Tuesday, August 16, 2011

20110816 1821 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3002, changed : -34 points (continuous chart down 68 points), volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, seller reducing exposure.
Support : 2970, 2930, 2900, 2850 level.
Resistance : 3020, 3050, 3070, 3100 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded loss with improved volume exchanged while overnight soy oil closed recorded gain and currently trading lower in tandem with lower crude oil price.
Price traded lower after global equity market traded lower due to news of lower than estimates Germany and Spain GDP figure plus slowing China economy by The Conference Board, a New York-based research organization raised worry on slowing down global economy growth.
Daily chart formed a down bar candle closed below middle Bollinger band level after market opened little lower and traded range bound swing between gain and losses followed by second session selling activities pressed price to lower and closed near the low of the day.
Technical reading suggesting a correction range bound downside biased market development testing support and resistance level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110816 1724 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1487, changed : -10 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, seller reducing exposure.
Support : 1485, 1470, 1458, 1445 level.
Resistance : 1500, 1515, 1530, 1540 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed lower with better volume participation doing 11 points discount compare to cash market that closed marginally lower.  Overnight U.S. market continue to closed firmer and Asia markets ended mostly lower while European markets currently trading recording loss.
Regional markets traded mostly in positive territory in the morning session after overnight U.S. market ended higher following some takeover corporate action followed by afternoon Germany and Spain lower that estimates GDP(nearly unchanged) figure announcement triggered regional market to sell down lower.
Daily chart formed a down bar candle positioned in between lower and middle Bollinger band level after market opened higher, tested above resistance level and ease lower followed by after lunch session sell down activities and recovered upward slightly to closed near the low of the day.
Technical reading suggesting market to trade correction range bound downside biased testing support and resistance level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20110816 1723 Regional Markets EOD Daily Chart Study.

DJIA chart reading :
pullback correction downside biased.
Hang Seng chart reading : 
correction range bound downside biased.

KLCI chart reading : 
correction range bound downside biased.

20110816 1533 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Asian shares rise, euro steady ahead of summit
SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Asian stock markets rose after Wall Street shares climbed for a third straight session, while the euro steadied as traders awaited talks between leaders of France and Germany on what further measures they can take to contain Europe's debt crisis.
"Sovereign debt concerns remain a persistent negative for the (euro), as the EU's latest attempt at delivering a comprehensive solution to the region's vulnerabilities has disappointed investors," analysts at Standard Chartered said in a research note.

German Economy Almost Stalled in Q2 (Source: Bloomberg)
The German economy, Europe’s largest, almost stalled in the second quarter as the region’s sovereign-debt crisis weighed on confidence. Gross domestic product, adjusted for seasonal effects, rose 0.1 percent from the first quarter, when it jumped a revised 1.3 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists had forecast growth of 0.5 percent, according to the median of 33 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. From a year earlier, GDP increased 2.8 percent. The worse-than-expected GDP data from Germany, which had been powering euro-area growth, add to signs Europe is flirting with a renewed economic slump as the debt crisis curbs spending across the region. France’s recovery unexpectedly ground to a halt in the second quarter, Italian and Spanish expansion remained sluggish and Greece’s economy contracted.

US wheat down 0.5 pct after 5-day rally; corn, soy ease
SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell 0.5 percent , snapping a five-day rising streak as a firm dollar and weaker crude oil weighed.
"For the time being the crop condition is steady and forecast this morning not overly worrying which is helping to alleviate crop concerns," said Brett Cooper, a senior manager of markets at FCStone Australia.

Vietnam's new coffee crop to arrive in October-farmers
HANOI, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Fresh Vietnamese robusta beans are expected to arrive in October, a month earlier than usual for the new crop, and output should be high thanks to favourable rainy weather, coffee farmers and an analyst said on Tuesday.
"This year the harvest will be early, and the weather has been very good," said a farmer in the key growing province of Daklak. The province produces a third of Vietnam's coffee.

W.Canada farmers start winter wheat, barley harvest
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Western Canadian farmers have harvested about 30 percent of winter wheat and 2 percent of the barley crop, the Canadian Wheat Board said on Monday in its weekly bulletin.
Warm temperatures have accelerated crop development and some harvesting of spring wheat has begun in some areas, the board said.

Philippines to sell 300,000T sugar, to include refined
CEBU, Philippines, Aug 16 (Reuters) - The Philippines wants to sell more than 300,000 tonnes of sugar this year, up from 200,000 tonnes targeted previously, and will for the first time also offer refined sugar, the agriculture minister said on Tuesday.
Proceso Alcala said the country expects to close the 2010/11 season in end-August with 780,000 tonnes of sugar stocks.

Asia's demand offers relief to world sugar surplus
CEBU, Philippines, Aug 15 (Reuters) - The global sugar market will see a sizeable surplus in the next crop year but rising Asian demand, led by China, and lower-than-expected output in top exporter Brazil may offer opportunity for producers to expand sales, industry officials said.
Demand from China and Indonesia, which together account for about 3 percent of world sugar production, could help ease the surplus estimated at around 4 million tonnes in the crop year to September 2012, the International Sugar Organization (ISO) said.

Indonesia sees savings with India sugar imports
JAKARTA, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Increased production and cheaper freight costs will enable India to become a leading sugar exporter to Indonesia from next year, the Indonesian Sugar Association (AGI) said on Monday.
Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest sugar consumer, currently imports 60 percent of its sugar from Thailand, 20 percent from Brazil and 10 percent from Australia, Colo Sewoko, acting secretary for the AGI told Reuters.

Brent drops, below $110 on weak US data, firm dlr
SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Brent crude futures edged down , after rising nearly $2 a day earlier, as soft U.S. economic data renewed fears of weaker oil demand from the world's top oil consumer and a rebound in the dollar spurred selling.
"The manufacturing data took quite a hit, and that could account for the weakness," said Ben Le Brun, CMC Markets analyst in Sydney.

POLL-U.S. crude stockpiles seen down on lower imports
BANGALORE/NEW YORK, Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stockpiles are expected to have fallen for a second straight week due to lower imports, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday ahead of weekly inventory data.
Four of eight analysts polled expected a drop in crude stockpiles for the week to Aug. 12, with the average forecast a drawdown of 300,000 barrels.

LME copper dips on shaky economic outlook
SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - London copper futures slipped 0.3 percent as a tentative outlook for the global economy prompted investors to cash in on early gains, although hopes of Chinese buying kept losses in check.
"Risk appetite has staged a partial recovery. But with the recent volatility we've seen, those who get nervous easily sell on rallies," said Citigroup analyst David Thurtell.

China steel mills raise Sept product prices as demand picks up
SHANGHAI, Aug 16 (Reuters) - More of China's leading steel mills have decided to raise prices of their main products for September bookings, aiming to catch up with rising spot market prices and in anticipation of stronger demand next month.
Two leading mills, Wuhan Iron & Steel Co Ltd  and Beijing Shougang Co Ltd , will raise September prices for their main flat steel products in the wake of a similar move by Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd (Baosteel)  last
Friday to take advantage of growing demand.

Copper use grows more than expected in 2011-Brook Hunt
LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Global copper demand will grow by 5.4 percent this year, exceeding predictions made at the start of the year, despite lower than expected offtake in top consumer China and the impact of the earthquake in Japan, Brook Hunt said on Monday.
World demand for copper -- used in power and construction -- will reach 20.3 million tonnes in 2011, helped by stronger than anticipated growth in Europe and the United States.

US crop ratings seen steady as weather improves
CHICAGO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soybean ratings were expected to hold steady after rainy and cooler weather in the Midwest stabilized the crops, which had been suffering throughout a dry hot summer.
"The cool down, a little more normal rain pattern certainly is benefiting the crops," said Rich Nelson, director of research for Allendale Inc.

Cautious copper product users hold back orders -Luvata
LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Financial turmoil and potentially serious damage to global economic growth have unnerved consumers, many of which are now waiting longer to place orders, international copper product maker Luvata told Reuters on Monday.
Ian Scarlett, Luvata's head of metals, said the backlog on the company's order book had fallen and that buyers of copper products had become a lot more nervous in the last few weeks as  the U.S. and euro zone debt crisis escalated.

Gold holds steady ahead of Franco-German summit
SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Spot gold held onto gains made in the previous session , but hopes that a Franco-German summit will make progress to help quell the region's sovereign debt crisis are expected to keep a lid on prices.
"There seems to be quite a bit of optimism before the meeting which has sent the euro to a three-week high to the dollar," said Ong Yi Ling, an analyst at Phillip Futures.

20110816 1234 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares rise, euro steady ahead of meeting
SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday, following Wall Street shares which climbed for the third straight session on Monday, inspired by takeover news and better-than-expected Japanese data after a torrid July and August.
"Sovereign debt concerns remain a persistent negative for the (euro), as the EU's latest attempt at delivering a comprehensive solution to the region's vulnerabilities has disappointed investors," analysts at Standard Chartered said in a research note.

Oil up almost $2 as euro optimism lifts markets
NEW YORK, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Oil rose almost $2 a barrel on Monday, supported by optimism that European leaders will come up with solutions to the region's debt crisis and by broader gains in global markets.
"It does look as if not only our (U.S.) debt problem but also the European problem and some of the fears that drove (U.S. oil down) to $75 a barrel have receded," said Gene McGillian, analyst for Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

NYMEX-Natural gas ends down as milder forecasts weigh
NEW YORK, Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures fell on Monday for a second day, as a weak economy, record-high gas output and moderating weather forecasts for the eastern United States weighed on prices despite heat in Texas and the West.
"It's still hot in Texas, but the milder weather in the Northeast has made the delivered market to New York awful," a Houston-based trader said, noting cash prices slipped as Northeast and Midwest temperatures turned milder.

COMMODITIES-Gold rebounds, others up with risk recovery
NEW YORK, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Commodities vaulted higher on Monday, extending their rebound from this month's rout as investors cautiously picked up riskier assets.
"It does look as if not only our debt problem but also the European problem and some of the fears that drove (U.S. oil) to $75 a barrel have receded," said Gene McGillian, analyst for Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Euro Coal-DES trades 75c/T higher with oil
LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Prompt physical coal prices rose around 75 cents a tonne on Monday, bolstered by rising oil prices and buying by a utility.
"Prices are up slightly on a bit of buying, and oil is stronger," one trader said.

20110816 1028 Local & Global Economic Related News.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir said foreign  direct investment (FDI) inflows to Malaysia are on track to reach US$10bn this year  (US$9.1bn in 2010) despite a gloomy outlook for the U.S. economy.  

  • "We have now more eggs in the basket, meaning we are not overly dependent on one or  two sources of investment like the U.S. and Europe," he said.   
  • “We have signed FTAs with a number of countries and regions. The FTAs are not limited  just to trade but also for investment,” he noted. (Bernama)    

Crime has come down.  Performance Management and Delivery Unit’s (Pemandu)  strategies are working and the data has been verified in five different ways, according to  director of crime, NKRA, Eugene Teh. The five different ways are classification of crimes,  check and see whether the police officers are actually where they are supposed to be,  external checks by fiver experienced people from overseas, external audit by PwC and  data checks against other third-party data.  

  • “The data may not be 100% correct but the direction the data is showing is not wrong  either. We are trying to put as many checks in place without overburdening the system,”  he said. (Financial Daily)     

Iskandar Malaysia attracted about RM95bn in  committed investments from Jan-Jun  2011, according to Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) CEO Ismail Ibrahim.  This was more than double the cumulative RM47bn target for the fiver years up to 2010.  From 2011 to 2015, Iskandar Malaysia is targeted to achieve RM73bn in investments.  

  • “More good news on investments are coming to Iskandar but let PM Datuk Seri Najib  Tun Razak or Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman  do the appropriate  announcements,” Ismail added.   
  • Irda has spent about RM339m in 1H11 from RM945m in 2011 on infrastructure projects  and related activities.   
  • Ismail said RM214m would be disbursed in 2H11, bringing total spending to RM553m.  (Starbiz)    

The  manufacturing sector will spearhead Sarawak's transformation into a knowledgebased economy, characterised by more value-added activities in line with objectives of the  Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), said Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul  Taib Mahmud. He said that the first phase of SCORE had surpassed expectations, having  successfully put in place the foundations to attract investors for a list of earmarked priority  industries and projects. (Bernama)  

The MY Rapid Transit (MRT) project and other Entry Point Projects (EPPs) will be able  to boost domestic demand and provide the buffer for Malaysia’s continued growth amid  the increasingly uncertain global economy, said  PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. On  whether the government would be able to stick to the budget this year, he said: “We can  defend our budget but out economic growth will be subjected to external demand as well. If  the external economy falls by 1%, the country’s GDP will contract by 0.4%.” (NST)

Foreign investors bought a net US$3.7bn of long-term U.S. assets in Jun, down sharply  from US$24.2bn in May. (WSJ)    U.S. net foreign capital outflows measured US$29.5bn in Jun, compared with outflows of  US$48.8bn in May. (WSJ)    

U.S. homebuilder confidence remained weak in Aug, as the National Association  of  Home Builders' housing index held steady at 15. The reading matched economists’  expectations. (WSJ, Bloomberg)      

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will expand public housing and medical  benefits and tighten curbs on foreign workers, after a backlash over the cost of living led to  record opposition gains in the May elections. The government will raise salary thresholds  and require better educational qualifications for some foreign workers, Lee said, stressing  the nation needs to ensure  policy adjustments don’t hurt Singapore’s attractiveness to  investors. (Bloomberg)  

China’s  finance ministry said  local governments’ debts are controllable, seeking to  damp concern that the nation’s record lending boom  will lead to a jump in  bad loans.  China will speed up studying a mechanism for local  governments to sell bonds, an  unidentified official from the Ministry of Finance  said. They should no longer set up  companies to fund public projects off their balance sheet or guarantee their debt, the  official said. (Bloomberg)  

World sugar prices may range between 23-28cents a pound as China, the secondbiggest user, and Indonesia increase imports, draining a global surplus of 4m metric tons,  the International Sugar Organization said. (Bloomberg)  

Remittances sent home by  Philippine citizens overseas rose at a faster pace in Jun,  helping sustain consumer spending and economic growth. Money sent from abroad  increased 7% yoy to US$1.737bn in Jun (+6.9% in May), the central bank said.  (Bloomberg)  

Thai Finance Minister Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala announced five  policy priorities.  He said he would give financial aid to flood victims, continue tight fiscal policy and tight  monetary policy, ensure manufacturers were not hurt by the government’s plan to raise the  minimum wage to THB300/day, and improve private and  public sector cooperation.  (Bangkok Post)  

The  Thai government will implement its promised policy to reduce  fuel prices over the  short term to lower the cost of living, Energy Minister Pichai Naripthaphan said. Mr Pichai  said his ministry planned to terminate  levy collections on premium petrol (95), regular  petrol (91) and diesel.  

  • The fuel levy exemption would last for six months to a year, when  people would have  higher incomes because of the government's plans to give credit cards to farmers and  raise the daily minimum wage to THB300 and the starting salary for new graduates to  THB15,000 a month, he said.   
  • "Once people have higher incomes, fuel prices will be raised gradually to reflect the real  cost in the long run. (Bangkok Post)  

Singapore: Retail sales rise at faster pace as jobs spur spending
Singapore‟s retail sales growth accelerated in June as an expanding job market encouraged purchases of luxury goods, telephones and computers. The retail sales index rose 10.9% from a year earlier after climbing a revised 9.6% in May, the Statistics Department said. Tourists are visiting the city in record numbers, drawn by Genting Singapore and Las Vegas Sands Corp.‟s casino complexes on the island, which include shopping malls, hotels and restaurants. Employers have expanded payrolls to meet demand for goods and services after a record pace of economic growth in 2010, boosting wages and increasing consumer spending. (Bloomberg)

Japan: Economy shrinks less than expected on quake rebuilding
Japan‟s economy contracted less than economists estimated in the second quarter as reconstruction work counters the effects of the record 11 Mar earthquake and a strengthening yen. GDP shrank at an annualized 1.3% rate in the three months ended 30 June, marking three consecutive quarters of declines, the Cabinet office said. Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said that the world‟s third-biggest economy will probably resume its expansion this quarter after pledging yesterday to take “bold action” to curb yen gains if necessary. The nation‟s former top currency official Eisuke Sakakibara said Japan‟s currency may rise to a postwar record, threatening the profits of exporters from Toyota Motor Corp to Sony Corp just as global growth slows. (Bloomberg)

China: July gas demand rises 25%; fuel consumption gains 5%
China‟s natural gas consumption rose to the highest in five months as the world‟s biggest energy user doubled imports to meet demand for the less-polluting fuel. Apparent demand, or domestic production plus net imports and minus inventory changes, climbed 25% in July from a year earlier to 10.3 billion cubic meters, the highest since February, the National Development and Reform Commission said. Consumption in the first seven months gained 22% to 73.4bn cubic meters. China is seeking to boost the use of gas to cut carbon emissions and rely less on coal. Gas imports doubled last month from a year earlier to 2.7bn cubic meters. (Bloomberg)

China: Raised holdings of US treasuries as global demand wanes
China boosted its holdings of US government debt by 0.5% to USD1.17 trn in June, the third straight monthly increase, while other foreign investors were sellers of Treasuries for the first time since 2009. Chinese raised its note and bond holdings by USD1.655bn to a record USD1.16trn and ownership of bills by USD1.57bn to USD4.55bn. The bill purchases were the first since January by the largest foreign lender to the US as the Federal Reserve completed its USD600bn in purchases in June. (Bloomberg)

US: Manufacturing in New York Fed regions shrinks for third month
Manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly contracted in August for a third straight month as orders dropped and managers became less optimistic about the future, signaling the industry that has led the economic recovery is at risk of stumbling. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York‟s so-called Empire State Index fell to minus 7.7 from minus 3.8 in July. The bank‟s six-month outlook gauge dropped to the third-weakest level on record. Weaker demand from consumers and businesses, coupled with slowing growth in emerging economies and Europe, means factories are ratcheting down production.. (Bloomberg)

US stocks rise as S&P500 erases last week’s losses
US and European stocks rose, erasing all of last week‟s losses for the S&P 500 Index, as companies announced USD27bn in global deals after equities traded near their cheapest relative to earnings since 2009. The S&P 500 advanced 2.2% to 1,204.49 after losing 1.7% last week. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.9% to 11,482.90. Google agreed to buy Motorola Inc.‟s Motorola Mobility for USD12.5bn while Time Warner Cable Inc. agreed to buy Carlyle Group‟s Insight Communications Co. for USD3bn in cash. Provimi SA said Cargill Inc. offered to buy the company for an enterprise value of EUR1.5bn. (Bloomberg)

20110816 1025 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Green Packet hopes to conclude talks with Telekom Malaysia by end of this year, on the  possibility of offering high-speed broadband services to its customers. "So far,  we have  entered into a memorandum of understanding. Talks are still in early stages, these things  take a while. Hopefully, everything can be firmed up by end of this year," said group  managing director Puan Chan Cheong.

  • "There will be an aggressive customer acquisition campaign this year. We will be mainly  focusing on nomadic users, who are also mainly USB dongle users. We hope to  increase our USB dongle user base from 9% of total wireless broadband subscriber  base in 2009, 12% in 2010, about 30% currently, to  40% by end of this year," added  Puan. (BT)   

Malaysia Airports (MAHB) has clarified that the established level of  passenger service  charge (PSC) or airport tax is not linked to the construction cost of the new permanent lowcost carrier terminal (KLIA2) in Sepang.

  • The PSC and other aeronautical charges are determined solely by the government,  therefore it is the sole prerogative of the government to reduce, maintain or increase  aeronautical charges which MAHB abides by.  MAHB is not a liberty to revise charges  without the government’s approval. 
  • MAHB added that this message was conveyed at a meeting attended by MAHB  managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, AirAsia X CEO  Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia  CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and deputy CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranun more than a  year ago. (Sun Daily)      
Malaysia Airports  (MAHB) is still in talks with  British Airways and  Qantas on the  possibility of both airlines mounting flights to KLIA, a decade after these airlines suspended  flights owing to a lack of network connectivity here.

  • Both British Airways and Qantas ceased flights in 2001 and 2000 respectively as it made  more commercial sense to redeploy capacity to Singapore’s Changi Airport where  demand was much better served (Star Biz) 

The  manufacturing sector will spearhead Sarawak's transformation into a knowledgebased economy, characterised by more value-added activities in line with objectives of the  Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), says Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul  Taib Mahmud. (Malaysian Reserve)  

Genting  spent RM108.4m buying back its own shares. Genting bought 10.5m of its own  shares from Aug 5 to Aug 10 at prices between RM9.77 and RM10.60, it said. (Bloomberg)  

Petronas has offered a credit facility to supply oil products to Bangladesh for six months,  the second such facility for the nation after a similar offer from the Philippines, chairman of  the Bangladesh Petroleum Corp (BPC) said. The first month will be interest-free while the  rest of the months will be at a 5.05% rate, the same as was offered by the Philippines  National Oil Company. The government heavily subsidises the BPC, the country's sole oil  importer and distributor, which sells fuel oils to  local market at much lower rates than  import prices. (Reuters)

The listing of Sunway Bhd, the merged entity of Sunway Holdings Bhd and Sunway City  Bhd, will proceed as planned despite recent turbulence in the stock market. The shares of  Sunway Bhd are scheduled to be floated on Bursa Malaysia on August 23 and expected to  have a market capitalisation of over RM3.5bn.

  • "We have no intentions to defer the listing," Sunway Bhd's executive director, group  strategy and corporate development Sarena Cheah said.She was responding to a BT question on whether there was a likelihood of a possible postponement of the listing  given the current volatile market conditions. (BT)    

AirAsia Philippines’ first A320 aircraft arrived at the Diosdado Macapagal International  Airport in Clark yesterday. The aircraft is the first among four aircrafts, the second one  slated to arrive later this year and another two will be delivered in 2012.

  • Currently, AirAsia Philippines is awaiting official  approval to start flying commercially.  The airline plans to use the first aircraft to fly to Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong, and  the second one to ply routes to Bangkok, Incheon, Kalibo (near Boracay, Philippines)  and Puerto Princesa (Palawan, Philippines).  
  • AirAsia Philippines is 60% owned in equal partnership by Filipino entrepreneurs  Marianne Hontiveros, Antonio Cojuangco Jr. and Michael Romero, and 40% owned by  AirAsia Berhad. The airline is headed by its CEO, Marianne Hontiveros. (AirAsia press  release)    

United Plantations (UP) does not believe lower crude palm oil (CPO) prices will increase  demand from main markets like China and India. The planter expects the CPO price to  range from RM2,600-RM3,100 a tonne as demand for vegetable oils at present is still  above domestic production in China and India.

  • UP's price outlook is in line with the downtrend in the CPO price since mid-Feb's  RM3,900 a tonne level on expectation of higher domestic production due to ample rain  over the pas few months. (Malaysian Reserve)      

YTL Corp has released the value of a plot of its land in Jalan Bukit Bintang, earmarked for  acquisition for the construction of the Klang Valley MRT project. Independent valuer Raine  & Horne International, Zaki and Partners said the resultant decrease in the estimated  market value for the plot of land measuring 820.5 sft is RM2.05m or RM2,500 psf.

  • "This is expected to be compensated by the authorities as determining the compensation  to be awarded, the authorities are bound to take into consideration, inter alia, the market  value based on the principles set out in the Land Acquisition Act 1960," said the valuer.  (Financial Daily)   

Hovid Bhd is proposing to distribute a portion of its shareholding interest in Carotech Bhd  by way of dividend-in-specie to the shareholders of Hovid, on the basis of 25 ordinary  shares each in Carotech for every 100 ordinary shares each held in Hovid. (BT)  

Konsortium Logistics is to  dispose of a 11.76ha piece of land for RM19.8m. The proceeds will be used as working capital as part of its plan to drive growth. The parcel  located off the North-South Highway and near Prai Industrial Estate/Taman Nagasari Prai  was acquired in 1995 for RM17m. The land, which is bring sold to Setia Jutaria, will bring  an estimated gain of RM4.3m.(Financial Daily)  

The  Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and  Media Prima  have inked a  memorandum of understanding to promote creative industry-related initiatives and lending  aspiring entrepreneurs a spring-boarding platform from which to launch and showcase their  products. (Financial Daily)  

DeGem, a company engaged in the manufacturing and trading of gold, jewellery and  diamonds hopes to expand its operations to Saudia Arabia and Thailand, as soon as it  finds a suitable partner. (Financial Daily)    Ranhill has terminated its US$1.2bn (RM3.6bn) housing project in Tajura, Libya as a result  of the force majeure of events in that country. (Financial Daily)

Kulim privatizing Sindora
Sindora and Kulim‟s shares were suspended in the afternoon yesterday pending an announcement, which will see Kulim privatizing Sindora. Kulim currently has a 77.5% stake in Sindora, held via two companies. Pricing details were unavailable, but at Sindora‟s last traded price, the company had a market capitalization of RM254.4m. This means that Kulim will have to fork out RM57.2m for the remaining 22.5% stake. This privatization could mark the start of a new corporate strategy for Kulim and its parent Johor Corp which, in the past, was seen as pushing for an asset divestment strategy (Financial Daily)

Iskandar gets RM95bn pledges
Iskandar Malaysia attracted about RM95bn in committed investments from January to June 2011, according to Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) CEO Ismail Ibrahim. This was more than double the cumulative RM47bn target for the five years up to 2010. From 2011 to 2015, Iskandar Malaysia is targeted to achieve RM73bn in investments. Ismail added that more investments are coming to Iskandar. Irda spent about RM339m in the first half of the year and RM214m would be disbursed in the second half, bringing total spending to RM553m. (StarBiz)

Ranhill ends RM3.6bn Libyan housing project
Ranhill will terminate a USD1.2bn (RM3.6bn) housing project in Libya as a result of the civil war in the country. The company has served a notice of termination to the Housing Infrastructure Board of Libya to terminate the general works contract for the design, build and handover of 10,680 housing units in Tajura as a result of the force majeure events currently being faced in the country. Ranhill has evacuated its workforce out of Libya and suspended work on the project in February 2011. It has not been able to access the site and resume work for almost six months. Ranhill was unable to determine the financial impact of the termination with certainty. (Malaysian Reserve)

Dijaya buys 92 ha in Johor for mixed development
Dijaya bought 92ha of land in Plentong, Johor Baru, for RM220m, which it intends to use for a mixed development township with an estimated GDV of RM2.8bn. The 92ha freehold land was acquired by Magical Heights SB, a joint venture between Dijaya's subsidiary Accroway SB and Iskandar Waterfront SB (IWSB). The Johor state government thus has an interest in the transaction as Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor owns a substantial stake in IWSB. (BT)

Parkson: Hires HSBC for Singapore listing. Parkson Holdings is spinning its retail operations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia in a separate listing in Singapore soon. HSBC has been hired to apply for the corporate exercise and the Singapore's listing. (Source: The Sun)

20110816 0946 Global Market Related News.

Asia Stocks Climb Amid Mergers, Commodity Prices (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian stocks advanced for a second day amid increasing takeovers and rising commodity prices. Korean shares increased after resuming trade from a holiday yesterday, when the rest of the region recorded its biggest one- day gain since March. Sony Corp. (6758), a Japanese maker of smartphones, climbed 1.5 percent after Google Inc., the biggest maker of smartphone software, agreed to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. in its largest acquisition. Mitsubishi Corp., Japan’s largest commodities trader, increased 1.7 percent in Tokyo after crude oil and copper prices advanced yesterday in New York. Samsung Electronics Co. surged 3 percent in Seoul. Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) shares slumped 3.7 percent in Sydney after reporting third- quarter earnings fell.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7 percent to 125.25 as of 9:41 a.m. in Tokyo. About seven stocks advanced for each that declined, and all 10 industry groups tracked by the index climbed. The gauge completed its third straight weekly loss last week after Standard & Poor’s cut its rating on U.S. credit and concern grew that Europe’s debt crisis may spread. Ten-day historical volatility on the MSCI index climbed last week to the highest level since March.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Cheaper prices, Japan recovery lift world stocks
LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - World stocks climbed further out of their August hole on Monday, lifted by signs of earlier-than-expected recovery in Japan and a growing belief that shares may now be cheap.
"The markets have been technically very oversold and on that basis alone, they are due for a period of remission from the selling," said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at wealth manager Brewin Dolphin.

Cheap prices, Japan recovery lift world stocks    
LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - World stocks climbed further out of their August hole, lifted by signs of earlier-than-expected recovery in Japan and a growing belief that shares may now be cheap.
"The markets have been technically very oversold and on that basis alone, they are due for a period of remission from the selling," said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at wealth manager Brewin Dolphin.

Fed Says Banks Eased Lending Standards in Second Quarter Amid Competition (Source: Bloomberg)
Banks loosened credit standards on most types of loans in the second quarter, with commercial and industrial lenders citing “aggressive competition” as a reason for the easier terms, according to a Federal Reserve survey. “Banks continued to ease lending standards and most terms on all major types of loans other than loans secured by real estate over the past three months,” the central bank said today in its quarterly survey of senior loan officers. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his policy-making colleagues pledged on Aug. 9 to hold the main interest rate at a record low near zero at least until mid-2013, saying economic growth is “considerably slower” than anticipated.

Global Investor Demand for U.S. Securities Weakened in June, Treasury Says (Source: Bloomberg)
Global demand for U.S. stocks, bonds and other financial assets weakened in June from a month earlier as the White House and Congress wrangled over raising the debt limit, government figures show. Net buying of long-term equities, notes and bonds totaled $3.7 billion during the month compared with net buying of $24.2 billion in May, according to statistics issued by the U.S. Treasury Department today in Washington. Including short-term securities such as stock swaps, foreigners sold a net $29.5 billion compared with net selling of $48.8 billion the previous month. The Treasury’s reporting on long-term securities is a gauge of confidence in U.S. economic policy, and today’s report may reflect concern about the government’s ballooning debt. Earlier this month, the Standard & Poor’s rating company downgraded the Treasury’s debt rating after the budget stalemate between Congress and the White House.

New York Area Manufacturing Shrinks for Third Month as Inventories Decline (Source: Bloomberg)
Manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly contracted in August for a third straight month as orders dropped and managers became less optimistic about the future, signaling the industry that has led the economic recovery is at risk of stumbling. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s so-called Empire State Index fell to minus 7.7 from minus 3.8 in July, a report showed today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for an index of zero, the dividing line between expansion and contraction. The bank’s six-month outlook gauge dropped to the third-weakest level on record. Weaker demand from consumers and businesses, coupled with slowing growth in emerging economies and Europe, means factories are ratcheting down production. The Fed, in its policy meeting last week, said growth this year had been “considerably slower” than forecast and announced it would keep its benchmark lending rate near zero at least though mid-2013 to spur growth.

Google Threatens Samsung-Led Handset Makers (Source: Bloomberg)
HTC Corp. (2498), Samsung Electronics Co. and a host of smaller handset makers are at risk of losing their cachet after Google Inc. (GOOG) buys Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. Google said yesterday it will pay $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility, purchasing more than 17,000 patents it can use to defend against allegations of infringement as competition accelerates in the $206.6 billion mobile-phone market. The rival handset manufacturers, which have been building devices with Google’s Android software since 2008, may have a harder time cranking out bestselling devices because Motorola Mobility may get earlier access to the newest Android technology, said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at research firm Gartner Inc. The acquisition gives Google an incentive to favor Motorola Mobility, and association with the Internet company will give Motorola handsets a leg up in competing for consumers.

U.S. Stocks Advance Amid Low Valuation Levels, Flurry of Corporate Deals (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rose, erasing last week’s drop, as $21.5 billion in takeovers and valuations near the cheapest level in two years helped the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index extend its best three-day rally since 2009. Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. soared 56 percent as Google Inc. (GOOG) agreed to buy the company for about $12.5 billion in cash. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) rallied 7.9 percent on plans to exit the international credit-card business by selling its $8.6 billion card business in Canada to TD Bank Group and leaving the U.K. and Irish markets. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) advanced 3.2 percent, pacing gains in energy companies, as oil climbed. The S&P 500 added 2.2 percent to 1,204.49 at 4 p.m. in New York and was up 7.5 percent in three days. The gauge traded at 12.9 times reported earnings on Aug. 12, near the lowest valuation level since 2009. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 213.88 points, or 1.9 percent, to 11,482.90.

China Raised Treasuries Holdings for Third Month (Source: Bloomberg)
China boosted its holdings of U.S. government debt by 0.5 percent to $1.17 trillion in June, the third straight monthly increase, while other foreign investors were sellers of Treasuries for the first time since 2009. The nation raised its note and bond holdings by $1.655 billion to a record $1.16 trillion and added $1.57 billion of bills to $4.55 billion, according to the Treasury Department data released yesterday. The bill purchases were the first since January by the largest foreign lender to the U.S. as the Federal Reserve completed its $600 billion in purchases in June. China’s trade surplus surged to $31.5 billion, the highest level in more than two years, as exports rose to a record, the customs bureau reported on Aug. 10. Outbound shipments climbed 20.4 percent from a year earlier in July, compared with the 17 percent median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 25 economists. Imports jumped 22.9 percent. The surplus exceeded a median forecast of $27.4 billion.

China Growth Slowing ‘Significantly’: Conference Board (Source: Bloomberg)
Growth in China, the world’s second- biggest economy, is slowing “significantly,” according to The Conference Board, a New York-based research organization. “The economy is significantly moderating right now and also over the next couple of months,” Bart van Ark, the organization’s chief economist, told Bloomberg Television from New York ahead of the release of the organization’s leading indicator for China. “We still expect it to be pretty much a soft landing.” The data is due at 10 a.m. Beijing time today. China’s economy is cooling after the government raised interest rates and banks’ reserve requirements and extended curbs on the real- estate market, adding to concerns about the outlook for the global economy. Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, today urged developed countries to support economic growth even as they make fiscal cuts.

China Home Sales Skirt Policies With Fake Divorces (Source: Bloomberg)
Frank He said he faked a divorce from his wife of 10 years to skirt China’s ban on third mortgages and obtain a bank loan for a third property, a 12 million yuan ($1.9 million) suburban villa. “My wife and I love each other, but as long as we can get the mortgage from the bank for the deal, we’ll take it,” said He, a 40-year-old manager at a chemical company. The forged document, which cost the Shanghai couple 20,000 yuan, helped them get a loan amounting to 60 percent of the purchase price, he said. Chinese homebuyers and developers are finding loopholes as they come under pressure from government policies to curb gains in residential prices, such as limits on the number of properties owned. Builders are refraining from cutting prices, offering free parking lots and attics instead, as they face higher borrowing costs after Standard & Poor’s downgraded their outlook in June.

Smallest Yield Gap in 19 Years Adds to Yen Struggle for BOJ: Japan Credit (Source: Bloomberg)
The Bank of Japan, struggling to keep the strengthening yen from derailing efforts to repair the world’s third-largest economy, is facing a new challenge -- the shrinking yield gap between two-year sovereigns and Treasuries. The extra yield two-year Treasuries offer over similar- maturity Japanese notes fell to the least since 1992. BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said on Aug. 4 there’s a “relatively high” correlation between that rate gap and the dollar-yen rate, as falling yield premiums in the U.S. damp dollar-buying demand from Japanese investors. The central bank may need to lengthen the maturity of bonds in its asset purchase program to stop the yen’s appreciation, according to Mizuho Securities Co. The BOJ, whose policy rate is already near zero, bolstered stimulus by 10 trillion yen ($130 billion) on Aug. 4, the same day Japan intervened in the currency market for the first time since March.

Japan’s Stocks Rise for Second Day as S&P Rally Boosts Investor Confidence (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks rose for a second day after the biggest three-day rally on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since 2009 boosted investor confidence. Sony Corp., an exporter of consumer electronics that earns half of its revenue in the U.S. and Europe, climbed 1.5 percent. Mitsubishi Corp. (8058), Japan’s largest commodities trader, gained 1.8 percent, after crude prices jumped. Nippon Yusen K.K., the country’s biggest shipping line by sales, advanced 1.7 percent after cargo rates increased. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.6 percent to 9,137.43 as of 9:39 a.m. in Tokyo. The broader Topix index gained 0.7 percent to 782.86. The gauge has lost about 7 percent this month amid concern Europe’s debt crisis will spill into the banking system and damp demand in one of Japan’s biggest export markets.

Hong Kong Recession Risk Is Global Warning, Most Accurate Forecaster Says (Source: Bloomberg)
Hong Kong’s export-led economy, a barometer of global growth, is sinking into a recession that is likely to last for at least a year, said Daiwa Capital Markets economist Kevin Lai. Of nine economists in a Bloomberg News survey, Lai came closest to predicting a 0.5 percent contraction in the city’s economy in the second quarter. Only two of the analysts expected gross domestic product to decline from the previous three months. The government released the data Aug. 12. “Global demand is really weak and we expect the U.S. and Europe will see a sharp slowdown, or near-zero growth, next year,” Lai said in a phone interview in the city today. “A recession is a reality for Hong Kong.”

IMF’s Lagarde Urges ‘Short-Term’ Support for Growth Even Amid Fiscal Cuts (Source: Bloomberg)
Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund’s new managing director, urged policy makers to include measures to support economic growth in the short term as they implement fiscal tightening plans under market pressure. “For the advanced economies, there is an unmistakable need to restore fiscal sustainability through credible consolidation plans,” Lagarde wrote in the Financial Times. “At the same time we know that slamming on the brakes too quickly will hurt the recovery and worsen job prospects.” Central bankers are racing to shield their economies from fiscal tightening and lopsided currency swings that threaten a new global recession. The European debt crisis has shown no sign of abating with investors’ concerns rattling France last week and the European Central Bank starting to buy Spanish and Italian debt.

European Stocks Advance for Third Day; Insurers, Energy Companies Increase (Source: Bloomberg)
European stocks rose, extending the biggest three-day rally for the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index in 15 months, after last week sliding to the cheapest valuation in more than two years. Nokia Oyj jumped 9.1 percent after Google Inc. agreed to buy U.S. rival Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for about $12.5 billion. Swatch Group AG (UHR) paced gains among Swiss exporters as the franc headed for its largest three-day decline on record against the euro. Michael Page International Plc (MPI) tumbled 8.1 percent after the recruiter’s earnings missed analyst estimates. The Stoxx 600 advanced 0.2 percent to 237.85 at the 4:30 p.m. close in London after swinging between gains and losses at least 20 times today. The gauge has rallied 6.4 percent over the past three days after a global equity rout left stocks trading at the cheapest since March 2009 amid concern the economic recovery is stalling.

Euro Is Near Three-Week High Before Sarkozy, Merkel Meet About Debt Crisis (Source: Bloomberg)
The euro traded 0.3 percent from a three-week high on prospects a meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will result in action to contain the region’s debt crisis. The dollar was 0.7 percent from its lowest in two weeks against the yen ahead of a report that economists said will show U.S. housing starts dropped last month. The Australian dollar fell versus New Zealand’s before the larger nation’s central bank releases minutes from an Aug. 2 meeting when policy makers left interest rates unchanged. “The euro is supported by the expectation that something will be decided at tonight’s meeting between France and Germany’s leaders on the pan-European bond issue,” said Imre Speizer, an Auckland-based strategist at Westpac Banking Corp., Australia’s second-largest lender. “The euro is trading higher mainly because of better risk sentiment.”

FOREX-Swiss franc hit by talk of SNB target level
LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - The Swiss franc slumped to two-week lows against the euro and the dollar on Monday on speculation the Swiss National Bank would act further to counter strength in the currency by setting an exchange rate target.
Speculation of a target level against the euro gained ground after Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday a lower limit for the euro/Swiss pair was poised to be set.

20110816 0945 Global Commodities Related News.

US corn futures end higher, with December settling at a new high, as the market continues to factor in potential crop losses while attempting to find price levels that will cool demand for new-crop inventories projected to dwindle down to precariously low levels. But John Kleist at ebottrading.com notes the market was unable to expand on early highs as traders await government crop ratings for signals on production potential while traders are cautious about pushing prices amid an uncertain global economy. CBOT December corn ends up 5 1/2c at $7.20/bushel.

US wheat futures rose, climbing on fresh export demand and spillover support from neighboring corn futures. The announcement of a weekend sale of U.S. wheat to Saudi Arabia and news of Algeria buying wheat in world markets was a supportive feature, analysts say. The demand shows prices had reached levels that were spurring fresh buying. However, advances were limited by concerns the market could not sustain demand with prices extending higher, analyst add. CBOT Sept wheat was up 10c at $7.12 1/2/bushel, KCBT Sept wheat end up 15c at $8.11, and MGEX Sept wheat end up 11 1/2c at $8.72 3/4.

US rice futures finish higher, retracing losses sustained following last week's surprising increase in inventories forecast by USDA. The dominant factor in the market is weather and its impact on crops. Lingering uncertainties about how much August heat will hurt crops in the southern US was enough to rekindle buying, as traders add risk premium to prices, analysts say. CBOT Nov rice end up 23 1/2c or 1.4% at $17.36 1/2/hundredweight.

Funds Slash Commodity Bets by Most in 18 Months on Economic-Growth Concern (Source: Bloomberg)
Funds reduced bets on rising commodity prices by the most in any week since February 2010 on mounting concern that a weakening global economy will slow demand for raw materials. In the week ended Aug. 9, speculators cut their net-long positions in 18 commodities by 19 percent to 989,110 futures and options contracts, government data compiled by Bloomberg show. Copper holdings plunged 61 percent, the most since June 2010, and bullish gold bets fell to a five-week low. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slumped 13 percent in the three weeks ended Aug. 11. About $2.3 trillion was erased from U.S. equity values over the period amid Europe’s debt crisis, speculation that the economy is slowing and S&P’s downgrade of the government’s AAA credit rating. The benchmark gauge for U.S. shares dropped to within 11 points of a bear market.

US Farm Income, Spending Under Pressure
Extreme weather and rising feed and fuel costs across the U.S. Midwest crimped spending on farm equipment during the second quarter, according to a Federal Reserve survey published. Bankers canvassed by the Kansas City Federal Bank also predicted a slowdown in purchases of tractors and other equipment after farmers upgraded their machinery at the end of last year, though the land values that have underpinned investment continue to rise. The quarterly survey suggests expectations that U.S. farm receipts could hit a record this year may be revised downward after farm income and capital spending fell for the first time in three quarters. Though crop prices remain at elevated historical levels, last week's commodity sell-off was the sharpest in a year and the impact on suppliers will be closely scrutinized Wednesday when Deere & Co. (DE), the world's largest farm equipment maker by revenue, reports fiscal third-quarter earnings.
Soaring crop and livestock prices have helped U.S. farmers repair balance sheets and spurred record sales of tractors, tillers and other equipment, particularly the powerful machines in which Deere specializes. The company forecast in May that total cash receipts for the 2010-11 U.S. harvest could hit a record $371.4 billion, but many analysts have since cut their own outlooks. The U.S. Agriculture Department will update its own outlook at the end of the month. The combination of drought and floods has made some farmers more reliant on crop insurance and government payments to supplement income, while the Kansas City Fed noted an uptick in loan demand, with banks offering easier terms to win business after a weak period of lending demand. Cropland values in the heart of the Great Plains still climbed 20% in the second quarter versus a year earlier, despite the weather impact.
Values of both cropland and ranchland edged up modestly from the prior quarter, the bank said in its quarterly survey of agricultural credit conditions. Ranchland in the bank's district, which includes Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming and parts of New Mexico and Missouri, was up 11% from a year earlier. Gains were greatest in Nebraska, which saw non-irrigated farmland values jump 30% from a year earlier, while Kansas posted a 21% jump. Meanwhile Oklahoma, which has been hit harder by this year's drought, saw cropland climb 10.5% from a year earlier and ranchland climb 6.4%. Drought strengthened its grip on the district during the quarter, particularly in southern areas, where it hurt the wheat crop and prompted ranchers to liquidate cattle herds as suitable grazing land withered away. One silver lining for landowners in drought-stricken areas: land lease revenues from energy exploration will support farmland values, "particularly in Oklahoma and the mountain states," the K.C. Fed said.
Farmland values across the nation's mid-section, from the Dakotas to Indiana, have soared during the past year along with crop prices, which have rallied thanks to disappointing crops and relentless global demand. The K.C. Fed said three-quarters of respondents expected farmland values to level off in the coming months, but that most "expected that strong demand for farmland and tight supplies would keep prices elevated near current levels." The jump in land values across the Midwest has prompted some concern about a potential bubble, particularly within the K.C. Fed, which has said prices could drop substantially once the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. That particular concern has been pushed back after the Fed said last week it was unlikely to raise its core interest rate until mid-2013.

German 2011 Grain Harvest Seen Down 8.3% On Year - DRV
Germany's grain harvest for 2011 is expected to fall 8.3% on the year, compared with the previous forecast of a 6% drop, agricultural association Deutsche Raiffeisenverband said, as dry weather during the early summer hit cereal and rapeseed harvest. DRV expects the 2011 grain harvest to be 40.3 million metric tons, down from the previous forecast of 41.2 million tons, and 44.0 million tons last year. Together with dryness, torrential rains disrupted harvesting time and endangered the quality of the harvest constantly, the association said. It is particularly concerned with the situation in the Northern and north-eastern region of Germany, where rain has brought harvesting to a standstill, adding to a significant loss to quality with an increase in the proportion of wheat feed in the fields, the association said.
The rapeseed harvest is expected to be around four million tons, compared with a previous expectations of 4.3 million tons. Last year rapeseed harvest amounted to 5.7 million tons. Germany's DRV is an umbrella organization including all of Germany's agricultural and food management cooperatives, to which nearly all farmers, horticultural businesses and wine growers belong.

Rice Poised to Rise With Thailand Imposing Curbs as U.S. Crop Shrinks 20% (Source: Bloomberg)
The smallest increase in rice stockpiles in five years means global grain inventories will extend a decline that already drove food costs to a record. Combined global stores of wheat, corn and rice will drop 2.5 percent to a four-year low as farmers fail to keep pace with demand, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Rice prices will rise more than 20 percent by December as inventories expand 1.1 percent, compared with a 29 percent gain in the past four years, a Bloomberg survey of 13 millers and traders showed. While wheat and corn prices as much as doubled last year, rice retreated as the United Nations’ global food-inflation index jumped 25 percent. Rice advanced 15 percent since May, potentially worsening the lives of the 1.1 billion the World Bank says live on less than $1 a day. Wheat fell 20 percent since the middle of February on prospects for a bigger crop.

Wheat extends rally on strong demand, corn at 2-week top
SINGAPORE, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat jumped more than 1 percent, building on last week's rally as strong demand led by Saudi Arabia and concerns over the U.S. spring wheat crop propelled the market.
"Fundamentally, the wheat market is supported by Saudi Arabia taking a large chunk of U.S. wheat over the weekend, which is in addition to big purchases Algeria announced earlier," said Luke Mathews, commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Philippines sees H2 rice output up 6.2 pct yr/yr
MANILA, Aug 15 (Reuters) - The Philippines' unmilled rice output in the second half is forecast to rise 6.2 percent from a year earlier to 9.72 million tonnes, with the full-year production seen at 17.29 million tonnes, slightly lower than earlier forecasts, the government said on Monday.  
Rice production in July to September alone was expected to reach 3.21 million tonnes, up 21.3 percent from a year earlier, the agricultural statistics office said in a report on its website.

Philippine H1 farm output up 5.48 pct, reverses yr-ago fall
MANILA, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Philippine farm output grew 5.48 percent in the first half of 2011 from a year earlier, higher than government forecasts, led by a 14.5 percent increase in rice production, data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics showed on Monday.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said last week annual farm output in January to June was likely to be more than 4 percent, thanks to good weather.

N.Korea imports more volume of cheaper grains-S.Korean report
SEOUL, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Destitute North Korea imported more stocks of relatively cheaper food grains from China during the first half of this year than in the same time of 2010, apparently due to a lack of foreign reserves, a South Korean analysis report said on Sunday.
North Korea's imports of corn and flour from China in the six-month period accounted for 38.2 percent and 37.5 percent, respectively, of the overall grain purchase from the neighbouring country, compared with 16.9 percent for rice and 7.2 percent for beans, the South's Yonhap news agency quoted the report from the state-funded Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI) as saying.

Vietnam's Mekong Delta expects high floods in 2011, boost for rice
HANOI, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Seasonal floods this year in Vietnam's Mekong Delta are expected to rise to the highest level in nine years, a state-run newspaper said on Saturday, which could help boost rice output in the world's second-largest exporter of the grain.
High floods on the Mekong river that runs from the Tibetan plateau through China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam would bring fertile soil much needed for rice plants in the Mekong Delta.

Argentine wheat thriving on moist soils- gov't
BUENOS AIRES, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Argentine 2011/12 wheat is flourishing thanks to good soil moisture and favorable weather in many growing regions, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday in its weekly report.
Argentina is a top global wheat exporter and Brazil is its biggest market.

Tight corn supplies provide opportunity for Brazil
GOIANIA, Brazil, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Brazil has a golden opportunity to expand corn production as world supplies grow tighter and as improved technology boosts yields of the cereal, specialists at an agribusiness fair said on Friday.
Export opportunities are opening up with a smaller-than-expected harvest in the world top grower, the United States, since few other major producers can respond to strong demand driven by growing meat consumption.

Italy 5-month wheat imports down, maize up -Anacer
MILAN, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Imports of wheat into Italy, a major grain buyer in Europe, fell in the first five months of 2011 year-on-year, while imports of maize jumped 30.6 percent, industry body Anacer said on Friday.
Imports of soft wheat fell 1 percent to 1,910,442 tonnes in the January-May period, while imports of durum wheat used for making pasta fell 6.6 percent to 735,313 tonnes from 787,203 tonnes, Anacer said in a statement.

Ukraine 2011 wheat, barley harvests almost complete
KIEV, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Ukrainian farmers have almost completed the 2011 wheat harvest, threshing 22.6 million tonnes of the commodity bunker weight from 98 percent of the sown area as of August 12, the Farm Ministry said on Friday.
The ministry said in a statement that farms had also harvested 9.3 million tonnes of barley from 98 percent of the sown area.

Crop disease to push Indonesia cocoa exports down 40 pct-group
JAKARTA, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Cocoa exports from Indonesia may slump almost 40 percent this year as a fungal disease wrecks crops in the world's third-largest cocoa producer, the Indonesian Cocoa Association (Askindo) said on Monday.
The latest estimate is sharply higher than the association's previous forecast of a 12.5 percent fall in cocoa exports from Southeast Asia's largest economy.

India allows further 500,000 T sugar exports-minister
NEW DELHI, Aug 12 (Reuters) - India has decided to allow another 500,000 tonnes of unrestricted sugar exports, a government minister said on Friday, which would come on top of one million tonnes of shipments allowed so far this year.
Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced the decision for exports under the Open General Licence (OGL) scheme after a meeting of a panel of ministers which is empowered to decide on the issue.

Asia sugar surplus strains prices, eyes on China
Manila, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Bumper sugar harvests in Thailand, India and the Philippines are tilting the global balance into surplus, sparking fierce competition and piling pressure on prices as fears over a slowdown in the world economy knocked futures off highs.
New York raw sugar futures  have slid more than 11 percent since hitting a five-month high at 31.68 U.S. cents in late July, weighed down by fears of a global recession, although worries about lower output in Brazil cushioned the fall.

Cameroon cocoa output hits record
YAOUNDE, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Cocoa production in Cameroon, the world's fifth largest grower, hit a record 236,701 tonnes during the 2010-11 season, according to preliminary figures released by the state agricultural regulator on Friday.
The bumper crop adds to record volumes from other top producers in West Africa like Ivory Coast and Ghana that promises to swell global stockpiles of the bean, the raw ingredient in chocolate.

Australian farmers want land protected from miners
CANBERRA, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Australian farmers demanded greater protection against coal seam gas miners eyeing their land for exploration as a political fight surrounding the $70 billion gas industry on Monday threatened to splinter the surging conservative opposition.
After months of tensions between farmers and miners over rapid expansion of the potentially lucrative industry across prime agricultural land, the influential Greens party called for new laws to give farmers stronger rights to keep coal seam exploration rigs off their land.

Euro Coal - Prices up $1 on firmer buying
LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Prompt physical coal prices rose around $1 on Friday, help by fresh buying and more positive sentiment on the wider oil market.
Oil was up above $108 a barrel on Friday, as equity markets strengthened and U.S. retail sales painted an encouraging picture for demand in the world's biggest oil consumer.

Colombia coal output up 0.5 pct in Q2-regulator
BOGOTA, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Coal production in Colombia, the world's No. 4 coal exporter, rose a paltry 0.5 percent in the second quarter to 20.3 million tonnes versus the same period last year, the country's mining regulator said on Friday.
Colombia's coal industry is dominated by big thermal producers with their own port and rail facilities such as Glencore, Drummond and Cerrejon, which is owned equally by BHP Billiton , Anglo American  and Xstrata .

Crude Oil Falls as Investors Speculate Slowing Economy to Sap Fuel Demand (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil dropped from the highest in almost two weeks in New York as investors bet that signs of a slowing global economy indicate fuel demand will falter in the world’s biggest crude-consuming nation. Futures slid as much as 0.7 percent today before reports which may show U.S. housing starts and building permits fell in July and European growth eased last quarter. Manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly contracted in August for a third month, a report yesterday showed. “The U.S. economy is a little bit weaker than any of us were expecting at this time of the year and a lot of the indicators out of Europe have been weak as well,” said Ben Westmore, a minerals and energy economist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Melbourne, who predicts oil in New York will average $93 a barrel in the third quarter. “We all knew that it was going to take a long time for these areas to get back on their feet and there would be this lull in activity after all the stimulus had washed out.”

Brent edges up above $108 as risk aversion eases
LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Oil rose on Monday after data from the United States and Japan helped ease worries over a looming recession, encouraging investors back into riskier assets.
"This week could be relatively calm after all the frenzy of the last few weeks," said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. "But it is much too early to call this a bottom to the market."

Iran sees return to normal oil exports to India in August -Fars
TEHRAN, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Iran hopes oil deliveries to India will return to a normal level now a long-running payment problem has been resolved, the head of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Co. said in an interview published on Sunday.
Talking to the semi-official Fars news agency, Mohsen Ghamsari, confirmed that all Indian customers had started to pay debts that had built up over the year and said if there had been a slowdown in supply in August due to the dispute, that was now over.

Iron Ore-Shanghai rebar extends gains to 4th day, to buoy ore
SINGAPORE, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Shanghai rebar futures rose for a fourth straight day on Monday to their highest in more than a week, spurred by expectations of firm demand in top consumer China.
Hopes that Chinese steel demand will stay strong ahead of the peak consumption season from mid-September should renew interest among mills to restock iron ore, the key steelmaking material, this week and boost prices that had dropped for most of last week.

ALUMINIUM-Major market developments in July
LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Aluminium prices made gains in July only to fall sharply in early August as global demand concerns weighed, and while further falls are possible near term, the threat to supply from higher cost producers may lend support.
"Prices where they are mean around 10 percent of the aluminium industry is losing money on a cash cost basis," said Nick Moore, global head of commodity strategy at RBS Global Banking and Markets

Chile Codelco sees lower 2011 output, higher profits
SEWELL CAMP, Chile, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Output at the world's top copper producer, Chile's Codelco, could fall below initial 2011 estimates, but higher prices for the industrial metal are expected to boost this year's profits, top executives said on Friday.
State copper giant Codelco will likely post a bigger profit this year than in 2010, Chairman Gerardo Jofre said at Sewell Camp near the El Teniente deposit. He said output might be under the latest 1.7 million tonne estimate for 2011.

Chile Codelco sees lower 2011 output, higher profits
SEWELL CAMP, Chile, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Output at the world's top copper producer, Chile's Codelco, could fall below initial 2011 estimates, but higher prices for the industrial metal are expected to boost this year's profits, top executives said on Friday.
State copper giant Codelco will likely post a bigger profit this year than in 2010, Chairman Gerardo Jofre said at Sewell Camp near the El Teniente deposit. He said output might be under the latest 1.7 million tonne estimate for 2011.

METALS-Copper steady, Japan data, soft dollar support
Aug 15 (Reuters) - Copper was steady on Monday, supported by glimmers of economic resilience in Japan, a drawdown in inventories of the metal, and a softer dollar, but investors were wary after wild market swings last week.
Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down less than a percent at $8,860 per tonne from Friday's $8,865 close.

Soros, Mindich Cut Stake in SPDR Gold Holding as Cohen’s SAC Adds Options (Source: Bloomberg)
George Soros, Eric Mindich and Scout Capital Management LLC cut their holdings in SPDR Gold Trust as prices rallied to a record during the second quarter, while Steven A. Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors LP bought options on the exchange-traded fund, government records show. Soros Fund Management LLC held 42,800 shares of SPDR Gold Trust as of June 30, compared with 49,400 at the end of the second quarter, the filing yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed. Mindich’s Eton Park Capital Management LP reduced its stake to 813,000 shares from 2.328 million, a separate filing showed. SAC Capital purchased call options linked to the SPDR Gold Trust valued at $627.7 million.
Gold prices have surged 45 percent in the past year, touching a record $1,817.60 an ounce in New York last week, as Europe’s debt crisis and the prospect of a global economic slowdown boosted demand for the metal as a haven. Some investors may have sold the metal amid the financial turmoil, according to James Dailey of TEAM Financial Management LLC.

40 years on from gold standard, bugs crow
LONDON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Gold, and only gold, will be our salvation when the value of companies, banks, countries and even money itself melts away. Gold, not shifting currencies, is the foundation of wealth and security. Gold is back, for good.
This is the song of the "gold bugs" - the fervent fans of the precious metal who have clung to its investment value for three generations and now glow in the reflected lustre of a record price approaching $2,000 for just one ounce.

PRECIOUS-Gold extends losses as stock markets recover
LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased for a third session on Monday as stock markets and cyclical assets like industrial commodities continued to recover from the rout they suffered early last week, diverting investment away from the precious metal.
Gold hit a record $1,813.79 an ounce on Thursday and posted its biggest weekly gain since April 2009 as European stock markets fell to two-year lows, hit by concerns over euro zone debt levels. Investors flocked to gold as a haven from risk.

Baltic index up for 3rd day, eyes more modest gains
LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, rose for a third day on Friday with iron ore and coal cargo activity providing support.  
Brokers said the spectre of growing financial turmoil, tighter bank financing and rapid fleet growth would keep dry bulk freight rates under pressure in the coming months.

20110816 0943 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

US soybean futures rallied, with traders reestablishing risk premium in the market amid the uncertainties of new crop production. The market rebounded to the middle of 6-month trading range as uncertain U.S. crop potential provided support. Traders are concerned about key areas of the Midwest lacking adequate soil moisture during the crop reproductive phase, traders say. The market is concerned about a drop in crop potential, particularly with new crop soybean end of year supplies already forecast at precariously tight levels by government forecasters. CBOT Nov soy end up 16 1/2c at $13.51 1/4/bushel.

Soybean Meal/Oil
Soy product futures rise with soybeans, as the market factors in the potential for tighter available new crop supplies for crushing. The uncertainty of the 2011 soy crop underpinned prices, with strength in crude oil futures further fueling gains in soyoil. CBOT Dec soyoil end up 0.81c/pound, and Dec soymeal was up $5.60 at $357.70/short ton.

Palm oil hits 10-day high, buoyed by export data
JAKARTA, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil climbed for a fourth straight session, boosted by strong export data and as financial market jitters eased slightly after last week's volatility.
"The market is very strong on the back of good export data," said a Kula-Lumpar based trader. "Also on external factors, with soybean and Dalian up and palm oil following."

US soy to enjoy showers; minor relief in Plains
CHICAGO, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Showers and moderate temperatures in the U.S. over the next week will give soybean production a boost and stabilize the deteriorating corn crop.
But only minor relief from drought was in the cards for the parched Plains wheat and cattle country, an agricultural meteorologist said Friday.

Malaysia’s palm oil exports rose 26% in the first 15 days of August from the same period in July, independent market surveyor Intertek said. A total of 953,852 metric tons of the commodity were tracked from Aug. 1 to 15, versus 752,047 tons in the same period last month, Intertek said. (Bloomberg)