Thursday, October 27, 2011

20111027 1805 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 2980, changed : +29 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : little upside biased with possible pullback correction.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer taking exposure.
Support : 2970, 2950, 2920, 2900 level.
Resistance : 3020, 3050, 3070, 3100 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed recorded gains with lower volume participation while overnight soy oil closed recorded loss and currently trading nearly 2% higher while crude oil price resume rising higher.
Boost on European rescue fund and settlement between Greece and bondholder news lead broad commodities to trade higher as investor's confedent seems restored to a certain extend.
Daily chart formed an up doji bar candle with longer upper shadow closed above upper Bollinger band level after market opened and traded higher towards the end of 1st session followed by after lunch opened higher and easing downward to closed off the high of the day.
Technical reading turned to suggesting a little upside biased market development with possible pullback correction 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.

20111027 1732 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1473.5, changed : +21.5 point, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : resume rising, buyer in control still.
Support : 1470, 1458, 1445, 1440 level.
Resistance : 1485, 1500, 1515, 1530 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded huge gains with ultra high volume changed hand doing 2.5 points premium compare to cash market that also closed higher. Overnight U.S. markets closed rebounded higher and today Asia markets traded in positive zone while European markets currently trading higher.
European leaders and bondholders agreed a write down of Greek debt by 50% and boosted the region’s rescue fund to 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion) plus speculation that China  may soon ease monetary policy lifted global markets higher.
FKLI daily chart formed an up bar candle with upper shadow positioned nearer to upper Bollinger band level after market opened higher and surge upwards wildly within first few minutes and stabilise slowly before rising gruadually to closed higher.
Chart study revised to suggesting an upside biased market development possibly testing higher resistance level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistance or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20111027 1709 Regional Markets EOD Daily Chart Study.

 DJIA chart reading : upside biased.
 Hang Seng chart reading :  upside biased with possible pullback correction.
KLCI chart reading : upside biased.

20111027 1615 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

Asia shares, euro rally on EU summit
TOKYO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Riskier assets across the board from equities to oil and the euro rallied after European leaders agreed to boost the region's rescue fund and struck a deal on a 50 percent writedown for private bondholders on their Greek debt.
"The blueprint is out, but it's coming in dribs and drabs and not as clear as we thought it will be," said Jonathan Barratt, managing director at Commodity Broking Services, adding that it also did not fully address the issues.

Asia Stocks Jump to Seven-Week High on Europe Debt Agreement, China Easing (Bloomberg)
Asian stocks rose, sending the benchmark index toward the highest close in almost eight weeks, as European leaders and bondholders agreed a write down of Greek debt and boosted the region’s rescue fund to 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion). Chinese stocks surged on speculation the country may soon ease monetary policy. Esprit Holdings Ltd., a clothier that gets 79 percent of its revenue in Europe, jumped 6.2 percent in Hong Kong. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., Japan’s second-biggest lender, rose 5.1 percent, reversing earlier losses. Komatsu Ltd., Japan’s largest construction machinery maker, gained 4 percent after orders for U.S. durable goods excluding transportation equipment increased. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest lender by market value, jumped 5.3 percent.
“There’s a sense of achievement in terms of agreement among nations, and now the question is how banks and people in Greece will resist the implementation of the plans,” said Masahide Tanaka, a senior strategist in Tokyo at Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., a unit of Japan’s third-largest lender by market value. “Stocks have risen, pricing in this kind of development.”

European Stocks Climb on Debt-Crisis Deal (Bloomberg)
European stocks rallied to the highest in 12 weeks after the region’s leaders agreed to expand a bailout plan to halt the sovereign debt crisis. Asian shares and U.S. index futures also climbed. BNP Paribas SA, France’s biggest bank, and Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest, surged more than 8 percent as policy makers boosted the firepower of the European rescue fund to 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion). PPR SA, the French owner of the Gucci luxury-goods brand, jumped 5.7 percent after third-quarter sales surpassed analyst estimates. Royal Dutch Shell Plc climbed after saying third-quarter earnings doubled. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index surged 2.3 percent to 246.36 at 8:57 a.m. in London, the highest since Aug. 4. The index has rallied 15 percent from this year’s low on Sept. 22 amid growing speculation that policy makers would agree on a solution to the region’s debt woes.

Emerging Stocks Rise to Six-Week High on Europe Debt Plan, China
Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Emerging-market stocks rose the highest in six weeks as European leaders agreed on a plan to expand a bailout fund to stem the region’s debt crisis and on speculation the Chinese government will ease monetary policies to boost the economy. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained 1.5 percent to 975.05 at 1:41 p.m. Singapore time, set for the highest close since Sept. 16. The gauge is up for a fifth day. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index climbed 3.9 percent, extending gains after Premier Wen Jiabao said this week the government may fine-tune its economic policies as needed. The Kospi Index increased 1.3 percent after the operator of South Korea’s bourse said it will temporarily waive commissions for brokerages.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the euro region’s bailout fund will be leveraged by four to five times, and investors have agreed to a voluntary writedown of 50 percent on Greek debt. Sarkozy is due to speak to Chinese leader Hu Jintao today and said he’d welcome support from the Asian nation in the bailout effort. “Even though the discussion seems to be taking longer than what many people may like, that phase of panic is over,” said Erwin Sanft, deputy head of Asian equities research at BNP Paribas SA in a Bloomberg Television interview in Hong Kong. “Policy makers in the eurozone have come together. People can see the beginning of a solution to the problems.” MSCI’s developing-nation index has dropped 15 percent this year, with companies on the gauge trading at 10.4 times estimated earnings. That’s less than the four-year average multiple of 11.5 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Options traders are making more bets than any time since 2009 that emerging market equities will climb after valuations fell to the lowest levels in three years.

FOREX-Euro hits 7 week high as Europe hammers out deal
TOKYO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - The euro hit a seven-week high on Thursday after EU leaders and banks reached a deal on a 50 percent writedown for private bondholders on their Greek debt and made progress in other areas crucial to stemming the debt crisis.
The euro jumped 0.6 percent to $1.3995, breaking through a wall of orders and charging past stop-losses on the way, also bolstered by the EU's progress on bank recapitalisation and its moves to scale up the size of the euro zone's 440 billion euro ($600 billion) bailout fund.

Wheat jumps 1.7 pct, corn rebounds on EU rescue plan
SINGAPORE, Oct 27 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat rose 1.7 percent, while corn firmed following its biggest drop in a month as a move by European leaders to boost the region's rescue fund sparked a broad-based rally in the commodity markets.
"We are seeing a strong session across all risk assets, including agricultural commodities, and it appears to be linked to the optimism that the markets have displayed following the European summit," said Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Canada Wheat Board to fight Ottawa in court
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The Canadian Wheat Board said on Wednesday it will launch legal action to stop the Conservative government from ending the CWB's generations-old grain marketing monopoly, though a politician who supports the board's fight says it has little chance of succeeding.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said however that the challenge could set back efforts to revamp the Wheat Board to compete effectively for crops next year in an open market.

Ivory Coast expects record 1.6 mln T cocoa this season
ACCRA, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast authorities are expecting to set a new record of 1.6 million tonnes of cocoa output for the 2011/12 season, a senior government cocoa adviser said on Wednesday.
"Our new season ... is going well. The forecast is 1.6 million (tonnes) after the preliminary assessment -- that is what we are working towards," Malick Tohe, special adviser on cocoa to Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Cocoa Foundation conference in neighbouring Ghana.
Brazil CS sugar output trails last season by 3 pct
BRASILIA, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Sugar output from Brazil's center south cane crop totaled 27.7 million tonnes from the start of the season through Oct. 16, down 3 percent from a year ago helped by an unexpected rise in yields late in the season, cane industry association Unica said on Wednesday.
Cane crushing in the region totaled 436.5 million tonnes, down 7 percent from the same period last year. Ethanol production fell 16 percent to 18.2 billion liters.

Cargill confirms clubroot in Saskatchewan canola
Oct 26 (Reuters) - Cargill Inc  said on Wednesday that it has confirmed the presence of clubroot disease in canola plants at two locations in north central Saskatchewan.
Cargill noticed symptoms of the disease while evaluating plants in the western Canadian province and sent them to an independent lab for analysis.

Oil gains more than $1 on EU rescue plan
SINGAPORE/SEOUL, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose by more than a dollar after European leaders agreed to boost the region's rescue fund, raising hopes that the euro zone debt crisis will be contained.  
"I attribute the edging up of oil futures to some apparent progress in the discussions in Europe regarding the European debt crisis," said Victor Shum of Purvin & Gertz.

Argentina to oil, mine firms: Sell all dollars here
BUENOS AIRES, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Argentina has ordered oil, gas and mining companies to cash in all their export revenue on the local foreign-exchange market, moving strongly to protect dwindling central bank reserves as capital flight surges.
The surprise rule change on Wednesday puts the industries on equal footing with powerful grains exporters and could cool investment at a time when Argentina's trade surplus is shrinking and its energy supplies are overstretched.

Colombia increases security at largest oil field
BOGOTA, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Colombia sent 400 additional police to guard Colombia's largest oil field after Canada's Pacific Rubiales  threatened to suspend operations there unless reinforcements were sent to help quell a violent demonstration.
"Security forces have been reinforced by way of the National Police. A general has been sent to take command of police activities with very specific instruction to arrest anyone who breaks the law," Energy Minister Mauricio Cardenas told Reuters on Wednesday.

US Aluminum premiums climb as demand picks up
NEW YORK, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. primary aluminum market is seeing a surprisingly strong burst in spot purchases at the start of the quarter, with supplier order books filling up even as volatile financial markets dispel recovery hopes.
The demand pickup has caught physical market players by surprise, many of whom expected the seasonally slower fourth quarter to close out 2011 with a whimper. So far, it is shaping up to be a busier-than-normal quarter.

Japan Sept rolled copper output down 6.8 pct yr/yr
TOKYO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Japan's output of rolled copper products fell to 70,092 tonnes in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, down 6.8 percent from a year earlier, preliminary data showed on Wednesday.
The Japanese appetite for copper, often seen as a gauge of economic activity and already weak in the wake of the global financial crisis, took a fresh beating after the March 11  earthquake prompted user industries to reduce domestic output.

China steel, metals firms warn tightening may have gone too far-FT
Oct 27 (Reuters) - Chinese steel and base metals producers are worried about the risk of payment defaults from customers and delayed orders because of Beijing's monetary tightening which they warned may have gone too far, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
Baoshan Iron and Steel , China's second-biggest steelmaker in terms of output, said its customers were pushing back scheduled deliveries "due to declining economic growth and tightening credit," according to the newspaper.

Iron ore extends losses as China demand slows
SINGAPORE, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Iron ore extended losses on Wednesday and was on course for its   steepest ever weekly price slide as slowing growth in top consumer China curbed steel prices and hit demand for the steel-making raw material.
China's appetite for iron ore has weakened along with slowing demand for steel from its construction sector, pushing down prices for iron ore by about 30 percent since early September.

Japan steel firms cut outlook as market worsens
TOKYO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Japan's top steelmakers, Nippon Steel Corp  and JFE Holdings Inc , slashed their full-year profit outlooks by about 20 percent on Wednesday, hit by a rapid deterioration in Asia's steel market after booking quarterly earnings about half of last year's levels.
Ebbing demand in China, the world's biggest consumer and producer, and an uncertain global economy, are weighing heavily on the profits of Asian steelmakers already reeling from a supply glut and sagging regional prices.

China iron ore destocking could take months-Fortescue
Oct 26 (Reuters) - Global iron ore prices, down nearly 30 percent since early September, could take months to recover as Chinese steel mills work off inventories, Australian miner Fortescue Metals Group  said on Wednesday  
China is the world's largest buyer of iron ore, gobbling up some 600 million tonnes annually, or about two thirds of the global seaborne iron ore market controlled by mega-producers Vale , Rio Tinto  and BHP Billiton

China steel, metals firms warn tightening may have gone too far-FT
Oct 27 (Reuters) - Chinese steel and base metals producers are worried about the risk of payment defaults from customers and delayed orders because of Beijing's monetary tightening which they warned may have gone too far, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
Baoshan Iron and Steel , China's second-biggest steelmaker in terms of output, said its customers were pushing back scheduled deliveries "due to declining economic growth and tightening credit," according to the newspaper.

METALS-Copper up on Europe rescue plan, China optimism
SHANGHAI, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Thursday after euro zone leaders agreed to boost the region's rescue fund and on optimism that top consumer China may move towards looser monetary policy.
Prices were also supported by labour disputes at two Freeport mines that led to a declaration of force majeure at the company's Grasberg mine on Wednesday.

PRECIOUS-Gold hits one-month high on EU debt plan
SINGAPORE, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose to their highest in more than a month on Thursday after European leaders agreed on a plan to contain the region's debt crisis, lifting sentiment in the financial markets, while a weaker dollar helped.
Euro zone leaders reached agreement on a comprehensive package of measures to tackle the bloc's debt crisis after an EU summit that ran into the early hours of Thursday, spurring the euro to a seven-week high against the dollar.

Gold hits one-month high on EU debt plan
SINGAPORE, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose to their highest in more than a month after European leaders agreed on a plan to contain the region's debt crisis, lifting sentiment in the financial markets, while a weaker dollar helped.
"The market is back to normal," said Dick Poon, manager of precious metals at Heraeus in Hong Kong, "The equity market has stabilised on hopes in Europe, and money is flowing back to precious metals."

20111027 1130 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks rally on euro rescue plan; euro still down
NEW YORK, Oct 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday on news that euro zone leaders plan to boost the power of the region's bailout fund, while the euro fell as investors awaited details that will not be forthcoming until next month.
"Even when the plan is laid out, it does not necessarily mean that everything from then on will be very smooth. Volatility will continue in the markets," said James Barnes, senior fixed-income manager at National Penn Investors Trust Company in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.

EU Sets 50% Greek Writedown, $1.4T in Fund
European leaders persuaded bondholders to take 50 percent losses on Greek debt and boosted the firepower of the rescue fund to 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion), responding to global pressure to step up the fight against the financial crisis. Ten hours of brinkmanship at the second crisis summit in four days delivered measures that the euro area’s stewards said point the way out of the debt quagmire, even if key details are lacking. Last-ditch talks with bank representatives led to the debt-relief accord, in an effort to quarantine Greece and prevent speculation against Italy and France from ravaging the euro zone and wreaking global economic havoc. “The world’s attention was on these talks today,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Brussels at about 4:15 a.m. today. “We Europeans showed tonight that we reached the right conclusions.”

EFSF Bailout Fund Will Be Worth $1.4 Trillion: Sarkozy
French President Nicolas Sarkozy estimates the euro region’s bailout fund will be worth $1.4 trillion after European governments agreed on steps to leverage existing guarantees by as much as five times. He spoke to reporters after a summit of European leaders in Brussels.

Sarkozy Said to Plan Plea to China for EU Fund
French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to call Chinese leader Hu Jintao tomorrow to discuss China contributing to a fund European leaders may set up to bolster their debt-crisis fight, said a person familiar with the matter. The investment vehicle was one of the options being considered by European leaders at a summit tonight to expand the reach of its 440 billion-euro ($612 billion) European Financial Stability Facility. Sarkozy’s plea to his Chinese counterpart would come the day before a planned visit to Beijing by Klaus Regling, chief executive officer of the EFSF, to court investors.

South Korea’s Economic Growth Slows as Spending Cut on Europe Debt Crisis
South Korea’s economy grew at a slower pace in the third quarter as companies cut spending on concern that Europe’s debt crisis and a faltering U.S. economy will hurt business. Gross domestic product expanded 0.7 percent from the second quarter, when it gained 0.9 percent, the central bank said in Seoul today. That compares with the median 0.6 percent estimate of 12 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. “The economy seems to be holding up although it’s too early to get a clear picture of where it’s heading until we see how the European debt situation pans out,” said Lee Sang Jae, an economist at Hyundai Securities Co. in Seoul. “But slower growth will add pressure on the central bank not to hike interest rates any more this year.”

COMMODITIES-As pivotal EU summit awaited, markets diverge
NEW YORK, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Commodity markets diverged in tense but inconclusive trade on Wednesday, with gold extending gains for a fourth day while oil and grains fell as traders awaited the conclusion of a pivotal European summit.
"Investors have Europe fatigue right now. We are getting down to the deadline and we are seeing a little caution set in," Michael Gross, futures analyst with in Tampa, Florida, said of the copper market.

Oil falls as U.S. crude stocks rise
NEW YORK, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Wednesday as concerns about rising U.S. inventories added to caution about Europe's ability to agree on a plan to address the debt crisis.
"The crude build was a lot larger than people expected and you saw rising imports and we have the uncertainty about Europe putting a little uncertainty in the market," said Gene McGillian, energy analyst for Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Natural gas ends down ahead of EIA data
NEW YORK, Oct 26 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended lower on Wednesday, as traders shrugged off any storm concerns and focused instead on what should be another big weekly inventory build the following day.
"No one expects the storm to do anything, and expectations are for a bearish EIA number (storage build) tomorrow, but the longer-term weather outlook still looks supportive," a Midwest trader said, adding cooling temperatures later this week and next week should put a temporary floor under prices.

Euro Coal - Prices slip, oil fall adds to rate woes
LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Prompt physical coal prices were weaker on Wednesday with a South African cargo falling at least 70 cents a tonne in thin trading and sentiment also hit by a fall in the oil market.
"It has been moving and there is not a huge amount of buying interest knocking around in the market," one European coal trader said. "Everything else like oil also seems to be lower today."

20111027 1012 Global Economic Related News.

EU: European banks need to raise EUR106bn
European Union leaders have set a deadline of 30 June 2012, for banks to have core capital reserves of 9%after writing down their holdings of sovereign debt. This translates into some capital raising of EUR106bn by Europe's biggest banks to comply with requirements agreed by European leaders in the Brussels summit meeting. To note, Greek banks need to raise EUR30bn. (MarketWatch, Bloomberg)

EU: To leverage bailout fund to EUR1trn
Euro-zone leaders plan to leverage the region's EUR440bn bailout fund to give it EUR1trn in firepower according to sources. The fund has between EUR250bn to EUR275bn still available after bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal. The plan is to leverage the fund by around four times through a special investment vehicle and a debt-insurance plan. (Reuters)

EU: No deal on 'any element' of Greek writedowns
There is no agreement between euro-zone governments and international banks on the size of losses banks and other private bond holders should take on Greek government debt, Institute of International Finance MD Charles Dallara said in a statement. European governments are seeking writedowns of 50% or more on Greek debt. A July agreement had envisioned a 21% voluntary writedown in the value of Greek debt held by private bondholders. (MarketWatch)

EU: Sarkozy plans to tap China for Europe help
French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to call Chinese leader Hu Jintao tomorrow to discuss China contributing to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) fund, said a person familiar with the matter. Sarkozy's plea to his Chinese counterpart would come the day before a planned visit to Beijing by Klaus Regling, CEO of the EFSF, to court investors. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Italy: Pledges asset sales, later retirement to reduce debt
Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi vowed to raise EUR5bn annually from asset sales, increase the retirement age and relax labor laws to convince European leaders Italy can reach its budget goals. However, the proposals fell short of the comprehensive plan European leaders had sought, whereby a blueprint to boost growth and tackle the euro-region’s second largest debt was expected to be delivered to comply with the EU requests. (Bloomberg)

US: Durable goods orders help sustain expansion
Orders for US durable goods other than transportation gear rose in Sept by the most in 6 months, indicating manufacturing will help sustain an economy hobbled by 9.1% unemployment. Demand for goods meant to last at least 3 years, excluding airplanes and automobiles, climbed 1.7%. (Bloomberg)

US: Purchases of new homes increase more than forecast
Purchases of new US houses rose more than forecast in Sept as discounted prices lured buyers in some parts of the country. Sales climbed 5.7% to a 313,000 annual pace. (Bloomberg)

US: Stocks end higher on reports of help for Europe
Stock indexes finished higher on Wednesday following reports that China will come to the aid of Europe by investing in a financial rescue fund. Agence France-Presse reported that China has agreed to invest in Europe's financial rescue fund, which will be used to support struggling countries and banks in the EU. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped more than 100 points after the report came out in the early afternoon. Stocks had been mixed for much of the day as investors weighed stronger earnings from Boeing and Corning with uncertainty about the outcome of a key meeting among European leaders. (Bloomberg)

20111027 1011 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Supermax eyes bigger market in China
Supermax Corp, the world’s second-largest rubber glove maker, plans to further expand its market in China, says executive chairman Datuk Seri Stanley Thai. He said the company would enhance its distribution network in China in the next five years, starting 2012. “Supermax will focus on identifying two or three strategic distribution locations, probably in the cluster area and density populated city,” he said. Thai said Supermax would use the same business model with a bit of modification because China had a huge population.(StarBiz)

IOI cancels RM830m plan to buy Sabah land
IOI Corp has terminated its proposed acquisition of 11,977.91ha of oil palm plantation land in Sabah from Dutaland Bhd for RM830m. IOI Corp said on Tuesday that the cancellation was “due to non-compliance of certain terms and conditions”. On 28 July, IOI Corp's unit Sri Mayvin Plantation SB signed a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Dutaland's unit Pertama Land & Development SB for the land. (StarBiz)

Hibiscus to venture into oil and gas E&P
Hibiscus Petroleum will make its first acquisition since listing on 25 July as a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) by proposing to acquire 35% of Lime Petroleum, which owns 3 exploration concessions in the Middle East for USD55m (RM172.2m) cash. The acquisition will be done in two parts. The first is via a share subscription agreement to be entered into with Lime Petroleum for approximately 27.2% equity stakes in the enlarged capital of Lime Petroleum for USD50m in cash. The second is the purchase of a 7.8% equity stake of the enlarged Lime Petroleum from one of the major shareholders, Rex Oil &Gas Ltd, through a share purchase agreement for USD5m. (Financial Daily)

Petra Energy agrees to private placement
Integrated oil and gas brown field services provider Petra Energy has approved a private placement of 19.5 million new ordinary PEB shares at 91 sen apiece. In a statement, PEB said the shares represented 9.09% of its enlarged issued and paid-up capital. Its executive director//CEO Kamarul Baharin Albakri said the placement would boost PEB’s efforts to strengthen its core competencies in project management capabilities, onshore fabrication services and fleet spread configuration. (StarBiz)

Stamford College to be delisted from Bursa
Stamford College Bhd will be delisted from Bursa Malaysia after Bursa Securities rejected its application to extend further the deadline to submit its regularization plan for approval. In a filing with the exchange, the company said its securities would be removed from Bursa Securities’ official list on Monday next week. Earlier this month, Stamford College made an application to extend the time to submit its regularization plan to 4 Feb 2012. The rejection was based on concern that the proposal was not sufficiently comprehensive to resolve all problems, or otherwise, that had caused Stamford College to trigger the PN17 criteria. (StarBiz)

Axis REIT to buy RM48.5m assets
Axis REIT has proposed an acquisition and leaseback of a three-storey office block and a logistic warehouse complex for RM48.5m cash from DHL Properties (M) SB. The agreement was entered into by OSK Trustee Bhd, the trustee for Axis REIT. The 3.083ha land is located in Barat Daya district, Penang, Axis REIT said in a statement. “The proposed acquisition and leaseback of the properties is consistent with the investment objective and strategy of Axis REIT and it will be accretive to Axis REIT's distributable income. (StarBiz)

20111027 1005 Renewable Energy Related News.

Oct 25 (Reuters) - First Solar Inc's  board ousted CEO Rob Gillette, replacing him on an interim basis with Chairman Mike Ahearn while the solar panel maker searches for a new leader to steer it through a treacherous time in the industry.
First Solar gave no reason for Gillette's departure, which intensified fears that its performance has faltered as it faces increasingly cutthroat competition.

LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - UK-based Africa Renewables Limited (AfriRen) has signed an agreement to supply Danish utility Verdo with an estimated 750,000 metric tonnes of biomass over five years, the company said on Wednesday.
At current European market prices for woodchip, the deal is worth roughly 10 million euros ($14 million) per year, AfriRen told Reuters.

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Chinese solar companies are snapping up their own shares amid a brutal selloff in the stock market, spending crucial resources on the effort rather than conserving cash or spending on new strategic projects.
The buyback programs come as the industry struggles to maintain profitability in the face of rapidly falling prices for solar panels that have driven many of the stocks to multi-year lows.

MADRID, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Iberian prompt power was little changed on Tuesday as output of wind power remained at unusually high levels, reducing the grid's reliance on costly coal- and gas-fired generators.
National grid operator REE  estimated wind parks in Spain were meeting 29.9 percent of domestic demand, or more than double an average of 15.3 percent for the first nine months of 2011.

MADRID, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Spain has less water than a week ago with which to generate hydropower and irrigate crops and make a dent in its hefty gas and grain import needs, according to the latest official data in the drought-prone country on Tuesday.
Although water stored in reservoirs set aside for hydropower plants  was 24.7 percent above average for the last 10 years, a months-long slide has propped up wholesale power prices  by forcing costlier coal- and gas-fired plants to work harder.

TOKYO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co  will sell part of its stake in Japan's biggest wind power developer, the troubled utility said on Tuesday, as it looks to raise funds to compensate those affected by the ongoing crisis at its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
Japan's trade minister on Monday told Tokyo Electric, known as Tepco, to cut at least 2.5 trillion yen ($33 billion) in costs over 10 years, more than double the amount the firm planned several months ago.

TOKYO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Sojitz Corp  said on Monday it had launched a 24 megawatt solar energy project in Germany, one of the country's largest solar plants.
The company said the 55 million euro ($76 million) facility, built in Mixdorf, about 100 km (66 miles) south of Berlin, was completed and began operations in July.

TOKYO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp  will drop a plan to convert a television panel plant in Japan into a solar panel factory, hit by an industry price war and a strong yen that is making exports less competitive, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Panasonic is also in talks with public-private venture Japan Display about selling a liquid-crystal display TV panel plant located in Chiba, not far from Tokyo, said two sources with knowledge of the matter.

PRAGUE, Oct 21 (Reuters) - The Czech government may pay up to 11.7 billion crowns ($641 mln) next year to help limit electricity price increases due to growth in supply of expensive renewable power, a proposal by the Ministry of Industry showed.
The proposal, published on the government website late on Thursday, sees a 4.3 percent rise in electricity prices for households and around a 6 percent increase for businesses after the subsidy is included.

DALLAS, Oct 20 (Reuters) - As prices on silicon-based solar panels continue to plummet, makers of alternative technologies are tweaking their products and in some cases shifting strategy altogether to make sure they are not left behind in the race to make solar competitive with fossil fuels.
From start-ups such as Miasole and eSolar to industry heavyweights like First Solar Inc , solar companies that use raw materials other than polysilicon are working to preserve both their competitive positions and their survival.

DALLAS, Oct 20 (Reuters) - A trade complaint filed by a group of solar companies against China drew skeptical reviews from inside the industry, with many fearing a trade war could disrupt growth.
On Wednesday, seven U.S. solar manufacturers asked the Obama administration to impose duties of more than 100 percent on China imports, which they said were unfairly undercutting U.S. prices and destroying American jobs.

MILAN, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Italy's total installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity is expected to rise to 12.0-12.5 GW by the end of 2011, but the growth will slow next year, the chairman of industry body GIFI said on Thursday.  
"By now, we are well above 11 gigawatts of installed capacity ... probably we will be at 12.0-12.5 gigawatts by the end of this year," Valerio Natalizia told a news conference.

ANKFURT/HONG KONG, OCT 20 (REUTERS) - Chinese Solar companies could soon find themselves bereft of some of their biggest foreign markets as Western manufacturers intensify a solar trade war and seek stiff anti-dumping duties on low-cost Chinese products.
German group SolarWorld  said on Thursday it was working on steps to curb alleged price dumping by Chinese rivals in Europe.

FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF, Oct 20 (Reuters) - German group SolarWorld  said it may take steps against alleged price dumping by Chinese rivals in Europe after its U.S. unit filed a complaint, the latest move in the solar trade war.
"We are currently reviewing several options for how to throw this forward over here," SolarWorld Chief Executive Frank Asbeck told Reuters on Thursday.

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - U.S. solar manufacturers on Wednesday asked the Obama administration to slap duties of more than 100 percent on imports from China that they said were unfairly undercutting U.S. prices and destroying American jobs.
"Let us be clear, China has a plan for our market -- to gut it and own it," said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries Americas Inc at a news conference.

20111027 1004 Biofuel Related News.

LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Britain proposed to more than double financial support for its nascent marine energy industry on Thursday as well as provide additional subsidies for biomass generation, while cutting rates for more mature technologies such as wind and hydro power.
The policy changes lifted share prices at biomass developer Drax  as high as nearly 16 percent, while prompting utility Centrica  to say it would put two offshore wind projects under review.

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - A proposal that would have stopped subsidies for new gas station pumps to boost ethanol sales failed to make it into the Senate's version of the U.S. Agriculture Department's fiscal 2012 budget on Wednesday.
The measure, proposed by U.S. Senator John McCain as a way to trim federal spending, would have prevented the USDA from offering grants and loans for rural gas stations to install "blender pumps."

Oct 19 (Reuters) - U.S. ethanol production rose more than 5 percent last week in a bounce back from slowed output tied in part to fall maintenance at Midwestern plants.
The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. ethanol production totaled 908,000 barrels per day in the seven days to Oct. 14, up 48,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

SAO PAULO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian joint venture BENRI plans to rate sugar and ethanol mills on efficiency, a new service for the sector that is expected to improve performance of mills and the terms of credit they receive from banks.
BENRI, short for Biomass Energy Research Institute, was conceived two years ago by sugar and ethanol analysts Datagro and technical consultants Fermentec.

AMSTERDAM, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Dutch life sciences group DSM  said the development of second-generation biofuels is nearing a major breakthrough with commercial production just a couple of years away that could open up a market worth $5 billion a year.
Second-generation biofuels are increasingly being seen as a preferred alternative to first-generation fuels, which drew criticism after sparking food inflation because they are made from food crops such as maize, sugar cane and rapeseed.

AVELLANEDA, Argentina, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Argentine biodiesel production will nearly triple by 2015 to 7 million tonnes per year, an executive at one of the country's leading agro-industrial companies told Reuters on Tuesday.
Argentina is one of the world's biggest exporters of biodiesel, producing the fuel from ample supplies of soybean oil, and production has skyrocketed in recent years.

20111027 1002 Global Market Related News.

Asian Stocks Rise on European Bank Plans (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian stocks rose, snapping yesterday’s loss, after Europe reached an accord on plans to recapitalize banks and U.S. economic reports beat estimates. Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), the world’s biggest carmaker, rose 0.9 percent. Komatsu Ltd. (6301), Japan’s largest construction machinery maker, gained 1 percent after orders for U.S. durable goods excluding transportation equipment increased. Hyundai Motor Co. (005380), South Korea’s biggest carmaker by market value that gets 58 percent of its revenue abroad, advanced 0.5 percent. Europe’s situation “is certainly clearer than we’ve had over the past few days,” said Stan Shamu, a strategist at IG Markets in Melbourne. “This does seem a little bit more positive, and we’ve also got positive economic data out of the U.S., and that did really boost sentiment.” The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.1 percent to 119.32 as of 9:22 a.m. in Tokyo. The measure dropped 0.2 percent yesterday.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.3 percent and South Korea’s Kospi Index gained 0.6 percent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.4 percent.

Durable Goods Orders Help Sustain U.S. Economy as Sales of New Homes Climb (Source: Bloomberg)
Orders for U.S. durable goods other than transportation gear rose in September by the most in six months, indicating manufacturing will help sustain an economy hobbled by 9.1 percent unemployment. Demand for goods meant to last at least three years, excluding airplanes and automobiles, climbed 1.7 percent, according to figures from the Commerce Department issued today in Washington. Another report from the department showed purchases of new homes rose more than forecast. A government tax break aimed at spurring business investment coupled with a 14 percent drop in the value of the dollar since June 2010 that is propelling American exports to record levels may keep boosting sales at manufacturers like Caterpillar Inc. A report tomorrow may show gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 percent annual pace in the third quarter, the most in a year.

U.S. Stocks Climb on EU Bank Agreement as Economic Reports Top Forecasts (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rose, following the biggest decline in three weeks for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as Europe reached an agreement on plans to recapitalize banks and American economic reports surpassed forecasts. Financial stocks in the S&P 500 advanced 2 percent, reversing an earlier decline, as European leaders agreed on a plan to safeguard banks even as talks on bondholder losses ran aground. Alcoa Inc. and Caterpillar Inc. increased at least 1.8 percent to pace gains among companies most-tied to the economy. Boeing Co. climbed 4.5 percent as earnings topped estimates. The S&P 500 gained 1.1 percent to 1,242 at 4 p.m. New York time, after falling as much as 0.7 percent today. The index fell 2 percent yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 162.42 points, or 1.4 percent, to 11,869.04.

Sales of New U.S. Homes Hits Five-Month High (Source: Bloomberg)
Purchases of new U.S. houses rose more than forecast in September as discounted prices lured buyers in some parts of the country. Sales climbed 5.7 percent to a 313,000 annual pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a gain to 300,000. The median price slumped 10 percent from September 2010, the biggest drop in more than two years. Another report showed demand for durable goods excluding transportation equipment climbed last month by the most since March. The increase in home sales was paced by rising demand in the West and South, while other parts of the country slumped, showing an uneven market that is weighed down by competition from a glut of distressed, previously owned houses. Last month’s sales pace was weaker than the 323,000 new homes sold in all of 2010.
“Up slightly is faint praise,” Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Inc. in Dallas, said before the report. “We’re still under the black cloud of high foreclosures and depressed prices. We’re still bouncing along the bottom in terms of new homes.”

Treasury Inflation Bets Rise to Two-Month High Before Third-Quarter GDP (Source: Bloomberg)
Treasury-market bets on inflation rose to the highest level in two months before a government report that analysts said will show the U.S. economy grew in the third quarter at the fastest pace this year. U.S. bonds fluctuated as European officials tried to produce a comprehensive strategy to resolve the region’s debt crisis. The Treasury is scheduled to sell $29 billion of seven- year debt today, the third of three note sales this week totaling $99 billion. “Don’t buy Treasuries now,” said Hiroki Shimazu, an economist in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., a unit of Japan’s third-largest publicly traded bank by assets. “The U.S. economy continues to expand.” Benchmark 10-year yields were little changed at 2.2 percent as of 10 a.m. in Tokyo, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices. The 2.125 percent security due in August 2021 changed hands at 99 3/8.

Barclays, Mizuho Predict China Policy Easing (Source: Bloomberg)
China may cut banks’ reserve requirements before the end of this year to stoke lending to small companies and boost the economy, said Guotai Junan Securities Co., Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. and Barclays Plc. The central bank may reduce interest rates by the second quarter of next year as inflation eases “significantly,” Wang Jin, an analyst at Shanghai-based Guotai Junan, said in a report yesterday after Premier Wen Jiabao announced the government may fine-tune its economic policies as needed. Wen’s comments fueled speculation the government is ending a two-year policy tightening campaign as economic growth slows, inflation eases and property sales slump. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has lost 14 percent this year, adding to a 14 percent slump in 2010, as the central bank ordered lenders to set aside reserves to tame inflation that reached a three-year high of 6.5 percent in July. The reserve-requirement ratio for large banks is at a record high of 21.5 percent.

Japanese Stocks Fluctuate as Europe Summit Leaves Questions Unanswered (Source: Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks swung between gains and losses amid investor concern that Europe’s debt summit left too many questions unanswered. Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Japan’s third-biggest lender by market value, slipped 0.9 percent after earlier rising by the same amount. Nippon Electric Glass Co. plunged, leading declines among glassmakers after U.S. rival Corning Inc. said it would cut prices. Olympus Corp. surged 9 percent after the company’s president stepped down amid a scandal over adviser payments that has wiped out more than half the company’s market value. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.1 percent to 8,759.37 as of 10:00 a.m. in Tokyo. The broader Topix index was little changed. While European Union leaders yesterday reached an agreement on a plan to recapitalize banks, talks on bondholder losses as part of a second Greek bailout hit an impasse.

South Korea’s Economic Growth Slows as Spending Cut on Europe Debt Crisis (Source: Bloomberg)
South Korea’s economy grew at a slower pace in the third quarter as companies cut spending on concern that Europe’s debt crisis and a faltering U.S. economy will hurt business. Gross domestic product expanded 0.7 percent from the second quarter, when it gained 0.9 percent, the central bank said in Seoul today. That compares with the median 0.6 percent estimate of 12 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. “With global economic conditions turning for the worse in the past quarter, Korea’s export-driven economy will no doubt begin to decelerate as demand slows down,” Ronald Man, a Hong Kong-based analyst at HSBC Holdings Plc, said ahead of today’s announcement. South Korea has paused for four months in raising interest rates, the longest gap since tightening began in July last year. Maintaining growth may continue to take precedence over countering inflation, with the central bank saying Oct. 13 that “downside risks” have increased because of Europe’s crisis and signs of sluggishness in developed economies.

Sarkozy Said to Plan Plea to China for EU Fund (Source: Bloomberg)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to call Chinese leader Hu Jintao tomorrow to discuss China contributing to a fund European leaders may set up to bolster their debt-crisis fight, said a person familiar with the matter. The investment vehicle was one of the options being considered by European leaders at a summit tonight to expand the reach of its 440 billion-euro ($612 billion) European Financial Stability Facility. Sarkozy’s plea to his Chinese counterpart would come the day before a planned visit to Beijing by Klaus Regling, chief executive officer of the EFSF, to court investors. The EFSF, established last year to sell bonds to finance loans for distressed euro nations, has since also gained the authority to buy sovereign bonds on the secondary and primary markets, offer credit lines to governments and recapitalize banks as the Greece-triggered debt troubles have spread. The EFSF said Regling’s visit to China this week is linked to the fund’s original debt-issuance role.

Italy Pledges Asset Sales to Reduce Debt (Source: Bloomberg)
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi vowed to raise 5 billion euros ($8 billion) annually from asset sales, increase the retirement age and relax labor laws to convince European leaders Italy can reach its budget goals. “We are aware of the need to present a comprehensive plan of reforms,” Berlusconi said in the letter that he presented to European Union leaders at a summit in Brussels. “We are aware that our debt is too high and our growth too limited.” The asset-sales plan will be completed by Nov. 30, he said. The letter of intent fell short of the comprehensive plan European leaders had sought. Bickering within his Cabinet this week over pensions and other issues prevented the premier from complying with EU requests to deliver a blueprint to boost growth and tackle the euro-region’s second largest debt at the Brussels summit.
The pressure on Italy underscored a push by leaders to prevent the Greece-fueled debt crisis from swamping the third- biggest euro economy and piling risks onto France and Germany. Policy makers, pressed by politicians and investors around the world, are struggling to devise a plan that persuades markets they can stamp out the contagion.

Italy Key to Euro-Zone Crisis, Barclays’s Julian Callow Says: Tom Keene (Source: Bloomberg)
Italy’s ability to implement fiscal austerity and reduce its debt burden is crucial to euro-zone policy makers’ efforts to end the region’s debt crisis, according to Julian Callow, chief European economist at Barclays Plc in London. “If Italy is in difficulties and is in need of financing from the rest of the euro area, the rest of the euro area can’t really stump up enough capital to support that,” said Callow in a radio interview today on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene and Ken Prewitt. “Italy is the key thing to address because of its size and because of these unstable debt dynamics, with interest payments that have started to emerge.” Italy’s borrowing costs jumped today when its Treasury sold 10.5 billion euros ($14.6 billion) of bills and bonds, with the shorter-term securities priced to yield the most in three years. The country has to repay 298 billion euros of debt next year, more than France, Spain or any other euro member.

Europe Struggles for Crisis Cure Ahead of Summit (Source: Bloomberg)
European leaders “have risen to the challenge,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. French President Nicolas Sarkozy proclaimed their July 21 summit a “historic turning point” and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean- Claude Juncker called it the “final package, of course,” to extinguish the debt inferno. Then they went on vacation. Before they returned to work, the deal fizzled. The euro’s stewards are back in Brussels today for an emergency summit struggling to heed the world’s calls to once and for all eradicate what U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner called the “catastrophic risk” of the debt crisis. A potential Greek default threatens shockwaves that could engulf Italy and France, jolt the banking system and spell havoc for the global economy.
“Buck up, this crisis is going to be with us still for a while,” Barry Eichengreen, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, said on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene and Ken Prewitt. “I fear they’re not going to take the kind of steps to resolve it.”

European Stocks Advance for Third Day in Four Before EU Debt-Crisis Summit (Source: Bloomberg)
European stocks advanced as the region’s leaders gathered in Brussels for the second summit in four days to address the debt crisis and after U.S. durable- goods orders and home sales topped forecasts. Merck KGaA jumped the most in more than two years as the drugmaker posted profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Pandora A/S soared 12 percent amid speculation the Danish jeweler won’t lower its earnings outlook this close to reporting results. Nyrstar NV slid 8.5 percent as the world’s biggest producer of refined zinc cut its mine-output forecast. The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.2 percent to 240.8 at the close of trading, having swung between gains and losses at least 20 times. The measure has rallied 12 percent from this year’s low on Sept. 22 amid speculation policy makers will reach agreement on a solution to the region’s debt woes.

Bank of Canada Cuts Economic Growth Outlook Amid Weakness in U.S., Europe (Source: Bloomberg)
The Bank of Canada cut its forecasts for economic growth through the middle of 2012 as the U.S. and European economies falter, and it said the expansion will accelerate more than estimated later next year. The bank, in its quarterly Monetary Policy Report, said the annualized pace of expansion in the world’s 10th largest economy will average 1.8 percent in the four quarters through June, compared with a previous estimate of 2.8 percent. The bank cut its projection for global growth in 2012 by 0.9 percentage point, and it said the recovery will be slower than usual as consumers, governments and businesses reduce debt. “Lower commodity prices and heightened volatility in financial markets stemming from the weaker and more uncertain global economic outlook are projected to weigh on the wealth and confidence of Canadian households,” the report said. Its projection assumes a “gradual reduction in monetary stimulus over the projection horizon, consistent with achieving the inflation target.”
Household spending and business investment will accelerate in 2013, assuming European leaders are able to contain their debt crisis, the bank said, bringing inflation back to its 2 percent target rate. The bank’s projection for the U.S. economy doesn’t include President Barack Obama’s proposed $447 billion jobs package, which includes infrastructure spending and tax cuts.

Euro Declines Against Most Major Peers as Banks Say No Deal Yet on Greece (Source: Bloomberg)
The euro declined against the majority of its 16 most-traded peers as European leaders failed to reach an agreement on a deal for bondholder losses as part of a second Greek bailout. Demand for the 17-nation currency was also dented before a report that economists said will show European confidence in the economic outlook dropped in October to the lowest level in almost two years. Losses in the euro were limited as leaders said they reached agreement on a plan to recapitalize banks. The dollar held yesterday’s advance against the yen after Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said he hopes for positive news from a Bank of Japan meeting today. “Plans are emerging, but the market is still not certain if they are enough,” said Greg Gibbs, a currency strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Sydney. “The euro is also under some pressure because of weakening data in Europe.”

20111027 1001 Global Commodities Related News.

Commodities Tumble Most in a Week, Led by Oil, Nickel on Economic Concerns (Source: Bloomberg)
Commodities fell the most in a week, led by oil, nickel and wheat, on a bigger-than-expected gain in crude inventories and speculation that demand for U.S. grain will shrink as the global economy falters. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials dropped 1.8 percent after oil declined the most in more than three weeks in New York. The index retreated for the first time in four days as commodity prices declined amid concern that European debt-crisis talks are stalling. Gold and silver rose. “The markets that fell were working based on their own fundamentals and the economic outlook,” said Mike Armbruster, a commodities analyst at Altavest Worldwide Trading in Mission Viejo, California. Crude’s supply increase “was a nice excuse for that market to pull back.” The S&P GSCI index dropped to 637.76. Commodity prices have rebounded 11 percent from a 10-month low on Oct. 4. Eighteen of the commodities in the index declined today.

Corn (Source: CME)
CBOT corn futures end lower, dragged down by outside market influences, including a stronger US dollar and weaker crude oil. USD, which climbed as worries about Europe's debt crisis persist, makes US exports less attractive. Traders already worried about demand after recent gains, although USDA announced fresh sales of 110K tons Wednesday. An abundance of feed wheat around the world is also limiting to corn demand, analysts say. Prices fall to their lowest level since Thursday, but remain well above a Sept 30 intraday low of $5.72 1/4. CBOT Dec. corn ends down 13 1/2c, or 2.1%, to $6.37 1/4.

Wheat (Source: CME)
U.S. wheat futures stumble, ending lower on outside market pressure and lackluster demand. Wheat and other commodities sagged under pressure from a stronger dollar, which makes exports less attractive. Traders are also nervously eying the EU crisis to see if a resolution is forthcoming. Wheat already is pressured by lackluster demand and a lack of supply worries worldwide. Traders do still have concerns about the U.S. crop, however, particularly the winter wheat crop, which is off to a slow start due to drought in the southern Plains. CBOT Dec wheat ends down 16 3/4c, or 2.6%, to $6.19 1/2 per bushel, while KCBT wheat ends down 17 1/2c to $7.16. MGEX Dec wheat ends down 6 1/4c to $9.10 1/4.

Rice (Source: CME)
US rice futures close lower as strength in the dollar puts broad pressure on grain markets. Rice falls with corn, soybeans and wheat. Grain traders anxiously await news from European debt summit amid worries a global economic slowdown could dent demand. Losses in rice are a turnaround from sharp gains earlier this week fueled by increasing concerns about floods hurting output in Thailand, the world's top rice exporter. CBOT January rice sinks 21 1/2c to $17.17/hundredweight.

U.S. grains turn higher; EU summit eyed
SYDNEY, Oct 26 (Reuters) - U.S. corn, wheat and soybeans futures turned firmer, though volumes were light as traders took to the sidelines while European leaders struggled to come up with a concrete plan to solve the euro-zone debt crisis.
"It is fairly quiet today which is mostly a reflection of a fairly benign market in the U.S.," said Simon Clancy, a broker at Advance Trading Australasia.

Kazakh new-crop grain exports could reach 15 mln T
ASTANA, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan could potentially export more than 15 million tonnes of grain from this year's crop, forecast to be the biggest since independence from the Soviet Union, Agriculture Minister Asylzhan Mamytbekov said on Wednesday.
Grain exports from Kazakhstan, the world's seventh- or eighth-largest wheat exporter in a typical season, will provide competition to Russian and Ukrainian suppliers in the Black Sea region this season.

Australia weather bureau sees weaker La Nina
SYDNEY, Oct 26 (Reuters) - A developing La Nina weather event will be considerably weaker than the record strong 2010/11 La Nina that wreaked havoc along Australia's eastern seaboard, Australia's weather bureau said on Wednesday.
The recent La Nina caused devastating floods, ruined crops and disrupted coal shipments but the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said mid-southern summer models indicated a weaker event for 2011/12.

Putin warns grain traders over "excessive" exports
SHAPOVSKY DISTRICT, Russia, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told grain traders they had fair warning of plans to introduce protective tariffs on grain if their exports threatened domestic supplies, and told them to avoid signing "excessive" contracts.
"Russia will approximately export 24-25 million tonnes of grain...After that we will introduce certain limits in order not to leave the country with no bread and for us to accumulate reserves that will make up next year`s reserves," Putin told a meeting with agricultural workers on a campaign stop in Russia's south.

EU wheat exports face more Black Sea pressure
PARIS, Oct 25 (Reuters) - European wheat exports could slow in the coming weeks as stiffening competition from Black Sea producers puts a brake on shipments that held up better than expected in the early part of the season, grain traders said.
A spectacular return by Russia to wheat export markets, following the end of a near year-long grain embargo in July, has already curbed European sales in the 2011/12 (July-June) season, notably by claiming the bulk of sales to Egypt's state buyer.

Russian grain harvesting 96 percent over - AgMin
MOSCOW, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Russia had harvested 95 million tonnes of grain by bunker weight by Oct. 25 from 41.1 million hectares, or from 96 percent of the targeted area of 44.1 million hectares, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.
It did not provide data for the same date a year ago.

S.Africa's maize plantings seen up, wheat output down
JOHANNESBURG, Oct 25 (Reuters) - South African maize farmers intend to cultivate more land in the 2011/12 season as they are lured by strong prices, while wheat output for 2011 is seen down from a previous forecast, an official survey showed on Tuesday.
The government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said farmers intended to plant 2.602 million hectares of the staple grain in the 2011/12 season compared with 2.37 million hectares in the previous season.

Canadian Wheat Board Launches Lawsuit Against Canada Govt (Source: CME)
The board of directors at the Canadian Wheat Board announced it will launch a lawsuit against the country's Conservative government in an attempt to derail its plans to dismantle the agency. "We have no choice but to take this last stand on behalf of farmers. We will not be intimidated by bullies," said Allen Oberg, the board's chairman and an Alberta farmer. The agency, which acts as the single buyer of wheat and barley from western Canadian farmers, said it would argue before the Federal Court of Canada that the Canadian government violated the law when it introduced legislation to repeal the CWB of its powers. According to the wheat board, the current law compels federal authorities to conduct a plebiscite of affected producers - which it didn't do.
The Canadian Wheat Board conducted its own plebiscite, and results released in September indicated 62% of wheat farmers who voted backed the status quo. Barley farmers also backed the board, but by a smaller margin, with 51% of respondents voting in favor of keeping the monopoly. More than 49,000 votes were cast in the plebiscite. The board's plebiscite didn't influence the Conservative government, with Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz introducing legislation last week that would strip the agency of its powers. At a media conference held in Winnipeg, Oberg said the lawsuit is intended to persuade the government to change its mind - but stopped short of suggesting the board wants to stop the government from implementing its proposed legislation.
"This is a desire for the government to obey the law. Governments can obey the law and change the law, but they cannot ignore the law - which is what has happened here," Oberg said. "What actions the court may take are speculative on my part." The board has yet to file legal documents backing its case, and Oberg said the directors had yet to hire lawyers to fight on their behalf. Further, Oberg said there was "no consensus" among the agency's 15 directors - 10 of which are elected by farmers and five appointed by the federal government. In fact, one elected board member resigned Wednesday, based on the board's decision to take legal action against the government. Henry Vos, who represents farmers in northern Alberta and northern British Columbia, said in a letter the wheat board's lawsuit decision "is simply wrong," because it's clear it wouldn't change the outcome or timing of the government's actions.
"What is happening at the CWB today is, in a word, wrong. To continue to work within the existing dysfunctional CWB board would be a disservice to those who voted me for me as their director," Vos said in the letter, which was obtained by Dow Jones Newswires. A spokeswoman for Ritz, the agriculture minister, wasn't immediately available for comment.

USDA Chief To Visit China, Vietnam To Promote Agriculture Trade (Source: CME)
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to China and Vietnam next month in an effort to bolster already booming U.S. agricultural exports to those countries, USDA officials said. "In terms of exports, we are experiencing the best years in America's history," Vilsack said. "Partnerships with growing markets like those in China and Vietnam are integral to the strength of the U.S. economy in the decades ahead." China moved ahead of Mexico and Canada in 2010 to become the largest foreign market for U.S. agricultural commodities. Over the past ten years Vietnam has risen to the fifteenth-largest foreign buyer of U.S. agriculture products, up from fiftieth.

Russia Harvests 95M Tons Grain To Oct 25 (Source: CME)
Russia harvested 95 million metric tons of grain to Oct. 25 on 41.1 million hectares, or 96% of the total area to be harvested, the agriculture ministry reported. Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Oct. 5 the country would harvest 95 million tons of grain this year. Last year's harvest fell to 60.9 million tons from 97.1 million tons in 2009 due to the summer drought.

Queensland Introduces Bill To Protect Strategic Cropping Land (Source: CME)
The government of resource-rich Queensland state late Tuesday introduced legislation to parliament to protect strategic cropping lands from the ravages of mining, a move welcomed by the state's farming lobby. "The Strategic Cropping Land Bill is a significant policy shift," Finance and Natural Resources Minister Rachel Nolan told parliament while introducing the bill. "Queensland's best farm land is a precious resource that must be protected for future generations," she said. Queensland produces nearly all of Australia's sugar, about half its beef and cotton and large quantities of winter and summer grains, and is an important supplier of horticultural products to main population centers to the south. But there is also increasing pressure from mining. Queensland will, in several years, become a major world supplier of liquefied natural gas through several projects based on coal seam gas that build on an existing substantial coal export industry, Nolan said.
"But we don't and have never supported resource development at any cost," Nolan said. The government has identified around 4% of the state, or 7.5 million hectares, as strategic cropping land, within an area that extends south from Mossman town in the north to the New South Wales border and up to about 500 kilometers inland from the east coast, she said. The state's minerals and energy industries lobby, the Queensland Resources Council, acknowledged that the government has recognised the prior investment of tens of millions of dollars in advanced projects and is also providing avenues for these projects to work within the legislative framework. The 4% of Queensland to be covered under the legislation compares favorably with the 0.09% of the state's land physically disturbed by resource sector operations, the council's chief executive, Michael Roche, said. "Queensland deserves strong resources and agriculture sectors, and there is room for both," he said in a statement.
Queensland Farmers' Federation Chief Executive Dan Galligan said farmers have been waiting since February 2010 to see the bill, and its introduction to parliament represents a historic moment "when we finally see some legal basis for the protection of our finite soil resources." Farmers, the government and the mining industry have put in considerable work to strike the right balance in the legislation. While the introduction of the bill isn't the end of that process, it is an important milestone, Galligan said in a statement issued Wednesday. The bill has been referred to a parliamentary committee for further consideration.

Sugar, coffee rise, eyes on euro summit
LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - ICE raw sugar, arabica coffee and cocoa futures rose in light volumes in early trade on Wednesday, as investors stayed cautious before a summit expected to deliver pledges to tackle the euro zone's debt crisis rather than firm commitments.
Raw sugar futures edged higher, supported by a weaker dollar and steadiness in outside markets including oil.

Egypt sugar beet, cane planting area seen steady-paper
CAIRO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The area planted with sugar beet and cane in Egypt in the 2011/2012 season will hold steady, an official said in remarks published on Wednesday, dousing talk that lucrative prices offered by the state for wheat would encourage a switch.
Abdel Wahab Allam, president of Egyptian Sugar Crop Council, said he expected farmers to plant 400,000 feddans (168,000 hectares) with sugar beet and 320,000 feddans with cane this season, al-Borsa newspaper reported.

El Salvador cuts 11/12 coffee crop estimate on rains
SAN SALVADOR, Oct 25 (Reuters) - El Salvador cut its forecast for the upcoming coffee harvest by 6 percent on Tuesday after assessing the potential damages to crops from weeks of non-stop downpours.
The coffee association Procafe said the Central American country, which produces top quality arabica coffee, said it now saw the 2011/12 crop reaching 1.33 million 60-kg bags, more than 30 percent less than produced in the 2010/11 season.

Kraft to invest over $100 mln in Russia coffee plant
MOSCOW, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Kraft Foods Inc  said it would invest more than $100 million into its Russian coffee plant until 2015 to double production and meet growing demand for the beverage in the fast-growing market.
The move comes a week after Nestle , the world's biggest food group, completed an extension of its coffee plant in Russia's  southern Krasnodar region, which now has become its biggest soluble coffee factory in Europe.

Poland's top sugar maker mulls investment in cane
WARSAW, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Poland's leading sugar producer KSC is looking into buying a foreign sugarcane producer and setting up a cane refinery in Poland in a move to diversify its beet-dominated output, KSC CEO Marcin Kulicki said on Tuesday.
The investment is aimed at diversifying risk for KSC and preparing production capacities ahead of the European Union's sugar market liberalisation planned for 2015.

Euro Coal-Prices stable in quiet trade
LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Prompt physical coal prices were steady on Tuesday, with slow activity keeping the market in a tight range.  
Coal traders have said in recent days that buyers are few and that a lot of the players with long positions cannot burn coal as utilities do or stockpile it at ports as big miners can.

Crude Declines on U.S. Inventory Gain and European Debt Meeting Concern (Source: Bloomberg)
Crude oil dropped the most in more than three weeks after a government report showed a larger-than- projected gain in U.S. stockpiles and amid concern that European debt-crisis talks are stalling. Futures fell 3.2 percent after the Energy Department said supplies rose 4.74 million barrels to 337.6 million last week, more than triple the gain estimated by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. EU leaders are meeting for the second summit in four days in an attempt to reach an agreement to bolster a rescue fund, strengthen banks and bail out Greece. “The crude number was very bearish,” said Todd Horwitz, chief strategist at Adam Mesh Trading Group in New York. “If we were trading on the inventories alone, we would be in the lower $80s.”
Crude oil for December delivery fell $2.97 to settle at $90.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract’s drop was the biggest since Sept. 30. Futures increased 2.1 percent to $93.17 yesterday, the highest settlement since Aug. 2, and have gained 15 percent in October.

Japan's JX plans Nov crude refining down 2 pct y/y
TOKYO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Japan's top oil refiner JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp plans to refine 5.93 million kilolitres (1.24 million barrels per day) of crude oil in November for domestic consumption, down 2 percent from a year earlier, a company executive said on Wednesday.
"If demand turns out to be weaker than expected, we may lower crude runs although we'll make sure we provide enough supplies to the (quake-hit) Tohoku region," said Tsutomu Sugimori, senior vice president in charge of retail fuel sales.

CNOOC Q3 production fall 9.1 pct y/y
BEIJING, Oct 26 (Reuters) - China's top offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd  said on Wednesday production in the third quarter fell 9.1 percent on year to 80.9 million barrels of oil equivalent, mainly due to halted production at Penglai 19-3 oilfield in Bohai Bay and the natural decline of certain fields.
The unaudited oil and gas sales revenue in the period totalled 46.26 billion yuan, up 23.7 percent from a year earlier, it said. The company's total revenue for the third quarter was 46.52 million yuan ($7.3 million).

Oil Gains as European Debt Talks Progress; U.S. Fuel Stockpiles Decline (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil advanced in New York on speculation fuel demand may increase as Europe made progress in talks to rein in a sovereign debt crisis that threatens to slow global economic growth and curb demand for commodities. Futures rose as much as 0.9 percent after yesterday sliding 3.2 percent. European leaders agreed on recapitalizing banks and bolstering a rescue fund. French President Nicolas Sarkozy will call Chinese leader Hu Jintao today to discuss China contributing to the fund, said a person familiar with the matter. U.S. fuel stockpiles fell last week even as crude supplies increased, an Energy Department report showed. Crude oil for December delivery climbed as much as 80 cents to $91 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $90.95 at 9:48 a.m. Sydney time. The contract yesterday declined the most in three weeks, sliding $2.97 to $90.20. Prices are down 0.5 percent this year.
Brent oil for December settlement dropped $2.01, or 1.8 percent, to $108.91 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday. The European benchmark contract closed at a premium of $18.71 to New York crude, compared with a record settlement of $27.88 on Oct. 14.

Pig Iron’s Pain Proves Boon for Nickel Miners Norilsk, Vale: Commodities (Source: Bloomberg)
Nickel, the second-worst performing metal on the London Metals Exchange in the past six months, is set to rebound as Chinese steelmakers lead a recovery in demand.  Nickel’s 20 percent slump this year has made it cheaper than pig iron, a substitute made from low-grade ore from Indonesia and the Philippines. Nickel, used to strengthen stainless steel in everything from kitchen sinks to aircraft- fuel tanks, may rise 16 percent next year as mills boost purchases, Societe Generale SA said. Baosteel Group Corp., China’s biggest publicly traded steelmaker, said it may start buying more refined nickel this month because pig iron has become too expensive. That will boost profits at nickel miners including BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), Vale SA (VALE3) and OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer.
“We have seen less nickel pig iron production, which is the most flexible part of the nickel output,” Anton Berlin, head of marketing at Norilsk Nickel said in an Oct. 21 interview in Moscow. “If the price stays low, we’ll probably see further shutdowns.

Japan steel firms cut outlook as market deteriorates
TOKYO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Japan's top steelmakers Nippon Steel Corp  and JFE Holdings Inc  slashed full-year profit outlook by 20 percent, hit by a rapid deterioration in Asia's steel market,  after booking about 50 percent fall in quarterly earnings.
Ebbing demand in China, the world's biggest consumer and producer, and an uncertain global economy are weighing heavily on the profits of Asian's steelmakers, already reeling from a supply glut and sagging prices in the region.

Iron Ore-Spot falls more than 7 pct in steepest drop ever
SINGAPORE, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Spot iron ore prices slumped more than 7 percent in the deepest decline ever for the steelmaking raw material on thin demand from top importer China, where slower growth has dented steel consumption, with offers falling further on Wednesday.
Iron ore has lost nearly 30 percent since early September when falling steel prices in China suggested slowing demand from the construction sector, which was behind the surge in steel production to a record pace earlier this year.

Chinese copper end-users buy more refined on lack of scrap
HONG KONG, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Chinese fabricators are buying more spot refined copper because of reduced supply of alternative feed scrap and to rebuild stocks given low prices, traders said on Tuesday.
Increased demand had prompted importers to buy copper already in bonded warehouses in Shanghai, lifting premiums for and driving down volumes of bonded stocks, which are popular with Chinese buyers thanks to a short delivery time.

U.S. steelmakers see gloomy future
Oct 25 (Reuters) - U.S. Steel  and AK Steel  gave gloomy forecasts for the rest of the year, citing weak economies in Europe and North America, depressed steel prices and higher raw materials, and their shares plummeted.
U.S. Steel's Chief Executive Officer John Surma forecast lower fourth-quarter results, saying demand for steel was "just OK" with some strength in automotive, but nowhere near where it was before 2008.

World no. 2 zinc mine posts 11 pct output drop in Q3
SYDNEY, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Output from the world's second largest zinc mine, Century in Australia, dropped by 11 percent to 122,015 tonnes of contained metal in the September quarter versus the same period a year ago, owner Minmetals  said on Wednesday.
The mine, which is expected to roughly maintain production levels until it runs out of ore in about four years, recorded nine-month output of 363,276 tonnes of contained metal, down 3 percent year-on-year, Minmetals said.  

METALS - Copper up on China demand; Europe worries weigh
SHANGHAI, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Wednesday on short-covering and import orders by Chinese consumers, but growing doubts over a resolution to the euro zone debt crisis ahead of a key European Union summit later in the day are expected to keep investors on edge.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange  rose 2.4 percent to $7,707.25 a tonne by 0335 GMT, after a 1.4-percent drop in the previous session.

PRECIOUS - Gold hits one-month high ahead of EU summit
SINGAPORE, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Spot gold rose nearly 1 percent on Wednesday to its highest level in more than a month, as safe-haven demand returned on growing doubts over a resolution to the euro zone debt crisis ahead of a key European Union summit later in the day.
Deep disagreement remained on critical aspects of the potential agreement among European policymakers on how to solve the debt crisis, dimming prospects for a comprehensive deal at the summit.

Baltic index firmer, iron ore prices in focus
LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, inched higher on Tuesday helped by Chinese interest in buying iron ore and coal.  
Brokers said they were watching iron ore price developments, which were driving seaborne activity.

20111027 1000 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Soybeans (Source: CME)
US soybean and soy product futures close lower as the rising dollar and falling crude oil pressure the markets. Oil is linked to the soy complex because biodiesel is made from soyoil; the firm dollar weighs on US farm products as it makes them less attractive to foreign buyers. "If you want to look at the markets today, you really do point squarely at the dollar," says Dale Durchholz of AgriVisor. Traders wait nervously for results from EU summit on euro-zone's debt crisis. CBOT January soybeans drop 14c to $12.19 3/4/bushel.

Soybean Meal/Oil (Source: CME)
December soymeal loses $5.20 to $317 per short ton, and December soyoil drops 61c to 50.89c/pound.

Argentina & Ukraine to reshape corn export arena: Maguire
 --Gavin Maguire is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own. To get his real-time views on the market, please join the Global Ags Forum. --
CHICAGO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - An unlikely pairing of Argentina and the Ukraine may come to reshape the global corn export market going forward as both countries aggressively ramp up exportable production of the crop just as the U.S.'s share of world corn exports falls to 40-year lows.
Combined exports of Argentine and Ukrainian corn are projected to make up more than a third of global corn trade in the 2011/12 crop year, which puts those countries as the most likely candidates to fill the void being left by the U.S. which will see its share of exports dwindle below 50 percent for the first time since 1970 this coming year.

Record U.S. edible oil imports expected-Oil World
HAMBURG, Oct 25 (Reuters) - U.S. vegetable oil imports are likely to touch a new record in October 2011-September 2012 as demand especially for biofuels outstrips supplies, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World forecast on Tuesday.
U.S. 2011/12 edible oil imports will rise to 3.90 million tonnes from 3.80 million tonnes in 2010/11, Oil World forecasts.

S.American soy crop better than feared- Oil World
HAMBURG, Oct 24 (Reuters) - South American soybean harvests in early 2012 may be larger than previously expected but Argentine farmers may turn towards planting more grains, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said on Tuesday.
"South American soybean production may exceed expectations in early 2012," Oil World said. "Planting and growing conditions improved significantly in the last 2-3 weeks after the required rainfall had arrived in most major soybean growing areas."