Thursday, August 2, 2012

20120802 1810 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 2946, changed : +1 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound little downside biased.
MACD Histogram : recovering, seller reducing exposure.
Support : 2920, 2900, 2850, 2800 level.
Resistance : 2950, 2970, 3020, 3050 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed 1 tick higher with slower volume traded. Soy oil currently rebounding higher after overnight plunged lower by more than 1.5% while crude oil price currently trading little higher.
Remained uncertain gloomy global economy after U.S. Federal Reserve refrained from implement further stimulus measure resulted crude palm oil to trade mostly in negative territory through out the day followed by last minutes recovery to closed 1 points higher.
Daily chart reading adjusted to suggesting a correction range bound little downside biased market development.
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.

20120802 1734 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1638 changed : +4 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound little upside biased.
MACD Histogram : recovering, buyer still in.
Support : 1630, 1623, 1615, 1600 level.
Resistance : 1640, 1650, 1660, 1670 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded gain lesser volume changed hand doing about 5 point premium compare to cash market that edge up marginally. Overnight U.S. markets continue to retreat lower today Asia markets ended mostly lower while European markets currently trading mixed.
Disappointment over not stimulus measure announce by U.S. Federal Reserve send global market to trade lower while investors await policy announcement by the European Central Bank.
Daily technical chart analysis continue to suggesting a correction range bound little upside biased market development.
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.

20120802 1707 Regional Markets EOD Daily Chart Study.

 DJIA chart reading : pullback correction little upside biased.
 Hang Seng chart reading : side way range bound.
KLCI chart reading :  correction range bound little upside biased.

20120802 1625 Global Markets & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS: European shares were set to open a touch higher, buoyed by expectations the European Central Bank will deliver further stimulus or support to tackle the euro zone debt crisis at a meeting later in the day. Most Asian shares fell on Thursday and U.S. stocks slipped on Wednesday on disappointment that the Federal Reserve offered no new measures to stimulate the economy.

FOREX-Dollar clings to gains after Fed; all eyes on ECB
The dollar held on to gains against major currencies after the Federal Reserve refrained from offering new stimulus, leaving global investors focused on the European Central Bank meeting later on Thursday for any action that could revive their appetite for risk.
"It's really difficult to see how they are going to live up to the market's expectations," said Mitul Kotecha, head of global foreign exchange strategy for Credit Agricole in Hong Kong.

FOREX: The euro edged up against the dollar while uncertainty prevailed on whether the European Central Bank will take bold action to tackle the region's debt crisis after the after the U.S. central bank held off from monetary stimulus.

FX COLUMN-Japan MOF should go for August USD/JPY buying
LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - With Japan's Finance Minister Jun Azumi again saying on Wednesday that he would not rule out any possible step against excessive moves by the Japanese yen, perhaps it's time for more concrete action.
There are sound economic, political and even historical reasons why the Azumi should put his money where his mouth is and intervene to weaken the Japanese currency -- and soon.

ECB's Draghi faces leadership test over euro pledge
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi faces intense pressure from investors, European leaders and even the United States to deliver on Thursday on his pledge to do whatever it takes to save the euro.

Fed says economy may need help, keeps policy on hold
The Federal Reserve stopped short of offering new monetary stimulus on Wednesday even as it signaled more strongly that further bond buying could be in store to help a U.S. economic recovery that it said had lost momentum this year.

GRAINS: Chicago soybeans slid half a percent, falling for a third straight session as forecasts of rains in the U.S. Midwest weighed on the market, while corn inched higher on hopes of end-user demand.

Coal, iron ore, steel prices ominous indicators
Many shipping firms and bulk commodities traders have a piece of advice for anyone who thinks the world economy may be headed for an upturn soon, led by Chinese industry.

OIL: Brent crude steadied near $106 a barrel as investors looked to Europe for policy easing measures after the U.S. Federal Reserve dashed their hopes by deferring fresh monetary stimulus.

Weak China demand spurs importers to cut nickel shipments
HONG KONG, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Chinese traders are delaying term nickel imports and returning at a discount metal they had bought as China's slowing economy, and maintenance at major stainless steel mills, further cuts consumption, traders say.
China is the world's biggest consumer of nickel, which is used in making stainless steel and in other industries, and its implied consumption of nickel in the first six months of the year is down by 11.3 percent from a year ago to 157,346 tonnes.

LME gears up for warehouse deliveries review
LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange (LME) has taken the first step to carry out a formal review into deliveries from the warehouses it monitors, it said on Wednesday, as it mandated a new daily out-flow rate for nickel and tin.
The LME's warehousing operations have been dogged by controversy since big banks and trading houses including Goldman Sachs  and JP Morgan Chase  bought warehousing operations.

BASE METALS: London copper rose, rebounding from near one-week lows hit in the previous session as investors looked to Europe for more easing measures after the U.S. Federal Reserve dashed hopes by deferring fresh monetary stimulus.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold found support at $1,600 an ounce, although was capped by uncertainty on whether the European Central Bank will take bold action to tackle the region's debt crisis after the U.S. central bank dashed hopes of any imminent stimulus.

METALS-LME copper climbs as markets eye ECB easing
London copper rose, rebounding from near one-week lows hit in the previous session as investors looked to Europe for more easing measures after the U.S. Federal Reserve dashed hopes by deferring fresh monetary stimulus.
"I don't see the market going anywhere for the moment. The market is still waiting for the ECB today and U.S. jobs data tomorrow. But the situation here is still very bearish," Shanghai-based commodities analyst Judy Zhu of Standard Chartered said.

PRECIOUS-Gold steady after drop on Fed, eyes on ECB
Gold found support at $1,600 an ounce, although it was capped by uncertainty over whether the European Central Bank will take bold action to tackle the region's debt crisis after the U.S. central bank dashed hopes of any imminent stimulus.
"Investors took profit yesterday after the Fed meeting. If the ECB announces any helpful measures, it will likely pressure the dollar and help the gold," said Lynette Tan, an analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

20120802 1114 Global Markets & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares ease after Fed inaction and ahead of ECB
TOKYO, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Asian shares eased on Thursday as investors turned increasingly cautious as hopes of stimulus action by central banks thinned ahead of a European Central Bank's meeting later in the day and after the U.S. Federal Reserve took no action a day earlier.
"Expectations (of U.S. stimulus) weren't high but the market can't help but feel at least a little disappointed, although many investors are still willing to stay on the sidelines until the later ECB meeting provides a clearer direction," said Lee Young-gon, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities.

COMMODITIES-Oil up on US demand; focus on ECB as Fed disappoints
NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Oil closed higher on Wednesday for the first time this week after surprisingly high U.S. demand boosted crude prices, while grains markets fell as chances for rain in the U.S. Midwest snapped a drought-driven rally.

OIL-Oil ends up but pares gains after Fed statement
NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Oil futures ended up but off its highs in choppy trading on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the economy had lost some momentum but offered no new stimulus that could shore up growth and translate into higher fuel demand.
"Crude oil prices are adjusting as the Fed did not announce any new stimulus," said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at Energy Management Institute in New York.

Erratic oil quality to play havoc with Brent in Sept
(Robert Campbell is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own)
NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Physical traders in the North Sea oil market are bracing for two more months of gyrating volume and quality of Forties Blend crude, a situation that some say leaves Brent exceptionally vulnerable to squeezes.
Forties typically sets the value of "Dated" Brent, which underlies the price of much of the oil traded worldwide.

NATURAL GAS-US natural gas futures end down again
NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended lower on Wednesday on more profit taking after setting a 7-1/2-month high early the previous session and reports that some private forecasters had moderated their mid-August temperature outlooks.
"The market is correcting after the recent gains, and I think the heat is already priced in, so some people may be looking a little farther out," a Pennsylvania-based trader said, referring to the milder revisions to the 15-day forecast.

20120802 1015 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

The  Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) said that local cement manufacturers have decided to raise their prices of the building materials, mirroring an earlier move by Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd. This excludes Sarawak based CMS Cement Sdn Bhd. The association said the quantum  of increase varied with companies while in terms of timeline some had imposed it yesterday while the others would soon follow. The association has received complaints from its members that this is happening. The Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) said it has put the cement industry under its watch list and it will keep a close eye on the developments in the sector. However, so far no party had stepped forward to lodge an official compliant with the commission. Until there is an official complaint, the MyCC will not take any investigative action or presume that anti-competitive behaviour had taken place. (Star Biz)

Mudajaya secured a contract worth RM30m to construct the entrance and exit road from the North South Highway to a site at Kampung Sungai Serai in Rawang, Selangor. The job was awarded by TPPT Sdn Bhd, a company established by Bank Negara to undertake and complete the project. The project was expected to be completed within 104 weeks from Aug 2, 2012. (BMSB, Starbiz)

The  Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) has reassured palm oil industry players that the latest 2m tonnes increase in the duty-free crude palm oil (CPO) export quota is only a temporary measure aimed at stock management and ensuring the remunerative prices for local palm oil producers. "We are of the view that the development of the industry has to factor in the interest of all parties, including the producers and processors," the ministry said. The increase of quota had bring cheers to the CPO producers, but instead causing discontentment among palm oil refiners. "The ministry is concerned that due to the additional time required to address this issue, the additional window to reduce stocks through CPO duty free mechanism has to be maintained," MPIC added. (StarBiz)

India raised the benchmark import price of refined, bleached and deodorized palm olein by 118% to US$1,053 a ton, the finance ministry said today. The benchmark import price, which was unchanged at US$484 a ton since 2006, will be raised to protect the domestic refining industry, K.V. Thomas, food minister said on July 19. (Bloomberg)

Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) said it plans to sell up to RM1bn worth of Islamic bonds. The company said it obtained yesterday the regulatory approval for the fund-raising exercise, which comes in the form of multi-currency Islamic medium-term notes. The programme has been assigned a preliminary long-term rating of „AA1‟ or „stable‟ outlook by RAM Rating Services Bhd, KLK added. (Reuters)

MRT Corp announced that the the Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT Line is on schedule. The project has moved from preparatory work to active construction phase, director of strategic communications and PR Amir Mahmood Razak said. Since finalisation of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang alignment in July last year, planning, design and preparatory works for construction have been in full swing, he said. So far, 33 packages worth RM15.5bn have been awarded. He said MRT Corp would announce by year-end new projects for the SBK line, which would include train purchases, V8 viaduct and construction of stations. Deadline for phase one operations of the SBK line, that runs from Sungai Buloh to Semantan, is on December 2016. “Phase two from Semantan to Kajang will be operational in July 2017,” he said. (Starbiz)

Maybank is confident of continuing its growth momentum for this year on the back of solid economic growth regionally. President and CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said the countries in which the bank currently operates in - including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and others in Asean - have retained very strong economic fundamentals. "In Malaysia for example, we expect full-year growth in term of gross domestic product (GDP), at about 4.4%, Singapore to grow about 3% and Indonesia about 6%." (Bernama)

U Mobile has expanded its distribution network following a partnership deal with GCH Retail Sdn Bhd, where it will expand its ditribution channels to more than 22,000 outlets nationwide. In a statement, it said the move was a strategic initiative by the telco operator to reach out to a broader consumer market and provide greater convenience to consumers. Under the deal, the U Mobile prepaid SIM packs will be available in 151 retail outlets including Giant retail outlets, Cold Storage and Mercato supermarkets in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak by end this year. (Bernama)

EPF has acquired 170.01m shares in Maxis. With the share purchase, EPF‟s stake in Maxis has now enlarged to 567.58m or 7.15%. The EPF is the second-largest stakeholder in Maxis, after Binariang GSM who holds 4.87bn shares or a 65% stake. (Malaysian Reserve)

Ho Hup Construction Co Bhd has submitted a revised regularisation plan to Bursa Malaysia that includes raising RM51m in fresh capital.  The revised plan entails a capital reduction of 50 sen per share, a rights issue of new irredeemable convertible preference shares with free detachable warrants, and a scheme to repay all its debtors. The company explained that the capital reduction exercise would result in a credit of RM51m, which would be used to reduced its accumulated losses of RM146.6m. These exercises are expected to be completed by February 2013. (Financial Daily)

Seaport Terminal, which has won the contest for the privatisation of the Penang Port, has unveiled plans to immediately improve the efficient of the port, and position it as a regional port serving vessels plying routes as far away as to India and China.  Datuk Mohd Sidek Shaik Osman, a director of Seaport Terminal, said the company is looking at a capital investment of RM1bn by 2017. Sidek also dismissed suggestions that Seaport Terminal would reduce Penang Port to a feeder port and that employees would be laid off after the privatisation. (Financial Daily)

Silver Bird Group Bhd has filed a suit against 10 parties, including three former principal executives and its internal and external auditors. The company is claiming RM125.03m in damages from the three executives and four private companies for causing financial irregularities towards Silver Bird and its subsidiaries. As for the internal and external auditors, Silver Bird and its subsidiaries are seeking a declaration that they have breached their duties and/or obligations towards the company  and are seeking damages. It named Datuk Jackson Tan Han Kook, Ching Siew Sheong, and Lai Poh Mei as the key principal executives. (Financial Daily)

KKB Engineering, which secured a RM171m contract from Pertama Ferroalloys, is setting its eyes next on a lucrative contract to be dished out by OM Materials (Sarawak) for the construction of a manganese and ferrosilicon alloy smelting plant in  Samalaju Industrial Park. KKB was awarded the project‟s RM70m site earthworks contract last year. (Star Biz)

United Plantations Bhd and Oleon NV are investing US$32m (RM99.8m) to put up a new plant to produce food emulsifiers in Pulau Indah, Klang.  UniOleon Sdn Bhd, their equally-owned venture company, will make and sell food emulsifiers as early as 2014. Food emulsifiers are mainly used in the bakery, dairy and confectionary industries. In a statement, United Plantations executive director Datuk Carl Bek-Nielsen said the joint venture facilitates have access to new markets. “In this project, Oleon has partnered with United Plantations, which is the driving force in Malaysia on sustainable palm oil and whose plantations all meet the criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil,” he said. Oleon NV is Europe‟s largest oleochemical group with total capacity of 500,000 tonnes a year of fatty acids, esters and dimers production. It is a member of the French oilseed financial group Sofiprotéol. (BT)

Konsortium Abass to issue RM138m sukuk
Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor’s subsidiary, Konsortium Abass SB, plans to issue Islamic Bonds worth RM138m to refinance existing financing facilities. The company said it has mandated Maybank Investment Bank as the principal adviser, lead arranger and lead manager. The tenure of the sukuk is up to nine years from the date of issuance. (BT)

Amcorp unit in pact to buy London property
Amcorp Properties's wholly-owned subsidiary, Old Burlington Ltd, has entered into a shareholders' agreement with NL (Pollen) Ltd and HPL (Mayfair) Pte Ltd, to purchase a freehold property in London. In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, Amcorp Properties said following the agreement, the maximum funding commitment to be made by Old Burlington is STG23.75 million (RM117.6 million) as its share. (BT)

20120802 1014 Local & Global Economy Related News.

Malaysia‟s public finances are weak relative to those of its „A‟ range peers and the country is now on par with more heavily indebted „A‟ range sovereigns such as Italy, said  Fitch Ratings yesterday. Fitch said that despite strong GDP growth, the deterioration in public debt ratios is affecting Malaysia‟s  credit profile and a lack of progress on fiscal reforms could lead to a ratings downgrade. Fitch said that the rise in the federal government debt-to-GDP ratio and the limited broadening of the fiscal revenue base have pushed Malaysia‟s debt-to-revenue ratio to 246% in 2011, which is well above the „A‟ and „BBB‟ range medians of 137% and 119% respectively and is now on par with more heavily indebted „A‟ range sovereigns such as Italy at 261% and Israel at 180%. Other factors putting pressure on the country‟s credit profile are low and energy-dependent revenues as well as structural weaknesses such as low average incomes. “Fiscal slippage or a lack of progress on fiscal reforms to reverse the deterioration in public debt ratios, following the impending election, could prompt negative rating action,” said Fitch. (Malaysian Insider)

The federal government has agreed to extend the East Coast Rail Route (ECRR) project to Bukit Besi, Dungun. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said said first phase of ECRR project was originally meant to link Kuantan to Kertih, involving only 109km. "I appealed to federal government to extend it by 35km to Bukit Besi, Dungun. It was agreed at the ECERDC meeting on Tuesday,” he said. (Bernama)

The Federal Reserve downgraded its assessment of the US economy on Wednesday, saying growth had slowed, but shied away from launching a fresh round of economic stimulus. "Economic activity decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year," the Fed said following its two-day FOMC meeting. (AFP)

The US Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a largely symbolic plan to extend all expiring individual income tax cuts, leaving a deep rift over tax policy unresolved until after November's elections. This comes in contrast to a rival Democratic bill passed by the Senate that would raise some tax rates on the wealthiest. (Reuters)

The US Treasury Department said it is developing a floating-rate note program that could be operational in a year or more, while it is preparing for possible negative-rate bidding. (Bloomberg)

The US MBA purchase applications index fell 2.0% wow in the 27 Jul week (-3.0% in the earlier week), whilst the refinance index gained 0.8% (2.0% in the previous week). (Bloomberg)

US domestic vehicle sales hit an annualised pace of 11.0m in Jul (10.8m in Jun), matching consensus, whilst total vehicle sales registered at an annualised 14.1m, matching Jun‟s pace and is higher than consensus of 14.0m. (Bloomberg)

US construction spending gained 0.4% mom in Jun (a revised 1.6% in May), undershooting consensus of 0.5%, whilst on a yoy basis, the measure gained 7.0%, lower than the revised 8.1% pace in May. (Bloomberg)

US ISM manufacturing unexpectedly fell to 49.8 last month (49.7 in Jun). This comes below market consensus for reading of 50.2. (Bloomberg)

US ADP employment report said that private-sector employment rose by 163,000 in Jul, slowing from a downwardly revised June gain of 172,000. The July jobs increase beat most predictions, as the average analyst estimate was that 125,000 jobs added. Gains were seen across all sizes of businesses and in both the goods-producing and service-providing sectors in July. (AFP)

The Eurozone manufacturing PMI fell to 44.0 in Jul, a three-year low, from 45.1 in Jun, with the rates of manufacturing decline in Germany, France and Spain “either at or close to the steepest since mid-2009,” according to Markit. (AFP)

The HSBC manufacturing PMI for China improved to 49.3 in Jul (48.2 in Jun). (Bloomberg)

The average price of housing in 100 major Chinese cities rose in Jul for the second straight month, suggesting that property prices have bottomed out. The survey showed the average price of housing in 100 major Chinese cities rose 0.33% mom (0.05% in Jun). (AWSJ)

China‟s manufacturing sector deteriorated slightly in Jul, as the official purchasing mangers’ index, inched down to 50.1 in Jul from 50.2 in Jun, just above the 50 line which separates expansion from contraction. (FT)

Japan  must do more to shrink its massive  public debt, the IMF said, but added that the nation's disaster-hit economy was recovering well despite turmoil overseas. (AFP)

The HSBC PMI for India slid to 52.9 in Jul from 55.0 the previous month, the softest reading since last November, on the back of weakening orders. (AFP)

India overturned its ban on foreign investment from Pakistan in a move designed to build goodwill amid a renewed push for a peace settlement between the nuclear-armed neighbours. (AFP)

Indonesia’s Danareksa consumer confidence index dropped 1 pt to 91.4 in Jul from 92.4 in Jun. (Bloomberg)

Indonesia’s exports in Jun slid 16.44% yoy, more than twice as bad as expected and versus an  8.55% fall in May, as shipments by value to China dropped 15.4%.  Imports rose 10.7% (14.9% in May). The  trade deficit widened to a record US$1.32bn. (Bloomberg, Reuters)

Indonesia’s consumer price index (CPI) rose to 4.56% yoy last month, up from 4.53% in Jun, but lower than expectations of 4.59%. (AFP)

HSBC's manufacturing purchasing managers' index for  Indonesia rose to 51.4 in Jul from 50.2 in Jun. (Dow Jones)

Thailand’s Jul inflation showed a growth rate of 2.73% yoy (2.56% in Jun), up by 0.35% mom (0.16% in Jun), attributed the increase to higher food and fuel prices. (The Nation)

The HSBC manufacturing PMI for Vietnam fell to 43.6 in Jul (46.6 in Jun). (Bloomberg)

Vietnam‟s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered a public list of weak banks and details of lenders’ non-performing loans as the government seeks to tackle bad debt that‟s undermining the banking system and hurting businesses. (Bloomberg)

Total outstanding loans in Vietnam dong by end-July had inched up 0.93% compared with late 2011, but for the Government, this is a very low credit growth rate as it targeted credit growth of 8-10% in the banking system this year. (The Saigon Times)

Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment has written to ministries, agencies and local authorities requesting  capital advances after the Government has approved to set aside VND30tr in  FY13 to speed up the progress of public investment projects. (The Saigon Times)

Vietnam’s public debts are believed to have far exceeded the safety level of 60% of the country‟s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the National Assembly Economic Committee. (The Saigon Times)

The World Bank will provide a  restructuring loan to help Myanmar clear US$397m in arrears by Jan, said Pamela Cox, the World Bank's vice-president for East Asia and the Pacific, who added that this needed to be done together with the Asian Development Bank. (Reuters)

Singapore’s Purchasing Managers' Index posted a reading of 49.8 last month, a drop of 0.6 points from Jun. Economists had expected an expansion to 50.4. Lower new orders at home and abroad has led to a 1.2-pt decline in electronics PMI, which posted a reading of 49.2 in Jul. (AFP)

Indonesia's foreign tourist arrivals in Jun rose 3.13% yoy, a slower pace of growth than 8.45% in May. (Reuters)

Korean exports fell 8.8% yoy in Jul, much weaker than a forecast 3.9% drop. (WSJ)

Conditions for South Korea’s manufacturers worsened for a second month in a row, according to HSBC's PMI gauge, which was at 47.2 in Jul from 49.4 in the previous month. (WSJ)

Taiwan and  China are expected to forge a much-anticipated  investment protection agreement in the next round of high-level talks in Aug. (AFP)

The Philippine government’s outstanding debt was expected to approach the PP5.78tr-PP5.91tr mark by the end of 2013 after breaching PP5tr recently. PP5.91tr would account for 49.5% of GDP in 2013, a lower ratio than the expected 50% this year and 50.9% in 2011. (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

20120802 1002 Global Market Related News.

Asia FX By Cornelius Luca - Wed 01 Aug 2012 15:14:18 CT (Source:CME/
The appetite for risk soured on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve reiterated the slowing the US economy without committing to additional easing. I had warned you about this behavior, given the limited tools the Fed has; the Fed must preserve these tools for more dire situations. All eyes are now on the ECB meeting on Thursday, and there is a better chance of some action there. The foreign currencies ended lower. The US stock markets slipped as well. But the gold/oil ratio fell. The short-term outlook for the foreign currencies is sideways. The medium-term outlook for most of the foreign currencies is sideways. The LGR short-term model is short only the euro and franc.  Good luck!

US: The ADP report showed that the private sector added 163,000 jobs in July following a downwardly revised increase of 172,000 jobs (from 176,000) in June.
US: Manufacturing PMI declined to 51.4 in July from 52.5 in June.
US: The ISM's manufacturing PMI inched up to 49.8 in July from 49.7 in June.
US: Construction spending grew by 0.4% in June, less than +0.9% in May.

Today's economic calendar
Australia: Retail sales for June
Australia: Trade balance for June

First All-Market Gain in Two Years Led by Drought, Draghi (Source:Bloomberg)
For the first time in more than two years, commodities, equities, bonds and the dollar posted a monthly gain, as the U.S. drought sent corn prices to a record and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s pledge to protect the euro buoyed stocks. Raw materials led the increase as the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Total Return Index of 24 raw materials rose 6.4 percent in July, the most since October. The MSCI All-Country World Index of equities rallied at the end of the month for a 1.4 percent gain. The U.S. Dollar Index, a measure against six currencies, added 1.3 percent. Bonds of all types returned 1.4 percent on average, the most since December, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Broad Market Index shows.
The last time all four measures rose for a month was in April 2010, when concerns about Greece were heating up and U.S. economic reports were improving. While corn rose the most last month in almost a quarter century and wheat reached a four-year high, financial assets gained as policy makers worked to boost global growth. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said he’s prepared to take more steps, and Draghi pledged to do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro. “A lot of the rally in everything is central-bank led,” said Jason Brady, a managing director at Thornburg Investment Management in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which oversees $80 billion. “So now we have a world where central-bank actions are really what people are looking at, and those actions are really positive for all asset prices and negative for savers and folks who are looking to put money in at reasonable levels over a longer period of time.”

Asia Stocks Swing Between Gains and Losses on Fed, ECB (Source:Bloomberg)
Most Asian stocks rose, with the benchmark index swinging between gains and losses, amid speculation the European Central Bank will announce measures to combat the debt crisis after the U.S. Federal Reserve refrained from adding stimulus to the world’s biggest economy. Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Asia’s biggest carmaker by market value, rose 3.8 percent in Tokyo after its U.S. sales gained 26 percent in July. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s No. 1 lender, fell 0.8 percent, pacing declines among banks after its investment rating was cut by Deutsche Bank AG. Aozora Bank Ltd. jumped 11 percent in Tokyo after saying it’s close to an agreement on a plan to repay public funds. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 118.32 as of 10:10 a.m. in Tokyo before markets in Hong Kong and China opened. It’s swung between gains and losses six times. About two stocks rose for each that fell.
“People would like the Fed to do more because I think it would improve the market sentiment a little bit,” said Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management in Sydney who manages more than $350 million. “But I think the fact that the Fed is not doing anything and still saying they remain prepared to, it’s not a huge negative. I think it’s neutral.”

Asia Stocks Open Little Changed After Fed Stimulus Pledge (Source:Bloomberg)
Asian stocks opened with the regional benchmark index little changed after the Federal Reserve said it will pump fresh stimulus if necessary into the world’s biggest economy, disappointing some investors anticipating a more definitive sign of further easing. Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC), Australia’s No. 2 lender by market value, fell 0.3 percent in Sydney. Sony Corp. (6758), Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, rose 3.5 percent Tokyo after the yen retreated from a two-month high against the dollar. Soy sauce maker Kikkoman Corp. dropped 3.9 percent in Tokyo after first-quarter operating profit fell. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 118.22 as of 9:22 a.m. in Tokyo before markets in Hong Kong and China opened.
“People would like the Fed to do more because I think it would improve the market sentiment a little bit,” said Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management in Sydney who manages more than $350 million. “But I think the fact that the Fed is not doing anything and still saying they remain prepared to, it’s not a huge negative. I think it’s neutral.”

Japan Stocks Rise as Fed Says It’s Ready to Act if Needed (Source:Bloomberg)
Japan stocks rose after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s pledge to provide additional support for the world’s largest economy if necessary boosted exporters. Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) advanced after sales in the U.S. beat estimates. Sony Corp. (6758), Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, climbed 4 percent after the yen retreated from a two-month high against the dollar. Toyota, Asia’s biggest carmaker, advanced 3.3 percent. Aozora Bank Ltd. (8304), a lender controlled by Cerberus Capital Management LP, surged 11 percent after saying it’s close to an agreement with major stakeholders to repay public funds. The Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average rose 0.4 percent to 8,679.98 at 9:56 a.m. in Tokyo. The broader Topix Index climbed 0.6 percent to 734.15.
“There remains a significant risk that policy makers will keep intervening to support economic confidence and financial markets,” said Mikio Kumada, a Singapore-based global strategist for LGT Capital Management, which oversees more than $20 billion. “Overly bearish investors still risk being caught wrong-footed in rising markets. A reasonably constructive investment approach remains appropriate for now, with a slight tilt in favor of selected risky assets.” The Topix lost 16 percent since this year’s peak on March 27, leaving shares on the gauge trading at 0.9 times book value, compared with 2.2 times for the S&P 500 and 1.4 times for the Europe Stoxx 600 Index. A number less than one means that companies can be bought for less than value of their assets.

U.S. Stocks Decline as Fed Fails to Bolster Confidence (Source:Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks declined, reversing earlier gains, as the Federal Reserve’s pledge to provide additional support for the economy disappointed investors anticipating a more definitive sign of further monetary easing. Knight Capital Corp. (KCG), one of the largest market makers of U.S. stocks, plunged 33 percent as it experienced technology issues with trading. MasterCard Inc. (MA), the second-biggest payments network, slumped 2.2 percent as sales missed analysts’ estimates. Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), the largest U.S. cable company, and Allstate Corp. (ALL), the biggest publicly traded U.S. home and auto insurer, rose at least 3 percent as earnings topped projections.
Fourteen stocks fell for every five rising on U.S. exchanges at 4 p.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.3 percent to 1,375.32. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 37.62 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,971.06. The Russell 2000 Index of small companies slumped 2 percent to 771.11, led by Knight. Volume for exchange-listed stocks in the U.S. was 7.4 billion shares, 10 percent above the three-month average. “The Fed basically passed,” said Michael Strauss, who helps oversee about $26 billion of assets as the chief investment strategist at Commonfund in Wilton, Connecticut. “They didn’t say anything new. The Fed is recognizing the economy is a bit weaker, but there’s not that much it can do.”

European Stocks Gain Amid Speculation of Central Bank Aid (Source:Bloomberg)
European stocks rose for the fourth time in five days as speculation central banks will take further steps to support the economic recovery outweighed the biggest contraction in U.K. manufacturing for three years. Next Plc (NXT) jumped 6.5 percent as the retailer increased its annual profit forecast after reporting first-half sales that rose more than analysts estimated. Arkema SA (AKE) climbed 5.7 percent as second-quarter earnings beat projections. Mediaset SpA (MS) dropped 11 percent after profit declined 65 percent amid lower advertising sales. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) gained 0.5 percent to 262.57 at the close of trading. The benchmark measure has rallied 12 percent from this year’s low on June 4 as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande last week joined European Central Bank President Mario Draghi in promising to do everything to protect the euro.
“Markets are clearly being driven by the expectation of further central-bank intervention,” said Peter Garnry, an equity strategist at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen. “Everyone is expecting Draghi to launch another round of secondary-market purchases to get yields on Spanish and Italian bonds lower.”

Emerging Stocks Advance a Fifth Day on Interest-Rate Speculation (Source:Bloomberg)
Emerging-market stocks rose, sending the benchmark index to the longest rally since April, as speculation of more interest-rate cuts by central banks outweighed data showing weaker manufacturing in Asia. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF) added 0.2 percent to 954.22, with 432 companies gaining to 329 declining. Homebuilder Rossi Residencial SA and state controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4) led Brazilian stocks higher. Russia’s Micex Index climbed, led higher by OAO Mechel, the country’s biggest maker of coking coal. Anhui Conch (914) Cement Co. surged in Hong Kong after the government pledged to ensure stable economic growth.
The Federal Open Market Committee “will provide additional accommodation as needed” to boost economic recovery, it said at the conclusion of a two-day meeting in Washington. A purchasing managers’ index released today showed China’s manufacturing industry grew at the slowest pace in eight months in July. The European Central Bank will announce a policy decision tomorrow after ECB President Mario Draghi last week pledged to do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro. “It’s the reaction toward comments from different authorities and that has continued into this week,” Elena Ogram, a portfolio manager at Bank am Bellevue AG in Zurich, which manages about $50 million of emerging-market equity assets, said by phone. “Markets expect some sort of quantitative easing from either the ECB or the Federal Reserve or both.”

FOREX-Euro steady before U.S., euro zone policy decisions
LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The euro held steady against the dollar before monetary policy decisions in the United States and the euro zone, with investors gearing up for possible European Central Bank action to stem the region's debt crisis.
"If the ECB come up with something very clear-cut we could see a position squeeze (higher) in the euro, depending on how much detail Draghi gives at the press conference," said Ankita Dudani, currency strategist at RBS.

Euro Remains Lower Before ECB Meets to Discuss Crisis (Source:Bloomberg)
The euro failed to rally from a decline yesterday before European Central Bank policy makers meet to discuss ways to tackle the region’s debt crisis today. The 17-nation currency remained lower versus the yen before Spain sells bonds today for the first time since ECB President Mario Draghi pledged to do whatever it takes to defend the euro, suggesting the central bank may intervene in bond markets. Demand for the dollar was supported after the Federal Reserve yesterday refrained from monetary easing. “I think a lot of people are expecting the ECB to announce some sort of ‘shock-and-awe’ policy today,” said Peter Dragicevich, a Sydney-based foreign-exchange economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. (CBA) “If the ECB were to disappoint, we expect the euro to fall.”
The euro bought $1.2222 as of 9:40 a.m. in Tokyo after falling 0.6 percent to $1.2225 in New York. The shared currency traded at 95.90 yen from 95.89 yesterday, when it dropped 0.2 percent. The dollar was little changed at 78.45 yen, following a 0.4 percent gain yesterday. Investors and politicians are clamoring for ECB action to quell Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, which is threatening to cripple Spain and Italy and tear the 17-nation euro area apart. While Draghi’s commitment in London last week to do what’s needed fueled a global market rally, some economists cast doubt on his ability to build the consensus needed to deliver a game changer.

U.S. Treasury Plans Floating-Rate Notes in Year or More (Source:Bloomberg)
The U.S. Treasury Department said today it is developing a floating-rate note program that could be operational in a year or more, while it is preparing for possible negative-rate bidding. The Treasury also plans to sell $72 billion in notes and bonds in next week’s refunding, it said in a statement in Washington. The Treasury intends to auction $32 billion in 3- year notes on Aug. 7, $24 billion in 10-year notes on Aug. 8 and $16 billion in 30-year bonds on Aug. 9. The floating-rate notes would be the first new U.S. government debt security since Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, known as TIPS, were introduced in 1997. With a budget deficit estimated at $1.21 trillion this year, the Treasury needs to expand its base of investors, and the notes may appeal to those who are seeking to protect themselves from a possible increase in interest rates or faster inflation stemming from the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented stimulus.
“People are nervous about fixed-rate instruments because of rising rates,” said William Larkin, a fixed-income money manager who helps oversee $500 million at Cabot Money Management Inc. in Salem, Massachusetts. “The floating-rate notes remove that risk for investors, so it makes the Treasury’s source of capital a little bit more stable.” The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, the bond dealers and investors who meet quarterly with department officials, said it unanimously supports the introduction of the notes as soon as possible. The group predicted “strong, broad-based demand for the product.”

Fed Signals More Steps to Spur Economy Amid Slower Growth (Source:Bloomberg)
The Federal Reserve said it will pump fresh stimulus if necessary into the weakening economic expansion to boost growth and reduce an unemployment rate that’s been stuck at 8 percent or higher for more than three years. The Federal Open Market Committee “will provide additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability,” it said today in a statement at the end of a two-day meeting in Washington. “Economic activity decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year.” Stocks fell on disappointment Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke refrained from taking action even as consumer spending flagged, job growth slackened and manufacturing cooled. Before its next meeting Sept. 12-13, the FOMC will assess unemployment reports for July and August, and the European Central Bank may take steps to ease Europe’s debt crisis at a meeting tomorrow.
“They were as blunt as you can get without actually pulling the trigger,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG LLC in New York. “They’re saying, ‘Hey, things are not good and we’re an inch away from easing.’”

U.S. Manufacturing Unexpectedly Shrinks for Second Month (Source:Bloomberg)
American manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in July for a second month, reflecting a drop in orders that threatens to undercut a mainstay of the recovery. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index was 49.8 last month, little changed from a three-year low of 49.7 reached in June, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a reading of 50.2, according to the median estimate, just above the 50 mark that separates expansions and contractions. Manufacturers from China to the euro area joined the U.S. in showing signs of retrenching, indicating Europe’s debt crisis and the looming U.S. government spending cuts and tax increases that constitute the so-called fiscal cliff are taking a toll on customers globally. Federal Reserve policy makers today acknowledged that the economy has slowed and foreshadowed new steps to boost the weakening expansion.
“We’ve seen slower growth in emerging markets, the recession in Europe -- all of that is still ever-present,” said Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Firms are holding pat right now.”

Geithner Urges U.S. Congress, Europe to Spur Growth (Source:Bloomberg)
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner called on European policy makers and lawmakers in Washington to spur economic growth even as they seek long-term measures to narrow budget deficits. “There’s a lot of things Congress can do, in the near term, not just in the long run, to make growth stronger,” Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Los Angeles yesterday. European leaders also “have to do some more things to help support growth in the near term,” he said. Geithner, 50, said Congress should take advantage of low borrowing costs to adopt measures to support the economy, which he said must grow faster to create jobs and reduce an unemployment rate stuck above 8 percent since February 2009. He said such measures include helping homeowners refinance mortgages and approving tax incentives for businesses.
“We pay about 1 1/2 percent for a 10-year Treasury now, to borrow long-term now, because fundamentally people have faith in the ability of the U.S. to solve its problems,” Geithner said. “It’s sensible for us to take advantage of this moment to do things that will make the economy stronger.”

Draghi Pledge May Boost Investment in Europe Stocks (Source:Bloomberg)
The underperformance of European stocks relative to their U.S. counterparts may be ending, as investors speculate the European Central Bank will win the backing of government leaders on a plan to ease the euro area’s debt crisis. The Euro Stoxx 50 Index -- a benchmark of blue-chip shares -- has risen 8.1 percent since July 25, the day before ECB President Mario Draghi pledged that policy makers are “ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro.” By comparison, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen 2.8 percent during the same period. The recent outperformance comes after the European index lagged behind the S&P 500 by almost 80 percent between March 9, 2009, when the U.S. index hit a 13-year low, and June 18, 2012.
As “most of the bad news” already may be built into market prices, Pioneer Investment Management Inc., which oversees about $185 billion in assets, “cautiously moved to a risk-on” position in European equities about a month ago, while remaining underweight U.S. stocks, said Monica Defend, head of global asset-allocation research in Milan. While this “appears to be a bold move” in the current market, “we should not underestimate the commitment of leading central banks” to provide support to the financial system, she said.

U.K. Manufacturing Slump Deepens as Export Orders Fall: Economy (Source:Bloomberg)
U.K. manufacturing shrank the most in more than three years in July as export orders slumped, indicating the economy’s recession continued to deepen at the start of the third quarter. A factory-output gauge fell to 45.4 from a revised 48.4 in June, London-based Markit Economics said today. The reading was weaker than any of the 30 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. The decline was led by weaker demand in the euro area, where a separate index showed manufacturing shrank for a 12th month. British manufacturers are struggling as the sovereign debt crisis deepens in Europe, the U.K.’s biggest trading partner, and global growth cools. The Bank of England, which expanded stimulus last month, will probably keep its bond-purchase target unchanged tomorrow as policy makers assess their Funding for Lending plan aimed at stoking the flow of credit and reviving growth.
“There is a lot of ground to recover,” said Ross Walker, an economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London. “Alongside distinctly underwhelming anecdotal evidence from consumer-facing parts of the economy, this bodes ill for hopes of a rebound in third-quarter gross domestic product.” Economists had forecast a reading of 48.4 for the factory index, based on the median estimate. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

U.K. Factory Output Shrinks Most in More Than Three Years (Source:Bloomberg)
U.K. manufacturing shrank the most in more than three years in July as new export orders slumped, indicating the economy continued to weaken at the start of the third quarter. A gauge of factory output, based on a survey by Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, fell to 45.4 from a revised 48.4 in June, London-based Markit said today. The index was weaker than any of the 30 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey and the pound weakened against the dollar and the euro. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. British manufacturers are continuing to struggle as the sovereign debt crisis deepens in the euro area, the U.K.’s biggest trading partner. The Bank of England will probably maintain its target for bond purchases tomorrow as policy makers assess their Funding for Lending plan aimed at stoking the flow of credit.
“A perfect storm of wet weather and weak confidence in the U.K. has combined with global economic drift to engulf the manufacturing sector,” CIPS Chief Executive Officer David Noble said. “While the euro zone has continued to be the major factor, declines in business from Asia have dashed hopes of a quicker recovery.” Economists had forecast a reading of 48.4 for the factory index, based on the median estimate. Markit said the level of new export business declined for a fourth month in July and at the fastest pace since February 2009. The euro area “remained the principal drag” on exports, it said.

IMF Chief Lagarde Praises Greece, Spain for Efforts (Source:Bloomberg)
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde defended the lender’s role in Greece and said the nation has made progress even as it needs to deepen structural changes to its economy. “When I look back to the initial program and the achievements of the Greek economy and the Greek population, it’s impressive,” Lagarde told reporters in Washington today. “There is still a lot that the country can do.” Greece’s budget deficit will narrow to 7 percent of gross domestic product this year and 2.7 percent next year, the Washington-based IMF said in a July 16 report. The IMF had forecast in April that Greece’s deficit will be 7.2 percent this year and 4.6 percent in 2013. Lagarde also praised Spain, saying, “When we look at what Spain has already done, and is committing to do, there’s not much more that we would be asking from Spain if it was in a program with the IMF.”
Spain sought a European bailout for its banks in June of as much as 100 billion euros ($123 billion) as the government lacked the financing to shore up its lenders. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is fighting to keep enough access to markets to fund the deficit, and has called for the European Central Bank to buy Spanish bonds and for European Union nations to take steps to bring down borrowing costs.

Indonesia’s July Inflation Accelerates on Higher Food Prices (Source:Bloomberg)
Indonesia’s inflation quickened for a second month in July, limiting scope for the central bank to join its neighbors in lowering interest rates even as declining exports threaten growth. Consumer prices rose 4.56 percent from a year earlier, after climbing 4.53 percent in June, the statistics bureau said in Jakarta today. The median forecast of 23 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 4.59 percent gain. Inflation was mainly held up by increasing food costs, the bureau said. Bank Indonesia has held off from adding to a February rate cut, seeking to support a currency that has fallen about 4 percent in 2012. Policy makers from China to the Philippines lowered rates last month, a move Governor Darmin Nasution may avoid amid the risk of price pressures as the world’s largest Muslim population observes the fasting period of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr festival that marks its end.
“Inflation has started to creep higher, with inflation now in the upper half” of the central bank’s target range, said Chua Hak Bin, a Singapore-based economist at Bank of America Corp. “We expect Bank Indonesia to hold the policy rate” at the Aug. 9 meeting, he said. The rupiah fell 0.3 percent to 9,470 per dollar as of 2:35 p.m. in Jakarta, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg.

20120802 1002 Global Commodities Related News.

South America Readies Record Crops Amid U.S. Drought (Source:Bloomberg)
South American farmers are preparing to plant record grain and oilseed crops that may temper surging food inflation caused by the worst U.S. drought in a generation. Argentine farmers, buoyed by rains that alleviated a drought, will smash a previous corn harvest record of 22 million metric tons by reaping as much as 31 million tons in the 2012- 2013 season, growers group Crea said July 23. Brazil may harvest its biggest-ever soybean crop in 2012-2013 to surpass the U.S. as the world’s biggest grower, according to Sao Paulo-based researcher Agroconsult.
Corn rose to a record $8.205 a bushel in Chicago yesterday, capping the biggest monthly gain since 1988, while soybeans reached an all-time high on July 23 and surged 15 percent last month. Corn retreated 1.2 percent today. The response from South American growers to the worst U.S. drought since 1956 will be the “turning point” in the corn and soybean rally, Wayne Gordon, the head of global agriculture markets research at UBS AG in New York, said in an interview. “We are in a great situation,” said Martin Otero, the owner of Buenos Aires-based farm investment group Hillock Capital Management that owns and manages farmland in Argentina and Uruguay. “We have very high yield prospects, and there’s a high probability that prices will be very good.”

Soil Conditions
South America may boost its soybean crop by 30 percent in the 2012-2013 season as farmers look to cash in on higher prices and improved soil conditions after a drought last season, said Karim Cherif, a Zurich-based analyst for Credit Suisse Group AG. Argentina and Paraguay are the world’s third- and fourth- largest exporters, respectively, of the oilseed behind the U.S. and Brazil. In corn, Argentina, Ukraine and Brazil trail the U.S. as the largest global exporters of the cereal. South American farmers start planting corn and soybean crops from September, while harvesting will take place between February and June next year. In the U.S., whose season runs inversely to South America, the already planted corn crop is “not save-able” in many areas, economist Dennis Gartman wrote in his daily Gartman Letter.
Ninety-four percent of U.S. corn crops have gone through the silking stage, while only 55 percent of soybean plants are setting pods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said July 30. Both phases are critical for determining yields. Soybeans typically mature later than corn and damages can be reversed by rains now, Gartman said. Much of the U.S. Midwest may remain hot and dry through the middle of August, Matt Rogers, Commodity Weather Group LLC president, said in an e-mail today.

Weather ‘Crucial’
Prices may advance to records on the shortage, said Sudakshina Unnikrishnan, an analyst at Barclays Plc in London. “I don’t think we’ve seen the top so far,” she said in an interview. In the U.S. “weather through August is going to be absolutely crucial.” The U.S. drought will cause food-price volatility that may expand hunger to the world’s poor, threatening social stability and putting pressure on governments, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a report July 30. French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said a surge in grain and soy prices is a “major preoccupation” worldwide. “South American farmers will respond to high crop prices by increasing planted acres,” Juan Luciano, chief operating officer of Decatur, Illinois-based grains processor Archer- Daniels-Midland Co. said in a conference call with analysts yesterday.
Brazilian farmers may plant a record soybean crop because of prices, the prospect of rain caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon and its higher profitability than corn, said Silvio Porto, the director of agriculture policy and information at Conab, the Brazilian government crop-forecasting agency.

Prefer Soybeans
Many Brazilian farmers will sow soybeans instead of corn because the seeds are cheaper and the cost of transporting from farms far from the eastern Atlantic coast is cheaper, said Glauber Silveira, a farmer who is also president of Brazil’s soybean growers association known as Aprosoja. “You have more safety with soy, it’s easier to sell in advance,” said Silveira, who owns farms in Mato Grosso state that borders the Amazon Jungle. “I have already sold 60 percent of my crop next year in advance.” Brazil will plant 27 million hectares (66.7 million acres) in 2012-2013 to reap a record 78 million-ton soybean crop and may even surpass that target as growers use record amounts of fertilizers to maximize yields, said Giovana Araujo, a Sao Paulo-based analyst at Banco Itau BBA SA.

El Nino
To be sure, farmers across South America are counting on the downpours that arrive with El Nino that warms ocean temperatures, bringing wetter weather to the grassy plains in Argentina and Brazil. The El Nino rains may be less intense than in previous episodes of the weather phenomenon, said Eduardo Sierra, a climatologist at the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange. Many Argentine farmers need the heavy downpours that occur during the so-called Santa Rosa storm at the end of August to sow corn, said Esteban Copati, an analyst at the exchange. Argentine farmers are still lobbying the government to ease export restrictions on food staples such as corn consumed in the South American country and may grow soybeans instead because they are not subject to the restrictions, Copati said.
The country’s soybean harvest may rise about 35 percent in 2012-2013 to 56 million tons, UBS’s Gordon said. Output in neighboring Paraguay may almost double to 7.8 million tons in the 2012-2013 season from 4 million tons a year earlier, the USDA said March 28. “The Latin American guys are going to be the turning point,” Gordon said. “What the condition of their planting is in October and November will determine the length in the rally.”

U.S. Midwest May Remain Hot, Dry Through Mid-August (Source:Bloomberg)
Much of the Midwest may remain hot and dry through the middle of August, after a month in which more than half the U.S. was covered by drought and temperature records toppled by the thousands. The Midwest is expected to stay about 5 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 4.4 Celsius) above normal through Aug. 15, according to Matt Rogers, Commodity Weather Group LLC president. The area from Iowa south Arkansas, west to Nebraska and Kansas and east to Illinois will probably have below-normal rain through Aug. 15, said Joel Widenor, CWG co-founder. “While next week sees some back-and-forth variability, we still favor a hot-dominated story with the most severe conditions still over the drought areas of the western Midwest, Plains and nearby parts of the South,” Rogers said.
In July, 4,368 daily high temperature records were set or tied across the U.S. or about 2.6 percent of the total possible, according to National Climatic Data Center statistics. A year ago, 2,755 daily records were set or tied, or 1.5 percent of the total, according to the center in Asheville, North Carolina. As of last week, at least 63.9 percent of the contiguous 48 states was affected by drought considered moderate or worse. The parched soil has left corn and soybean crops in the worst condition since 1988. Ninety percent of topsoil in six Midwest states was considered short or very short on moisture. In Missouri and Illinois, 99 percent reached that level. Widenor said he expects above-normal rain to fall from Montana to southern Wisconsin from Aug. 6-10 and in Minnesota from Aug. 11-15. Those showers will probably bypass most of Iowa and Illinois.

Grains Stage Impressive Recovery (Source:CME)
The grain complex closed lower but well off session lows on a late round of buying interest as low volume trade continues to cause large spikes up and down.

Pro Farmer: After the Bell Wheat Recap (Source:CME)
Chicago and Kansas City wheat futures finished widely mixed. The September through May contracts ended slightly lower and mid-range for the day, while 2013-crop contracts posted strong gains and finished on session highs. Minneapolis wheat futures finished 16 to 26 cents lower in the September through July 2013 contracts. Futures were pressured by profit-taking as support from the corn market was lacking today.

Wheat Market Recap Report  (Source:CME)
September Wheat finished down 8 3/4 at 879 1/2, 17 1/2 off the high and 17 3/4 up from the low. December Wheat closed down 8 3/4 at 893 3/4. This was 17 3/4 up from the low and 17 1/2 off the high. September Chicago wheat traded sharply lower for most of the day but managed to find support late in the day as corn and soybean began to climb. Russian government officials reported that they see their wheat production reaching 50 million tonnes and exports between 11-15 million tonnes for the 2012/13 marketing year. The market is anticipating a much lower production estimate after severe drought has stressed a large portion of that wheat crop. Algeria reportedly bought 400-500,000 tonnes of French wheat overnight and Saudi Arabia announced a tender to buy 275,000 tonnes of hard wheat this morning. Black Sea and French shippers have done a majority of the tender business that has been announced in the last week providing evidence of just how uncompetitive the US wheat market is. This has forced traders to take profits ahead of the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday and ahead of the USDA report next week. September Oats closed down 9 1/4 at 371. This was 1/4 up from the low and 15 1/2 off the high.

Pro Farmer: After the Bell Corn Recap  (Source:CME)
Corn futures were under pressure for much of the day, but posted a strong recovery in late trade to end just slightly lower in all but the July 2013 contract, which finished 1 1/4 cents higher. Early losses were tied to profit-taking, as there was little fresh news for traders to digest and focus was on minimizing risk ahead of this afternoon's statement from the Federal Open Market Committee.

Corn Market Recap for 8/1/2012 (Source:CME)
September Corn finished down 6 at 800 1/2, 17 1/2 off the high and 18 1/4 up from the low. December Corn closed down 4 3/4 at 800 1/2. This was 19 1/4 up from the low and 16 1/4 off the high. December corn traded sharply lower midday but climbed off session lows to close just under the 800 level. Pressure was linked to profit taking by speculative traders but end user buying was noted on today's dip. The Federal Reserve announced that they would leave interest rates unchanged which offered slight support to the commodity sector late in the session. Early yield reports out of the southern Delta have been average to above average as they begin harvest. The market is expecting yield declines as harvest extends to the north where drier conditions existed. The corn market continues weigh the effects of a smaller corn crop vs. the forecasted demand as many expect sharp declines in US exports and feed use in the coming year. Brazil reportedly exported 1.7 million tonnes of corn in July which was up from 134,900 tonnes in June. Ethanol production for the week ending July 27th averaged 809 thousand barrels per day. This is up 1.63% vs. last week and down 7.86% vs. last year. Total Ethanol production for the week was 5.663 million barrels. This was the first week of production increases for the month of July. Corn used in last week's production is estimated at 86.18 million bushels vs. 84.791 for the week prior. This crop year's cumulative corn used for ethanol production is 4.52 billion bushels. Corn use needs to average 108.364 million bushels per week to meet this crop year's USDA estimate of 5.05 billion bushels. September Rice finished down 0.03 at 15.585, equal to the high and 0.015 up from the low.

Crop bulls should beware falling corn and soy volumes
--Gavin Maguire is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own--
CHICAGO, July 31 (Reuters) - The corn and soybean markets may appear destined to keep rising as commercial buyers and traders scramble to secure crop coverage amid escalating fears of a potential supply shortfall due to pronounced drought across the U.S crop heartland.
But recent declines in traded volumes and open interest in both commodities suggests traders may be backing away from these markets over the near term, not racing toward them.

GRAINS-Corn rebounds as US drought worsens food supply worries
SINGAPORE, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Chicago corn rose 1.2 percent building on its biggest two-month rally since the last major U.S. drought of 1988, while soybeans gained almost 1 percent with little relief from the dryness in the Midwest.
"The concern about crop yields is continuing to support the market and there are reports that suggest we might see much lower yields," said Abah Ofon, an analyst at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.

Ukraine maize crop at 20 mln tonnes due heatwave-forecaster
KIEV, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Searing temperatures of up to 42 degrees Celsius expected in parts of Ukraine in early August are certain to hit the country's maize production, a state weather forecaster said on Wednesday.
"At the very best, the maize harvest (this year) will be 20 million tonnes," said Tetyana Adamenko, head of the state weather forecasting centre's agriculture department, indicating a revision downwards from the centre's previous 21 million tonne estimate.

Russia's 2012/13 exportable wheat surplus seen at 11-15 mln T - source
MOSCOW, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Russia will have an exportable surplus of wheat in a range of 11 million tonnes to 15 million tonnes depending on the final 2012 crop, which was damaged by drought, a government source told Reuters on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuseday that Russia, hit by severe drought first in the southern breadbasket regions and then in the other key growing regions, Siberia, the Volga and the Urals, could harvest 75-80 million tonnes this year, down from last year's 94 million tonnes.

France raises wheat crop estimate to 36.7 mln tonnes
PARIS, Aug 1 (Reuters) - France raised its harvest estimate to 36.7 million tonnes of soft wheat this year, a rise of 7.9 percent compared with the 2011 harvest, the French farm ministry said on Wednesday.
The ministry first estimated in July the crop would be around 35.9 million tonnes.

W.Australia grains crop seen down a third -CBH Group
MELBOURNE, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Grains production in the key producing state of Western Australia is likely to fall to 9.5-10.5 million tonnes in the 2012/13 season, down about a third from a record 15 million tonnes harvested last year, growers cooperative CBH Group said.
Australia was the world's No.2 wheat exporter in the last crop year and the government forecasts nationwide wheat production will fall 18 percent to total 24.1 million tonnes during the 2012/13 season.

Russian forecaster sees Aug weather warmer than usual
MOSCOW, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Temperatures will be higher than usual in Russia during August, putting pressure on the summer's crop, Russia's state forecaster said on Wednesday.
Russia, one of key global wheat supplier, will be able to maintain an exportable grain surplus, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday, even as the Agriculture Ministry narrowed down its estimate of the drought-hit harvest to 80 million tonnes.

US corn crop shrinks further; bottom may be near
CHICAGO, July 31 (Reuters) - The U.S. corn crop has shrunk another 2.5 percent over the past week, but the modest decline suggests damage from the worst drought in half a century may be nearing an end, a Reuters poll of analysts showed on Tuesday.
The soybean crop is also getting smaller, and hot, dry weather forecast for the Midwest farm belt for the next two weeks could do more damage to the crop, according to the analysts.

Low corn supplies squeeze ADM earnings
July 31 (Reuters) - Tight corn supplies squeezed Archer Daniels Midland Co  profits last quarter as the agribusiness giant handled less grain than expected and endured poor ethanol margins.
ADM said net earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended June 30, dropped 25 percent from a year earlier to 43 cents per share, below expectations for 60 cents. Adjusted earnings per share were 38 cents.

India buys time in drought, cuts irrigation costs
NEW DELHI, July 31 (Reuters) - India, facing its second drought in just four years, took steps to cut irrigation costs and increase fodder supplies for livestock farmers but held off from imposing any curb on exports of agricultural products or a ban of futures trading in them.
India's June-September monsoon rains, the main source of irrigation for 55 percent of its farmlands, are so far 19 percent below average. This has triggered fears of lower output and higher food inflation in one of the world's largest consumers and producers of grain.

Medvedev sees grain surplus as Russia cuts crop estimate
MOSCOW, July 31 (Reuters) - Key global wheat supplier Russia will be able to maintain an exportable grain surplus, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday, even as the agriculture ministry narrowed down its estimate of the drought-hit harvest to 80 million tonnes.
The ministry cut its estimate from a previous 80-85 million tonnes and expected a 2012 exportable surplus of 12 million tonnes, according to Interfax news agency.

SOFTS-Sugar up slightly on India weather concerns, cocoa firm
LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Raw sugar edged higher on weather concerns in key producer India, while cocoa and coffee were firmer, but trading was hesitant ahead of policy making meetings of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. Sugar futures nudged higher, supported by weak monsoon rains in India, plus the risk of El Nino curbing production in the world's second largest producer.

Indonesia allows imports of white sugar to rein in prices
JAKARTA, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest sugar consumer, has issued import permits for 17,500 tonnes of the sweetener in a bid to ease price pressures, a trade ministry official said on Wednesday, less than six months after it banned imports for the whole year.
Late in February, Indonesia's trade minister said that despite a shortage of white sugar, the country would not import the commodity as it sought to refine more sugar in a drive to boost manufacturing.

Indonesia's July Sumatra coffee bean exports up 3 pct y/y
BANDAR LAMPUNG, Indonesia, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Robusta coffee bean exports in July from Indonesia's main growing area in Sumatra rose 3 percent from a year earlier, government trade data showed on Wednesday, with arrivals picking up as the harvest approached its peak period.
Indonesia, the world's third-largest coffee producer, shipped to 21,685.01 tonnes of robusta in July, versus 21,116.06 tonnes a year earlier. Last month's shipments were 47 percent higher than June's exports of 14,718.70 tonnes.

Oil Trades Near Two-Day High After U.S. Crude Stockpiles Tumble (Source:Bloomberg)
Oil traded near the highest level in two days in New York after stockpiles declined the most in seven months in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude consumer. Futures were little changed after climbing 1 percent yesterday, the first gain in three days. Inventories slid by 6.5 million barrels last week, the most since December, data from the Energy Department showed. They were forecast to drop by 1 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Oil for September delivery was at $88.76 a barrel, down 15 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 9:16 a.m. Sydney time. The contract yesterday rose 85 cents to $88.91, the highest close since July 30. Prices are 10 percent lower this year. Brent crude for September settlement increased $1.04, or 1 percent, to $105.96 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday. The European benchmark’s premium to West Texas Intermediate closed at $17.05, the widest since May.
U.S. gasoline supplies dropped 2.2 million barrels last week, the Energy Department report showed. They were forecast to rise 800,000 barrels, according to the median estimate of 12 analysts in the Bloomberg News survey. Oil fluctuated after the Federal Reserve said it will take steps to boost the U.S. economy if necessary as a two-day meeting ended in Washington yesterday, while refraining from announcing fresh stimulus immediately. European Central Bank policy makers meet in Frankfurt today.

OIL-Brent steadies after slipping on China data; Fed eyed
SINGAPORE, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Brent crude steadied below $105 per barrel after slipping to its lowest in almost a week on softer official manufacturing data from top energy consumer China, while fading hopes for U.S. stimulus measures kept prices in a tight range.
"We may see the market lighten its hold with the China PMI coming in below expectations, but it's not the end of the world, at least this week because, the main focus is still the FOMC and ECB meeting," said Ben Taylor, sales trader at CMC Markets.

Iraq oil exports up to 2.516 mln bpd in July-SOMO
BAGHDAD, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Iraq's oil exports rose to 2.516 million barrels per day (bpd) on average in July compared with 2.403 million bpd in June, the head of the State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) told Reuters on Wednesday.
Exports from Basra in the south were 2.216 million bpd in July, while shipments from northern Kirkuk were 300,000 bpd, including 6,000 bpd by truck through Jordan, SOMO chief Falah Alamri said.

Iran Loses $133 Million a Day From Sanctions as Oil Buoys Obama (Source:Bloomberg)
U.S.-led sanctions against Iran are costing OPEC’s third-largest producer $133 million a day in lost sales without raising global crude prices, handing President Barack Obama an election-year foreign-policy victory. Shipments from Iran have plunged by 1.2 million barrels a day, or 52 percent, since the sanctions banning the purchase, transport, financing and insuring of Iranian crude began July 1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Annualized, that would cost President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s country about $48 billion in revenue, equivalent to 10 percent of its economy. While Iran’s threats to disrupt the flow of oil through the Persian Gulf sent crude to a three-year high in March, increased production from Saudi Arabia, a U.S. output boom and the slowing global economy have left prices 1.3 percent lower in 2012. That’s helping Obama avoid steeper domestic fuel costs before the November presidential election. Iran has to contend with a weakening currency and rising unemployment.
“It’s been an unqualified success,” Mike Wittner, head of oil-market research for the Americas at Societe Generale SA, said in a telephone interview from New York on July 25. “There were a lot of concerns sanctions could backfire by causing an oil-price spike, but in the end the U.S. and Europeans got their cake and they ate it too, because volumes are down and prices are down.”

Gas Liquids ‘Bloodbath’ Brings Shale Pain to Oil Market (Source:Bloomberg)
The shale boom that sent natural-gas prices to a 10-year low is being felt for the first time in the oil markets. Williams Partners LP (WPZ) joined Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) and Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) yesterday in blaming a glut of propane and related products for lower profits in the second quarter. Next week more companies are expected to show the effects of falling prices for so-called natural-gas liquids used in backyard barbecues and motor fuels as producer Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) and Targa Resources Partners LP (NGLS), a pipeline and storage company whose trading symbol is NGLS, release earnings.
The “NGL bloodbath,” as it was dubbed by Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. last month, is rippling across the oil and gas industry as explorers cut production and reduce cash flow projections, service companies forecast lower demand for drilling rigs, and pipeline partnerships suffer falling revenue for their gas liquids processing plants. The price of an ethane- propane NGL mix is down 58 percent from a high in January, outpacing the 19 percent drop in crude from a February peak. “The same thing is now happening to liquids that happened to natural gas itself,” said James Williams, an energy economist at WTRG Economics in London, Arkansas. “We now have too much. We have an oversupply, so it’s depressing the price.”

 Iron Ore-Shanghai rebar falls on weak China data
SHANGHAI, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Chinese steel futures fell more than one percent, ending six consecutive sessions of gains, as weaker-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data dented market confidence and rekindled worries about sagging demand.
"The economy is really weak. Before we see any bigger recovery in the economy, the steel market will soon enter a weak demand season from late November," said an iron ore trader with a state-owned company's trading unit in Shanghai.
Global iron ore output hit record high in 2011 - UN
GENEVA, July 31 (Reuters) - Global production of iron ore, vital for the steel industry, hit a record high of 1.92 billion tons in 2011, largely to feed surging demand from China, the United Nations reported on Tuesday.
The UN's trade and development agency UNCTAD said in a new report, Iron Ore Market 2011-13, that last year's total output was up 4.7 percent on 2010, with major producer Australia increasing its total by 12.7 percent, Brazil by 5.1 percent and China by 2.1 percent.

Indian steel makers double pellets imports in May
MUMBAI, July 30 (Reuters) - Imports into India of iron ore pellets, used in making steel, more than doubled in May to 174,319 tonnes as a partial mining ban in southern Karnataka state hit supplies, an industry body said.
Production in India, once the third-biggest global supplier of iron ore, has been hit as the government and state authorities raise taxes and freight rates to try to curb exports and retain supplies for domestic use.

Bank of Korea Increases Gold Reserves for First Time This Year (Source:Bloomberg)
The Bank of Korea, which has the world’s seventh-biggest foreign-exchange reserves, boosted gold holdings for the first time this year. The central bank bought 16 metric tons last month, boosting reserves to 70.4 tons, according to Lee Jung, head of the investment strategy team at the bank’s Reserve Investment Division. Holdings increased by $810 million to $2.98 billion, or the equivalent of 0.9 percent of total reserves, the bank said in a statement today. Central banks are expanding reserves after bullion appreciated for 11 consecutive years as investors sought a hedge against everything from accelerating inflation to Europe’s debt crisis to slumping equities. Central-bank purchases this year will probably exceed the 456 tons added in 2011, the World Gold Council estimates.
The Bank of Korea bought 25 tons over a one-month period from June to July last year, the first purchases in more than a decade, and added a further 15 tons in November, joining other emerging-market countries in expanding holdings to guard against currency volatility and to diversify portfolios. Central banks and the International Monetary Fund are the largest bullion owners with 29,500 tons at the end of last year, or 17 percent of all mined metal, council data show.

Gold Is Seen Advancing on Speculation About More Easing (Source:Bloomberg)
Gold declined after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke held off on increasing stimulus measures, lowering demand for the precious metal. The Federal Open Market Committee “will closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments and will provide additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability,” it said today at the conclusion of a two-day meeting. Earlier, a report by ADP Employer Services showed companies in the U.S. added more workers than projected in July. “We saw a knee-jerk reaction, but the stage was already set after we saw strong ADP numbers,” Donald Selkin, the New York-based chief market strategist at National Securities Corp., which manages about $3 billion of assets, said by telephone. “There may be some announcement from the Fed either later this month or next.”
Gold futures for December delivery slid 0.6 percent to $1,605.10 an ounce in electronic trading at 3:20 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The prices settled earlier at $1,607.30, down 0.5 percent. Bullion surged 70 percent from the end of December 2008 to June 2011 as the U.S. central bank kept borrowing costs at a record low and bought $2.3 trillion of debt in two rounds of so- called quantitative easing.

METALS-LME copper drops to near 1-week low after China data
London copper dropped to its lowest in almost a week after official manufacturing data from top metals consumer China fell short of expectations, while fading hopes for monetary stimulus in the United States and Europe also dragged down prices.
"Copper is likely to stay range bound for the next few weeks. China's copper demand is not good and there's no sign of any recovery at the moment," said Beijing-based metals analyst Wang Ling of consultancy CRU.

PRECIOUS-Gold steady as investors eye central bank decisions
Gold was locked in a tight range on Wednesday, as investors awaited monetary policy decisions from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, which will determine the direction of markets.
"The ECB is the major source of uncertainty," said Nick Trevethan, senior metals strategist at ANZ in Singapore. "The focus is whether Draghi has promised action without ensuring support from the members of the ECB governing council."

Slump in activity pushes Baltic index down
July 31 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry commodities, fell on Tuesday for a sixteenth straight day due to a slump in activity.
The overall index, a gauge of the cost of shipping commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, lost 18 points or 1.97 percent to 897 points.

20120802 1001 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Pro Farmer: After the Bell Soybean Recap (Source:CME)
Soybean futures closed 4 1/4 to 38 3/4 cents lower, but came well off session lows late to finish mid-range. Futures faced corrective selling today as fresh news was limited. While there are ongoing crop concerns, there wasn't any fresh news on that front, which gave traders an opportunity to take profits out of the market. Additional pressure came from weather forecasts as midday updates called for better rain chances into early next week.

Soybean Complex Market Recap  (Source:CME)
August Soybeans finished down 38 3/4 at 1682 1/4, 53 3/4 off the high and 31 1/4 up from the low. November Soybeans closed down 12 at 1629. This was 33 1/4 up from the low and 31 off the high. August Soymeal closed down 7.5 at 537.2. This was 19.9 up from the low and 12.8 off the high. August Soybean Oil finished down 0.82 at 51.73, 1.25 off the high and 0.03 up from the low. The soybean complex closed well off session lows after climbing higher late in the session following the announcement by The Federal Reserve that they would leave interest rates unchanged. The August contract lost to the September and November contracts as bull spreads unwound. August soybean meal and soybean oil traded sharply lower on the day. Weather maps suggested a slightly wetter forecast for the next week but market confidence is low that the forecast will successfully develop. The forecast also called for slightly cooler temperatures in the central Midwest next week. Temperatures are expected to stay warm in the southwestern portion of the Corn Belt. Soybean volume has been slightly lower to the start the week and traders were looking to take profits ahead of the USDA report next week and the European Central Bank meeting tomorrow. The next two weeks remain critical to the soybean yield potential for the 2012/13 marketing year. Good support was seen towards the end of the trading session which suggests speculators and end users found good value at the sharply lower price levels, given the weather forecast over the next two weeks.

VEGOILS-Palm oil edges up on lingering U.S. weather fears
SINGAPORE, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Malaysian crude palm oil inched up in a quiet trading session as lingering weather fears in the U.S. Midwest trumped expectations of higher stocks in No.2 producer Malaysia.
"We see some range-bound trading today. If the market breaks the 3,000-ringgit level, then prices can go much higher," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.