Thursday, November 22, 2012

20121122 1807 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 2411, changed : -32 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : downside biased.
MACD Histogram : weakening, seller testing market.
Support : 2400, 2350, 2300, 2250, 2230 level.
Resistance : 2450, 2490, 2520, 2550 level.
Comment :
FCPO continue to closed weaker again with better volume transacted. Soy oil trading pause today for thank giving holiday after overnight closed little high ob drought weather concern while crude oil price currently moving side ways.
Continue slower exports concern still pressure CPO price to move downward today.
Daily chart reading revised to suggesting a 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 moderate cut loss and profit target.

20121122 1744 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1613.5 changed : -5.5 point, volume : lower.

Bollinger band reading : pullback correction downside biased.
MACD Histogram : recovering, seller taking profit.
Support :  1615, 1610, 1600, 1595, 1590 level.
Resistance : 1623, 1627, 1635, 1640 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed declined lower with slower volume changed hand doing 5 points discount compare to cash market that closed recorded loss. Overnight U.S markets closed recorded small gains and today Asia markets ended mostly firmer while European markets currently trading in positive territory.
Overall markets sentiment improved today on overnight better U.S. jobless claims data and a reports from China shows manufacturing expanded for the 1st time in 13 months.
Daily chart study remained suggesting a pullback correction downside 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.

20121122 1740 Global Markets & Commodities Related News.

STOCKS: European equities and Asian shares rose as solid manufacturing surveys in the United States and China fed optimism that the global growth slowdown may have turned a corner.
U.S. stocks finished modestly higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 up for a fourth session, although volume was one of the year's lowest on the day ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

FOREX-Euro hits 6-mth high vs yen, supported by Greece optimism
SINGAPORE/SYDNEY, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The euro hit a 6-1/2 month high against the yen, supported by revived hopes of a Greek loan deal, while investors gave the yen a wide berth on expectations of more forceful monetary easing in Japan.
"Obviously it's based on the fact that if Abe wins, it's all going to be further easing and further measures to weaken the yen," said Andrew Robinson, FX analyst for Saxo Capital Markets in Singapore. "I think we have a bit further to go."

HSBC China flash PMI at 13-month high as growth quickens
China's vast manufacturing sector saw expansion accelerate in November for the first time in 13 months, preliminary results from a factory survey showed, a sign that the pace of economic growth has revived after seven consecutive quarters of slowdown.

Exxon warning adds to Nigeria oil output problems
ExxonMobil on Wednesday became the fourth oil major in a month to warn customers over delays to Nigerian oil and gas exports, adding to a raft of problems for Africa's biggest energy producer caused by oil spills, theft and flooding.

GRAINS: U.S. wheat ended nearly flat on Wednesday as concerns about dry conditions underpinned the market, but corn and soybeans slid in choppy trading the day before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

Cargill sees world cocoa market near balance
Cargill expects world 2012/13 cocoa supplies to balance demand due to improved weather conditions in West Africa, the U.S. agribusiness company said on Wednesday.

U.S. crude oil, product inventories fell last week-EIA
U.S. crude oil and refined product inventories fell last week as plants processed more crude and imports dropped, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Total U.S. crude oil inventories fell 1.47 million barrels in the week to Nov. 16 to 374.47 million barrels, after analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a build of 900,000 barrels.

OIL: Brent crude was steady near $111 per barrel as the Chinese economy showed further signs of recovery, boosting the outlook for oil demand, although the upside was limited as a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip eased concerns over supply.

Indonesia's Timah sees steady 2013 refined tin output after 2012 drop
Indonesia's top tin miner PT Timah expects refined tin output to drop to around 30,000 tonnes this year and remain steady in 2013 as it limits production to boost profits amid weak tin prices, the chief operating officer said on Wednesday.

BASE METALS: London copper rebounded snapping two sessions of losses, after manufacturing in top metals consumer China returned to expansion and European leaders assured investors of a likely bailout for Greece, which boosted the euro.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold edged higher supported by central bank purchases and a weaker dollar as European leaders raised the possibility that a bailout deal for Greece was imminent.

METALS-Copper rebounds as China economy recovers
SINGAPORE, Nov 22 (Reuters) - London copper rebounded, snapping two sessions of losses, after encouraging economic data from top metals consumer China and as European leaders assured investors of a likely bailout for Greece, boosting the euro.
"We do see China's economy strengthening to about 8 percent (GDP growth) next year. That implies a potential pickup in demand for commodities because of the commodity-intensive nature of that growth," said Alexandra Knight, an economist with National Australia Bank in Melbourne.

PRECIOUS-Gold steady ahead of possible Greek bailout deal
SINGAPORE, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Gold traded in a $5 range, supported by central bank purchases and a weaker dollar as European leaders raised the possibility that a bailout deal for Greece was imminent.
Gold, up nearly 11 percent this year on the back of U.S. monetary easing measures to stimulate its economy, has been hovering around $1,730 for most of this week as investors focus on whether the United States will avoid a fiscal crisis.
"The market is lacking direction right now and investors have become increasingly cautious," said Chen Min, an analyst at Jinrui Futures in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.
"The sentiment is mainly supported by concerns about the U.S. 'fiscal cliff', which offsets the easing of geopolitical tension in the Middle East which should have dented gold's safe-haven appeal."

20121122 1419 Palm Oil Related News.

VEGOILS-Palm oil edges lower for third day, Greece deal eyed
22-Nov-2012 13:11
Slowing exports may lead to another record high for stocks in Nov Lenders to meet again on Monday to discuss Greece bailout deal Palm oil to drop to 2,321 ringgit -technicals
(Updates prices, adds detail)
By Chew Yee Kiat
SINGAPORE, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures fell on Thursday, slipping for a third straight day, as slowing exports continued to weigh and investors stayed cautious ahead of a bailout deal for Greece that could boost sentiment.
International lenders will meet again next Monday after they failed for the second week to reach a deal to release emergency aid for Greece, but major lender Germany signalled that significant divisions remain. (Full Story)
Cargo surveyor data showed Malaysian exports of palm products for the first 20 days of November inched lower from a month ago, and while the fall was not significant, it nonetheless fuelled concern at a time when stocks had climbed to a record 2.51 million tonnes in October. (Full Story)
"The price outlook for crude palm oil has deteriorated. With the cargo surveyors’ export data for the first 20 days of November showing a decline of about 3 percent, we see a higher possibility now of November’s inventory level to register another record high," Alan Lim Seong Chun, research analyst with Malaysia's Kenanga Investment Bank, said in a note on Thursday.
By the midday break, the benchmark February contract FCPOc3 on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange were down 0.7 percent at 2,427 ringgit ($793) per tonne. Prices traded in a range of 2,420 to 2,449 ringgit.
Total traded volumes stood at 14,281 lots of 25 tonnes each, higher than the usual 12,500 lots.
Technicals showed palm oil is expected to drop to 2,321 ringgit as it did not break a resistance at 2,464 ringgit, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao. (Full Story)
Traders will be looking for clues from the meeting next Monday after European demand for palm oil showed signs of slowing. It could take a further hit if international lenders fail again to agree on how to get Greece's debt down to a sustainable level.
In related markets, Brent crude hovered near $111 as the Chinese economy showed further signs of recovery, bolstering the outlook for oil demand, though gains were capped as a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip eased concerns over supply. O/R
In other vegetable oil markets, the most active May 2013 soybean oil contract DBYcv1 on the Dalian Commodity Exchange gained 0.1 percent by the midday break. The U.S. financial markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

20121122 1104 Global Markets & Energy Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Falling yen lifts Japan stocks; eyes on China data
TOKYO, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The yen fell to a 7-1/2-month low versus the dollar, lifting Japan's Nikkei share average to a six-month high, on mounting expectations of aggressive policy action under a likely new government.
"The dollar/yen continues its break higher and the Korean won is the star in this move. Post Japanese elections, the reality of trying to pass a new BOJ law and the risk for the JGB market are likely to tamper the hype, until then we can still move higher," Societe Generale analysts said in a note.

FOREX-Yen stays under a cloud, China data eyed
SYDNEY, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The yen languished near eight-month lows versus the dollar as investors gave it a wide berth on expectations of more policy action in Japan, while revived hopes of a Greek loan deal saw the euro stage a dramatic turnaround.
"Markets remain firmly focused on the prospects for a more aggressive post-election BoJ monetary policy stance, implying that the yen is likely to remain vulnerable in the near term," BNP Paribas strategists wrote in a client note.

OIL - Oil ends up as pre-holiday covering offsets Gaza truce
NEW YORK, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Oil ended higher after thin, volatile trading on Wednesday, as late-day short-covering ahead of a U.S. holiday offset earlier relief over a ceasefire that ended eight days of fighting in the Gaza strip.
"I'm seeing the market's pulse become fainter and fainter," said Tim Evans, energy analyst for Citi Futures Perspective in New York. "I think some traders are just getting an early start on the Thanksgiving holiday rather than putting on risk or even reacting to the headlines."

Exxon warning adds to Nigeria oil output problems
ABUJA/GENEVA, Nov 21 (Reuters) - ExxonMobil  on Wednesday became the fourth oil major in a month to warn customers over delays to Nigerian oil and gas exports, adding to a raft of problems for Africa's biggest energy producer caused by oil spills, theft and flooding.
Royal Dutch Shell  lifted on Wednesday its force majeure on Nigeria's benchmark Bonny Light crude oil exports, easing some of the supply concerns.

S.Sudan, Sudan trade accusations in setback to peace deal
JUBA/KHARTOUM, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Sudan and South Sudan accused one another of incursions in disputed border zones on Wednesday, jeopardising plans to secure the boundary and resume cross-border oil flows vital to their economies.
The two former civil war foes agreed in September to end hostilities and restart oil exports from the south through Sudan after coming close to war again in April, the worst violence since the south became independent in July 2011.

US crude oil, product inventories fell last week-EIA
NEW YORK, Nov 21 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil and refined product inventories fell last week as plants processed more crude and imports dropped, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.
Total U.S. crude oil inventories fell 1.47 million barrels in the week to Nov. 16 to 374.47 million barrels, after analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a build of 900,000 barrels.

S.Korea Oct crude imports slip 2 pct y/y
SEOUL, Nov 21 (Reuters) - South Korea imported 81.2 million barrels of crude oil in October, down 2 percent from a year ago, and resumed its imports of Iranian crude as scheduled, data from state-run Korea National Oil Corp showed on Wednesday.
Of the total, South Korea imported 5.78 million barrels of Iranian crude last month, the data showed. Its imports from Iran during the first 10 months of the year stood at 44.55 million barrels, down 40 percent on the year, KNOC said.

US regulator warns Black Elk Energy on safety after rig fire
HOUSTON, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) on Wednesday told Black Elk Energy that it must take immediate steps to improve safety at its offshore platforms after last week's deadly rig explosion off the Louisiana coast, which killed one worker and left another missing.
"Black Elk has repeatedly failed to operate in a manner that is consistent with federal regulations," BSEE Director James Watson said in a statement. Houston-based Black Elk must submit a performance improvement plan to the BSEE by Dec. 15, the offshore regulator said. Black Elk had no immediate comment.

US natgas rig count up for second week
NEW YORK, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States climbed this week for the third time in four weeks, stirring concerns that recent gains in gas prices to 2012 highs might be tempting some producers to bring on more supply.
The gas-directed rig count rose by 11 to 428, after posting a 13-year low a fortnight ago, data from Houston-based oil services firm Baker Hughes showed. The oil rig count fell 2 to 1,388.

Australian LNG projects threatened by cheap U.S. gas - SocGen
LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Several liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project face being shelved if they do not adapt to rising cheap competition, French bank Societe Generale said on Wednesday.
The bank said that the prospects of new exporters emerging in the LNG market in the next few years would put make it more difficult for current costly projects, mainly in Australia, to compete.

Weaker Brazil real may prompt Petrobras fuel rise -CEO
BRASILIA, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Further weakening of Brazil's currency against the dollar could raise pressure on the government to allow state-led oil company Petrobras  to increase fuel prices, Chief Executive Maria das Graças Foster said on Wednesday.
Brazil's currency  slipped to its weakest level in 3-1/2 years on Wednesday, shedding 0.7 percent to 2.0944 reais to the dollar. So far this year, currency losses amount to 11 percent.

20121122 1024 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Star Publications (M) Bhd group managing director Ho Kay Tat has resigned from the company, effective 30 Nov 2012. In a statement by Star Ho said, "I have gained a lot in the two years I have served this company and am grateful to have been part of a successful and fast expanding media organisation." Star said Ho is leaving to join another company. Ho's role and portfolio would be managed by executive vice-chairman Datuk Vincent Lee and executive editor/group chief editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai. (BMSB, Financial Daily)

Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has proposed a public offering of shares in  Progress Energy Resources Corp if it gets the Canadian government's approval for its US$5.2bil takeover, Bloomberg reported.  The news wire said on Wednesday the public offering of shares could be done in five years as a concession to the Canadian government. The report said the proposal might also allay shareholders concerns over Progress Energy's future. Bloomberg reported that making Progress Energy shares available to Canadian investors would also give the country regulatory oversight over the company. (Starbiz)

At least two more lines are being planned to complement the  Sungai Buloh-Kajang mass rapid transit (MRT) system in the Klang Valley. Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abd Rahim Bakri said the government is currently identifying the possible routes for the two lines. "This (Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT) is only the beginning as two more lines are being identified and planned for future development," he said. (BT)

Scomi Engineering Bhd, a division of Scomi Group Bhd, is bidding for a new 20km monorail line in Sao Paulo in Brazil and expects to bid for 12 more monorail projects in the country by next year. On projects in India, its president Suhaimi Yaacob said Scomi will bid for a RM5bn 50km Chennai monorail line tender in the first quarter next year. (Malaysian Reserve)

Bolton Bhd aims to achieve RM1bn in sales by 2014 from RM600m currently, said executive chairman Tan Sri Azman Yahya. "Currently the company has RM619m gross development value (GDV) of on-going projects and RM3.5 bn GDV of upcoming sales," he said.  Meanwhile, the 50:50 partnership with Mobuild will see Bolton entering Sabah to build 500 units of luxury condominiums and landed villas with a GDV of RM480m in Kota Kinabalu. The project, on a 4.2ha plot, is expected to be launched in the first half of 2013. Going forward, Azman said Bolton is vying for strategic land deals in Penang and Kota Baru to develop high-rise residentials. (BT)

Property developer, UM Land is to develop a mixed commercial and residential project in Medini, Iskandar Malaysia with a gross development value of RM1.4bn. The proposed development in the southern development region will include townhouses, apartments, service apartments/small office house office (SOHO), hotels, retail promenade with food and beverages outlets and a specialty retail centre. "The project is still in planning stage and it is expected to commence in 3Q-4Q2013," group CEO Charlie Chia said. (Bernama)

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Dato Kamaruddin Meranun, through their investment vehicle Tune Air, have been steadily building up their stake in AirAsia  from 23.06% at end-Sep to 24.91% currently. Tune Air has been accumulating shares in the low-cost carrier since Sept 27, purchasing over 50m shares at prices between RM2.85 and RM3.21 per share. (Financial Daily)

Khazanah Nasional placed out more than 8% in  Malaysia Airports (MAHB) yesterday, reducing its stake to almost 41% in the dominant airport operator of the country. The exercise was broken into two blocks - with an initial block of 85m shares followed by another 25m shares. At the book closure, almost all of the shares were taken up by local funds at RM5.60 per share. (Financial Daily)

Semperit AG Holding has completed the acquisition of all shares and warrants of Mr. Low Bok Tek and certain shareholders. Semperit has now secured a stake in Latexx Partners Berhad of more than 83% on a diluted basis of 274.7m shares (post potential exercise of all warrants) and more than 80% based on an undiluted basis of 222.7m shares. Semperit intends to start the necessary steps for delisting as soon as practicable after the end of the offer period, which ends on 23 Nov 2012. (Semperit)

Alois Hofbauer has been appointed as the Managing Director of  Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd,  and the Head of the Malaysia/Singapore region. Alois is currently the Managing Director of Nestle Lanka PLC, Sri Lanka. Following the appointment of Alois, Peter Vogt, the current Managing Director of Nestle Malaysia, and the Head of the Malaysia/Singapore region, will transfer to a new position within the Nestle group. 31st January 2013 is the effective date of the transfer. Alois will assume Vogt’s duties from the 1st of February 2013. (Edge)

Texchem Resources Bhd plans to invest RM30m to establish 59 Sushi King outlets in the Asean region by 2017. "In 2017, there will be 59 Sushi King outlets overseas and if we add the ones we have in Malaysia, there will be 160 Sushi King outlets," its chairman Tan Sri Fumihiko Konishi said. (StarBiz)

Samsung will make Malaysia its largest operations centre outside South Korea by 2015, said Samsung SDI chief executive officer and president Park Sang Jin. The industrial ecosystem in Malaysia supported by political stability, local workforce and an economy focused on value-added activities have helped to maintain the company's operational costs in the country, he said. (BT)

ELK-Desa Resources Bhd, one of the major independent hire-purchase financiers for used motor vehicles, expects its business to do well next year.The wholly-owned unit of Unico Desa Plantations Bhd is en route to a listing on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on Dec 18. Its executive director Lim Keng Chin said the company's business will see positive growth next year, without giving figures. "We expect to grow the portfolio. Right now we have 20,471 hirers," he told reporters after its initial public offering (IPO) launch at Menara MIDF here yesterday.The IPO exercise is expected to raise RM29m, the bulk of which would be used for expansion plans and working capital. (BT)

20121122 1023 Local & Global Economy Related News.

The government's  GDP growth target of 5% this year is easily achievable, given the impressive 5.2% economic expansion in 3Q12, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin. He said Malaysia's economy only needs to grow a minimum 4.1% in 4Q12, to achieve the 5% target. Cumulatively, for the first nine months, GDP grew by 5.3%. "I am not even surprised if the growth for the full year goes in excess of the 5% target," he said. Asked whether the government would raise the full-year growth target, Awang Adek said there are "no plans to do so at the moment." (Bernama)

Malaysia is projected to drop one  spot to  rank 14th in global manufacturing competitiveness in five years. According to a report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (DTTL) Global Manufacturing Industry group and the US Council of Competitiveness released Wednesday, Indonesia and Vietnam are forecast to overtake Malaysia, climbing up six and eight spots respectively to rank 11th and 10th respectively in the index. “The Southeast Asia region appears to be very promising in terms of competitiveness. Five Southeast Asian nations  – Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam – have emerged within the top 20 rankings of the index” said Nuanjai Gittisriboongul, Manufacturing Industry Leader, Deloitte Southeast Asia. China, ranked as the most competitive manufacturing nation in the world both now and five years from now, together with India and Brazil, both projected to rank 2nd and 3rd respectively five years from now in the index, offer challenges to 20th century manufacturing stalwarts like the US, Germany and Japan to maintain their competitive edge. (The Edge)

Malaysia's unemployment rate increased to 3.2% in Sep from 2.7% in Aug. The latest figure was the highest since Feb 2012. (Department of Statistics)

US leading indicators grew 0.2% mom in Oct (0.6% in Sep), matching consensus. (Bloomberg)

The  US Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index dipped to a final reading of 82.7 in Nov (84.9 in the  earlier reading; 82.6 in Oct), worse than consensus of 84.0. (Bloomberg)

US manufacturing PMI registered at 52.4 in Nov (51.0 in Oct), better than consensus of 51.0. (Bloomberg)

US initial jobless claims dipped to 410,000 in the 17 Nov week (a revised 451,000 in the earlier week), lower than consensus of 415,000. (Bloomberg)

The US MBA purchase applications index rose 3.0% wow in 16 Nov (11.0% in the earlier week), whilst the refinance index lost 3.0% wow (+13.0% in the prior week). (Bloomberg)

Eurozone finance ministers yet again put off a decision to extend up to €44bn of long-overdue aid to Greece, after failing to overcome lasting divisions over how fast to cut Athen’s mounting debt pile. (FT)

Japan’s trade deficit nearly doubled to US$6.7bn from a  year ago in Oct, marking the worst Oct trade figures in more than 30 years. The shortfall in yen terms  came to ¥549bn, expanding from a year-earlier deficit of ¥283bn as exports fell 6.5%. (AFP)

In Indonesia, the Jakarta city administration has set a monthly provincial minimum wage  of Rp2.2m for 2013. It is slightly lower than the Jakarta Remuneration Council had recommended at Rp2.216m and slightly higher than the basic cost of living (KHL) which reaches Rp1.98m. (Antara News)

The Philippines has moved closer to raising tobacco and alcohol taxes, as the Senate passed a bill that would raise PP40bn (nearly US$1bn) in "sin taxes" each year. Under the proposed law, cigarette excise taxes would be gradually raised to PP26 (US$0.63) per pack by 2016. (AFP)

20121122 1018 Global Markets Related News.

Asian Stocks Head for Two-Week High on Yen, U.S. Jobs (Bloomberg)
Asian stocks gained, with the regional benchmark index set for its highest close in two weeks, as fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits and a weaker yen boosted the outlook for Japanese exporters. Honda Motor Co. (7267), a Japanese carmaker that gets about 44 percent of sales from North America, climbed 2.2 percent. Sharp Corp. advanced 2.4 percent after Japan’s largest maker of liquid-crystal displays said it has found customers for advanced panels for smartphones and tablets. Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second-biggest oil producer, gained 1.4 percent after crude futures rose. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) rose 0.7 percent to 121.76 as of 10:00 a.m. in Tokyo, heading for its highest close since Nov. 8. Almost five shares rose for each that fell. The measure is poised for its first weekly advance in three weeks amid better- than-forecast housing data in the U.S. and signs Congress will reach a budget deal that averts the so-called fiscal cliff.
“The market has momentum,” said Mitsushige Akino, Tokyo- based chief fund officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co., which oversees about 30 billion yen ($364 million). “The yen may weaken to the 85-yen level against the dollar as expectations build that the Liberal Democratic Party will take power after next month’s elections.” The Nikkei 225 Stock Average (NKY) rose 1 percent, poised for its highest close since May 2, as the yen weakened past 82 to the dollar for the first time since April. A weaker currency boosts the value of overseas income at Japanese companies when repatriated. South Korea’s Kospi Index (KOSPI) gained 0.8 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 1.3 percent. Markets in China and Hong Kong have yet to open.

Topix Heads for Four-Month High as Yen Weakens Past 82 (Bloomberg)
Japanese stocks rose, with the Topix (TPX) Index set for its highest close in more than four months, led by shipping companies and carmakers as the yen weakened past 82 to the dollar for the first time since April. Canon Inc. (7751), the world’s biggest camera maker, jumped 2.4 percent. Toyota Motor Corp. advanced 1.9 percent after the carmaker said China retail sales have almost returned to levels before a wave of anti-Japan protests erupted in August. Nippon Yusen K.K., Japan’s top shipping line by sales, rose 2.4 percent, after a gauge of cargo rates had its longest winning streak since July. The Topix rose 1 percent to 774.35, its highest level since July 5, as of 9:25 a.m. in Tokyo, with about four shares advancing for each that fell. The gauge is set for a 5 percent gain on the week, extending a rally that started after the ruling party called for elections last week. Japan’s markets are closed tomorrow for a holiday. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average (NKY) gained 1.1 percent to 9,320.31 today.
“The market has momentum,” said Mitsushige Akino, Tokyo- based chief fund officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co., which oversees about 30 billion yen ($364 million). “The yen may weaken to the 85-yen level against the dollar as expectations build that the Liberal Democratic Party will take power after next month’s elections.” The Topix has risen 7.2 percent since Nov. 14, when Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda called for elections that polls show the opposition party LDP is likely to win. Shares of automakers and steelmakers have led gains, with the gauge set for its biggest advance over a six-day period since March 2011, amid speculation the LDP will push for looser monetary policy.

European Stocks Advance; Carmakers Gain, Siemens Declines (Bloomberg)
European stocks advanced for a third day, as gains by Veolia Environnement SA, SAP AG and carmakers, as well as a decline in applications for U.S. jobless benefits offset the failure of euro-region policy makers to reach a decision on assisting debt-laden Greece. Veolia Environnement rose 1.3 percent after getting approval for the sale of its U.S. waste-management business. SAP AG climbed 2 percent. Fiat SpA climbed 1.6 percent. Johnson Matthey (JMAT) Plc slumped 5.8 percent after it reported a drop in first-half profit. Imagination Technologies Group Plc slipped 3.9 percent as it said that it will monitor mobile chip designer CEVA Inc.’s counter bid for MIPS Technologies Inc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) rose 0.2 percent to 270.11 at the close of trading. The gauge has climbed 16 percent from its low on June 4, boosted by stimulus announcements from the European Central Bank and U.S. Federal Reserve as well as better-than-forecast economic data.
“The European markets are very keen on at least a small solution for Greece which is enough today to keep the market alive and the U.S. data is not that bad,” said Robert Halver, head of capital markets research at Baader Bank AG in Frankfurt. “This is enough for the markets today and may be the beginning of a year-end rally.” The volume of shares changing hands on the Stoxx 600 was 15 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

S&P 500 Advances 4th Day After Middle East Cease-Fire (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher a fourth day, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr announced a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) rallied 2 percent after tumbling 12 percent yesterday. Inc. (CRM), the largest maker of online customer-management software, rose 8.8 percent after forecasting sales and profit that were in line with analysts’ projections. Deere & Co. (DE), the largest agricultural equipment maker, fell 3.7 percent as earnings missed analysts’ estimates. The S&P 500 gained 0.2 percent to 1,391.03 at 4 p.m. New York time. It rose 2.8 percent in four days for the longest winning streak since Oct. 4. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 48.38 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,836.89 today. Volume for exchange-listed stocks in the U.S. was 4.8 billion shares, or 22 percent below the three-month daily average. The U.S. market will close for the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow.
“The announcement of the cease-fire is by no means a fix to the issue, but it does suggest that the negotiations are going on,” said Alan Gayle, senior strategist at RidgeWorth Capital Management in Richmond, Virginia, which oversees about $47 billion. He spoke in a phone interview. “In the U.S., the economic releases were mixed, but generally positive.” Equities rose as Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas agreed to call a halt to more than a week of air strikes and missile attacks, after talks brokered by Egypt’s Islamist government and the U.S.

Recap Stock Index Market Report (CME)
The stock market waffled around both sides of unchanged today but at times the December S&P was able to claw out a higher high. Even though the market action today wasn't particularly impressive, the bull camp might come away from the action today emboldened given the amount of negative news that was discounted today. Investors apparently need to see some form of cease fire in the Middle and perhaps the trade also needs to see more evidence that the two sides of the isle in Washington will get some kind of deal together before the end of the year. Some players suggested that hope for a holiday rally served to underpin equity prices at times today.

Emerging ETF Slips at Eletrobras Drives Rout in Utilities (Bloomberg)
The exchange-traded fund tracking emerging-market stocks dropped for a second day as declining utility and resource stocks offset advances in consumer and financial shares. South Africa’s rand sank to the weakest level since 2009. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF) ETF lost 0.2 percent in New York. Voting shares of Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (ELET6), South America’s largest power generator, tumbled to a 17-year low, leading a 0.4 percent drop in Brazil’s Bovespa Index. Angang Steel Co. surged the most since September after the steelmaker said it will swap assets with its Chinese parent to cut losses. AFK Sistema, the parent company of Russia’s largest mobile operator, climbed the most in a month in Moscow.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index of developing-nation shares was little changed at 980.84 as 404 stocks rose while 357 declined. Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, and an index of U.S. leading economic indicators rose at a slower pace in October, data today showed. President Barack Obama and lawmakers have started negotiations to avoid tax increases and government cutbacks known as the fiscal cliff scheduled to take effect next year. “The market is falling back on the big focal points of this week,” Alec Young, a global equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ, said by phone in New York today. “To make upside progress we need to see news on a deal on the fiscal cliff, but the parties are saying all the right things, and that has put a floor under risk assets.”

Bovespa Index Falls as Eletrobras Tumbles to Lowest Since 1995 (Bloomberg)
The Bovespa (IBOV) index fell as Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (ELET6) plunged to a 17-year low on concern that the government’s plan to lower electricity costs will hurt the company’s profits. PDG Realty SA Empreendimentos & Participacoes sank to a three-year low after Moody’s Investors Service placed the homebuilder’s rating under review for a possible cut. MMX Mineracao & Metalicos SA, the iron-ore producer controlled by billionaire Eike Batista, fell as metals declined. The Bovespa lost 0.4 percent to 56,242.12 at the close of trading in Sao Paulo. Eletrobras, as Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras is also known, tumbled the most on the gauge while 35 stocks retreated and 32 gained. The real fell 0.8 percent to 2.0962 per U.S. dollar at 5:40 p.m. local time, the weakest on a closing basis since May 2009.
“Some utilities will have the option of not following the government’s guidelines, but Eletrobras will be the company used by the government to reach whatever goals they have,” Marc Sauerman, who helps oversee 650 million reais at J Malucelli Investimentos in Curitiba, Brazil, said in a phone interview. “Some stocks in the electrical sector may be attractive now after recent losses, but for Eletrobras, it’s hard to say how much further down shares can go.” Brazil is pushing utilities with generation and transmission licenses expiring in 2015 and 2017 to cut rates in exchange for automatic renewals, an attempt to curb inflation and help companies become more competitive. The company may sacrifice profits to help achieve those goals, Sauerman said. Eletrobras is controlled by the federal government, and its chairman is Deputy Energy Minister Marcio Zimmermann.

Aussie Dollar Holds Loss on Signs Developed Economies Struggling (Bloomberg)
The Australian and New Zealand dollars remained lower following two-day declines ahead of reports that may show the global economy is struggling to recover, sapping demand for assets linked to growth. The so-called Aussie maintained a drop from yesterday against most of its major peers before purchasing managers indexes that economists say will indicate the euro area’s services and manufacturing industries shrank for a 10th month. U.S. figures next week are forecast to show a drop in demand for durable goods last month. “We haven’t really seen any stabilization as far as the euro-zone economies go,” said Mike Jones, a currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington. “The PMI data will feed through to risk appetite and investor confidence, which is important” for currencies such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars, he said.
Australia’s currency traded at $1.0380 as of 12:18 p.m. in Sydney after dropping 0.4 percent in the previous two days to $1.0369. The New Zealand dollar was at 81.56 U.S. cents following a two-day, 0.7 percent slide to 81.45. U.S. financial markets are shut today for the Thanksgiving holiday. Markit Economics is predicted to say today that its composite index for euro-area services and manufacturing was unchanged at 45.7 in November, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. In the U.S., orders for durable goods probably fell by 1 percent in October from the prior month, a separate poll of economists indicated before the Commerce Department releases its figures on Nov. 27. A measure that excludes volatile bookings for transportation is forecast to have dropped 0.6 percent.
Australia’s bonds fell, with the benchmark 10-year yield rising seven basis points to 3.26 percent, the highest since Oct. 26.

Euro Rises Versus Most Peers Before EU Budget Summit (Bloomberg)
The euro rose versus most of its 16 major counterparts before leaders of the 27 European Union member nations gather today for budget negotiations. The euro strengthened against the dollar and yen as finance ministers from the 17-nation currency bloc said yesterday talks on aid for Greece will be continued on Nov. 26. The yen touched a seven-month low amid speculation the Japanese opposition party advocating “unlimited” easing will gain power in elections next month and as optimism a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip will hold curbed demand for haven assets. “The market has been quite pragmatic on what’s going to be announced out of Europe next week, which is why we didn’t see the euro collapse,” said Thomas Averill, managing director in Sydney at Rochford Capital, a currency and interest-rate risk management company.
The euro added 0.2 percent to $1.2857 as of 8:42 a.m. in Tokyo after earlier touching $1.2868, the highest since Nov. 7. It gained 0.3 percent to 106.14 yen. The yen was at 82.56 per dollar, the weakest since April 6, from 82.52 yesterday.

U.S. Leading Economic Indicators Rose 0.2% in October (Bloomberg)
The index of U.S. leading economic indicators rose at a slower pace in October as businesses held back on investment in anticipation of domestic fiscal policy changes set to take effect in January. The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months increased 0.2 percent after a revised 0.5 percent gain in September that was lower than initially reported, the New York-based group said today. Economists projected the October gauge would climb 0.1 percent, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. The fiscal cliff of $607 billion in federal spending cuts and tax increases has been a hurdle for companies even as consumer sentiment has supported the household purchases that account for about 70 percent of the economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke yesterday said that a budget deal could help make the coming year “a very good one” for the economy.
“If we look through this volatility, I think the recovery is gaining momentum” boosted by housing gains and pent-up demand in capital expenditures, said Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Group in New York, who correctly projected the 0.2 percent rise. “The outlook is better than it has been over the last three or four years” even as the fiscal cliff remains a near-term obstacle, he said. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell less than 0.1 percent to 1,387.78 at 10:20 a.m. New York time, after the Conference Board’s report was released.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Decreased Last Week to 410,000 (Bloomberg)
Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week as damage to the labor market caused by superstorm Sandy began to subside. Jobless claims decreased by 41,000 to 410,000 in the week ended Nov. 17, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The number of applications matched the median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The level of claims reflects the economic drag associated with Sandy, which made landfall in the Northeast on Oct. 29, killing more than 100 in the U.S. and leaving about 8 million homes and businesses without power for days. Before the storm- related surge in unemployment applications, companies limited hiring in the wake of a global economic slowdown and uncertain U.S. fiscal outlook.
Sandy is a “temporary setback for the job market,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who correctly forecast the figure. Beyond the storm, “the job market is still very weak and it’s going to remain that way until we get some fiscal clarity.” Stock-index futures fluctuated between gains and losses after the figures, with the contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in December rising less than 0.1 percent to 1,387.1 at 8:44 a.m. in New York. The four-week average, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, rose to 396,250 from 386,750.
Economists’ estimates for claims last week ranged from 365,000 to 500,000. Claims in the previous week were revised to 451,000 from a previously reported 439,000.

U.S. Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index Rises Less Than Forecast (Bloomberg)
Confidence among U.S. consumers rose less than anticipated in November, indicating the impending fiscal tightening may be starting to damp Americans’ moods. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment was little changed at 82.7, a five-year high, from the prior month’s 82.6. The gauge was projected to rise to 84.5, according to the median forecast of 65 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The preliminary reading was 84.9. President Barack Obama and lawmakers have started negotiations to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, more than $600 billion of tax increases and government cutbacks scheduled to take effect next year. Less optimism among consumers threatens to weigh on household purchases at the start of the holiday shopping season, which kicks off after Thanksgiving tomorrow.
“The fiscal cliff rhetoric has really picked up in the mainstream media,” Jacob Oubina, senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, said before the report. “The average person is probably paying more attention to the fiscal cliff now. They’re concerned about the outlook for the economy and for their own pocketbooks.” Estimates for the confidence measure ranged from 79.5 to 86, according to the Bloomberg survey. The index averaged 64.2 during the last recession. It averaged 89 in the five years before the 18-month economic slump that ended in June 2009.

Most Americans in Decade Project Economy Will Get Better (Bloomberg)
More Americans this month said the world’s largest economy will improve than at any time in the past decade, led by a surge among Democrats following the re- election of President Barack Obama. The share of households projecting the economy will get better rose to 37 percent in November, the highest since March 2002, according to a survey accompanying the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index. That propelled the survey’s monthly consumer expectations gauge to 4 from minus 7. Jobless claims fell last week, while the index of leading economic indicators advanced in October, other reports showed. Rising home values, job growth and falling gasoline prices are shoring up household finances as retailers such as Kohl’s Corp. (KSS) prepare for the holiday shopping season.
Improved consumer spending will help sustain the expansion as lawmakers strive to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts, an outcome that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said will put the economy on firmer footing in 2013. “The outlook is better than it has been over the last three or four years -- that’s what Bernanke told us yesterday,” said Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Group in New York, who correctly projected the 0.2 percent rise in the leading index. “The recovery is gaining momentum. When the fiscal cliff is sorted out, I think growth will go up.” U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index up a fourth day, as Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas agreed to a cease-fire. The S&P 500 advanced 0.2 percent to 1,391.01 at 4 p.m. New York time. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.68 percent from 1.67 percent.

BOE Voted 8-1 to Halt Bond Purchases as QE Impact Questioned (Bloomberg)
The Bank of England voted 8-1 to stop expanding its bond-purchase program this month as the majority said uncertainty among consumers and companies may be affecting the impact of quantitative easing on the economy. David Miles dissented from the majority on the Monetary Policy Committee, calling for a 25 billion-pound ($40 billion) increase in the target to 400 billion pounds. The MPC voted unanimously to keep its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.5 percent and said it was “unlikely to wish to reduce” it in the “foreseeable future.” “There was a question over the magnitude of the impact of lower yields and higher asset prices on the broader economy at the current juncture,” the central bank said in the minutes of the MPC’s Nov. 7-8 meeting, published today in London. “It was possible that elevated uncertainty and a desire to reduce leverage meant that real activity was less responsive to lower borrowing costs than normal.”
The MPC’s decision was also influenced by the U.K. Treasury’s announcement that it will take coupon income from the BOE’s gilt holdings in a move that would equate to a “small easing in monetary conditions.” While the MPC said it was “confident” the move wouldn’t impact its ability to set policy, it will take account of the arrangement in its decisions. The pound pared a decline against the dollar after the report was released and was trading at $1.5930 as of 9:32 a.m. in London.

London Bankers Become Landlords as Rents Hit Record (Bloomberg)
Vivek Jeswani became a landlord by accident when Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) transferred him to New York two weeks after he moved into a new home in central London. Now back in the U.K., Jeswani views the apartment in Baker Street, the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes, as one of his best assets and is about to buy another home to expand his rental business. “There are no other investments as attractive and you’ve got some security if you’ve got an asset you can use yourself,” the 36-year-old risk officer at China Construction Bank Corp.’s U.K. unit said. “There’s a good yield over 5 percent and being in central London, you’ve got demand domestically and internationally.”
London rents have risen more than 6 percent in the past year to a record, even as job cuts by banks reduce employment in the financial-services industry to a 20-year low. Technology and media companies are drawing workers to the city, while lenders restrict mortgages to all but the most creditworthy customers. That’s encouraged individual investors and companies including KKR & Co. to enter the rental market as central banks push down yields on debt to record lows. The average rent in greater London climbed to 1,240 pounds ($1,974) last month, according to an index compiled by HomeLet. That was up 32 percent from October 2009, when rents averaged 940 pounds per month. The cost of renting a property in the rest of the country increased 7 percent between 2009 and 2012, said Homelet, the U.K.’s largest referencing and rentals insurance company.

Europe Fails to Seal Greek Debt-Cut Deal in IMF Clash (Bloomberg)
European policy makers head into their second confrontation this week saying they’re likely to fall short of agreement on a seven-year budget plan just as they failed to strike a deal on Greek debt. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers in the national parliament in Berlin today that budget talks slated for a summit tomorrow may slide into next year. France rejects cuts to farm subsidies, and the U.K. demands a spending cut. “There are deep divisions between the member states,” Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said in the Dublin parliament today. “There are fears that it will not be possible to get a deal.” The 27 European Union leaders are preparing to square off over the budget in Brussels tomorrow after euro-region finance ministers’ efforts to agree on a debt-reduction plan for Greece foundered. More than 11 hours of talks ended without a deal early this morning as a bloc of top-rated creditors led by Germany refused to write off a portion of their aid loans.
That stance meant the finance chiefs were unable to scrape together enough funds from other sources to help alleviate Greece’s debt burden, set to hit 190 percent of gross domestic product in 2014. Greece’s fiscal woes have defied three years of rescue efforts, rekindling doubts about Europe’s crisis-containment strategy and maintaining a cloud over the euro, postwar Europe’s signature economic accomplishment.

EU Budget Showdown Pits Bee Subsidies Against Veto Threat (Bloomberg)
A sum equal to 1 percent of the European Union’s gross domestic product will devour 100 percent of the bloc’s political energy when leaders square off over subsidies for everything from bridges and windmills to olive trees and the dwindling honeybee population. The euro debt crisis and a deadlock over Greek aid raise the stakes for EU budget talks starting today in Brussels, testing whether the 27-nation bloc is heading for more integration and whether Britain, a foe of EU spending since the days of Margaret Thatcher, will finally say it’s had enough. Left to economists, a deal on a proposed 1.033 trillion- euro ($1.3 trillion) package for the years 2014-2020 could come together quickly. Political leaders -- already sparring over Greece, the fate of the euro, banking union and EU expansion -- will take longer. The summit may run into the weekend and even then, as in 2005, end in stalemate.
“Resistance from some of our partners with other priorities will not be easy to overcome,” Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho of Portugal, a dual beneficiary of EU subsidies and debt-crisis aid, said in Lisbon yesterday. “It is crucial to reach an agreement in a timely manner not only for the bloc’s policies to be effective but also because it would lend enormous credibility to European policy.” Veto threats and uncrossable red lines are typical fare in EU budget negotiations every seven years. The 2012 rendition has run true to form. A clique of net payers including Britain, Germany, Sweden and Finland has insisted on a spending freeze or reduction, while fragmenting over other demands.

U.K. Stocks Little Changed as Utilities Climb (Bloomberg)
U.K. stocks were little changed, after their biggest two-day advance since August, as a rally by utility companies offset a failure by euro-area finance ministers to agree on a debt package for Greece. United Utilities Group Plc (UU/) gained 1.9 percent after JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Ofwat, the water regulator, had clarified proposed changes to companies’ licenses. British Land Co. added 1.8 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded the shares. Johnson Matthey Plc (JMAT) plunged 5.8 percent after the producer of a third of the world’s autocatalysts reported net income that missed analysts’ estimates. The FTSE 100 Index climbed 3.93 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,752.03 at the close in London. The gauge rose 0.2 percent yesterday, completing its biggest two-day rally since August, as shareholders approved the $31 billion takeover of Xstrata Plc (XTA) and ministers met to discuss Greece. The FTSE All-Share Index and Ireland’s ISEQ Index were both little changed.
“Having stood their ground yesterday, markets are rather shakier” today, said Chris Beauchamp, a market analyst at IG in London. “Euro-zone ministers once again failed to throw a deal together, as talks over the latest rescue plan for Greece fell apart. The next attempt begins in six days, so we will just have to be patient for now.”

20121122 1017 Global Commodities Related News.

DTN Closing Grain Comments 11/21 14:23 (CME)
Markets Drift Lower Ahead of Holiday
Grains traded quietly over the course of Wednesday's session, with most traders looking ahead to Thursday's holiday.

Corn Market Recap for 11/21/2012 (CME)
December Corn finished down 2 1/4 at 741, 6 off the high and 3 up from the low. March Corn closed down 2 at 745 1/4. This was 3 1/4 up from the low and 5 3/4 off the high. December corn traded lower on the day as traders took profits on gains this week ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Traders noted volume was light and markets will be closed tomorrow and reopen Friday morning. The supportive trade this week was linked to a stronger corn basis in the interior of the US and the Gulf of Mexico as traders anticipate an uptick in export demand in 2013. The bullish optimism was damped after data showed that ethanol production for the week ending November 16th averaged 811,000 barrels per day which was down 13,000 from the week prior and down 11.56% vs. last year. Total Ethanol production for the week was 5.67 million barrels. Corn used in last week's production is estimated at 85.2 million bushels which was down from 86.52 last week and vs. the 86.6 million bushels needed per week to meet this crop year's USDA estimate of 4.5 billion bushels. This crop year's cumulative corn used for ethanol production is 937.6 million bushels. Ethanol stocks increased by 1.08 million barrels to 18.93 million barrels and stocks are up 8.5% vs. last year. January Rice finished down 0.095 at 14.83, 0.06 off the high and 0.01 up from the low.

Wheat Market Recap Report
December Wheat finished up 1/4 at 845 1/4, 4 1/4 off the high and 4 1/4 up from the low. March Wheat closed down 3/4 at 859 3/4. This was 3 1/4 up from the low and 5 1/4 off the high. December Chicago wheat traded steady on the day and saw gains early in the session following reports that the US sold wheat to Japan overnight and on the very poor crop condition ratings released earlier this week. The export tender lineup is thin this week but Bangladesh issued a tender to buy 50,000 tonnes and Syria is tendering for 100,000 tonnes of soft wheat. South Korea bought 48,200 tonnes of milling wheat and half will come from the US and half from Canada. Japan's Ministry of Agriculture bought 134,693 tonnes of food wheat from the US, Canada, and Australia overnight. The head of the Russia Grain Union estimated 2012/13 ending stocks at 6 million tonnes vs. USDA estimates of 4.94 and against year ago levels of 10.44 million tonnes. This would be a critically low level and would likely require a successful harvest next year to enable Russia to be active in the export market. The news was supportive to wheat futures today but reports surfaced that Iraq bought 350,000 tonnes of wheat from Australia, Russia, and Canada limited gains. Many market participants expect US wheat exports to increase in 2013 but the export pace appears sluggish at the moment. December Oats closed down 6 1/2 at 370. This was 1 up from the low and 9 3/4 off the high.

Rice in Japan Climbs to Highest in Six Years, Boosting Imports (Bloomberg)
Rice in Japan rallied to a six-year high amid the best crop since 2008, boosting demand for cheaper overseas supply and raising questions about a government policy that protects producers. The average price of domestic food-rice sold by shippers to wholesalers jumped 10 percent from a year ago to the highest level since 2006, said Takashi Amou, director of the agriculture ministry’s policy planning division. Rice in Chicago has climbed 2.7 percent in the past year. Demand from Japan’s food industry for foreign grain reached 88,840 metric tons in an import tender this month, more than tripling from the state-set ceiling of 25,000 tons, as retailers sought cheaper alternatives. The ministry limits the volume of food-rice imports to protect farmers from foreign competition. Higher rice prices erode earnings of restaurant-chain operators such as Yoshinoya Holdings Co. (9861) and Matsuya Co. (8237)
“The current policy offers benefits to producers at the expense of consumers,” said Nobuyuki Chino, the president of Continental Rice Corp. in Tokyo. “It won’t be sustainable as rising prices will weaken demand for domestic rice further.” Prices rose as the nation’s largest farmers group paid more to collect rice from growers, who aren’t in a rush to sell under the government’s income-support program, said Ryo Kimura, the chairman of Japan Rice Millers and Distributors Cooperative.

Natural Gas Rises to 1-Year High as Supply Drop Exceeds Forecast (Bloomberg)
Natural gas futures advanced to the highest price in in more than a year after a government report showed a bigger-than-forecast inventory decline. Gas gained 1.9 percent after the Energy Department said U.S. stockpiles fell 38 billion cubic feet last week to 3.873 trillion. Analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg showed a decrease of 28 billion and a survey of Bloomberg users predicted a drop of 30 billion. “That’s a big number; 38 bcf is a game changer,” said Stephen Schork, president of Schork Group Inc., a consulting group in Villanova, Pennsylvania. “That is stronger than weather patterns would have suggested. If you’re of the mindset that demand wasn’t driving this, rather this was a supply issue and a function of producers cutting back, then this is going to be structurally helpful.” Gas for December delivery rose 7.1 cents to $3.903 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement price since Oct. 31, 2011. The futures are up 15 percent from a year ago.
An assault on $4 gas prices is “imminent” amid rising seasonal demand and persistently high nuclear outages, Mike Fitzpatrick, editor of the Energy OverView newsletter in New York, wrote today. December $4 calls were the most active options in electronic trading. They rose 0.7 cent to 3.1 cents on volume of 1,208 lots at 4 p.m. Calls accounted for 57 percent of the volume today.

Recap Energy Market Report (CME)
Not surprisingly energy prices saw some initial lift off reports of a terrorist attack overnight in the Middle East. However, energy prices lost the initial bullish buzz in the wake of weekly inventory stats from the US which should US domestic crude oil production to have reached up to the highest level since May of 1994. Apparently new energy sources in the US are starting to impact the world oil market and therefore slack US economic data in the months ahead could end up having a more negative impact on world energy prices. Crude stocks at 374.47 million barrels were the highest for this week since 2010. EIA crude stocks fell 1.466 million barrels and are 43.655 million barrels above year ago levels. Also, crude stocks stand 42.224 million barrels above the five year average. Crude oil imports for the week stood at 7.768 million barrels per day compared to 7.870 million barrels the previous week. The refinery operating rate was 87.50% up, 1.50% from last week compared to 85.50% last year and the five year average of 85.37%. EIA gasoline stocks fell 1.547 million barrels and are 9.244 million barrels below last year and 4.893 million below the five year average. Average total gasoline demand for the past four weeks was up 1.60% compared to last year. Gasoline imports came in at 616,000 barrels per day compared to 598,000 barrels the previous week. Gasoline stocks at 112.842 million barrels were the lowest for this week since 1996. EIA distillate stocks fell 2.675 million barrels and stand at 20.121 million barrels below last year and 30.296 million below the five year average. Distillate imports came in at 176,000 barrels per day compared to 200,000 barrels the previous week. Average total distillate demand for the past four weeks was down 9.13% compared to last year. Gasoline stocks at 27.019 million barrels is the lowest for this week since 2009 EIA heating oil stocks fell 1.144 million barrels and are 9.578 million barrels below last year and 18.353 million below the five year average. The weekly natural gas storage report showed a draw of 38 bcf. Total storage stands at 3873 bcf or 4.5% above the 5 year average. Over the last four weeks natural gas storage has increased 30 bcf.

Oil Gains a Second Day as Crude Stockpiles Unexpectedly Decline (Bloomberg)
Oil gained for a second day after a government report showed stockpiles declined for the first time in three weeks in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude user. Futures advanced as much as 0.5 percent in New York after climbing 0.7 percent yesterday. Crude inventories dropped 1.5 million barrels last week, the Energy Department said. They were forecast to rise 1 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts. Prices also rose as the Labor Department said fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits. Oil pared gains yesterday after Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease fire. “An improvement in U.S. initial jobless claims and a surprise decline in domestic oil inventories were supportive,” Mark Pervan, head of commodity research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) in Melbourne, said in a note today. “Reports of a ceasefire in the Middle East removed some of the geopolitical risk premium in oil.”
Crude for January delivery rose as much as 39 cents to $87.77 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $87.67 at 12:06 p.m. Sydney time. The contract increased 63 cents yesterday to $87.38, the highest since Nov. 19. Prices are down 11 percent this year. Brent for January settlement climbed 17 cents to $111.03 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract traded at a premium of $23.36 to West Texas Intermediate, down from $23.48 yesterday.

Silver Market Recap Report (CME)
The silver market also managed a fresh lower low early today but the trade was able to reverse course and claw its way back into positive ground. Like gold, silver was partially off balance today because of smoldering tensions in the Middle East, an unresolved Greek debt payment situation and perhaps because of mixed and confusing US scheduled data flows. Silver might have been put a little off balance today by weakness in copper prices, but mostly positive action in gold and platinum ultimately saved the day for the silver bulls.

Gold Market Recap Report (CME)
After an early slide below the prior session's lows, December gold gathered itself and climbed back into positive ground. However, gold price action today was overly definitive in the face of a long list of countervailing big picture macro economic developments. Some traders were discouraged from bargain hunting buying in gold today because EU Ministers failed to get a Greek aid deal in place and clearly the lack of a cease fire early in the trade today set a negative tone for gold and other physical commodity markets. In the near term action in the Middle East and Europe might take precedence over developments in the US.

Gold Advances for Second Time in Three Days as Central Banks Buy (Bloomberg)
Gold gained for the second time in three days as central banks increased holdings and rising tension in the Middle East boosted demand for the precious metal as an investment haven. Bullion holdings linked to exchange-traded products rose to a record. Brazil, Kazakhstan and Russia added to gold reserves last month, data on the International Monetary Fund’s website show. The week-long conflict in the Middle East continued with air strikes in Gaza and a blast that hit a bus in Tel Aviv. A cease-fire accord was agreed to late in the day. Markets in the U.S. are closed tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holiday. “Physical demand is showing some strength,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Middle East tension is also pushing some people toward gold.” Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.3 percent to settle at $1,728.20 an ounce at 1:39 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The precious metal has gained 10 percent this year.
Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products added 0.73 metric ton to a record 2,604.9 tons yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Assets and prices gained this year as central banks from the U.S. to Asia took steps to bolster economies. Brazil added 17.2 tons to bullion reserves last month, Kazakhstan expanded them by 7.5 tons and Russia bought 0.4 ton, IMF data show. Silver futures for December delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $33.35 an ounce in New York. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery rose 0.7 percent to $1,583.90 an ounce. Palladium futures for December delivery advanced 2 percent to $651.30 an ounce, the second increase in three days.

20121122 1005 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Soybean Complex Market Recap (CME)
January Soybeans finished down 4 1/2 at 1408 1/4, 15 3/4 off the high and 9 up from the low. March Soybeans closed down 2 1/2 at 1393 3/4. This was 9 up from the low and 13 1/4 off the high. December Soymeal closed down 1.7 at 427.9. This was 1.4 up from the low and 7.6 off the high. December Soybean Oil finished up 0.21 at 48.53, 0.27 off the high and 0.68 up from the low. January soybeans traded modestly lower on the day in what was described as a choppy, low volume trading session. Soybean meal finished the day slightly lower but soybean oil nudged higher. The market sank overnight but buying interest showed up just before pit trading began. The market turned lower shortly thereafter as traders evened up positions ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Pressure was also linked to a more favorable outlook for South American weather the next 2 weeks. Strong demand by China continues to support the market and the USDA reported this morning that US exporters sold 20,000 tonnes of soybean oil to China and 56,000 tonnes to an unknown destination. The soybean oil sales pace has surged in the last 2 weeks which has triggered large amounts of speculative short covering in the market. It was also reported that US exporters sold 120,000 tonnes of US soybeans to China which was rumored yesterday. Chinese October soybean imports were reportedly up 5.79% on the year and January through October imports are up 16.6%. Soybean oil imports surged 82.7% on the year and January through October imports up 47.3%.

EDIBLES: Malaysian palm oil futures eased  inching down for a second straight session as lacklustre export data fuelled traders' concerns over a slowdown in demand. (Reuters)