek Bailout (Source: Bloomberg)
Germany said it’s confident that European leaders will reach agreement on funding a second Greek bailout at a July 21 summit, as investors sell Spanish and Italian bonds on concern that the crisis is spreading. “We must master this challenge,” Steffen Seibert, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief spokesman, said in Berlin today. “The way the chancellor sees it, the specific meeting this Thursday is about agreeing precisely on the main points of a new program for Greece, with all relevant details.”

Euro Trades Near One-Week Low Before Debt Summit, Australian Dollar Gains (Source: Bloomberg)
The euro was 0.6 percent from its lowest level in a week against the dollar on concern European leaders will be unable to agree on steps to contain the region’s debt crisis at a summit this week. The Swiss franc was 1.4 percent from a record versus the euro before Spain and Greece sell as much as 5.75 billion euros ($8.1 billion) of bills today amid concern surging bond yields threaten to boost financing costs. Australia’s dollar rose against the U.S. currency for the first time in four days before its central bank releases minutes of the July meeting when policy makers left interest rates unchanged.

WORLD FOREX: Euro Stalls As EU Summit Looms
LONDON (Dow Jones)-- The euro held above $1.40 in European foreign exchangetrade Monday as the focus switched to an emergency summit of euro-zone leadersscheduled for Thursday, having drifted down in the wake of Friday's euro-zonebank stress test results.
The examinations didn't test banks for the possibility of a sovereign debtdefault and that has left markets nervous ahead of the long-awaited summit,with pressure mounting for a new Greek bailout agreement that avoids a defaultand stems the growing contagion to other indebted parts of the region.

20110719 1022 Global Commodities Related News.

Corn (Source: CME)
US corn futures finish lower as the rising dollar pressures prices. The firm greenback makes US farm products less attractive to foreign buyers, sending corn lower with wheat and soybeans. Additional pressure came from expectations a threatening "heat dome" over the Midwest will break up late this week, creating more favorable conditions for the developing corn crop. "Even if the dome hadn't broken down, I think we'd still be under pressure today," says Karl Setzer, analyst for MaxYield Cooperative in Iowa. CBOT December corn drops 8c to $6.77 a bushel.

Wheat (Source: CME)
US wheat futures close lower on concerns about diminishing demand. Strength in the dollar makes US grains less attractive on the global market, while exporters already face increased competition for business from countries in the Black Sea region. Russia this month lifted a ban on grain exports for the first time in nearly a year and is already undercutting more-expensive exports from the US and Europe. CBOT September wheat falls 5 1/4c to $6.89 1/2 a bushel while KCBT September loses 3 1/2c to $7.61 and MGE September slips 1 1/4c to $8.22 1/2.

Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures finish lower as the firm dollar exerts broad pressure on grain prices. Rice pulls back with wheat, corn and soybeans. Profit-taking adds pressure following a sharp rally last week. Rice on Friday reached its highest prices since October 2008 after the government earlier in the week issued lower-than-expected inventory estimates. CBOT September rice loses 17 1/2 cents, or 1%, to $16.82 per hundredweight.

U.S. commodity fund exodus slows in June -Lipper
NEW YORK, July 15 (Reuters) - Investors pulled money from commodity-based products and mutual funds for a second month in June, but outflows slowed sharply after May's $4 billion exodus, Lipper data showed on Friday.
The U.S.-regulated products and funds saw a net outflow of $75.3 million in June as investors largely exited silver-based products and funds amid a selloff in the precious metal.

Argentina Expects To Export Corn To China Starting Next Year (Source: CME)
Argentine corn exports to China are expected to start with the 2011-12 crop, which comes to market starting in February, the government said on its official press site. Argentina plans on signing a final agreement with China between July and November to set the framework for the first shipments, Agriculture sub-secretary Oscar Solis said in the statement. Argentina is the world's second-largest corn exporter behind the U.S., shipping almost 18 million metric tons of corn in calendar year 2010. Last year, the top buyers included Iran, Algeria, Colombia, Malaysia and Egypt. China has historically been a major corn exporter, but weather problems in recent seasons and soaring demand have turned the country into an importer. Argentine agriculture ministry officials are currently in China for the latest round of talks to kick-start corn, beef, wine, biofuels and barley sales to the Asian giant.
While Argentina's initial corn sales to China are expected to be relatively small, "we're dealing with a key market that will be open for the future," Solis said. The agriculture ministry has forecast corn production for the 2010-11 season at 21.6 million metric tons, one of the largest crops on record. Area planted with corn is expected to expand during the 2011-12 season at the expense of soybeans due to the relative profits between the country's top crops, Solis said. During the 2010-11 season, 18.7 million hectares were planted with soybeans in Argentina, while corn area reached 4.34 million hectares, according to the agriculture ministry.

Heavy Rainfall Expected Across East Anglia This Week -UK Agency (Source: CME)
Heavy rainfall is expected to hit East Anglia this week, according to the U.K. Met Office, bringing weather conditions more favorable to wheat and barley crops that suffered damage only last month from drought conditions. The Met Office said that East Anglia, in eastern England, is expected to receive longer periods of rain over the next week with some of the rainfall to be "heavy." Last month, the U.K.'s farm ministry and Environment Agency declared parts of East Anglia as officially marked with drought status after the region received only 47% of its normal total rainfall in May. East Anglia accounts for 53% of the U.K.'s sugar-beet output, 17% of wheat and 13% of barley production. Forecaster WeatherEdge Ltd. warned wheat yields could drop as much as 15% in 2011-12 because of the dry spell earlier this year.
Risk manager FC Stone said that temperatures this week across Europe should "ease off" from the recent highs witnessed earlier this year, especially in the U.K. and France. FC Stone also said that most parts of Western and Central Europe are expected to receive rainfall over the coming week creating delays to field work, with Eastern Germany, Poland and Eastern Europe mostly affected.

World Food Program Builds 30 Grain Stores In Uganda (Source: CME)
The World Food Program, in cooperation with several other bodies, has built 30 grain stores and a warehouse in Uganda in an attempt to boost post-harvest and marketing facilities among small-holder farmers, and help meet food needs in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa, the agency announced. WFP said in a statement the move is part of the its support for Uganda aimed at reducing rural poverty by helping farmers to sell more quality grain at a good price. The 29 community grain stores, built with funds from the United States Agency for International Development, Japan, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are satellite premises that can hold on average 200 metric tons each. The central warehouse, situated in Eastern Uganda, has a holding capacity of 2,000 tons. WFP didn't indicate the amount of funds invested in the projects. "WFP is the single largest buyer of quality grain in Uganda," WFP Country Director Stanlake Samkange said.
"We're eager to buy more from smallholders so they can better support their families." Small holder farmers produce the bulk of Uganda's grains and cereals. However, a lack of modern stores to process and preserve their commodities, as well as inconsistent quality, remains a major hindrance to access quality markets, according to Samkange. Last year, WFP purchased food from Uganda worth $70 million, making Uganda the second largest exporter of food to the agency in Africa, after South Africa. However, the country suffered five months of drought later 2010 and earlier this year, hurting its food production. Food shortages were largely blamed for triggering mass anti-government protests in the country between April and May. According to Samkange, community stores enable smallholders to dry, clean, fumigate and collectively transport their produce to the central warehouses.
Uganda is a major producer of crops such as corn, grains and cereals, and the country also producers cash crops such as coffee, tea, cotton and cocoa. Trade officials estimate that up to 30% of the country's grains and cereals do not meet international market requirements due to poor post handling facilities.

High Fertilizer Use Threatens China Grain Output -Report (Source: CME)
Heavy use of fertilizers has damaged domestic arable land and threatens grain output, the state-run China Daily reported, quoting local academics. Grain output growth "will not last long if the government fails to take timely and effective measures, as the soil is already too poor to support high-yield crops," it quoted Jiang Gaoming, a leading researcher at the academy, as saying. Jiang said the problems were caused by the "massive overuse" of chemical fertilizers in the past 30 years. Since 2007, China has been the world's largest consumer of chemical fertilizers, using more than 50 million metric tons every year, four times the amount in the 1980s, China Daily said. Statistics from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences show the average level of organic matter in soil, which aids crop output, is 1%-5% in China's northeastern agriculture belt, compared with 8%-10% in the 1950s.
China also uses 1.3 million tons of pesticides annually, with usage per unit area 2.5 times higher than the global average, the report Zhang Weili, a CAAS professor, as saying.

US corn falls over 1 pct, wheat down on Russian supplies
SINGAPORE, July 18 (Reuters) - U.S. corn slid more than 1 percent , weighed down by concerns over U.S. and European debt, after strong gains last week on forecasts of hot weather which could threaten crop yields.
"The dollar is trading higher and that seems to be playing out so far today," said Luke Mathews, commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

German farmers see smaller 2011 grain crop
HAMBURG, July 18 (Reuters) - Germany's 2011 grain crop of all types is likely to fall 6.4 percent to 41.2 million tonnes from 44.2 million tonnes last year as late rain was not enough to fully compensate for a spring drought, the German Farm Cooperatives Association said on Monday.    
This was slightly up on the association's previous estimate of 40.8 million tonnes in June as recent rain had provided some relief to parched crops, it said.    

Bangladesh 2010/11 grain imports hit 5.3 mln T
DHAKA, July 15 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's imports of wheat and rice surged to 5.3 million tonnes in the fiscal year June 30, from 3 million in the previous year, on the back of record buying by the government, a senior food official said on Friday.
Grain imports reached that level largely due to a sharp rise in rice purchases as part of efforts by the government to ward off domestic price rises, Ahmed Hossain Khan, director general of the state grains buyer, told Reuters.

Recent wet weather to boost EU 2011 maize harvest
PARIS, July 15 (Reuters) - The European maize crop is expected to rise sharply from last season's output due to beneficial weather during plant growth, which could lead farmers to start harvesting early, experts and analyst said.    
French analysts Strategie Grains on Thursday put the total European Union 2011 corn harvest at 60.2 million tonnes against 55 million the previous year and 57.4 million in 2009.    

India's monsoon 19 pct below normal, concerns over rice
NEW DELHI, July 14 (Reuters) - India's crucial monsoon rains were 19 percent below normal in the week to July 13, a slight pick up from a quarter below average in the previous week, but the fall off in rains is raising concerns particularly over rice production.
The rains had been expected to slow in the first two weeks of July, the key month for planting, and are still forecast to be only slightly below normal for the entire June to September season with a pick-up seen in most areas next week.

Dwindling global rice surplus prompts price surge fears
BANGKOK/HANOI, July 15 (Reuters) - A significant rice surplus is forecast to shrink by the end of the decade if more farmland in top exporting nations is put to industrial use and weather conditions worsen, keeping prices high as a growing world population boosts demand.
Ample supply may insulate Asia's main staple for at least two more years from price surges that have hit other grains, but costlier rice would feed food inflation worries, stirring fears of a repeat of the 2007/08 global food crisis that led to riots in some developing nations.

ICE sugar, coffee prices ease on risk aversion
LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Sugar, coffee and cocoa futures on ICE eased in early trade , weighed by increasing risk aversion among investors driven by the deepening debt crisis in the euro zone and the United States.  ICE raw sugar futures were slightly lower, tracking losses in crude oil and many other commodity markets.

Uganda coffee exports seen 20 pct up y/y in July
KAMPALA, July 18 (Reuters) - Coffee exports from Uganda, one of Africa's leading exporters of the beans, is expected to rise by 20.2 percent in July from the same month a year ago, the state-run Uganda Coffee Development Authority said on Monday.
The regulator said the nation, east Africa's third largest economy, is forecast to ship 320,000 60-KG bags of coffee this month from 266,245 bags in July last year.

China boosts Vietnam, Thai sugar imports to ease shortage-report
HANOI, July 18 (Reuters) - China, the world's most populous country, is estimated to face a sugar shortage of 2 million tonnes this year, prompting domestic companies to step up buying the sweetener from Vietnam and Thailand, a Vietnamese state-run newspaper said on Monday.
The shortage has pushed China's domestic prices to above those in Vietnam, prompting traders to buy Vietnamese sugar,  Pham Thi Sum, Chairwoman of Bien Hoa Sugar Co, was quoted by the agriculture ministry-run Vietnam Agriculture newspaper as saying.

India extends cotton export registration by a week
MUMBAI, July 15 (Reuters) - India has extended the last date for registration to export an additional 1 million cotton bales to July 22 from July 15, an official notification said on Friday.
"Requests have been received for extension in view of strike/holidays in Bangladesh and disruption of work in Mumbai. Hence, close date is extended by one week up to 22.07.2011," said the notification on the website of the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

Cameroon cocoa farmgate prices inch up, demand strong
YAOUNDE, July 15 (Reuters) - Cocoa farmgate prices in Cameroon ticked up in most production zones over the last month, mainly due to growing demand from buyers, farmers said on Friday.
Cameroon is the world's No. 5 cocoa grower, currently in the tail end of its 2010/11 growing season.

India coffee prices steady; no export demand at auction
MUMBAI, July 15 (Reuters) - Coffee prices in India remained largely unchanged at this week's auction due to lack of buying from exporters, which left most the stock unsold, trader said on Friday, Due to the drop in international prices of cotton, exporters didn't participitate in this week's auction held on Thursday.

India's June natural rubber imports jump 60 pct
MUMBAI, July 15 (Reuters) - India's natural rubber imports in June jumped 60 percent on year to 19,118 tonnes as tyre makers raised overseas purchases to cash in on lower prices in other Asian countries, and the trend is likely to continue in coming months also as rubber is still expensive in the country.
Rubber production in June rose 4.1 percent on year to 59,200 tonnes, while consumption of rubber in the month rose to 80,500 tonnes, from 74,450 tonnes in the year earlier period, the state-run Rubber Board said on Friday.

Booming Cotton No Boon to Farmers in Africa Milked by Regional Monopolies (Source: Bloomberg)
Amado Kafando tilted his head back, smiled and pumped his fists into the west African sky. “We praised God, and said, ‘At last!’” said Kafando, 45, standing amid the mud huts where he lives with 11 children and no electricity.

EU cushions biodiesel from damning carbon research
BRUSSELS, July 15 (Reuters) - The EU will protect existing investment in its $13 billion biodiesel sector even as it acts on new evidence that suggests making the fuel from food crops can do more harm than good in fighting climate change.
The environmental arguments in favour of using biodiesel were thrown into doubt last week by a series of leaked European Union reports, revealed by Reuters.

Two Russian coal miners missing, one trapped in accident
MOSCOW, July 17 (Reuters) - Two miners were missing and a third trapped underground in an Arctic Russian mine after an accident at a coal face, the owner, a unit of steelmaker Severstal , said on Sunday.    
The Severstal unit, Vorkutaugol, said the collapse was caused by a "geological phenomenon".    

Germany's NRW says E.ON compromise possible
FRANKFURT, July 17 (Reuters) - Germany's North Rhine Westphalia regional government said it was possible to reach a compromise with utility E.ON on its coal plants in Datteln.    
E.ON  is locked in a conflict with North Rhine Westphalia regarding the hard coal power plant in Datteln, which is to be switched off at the end of 2012.    

Duke Energy expects Ohio coal plant retirement
July 15 (Reuters) - U.S. utility Duke Energy  said it expects to retire all the six coal-fired generation units at its W.C. Beckjord Station near Cincinnati by Jan. 1, 2015 due to a proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule.
Under the recently proposed Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rule, which will be finalised in November, coal-fired plants would require to reduce emissions of particular toxic air pollutants.

Oil Gains in New York as U.S. Supplies, China Demand Counter Europe Debt (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil climbed in New York as signs of shrinking crude stockpiles in the U.S. and rising demand in China countered speculation that Europe’s debt crisis will temper fuel demand. Futures advanced as much as 0.5 percent before a report tomorrow that may show U.S. inventories dropped a seventh week. Prices also rose after China said it’s oil processing volume grew 6.3 percent in the first half. Crude slipped yesterday amid concern Europe’s leaders will be unable to agree on steps to contain the region’s debt crisis at a summit this week.

Major market developments in June
LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - Aluminium prices lost ground in June and while they may drift lower as demand softens for seasonal reasons, the market is expected to hold firm in coming months even though it is on course for another year of supply surplus.
"Demand has slackened a bit, but we expect it to accelerate after the summer slowdown, with robust growth from both transport and packaging," said Credit Agricole analyst Robin Bhar.

India's NALCO says cuts aluminium prices by $67.4/T
BHUBANESHWAR, India, July 15 (Reuters) - State-run National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO) , India's No. 3 producer of aluminium, has further cut aluminium prices by 3,000 rupees ($67.4) a tonne in the local market following a drop in global prices, a top company official said on Friday.
The revision, which is effective immediately, reflects the changes in London Metal Exchange (LME) rates, NALCO's commercial director Ansuman Das told Reuters.

S.Korea seeks 4,000 T aluminium ingot for Sept
SEOUL, July 18 (Reuters) - South Korea is seeking 4,000 tonnes of high-grade London Metal Exchange (LME) registered primary aluminium ingot via tenders to close at 2 pm (0500 GMT) on July 21, the state-run Public Procurement Service said.
The procurement agency said on its website (www.g2b.go.kr) that it would buy the metal of western origin with 99.7 percent purity.

POLL-India iron ore exports seen falling to 8-year low
MUMBAI, July 18 (Reuters) - Iron ore exports from India are likely to fall by more than a quarter to their lowest level in eight years because of higher costs and slow efforts in a key state to resume shipments, a Reuters poll showed.
Iron ore sales from the world's third-largest exporter are forecast to fall to 71.25 million tonnes in the current year to next March, from 95 million tonnes in the previous year, according to the median estimate in a Reuters poll of 10 iron ore miners, exporters and analysts.

China pledges equal domestic and export rare earth policies
BEIJING, July 15 (Reuters) - China said on Friday it will meet World Trade Organization rules by applying the "same policies" to domestic and overseas rare earth companies, a day after the United States and Europe slammed China on its new quotas of the highly sought minerals.
"China will, according to WTO standards and requirements on rare earth production, processing and export, adopt the same policies for domestic and overseas enterprises," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Yao Jian told reporters at a regular news briefing.

Iron Ore-Shanghai rebar hits over 2-mth high, ore firm
SHANGHAI/SINGAPORE, July 18 (Reuters) - Chinese steel futures rose more than 1 percent to their highest in more than two months on Monday, as demand for long steel products remained solid amid a busier construction sector, pushing up iron ore indexes to their loftiest since May.
The most active October rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange  rose as high as 4,925 yuan per tonne, a level not seen since May 5, before trimming gains to 4,909 yuan by the midday break, but standing up 0.8 percent.

China 2010 steel output underreported by 45 mln T-report
SINGAPORE, July 18 (Reuters) - China's crude steel output reached 672 million tonnes in 2010, 45 million tonnes more than what was reported by the Chinese government, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing figures from a UK steel consultancy.
China's National Bureau of Statistics said domestic crude steel production hit a record 627 million tonnes last year.

Major market developments in June
LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - Copper prices made gains in June and tight supply will help to bolster sentiment in the coming months, but the market may drift lower near term as demand slows over the northern hemisphere summer.
"The fundamentals of copper are still relatively strong, there are a number of mines where production has declined," said independent consultant Angus MacMillan.

METALS-Copper steady; China demand, euro zone crisis weigh
LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Copper was steady on Monday, but expected to come under pressure due to doubts about demand from top consumer China and the euro zone debt crisis.
Benchmark copper  on the London Metal Exchange was trading at $9,674 a tonne at 1015 GMT from $9,672 at the close on Friday.

PRECIOUS-Gold rises above $1,600/oz as debt fears simmer
July 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices rallied to record highs above $1,600 an ounce in Europe on Monday as investors spooked by the euro zone debt crisis and the threat of a U.S. default bought into the metal as a haven from risk.
Spot gold  rose as high as $1,601.80 an ounce and was up 0.5 percent at $1,601.28 an ounce at 1044 GMT. Gold rose more than 3 percent for a second straight week to Friday, a feat it has not achieved since February 2009.

Investors Boost Bullish Commodity Bets as Gold Demand Jumps on Debt Crisis (Source: Bloomberg)
Funds boosted bets on rising commodity prices by the most in almost a year as traders added gold amid escalating debt crises in the U.S. and Europe. Speculators raised their net-long positions in 18 commodities by 15 percent to 1.09 million futures and options contracts in the week ended July 12, government data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the biggest gain since early August. Gold holdings surged the most since September 2009 as prices climbed to a record. A measure of bullish agriculture bets climbed the most in 11 months. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index increased for a third straight week, climbing to a one-month high on July 13. Gold futures climbed for nine straight sessions to July 15, the longest rally since November 2009, on increasing demand for the precious metal from those seeking to protect their investments.

Gold Tops $1,600, Surges to Record in Longest Rally in 31 Years on Debt (Source: Bloomberg)
Gold rose to a record $1,607.90 an ounce, capping the longest rally in 31 years, as debt concerns in Europe and the U.S. boosted demand for the metal as a haven. President Barack Obama is pressing congressional leaders for a multitrillion-dollar agreement in talks on cutting the deficit. A default would cause more panic than the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008, Larry Summers, a former Treasury Secretary, told CNN in an interview broadcast yesterday. The euro fell as European leaders plan to meet again on the debt crisis. “There’s just a lack of confidence in government and currency,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “There’s a flight-to- safety into gold. When Europe fixes their house and the U.S. fixes our house, maybe then there’ll be in a correction in gold.”

Baltic index falls again on weak demand
LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, fell for a fourth session on Wednesday, as the Capesize market stayed weak on a pullback in port congestion and a slowdown in iron ore heading from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
The index -- which gauges the cost of shipping commodities including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser -- fell 14 points, or 1.02 percent, to 1353 points. The index has been erratic this year, trading between 1,300-1,500 points as ship oversupply out paces demand to ship commodities.

20110719 1020 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soybean futures end lower, under pressure from crop weather uncertainties and weakness from external financial markets. Weather forecasts limiting the length of time a crop threatening heat wave will linger in the Midwest encouraged traders to reduce risk premium in the market, analysts say. A stronger US dollar amid ongoing global economic fears added to lower theme. However, the uncertainty of a long growing season, with soybean crops still weeks away from its critical developing stage limited losses and helped trim early declines. CBOT Nov soy end down 3/4c at $13.86 1/4/bushel.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
Soy-product futures stumble in unison with soybean futures. Soymeal drift lower as less-threatening weather forecasts for soybeans reduced the risk of smaller soy-production potential, analysts say. Meanwhile, soyoil garnered additional pressure from stumbling crude oil futures. CBOT December soymeal ended down 0.4% at $364.60/short ton while soyoil dropped 0.8% to 57.82c/pound.

Canada's Legumex Walker Inc To Build US Canola Processor (Source: CME)
Western Canadian pulse-processing company Legumex Walker Inc. plans to build a canola-processing plant in the U.S., the company said in a press release. The facility is expected to be completed by late 2012 and be operational in 2013. The facility will be built in Warden, Wash., and will produce expeller-pressed canola oil and high-quality canola meal. The plant will be the first commercial-scale canola-crushing operation west of the Rocky Mountains should be well-positioned to supply the expanding demand for canola products on the west coast of the U.S. the press release said. "Canola-oil demand is growing world-wide, especially in the United States," said Dave Walker, chairman of Legumex Walker, in the release. "Adding canola oil and meal produced in Washington to our current pulse and special-crops product lines diversifies our company both from a product as well as a geographic perspective. This is a very attractive opportunity for us."
The canola-processing facility is being built and operated by Pacific Coast Canola, a Washington state company owned 8% by Legumex Walker and 15% by Glencore Grain Investment LLC. The plant is designed to process 1,100 metric tons of canola per day and has a design output capacity of 142,500 tons of canola oil and 227,000 tons of canola meal per year, the release said. "We're very excited about this project," said Joel Horn, Legumex Walker's president and chief executive, in the release. "We think this will be good for farmers in the Pacific Northwest by providing a local buyer for a new high-margin crop that can be easily added to their existing rotations; it's good for canola-oil and canola-meal buyers who will benefit from a local supplier with significantly lower transportation costs. And, it's good for local consumers." Industrial Construction Group Inc. of Portland, Ore. will build the plant under a guaranteed-maximum-price contract.
Crown Iron Works Co. in Roseville, Minn. will provide process engineering and equipment, the release said. The plant will be located on 52 acres in Warden, in the heart of a region that is ideal for canola production and well-served by rail and surface transportation routes, the release said.

Palm oil falls on overseas markets, high stocks
KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures inched down as weaker overseas soy complex weighed on market sentiment at the time when stocks are growing.
"The export data for the first half of this month didn't excite the market," said a trader in Kuala Lumpur, referring to the report on overseas demand for palm oil released last week.

India's vegoil imports to rise after 2010/11 dip
NEW DELHI, July 18 (Reuters) - Climbing demand from a growing and increasingly wealthy population and small increase in domestic production should mean India once again buys more vegetable oils next year, even though the world's biggest importer eased off this year.
Higher oilseed stocks have boosted local supplies in the year to October 2011 and rising global prices have curbed purchases, with imports down 9 percent in the first eight months.