STOCKS: European stock index futures pointed to a flat to lower open while Asian shares extended gains for a seventh day, as investors balanced a new monetary boost from the U.S. Federal Reserve with lingering concerns that austerity measures could derail the world's largest economy. U.S. stocks ended nearly flat on Wednesday, giving up most of the day's gains after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated that monetary policy won't be enough to offset damage from the "fiscal cliff." (Reuters)
FOREX: The dollar was on defensive after the U.S. Federal Reserve unveiled a fresh bond-buying stimulus program but the yen languished at nine-month lows against the U.S. currency on expectations of more money printing in Japan. The dollar index slipped to one-week low of 79.711 after the Fed's decision on Wednesday and last stood at 79.891, flat from late U.S. levels, with a six-week low of 79.568 seen as an immediate support. The dollar rose 0.5 percent to 83.59 percent, edging near its March high of 84.187 yen. (Reuters)
FOREX-Dollar broadly soft after Fed, yen extends losses
TOKYO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The dollar was on defensive on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve unveiled a fresh bond-buying stimulus programme but the yen languished at nine-month lows against the U.S. currency on expectations of more money printing in Japan.
"We still hold the view that the Fed has fully delivered, and that the numerical targets set a high threshold for the eventual Fed policy exit, which still remains in a very distant future," said Vassili Serebriakov, a strategist at BNP Paribas.
Fed ties rates to jobs recovery, adds to stimulus (Reuters)
The U.S. Federal Reserve, announcing a new round of monetary stimulus, took the unprecedented step on Wednesday of indicating interest rates would remain near zero until unemployment falls to at least 6.5 percent.
French farm office raises wheat exports to 10 mln t (Reuters)
Farm office FranceAgriMer raised its forecast of French soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season, but an equivalent cut to exports within the EU meant its outlook for wheat stocks was little changed.
GRAINS: Chicago wheat futures fell for a fifth day running, pressured by U.S. estimates for big stockpiles that reflected softer demand and dragged down prices to levels last seen in July. Wheat for March delivery on the CBOT eased 0.6 percent to $8.07-1/4 per bushel, just off the day's low of $8.07, its cheapest since July 3. Corn and soybeans were also lower, with traders waiting for weekly U.S. export sales numbers due later in the day to see if overseas demand picked up for corn and if Chinese appetite for soybeans remained robust. Corn dropped 0.4 percent to $7.22-1/2 per bushel, near Wednesday's trough of $7.19, the lowest in almost a month. Soybeans also slipped 0.4 percent to $14.68. (Reuters)
IEA sees sluggish oil demand in 2013, good supply (Reuters)
Global oil demand will be sluggish throughout 2013 as economic expansion remains tepid and oil supply levels comfortable, which could alleviate oil price pressures on consumers, the West's energy agency said on Wednesday.
OIL: Brent crude slipped toward $109 a barrel, on rising oil stockpiles and weaker fuel demand in the United States, while fears that the world's largest economy might miss a deadline for next year's budget kept bulls in check. Brent crude fell in the first of four sessions and was down 22 cents to $109.28 a barrel, while U.S. crude was at $86.55, down 22 cents. The January Brent contract expires on Friday. (Reuters)
Iraq, Saudi on OPEC collision course over next oil curb (Reuters)
A new rivalry at the top of OPEC has emerged, pitting up-and-coming Iraq against undisputed oil cartel heavyweight Saudi Arabia.
Italian government may decree return of steel seized from Ilva (Reuters)
The Italian government may amend a decree aimed at rescuing Europe's biggest steel factory ILVA in order to release 1 billion euros worth of steel production seized by magistrates, a junior minister said on Wednesday.
BASE METAS: London copper slipped, bruised by the struggles of U.S. lawmakers to find a fix to a looming "fiscal cliff" and on a rebound in the dollar after it tumbled following the Federal Reserve's extension of loose monetary policy. Three-month copper on the LME fell by 0.61 percent to $8,079.25 a tonne, reversing small gains seen the previous session. The most-traded March copper contract on the SFE slipped by 0.64 percent to 57,610 yuan a tonne. (Reuters)
PRECIOUS METALS: Gold tumbled more than 1 percent on stop-loss selling, after the Federal Reserve's announcement of a fresh round of bond buying pushed prices to their highest levels in nearly two weeks. Spot gold stood at $1,696.16. U.S. gold traded at $1,697.80, with more than 16,000 lots changing hands, compared to about 3,000 an hour earlier. (Reuters)
METALS-LME copper falls after Fed; fiscal cliff worries drag
SINGAPORE, Dec 13 (Reuters) - London copper slipped bruised by the struggles of U.S. lawmakers to resolve their fiscal troubles and on profit-taking after November's strong run-up based on expectations for the U.S. Federal Reserve to extend easing measures.
"The key thing here is the ongoing fiscal negotiation. Until they have some resolution, I think that is a dampener for the market," said Thomas Lam, chief economist at DMG & Partners Securities.
PRECIOUS-Gold drops, Fed move raises concern on stimulus scope
SINGAPORE, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Gold dropped about 1 percent after the Federal Reserve linked its monetary policy to unemployment, raising concerns that future economic stimulus could be limited.
"This announcement is a bit confusing to gold investors as it linked policy to unemployment, etc.," said a Tokyo-based trader.