Wednesday, August 29, 2012

20120829 1815 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3000, changed : -29 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : pullback correction upside biased.
MACD Histogram : weakening, buyer taking profit.
Support : 2970, 2950, 2920, 2900 level.
Resistance : 3020, 3050, 3070, 3100 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed weaker recorded loss with improved volume transacted. Soy oil price currently trading lower after overnight closed recorded small loss while crude oil price continue to correct lower.
Price head south again today on long liquidation after news on Indonesia trade body decided to lower palm oil export tax for the month of September and concern on the slow improvement in exports would not able to reduce picking up inventory level due to rising production season.
FCPO daily chart reading remained suggesting a pullback correction upside 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.

20120829 1721 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1646 changed : -1.5 point, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : pullback correction upside biased.
MACD Histogram : falling lower, seller testing market.
Support : 1640, 1630, 1623, 1615 level.
Resistance : 1650, 1660, 1670, 1680 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed little lower with better volume distributed almost on par with cash market that closed recorded marginal loss for the 5th consecutives day. Overnight U.S. markets closed weaker and today Asia markets ended mixed while European markets currently trading little lower.
News on U.S. weaker consumer confidence and better  home prices data resulted world market to trade between gains and losses while awaits U.S. Federal Reserve's chairman Benanke speech on Friday.
Again, FKLI technical chart analysis remained  calling a pullback correction upside biased market development testing middle Bollinger band support level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistance or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20120829 1656 Regional Markets EOD Daily Chart Study.

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

20120829 1603 Global Markets & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Asian shares held steady as investors awaited U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech to international central bankers gathering in Jackson Hole on Friday and a European Central Bank meeting next week. European shares were expected to open mixed, extending a sideways move as mixed economic data and uncertainty over further stimulus measures from central banks keep investors on tenterhooks. U.S. stocks ended little changed in another day of scarce activity on Tuesday after mixed economic data gave investors little reason to shift their focus from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech on Friday. (Reuters)

FOREX-Euro stalls near 7-wk high, Aussie still fragile
SYDNEY/TOKYO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - The euro steadied near its seven-week peak on Wednesday, after getting swept higher by a wave of short covering overnight, while the Australian dollar languished at one-month lows on persisting worries about Chinese growth.
"Is it really a good sign that a central bank governor suddenly cancel his plan? The market may be reading it wrong. It could be because he has some urgent issues to deal with," said Kimihiko Tomita, forex manager at State Street, noting that the ECB data showed private-sector deposits at Spanish banks fell at a record pace in July.

FOREX: The euro held near its seven-week peak, having been swept higher by a wave of short covering overnight, while the Australian dollar languished at one-month lows on persisting worries about Chinese growth. (Reuters)

U.S. home prices gain again but consumer mood cools (Reuters)
U.S. home prices rose for the fifth consecutive month in June, a fresh sign of improvement as the recovery in the housing market picks up steam.

GRAINS: U.S. wheat rose, gaining for the first time in six sessions, on concerns key producer Russia may curb exports of the drought-hit grain at an agricultural ministry meeting later this week. Soybeans extended gains into a second session on export demand from China and corn edged up as damage to crop yields in the U.S. Midwest from the worst drought in more than 50 years continued to underpin prices. (Reuters)

G20 to wait for US crop report before food price action (Reuters)
G20 nations taking stock of the third global food price surge in four years will wait for September's crop report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture before deciding whether to take joint action on the issue, France's farm minister said on Tuesday.

G7 urges higher oil output, warns on reserves (Reuters)
Finance ministers of the Group of Seven most industrialized nations urged oil-producing countries on Tuesday to raise output to ensure the market is well supplied, while warning that the West was ready to tap strategic oil reserves to offset rising prices that could hamper global growth.

US crude stocks forecast down for 5th straight week - RTRS (Reuters)
U.S. crude oil stockpiles were forecast to have fallen for the fifth week in a row last week due to lower imports, an expanded Reuters poll ahead of weekly industry and government reports showed on Tuesday.

OIL: Brent crude futures slipped towards $112 per barrel on expectations Hurricane Isaac, which hit land in Louisiana, would spare Gulf Coast oil production facilities from significant damage.  (Reuters)

Euro Coal-Prices seen stable as Colombia exports offset U.S.
LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Physical coal prices in Europe will likely to remain near current levels as improved Colombian exports are offset by slowing supplies from the United States, Barclays Capital said on Tuesday.
Coal prices have been declining for much of the first half of the year as weak demand clashed with rising exports from the United States, where coal-fired electricity generation has become unprofitable as a result of the shale gas boom in North America.

S.Africa seeks platinum belt peace and wage talks (Reuters)
South Africa is seeking a "peace accord" in its embattled platinum belt to cool tensions with feuding unions before starting wage talks to end a deadly strike that has paralysed miner Lonmin.

BASE METALS: Copper traded lower as some investors liquidated positions to meet margin calls in Shanghai equities and Shanghai rebar futures, which fell in the session.  (Reuters)

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold held near the highest in more than four months as investors await U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech later this week for any hints of further stimulus measures.  (Reuters)

Iron Ore-Shanghai rebar slumps for 13th day, iron near 3-yr low
SINGAPORE, Aug 29 (Reuters) - China steel futures fell more than 2 percent to a record low on Wednesday, dogged by weakening demand in the world's top consumer that has pushed down the price of raw material iron ore to its weakest in nearly three years.
The most-traded rebar for January delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange  hit a session trough of 3,366 yuan ($530) a tonne, its lowest since the bourse launched rebar futures in 2009. It was down 2.1 percent at 3,381 yuan by the midday break.

China's Baosteel sees steel prices staying under pressure
SHANGHAI, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Baoshan Iron & Steel , China's biggest listed steelmaker, expects steel prices to remain under pressure for the rest of this year as the industry shows no sign of curbing output and steps to stimulate the economy take time to kick in.
"Steel prices will unlikely increase much in the second half of this year due to the oversupply. Prices are expected to stay at low levels," the company said on Monday, as it posted a 53-percent drop in first-half profit, excluding one-off items.

METALS-LME copper eases ahead of Jackson Hole
SHANGHAI, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Copper traded lower on Wednesday as some investors liquidated positions to meet margin calls in Shanghai equities and Shanghai rebar futures, which fell in the session.
"When Shanghai equities fell and Shanghai rebars started plunging, copper got dragged down," said Orient Futures analyst Andy Du.

PRECIOUS-Gold holds near 4-1/2 month high, focus on Fed
SINGAPORE, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Gold held near the highest in more than four months on Wednesday as investors await U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech later this week for any hints of further stimulus measures.
"We see near-term risks of a reversal if Jackson Hole does not deliver what the market is hoping for and gold could challenge $1,650 support and possibly $1,630," said Nick Trevethan, senior metals strategist at ANZ in Singapore.

Baltic index up on higher Atlantic activity
Aug 28 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry commodities, rose for a fifth straight day on Tuesday on an increase in Atlantic activity.
The overall index, which reflects daily freight market prices for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels, gained 7 points or 0.98 percent to 724 points.

20120829 1423 Crude Palm Oil Related News.

VEGOILS-Palm oil slips amid stock build-up in Malaysia - Reuters
29-Aug-2012 13:35
Prices fall to 3,002 ringgit on profit-taking Palm oil to drop more to 2,971 ringgit per tonne -technicals Market eyes stock build in Malaysia palm oil sector Indonesia sets crude palm export tax at 13.5 pct for Sept
By Chew Yee Kiat
SINGAPORE, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Malaysian crude palm oil futures slipped to the lowest in nearly a fortnight, as traders booked profits with market focus shifting to rising stocks level in the world's second-largest producer.
Palm oil posted two straight weeks of gains as the worst drought in 56 years ravaged soybean crops in the U.S. Midwest, limiting soybean oil supply and raising demand prospects of the cheaper palm oil.
But prices have retreated this week, as market players eyed a build-up in Malaysian palm oil stocks on higher production in August.
"At the moment we still see prices heading towards no-man's land, although my view is that it's more on the bearish side rather than a bullish front," said Ker Chung Yang, commodities analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore.
"Stocks are going to rise but the level I'm looking at is around 2.1-2.15 million tonnes."
By the midday break, the benchmark November 2012 contract FCPOc3 on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 0.8 percent to 3,004 ringgit ($963). Prices earlier hit 3,002 ringgit, the lowest level since Aug. 17.
Total traded volume stood at 12,055 lots of 25 tonnes each, slightly lower than the usual 12,500 lots.
Palm oil is expected to drop more to 2,971 ringgit per tonne to fill a gap formed on the hourly chart, said Reuters analyst Wang Tao. 
Malaysia's palm oil stocks in July rose 17.6 percent to close to 2 million tonnes, and traders expect stock levels to increase further in August on strong production growth. 
But resilient demand could help ease growth in stocks. Exports rose as much as 6.6 percent for the first 25 days of August from a month earlier, driven by shipments of tax-free crude grades and demand from India and China, cargo surveyor data showed. 
Exports of refined grades, however, fell compared to a month ago as more orders shifted to Indonesia on its favourable tax structure for refined products.
The world's top palm oil producer will cut export tax for crude palm oil to 13.5 percent in September and lower the export tax for refined palm olein to 6 percent in September from 7 percent in August, a trade ministry official said on Wednesday. Brent crude futures slipped towards $112 per barrel on Wednesday on expectations Hurricane Isaac, which hit land in Louisiana, would spare Gulf Coast oil production facilities from significant damage. 
In other vegetable oil markets, the most active U.S. soyoil contract for December delivery BOZ2 was almost flat by 0509 GMT. The most active January 2013 soyoil contract DBYF3 on the Dalian Commodity Exchange dropped 0.6 percent by the midday break.

20120829 1100 Global Markets & Commodities Related New.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Euro, Asian shares steady as Jackson Hole nears
TOKYO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - The euro remained firm while Asian shares steadied on Wednesday as investors awaited U.S. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's Friday speech for signs of whether the bank will opt for more monetary stimulus and a European Central Bank policy meeting next week.
"In terms of further easing, nothing has been decided," said Fisher, a non-voting member on the Fed this year. "Nothing is predestined."

COMMODITIES-Higher for 1st time in 4 days; oil up on storm fear
NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Commodities rose on Tuesday for the first time in four sessions after oil prices were supported by worries of possible storm damage to energy installations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and soybeans and sugar came off a profit-taking spree.
"I don't think we can expect more quantitative easing, so markets could be disappointed," said Andrey Kryuchenkov, commodities analyst at Moscow-based VTB.

OIL-Oil rises as Hurricane Isaac threatens U.S. Gulf Coast
NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Tuesday as Hurricane Isaac approached the U.S. Gulf Coast, forcing companies in the region to close down oil production platforms and refineries.
"The statement from the G7 suggests, in part, that they are also sensitive to price, but if you have to focus on a supply disruption to authorize a release, we have one in the Gulf of Mexico called Isaac that has had a real impact on production," said Jan Stuart, head of energy research at Credit Suisse.

G7 urges higher oil output, warns on reserves
WASHINGTON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Finance ministers of the Group of Seven most industrialized nations urged oil-producing countries on Tuesday to raise output to ensure the market is well supplied, while warning that the West was ready to tap strategic oil reserves to offset rising prices that could hamper global growth.
"We stand ready to call upon the International Energy Agency to take appropriate action to ensure that the market is fully and timely supplied," the G7 said in a statement. "The current rise in oil prices reflects geopolitical concerns and certain supply disruptions. We encourage oil-producing countries to increase their output to meet demand."

US crude stocks forecast down for 5th straight week
Aug 28 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stockpiles were forecast to have fallen for the fifth week in a row last week due to lower imports, an expanded Reuters poll ahead of weekly industry and government reports showed on Tuesday.
The survey of 12 analysts forecast on average that crude stocks would drop 1.5 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 24. Nine of the 12 analysts projected a drawdown.

NATURAL GAS - Isaac fails to stir US natgas futures, bearish charts weigh
NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended lower for a fourth straight day on Tuesday, with fading summer demand, record high supplies and bearish technicals outweighing concerns about storm-related supply disruptions or possible flood damage from Isaac.
"From a technical perspective, the recent breakdown is definitely bearish. We could get a slight pause at $2.50, but I think $2.40 is a better support level," said Chris Kostas, senior analyst at Energy Security Analysis.

EURO COAL-Prices seen stable as Colombia exports offset U.S.
LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Physical coal prices in Europe will likely to remain near current levels as improved Colombian exports are offset by slowing supplies from the United States, Barclays Capital said on Tuesday.
"We expect the pace of U.S. exports to slow. However, Colombian exports should be flat in H2 (second half of 2012), though they should ramp up loadings to make up for the lost exports in August," BarCap said in a research note.

20120829 1014 Local & Global Economy Related News.

Measures introduced to control runaway  house prices have not been totally effective and new fiscal policies may be introduced in the 2013 Budget, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung. Despite measures such as an increase in the real property gains tax (RPGT) and a cap on loan-to-value ratios on third properties and above, there was a “feeling that the government has not done enough”, he said.  Chor added however that the government wanted to ensure a sustainable property market that did not suffer from asset bubbles and also to ensure that household debt remains at healthy levels. (Malaysian Insider)

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung has suggested that the current household income criteria for applications under the  People’s Housing Programme  (PPR) be revised upwards. Currently PPR is open to those with a monthly household income of no more than RM2,500 to purchase low-cost property. To enable more accessibility to PPR housing, may be the maximum household income should be increased to around RM3,000 so that more people have a chance to apply, he said.  According to Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey Report 2009, Chor said 58% of households in the cities earned less than RM4,000 per month including 44.5% earning less than RM2,500.  He said the government was expected to allocate more affordable housing projects such as the PPR and the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Project (PR1MA) in the coming budget. (Financial Daily, The Star)

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said  Budget 2013 will focus on the people's prosperity and the country's economic growth to face the short- and long-term economic challenge besides maintaining the existing fiscal policy. He said the two focus areas form the bases of the economic policy practised since the time Malaysia began to abandon the free market principles introduced by the British colonial rulers. (Bernama)

The Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce expects bilateral trade between Malaysia and China this year to exceed US$100bn (US$90.3bn in 2011), said its Secretary-General, Youth President and General Affairs Chairman, Joseph Lim. “Most of our consumer products and even services are imported from China,” he said. Malaysia exports a lot of electronic parts and natural resources such as petroleum, palm oil, rubber and timber to China, he added. (Bernama, Financial Daily)

Malaysia exported RM141.2bn worth of  commodities last year, up 24% against RM114.1bn in 2010, said  Plantation Industry and Commodity Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok. Smallholders solely accounted  for the country’s cocoa and pepper produce, 90% of rubber production and 40% of crude palm oil output, he said. (Financial Daily)

Malaysia's retail industry recorded sales growth of 6.9% in 1Q12, which was lower than retailers' initial forecast of 12.1%, according to  Retail Group Malaysia. “The retail result of the first three months of this year was positive because of several incentives introduced by the Government since late last year,” Retail Group Malaysia MD Tan Hai Hsin said in the latest Malaysia Retail Industry Report.  As for  the 2Q12, Tan said members of the retailers' association remained optimistic of their businesses during the period. “They expect their sales to rise by 11.7% compared with the same period in 2011. However, Retail Group Malaysia is expecting a lower growth  rate of 5.5% only. This is due to poor economic prospects during the 2Q12 as well as higher base achieved in 2011 at 9.1%,” he said.  For the third quarter, Tan said the growth rate is estimated at 6% due to Hari Raya celebration.  Retail Group Malaysia is forecasting the retail industry to expand by 5.5% in the 4Q12. (The Star)

The  Group of Seven nations called on  oil-producing countries to increase output and is monitoring the threats to their economies posed by high oil prices, according to a joint statement issued today by the U.S. Treasury Department. (Bloomberg)

The US ICSC-Goldman Store Sales index rose 0.5% wow in the 25 Aug week (-1.5% in the earlier week), whilst on a yoy basis, the gauge gained 3.4% (3.1% in the prior week). (Bloomberg)

The  US S&P Case-Shiller home price index  gained 0.9% mom in Jun, matching the previous month’s pace and is almost double the 0.4% expected by economists. On a non-seasonally adjusted, yoy basis, the measure increased 0.5%, reversing the -0.7% in May and is better than consensus of no change. (Bloomberg)

The  US Conference Board consumer confidence index  fell roughly 5 points to 60.6 in Aug (a revised 65.4 in Jul), worse than consensus of 65.8. (Bloomberg)

Eurozone M3 money supply grew 3.8% on an annual basis in Jul (3.2% in Jun), overshooting consensus of 3.2%. (RTTNews)

Japan’s small business confidence fell to 44.8 in Aug (46.6 in Jul), the fifth straight month of decline. (RTTNews)

Japan's government downgraded its  assessment for the export-reliant economy as slowing global growth weighed on exports and factory output, and threatened recovery prospects. (Reuters)

A proposed direct-tax law, which aims to simplify tax procedures and improve compliance, which India is framing may require a fresh look, indicating more modifications that could delay the implementation of the new rules. The government had earlier said it would implement it on 1 Apr 2013. (WSJ)

The  International Monetary Fund has credited the  Bank of Thailand's inflation-targeting framework with mitigating the economic impact from the three major shocks that occurred from 2008-11. (Bangkok Post)

Thailand’s manufacturing production index declined 5.8% yoy in Jul (-9.6% in Jun). Total capacity utilization ticked higher to 66.8% from 66.3% in Jun. (Bloomberg)

The Indonesian government has allocated US$20bn for  infrastructure development next year to boost national economic growth. (Jakarta Globe)

The  rupiah weakened to beyond Rp9,500/US$ after  Bank Indonesia governor Darmin Nasution said the nation’s currency had reached a “new equilibrium.” (Jakarta Globe)

The number of foreign tourists who visited Vietnam reached 4.38m in the first eight months of this year, up 9.4% against the same period last year. (Vietnam News)

Imports to the Philippines rose 13.3% yoy in Jun (10.1% in May) to US$5.1bn. The trade deficit widened to US$787m from US$454m in May. (Bloomberg)

20120829 1013 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

New fiscal policies may be introduced in Budget 2013 to curb house price increases as the existing policies "have not been very effective", said Housing and Local Government Minister  Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung. He said house prices have soared, and in some cases, doubled in the last two years, raising widespread concerns that house ownership is out of reach for most Malaysians.  Despite the government reviewing the real property gains tax (RPGT) by increasing the rate of properties disposed within two years from 5% to 10% and Bank Negara Malaysia announcing the implementation of a maximum loan-to value ratio, he said there is still a feeling that the government "has not done enough".  Chor reiterated the need to review fiscal policies which were not designed to sabotage developers but with the view of ensuring a sustainable property market which does not suffer from asset bubbles and that household debts remain at healthy levels. (Malaysian Reserve)

A RM1.3bn suit by NV Asia against a unit of soon-to-be-listed satellite TV provider  Astro Malaysia Holdings is likely to go into arbitration after the Federal Court disallowed the plaintiff leave to appeal against two concurrent lower court decisions that arbitration should be the preferred course of action rather than trial in open court. Even so, Astro didn't walk away complete winners. The Federal Court allowed NV Asia, the plaintiff, leave to appeal against the dismissal of an injunction that it had sought to prevent the satellite TV operator from selling its B.yond satellite dishes - used for high-definition broadcasts -to consumers on the grounds that Astro had allegedly used confidential information supplied by NV Asia without any compensation. In an immediate response dated Aug 16 by NV Asia to the SC, the plaintiff said it had given "strict" instructions to its lawyers to "immediately commence" arbitration proceedings against Astro subsidiary Measat Broadcast Network Systems to recover the RM1.3bn "in the unlikely event that the Federal Court does not grant leave". In 2010, NV Asia filed a RM1.3bn suit against Measat and another private firm for breaching a "non-disclosure agreement" pertaining to the use of its rain fade technology in the satellite television operator's B.yond dish. NV Asia claimed that the technology that made the dishes possible was theirs. The RM1.3bn claim is based on "loss of potential profits". (SBT)

While moving upstream into rubber plantations may have caught on with rubber glove makers such as Top Glove Corp Bhd and Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, not all agree it is a good move. Top Glove and Kossan have either acquired or indicated the intention to acquire rubber plantation land in Indonesia.  Supermax Corp Bhd, however, has made it clear it will not be moving upstream. "You drink milk every morning but that doesn't mean you have to buy a new cow. We are rubber glove entrepreneurs, not rubber planters," said managing director Datuk Seri Stanley Thai.  Thai said moving upstream is extremely risky while Top Glove executive director  Lim Cheong Guan said moving upstream would mitigate volatility of future rubber prices and enlarge the company's earnings base.(Financial Daily)

IOI Group's  chief says the property development landscape in Malaysia will undergo massive changes and there is a high possibility of the industry consolidating through mergers and acquisitions (M&A). IOI Group executive director Datuk Lee Yeow Chor says there will be a major shift to commercial development and more retirement and nursing homes, private community centres, and performing arts theatres will come on stream. "Property development will become more and more a property redevelopment business with a lot of old buildings being replaced with new towers. There will be a lot more old buildings undergoing refurbishment. Lee expects some developers to fade away and be replaced with smaller players who will have big ideas through M&A. (BT)

Sime Darby Healthcare, a subsidiary of the Sime Darby Group, has launched a new mobile phone application that allows users to find and make appointments with its doctors using their iPhone. "The impetus to develop the iPhone app was based on data that showed finding a doctor is one of the primary reasons people visit the hospital's website, and that more people were accessing their website through mobile phones," the company said. (BT)

IJM Corp is hopeful of clinching new contracts worth some RM4bn from the West Coast Expressway (WCE) project, CEO/MD Datuk Teh Kian Ming said. “We're hoping this (WCE) project will come soon. We are hoping to take on 70% of the civil works. It will boost our orderbook if we get the contracts. Our current book stands at RM3.7bn, of which RM3.4bn are from local projects,” he said.  He  said the stretch between Banting, Selangor, and Taiping, Perak, would take five years to be completed. The first three years of works will take place in the Selangor stretch. He said KEuro would be the one awarding the contracts. “It (the signing of concession agreement) will probably be sometime in end-September. To me, everyday will be one day closer,” he added. (Starbiz)

Trading in the shares of  United Malayan Land Bhd (UM Land) will be suspended with effect from Sept 5.The suspension follows the unconditional take-over offer by Seleksi Juang Sdn Bhd and persons acting in concert with it (PACS) for a cash consideration of RM2.50 per share.Based on valid acceptances as at 5pm on Monday, the offeror and its PACS held 283.6m UM Land shares, or 94.0% of the total issued and paid-up share capital (excluding treasury shares). As the offeror does not intend to maintain the listing status of UMLand, trading would be suspended immediately upon the expiry of five market days from Monday. (Starbiz)

Maxis  has launched its latest Maxis Centre at the  Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), offering a range of products and services to serve the diverse needs of the airport users. The telecommunications company said the centre will serve KLIA's domestic and international travellers, about 25,000 employees from both aeronautical and non-aeronautical industries within the airport, tourists, as well as neighbouring townships in Sepang, Nilai and Cyberjaya. Customers at Maxis Centre KLIA will enjoy a variety of services such as activating IDD roaming, data services, phone settings, top-up, or perform any last minute purchases or obtain value-added services before their flights. (Bernama)

Digi expanded and upgraded its electronic flexible payment platform infrastructure to 14,000 new customer touch points nationwide. Its unit DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd said these touch points went live on Tuesday, reaching to customers in rural and suburban areas in Malaysia. "The new flexi e-load system can also support bill payment by postpaid customers; enabling them to make advance or deposit payments, and transact outstanding balance payments for terminated accounts via DiGi's network of dealers," it said. DiGi Telecommunications also said postpaid customers could also request for their outstanding bill balance as well as unbilled amount to settle their bills at participating DiGi dealer outlets. Its head of product development Chuah Teong Hooi said the new system was to extend its dealership touch points in areas where its customer base had grown. (StarBiz)

At least two more airlines – Ethiopian Airlines and Zest Air – are expected to fly into Malaysia in late Oct after four made their debut earlier in 2012. The four are Bangkok Airways, Philippines’ Airphil Express, Indonesia’s Mandala Airlines and AirAsia Philippines. Both airlines will fly into KL International Airport. (Star Biz)

Bonia Corp Bhd's founder Chiang Sang Sem launched a takeover offer of RM204.9m, or RM2.04/share, for the leatherwear firm after he and his family increased their stake past 33 per cent yesterday. The mandatory offer came after Chiang - who is also executive chairman of the group - and his son Chiang Fong Yee bought some 35m shares (or a 17.4% stake) in the company via Freeway Team Sdn Bhd at RM2.04/share yesterday. This increased the stake held by them and parties acting concert to about 50.2% from just under 33% before. (BT)

AutoAir Holdings Bhd has received the approval from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry on the proposed conditional takeover offer by group managing director Datuk Liew Choo. Last month, Liew, who owns more than 25% stake in the company, launched a conditional takeover offer for the remaining 74.6% stake at RM0.23 cash/share. (BT)

Grand-Flo Solution Bhd gets green light from Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd for the transfer of entire enlarged issued and paid-up share capital and outstanding warrants from the ACE Market to Main Market. (BT)

20120829 1005 Global Markets Related News.

Asia FX By Cornelius Luca - Tue 28 Aug 2012 16:55:06 CT (Source:CME/
The appetite for risk improved in FX on Tuesday following well−received Spanish auctions of short−term T−bills. Most of the foreign currencies ended higher after a shaky start, but volume remained light at the end of the summer vacation. Meanwhile, the markets hope for additional bond buying from both the Fed and the ECB. The US stock markets ended mixed and the gold/oil ratio down. The short-term outlook for most foreign currencies is sideways. The medium-term outlook for most of the foreign currencies is sideways. The LGR short-term model is long on most foreign currencies. Good luck!

US: The Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell to 60.6 in August from a revised 65.4 in July.
US: The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index rose by 0.9% on a monthly basis in June compared to a 1.0% increase in May.

Most Asian Stocks Rise Before U.S. GDP, Bernanke Speech (Bloomberg)
Most Asian stocks rose as investors await a report on U.S. economic growth and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s speech on monetary policy this week. Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), the world’s biggest mobile-phone maker by sales, climbed 2.1 percent in Seoul. Renesas Electronics Corp. surged 29 percent after the Nikkei newspaper reported that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. will spend 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) buying new shares of the chipmaker. Daikin Industries Ltd. sank 5.1 percent after a report that Japan’s largest airconditioner maker will buy Houston-based Goodman Global Inc.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) rose 0.1 percent to 119.34 as of 10:04 a.m. in Tokyo, with almost two shares rising for each that fell. The measure climbed 9.4 percent from a June low through yesterday on bets the U.S., Europe and China will take action to support economic expansion. Investors are waiting for hints of further easing in Bernanke’s speech on Aug. 31 at an annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “Bernanke’s probably going to hold fire here, while sending an encouraging message,” said Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management in Sydney who manages more than $350 million. “Realistically we’re probably going to see him say what he’s said over the last couple of months, which is simply that they will act, but only if conditions continue to deteriorate. That’s probably neutral for the market.”
Gluskie and Pacific Investment Management Co. Chief Executive Officer Mohamed El-Erian are among money managers speculating Bernanke probably won’t provide specific plans for further monetary action this week. El-Erian spoke yesterday on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop” with Betty Liu.

Japanese Stocks Rise on U.S. Home Prices; Renesas Soars(Bloomberg)
Japan stocks gained after U.S. home prices rose for the first time in almost two years and as investors await Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s speech this week. Shares of Renesas Electronics Corp. soared on a report Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. will buy the chipmaker. Mazda Motor Corp. (7261), a carmaker that gets almost 30 percent of its sales from North America, climbed 1.1 percent. Renesas soared 31 percent after KKR offered 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) for the company, according to a Nikkei newspaper report. Daikin Industries Ltd. sank 6.3 percent on a report the air- conditioner manufacturer will buy Texas-based Goodman Global Inc. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average (NKY) rose 0.3 percent to 9,061.91, with volume almost 15 percent above the 30-day average. The broader Topix (TPX) Index gained 0.4 percent to 749.27 as of 9:45 a.m. in Tokyo, with about nine shares rising for every five that fell.
“Bernanke’s probably going to hold fire here, while sending an encouraging message,” said Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management in Sydney who oversees more than $350 million. “We’re probably going to see him say what he’s said over the last couple of months, which is simply that they will act, but only if conditions continue to deteriorate.” Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.1 percent today. The underlying gauge slid 0.1 percent yesterday as a report showed that confidence among U.S. consumers fell in August by the most in 10 months. Home prices in 20 U.S. cities climbed in June from a year earlier, the first gain in almost two years, indicating the market that triggered the recession is beginning to rebound.

U.S. Stocks Fall as Confidence Drops Before Fed Speech(Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks fell, following yesterday’s drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as investors watched economic reports ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s speech on the economy in three days. KLA-Tencor Corp. (KLAC), a maker of machinery used in the production of semiconductors, slumped 2.5 percent after Deutsche Bank AG cut its rating. Lexmark International Inc. (LXK) surged 14 percent after the printer maker said it plans to cut 1,700 jobs and shut a factory in the Philippines as it explores a sale of its inkjet technology. H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) advanced 1.7 percent after reporting preliminary profit that topped analysts’ estimates. The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent to 1,409.30 at 4 p.m. New York time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 21.68 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,102.99. Volume for exchange-listed stocks in the U.S. was 4.6 billion shares, or 26 percent below the three- month average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“It will be interesting to see what Bernanke says about the economy,” said Liz Ann Sonders, the New York-based chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab Corp., which has $1.82 trillion in client assets. “I wouldn’t expect to hear much about easing other than: we’re going to keep the door open. The U.S. may not be shining in an absolute sense but relative to the rest of the world the trajectory is far more positive.” Data today showed that confidence among U.S. consumers fell in August by the most in 10 months as households grew more pessimistic about the economic outlook. Home prices in 20 U.S. cities climbed in June from a year earlier, the first gain in almost two years, indicating the market that triggered the recession is beginning to rebound.

European Stocks Decline as Catalonia Seeks Aid; G4S Drops(Bloomberg)
European (SXXP) stocks declined to a three- week low, snapping two days of gains, as the Spanish region of Catalonia asked for a bailout from the central government and Japan lowered an assessment of its economy. G4S Plc (GFS) dropped 2 percent after the security company said that first-half profit slumped 73 percent. Banco Santander SA (SAN) slipped. Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS) surged 19 percent after saying it has started talks with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. over possible cooperation. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.7 percent to 267.32 at the close, its lowest level since Aug. 6. The benchmark measure has still risen 14 percent from this year’s low on June 4 as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro and the region’s political leaders agreed to ease repayment terms on loans to Spain’s banks.
“The world economy in the second quarter was the worst in quite some time, and Japan is catching up now,” said Konstantin Giantiroglou, head of investment advisory at Neue Aargauer Bank in Brugg, Switzerland. “It’s a reaction to what’s going on and it was overdue that they correct the assessment.” Spain’s Catalonia region said it will ask for a 5 billion- euro ($6.3 billion) loan from the country’s central government. The Spanish cabinet approved a fund of as much as 18 billion euros on July 13 to help the most indebted regional governments manage their financial deficits.

Emerging-Market Stocks Retreat for Third Day on Growth Concerns(Bloomberg)
Emerging-market stocks dropped for a third day, sending the benchmark index to its lowest in more than three weeks, as concern deepened that the global economic slowdown will curb corporate earnings. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF) fell 0.2 percent to 958.78 as of 10:40 a.m. in London, poised for its longest losing streak in a month and the lowest close since Aug. 3. China Southern Airlines Co. sank to a six-week low as profit trailed analysts’ estimates. TPK Holding Co. (3673) and Chimei Innolux Corp. (3481) slumped at least 5.9 percent in Taipei after the consumer-electronics companies announced plans to raise capital. AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. retreated 2.6 percent, leading a gauge of raw-materials stocks to the lowest in a month.
Exporters led the MSCI index’s decline after Japan’s government downgraded its assessment of the economy for the first time in 10 months, citing risks from a further slowdown in global growth. The world economic situation is “severe” and “complicated,” Wang Chao, China’s vice commerce minister, said at a forum in Beijing today. “Growth in emerging markets is going to continue to be disappointing,” Alain Bokobza, the head of global asset- allocation strategy at Societe Generale SA in Paris, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

Treasuries Snap Gain Before Home-Sales Data, Auction(Bloomberg)
Treasuries snapped a two-day gain before an industry report that economists said will show pending home sales rose and the second of three note auctions this week. U.S. government securities have handed investors a 0.5 percent loss this month as of yesterday, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes. The MSCI All-Country World Index (MXWD) of stocks returned 2.7 percent in the period. Benchmark 10-year yields were little changed at 1.64 percent as of 9:42 a.m. in Tokyo, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data. The price of the 1.625 percent security due in August 2022 was 99 29/32. The rate compares with the record low of 1.38 percent set July 25 and the average of 3.73 percent for the past decade. “I wouldn’t want to buy here,” said Kazuaki Oh’e, a debt salesman in Tokyo at CIBC World Markets Japan Inc., a unit of Canada’s fifth-largest lender. “The economy is improving slightly.”
Pending home sales rose 1 percent in July from June, rebounding from a 1.4 percent decline, based on a Bloomberg News survey of economists before the National Association of Realtors issues the figure today. The U.S. is scheduled to auction $35 billion of five-year debt today and $29 billion of seven-year securities tomorrow. It sold $35 billion of two-year notes yesterday. Treasuries rose yesterday as speculation the Federal Reserve will begin a third round of bond purchases under quantitative easing this year stoked demand.

FOREX-Euro rises to session high versus dollar
LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - The euro rose to a session high and moved closer to recent peaks against the dollar on Tuesday, after the European Central Bank said that its chief Mario Draghi will not be attending this weekend's Jackson Hole symposium.
"There's talk of a downgrade for the U.S., although we haven't seen anything concrete on that yet," said a London-based FX trader, who also cited buying by Middle East investors that triggered stops at $1.2555-60.

Bernanke to Reiterate Fed Minutes at Jackson Hole, El-Erian Says(Bloomberg)
Ben S. Bernanke probably won’t provide specific plans for further monetary action at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual Jackson Hole symposium this week, according to Pacific Investment Management Co. Chief Executive Officer Mohamed El-Erian. The Fed signaled last week it’s ready to take further steps to spur the economic recovery. Many policy makers said additional stimulus probably will be needed soon unless the economy shows signs of a durable pickup, according to minutes released Aug. 22 of the central bank’s most recent meeting, on July 31-Aug. 1. Fed Chairman Bernanke is scheduled to speak on Aug. 31 at the economic-policy conference in Wyoming.
“The minutes were consequential and we don’t expect Bernanke to take it further than what the minutes said,” El- Erian, also the co-chief investment officer of the world’s largest manager of bond funds, said on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop” with Betty Liu. “It’s highly probable that he will outline the options that the Fed has available and the commitment to do more if needed.” The central bank bought $2.3 trillion of debt from 2008 to 2011 in two rounds of what’s become known as quantitative easing, or QE. It has also kept its benchmark interest rate at zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008 and has pledged to hold it there until at least 2014. Bernanke said in a letter dated Aug. 22 to Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that the Fed has the ability to take additional steps to boost the economy.

Bernanke Backed by Better Financial State: Chart of the Day(Bloomberg)
Measures showing U.S. financial market conditions have improved put little pressure on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to signal added monetary stimulus this week, according to Credit Suisse Group AG. The CHART OF THE DAY shows the Bloomberg U.S. Financial Conditions Index moved above zero on July 27, a threshold that signals receding market risk. It was below negative 1 last year when Bernanke spoke at the Kansas City Fed’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The bottom panel shows the spread between the rate to exchange floating for fixed-interest payments and Treasury yields for two years, a gauge of investors’ perceived risk in the banking sector, fell yesterday to the lowest since May 2011. Bernanke speaks at this year’s Jackson Hole conference on Aug. 31.
“Most Fed officials would acknowledge that quantitative easing is most effective in addressing financial turmoil and it’s harder to prove its real fundamental, economic effects,” Dana Saporta, U.S. economist in New York at Credit Suisse, said in an interview yesterday, referring to the central bank’s debt- purchasing strategy. “The financial markets are calmer now than they were in early August. Our thinking, and perhaps that of the chairman, as well, is that while easing is highly likely from the Fed in the months ahead, the timing is uncertain.” The so-called swap spread narrowed to a one-year low of 16.3 basis points yesterday as investors speculate policy makers will contain Europe’s debt crisis and that America’s economy will endure headwinds from the region’s troubles. Sentiment toward the euro area has improved since European Central Bank President Mario Draghi vowed on July 26 to do “whatever it takes” to save the common currency and signaled that would include buying sovereign debt.
Bernanke may structure his Jackson Hole speech this year as he did in 2010, discussing the economic outlook, policy actions to date, and costs and benefits of future policy alternatives, Saporta and Neal Soss, chief U.S. economist at Credit Suisse, wrote in a note published on Aug. 26. Credit Suisse gives a 50 percent chance the Fed will ease monetary policy at their policy meeting, Sept. 12-13.

Consumer Confidence in U.S. Declines by Most Since October(Bloomberg)
Confidence among U.S. consumers fell in August by the most in 10 months as households grew more pessimistic about their employment prospects and the economic outlook. The Conference Board’s index decreased to 60.6 from a revised 65.4 in July, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. The 4.8-point decrease was the biggest since October. The reading was less than the most- pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey in which the median projection was 66. Rising gasoline prices, a jobless rate that’s been above 8 percent since the start of 2009 and limited income gains are keeping consumers glum. Persistent pessimism raises the risk of a pullback in household purchases that account for about 70 percent of the world’s biggest economy.
“The consumer is still very cautious,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics Ltd. in Valhalla, New York, who projected a drop in sentiment. “The labor market is still relatively weak. There’s a lot of uncertainty about policy ahead of the election” and fuel costs have accelerated, he said. This month’s confidence reading was the lowest since November. Estimates for the Conference Board gauge ranged from 61 to 68 in the Bloomberg survey of 77 economists. The measure averaged 53.7 during the 18-month recession that ended in June 2009. Stocks were little changed ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s speech on the economy in three days. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped less than 0.1 percent to 1,409.9 at 1:55 p.m. in New York.

Home Values Rise in U.S. for First Time Since 2010: Economy(Bloomberg)
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities climbed in June for the first time since a tax credit boosted sales in 2010, indicating the industry at the heart of the worst recession in the post-World War II era is starting to rebound. The S&P/Case-Shiller index increased 0.5 percent from June 2011 after falling 0.7 percent in the year to May, a report from the group showed today in New York. The last 12-month increase took place in September 2010. Nationally, prices jumped last quarter by the most in more than six years. The lowest mortgage rates on record and a decline in sales of distressed properties may help the market contribute to the economic expansion that is now in its fourth year. A more sustained rebound may require easier lending conditions, which would also give consumers a lift after a report today showed household confidence sank to the lowest level of the year.
“Finally, the housing market is forming a bottom,” Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., said on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop” with Betty Liu. “That should be welcome. It is not surprising because affordability is so attractive right now.”

Apple Seeks Ban on Sales of Eight Samsung Phones in U.S.(Bloomberg)
Apple Inc. (AAPL) is seeking a U.S. sales ban on eight models of Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) smartphones and the extension of a preliminary ban on a tablet computer after winning a patent trial against the South Korean company. Apple, which won more than $1 billion Aug. 24 after a jury found Samsung infringed six of seven patents at stake in the trial, named the phones it wants barred in a filing yesterday with U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California. The list includes several devices in the bestselling Galaxy lineup. The effect on Samsung’s sales will be negligible because Apple’s list only includes older devices that will account for less than 1.4 percent of the Korean company’s profits next year, said Mark Newman, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein who used to work at Samsung. The impact would be 6.3 percent if Apple manages to broaden a ban to newer devices and block 80 percent of all Samsung phones, he said.
“The older models aren’t selling much now, and the penalty will only be a one-time cost,” Im Jeong Jae, a Seoul-based fund manager at Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management Co., which oversees about $29 billion, said by phone today. “There won’t be big damage to Samsung’s sales and operating profit.”

Donors Invest Millions in Romney for Billions in Returns(Bloomberg)
Wealthy donors and corporations are more heavily invested in this presidential election than at any time since the 1972 Watergate scandal led to stricter campaign- finance laws. A series of court decisions and regulatory changes in 2010 unraveled federal limits on donations, paving the way for a return of the big players. They are pooling their money in nonprofits, which keep contributor names secret, and super- political action committees, which amassed $350 million through the end of July. One-quarter of that money comes from just 10 donors, led by Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based group that tracks such spending. Top Republican contributors say they back the party’s presidential candidate Mitt Romney because they agree with his small-government philosophy or oppose President Barack Obama’s new regulations on banks and the health-care industry.
Yet Romney is more than just a political kindred spirit; he’s a sound investment. Here’s how a Romney presidency might pay off -- literally -- for some of these super-donors.

China Retailers Lose Steam, Deepening Wen’s Challenges(Bloomberg)
China’s retailers from clothing to computers are reporting weaker sales growth, undermining Premier Wen Jiabao’s goal of relying more on consumer spending for expansion as the economy cools. Passenger-vehicle sales trailed analysts’ estimates in July. Sportswear seller Li Ning Co. shut 1,200 stores in the first half and department-store chain Parkson Retail Group Ltd. (3368)’s same-store sales rose at less than a quarter the pace of a year earlier. Electronics retailer Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd. (493) said it would report a first-half loss on lower sales. The reports show an extra drag on the second-largest economy after export growth almost stalled in July and factory output missed forecasts. The year’s fastest decline in industrial companies’ earnings and a stock market at a three- year low mean income gains may slow, giving consumers less money to spend and boosting odds Wen will add stimulus. “The pressure on retail sales is growing bigger and bigger,” said Shen Jianguang,
Hong Kong-based chief Asia economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. “When exports are fragile and investment is weak, if companies started to reduce their production or workforce, how can it be possible for consumer spending to stay strong?” Retail sales missed economists’ forecasts in three of the last four months and Mizuho said they will stay weak. Sales increased 13.1 percent in July from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Aug. 9, compared with the median 13.5 percent estimate of 32 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Billionaire Li’s Venture May Seek Singapore Land: Southeast Asia(Bloomberg)
Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Singapore property joint venture may seek more land in the city’s downtown to replicate its latest development that attracted global banks including Standard Chartered Plc and Macquarie Group Ltd. The venture, made up of Li’s Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. (1), Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd. (HKL) and Keppel Land Ltd. (KPLD), developed the Marina Bay Financial Centre for about S$4.5 billion ($3.6 billion), it said. The shareholders may be interested in projects close to the existing development, said Warren Bishop, chief executive officer of Raffles Quay Asset Management Pte, which is owned by and manages the venture’s Singapore properties.
“Given the right space, the developers will probably be keen to bid on some of those spaces,” Bishop said in an interview at its Marina Bay Financial Centre in Singapore yesterday. “The current perspective of the developers is to be central business district-based, if possible grow on this development here, so adjacent sites within this vicinity would be the most attractive.” The development is part of Singapore’s effort to build a new downtown extension to boost its offering of office space and draw the world’s biggest financial services companies. The property has also attracted tenants including Barclays Plc (BARC) and Nomura Holdings Inc. as more global banks relocated regional and global functions to Singapore. Singapore’s move to open up its financial sector after the 1997 Asian financial crisis helped boost demand for office space, especially in the business district, CBRE Group Inc. said.

Poor in India Starve as Politicians Steal $14.5 Billion of Food(Bloomberg)
Ram Kishen, 52, half-blind and half- starved, holds in his gnarled hands the reason for his hunger: a tattered card entitling him to subsidized rations that now serves as a symbol of India’s biggest food heist. Kishen has had nothing from the village shop for 15 months. Yet 20 minutes’ drive from Satnapur, past bone-dry fields and tiny hamlets where children with distended bellies play, a government storage facility five football fields long bulges with wheat and rice. By law, those 57,000 tons of food are meant for Kishen and the 105 other households in Satnapur with ration books. They’re meant for some of the 350 million families living below India’s poverty line of 50 cents a day. Instead, as much as $14.5 billion in food was looted by corrupt politicians and their criminal syndicates over the past decade in Kishen’s home state of Uttar Pradesh alone, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The theft blunted the country’s only weapon against widespread starvation -- a five-decade-old public distribution system that has failed to deliver record harvests to the plates of India’s hungriest. “This is the most mean-spirited, ruthlessly executed corruption because it hits the poorest and most vulnerable in society,” said Naresh Saxena, who, as a commissioner to the nation’s Supreme Court, monitors hunger-based programs across the country. “What I find even more shocking is the lack of willingness in trying to stop it.”

Hungary Tests Investors With Rate Reduction as Recession Deepens(Bloomberg)
Hungary’s deepening recession prompted the central bank to unexpectedly lower the European Union’s highest benchmark interest rate as policy makers test investors’ tolerance for lower borrowing costs, said economists from London to Budapest. The Magyar Nemzeti Bank cut the two-week deposit rate to 6.75 from 7 percent percent yesterday, the first decrease since April 2010. It will probably ease policy further this year as concerns about the lack of economic growth outweigh accelerating inflation, economists at Morgan Stanley, Danske Bank A/S (DANSKE), Equilor Zrt., and Capital Economics Ltd. said.
Policy makers have been divided on when to start cutting rates, with some arguing that the start of bailout talks opens the way to lower rates to spur growth after the economy sank into its second recession in four years. The non-executive members of the Monetary Council probably overcame objections about the inflation outlook and the pending bailout talks, said Pasquale Diana, an economist at Morgan Stanley (MS) in London. “We think that the four external members have chosen to use the leeway offered by the better risk environment, and it is conceivable that the same members may vote to cut as long as they feel it is warranted by the risk backdrop, regardless of whether an IMF deal is struck or not,” Diana wrote in an e-mail yesterday.
The forint weakened 1.1 percent to 280.90 per euro as of 6:05 p.m. in Budapest, its biggest loss in more than a month. The currency has gained 12.1 percent this year, the most among more than 20 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg, as investors speculated that Hungary will obtain an IMF bailout.

Catalonia Seeks $6.3 Billion From Spain Regional Rescue Fund(Bloomberg)
Catalonia will tap a national rescue fund after Spain’s most indebted region was shut out of financial markets, suffering the type of funding squeeze that led Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek international bailouts. Catalonia, the largest of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, will seek 5 billion euros ($6.3 billion), almost a third of the 18 billion-euro fund created in July by the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Valencia was the first to tap the fund with a request on July 20. Spain’s ability to avoid a broader bailout depends on the government getting the regions to reduce their shortfalls, which were one of the reasons the country missed its budget-deficit target in 2011. The regions, which control more than a third of public spending, are increasingly being shunned by investors, mirroring the dynamic of the euro-region debt crisis.
“This is a milestone because it’s a formal recognition that Catalonia doesn’t have the money it needs,” said Javier Diaz-Gimenez, an economics professor at IESE business school in Madrid. “It shows how weak Spain’s arrangement has become for its regional finances.”

ECB Said to Urge Weaker Basel Liquidity Rule on Crisis Risks(Bloomberg)
The European Central Bank is pushing global banking regulators to relax a draft liquidity rule so that lenders can use some asset-backed securities and loans to businesses in a buffer they must hold against a possible credit squeeze, according to three people familiar with the talks. The ECB, backed by the Bank of France, considers a draft version of the liquidity coverage ratio, or LCR, may hamper efforts to combat the euro-area debt crisis by curtailing lending and making it harder for central banks to implement their monetary policies, said the people, who couldn’t be identified because the discussions at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision are private. They said the ECB stance is opposed by some other Basel members, including U.S. regulators. The LCR was drawn up by the Basel group as part of a package of measures to prevent a repeat of the turmoil that followed the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
The ECB is seeking to relax the rule -- designed to force banks to hold enough easy-to-sell assets to survive a 30-day credit squeeze -- by expanding the range of eligible securities, aligning the standard more closely with its own collateral arrangements, the people said. “As central banks have relaxed their rules” during the debt crisis in the euro area, “the LCR has become more and more out of sync with central-bank reality,” said Jesper Berg, senior vice president at Nykredit A/S, Denmark’s biggest mortgage bank.

Hollande Loses Bond Market Love as Growth Stalls: Euro Credit(Bloomberg)
French President Francois Hollande’s honeymoon with bond investors may be ending as economic reality bites. Hollande, who returned from a 15-day summer break last week, faces an economy that hasn’t grown in three quarters, rising joblessness, a ballooning trade deficit and the task of coming up with a plan in the next few weeks to plug a budget hole of more than 30 billion euros ($37 billion) for next year. The challenges ahead may undermine the rally in French bonds that has allowed the country to sell bills at negative yields for the first time. During Hollande’s first 100 days in office, the premium demanded to hold French 10-year debt rather than comparable German securities fell to the lowest in more than a year. That trend may be reversing.
“France’s fundamentals -- rising unemployment, widening current account deficit and budget deficit -- would not support its bonds,” said Jamie Stuttard, head of international bond investments at Fidelity Investments in London, which has $1.6 trillion under management. “The more expensive French bonds go, the harder the case becomes for French government debt.” The French 10-year yield is at 2.07 percent, near the record-low of 2 percent reached on Aug. 3 and down from 2.89 percent on the last trading day before Hollande’s election on May 6. The premium France pays over Germany to borrow for a decade, which fell below 60 basis points for the first time in more than a year on Aug. 15, rose to 73 basis points today.

Spain recession deepens as austerity weighs (Reuters)
Spain's economy shrank further in the second quarter of the year and a slump in domestic spending accelerated, signalling a protracted recession as the country presses on with efforts to slash its public deficit.

20120829 1004 Global Commodities Related News.

Isaac to Creep Ashore Soaking New Orleans on Katrina Date(Bloomberg)
Hurricane Isaac made landfall in the Plaquemines parish of southeastern Louisiana, flooding the coast and creating a storm surge of almost 9 feet (2.7 meters). Isaac hit land at 6:45 p.m. local time just southwest of the Mississippi River’s mouth, the National Hurricane Center said in an update at 7 p.m. The storm, expected to drop large amounts of rain and rake the region with tree-toppling winds for hours, was 10 miles (16 kilometers) southwest of the Mississippi River’s mouth and 90 miles southeast of New Orleans. The storm was moving northwest at 8 miles per hour, compared with 12 mph earlier today. Isaac’s top winds were 80 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane. The center said in a 6 p.m. advisory that tropical storm-force winds of 39 mph or more have started slapping southern Louisiana, which was hit by Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005. Levees protecting New Orleans failed then and 1,800 people died.
“It’s not going to be Katrina in terms of wind and it’s not going to be Katrina in terms of storm surge, but the area where it will beat out Katrina is rain,” said John Feerick, an expert senior meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. “The rainfall is going to be the big story as it crawls northwestward toward Morgan City, probably moving no more than 5 mph the whole time.” A storm surge of 8.8 feet was reported by the National Ocean Service at Shell Beach, Louisiana, the hurricane center said. Another 5.5-foot surge was reported in Waveland, Mississippi.

Hurricane Isaac Makes Landfall in Louisiana With Dangerous Surge(Bloomberg)
Hurricane Isaac came ashore in southeast Louisiana’s swamps about 6:45 p.m. local time, bringing with it gale winds and a powerful storm surge. The storm, which extends about 185 miles (298 kilometers) from its center, touched the coast in Plaquemines Parish just southwest of the Mississippi River’s mouth, the National Hurricane Center reported. Its center was about 90 miles southeast of New Orleans and winds had top speeds of 80 miles per hour. Mandatory evacuations were ordered in at least eight parishes in the New Orleans area while officials in six others urged residents to leave. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city is in “the hunker-down phase” at a news briefing. Humvees patrolled the streets. The storm was set to hit the city about 1 a.m. local time. On Aug. 29, 2005 -- almost seven years to the day -- Hurricane Katrina flooded 80 percent of New Orleans after levees protecting the city failed. That storm killed 1,800 people and displaced 250,000. Landrieu predicted rebuilt levees would hold.
In the Lafourche Parish town of Larose, in the storm’s path, a thick ceiling of clouds rushed by. Lights went out on the southeast side of Bayou Lafourche about 7:20 p.m. as the skies turned battleship gray in the distance. The ship- and oil-platform-building community imposed a curfew and law officers cruised the streets, flashing lights at cars that lingered.

DTN Closing Grain Comments 08/28 14:29 Grains Finish Mostly Lower Tuesday (CME)
Corn and wheat continued to slide lower Tuesday while soybeans recovered from early sharp losses to close higher. Soybeans were supported by another round of export sales as the demand argument remains strong.

Pro Farmer: After the Bell Wheat Recap(CME)
Wheat futures saw a choppy day of trade and favored the downside into the close. Chicago wheat led to the downside with losses of 1 to 7 1/4 cents. Kansas City and Minneapolis wheat ended with slight losses in most contracts. Wheat took its cue from the corn market today as it lacked the significant fundamental news the market needs to rally on its own merits.

Wheat Market Recap Report(CME)
December Wheat finished down 5 3/4 at 875 1/2, 14 off the high and 4 1/4 up from the low. March Wheat closed down 5 1/2 at 886 1/2. This was 3 3/4 up from the low and 12 3/4 off the high.
December corn finished the day slightly lower in what was cited as a low volume trading session. Early weakness in wheat was linked to spillover pressure from corn and soybeans and improved soil moisture conditions for the western plains. A private analyst out of Ukraine cut their forecast for Ukraine's 2012/13 wheat export forecast to 6.3 million tonnes vs. prior estimates of 7 and the current USDA forecast is 6 million tonnes. Rainfall in Australia continues to disappoint which is offering underlying support to the wheat market. The lack of precipitation could begin to stress crops as it enters maturity as soon as 2 weeks from now. Major importers continue to tender for wheat as wheat prices correct lower. Tunisia and Jordan have both issued wheat import tenders this week. The wheat market closed near the low end of today's trading range as profit taking took over, despite the lower US Dollar.

Pro Farmer: After the Bell Corn Recap(CME)
Corn futures closed out a choppy day of trade with losses of 4 3/4 to 5 1/5 cents in the September through July contracts. Far-deferred contracts ended slightly firmer. Fresh news was lacking in the corn market today, which led to the choppy price action. While crop condition ratings continue to decline, that's already largely factored into the market.

Corn Market Recap for 8/28/2012(CME)
December Corn finished down 5 1/4 at 795 1/2, 9 1/4 off the high and 1 1/4 up from the low. March Corn closed down 5 at 796 1/2. This was 1 1/4 up from the low and 8 1/2 off the high.
December corn traded slightly lower into the close but held near the 800 level for most of the day. Traders noted that volume was exceptionally light which resulted in a choppy, two-sided trade range. The overall weakness in corn was linked to profit taking by traders and early harvest hedge pressure. Midsession strength was due in part to a rise in corn basis bids at various locations in the US Midwest as cash corn movement slowed. Basis levels in the Gulf of Mexico may see support in the short term due to the suspension of barge traffic from Baton Rouge, LA to the US Gulf and the temporary closure of multiple commercial export facilities. These actions are a result of Tropical Storm Isaac. Heavy rain and high wind could push as far north as western Tennessee, Arkansas, and Illinois towards the end of this week which could damage harvest ready corn in the respective areas. The corn market maintained a lower trend in the last hour of trading despite the sharply lower US Dollar.
November Rice finished up 0.08 at 15.675, equal to the high and equal to the low.

Wheat Has Longest Slump in 11 Months as Export Demand Declines(Bloomberg)
Wheat fell, capping the longest slump in 11 months, after Egypt, the world’s biggest importer of the grain, shunned U.S. inventories and bought supplies from Russia. Egypt on Aug. 25 bought 120,000 metric tons of Russian wheat and 60,000 tons of Romanian wheat, the state-run General Authority for Supply Commodities said. Russian production of the grain may fall 27 percent this year after drought cut yields. The U.S. is expected in 2012-2013 to be the biggest exporter of wheat, followed by Australia, Canada and Russia. “The biggest problem with wheat is the market rallied on exports expected to come our way because of small Russian exports, but they continue to sell to Egypt,” Brian Hoops, the president of Midwest Market Solutions in Springfield, Missouri, said by telephone. “Despite rumors that they’re out of the export market, they’re a competing force with the U.S.”
Wheat futures for December delivery dropped 0.7 percent to settle at $8.755 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price fell for the fifth straight session, the longest slide since September. The grain has gained 34 percent this year amid expectations that livestock producers would use more wheat for feed after corn prices surged. Drought also reduced the Russian crop.

Soybeans Rise on China Demand for Reduced U.S. Crop; Corn Drops(Bloomberg)
Soybeans rose for the second time in three sessions on increased U.S. export sales to China, the world’s biggest buyer and consumer of the oilseed. Corn declined. China bought 110,000 metric tons for delivery after Sept. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. U.S. export sales in the year that starts Sept. 1 have jumped 53 percent to a record 16.8 million tons from a year earlier, USDA data show. China may need to cut imports by 5 million tons for delivery from September to February because U.S. production will fall 12 percent this year, researcher Oil World said today. “China continues to buy U.S. soybeans,” Gregg Hunt, a market analyst and broker at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “For China, it’s pay up or do without. Prices will keep climbing until demand slows.”
Soybean futures for November delivery rose 0.2 percent to close at $17.2225 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Yesterday, the most-active contract reached a record $17.605. Prices fluctuated between gains and losses today, dropping as much as 1 percent. Corn futures for December delivery slid 0.7 percent to $7.955 a bushel. It was a fifth consecutive drop, the longest slide since June 2011. The grain touched a record $8.49 on Aug. 10, after the government said production would fall 13 percent this year to the lowest since 2008. Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.

US corn harvest slows with rains; farmers maintain record pace (Reuters)
The U.S. corn harvest inched forward during the past week,  government data showed on Monday, as farmers gave crops more time to dry down to save them the cost of machine drying.

Ukraine 12/13 grain export forecast cut by 2.2 mln T(Reuters)
The UkrAgroConsult consultancy cut its forecast for Ukraine's 2012/13 grain exports to 21.15 million tonnes from an estimate in July of 23.33 million due to a smaller-than-expected harvest of maize and barley.

GRAINS: U.S. soybeans inched higher as concerns about tight supplies from the drought-striken Midwest lingered, while corn firmed amid concerns over potential damage from Tropical Storm Isaac. Wheat also rose for the first time in five sessions on worries about global supplies.(Reuters)

SOFTS: Raw sugar futures on ICE turned higher after hitting an 11-week low early in the day, with the market looking to consolidate after recent weakness. ICE arabica coffee and cocoa were lower, slipping back slightly after the prior session's strong advances.(Reuters)

ICCO trims 2011/12 global cocoa deficit forecast(Reuters)
The International Cocoa Organization on Tuesday cut its forecast for the size of an anticipated global cocoa deficit in 2011/12 to 19,000 tonnes from a previous forecast of 43,000 tonnes.

China to sell up to 300,000 tonnes of reserve cotton -trade(Reuters)
The Chinese government will soon auction cotton from its state reserves to meet local demand, but the market impact will be limited as the volume is much smaller than earlier expected, traders said on Tuesday.

Cotton Futures Decline on Demand Concerns; Orange Juice Advances(Bloomberg)
Cotton futures fell on concern that demand will ebb amid signs of slowing economies. Orange juice increased. Japan’s government today downgraded its assessment of the world’s third-biggest economy for the first time in 10 months, the Cabinet Office said in a monthly report released in Tokyo. Risks include a “further slowing down of overseas economies and sharp fluctuations in the financial and capital markets,” according to the report. “A slower world economy has a negative impact on cotton, as purchases can be delayed, unlike food commodities,” Sid Love, the president of Joe Kropf & Sid Love Consulting in Overland Park, Kansas, said in an e-mail. Cotton for December delivery dropped 0.7 percent to settle at 75.62 cents a pound at 2:30 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.
China, the world’s biggest cotton user, may sell about 1 million metric tons from stockpiles and release 400,000 tons of import quota to help textile companies cope with increased raw- material costs and weak export demand, said Dong Shuangwei, an analyst at Beijing Capital Futures Co. Hurricane Isaac may bring heavy rain to the lower Mississippi Valley and cut the quality of the cotton crop in the region. Flooding from storm surge and rainfall is expected, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The U.S. is the world’s biggest exporter of the fiber. “In the short run, possible damage from Isaac is a support,” for prices, Love said. Orange-juice futures for November delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1.14 a pound in New York, the first gain in four sessions.

Big Coal Faces Steel Slowdown Amid Shale-Gas Pain: Commodities(Bloomberg)
Four of the largest U.S. coal producers made $20 billion of acquisitions last year to reduce their dependence on the domestic power industry. Instead those deals have added to the companies’ pain. Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR), Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU), Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) and Walter Energy Inc. (WLT) completed takeovers that boosted sales of metallurgical coal used in steelmaking. The companies bet that the coal, which sells for a higher price than the thermal variety burned to generate electricity, would benefit from booming Asian demand and counter threats from falling natural-gas prices and extra environmental regulation.
That strategy hasn’t worked out as planned. Prices for metallurgical coal, which were forecast by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in November to jump 50 percent in 2012, have fallen 16 percent so far this year amid slowing steel output in China and Europe. That may mean the U.S. coal industry, which has already seen the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal Corp. (PCXCQ) in July, will continue to burn through free cash for another year. “There was some belief that there was countercyclicality between met and thermal,” said David Gagliano, an analyst at Barclays Plc in New York. “What we’ve learned is that they aren’t that different.” U.S. coal producers have been closing mines and firing workers this year as some power plants switch from coal to gas, which is trading close to a decade-low amid booming output from shale rock.

G-7 Countries Call for Increased Oil Output to Meet Demand(Bloomberg)
The Group of Seven nations called on oil-producing countries to increase output and is monitoring the threats to their economies posed by high oil prices, according to a joint statement issued today by the U.S. Treasury Department. “We remain vigilant of the risks to the global economy,” the G-7 said. “In this context and mindful of the substantial risks posed by elevated oil prices, we are monitoring the situation in oil markets closely.” The G-7 said it’s prepared to call upon the International Energy Agency, a 28-member group of oil consuming countries, “to take appropriate action to ensure that the market is fully and timely supplied.” The IEA’s countries made available 60 million barrels of crude and oil products in June 2011 after Libyan output was disrupted by an armed uprising against Muammar Qaddafi.
Oil has advanced 24 percent since reaching a 2012 low in June as stockpiles fell and the U.S. and Europe tightened sanctions against Iran, limiting the country’s ability to sell its crude. Rising prices have raised speculation that President Barack Obama may release supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. “The EU and the U.S. have sanctions against Iranian oil which have taken a million barrels a day off the market in conjunction with a hurricane that has shut in 90 percent of Gulf production,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.

Oil Drops From Week High as Isaac Makes Landfall, Supplies Rise(Bloomberg)
Oil fell from the highest closing price in a week in New York after Hurricane Isaac made landfall and a report showed inventories rose the most since May in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude consumer. Futures slipped as much as 0.5 percent. Isaac struck the coast of southeastern Louisiana at 6:45 p.m. local time, the National Hurricane Center said. Flooding from the rain is a risk to demand by oil refineries, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Crude stockpiles gained 5.5 million barrels last week, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed yesterday. An Energy Department report today may show inventories slid 1.75 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Oil for October delivery declined as much as 45 cents to $95.88 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $95.98 at 11:24 a.m. Sydney time. The contract yesterday climbed 0.9 percent to $96.33, the highest close since Aug. 22. Prices are 2.9 percent lower this year.
Brent oil for October settlement fell 25 cents to $112.33 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade’s premium to West Texas Intermediate was $16.35, from $16.25 yesterday. “While production and imports might continue to be impacted for a couple more days after the hurricane has passed, crude demand has also been impacted,” Stefan Wieler, an analyst at Goldman in New York, said in a note e-mailed today. “The main concerns rest on the refinery side.”

Amuay, Isaac ambush complacent oil market
--Robert Campbell is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own--
WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Oil products markets are facing a potentially devastating one-two punch after a summer of complacency over falling fuel inventories looks primed to blow up in traders' faces.
For months markets have largely shrugged at dwindling Atlantic basin distillate inventories while stubbornly tight gasoline stocks only recently came into focus.

China's CNOOC tenders another 26 offshore blocks, many in South China Sea
BEIJING, Aug 28 (Reuters) - CNOOC, China's top offshore oil producer, is inviting foreign companies to explore for oil and gas in another 26 blocks, including 22 in the strategically important South China Sea, although an analyst said none of these were in disputed territory.
Experts said the tender, which also covers blocks in the Bohai Sea off north China and in the East China Sea, was probably the largest offered by China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) since the 1990s, in the latest sign the oil giant wants to beef up exploration as its output growth slows.

IEA may release oil reserves as soon as Sept-report
PARIS/NEW YORK, Aug 24 (Reuters) - World oil consumers are poised to tap into emergency oil inventories as soon as early September after the International Energy Agency (IEA) dropped its resistance to a U.S.-led plan, a source and an oil journal said on Friday.
Just one week after its chief said there was no discussion of possible emergency action, the IEA is now thought to have agreed to the idea, the industry journal Petroleum Economist reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources. The release could be as large or larger than last year's 60 million barrel injection.

OIL-Oil steady below $113; Isaac stokes supply worries
LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Oil was steady below $113 a barrel as tropical storm Issac bore down on the Gulf of Mexico and forced companies to close down U.S. oil production.
"Because U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are operating near full utilization, the potential for disruption to oil product markets is particularly pronounced," J.P. Morgan analysts, led by Colin Fenton, said in a report.

Australia Mining Slowdown Hitting Economy Never Down on Its Luck(Bloomberg)
Australia, known as the lucky country for its resource abundance and temperate climate, is about to find out how long its latest winning streak will last. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s biggest miner, last week mothballed projects valued at more than A$50 billion ($52 billion) by Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG. At the same time, Australia’s resources minister called the end of a bull run in commodity prices, and the central bank chief predicted the cresting of the investment wave within two years. The deceleration of the industry that helped secure 21 recession-free years heightens focus on the views of a minority seeing economic contraction in a nation where consumers took on more debt than Americans at the height of the mortgage bubble. While Bloomberg News surveys indicate growth exceeding 3 percent in 2013 and 2014, Deutsche Bank sees the danger of a recession.
“There is a view around Australia that says this is a different economy,” said Adam Boyton, chief economist for Australia at Deutsche Bank in Sydney, who previously worked at the nation’s Treasury. “My point is: was it skill or luck that drove iron ore and coking-coal prices higher from the Australian perspective,” he said. “It was more luck than skill.” The windfall Australia gets from exports, called the terms of trade, will slump 15 percent in the final three months of 2012 from a year before, a magnitude that presaged a recession in three of the five times it’s happened in the past half century, according to Boyton. The central bank estimates the terms of trade reached a 140-year high last year.

Gold Declines After Jump to Four-Month High Spurs Sales(Bloomberg)
Gold dropped the most in two weeks on speculation that the Federal Reserve will delay announcing stimulus measures amid signs the U.S. economy is recovering. Home prices in 20 U.S. cities climbed in June for the first time in almost two years, a private report showed today. The Commerce Department’s first revision to second-quarter gross domestic product tomorrow may show faster growth than earlier reported, according to the Bloomberg survey median. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will speak on Aug. 31 at an annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. At the event in 2010, he foreshadowed a $600 billion second round of bond buying. “The market is in a wait-and-watch mode ahead of the meeting,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “We are also witnessing some profit taking.”
Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.4 percent to settle at $1,669.70 an ounce at 1:48 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest loss for a most-active contract since Aug. 14. Prices surged 70 percent from the end of December 2008 to June 2011 as the Fed kept borrowing costs at a record low and bought $2.3 trillion of debt in two rounds of so-called quantitative easing. The metal gained 3.3 percent last week, the most since January, amid expectations that any new stimulus measure would boost economic growth and spur rising consumer prices. Silver futures for December delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $30.963 an ounce on the Comex. The price climbed in the previous six sessions, the longest rally since October. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery declined 2.1 percent to $1,520.40 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery retreated 2.3 percent to $640.95 an ounce.

Silver Market Recap Report(CME)
The silver market also showed some initial weakness and was able to throw off the worst of the pressure and bounce into mid session. Perhaps silver was indirectly lifted by fresh easing hopes in the wake of some very soft US Consumer confidence readings. In fact, weak consumer confidence readings in the US just ahead of elections are likely to get significant headline play and that trade is already looking for any reason to suspect that the Fed is poised to act.

Gold Market Recap Report(CME)
The gold market saw some weak action in the morning trade before regaining some footing in the early afternoon. Weakness in the dollar, combined with a fresh wave of US easing hopes today to boost gold prices, as softer than expected US data rekindled QE hopes just ahead of the annual Fed meeting in Jackson Hole. However, while gold was able to throw off a large portion of the initial losses, the December gold contract ended up spending a large portion of the trading session in negative ground.

20120829 1004 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Pro Farmer: After the Bell Soybean Recap(CME)
Soybean futures were highly choppy today but ended near opening levels to post slight gains. Nearby contracts ended around 2 to 3 cents higher, with deferreds posting slightly stronger gains in the range of 6 to 8 cents. Periods of profit-taking were met with fresh buying on signs prices have not yet rallied enough to dramatically slow demand.

Soybean Complex Market Recap(CME)
November Soybeans finished up 3 1/2 at 1722 1/4, 8 3/4 off the high and 21 1/4 up from the low. January Soybeans closed up 3 1/4 at 1714 1/2. This was 21 up from the low and 8 1/4 off the high.
December Soymeal closed up 3.1 at 521.8. This was 8.5 up from the low and 3.3 off the high.
December Soybean Oil finished down 0.17 at 56.39, 0.49 off the high and 0.41 up from the low.
November soybeans closed slightly higher on the day. Soybean meal ended the day higher while soybean oil ended the day lower. Midsession strength in soybeans was linked to news that US private exports sold 110,000 tonnes of US soybeans to China for 2012/13. Traders cited thin volume which made for a choppy, two sided trading range. Spot basis in the Gulf of Mexico firmed today as physical traders covered nearby needs in case Hurricane Isaac dramatically disrupts the supply chain to the export market. The Hurricane is expected to bring torrential rainfall for areas of the southeast and delta but the positive impact might be limited as most soybeans are nearly ready for harvest in the area. Showers are also expected to push north towards Illinois later this week which could ease stress on late planted soybeans and help soil moisture levels. The US Dollar was lower for most of the day which provided support to the commodity complex.

EDIBLES: Malaysian crude palm oil futures slid as investors took profit after the market hit a six-week high the previous session, with traders watching for a big stocks build-up to weigh on prices. (Reuters)