Monday, June 18, 2012

20120618 1816 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 2899, changed : +50 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : pullback correction downside biased.
MACD Histogram : turned upward, seller lock in profit.
Support : 2850, 2800, 2770, 2750 level.
Resistance : 2900, 2920, 2950, 2970 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed rebounded higher by more than 1.5% with better volume transacted. Soy oil price currently trading firmer after last Friday closed higher while crude oil price trading little softer after last Friday climb.
Price recovered today as sentiment stabilised due Greece election result provide some relieve and last Friday released of getting better exports data.
Technical chart revisedto recommending a pullback correction downside biased market development after recent falls.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20120618 1735 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1581.5 changed : -1 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound little upside biased.
MACD Histogram : resumed rising, buyer in advantage.
Support : 1580, 1570, 1565, 1550 level.
Resistance : 1590, 1600, 1610, 1620 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed 1 point lower with declined volume exchanged doing 1 point discount compare to cash market that closed little higher. Last Friday U.S. markets closed firmer and today Asia markets ended mostly higher while European markets currently drifting between gain and losses.
Greece election won by bailout support political parties eased the world concern on Greece's EU exits resulted global market to trade higher today. But back home, FKLI opened gap up, test higher and fell lower recorded marginal loss as Spain recorded higher bond yield amid Europe debt crisis remained dragging global economy growth. Other agenda coming will be G20 meeting development.
Daily chart reading still calling a correction range bound little upside biased market development with previous high resistance at 1591.5 level defending well.
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.

20120618 1707 Regional Markets EOD Daily Chart Study.

 DJIA chart reading : upside biased with possible pullback correction.
 Hang Seng chart reading : upside biased with possible pullback correction.
KLCI chart reading :  correction range bound little upside biased testing resistance level.

20120618 1623 Global Market & Commodities Related News. (Source: Reuters)

Asian shares rose nearly 2 percent while European shares looked set to open higher as a narrow election victory for Greece's pro-bailout parties over radical leftists eased concerns about the debt-laden country leaving the euro zone. U.S. stocks rallied on Friday to close a second straight week of gains on hopes of collective action from global central banks if Sunday's election in Greece triggers market turmoil.

The euro briefly hit a one-month high against the U.S. dollar after Greek parties supporting a bailout won a slim parliamentary majority, allaying fear of an immediate break-up of the currency bloc.

FOREX-Euro hits 1-month high then pares gains on Greek relief
TOKYO, June 18 (Reuters) - The euro briefly hit a one-month high against the U.S. dollar after Greek parties supporting a bailout won a slim parliamentary majority, allaying fear of an immediate break-up of the currency bloc.
While there is scepticism in the market over the euro zone's ability to take effective steps to deal with the debt crisis that is now threatening Spain and Italy, massive speculative bets built against the currency could mean a good chance of further short-covering.

COLUMN-China still key for commodities despite Greek relief
--Clyde Russell  is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own--
LAUNCESTON, Australia, June 18 (Reuters) - Commodities joined the general relief rally after Greeks voted narrowly to support pro-bailout parties, but any sustained gains will depend on risks abating over Chinese demand and Iranian crude supplies.
While it is undoubtedly positive for Europe and for risk assets that Greece is now far more likely to stay in the euro, it would be a big call to say that the weekend election does much to solve the continent's underlying problems.

Peru's economy grows at slowest pace in two years
LIMA, June 15 (Reuters) - Peru's economy, one of the fastest-growing in Latin America, expanded at its slowest rate in more than two years in April but the central bank said it does not see the need to lower interest rates for the time being.
The region's seventh-largest economy grew by 4.37 percent in April from a year earlier, official data showed on Friday.

U.S. corn rose following the election of a pro-bailout government in Greece, but off early highs as optimism waned slightly that the euro zone would avoid a fresh crisis.

US corn entering pollination as weather threatens
Corn plants in the southern and central areas of the United States are beginning to pollinate, or produce grain, a time when cool, wet weather is needed for the crop, but forecasts are calling for high temperatures and little widespread rain.

Informa raises U.S. corn, soy plantings estimates
Private analytical firm Informa Economics raised its estimate of U.S. 2012 corn plantings to 96.759 million acres (39.2 million hectares), from its previous forecast of 96.124 million, trade sources said Friday.

Zambia Sugar workers end strike with pay deal
A strike over wages at Zambia Sugar , a unit of South Africa's Illovo Sugar , has ended after the company awarded permanent workers a 15 percent pay rise, the sugar producer and a union said on Saturday.

OPEC expects lower oil output in July
OPEC members will reduce the group's output to adhere to its 30 million barrels per day (bpd) output ceiling and the effects should be seen in July, OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri told a news briefing on Friday.

Russia oil firms face heavy fines for gas flaring
Russian oil companies are facing fines of hundreds of millions of dollars or more for polluting the atmosphere with excess amounts of flared gas, the newly appointed resources minister said on Saturday.  

Oil futures rose to one-week highs after a victory for Greece's pro-bailout political parties revived risk appetite, but prices swiftly came off peaks as focus turned to Europe's other debt-hit economies like Spain and Italy.

Indonesia mining rules hitting ore exports -industry group
Indonesia's new mineral ore export regulations have halted operations at hundreds of small mining companies, costing the country's export industry up to $164 million a month in lost nickel and bauxite sales, a mining industry body said on Friday.

INTERVIEW-China's cooling growth to cap copper demand-Aurubis
Demand for copper from top consumer China is expected to remain soft as the country's growth cools, but strong fundamentals are likely to keep copper prices elevated, Europe's biggest copper producer Aurubis  said.

HK bourse agrees to buy London Metal Exchange
The Hong Kong stock exchange agreed to pay 1.4 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) to buy the London Metal Exchange, a British institution and the world's biggest marketplace for industrial metals, underscoring the global shift in manufacturing to Asia.

Indonesia mining rules hitting ore exports -industry group
JAKARTA, June 15 (Reuters) - Indonesia's new mineral ore export regulations have halted operations at hundreds of small mining companies, costing the country's export industry up to $164 million a month in lost nickel and bauxite sales, a mining industry body said on Friday.
Indonesia in May asked all miners to submit plans to build local smelters or to process ore domestically by 2014, when a total ban on raw mineral exports kicks in, or otherwise face an immediate ban on raw ore exports. It also imposed a 20 percent tax on ore exports.

China provinces mull power subsidy to aluminium smelters
HONG KONG, June 15 (Reuters) - China's top aluminium producing province of Henan may subsidise electricity used by loss-making smelters in a bid to spur local growth, a tactic other provinces could adopt, helping to keep production strong and limiting imports.  
Electricity makes up 40 percent of production costs and the bulk of aluminium smelters in China, the world's top producer and consumer of aluminium, use around 14,000 kilowatts to produce each tonne of the metal.
Japan Q3 aluminium premiums at record high around $200-$210-sources
TOKYO, June 18 (Reuters) - Japanese aluminium buyers, the world's biggest importers of the  metal, locked up third-quarter supply deals mostly at a physical premium of $200-$210 per tonne, a record high, after global smelters cut output, four sources directly involved in the talks said.
The premiums for July-September, which act as a benchmark for Asia, represent a jump of up to 70 percent from the $121-122 paid over the London Metal Exchange cash price  in the current quarter, the steepest-ever quarter-on-quarter rise.

European copper premiums seen at $60-$70 this year -traders
BRUSSELS, June 15 (Reuters) - Copper premiums in Europe are likely to stabilise at around $60-$70 a tonne for the rest of the year, as China is expected to import less material and as supply tightness eases, trading sources said.  
In March, European copper premiums more than doubled from levels in early 2012, to above $90 a tonne, as consumers scrambled for material in a market tightened by a lack of available supply from producers.

China's cooling growth to cap copper demand-Aurubis
BRUSSELS, June 15 (Reuters) - Demand for copper from top consumer China is expected to remain soft as the country's growth cools, but strong fundamentals are likely to keep copper prices elevated, Europe's biggest copper producer Aurubis  said.
Volker Pawlitzki, Vice President for commercial recycling at Aurubis said softer growth rates in China were to be expected, and the country's demand for raw materials such as copper is unlikely to be as strong as in previous years.

JP Morgan looks to trade physical iron ore, coal
LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - JP Morgan  is looking to trade physical iron ore and coking coal and expand its activity in physical steel, an executive at the bank said this week, following other major financial players that have moved into these markets.
The U.S. bank has been an active trader of steel and iron ore derivatives since late 2008, mainly on its customers' behalf. It could soon join a trend that has included Deutsche Bank  and Macquarie Bank Limited .

Tokyo Steel cuts July prices, demand remains weak
TOKYO, June 18 (Reuters) - Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co , Japan's biggest construction steel maker, said on Monday it would cut prices of its product for delivery in July by up to 9 percent to reflect sluggish demand.
It will cut prices of H-shaped beams, its major product, by 9 percent, or 8,000 yen, to 65,000 yen per tonne.

Copper rose to touch a near three-week high after pro-bailout parties in Greece won a slim parliamentary majority to avert an immediate euro zone crisis, but traders expect the relief rally to be short-lived as debt concern lingers.

Gold fell for the first time in seven sessions as the risk of a Greek exit from the euro zone subsided after parties backing a bailout for the country won an election, denting the metal's safe-haven appeal.

METALS-Copper touched near 3-week high on Greek vote
SHANGHAI, June 18 (Reuters) - Copper rose to touch a near three-week high after pro-bailout parties in Greece won a slim parliamentary majority to avert an immediate euro zone crisis, but traders expect the relief rally to be short-lived as debt concern lingers.
The euro jumped to a one-month high and Asian shares also rose on Monday as the election results buoyed appetite for riskier assets. A victory for the leftists would have led to a Greek exit from the euro zone, plunging the single currency bloc into chaos.

PRECIOUS-Gold snaps 6-day winning streak after Greek vote
SINGAPORE, June 18 (Reuters) - Gold fell for the first time in seven sessions as the risk of a Greek exit from the euro zone subsided after parties backing a bailout for the country won an election, denting the metal's safe-haven appeal.
The initial vote results drew expressions of relief from the Group of Seven industrialised economies, who said it was in "all our interests" for Greece to stay in the euro while respecting its international bailout commitments.

20120618 1110 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Euro, shares jump in relief rally after Greek vote
SINGAPORE, June 18 (Reuters) - The euro jumped to a one-month high and Asian shares rose after Greece's cliffhanger election delivered a slim parliamentary majority to pro-bailout parties, a result seen as crucial to European leaders' efforts to hold the euro together.
"There'll be a definite sense of relief spreading around today," said Masayuki Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities. "The question is whether there will be a sustained rebound as there's still so many things to sort out - the euro zone's fiscal problems and Spanish banks."

COMMODITIES-Mostly up on central banks' pledge ahead of Greek vote
NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) - Metals and oil prices closed up on Friday after central banks across the world pledged to avert any market disruptions from weekend elections in Greece.
"At this point, it looks like the markets are frozen and waiting for the results of the Greek elections, which are totally unpredictable," said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at Energy Management Institute in New York.

Oil rises as pro-bailout Greek parties set for majority
SINGAPORE, June 18 (Reuters) - Crude futures rose in early Asian trade as Greece's pro-bailout parties looked set to win a slim majority at weekend elections, easing investor fears of an imminent exit from the euro zone.
"The market is going to digest the Greek elections and once the initial euphoria dies down, we will see the market rebalancing and turning their attention to Italy and Spain," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of trading consultancy Ritterbusch & Associates in Galena, Illinois.

Russia oil firms face heavy fines for gas flaring
MOSCOW, June 16 (Reuters) - Russian oil companies are facing fines of hundreds of millions of dollars or more for polluting the atmosphere with excess amounts of flared gas, the newly appointed resources minister said on Saturday.
Russia, the world's top energy producer, set a target for oil companies not to flare off more than 5 percent of the associated petroleum gas (APG) they produce as a byproduct of crude extraction by 2012.

Rising US crude output may open door to exports-API head
WASHINGTON, June 15 (Reuters) - As U.S. oil production climbs to record levels, the United States should eventually consider easing its restrictions on crude exports, the head of a powerful oil lobbying group said on Friday.
U.S. oil production hit the highest quarterly level in 14 years in the first three months of 2012, the government said last week, as technologies including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking allow drillers access to vast new reserves.

NATURAL GAS - US natgas futures end down after Thursday surge
NEW YORK, June 15 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended slightly lower as investors took profits after a 14 percent spike the previous session, but warmer Northeast and Midwest weather forecasts for next week helped limit the downside.
"The GFS (weather model) runs project thick cooling demand over the next two weeks. Again, that layers in some potential for additional upside," Gelber & Associates analyst Pax Saunders said in a report.

EURO COAL-Prices stable, FOBs under pressure
LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - South African FOB prices were 30-75 cents a tonne higher afternoon, a minimal move upwards, but all FOB coal prices remained under pressure from oversupply and weak spot demand.
"Prices moved very slightly higher in early trading, with power, gas and a fall in the euro but overall it's still looking weak," one European trader said.

20120618 1034 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Ananda may re-list Astro by end-September
Malaysian tycoon T. Ananda Krishnan plans to re-list Astro All Asia Networks by end-September in a deal that would give the pay-TV firm a market capitalization of up to RM15bn, sources said. "We are looking at the week from 17 Sept," a source said. "Our target is to achieve a market capitalization of between RM11bn to RM15bn, hopefully everything goes smoothly." A second source said the book-building process would start in August or September. If the IPO goes well, it will join a stable of listed Ananda-linked firms such as telco Maxis and oil and gas services provider Bumi Armada that have a combined market capitalization of RM60bn. (StarBizWeek)

MSM signs long-term contracts for stable pricing with vendors
Sugar producer MSM Malaysia Holdings has entered into two long-term contracts with raw sugar vendors to secure consistent supply of raw sugar vendors to secure consistent supply of raw sugar at fixed prices. It said the long-term contracts with Louis Dreyfus Commodities Suisse SA and Sucres Et Denrees have been renegotiated and renewed for the next three years starting 1 Jan 2012 and expiring on 31 Dec 2014. The pricing terms shall take into account the then prevailing global market price at that time, it said. (Malaysian Reserve)

Felda institutional price fixed at RM4.55
Felda Global Ventures Holdings' institutional price and final retail price have been fixed at RM4.55 and RM4.45 respectively, in respect of its IPO. Felda said as the final retail price was lower than the retail price, a refund of RM0.10/ share will be made without any interest to its applicants within 10 market days from 15 June 2012. Meanwhile, Felda's shares of RM1 each, is subject to stabilizing action by its stabilizing manager, who may buy up to 109.45m shares solely for purposes of covering over-allotments of the shares in the IPO. (Malaysian Reserve)

Sime expects Weifang port earnings to triple
Sime Darby, Malaysia’s largest conglomerate, expects earnings for its port operations in Weifang to triple to more RM138m within as early as three years. For the financial year ended 30 June 2011, Weifang Sime Darby Port registered a profit before interest and tax of RM46.5m. It is the biggest revenue and earnings contributor to the group’s energy and utilities division in Shandong. Sime Darby’s port operations in Weifang, Shandong province, currently serve mainly as a dry bulk port and have the capacity to handle 18m tonnes of cargoes. (BT)

UDA set to begin Tg Tokong job
UDA Holdings' redevelopment project at Tanjung Tokong in Penang is expected to generate RM1.8bn in gross development value. Chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the redevelopment project would begin once the Penang government granted it a start-work order. The residential and commercial mixed development project, to be developed on a 9ha land, is expected to take four years to complete. He said the commercial development would include a supermarket, a community hall and a recreational area while the residential development will comprise apartment units for 1,200 families. Nur Jazlan said the apartment project would be developed at a cost of RM165m, with each unit to be between 800 sq ft and 850 sq ft in size. (BT)

Pricey valuations not an issue
Khazanah Nasional's healthcare investment arm, IHH Healthcare, is set to come to market as one of the highest price-earnings ratios (PER) among companies making their debut on the local exchange this year. But that is unlikely to dim investor appetite for the stock. IHH already has 22 cornerstone investors lined up. A source said the book-building tranche is already five times covered, based on the spillover demand from the cornerstone offering. Based on the cornerstone offer price of RM2.85, IHH is priced at 93 times pro forma FY11 earnings per share (EPS) of 3.05 sen. in comparison, the median PERs for healthcare operators in the Asia-Pacific's emerging markets is only 15.3 times, according to Bloomberg data. (Financial Daily)

PFC plans to double order book by this quarter
PFC Engineering SB, a candidate for a reverse take-over (RTO) by PFCE, plans to double its order book to RM2bn by this quarter. Managing director Abdul Malek Omar said the company was awaiting the results of its bid for engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) and long-term maintenance contracts amounting to RM1.5bn by this quarter. Abdul Malek said RM600m of the RM1.5bn total package consisted of EPCC contracts while the remaining RM900m was for long-term maintenance contracts. According to industry sources, the contracts are largely expected to come from Petroliam Nasional (Petronas). (StarBiz)

CIMB: Indonesian unit on a roll. CIMB Group Holdings predicts that in three years, PBT contribution from its Indonesian unit will beat its Malaysian unit. CIMB also affirmed its plan for a dual listing on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. (Source: Business Times)

MAS: To double Asia Pacific routes in 2015. Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) intends to double its Asia-Pacific destinations in three years as part of its turnaround plan. The carrier may fly to 25 cities in countries including China, Japan and India by 2015 compared to 13 regional destinations now. Flights on some existing routes will also be increased by as much as 50%. (Source: Malaysian Reserve)

OSK may look at new core business
OSK Holdings Bhd, which is in the midst of merging its investment bank with RHB Capital Bhd, will possibly look for a new core business upon completion of the current merger deal with RHB.“Our focus is ensure that the deal is completed,'' said Tan Sri Ong Leong Huat, director of OSK Holdings. (Source: The Star)

Banks eyeing MBf’s card business
Several medium-sized banks are said to be looking to acquire the credit card business of MBf Holdings Bhd. Senior industry officials say at least two banks have shown interest in the card business, which has significant reach in the industry. (Soure: The Edge)

KUB streamlining fast food business
KUB Malaysia Bhd is streamlining its fast-food restaurant franchise businesses, A&W in Malaysia and Thailand, and concentrating on profitable outlets. Group managing director Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Wan Ahmad said the group was currently undertaking a corrective strategy and reviewing the performance of each outlet. (Source: The Edge)

Tan Chong Motor: Gears for regional expansion
Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd (ETCM) expects to achieve the targeted 15% share of the regional car market in the next  5 years with new distribution rights in Indochina and the launch of a new model for the lucrative mid-sized family sedan market in Malaysia. The company has secured franchise distribution rights in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, while it will introduce Nissan Almera in the later part of this year. ETCM, the local distributor of Nissan vehicles, is looking outside Malaysia to boost growth as it anticipates a marginal car sales growth in this country. ETCM executive director Datuk Dr Ang Bon Beng said ETCM is also trying to secure distribution franchise in other Asean countries, which Ang would not disclose just yet. He said the tax benefits for automotives in other Asean countries is another reason for the company's regional expansion. Ang said ETCM's factory in the peninsular could produce components for all its sister companies in the Asean countries. (Business Times)

Sarawak Cable: Says it has capability to develop several small projects in the country
Sarawak Cable (SCB), which will build its first mini hydro-power plant in North Sumatra, Indonesia, plans to develop several similar projects in Peninsular Malaysia. Group MD and CEO Toh Chee Ching said the company had secured financing of US$15m (RM47.5m) from a local bank to fund the mini hydro dam project in North Sumatra. He said the proposed 10MW mini hydro power plant will take two years to complete. SCB paid RM5.5m recently for a 65% stake in Pt Inpola Mitra Elektrindo (IME), which has been awarded a power purchase agreement (PPA) by PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) Persero to design, finance and construct a mini hydro power plant in North Sumatra. On completion of the power plant, Toh said IME's sale of electricity to PLN for 20 years with renewable concession would contribute to SCB group's long-term revenue and profit and enhance its growth potentials. (StarBiz)

Sarawak Plantation: To carry out planting of oil palm trees on 8,500ha
Sarawak Plantation (SPB) is carrying out new planting of oil palm trees on 8,500ha this year. Group MD Datuk Hamden Ahmad said land clearing activities for areas in Mukah, Sri Aman and Sibu-Sarikei had been completed. We will carry out planting in the next few months, he said on Saturday. The company has allocated RM150m for capital expenditure this year. Hamden said SPB group had total landbank of nearly 52,000ha, inclusive of 12,900ha under native customary rights (NCR) joint ventures, at end-2011. The group has more than 29,500ha of oil palm estates, of which 12.4% are immature fields. About 25% of the estates are aged four and 10 years, 36.7% between 11 and 15 years, 10.4% between 16 and 20 years and 15.5% more than 20 years old. Hamden said SPB was on the look-out for possible acquisition of oil palm plantations in line with its group expansion plan. (StarBiz)

Syarikat Takaful Malaysia: Plans special purpose vehicle in Labuan IOFC
Syarikat Takaful Malaysia (Takaful Malaysia) will set up a wholly-owned subsidiary as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) in Labuan International Offshore Financial Centre (IOFC) to invest and hold its overseas property investment. Earlier, Takaful Malaysia said it would venture into the overseas property investment market for the benefit of its stakeholders. It is now close to concluding a deal, in the UK property market. To realise this, it is considering the Labuan IOFC as a platform to hold all its overseas property investments. Takaful Malaysia group MD  Datuk Mohamed Hasan Md Kamil said  although most companies will consider Jersey or Guernsey offshore centre to set up the SPV company, Takaful Malaysia believes that Labuan IOFC is seen to offer better advantages over the others. (StarBiz)

CB Industrial Product: To bank on current interest to cultivate oil palm
CB Industrial Product Holdings (CBIP) will focus on increasing its order book for its Modipalm mills in Malaysia and overseas while pursuing acquisitions of greenfield landbank in Indonesia for oil palm plantations this year. MD Lim Chai Beng said the current strong interest to cultivate oil palm especially in Indonesia, Central America and Africa as a mean to eradicate poverty would provide CBIP with the opportunity to increase its order book. Lim said CBIP would be looking at a new market segment while targeting at older and underperforming mills especially in Malaysia and Indonesia. In addition, the group expects increasing demand for back-up boiler system as more palm oil mills seek to minimise the risks of down time. For the overseas market, he said CBIP would be able to cater for the construction of Modipalm mills from as low as 4-tonne per hour mill in Africa and Central America where palm oil plantations are still in their infancy. Depending on the scope and specification of supply, the price for the Modipalm mill can range from RM40m to RM70m per unit. (StarBiz)

Construction: Sector may not generate RM5bn worth of jobs in Penang
The construction and renovation industry in Penang may not be able to generate RM5bil worth of jobs this year as forecast by the Penang Master Builders' and Building Materials Dealers Association (PMBBMDA). PMBBMDA president Lim Kai Seng said there had been a lower demand for construction materials from the residential housing segment since late last year. For 1Q 2012, according to the latest CIDB report, the construction and renovation industry of Penang generated about RM543mil worth of jobs for PMBBMDA members. Of the RM543m worth of contracts, about RM133m were government jobs, while the remaining RM409m were from the private sector. (StarBiz)

Steel: Tunku Yaacob’s Maegma to set up US$1.5bn steel plant
Maegma Steel Sdn Bhd, a private company linked to Tunku Yaacob Tunku Abdullah, is in the final stage of laying out plans to set up an integrated steel mill in Manjung, Perak, at a cost of US$1.5bn (RM4.78bn). The plant, with an annual production capacity of 1.5m tonnes, is slated to combine all these stages of steel making  – raw iron production using the direct reduction process, steel making in a melt shop with an electric arc furnace and ladle furnace, and producing hot rolled coils (HRC), better known as flat steel. Talks between the company and Petronas Gas for the supply of natural gas as fuel are understood to be at an advanced stage, with the linking of a supply deal likely to be concluded by month end. Other essential elements for the plant, namely the supply of electricity and iron ore as raw material, have already been sorted out. (The Edge Weekly)

Telecommunication: U Mobile, Intel, Acer tie-up to offer bundle plans
U Mobile Sdn Bhd, a third-generation (3G) service provider, will collaborate with Acer and Intel Malaysia to launch unique bundled packages targeted at business users. Its CEO, Jaffa Sany Ariffin, said the collaboration marked the coming together of three entities which were dynamic and responsive to their target audiences. He said U Mobile was the first telecommunication company in the country to collaborate with Intel and Acer to bundle the Ultrabook with its broadband plans. He said that we are targeting more high-end users with the launch of the new ultra-thin 19.7mm Acer M3 Ultrabook powered by the 2G Intel Core i5 processor. Jaffa said six free standing kiosks had been set up by U Mobile and Intel in U Mobile stores in Berjaya Times Square, 1Utama, Sunway Pyramid, Pikom IT Mall, Queensbay Mall Penang and Taman Molek Johor Bahru. The kiosks will give customers a chance to experience the Acer M3 Ultrabook running with U Mobile's high-speed broadband service. He said the company planned to open more kiosks in other U Mobile stores. Jaffa said the bundle would benefit customers who valued the best in mobility and connectivity. (StarBiz)

20120618 1033 Global Economy Related News.

Russia: Central bank kept its key policy rates unchanged for a sixth month and lowered the cost of currency swaps to improve access to ruble liquidity. Bank Rossii held the refinancing rate at 8%, a quarter point off the record low. The overnight auction-based repurchase rate stays at 5.25% and the overnight deposit rate will be kept at 4%. (Source: Bloomberg)

China: Foreign investment almost unchanged at USD 9.23b in May as the economy cooled, the yuan weakened, and Europe's debt crisis roiled financial markets. The number was 0.05% YoY higher, the Ministry of Commerce said on its website. That compared with a 0.7% YoY decline in April. China may be set for the weakest economic growth in 13 years as the government struggles to reverse a slowdown without reigniting inflation or adding to bad-loan risks for banks. Foreign investment into the world's second-biggest economy began to slide in November last year in an echo of declines during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: The Bank of Japan kept the size of its asset-purchase fund unchanged and said it will pay "particular" attention to global markets. The central bank kept its asset-purchase fund at JPY 40t (USD 507b) and a credit lending program at JPY 30t. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japan: Noda ends nuclear freeze, risking backlash at polls. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ended Japan's month-long freeze on nuclear power, approving a reactor restart that combined with a tax increase may undermine his political support. Two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Ohi nuclear plant can be operated safely, Noda declared June 16 after meeting with three Cabinet ministers who share approval authority. The utility, which serves the USD 1t economy of Japan's second-biggest urban region, said it would immediately begin work to start one reactor. (Source: Bloomberg)

Philippines: Remittances increased at a faster pace in April, aiding domestic consumption and helping sustain economic growth. The funds rose 5.3% YoY to USD 1.7b, the central bank said. Remittances grew 5% YoY in March, according to previously reported data. (Source: Bloomberg)                                                                                  
Global: Europe gets emerging market crisis ultimatum
European leaders attending the G-20 summit in Mexico received an ultimatum to stop stoking market uncertainty and step up their fight against the financial crisis posing the biggest threat to the world economy. While China pressed world leaders to provide a signal of “confidence” to markets, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang warned that the turmoil in euro area was spilling over to Southeast Asia’s largest economy and threatened to drive up oil prices. “I hope that our European colleagues will reach an agreement on rigorous methods to manage the crisis,” he said. (Bloomberg)

Greece: Pro-bailout party leads in election tally
The pro-bailout New Democracy party is the projected winner of Sunday’s critical Greek parliamentary elections, increasing the probability that Greece will remain in the euro zone. If the conservative political party can hold its lead, it must then form a governing coalition among the other parties on Sunday’s ballot. (Bloomberg)

France: Hollande’s Socialists to win absolute parliament majority
French President Fran├žois Hollande’s Socialists won an absolute parliamentary majority on Sunday, strengthening his hand as he presses Germany to support debt-laden euro zone states hit by austerity cuts and ailing banks. The Socialist bloc secured between 296 and 321 seats in the parliamentary election runoff, according to reliable projections from a partial vote count, comfortably more than the 289 needed for a majority in the 577-seat National Assembly. (National Post)

France: Seeks EUR120bn package, euro bonds later
France wants the EU to agree before the end of 2012 on growth-boosting measures worth EUR120bn, the weekly Journal du Dimanche reported, citing a proposal circulated by France ahead of an end-June summit. It said that France has accepted Germany's rejection of its call to issue mutualized debt in the euro bloc and now agreed that so-called euro bonds were a project to be looked at over a 10-year time frame. (Bloomberg)

Spain: Bond yields surge after aid request
Spain’s bond yields surged the most since the euro was created in 1999 this week after the nation requested aid for its banks and asked the ECB for more financial support. Bonds slumped amid concern Germany will need to increase borrowing to support its struggling neighbors as Moody’s cut Spain’s credit rating to one step above junk. Spanish 10-year yields approached 7% after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy published a letter to EU leaders on 13 June saying the ECB should help countries trying to shore up their finances. (Bloomberg)

UK: Trade deficit widens
UK posted its second largest global goods trade deficit on record in April, including its biggest ever trade gap with the EU, as exports fell at the sharpest rate for almost six years. The official figures suggest the weakness of demand for UK exports, particularly from mainland Europe, is hampering the country's efforts to trade its way out recession. The world goods trade deficit widened much more than expected to GBP10.1bn in April from GBP8.7bn in March, only slightly smaller than the record GBP10.2bn deficit recorded last Sept. (Bloomberg)

US: Signs of weakness mount as confidence, output fall
Industrial production unexpectedly fell and consumer confidence slid, adding to evidence of US economic weakness days before Federal Reserve policy makers meet to decide whether more stimulus is needed. Output at factories, mines and utilities decreased 0.1% last month after a revised 1% gain in April. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment for June fell to 74.1, the lowest level this year, from 79.3 last month. (Bloomberg)

US: Payrolls climb in 27 states, led by California and Ohio
Payrolls increased in 27 states in May, while the unemployment rate climbed in 18, indicating progress in the US labor market remains uneven. California led the nation with a 33,900 gain in payrolls, followed by Ohio with 19,600 more jobs. The economy last month added the fewest number of workers in a year, while the jobless rate rose to 8.2%. (Bloomberg)

US stock futures rise as vote signals Greece will remain in euro zone
US stock futures rose, following a two-week gain in equities, as concern over Greece exiting the euro eased after official projections showed that the largest pro-bailout parties won enough seats to form a coalition. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in September added 1.0% to 1,342.84. The benchmark measure for US equities advanced 1.3% last week. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 115.26 pts, or 0.9%, to 12,767. The euro rose 0.7% to EUR1.2745. Equity futures also rose after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government signaled a willingness to loosen Greece’s austerity requirements as long as the next government stands by its obligations under a European Union-led bailout program. (Bloomberg)

20120618 1029 Global Market Related News.

Asia Stocks Rise as Vote Signals Greece Will Stay in Euro (Source: Bloomberg)
Asian stocks jumped, driving the regional benchmark index toward a one-month high, as concern over Greece exiting the euro eased after projections showed pro- bailout parties won enough seats to control parliament. Canon Inc. (7751), a camera maker than gets 31 percent of sales in Europe, rose 2.5 percent in Tokyo. Inpex Corp., Japan’s biggest energy explorer, advanced 3.4 percent as crude futures jumped for third day. Lynas Corp. surged 10 percent in Sydney after Malaysia rejected an appeal by local residents to cancel the Australian miner’s license to run the world’s largest rare- earths refining facility in the Southeast Asian nation.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) climbed 1.4 percent to 115.78 at 10:19 a.m. in Tokyo, heading for its highest close since May 15. Almost 14 shares advanced for each that fell in the gauge. About $5.5 trillion has been erased from share prices around the world since March amid concern growth is slowing in the U.S. and China, the two largest economies, and as Europe’s debt crisis intensified. “There’s a short-term sigh of relief,” said Belinda Allen, senior investment analyst at Colonial First State Global Asset Management in Sydney, which oversees about $145 billion. “It removes the tail risk event that we were concerned about in terms of Greece leaving the European Union immediately. We all know there’s still a long and hard road ahead for Greece and the problems of Europe aren’t solved by this election.”

China Stock Futures Rise on Speculation Europe Crisis Is Easing (Source: Bloomberg)
China’s stock-index futures rose as concern over Greece exiting the euro eased after projections showed politicians that support a bailout won enough seats to control parliament. Futures on the CSI 300 Index (SHSZ300) expiring in July, the most active contract, gained 0.7 percent to 2,577 as of 9:18 a.m. local time. SAIC Motor Co. and BYD Co., the automaker backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, may advance after the Economic Information Daily reported China will exempt new energy vehicles and plug-in hybrid models from a sales tax. The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) rose 0.5 percent to 2,306.85 on June 15, capping a 1.1 percent advance last week. The CSI 300 Index added 0.3 percent to 2,568.05 on June 15. The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index (CH55BN), the measure of the most-traded U.S.-listed Chinese companies, advanced 1.6 percent in New York.
Concerns that a growth slowdown is deepening and Greece will leave the euro area have pushed the Shanghai index down 6.3 percent from this year’s high set on March 2. Stocks in the measure are valued at 10 times estimated earnings, compared with the five-year average of 17.8, Bloomberg weekly data showed.

Japan Stocks Advance as Greek Vote Eases Euro Concerns (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan stocks rose, with the Nikkei (MXAP) 225 Stock Average rising the most since April, as official projections showed parties supporting Greece’s bailout won enough seats to control parliament, easing concern the euro currency bloc would lose one of its 17 members. Power-tool maker Makita Corp. (6586), which gets the highest proportion of sales in Europe among Topix companies, advanced 5.1 percent. Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604), the country’s largest brokerage, rose 3 percent as securities firms posted the biggest advance on the Topix Index. Honda Motor Co. rose 2.6 percent on a report the automaker will shift output to smaller models to meet growing demand while scrapping some high-end sedans. The Nikkei 225 climbed 2.2 percent to 8,759.11 at 10:01 a.m. in Tokyo, its biggest rise since April 18, with all but seven stocks on the gauge advancing. The broader Topix gained 2.1 percent to 741.64, with volume 3.4 percent higher than the 30- day average.
“Greece’s election is a good result and will provide some short-term relief,” said Nader Naeimi, Sydney-based head of dynamic asset allocation at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which manages almost $100 billion. “This will put to rest for a little while the prospect of Greece leaving the euro.”

U.S. Stock Futures Rise as Vote Signals Greece in Euro (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stock futures rose, following a two-week gain in equities, as concern over Greece exiting the euro eased after official projections showed that the largest pro-bailout parties won enough seats to form a coalition. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in September added 0.7 percent to 1,346.40 at 9:12 a.m. in Tokyo, where the Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 2.1 percent. The benchmark measure for U.S. equities advanced 1.3 percent last week. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 86 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,796. The euro rose 0.9 percent to $1.2745. “This allows Greece to step back from the brink,” said Peter Sorrentino, who helps oversee $14.7 billion at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati. “It gives Europe a little breathing room to deal with the Spanish situation. It buys them more time. We’ll get some positive carry through.”
The election would give New Democracy and Pasok 162 seats if they agree to govern together in the 300-member parliament, according to the official projection by the Interior Ministry in Athens based on 95 percent of the vote. Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy had 29.9 percent, or 129 seats, and Socialist Pasok took 12.4 percent for 33 seats, the projection showed. Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza, which advocated reneging on the terms of the bailout, won 26.8 percent, or 71 seats.

U.S. Stocks Rise for 2nd Straight Week on Stimulus Bets (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rose, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its first back-to-back weekly gain since April, amid speculation central banks will take steps to stimulate growth and contain a prolonged debt crisis in Europe. All 10 S&P 500 groups advanced. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) surged 4 percent, pacing gains among financial companies, after Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon testified about his bank’s $2 billion trading loss. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (COG) jumped 9.7 percent as a rally in natural-gas prices helped lift energy shares. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) climbed 4.8 percent after getting clearance for its Synthes Inc. acquisition. Facebook Inc. (FB) surged 11 percent, its first weekly increase since its May debut. The S&P 500 rose 1.3 percent to 1,342.84 for the week, extending its 2012 advance to 6.8 percent. The Dow (INDU) Jones Industrial Average climbed 212.97 points, or 1.7 percent, to 12,767.17, building on the previous week’s 3.6 percent increase.
“I’m pretty convinced that they will keep throwing money at it and trying to buy more time” to tame the European crisis, Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James & Associates in St. Petersburg, Florida, said in a telephone interview. His firm oversees $350 billion. “It means the Federal Reserve is going to have to have some liquidity event to keep the U.S. dollar from spiking substantially higher, and that in turn probably gives us another leg up in the stock market.”

European Stocks Post Second Weekly Gain on Stimulus Hopes (Source: Bloomberg)
European stocks advanced for a second week as Greeks prepared to vote, after the Bank of England announced credit-easing measures, boosting optimism central banks will take steps to stimulate the global economy. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc jumped at least 11 percent as the Bank of England unveiled two plans to boost cash supply in the banking system. National Bank of Greece SA surged 31 percent. Etablissements Maurel & Prom rose 13 percent after a report said it may be a takeover target. Nokia Oyj tumbled 18 percent after it announced as many as 10,000 job cuts and its debt rating was cut. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.9 percent to 244.21 this week. The gauge has still declined 10 percent from its high on March 16 amid growing concern that Greece may be forced to leave the euro currency union after the elections on June 17.
“There is a green light for more stimulus as inflation comes down, which means central banks can be stimulative,” said Daniel Weston, a portfolio adviser at Schroeder Equities GmbH in Munich. “Rising German bund yields this week on Tuesday and Wednesday have also seen more money come into equities from bonds, as the potential risk of Germany having to help the euro zone increases.”

FOREX-Euro firm as c.banks gear to counter Greek fallout
LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - The euro hovered below three-week highs against the U.S. dollar , as investors trimmed bearish bets on expectations that global central banks will step in to counter any adverse fallout from Sunday's election in Greece.
"Investors will be reluctant to hold any meaningful positions either way going into the weekend," said Ankita Dudani, G-10 currency strategist at RBS.

Euro Gains as Greeks Back Pro-Bailout Parties; Yen Falls (Source: Bloomberg)
The euro rose to the strongest in almost a month as official projections showed pro-bailout parties won enough seats to control Greece’s parliament, easing concern the country would be forced from the currency bloc. The 17-nation euro extended last week’s 1 percent jump versus the dollar after figures from the Interior Ministry indicated the election would give New Democracy and Pasok a combined 162 seats if they agree to govern together in the 300- member parliament. The dollar and yen declined against most of major counterparts as Asian stocks advanced, sapping demand for so-called safe-haven currencies. “The two pro-austerity groups getting a majority together in the parliament is a very good outcome,” said Daisuke Karakama, a market economist in Tokyo at Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd., a unit of Japan’s third-largest banking group by market value. “It’s the best-case scenario for the election, prompting traders to cover short positions in the euro,” he said referring to bets that an asset’s price will fall.
The euro reached $1.2748, the most since May 22, before trading at $1.2703 as of 10:19 Tokyo, up 0.5 percent from the close in New York last week. It sank to $1.2288 on June 1, the weakest level since July 2010. The euro jumped 1.2 percent to 100.67 yen and 0.6 percent to 80.90 U.K. pence, after touching 79.68 the weakest since May 16.

Korean Won Rises to One-Month High, Bonds Fall After Greece Vote (Source: Bloomberg)
South Korea’s won rose to a one- month high and government bonds declined as official projections showed that politicians who support Greece’s bailout won enough seats in an election yesterday to form a new government. Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy party won Greece’s second round of elections, official projections indicated, easing concern the nation would reject austerity measures needed to qualify for a bailout and leave the euro. The Kospi (KOSPI) Index rallied 2.1 percent. Leaders from the Group of 20 nations meet today to discuss Europe’s debt crisis and the Federal Reserve will announce its projections for the U.S. economy on June 20. “Concerns surrounding Greece disappeared and this will have a positive effect on the market supporting the won,” said Lee Jin Ill, a Seoul-based currency trader for Hana Bank. “Players are now focusing on the policies to be announced at the Fed meeting and the G20 summit, and steep gains in the won may be limited with concerns moving to Spain issues.”
The won gained 0.7 percent to 1,157.65 per dollar as of 9:28 a.m. in Seoul, advancing for a fourth day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency touched 1,156.75 earlier, the strongest since May 15. Its one-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, dropped 72 basis points to 9.73 percent. Sales at major South Korean department stores rose 1 percent in May from a year earlier, following a 3.4 percent decline the previous month, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a statement yesterday. The yield on Spanish 10-year bonds reached 6.998 percent on June 14, a euro-era record

Third Fed Stimulus Won’t Be Better Than QE2, Romney Says (Source: Bloomberg)
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the Federal Reserve’s attempts at stimulating the U.S. economy “did not have the desired effect” and a new round of quantitative easing by the central bank wouldn’t fare better. The second round of quantitative easing, a series of bond purchases referred to as QE2, “was not extraordinarily harmful, but it does put in question the future value of the dollar and it will obviously encourage some inflation,” Romney said in an interview that aired today on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program. “A QE3 would do the same thing.” With the CBS interview taped yesterday, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee spent Father’s Day campaigning in Ohio with his wife, two sons and several grandchildren, on the third day of a six-state bus tour.
“We need someone who puts jobs No. 1, not Obamacare No. 1,” Romney told a rally in Newark, Ohio. President Barack Obama has “tried to convince us that he’s made things better but he hasn’t made things better,” Romney said. “He’s failed. He deserves to go home and give someone new a chance.”

Fed Seen Twisting to Risk Management to Spur U.S. Growth (Source: Bloomberg)
Federal Reserve officials must choose this week between their best estimates and their worst fears of what will happen to the U.S. economy. Policy makers will bring new forecasts to their June 19-20 meeting and probably will mark down their April central-tendency estimate for growth of 2.4 percent to 2.9 percent this year. Lurking in the background is the risk of increasing financial stress in Europe and stubbornly high U.S. unemployment that has remained above 8 percent for 40 consecutive months. All this could prompt them to move away from their outlook for moderate growth and tilt toward a “risk-management” strategy pioneered by former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, which puts more emphasis on tracking and containing high-cost threats. Both Janet Yellen, the Fed’s vice chairman, and William C. Dudley, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, used the phrase in the past month.
“What we are hearing from Vice Chairman Yellen and President Dudley, and the minutes of the last meeting, is that there are more risks on the downside,” said Donald Kohn, the former Fed vice chairman who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “The ability to combat weakness with interest rates at the zero lower-bound is limited and uncertain. In a situation like this, their reasoning is you might want to buy some insurance.”

Calderon Says G-20 May Boost IMF’s Anti-Crisis Firewall (Source: Bloomberg)
World leaders meeting in Mexico will boost the $430 billion firewall the International Monetary Fund announced in April, host President Felipe Calderon said. “I estimate that there will be a larger capitalization than the pre-accord reached in Washington, which will be finalized here,” Calderon told reporters in the Mexican coastal resort of Los Cabos yesterday. “But I don’t want to speculate by how much.” Leaders of the Group of 20 nations are gathering in Los Cabos for a two-day summit dominated by the financial crisis in Europe and its risk to the global economy. While the G-20 agreed earlier this year to boost IMF resources that could be channeled to Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week called on the G-20 to do more. “It’s going to be the first time the fund is capitalized without the U.S., which reflects the importance of emerging markets,” Calderon said. While he said he regrets the U.S. refusal to take part, that won’t prevent it being the largest recapitalization in the fund’s history.
“I hope there’s a very important agreement about the IMF,” Calderon said.

China Abandons Role of Global Engine as Wen Tempers Stimulus (Source: Bloomberg)
Premier Wen Jiabao has an unspoken message to his Group of 20 counterparts in Mexico today: This time, don’t count on a growth bailout from China. In the depths of the 2008 credit crunch, Wen’s 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) fiscal injection over two years and 17.6 trillion yuan credit surge helped prop up the global economy. In China, it fueled a property bubble, stoked inflation and amassed bad debts that Fitch Ratings says weakened the banking system. “The government is trying to strike a better balance between stabilizing growth in the short term and adjusting structure in the long term,” said Peng Wensheng, chief economist in Beijing at China International Capital Corp., who worked at the International Monetary Fund and Hong Kong’s central bank. Total stimulus this year may be less than one- third the size of the 5.4 trillion yuan fiscal and monetary firepower of 2009, Peng said.
Investment is more strategically focused than the efforts that year that helped cushion everyone from Australian iron-ore exporters to General Motors Co., which saw its Chinese sales soar 67 percent as it coped with bankruptcy at home. Of some 818 billion yuan in projects recently approved, 55 percent were for clean energy or subsidies for fuel-efficient cars, according to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

China Economy to Bottom This Quarter, PBOC Adviser Says (Source: Bloomberg)
China’s economy will bottom out this quarter and rebound in the following three months as government measures to stabilize a slowdown take effect, an academic adviser to the nation’s central bank said. “The second quarter should be the lowest point” this year, Chen Yulu said in an interview at a forum in Beijing on June 16. Full-year growth “should be able to hold up above 8 percent,” he said. Policy makers in the world’s second-biggest economy are shoring up expansion as Europe’s deepening debt crisis curtails exports and foreign investment, and property curbs at home damp demand. As leaders of the Group of 20 nations meet in Mexico today, President Hu Jintao said he was confident China would maintain steady expansion and contribute to the global recovery.
“Facing a complex and grave external economic environment, China has taken targeted measures to strengthen and improve macroeconomic regulation, accelerate the shift of the growth model, adjust economic structure and build long-term mechanisms to boost domestic demand,” Hu said in a written interview with the Mexican newspaper Reforma, the official Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. “We are confident that China will maintain steady and robust growth and thus make solid contribution to global economic growth.”

Noda Ends Japan Nuclear Freeze, Risking Backlash at Polls (Source: Bloomberg)
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ended Japan’s month-long freeze on nuclear power, approving a reactor restart that combined with a tax increase may undermine his political support. Two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co. (9503)’s Ohi nuclear plant can be operated safely, Noda declared June 16 after meeting with three Cabinet ministers who share approval authority. The utility, which serves the $1 trillion economy of Japan’s second-biggest urban region, said it would immediately begin work to start one reactor. Japan is reopening nuclear plants that provided about 30 percent of its energy before being idled after the March 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501)’s Fukushima station. The decision followed by one day a deal with opposition parties to abandon some campaign pledges in return for agreement to double the nation’s consumption tax. Majorities in public opinion polls oppose both the restarts and the tax increase.
Noda “could end up like all his predecessors in the dustbin of history very quickly,” said Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University’s Tokyo campus. “The dustbin is waiting for him.”

Mexico Urges G-20 to Reconsider World Challenges Amid Crisis (Source: Bloomberg)
A video image of giraffes bounding across the African savannah and a dramatic interpretation of the “Mad as Hell” monologue from the 1976 film “Network” greeted delegates and businessmen at the start of the Group of 20 summit in Mexico. While much of the summit in the beach resort of Los Cabos will be dominated by the outcome of elections in Greece, host Mexico is encouraging participants to expand their minds and rethink global priorities. “We do want to shake things up, we do want to do things differently,” Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, said in speech at an event today to kick off the summit, called “Rethinking the G-20.” The day-long conference of presentations by politicians, artists and academics was capped by a panel discussion led by host Felipe Calderon, the outgoing president of Mexico.
G-20 leaders from Germany’s Angela Merkel to China’s Hu Jintao begin arriving tomorrow to the beach resort of Los Cabos for two days of meetings that will dominated by Europe’s debt crisis. The June 18-19 meeting takes place amid the weakest international economy since the 2009 recession and a day after parliamentary elections in Greece.

Greece Races as Cash Dwindles With Europe Seeking Return to Cuts (Source: Bloomberg)
Greece’s two traditional political rivals are in a race to forge an unprecedented coalition as the state’s cash dwindles, bank deposits flee and Europe demands renewed austerity pledges before releasing more emergency aid. Greece will run out of money in mid-July, the Syriza party, which placed second in yesterday’s election, said on June 13 after being briefed by Acting Finance Minister Giorgios Zanias. Caretaker Labor and Social Security Minister Antonis Roupakiotis refused to offer assurances pensions will be paid in August, Athens News Agency reported the same day. “There’s no time to lose or leeway for small party games,” Antonis Samaras, leader of New Democracy, said in Athens yesterday after placing first in a rerun vote that will force him to rule with the third-place socialist Pasok party. “The country must be governed.”
Two months of political limbo threaten to cut off the quarterly disbursement of euro-area and International Monetary Fund loans that have kept the country afloat since 2010. Greece, in its fifth year of recession, would face having to abandon the 17-nation euro and reintroduce the drachma were the flow of rescue funds to stop.

Hollande Bolstered as Socialists Win French Parliament Control (Source: Bloomberg)
French President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party and its allies won an absolute majority in the National Assembly, exit polls showed, paving the way for them to pass legislation without the aid of other members of parliament. The Socialist bloc won 314 out of the 577 seats, pollster CSA said, with 289 needed for a majority. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement party and its allies have 228 seats, CSA said, and the anti-euro National Front won two seats. Turnout in the second and decisive round of legislative elections yesterday was 56 percent. “The French people have amplified their call for change,” Socialist Party Head Martine Aubry, said on France 2 television. The victory gives the Socialists control of practically every political institution in France -- the presidency, the upper and lower houses of parliament, all but two of the regions and most of the country’s big cities, communes and departments - - a first in the Fifth Republic.
Control of the lower house of parliament will allow Hollande to push through the tough decisions needed amid Europe’s debt crisis. With growth stalling at home, Hollande now faces the task of telling the French people that the state’s depleted coffers may mean cuts in spending and higher taxes as he makes good on his deficit-cutting promises.

Euro Leaders Signal Softening on Greek Austerity as Summit Looms (Source: Bloomberg)
European governments signaled a willingness to relent on Greece’s austerity measures as leaders turn from an election victory by Greek bailout proponents to focus on safeguarding the other 98 percent of the euro economy. Greece’s new government must emerge “swiftly” from yesterday’s contest, which showed pro-bailout New Democracy in a position to form a coalition, euro finance chiefs said in a statement. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said negotiators could consider giving Greece more time to fix its finances, telling ZDF television that the political gridlock over the past six weeks “has done damage.” Greece’s international monitors will “return to Athens as soon as a new government is in place to exchange views with the new government on the way forward,” the finance ministers’ statement said. They want “the swift formation of a new Greek government that will take ownership of the adjustment program.”
The election result in the country where the debt crisis began in 2009 paves the way for euro leaders’ fourth make-or- break summit in a year. While Chancellor Angela Merkel warned global leaders last week that Germany rejected what she called quick-fix management of the crisis, a softening of the terms of Greece’s bailout may provide a template for how euro leaders overcome policy differences.

Samaras Begins Bid to Form Greek Coalition to Stave Off Crisis (Source: Bloomberg)
Greek election winner Antonis Samaras begins his second bid in six weeks to form a coalition as euro-area finance chiefs pressured him to form a government that would keep bailout aid flowing. European officials indicated a willingness to ease the terms of rescue loans as long as Greece, with just weeks of cash in the bank, re-commits to their austerity demands. The prospect that Samaras would lose to anti-bailout leader Alexis Tsipras rattled markets concerned that Greece may quit the 17-nation currency union. The result sent the euro higher. “The Greek people expressed their will to stay anchored with the euro, remain an integral part of the euro zone and honor the country’s commitments,” Samaras told supporters in Athens yesterday after the election result. “There is no time for petty politics.”
The vote forced Greeks, in a fifth year of recession, to choose open-ended austerity to stay in the euro or reject the terms of a bailout and risk the turmoil of exiting the union. With the 17-nation currency’s future on the line, finance ministers pledged to assist Greece in its struggle with the cycle of austerity and recession that has trapped the country since it became the first victim of the debt crisis in 2010.

Europe Gets Emerging Market Crisis Ultimatum as G-20 Meet (Source: Bloomberg)
European leaders are facing pressure at the Group of 20 summit in Mexico to halt market uncertainty and stamp out the debt crisis as global partners hint at help to keep the world economy afloat. As elections in Greece reduced the immediate risk of the euro area’s breakup, China and Indonesia signaled growing exasperation with more than two years of European crisis- fighting that has failed to stem the threat of global contagion. World Bank President Robert Zoellick said that policy makers bungled their attempt to rescue Spain’s banks. “I hope that one way or another our European colleagues will reach an agreement on rigorous methods to manage the crisis,” Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who heads Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, said in a speech in the Mexican resort of Los Cabos yesterday. “The absence of such methods will have unsettling consequences to all of us.”
The two-day G-20 summit starting today kicks off a week of crisis meetings taking place after Spain this month became the fourth euro-region nation to seek a bailout amid the weakest global economy since the 2009 recession.

Greek Pro-Bailout Parties Take Majority, Projection Shows (Source: Bloomberg)
Greece’s largest pro-bailout parties, New Democracy and Pasok, won enough seats to forge a parliamentary majority, official projections showed, easing concern the country was headed toward an imminent exit from the euro. The currency rose on the result. The election would give New Democracy and Pasok 163 seats if they agree to govern together in the 300-member parliament, according to the official projection by the Interior Ministry in Athens based on 63 percent of today’s vote. “For markets, a majority for an ND-Pasok coalition would be a relief,” Holger Schmieding, London-based chief economist at Berenberg Bank, said in a note today. “It would very much reduce the risk of a Greek euro exit.” The vote forced Greeks, in a fifth year of recession, to choose open-ended austerity to stay in the euro or reject the terms of a bailout and risk the turmoil of exiting the 17-nation currency. The election threatened to dominate a summit of world leaders that starts tomorrow in Mexico.
Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy had 30.1 percent, or 130 seats, and Socialist Pasok took 12.6 percent for 33 seats, the projection showed. Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza, which advocated reneging on the terms of the bailout, won 26.5 percent, or 71 seats. Samaras called for a government of national salvation.

20120618 1028 Global Commodities Related News.

Hedge Funds Boost Bullish Bets as Stimulus Pressure Rises (Source: Bloomberg)
Hedge funds raised their bullish commodity bets as mounting speculation that central banks will announce more economic stimulus halted a slide in prices and drove gold to its longest rally since August. Money managers raised combined net-long positions across 18 U.S. futures and options by 9.1 percent to 587,327 contracts in the week ended June 12, rebounding from the lowest level this year, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Gold holdings rose to a six-week high, while wagers on a rally in silver prices jumped to the highest since the start of May. More than $1.5 trillion was added to the value of global equity markets in the past two weeks on speculation the Federal Reserve will join central banks in bolstering growth at its policy meeting this week. Commodities rose more than 80 percent from December 2008 to June 2011 as the Fed bought $2.3 trillion of debt in two rounds of quantitative easing and held borrowing costs at a record low.
Policymakers from the U.K. to Japan are warning of the thre at posed to markets by Europe’s debt crisis. “The markets are signaling they expect some kind of central monetary easing,” said Peter Sorrentino, a senior fund manager at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati, which oversees $14.7 billion of assets. “That tends to bode well for the type of assets that get re-priced very quickly when that happens, and that’s the commodity complex.”

DTN Closing Grain Comments 06/15 14:19 : July Corn Collapses Friday (Source: CME)
July corn finished sharply lower Friday on strong selling from both sides of the market, pulling new-crop issues along. Bean contracts were mixed with the new-crop market rallying on bullish export news. Wheat was a follower of corn, closing with solid double-digit losses.

Pro Farmer: After the Bell Wheat Recap (Source: CME)
Wheat faced spillover pressure from the corn market today, with Chicago futures leading losses. Futures at all three exchanges extended last week's decline, with the exception being July Minneapolis wheat which posted gains. Weekend developments in Greece and the euro-zone will influence global stock markets and direct early price action in the U.S. markets next week. Investors are on edge ahead of Sunday's Greek elections, which will reveal the country's commitment to austerity measures.

Wheat Market Recap Report (Source: CME)
September Wheat finished down 11 3/4 at 629 1/2, 15 1/4 off the high and 4 1/2 up from the low. December Wheat closed down 12 1/4 at 654 1/4. This was 5 1/4 up from the low and 15 1/4 off the high. July wheat closed 14 lower on the session and pushed down to the lowest level since May 16th. Funds were active sellers even with a positive tilt to outside market forces. Weakness in corn and political uncertainties for Europe over the weekend helped to pressure the market and there was a lack of buying interest from speculators. The move below the June 1st lows is seen as a negative technical development. European wheat futures were down today with talk of better weather for Western Europe. However, crop uncertainties persist for the Black Sea region which may need to absorb 100 degree plus temperatures ahead and traders are also questioning the crop outlook for China wheat due to too much rain. There was also talk of a little better rain in the short-term for Russia late today which may have added to the negative tone. September Oats closed down 1/2 at 297. This was 3 3/4 up from the low and 7 off the high.

Pro Farmer: After the Bell Corn Recap (Source: CME)
July corn futures settled 22 cents lower today, while other contracts ended mostly 8 1/4 to 12 1/4 cents lower. Those losses were mildly trimmed in after-hours trading. For the week, corn futures posted sharp losses. Talk of potential Brazilian corn imports into the Southeastern U.S. and rumblings that end-users are moving corn to other end-users weighed on July futures and old-crop basis today.

Corn Market Recap for 6/15/2012 (Source: CME)
September Corn finished down 8 3/4 at 512, 14 1/2 off the high and 2 1/2 up from the low. December Corn closed down 7 3/4 at 508 1/4. This was 2 1/4 up from the low and 13 3/4 off the high. July corn was trading near 19 cents lower late in the session with December down 7. Weather uncertainties, Greek uncertainties and talk of collapsing ethanol plant margins plus indications of cooler weather on the extended forecast models were all factors which helped to pressure the market. The surging cash basis levels have sparked talk that ethanol plants may just slow or stop production and sell the corn onto the cash market. Cash basis was firm again today so it does not appear that this has occurred yet but the talk helped to pressure the July. Traders see rains this weekend for the western Corn Belt but also better chances for the eastern Corn Belt of some light rains of 1/2 inch or so on the weekend and again for later next week. This could ease stress on crops which may need to absorb some hotter weather for the next week. Both events are still uncertain but many traders see the weather as potentially bearish next week. Nervousness for the euro zone plus weather uncertainties are expected to keep the trade volatile into next week. A prominent research firm revised their corn planted acreage estimate up to 96.8 million acres as compared with 95.9 million by the USDA. Traders have been expecting a slight increase so the news was seen as a negative factor. September Rice finished down 0.065 at 14.15, 0.01 off the high and equal to the low.

US wheat rises for 2nd day as China cuts crop f'cast
SINGAPORE, June 15 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat extended gains from the previous session, after China's official think-tank revised down the nation's winter crop estimates, raising the prospect of higher imports by the world's biggest producer and consumer of the grain.
"Wheat sales to China out of the U.S. are an encouraging sign for the market and show that U.S. wheat is good value," said Luke Mathews, commodities strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, referring to numbers in a weekly report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ukraine grain stocks at 10.9 mln T June 1
KIEV, June 15 (Reuters) - Ukraine's grain stocks totalled 10.9 million tonnes as of June 1, 79 percent more than at the same date in 2011, the State Statistics Service said on Friday.
Stocks at large- and medium-sized agriculture companies included 5.2 million tonnes of wheat, 1.1 million tonnes of barley and 4.1 million tonnes of corn, the service said.

China think-tank cuts 2012 winter wheat estimate on disease
BEIJING, June 15 (Reuters) - China's official grain think-tank has lopped about 2 percent off its estimate of 2012 winter wheat output in the world's largest producer and consumer of the grain, where widespread damage from a fungus disease looks set to spur imports.
The forecast adds to a darkening global supply picture after Australia this week slashed its winter wheat production forecast by more than 7 percent, following projections for harsh weather to hit output in top exporters Russia, Europe and the United States.

China makes biggest U.S. SRW wheat buy since 2004
CHICAGO, June 14 (Reuters) - China bought 110,000 tonnes of U.S. soft red winter wheat, the U.S. government said on Thursday, that country's largest single purchase of that class of wheat in 8-1/2 years, which traders said signaled the start of more sales there due to a smaller crop in that country.
The purchase by China, the top importer of U.S. soybeans and a leading buyer of U.S. corn, surprised traders and helped rally winter wheat futures at the Chicago Board of Trade as the country mostly buys high-quality U.S. spring wheat.

Brazil grain industry raises '11/'12 soy estimate
SAO PAULO, June 14 (Reuters) - Brazil's grain industry association Abiove said on Thursday it estimates the 2011/12 soybean crop that finished harvest in May at 66.2 million tonnes, up slightly from the 65.9 million tonnes forecast in April.
Brazil harvested a record 75.2 million tonnes of soybeans in the previous crop. Drought over the grain belt cut the current crop's potential by about 10 million tonnes.

US Grain Exports-Corn sales fall to 11-week low
June 14 (Reuters) - U.S. corn export sales tumbled to an 11-week low last week, with purchases for shipment in the current season the lowest for the marketing year, as prices soared more than 8 percent, traders said following a weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
Shrinking stocks of U.S. corn and worries about crop-stressing heat and dryness in key production areas fueled the strongest weekly futures rally in more than a year, sending many importers to the sidelines.

Rains to break new Russia heatwave in next 5 days
MOSCOW/PARIS/KIEV, June 14 (Reuters) - Rains and lower temperatures are expected to provide relief from a fresh heatwave in Russia's grain growing regions, where harsh spring weather has already taken a toll on the upcoming harvest, the state crop weather forecaster said.
"We expect temperature in the main regions to be at 26-31 Celsius degrees (79-88 Fahrenheit) during the next five days. Rains are expected on June 16-17," Anna Strashnaya, the head of the agricultural forecasting department at Russia's Federal Hydrometeorology and Environment Monitoring Service (Rosgidromet), told Reuters.
FranceAgriMer expects small rise in wheat crop
PARIS, June 14 (Reuters) - Farm office FranceAgriMer currently anticipates a small rise in French soft wheat output this year as a higher yield would offset area lost to winter frost, the head of the office's grains committee said.
FranceAgriMer's preliminary outlook, based on information from crop institute Arvalis, puts the 2012 French soft wheat crop at 34.4 million tonnes, up from 33.9 million tonnes in 2011, Remi Haquin told Reuters.

ICE coffee firms above two-year low, sugar rises
LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee futures on ICE edged higher to levels above Thursday's two-year low, pressured by Brazilian producers who are selling as the harvest in the top producer is under way.  Arabica coffee futures firmed as dealers focused on elections in Greece scheduled for June 17, which could determine the future of the debt-ridden country in the euro zone currency bloc.

Thai govt buys 5,000 tonnes of rubber in intervention
BANGKOK, June 15 (Reuters) - The government of Thailand, the world's largest producer of rubber, has bought 5,000 tonnes of rubber sheet, or just 2.5 percent of the volume of purchases planned in an intervention scheme kicked off early in May, officials said on Friday.
The scheme, which sparked a rally on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange when it was first announced this year, has failed to help the rubber market defy pressure from declines in other commodities as the debt crisis in Europe worsens.

Brazil's early sugar output washed out by rain
SAO PAULO, June 14 (Reuters) - An unusually wet May for the world's biggest sugar cane belt in center-south Brazil slowed the output of sugar early in this harvest season, industry association Unica said on Thursday.
In its biweekly report on crushing since the start of the season in April, Unica said sugar output from mills fell 26 percent through May compared with a year ago, to 3.53 million tonnes.
Ivorian cocoa mid-crop seen short, main crop early
SOUBRE, Ivory Coast, June 14 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast's western cocoa region of Soubre will see a short mid-crop harvest this year due to an extended dry season, but abundant rainfall since early April is likely to produce an early start to the 2012/2013 main crop, farmers said on Thursday.
A five-month dry spell that lasted into March cut short this season's October-to-March main crop and has delayed harvesting of mid-crop beans.

US coffee roasters stick with less costly robusta
NEW YORK, June 11 (Reuters) - U.S. coffee roasters quietly pulled off a financial feat last year that went unnoticed by most customers: Adding a higher proportion of cheaper, lower-grade robusta to their grounds as the price of top-notch arabica beans surged.
As new data reveals the surprising extent of that substitution, which appears to have been far more widespread than experts had thought possible, the industry faces a vexing question: As the price premium for arabica beans returns to historically normal levels, will roasters switch back?

Unconventional oil to alter geopolitical balance
(John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own)
LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) - ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Ryan Lance has caused a stir by warning an audience including OPEC oil ministers that North America could become self-sufficient in oil by the middle of the next decade, ending the region's dependence on imports.
"In 1990, North American reserves and production were falling, but thanks to unconventionals proved reserves have risen 68 percent since then," Lance told an audience of OPEC ministers on Wednesday.

Backwardation amid plenty, the 2012 oil paradox
(Robert Campbell is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own)
VIENNA, June 14 (Reuters) - How can oil fall 25 percent in a matter of months when the principal futures market has signaled all along a situation of dearth, not plenty?
Or put another way, why have buyers of oil this year been paying a premium for prompt delivery when supply has far outstripped demand?

OIL-Brent rises above $98 after OPEC meet; Greece eyed
SINGAPORE, June 15 (Reuters) - Brent futures climbed above $98 per barrel , extending gains on expectations Saudi Arabia would scale back supplies after the OPEC kept its output target unchanged, although uncertainty surrounding Europe's debt crisis capped gains.
"That news is giving some comfort to the market that there will be coordinated action if it is required," said Ken Hasegawa, a commodity sales manager at Newedge Japan. "That is why we are seeing gains in prices today, but trading will be within a narrow range ahead of the Greek elections."

S.Africa looks to Nigeria, Angola to replace Iran oil
CAPE TOWN, June 15 (Reuters) - South Africa is looking to source oil from Angola, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia to replace supplies from Iran, which is facing sanctions over its nuclear programme, a top energy official said on Friday.
Africa's biggest economy used to import a quarter of its crude from Iran, but has come under Western pressure to cut the shipments as part of sanctions designed to halt Tehran's suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Taiwan Formosa refinery to hit 90 pct utilization rate in July
SINGAPORE, June 15 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp will raise the average utilization rates at its 540,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery to nearly 90 percent in July from around 67 pe r cent in June as a crude unit is about to restart, said its spokesman.      
Asia's fifth largest refinery owns three crude distillation units (CDUs) of equal of 180,000 bpd.  

Oil Rises Most in a Week in New York on Greek Election Estimates (Source: Bloomberg)
Oil rose to the highest in a week as projections showed the two largest pro-bailout parties in Greece winning enough seats to forge a parliamentary majority, easing concern Europe’s debt crisis will worsen and crimp fuel demand. Futures climbed as much as 1.9 percent in New York. The New Democracy and socialist Pasok parties won a combined 163 seats in the 300-member legislature, according to estimates from the Interior Ministry based on partially counted returns from voting yesterday. The death of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, raised the issue of succession for the second time in less than a year. “The result in the Greek election is certainly better than the alternative,” said Ric Spooner, a chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. “An element of risk has been taken off the board, a box has been ticked, and some adjustment of risk premium is warranted but there’s more to go yet in Europe.
The stability of the Saudi government is a very important thing.” Oil for July delivery advanced as much as $1.57 to $85.60 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest intra-day price since June 11. It was at $85.06 at 10:31 a.m. Sydney time. The contract increased 12 cents to $84.03 on June 15, the highest close since June 8. Prices are down 14 percent this year.

Hong Kong LME Bid Faces Regulator as $32 Billion in Deals Killed (Source: Bloomberg)
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.’s bid for the London Metal Exchange, the most expensive bourse merger over $1 billion, may succeed in gaining the approval of regulators who’ve scuttled $32 billion of similar cross-border deals. Hong Kong’s offer of 107.6 pounds a share, or 180 times LME’s 2011 net income, requires approvals from LME’s shareholders and the U.K. Financial Services Authority. It doesn’t need shareholder approval in Hong Kong, where the local bourse operator’s stock fell 23 percent since Feb. 18, when the South China Morning Post first reported the bid. The Bloomberg World Exchanges Index (BNWEXCH) has dropped 14 percent in that time. The takeover would give Hong Kong control of a business that sets global prices for base metals, while LME stands to gain greater access to China, the biggest consumer of metals including nickel, aluminum and copper.
The London bourse will remain under the watch of the FSA, meaning the deal may avoid national interest and market power concerns that prompted market regulators and politicians to block other exchange mergers. “There’s a much lower level of political concern about the LME than there would be about the takeover of the London Stock Exchange,” said Ruben Lee, chief executive officer of Oxford Finance Group, a London company specializing in financial and commodity markets. “U.K. regulators will maintain their control over the operations of the exchange. There will be concern about the fitness and the properness of any new owner, but I’m sure that Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing are going to satisfy that.”

20120618 1028 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Pro Farmer: After the Bell Soybean Recap (Source: CME)
Soybean futures closed 2 1/4 to 10 cents lower in the July through September contracts, with the rest of the market ending 3 to 7 1/2 cents higher. Soybeans were lower for the week. Traders opted to lighten their long exposure ahead of Sunday's key Greek vote. With funds still heavily long the market, there is more downside risk if the leftist party, which opposes austerity measures needed to secure bailout funding, wins the elections.

Soybean Complex Market Recap (Source: CME)
August Soybeans finished down 5 1/4 at 1358 1/2, 16 1/2 off the high and 7 up from the low. November Soybeans closed up 7 3/4 at 1316 1/2. This was 9 3/4 up from the low and 7 off the high. August Soymeal closed down 3.3 at 403.7. This was 0.7 up from the low and 7.6 off the high. August Soybean Oil finished up 0.62 at 48.8, 0.19 off the high and 0.85 up from the low. July soybeans were trading near 6 cents lower and November up 8 cents late in the session. Outside markets were mostly supportive but there are still significant concerns for outside market weakness on Monday. Some models are wet (one inch plus over Illinois and Indiana next week) while others remain drier and warmer than recent expectations but there seems to be a sense that rains could be fairly decent next week across the dry areas of the eastern Corn Belt. Some areas are in desperate need of rains as many fields in the east have seen little or no rain in the past week. On top of the US weather situation, the market remains nervous with the euro zone situation and talk of extremely high temperatures near 105 degrees for the Black Sea region and a hot and dry outlook for the northern China plains growing region. Other areas of China have been hit with flooding but this growing region continues to miss out on bulk of rains. Private exporters reported the following three transactions. China bought 262,000 tonnes of US soybeans for 2012/13 season. Unknown destination bought 120,000 tonnes of US soybeans for the 2011/12 season and China cancelled 147,000 tonnes of soybeans for the 2011/12 season. A prominent research firm revised their soybean planted acreage estimate up to 76 million acres as compared with 73.9 million by the USDA. Traders have been expecting a 1.5-2.0 million acre increase so the news was seen as a negative factor.

VEGOILS-Palm oil ends higher on exports, Greek elections eyed
SINGAPORE, June 15 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures closed slightly higher, driven by rising exports and stronger global markets, although gains were limited by jitters ahead of the Greek polls set for this weekend.
"The market's a bit higher today, but it didn't go up by much. Traders are staying on the sidelines waiting for this weekend to see how the Greece election is going to turn out," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in Malaysia.

Argentina's key soy harvest slowed by rain-exchange
BUENOS AIRES, June 14 (Reuters) - Argentine farmers have gathered nearly all 2011/12 soybeans but final harvesting is being slowed by heavy rains in areas parched by drought earlier in the season, a leading grains exchange said on Thursday.
The Pampas grains belt, one of the world's most important food-supplying regions, was hit by a December-January dry spell followed by flooding in May and June in some parts of top-producing province Buenos Aires.
India's refined palm oil imports surge in May
NEW DELHI, June 14 (Reuters) - India's refined palm oil imports surged 70 percent in May as worries about a hike in duties receded, prices fell and demand picked up ahead of the Ramadan festival in July, a top trade body said on Thursday.
India is the world's No. 1 importer of vegetable oils, covering about half its annual demand of 15 million to 16 million tonnes through imports.