Monday, April 9, 2012

20120409 1813 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3575, changed : -29 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : pullback correction upside biased.
MACD Histogram : turned downward, buyer taking profit.
Support : 3550, 3500, 3470, 3450 level.
Resistance : 3620, 3650, 3700, 3720 level.
Comment :
FCPO closed lower with improved volume transacted. Soy oil price currently trading little higher while crude oil price diving lower.
Price opened little higher and surge upwards hitting new 13 month high followed by profit taking activities pressed price to closed at the low of the day reducing exposure ahead of tomorrow MPOB and surveyor export data.
Daily chart revised to 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.

20120409 1756 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1586 changed : -9.5 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : pullback correction little upside biased.
MACD Histogram : falling lower, buyer leaving as seller testing market.
Support : 1580, 1570, 1565, 1550 level.
Resistance : 1590, 1595, 1600, 1610 level.
Comment :
FKLI closed recorded loss with better volume changed hand doing 5 points discount compare to cash market that ended lower. Last Friday U.S. markets closed for Good Friday and today Asia markets ended in negative territory while European markets still closed for holiday.
Slower than estimated U.S. jobs growth and China recorded faster than expected inflation lead markets to trade lower while investors awaits U.S. 1st quarter corporates earning reports.
Technical chart study adjusted to recommending a pullback correction little upside biased market development.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistance or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20120409 1730 Regional Markets EOD Daily Chart Study.

 DJIA chart reading : correction range bound.
 Hang Seng chart reading : correction range bound little downside biased.
KLCI chart reading :  pullback correction upside biased with MACD indicator crossed down.

20120409 1217 Local & Global Economy Related News.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) international reserves amounted to RM416.1bn (US$135.7bn) as at 31 Mar, up from RM427bn (US$134.8bn) as at 15 Mar. The reserves were sufficient to finance 9.4 months of retained imports and was four times the short-term external debt. (BNM)

Car sales in Indonesia increased by 10.6% yoy in 1Q12 to 249,589 units on the back of strong consumer purchasing power, a senior official from the Indonesian Automotive Industry Association said. (Jakarta Globe)

The China Banking Regulatory Commission is preparing a new round of checks on bank charges after 12 banks failed to publicize their service fees as required by the end of Mar. (People’s Daily)

China's big four state banks extended almost Rmb300bn (US$47.5bn) in new local-currency loans last month, the official Securities Times reported, citing unidentified sources. (Reuters)

Vietnam's central bank will reduce the deposit rate cap to 12% from 13%, in line with its target to bring the ceiling to 10% by year-end to ease burdens on businesses. (Reuters)

Vietnamese inflation expectations have come down sharply given a drastic slowdown in the CPI growth in 1Q12 against Dec 2011, said Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Domestic Market Department head Vo Van Quyen. (The Saigon Times)

Vietnam’s General Statistics Office reported that due to the property-market slump, unsold stocks in the construction materials industry have increased by 21% this year. (Vietnam News)

Thailand’s Real Estate Broker Association has revealed that prices of pre-owned houses have dropped by 10-30%, as supplies surge after the flood. (Thai Financial Post)

Thailand’s Cabinet is expected tomorrow to approve THB20bn for pay hikes to ensure fairness for existing civil servants after the starting salary for new hires was hiked to THB15,000 in Jan. (The Nation)

Japan and China will seek to coordinate on supporting the IMF’s effort to contain Europe’s debt crisis, Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said. (Bloomberg)

Japan's index of coincident economic indicators rose in Feb to 96.6 from 94.5 in Jan, the fourth straight month of increase. Economists expected a reading of 95.8. (RTTNews)

Japan: Bank of Japan seen adding stimulus on nominee rejection
The Bank of Japan may expand stimulus this month after law makers escalated pressure for extra action by blocking a candidate for the bank’s board and renewing calls for a more “proactive” monetary policy. Parliament’s upper house rejected economist Ryutaro Kono, described as holding similar views to Governor Masaaki Shirakawa, who says that monetary policy alone cannot solve deflation. The central bank may stand pat at a two-day meeting ending 10 April, preserving ammunition for later in the month, when price projections will show a goal of 1% inflation is not in sight. (Bloomberg)

Canada: Jobs grow most since 2008 as firms add full timers
Canada added the most jobs since September 2008 last month, a gain dominated by full-time positions that revived what had been a stalling labor market in the world’s 10th largest economy. Employment rose by 82,300 following a decline of 2,800 in February, lowering the jobless rate to 7.2% from 7.4%.Employment growth should add to household spending that the Bank of Canada said last month has been rising faster than expected. Full-time employment in Canada jumped by 70,000 in March while part-time positions grew by 12,400. About 42,600 jobs were created by private companies and 20,900 in the public sector. Average hourly earnings of permanent employees rose 2.5% in March y-o-y, faster than last month’s 2.1%. (Bloomberg)

US: Employment increase in US trails most-pessimistic forecasts
Hiring by American employers trailed the most pessimistic forecasts in March, casting doubt on the strength of the expansion now in its third year. The 120,000 increase in payrolls was the smallest in five months. The data also showed the unemployment rate fell to 8.2% as people left the labor force, while workers put in fewer hours. The figures followed an average 246,000 increase in payrolls in the previous three months. Estimates ranged from increases of 175,000 to 250,000. The March data showed a 34,000 decrease in retail employment. February data, meanwhile, rose a revised 240,000. Employment at service providers increased 89,000 last month, less than half the 211,000 gain in February. Professional and business service payrolls rose 31,000 last month, restrained by a 7,500 drop in temporary hiring. Manufacturing was among the few industries that added more jobs than in February, with a 37,000 increase. (Bloomberg)

US: Jobless claims fell to lowest level in four years
Claims for US unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in four years. Jobless claims fell 6,000 to 357,000 in the week ended 31 March, the fewest since April 2008. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls also dropped, while those getting extended payments increased. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits, which tends to track the jobless rate, held at 2.6%. 26 states and territories reported a decline in claims, while 27 reported an increase. (Bloomberg)

US: Consumer credit rose less than forecast in February
US consumer borrowing rose less than forecast in February, restrained by a drop in credit-card debt. Credit increased USD8.7bn, the least in four months, after a revised USD18.6bn gain in January that was more than initially estimated. Smaller gains in borrowing indicate American households are continuing to pay down debt or are less optimistic about their finances. The Fed’s statistics showed revolving debt, which comprises credit cards, fell USD2.2bn in February after a USD3bn drop a month earlier. Non-revolving debt, including educational loans and borrowing for autos and mobile homes, climbed by USD10.9bn in February, the smallest gain in four months. (Bloomberg)

20120409 1215 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Perodua drafting roadmap for used-car business
Second national car company Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) hopes to establish an organization structure for its used-car business by middle for the year, its chief said. The company is venturing into the used-car business to expand its revenue base and provide a platform for existing and new customers so that they can trade in their Perodua cars or other makes, for its new models. Perodua entered the used-car business in August 2008, but ceased operations more than a year later due to low sales volume. (BT)

Govt still keen on high-speed rail link
The Government is still keen on the high-speed rail project linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said. SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal, however, stressed that it will depend on the outcome of a feasibility study, which started last month and is expected to be completed in 6 to 12 months’ time. (BT)

S P Setia enters Indonesia in regional expansion
S P Setia continues its regional expansion with the opening of a representative office in Jakarta, giving the developer a foothold in the archipelago. Jakarta is the fifth overseas destination the developer has ventured into after Vietnam, Singapore, Australia and China. S P Setia president and CEO Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said S P Setia hopes to be able to directly source Indonesian arts and crafts, building materials and furniture for its projects in the future. (Financial Daily)

Rafique to join Maybank as new group CFO
Former chief financial officer (CFO) of the country’s utility company Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), Mohamed Rafique Merican Mohd Wahiduddin Merican will join the country’s largest banking group, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) as its group chief financial officer (CF) effective 1 Jun. In an exchange filing last Friday, Maybank said he will succeed Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli, 43, who stepped down from his position as the bank’s group CFO following his appointment as the president director of PT Bank Internasional Indonesia Tbk, a subsidiary of Maybank in Indonesia. (Malaysian Reserve)

Ekuinas targest 12% minimum return for its investments in education sector
Ekunas Nasional Bhd is looking at a time horizon of between three and five years for its investments in the education sector with a long-term minimum target internal rate of return of 12% per year, according to a spokesperson from the government-linked private equity fund management firm. Its aspirational target for the investments is at 20%. Ekuinas has recently completed a purchase of a 90% stake in Cosmopoint SB for RM246m and has been reportedly eyeing Masterskill Education Group Bhd and Help International Corp Bhd on its plans to create the country’s largest education group. (Malaysian Reserve)

MBSB extends home financing
Malaysia Building Society (MBSB) will start extending home financing facilities to the second generation of property purchasers for its housing project in Sepang, president and CEO Datuk Ahmad Zaini Othman said. The non-bank lender, which does not come under the purview of Bank Negara, said this special financing facility would allow home buyers to stretch monthly home-loan repayments to the kids (second generation) of these home buyers, most of whom are retirees in their 50’s. (StarBiz)

The listing of Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) on Bursa Malaysia will proceed despite the Kelantan government's refusal to hand over the land to Felda. Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad said the situation would not affect the listing of FGVH as the land area involved is small compared to Felda land in other states. "Felda Plantations Sdn Bhd has developed land in states controlled by the opposition. It is up to them whether to join or not (listing of FGVH). "It will not stop the listing as we have done everything and states that are against the listing can't do anything about it," he said. (Bernama)

Sime Darby Property Bhd, which is the property arm of Sime Darby Bhd, plans to build the conglomerate's 11th township development north of its existing Denai Alam township in Selangor. Sime Darby Property head of property development Zulkifli Tahmali said the township is at its planning stage but will measure 404.8ha along the Guthrie Corridor Expressway, which also sites the Bukit Jelutong development. "The new township will be a mix of residential, commercial and industrial (development), but we have not finalised the gross development value yet," Zulkifli told reporters here last Thursday. He was updating reporters on Sime Darby's latest promotional property blitz under the Lifestylse Collection brand to sell its unsold properties located within the group's 10 townships. The company plans to launch eight more properties with a gross sales value of RM1.2bn, involving 1,800 units of residential, commercial and industrial property its by financial year ending June. "We are on track as we have sold RM1.2bn worth of properties since the one-month sales campaign started and we have another RM1.2bn worth to sell until June. (BT)

MRT PDP MMC-Gamuda JV plans to speed up the awarding of a majority of contracts to the start of 3Q12 from its original Oct-12 deadline, sources said. The source said about 80% of projects could be awarded for the civil, station and depot works months ahead of schedule. The PDP had initially guided for 85% of projects to be contracted out by Oct-2012. So far, 27 out of the 86 elevated packages had been awarded, bringing the total contract value to RM10.5bn. (Star)

Axiata Group Bhd has been chosen by Forbes to be part of its 2011 Forbes Fab 50 Asian best publicly-traded companies. Though only 4 years old after its separation fromTelekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim was handpicked for the job, Axiata has established a strong foothold in some of the fastest growing markets such as India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Now there’s a new challenge – competition is stepping up in the data space segment as non-traditional competitors join in the race to steal market share via the internet. It also opens new avenues for content/application game and digital services. But that opportunity has come with a cost. Jamaludin admits that the traditional voice revenues are falling faster than the growth in data revenues and the challenge for companies like Axiata is the ability to get a “bigger share of the consumer's wallet”. This transition has caused Axiata to shift focus to offer services beyond connectivity and quickly monetise the surge in data by aggregating content/service and provide digital services to match the lifestyle needs of today's consumers. This will help counter pressure of margin drops in our voice/SMS revenues,'' Jamaludin says in an interview with StarBizWeek. He believes data will grow faster across the markets in which Axiata operates, led by high smartphone adoption, popularity of social media sites and the need of young population to remain connected but it is hard to predict for now if cellular growth with all that is happening will scale back to the double-digit range the industry had been accustomed to. He dismisses voice as increasingly fading and he says “in the short term it is still good, but not for the long term, and that is because there will be more substitution.” Jamaludin has identified 3 holistic strategies to tackle the challenge: 1) ability to ramp data for carriage revenue, 2) pushing for better customer experience from the network perspective and 3) bringing down cost. If these three are addressed, then whatever Axiata is doing will yield better margins, he said. (StarBiz)

Ingress Corp has received a letter of intent (LOI) from Tenaga Nasional for the establishment of a power management unit at the latter's Pantai Remis switching station. Ingress said the aggregate value of the project is RM26.6m. Work is slated to start by mid2012 and is expected to be completed in 609 days. (Malaysian Reserve)

The Selangor state government will submit a request to the Federal Government for a RM1bn allocation to build more retention ponds, MB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said. Khalid said the proposal papers were ready but the matter would be discussed with state exco members before being submitted. “The proposal will explain why the allocation is necessary and what would happen if retention ponds and drains are not built." he said. (Star)

Embroiled in controversy, Silver Bird Group Bhd has proposed to remove group managing director Datuk Tan Han Kook and executive director Ching Siew Cheong at its upcoming annual general meeting at the end of this month. The company said it would also appoint Baker Tilly Monteiro Heng as auditors in place of retiring auditors Crowe Horwath. The company said that in the midst of ongoing efforts in formulating a regularisation plan, it would not be able to make the repayments to its respective financial institutions totalling about RM143.6m. (Starbiz)

Tambun Indah Land Bhd is undertaking five development projects in Penang with a combined gross development value (GDV) of around RM571m this year. The projects are the RM131m Pearl Indah, RM180m Pearl Residence 1 in Simpang Ampat, RM39m BM Residence in Bukit Mertajam, RM41m Carissa Villas in Bagan Lallang and RM180m Straits Garden in Jelutong on the island. Group MD Teh Kiak Seng said with the exception of the Straits Garden project in Jelutong that would be launched in the 3Q12, the construction for the other four projects had already started.(Starbiz)

The City International Hospital managed by Ireka Corp Bhd unit, Ireka Development Management Sdn Bhd, is slated to complete by the end-2012. “Along with economic growth, social healthcare is one of the major concerns in Vietnam. “Given the increasing demand for quality overseas medical treatment, the park will be the first integrated healthcare development in Vietnam which will provide a comprehensive healthcare environment from facilities, hi-tech medical equipment to professional medical staff,” said president Lai Voon Hon. The hospital is the first general hospital to be completed within the “Medical City” located in Vietnam's largest medical hub, the International Hi-Tech Healthcare Park. The hospital is developed by Hoa Lam-Shangri-La Healthcare Ltd Liability Company (HLS).Ireka's associate company, Aseana Properties Ltd, holds a majority stake in HLS. (Starbiz)

Scomi Engineering is hopeful that its bid for the monorail project in Chennai will succeed. “The Chennai tender is coming up. We hope to be shortlisted,” president Kanesan Velupillai said. If successful, it would be Scomi’s biggest ever monorail project. Scomi and its consortium partner, Larsen & Toubro, secured the RM1.85bn Mumbai monorail project in November 2008. (Star Biz)

Hai-O Marketing Sdn Bhd, the multi-level marketing unit of Hai-O Enterprise Bhd, plans to move aggressively abroad, notably in Asean countries, in two years, after establishing a firm footing in Malaysia. "We will focus our business in Malaysia for the next few years, most importantly to uplift our branding and create awareness. Once we have established a firm footing here, we will venture into the regional markets and subsequently the global markets," Hai-O Marketing general manager Teoh Nee Siang said. The company will initially tap into Asean countries such as Indonesia and Thailand, before expanding to China. It has so far entered the Indonesian market, albeit in a small way, said Teoh. "Hopefully, the Bamboo Salt distributorship will pave the way for us to capture a bigger share of the market there." (Sun)

SEGi: The ball in Hii’s court
Will SEG International Bhd (SEGi) founder and largest shareholder Datuk Seri Clement Hii cash out or will he not? He has said publicly that he would be staying on no matter what. There was speculation that he would be making an exit following the acquisition of a 27.8% stake in the company by  Navis Capital Partners Ltd, a private equity (PE) firm, at the end of last month. Navis has been known to be not only an active investor but also one which prefers control. Hii, also the group managing director of the tertiary education provider, has been in discussion with Navis' founders on ways to work together now that the PE firm has become the second largest shareholder in the company. Hii, according to Bloomberg data, remains the largest shareholder with a 29.8% stake. (Source: The Star)

LBS Bina to finally exit China
Sources said LBS will ink a deal this week to dispose of its 50% stakes in two joint ventures in China, one involving a golf course and the other a proposed 197-acre property development in Zhuhai. LBS could still play the role of contractor in the property project following the divestment, the sources add. (Source: The Edge)

Invensys-led group tipped to win Ampang LRT job
Malaysia is expected to award a RM950 million contract for system works for the Ampang light rail transit (LRT) line extension project to a consortium led by the UK’s Invensys plc. Government sources said the contract is expected to be awarded within the next one month and will help strengthen bilateral trade ties between Kuala Lumpur and London.  Invensys is a global engineering and information technology group. Its consortium partners are Balfour Beatty Rail Sdn Bhd, which is 70 per cent owned by the UK’s Balfour Beatty plc  – an infrastructure giant with strong finances, and Ingress Corp Bhd. Engineering group Ingress, which posted a pretax profit of RM31.05 million in fiscal year 2011, also owns 30 per cent of Balfour Beatty Rail. (Source: Business Times)

Telekom Malaysia: RM2.5bn capex for this year
Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) has allocated some RM2.5bn capital  expenditure this year to improve its network and services nationwide. According to CEO Datuk Seri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa, the budget will also be used for new businesses. TM, which currently operates Unifi high speed broadband, is now looking at contents and applications. Zamzamzairani said the group is also considering cloud computing and business process outsourcing. Meanwhile, Zamzamraini said TM aims to hit the 400,000 customer base mark for Unifi this year. TM also plans to develop more information, technology and communication technology services for the small and medium entrepreneurs.   For a start, he said TM has signed a partnership agreement with Microsoft for the Office 365 software to expand our cloud computing services. (Business Times)

Bumi Armada: Unit forms US-based subsidiary
Bumi Armada’s wholly owned unit Bumi Armada Offshore Holdings Ltd , has formed a wholly-owned subsidiary in the United States to be principally involved in the offshore oil and gas marine services. Bumi Armada said on Friday that the company known as Armada Blue had been formed on Apr 2, 2012 as a limited liability company in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas. (Financial Daily)

I-Bhd: To build condo, duplex houses in i-City
I-Berhad is set to build 348 condominium units and 20 duplex houses in the city of digital lights in Seksyen 7 here. Each residential unit in i-City starts from RM340,000. I-Berhad CEO Datuk Eu Hong Chew said the i-Residence project constituted 20 percent of the 29ha i-City development. Eu said i-City, dubbed the first lighscape tourism destination in Malaysia with state-of-the-art LED technology showcase, would also have a new attraction inspired by Clarke Quay, a riverside development in Singapore. He said it was in line with the state government's project to upgrade the 7-km Sungai Rasau that cuts across i-City. He added that this development was included in the estimated gross development value of RM1bn.(Bernama)

Perdana Petroleum: Ibrahim sues company
Former major shareholder of oil and gas services provider Petra Perdana, Tengku Datuk Ibrahim Petra Tengku Indra Petra is suing Perdana Petroleum, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as well as 11 other individuals for exemplary damages of RM50m and to have an injunction against the parties for assessing and using an email account belonging to him. The writ of summons also sought general damages for trespass against the plaintiff’s property, costs and other reliefs. Furthermore, the writ is seeking a declaration from the MCMC that it is the multimedia regulator’s duty to accept and investigate the plaintiff’s complaint. Perdana Petroleum (formerly known as Petra Perdana) said in an announcement to the stock exchange that the company was in the process of appointing a solicitor for the necessary course of action. (StarBiz)

asiaEP: Boardroom tussle over – for now
The boardroom tussle at ACE Market-listed asiaEP Resources Bhd is over for now. The twomonth drama came to an end yesterday at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), with most shareholders voting in favour to retain the existing board of directors, comprising asiaEP's co-founders Dr Tan Boon Nunt and Lee Suet Hong, as well as three other directors, namely Khor Chai Tian, Chu Kheh Wee and Lim Ghim Chai. Results showed that among the shareholders who turned up, at least 75% have voted in favour to retain the existing board of directors, while around 23% to 25% had voted for their removal. “After this long havoc' that lasted for the past two months, finally, most shareholders, seeing that we are the founding members of the company, have chosen to continue to give their support to the existing board of directors,” Dr Tan, who is also asiaEP's executive chairman and MD, told reporters. (StarBiz)

20120409 1202 Global Market & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares fall on sluggish US jobs, focus on more data  
TOKYO, April 9 (Reuters) - Asian shares fell on Monday as a sharp slowdown in U.S. jobs growth raised concerns about the strength of the world's largest economy, making investors cautious ahead of more U.S. data and earnings as well as figures from China due this week.
"Price actions after the jobs data show that markets had been excessively discounting the U.S. economic recovery and must now fill the gap between the reality and prices built on perceived strength of the economy," said Naohiro Niimura, a partner at research and consulting firm Market Risk Advisory Co.

COMMODITIES-Oil, gold rebound as key jobs, trade data loom
NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - Oil and gold prices rebounded from multi-week lows in subdued trade on Thursday, as traders focused on new signs of a U.S. economic recovery and mounting concerns over Iran's oil exports.
"Geopolitical and supply risk worries are pushing oil prices higher ahead of a three-day holiday weekend," said Gene McGillian, analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

OIL-Brent slips below $123 on Iran nuclear talks
SINGAPORE, April 9 (Reuters) - Brent crude slipped more than $1 on Monday as Iran agreed to resume talks with top world powers this week on the country's nuclear programme, raising hopes of a peaceful end to the standoff that has rattled oil market for months.

NATURAL GAS-US natgas futures end near 10-year low as glut grows
NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - Front-month U.S. natural gas futures ended just above a 10-year low on Thursday, pressured by another bearish weekly inventory report despite cooler forecasts for late this week and early next week that should boost demand.
"The (EIA build) number came in higher than expected. It was another bearish number, and it looks like they're jamming it in early in the producing region," a Massachusetts trader said.

EURO COAL-Prices fall ahead of Easter weekend
LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) - European physical coal prices fell along with other energy markets on Thursday as demand was sapped from the markets ahead of the Easter holiday weekend.

China ship insurer deals new blow to Iran oil exports
SINGAPORE, April 5 (Reuters) - A major Chinese ship insurer will halt cover for tankers carrying Iranian oil from July amid tightening Western sanctions against OPEC's second largest producer, two officials from the insurance provider told Reuters on Thursday.
This is the first sign that refiners in China, Iran's top crude buyer, may struggle to obtain the shipping and insurance to keep importing from the Middle Eastern country.

20120409 1017 Global Market Related News.

Asia Stocks Drop as U.S. Jobs Data Dims Recovery Outlook
Asian stocks fell for a fourth day, the longest losing streak on the regional benchmark since November, after a weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report cast doubt on the strength of the recovery in the world’s biggest economy, denting the earnings prospects for exporters. Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), which gets a fifth of its revenue in America, slid 1.8 percent after U.S. payrolls grew in March at the slowest pace in five months. Inpex Corp. (1662), Japan’s No. 1 energy explorer, lost 1.7 percent after oil prices fell. Nachi- Fujikoshi Corp. declined 4.3 percent after the bearing maker posted lower profit. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.4 percent to 124.36 as of 10 a.m. in Tokyo, with 10 stocks falling for each that rose.
The measure lost 1.3 percent last week, the biggest weekly decline since the period ended Dec. 16. Volume on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average was a third below the 30-day intraday average, as markets were shut for public holidays in Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Philippines. “We’re seeing markets correct pretty quickly,” said Shintaro Takeuchi, a Tokyo-based portfolio manager at Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., which oversees about $106 billion. “Companies aren’t willing to boost capital investment, leading to a sluggish rebound in employment. That means companies aren’t confident in a full-scale recovery.”

China’s Stock-Index Futures Drop Before Inflation Report
China’s stock-index futures fell, signaling declines for the benchmark index, after the U.S. added fewer jobs than estimated and economists forecast Chinese inflation quickened last month. Futures on the CSI 300 Index (SHSZ300) expiring in April, the most active contract, lost 0.3 percent to 2,508.20 as of 9:21 a.m. local time. China Merchants Bank Co. (600036) may drop after its plan to raise 35 billion yuan ($5.6 billion) in a rights offer was approved. China Vanke Co. and Poly Real Estate Group Co., the biggest developers, may advance after the Xinhua News Agency reported banks are offering discounts on first-time mortgages. “Inflation may rebound a bit and that’ll prevent the government from using more monetary stimulus to boost the economy,” said Wu Kan, a Shanghai-based fund manager at Dazhong Insurance Co., which oversees $285 million.
The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) climbed 4.31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,306.55 on April 6. The CSI 300 Index rose 0.3 percent to 2,519.83. About 7.3 billion shares changed hands in the Shanghai Composite on April 6, or 17 percent lower than the daily average this year. Thirty-day volatility in the gauge was at 17.9, near the highest in a month. The Shanghai index gained 1.9 percent last week after the China Securities Regulatory Commission increased quotas for qualified foreign institutional investors to $80 billion from $30 billion. For the year, it’s up 4.9 percent on expectations the central bank will lower lenders’ reserve requirements and reduce borrowing costs as economic growth and inflation slow.

Japanese Stock Drop as Europe Debt Crisis Concern Flares
Japanese shares fell a fifth day, with the Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average heading for its longest losing streak since November, as U.S. employers added fewer jobs than expected, damping the outlook for recovery in the world’s biggest economy and hurting the earnings prospects for exporters. Sony Corp. (6758), Japan’s biggest consumer-electronics exporter, lost 2.8 percent as the yen strengthened against the dollar. Inpex Corp. (1605), the nation’s top oil explorer by market value, slid 2 percent after crude prices retreated. Takashimaya Co. declined 2.9 percent after a report the retailer’s president said the department store market will contract. “The job data reduced investors’ optimism,” said Naoki Fujiwara, who helps oversee $6.4 billion at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “People in the markets are getting more cautious and the mood is growing that the U.S. economy won’t recover so easily.”
The Nikkei 225 fell 1.3 percent to 9,560.84 as of 10:46 a.m. in Tokyo. Volume on the gauge was more than a third lower than the 30-day average. The broader Topix Index lost 1.3 percent to 815.42, with more than seven times as many shares declining as advancing. All of its 33 industry groups on the gauge declined.

U.S. Stock Futures, Dollar Fall While Treasuries Rise on Jobs
U.S. stock futures fell, signaling more Standard & Poor’s 500 Index losses following the biggest weekly retreat of the year, as the dollar declined while Treasuries and gold rose after American employers added fewer jobs than forecast in March. S&P 500 futures slumped 1.1 percent to 1,374.90 following the benchmark index’s 0.7 percent weekly loss. All stock exchanges in the U.S., western Europe, Canada and Brazil were closed for Good Friday. Russia’s Micex Index retreated 1.7 percent. The dollar lost as much as 1.3 percent to 81.31 yen, the lowest in a month. Yields on 10-year Treasuries (USGG10YR) fell 13 basis points to 2.05 percent. Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.6 percent to $1,640.35 an ounce. ields on 10-year Treasuries dropped the most this year after the U.S. Labor Department said employers added 120,000 jobs, the fewest in five months and less than the median economist forecast of 205,000 in a Bloomberg survey. The amount had exceeded 200,000 for three straight months.
“This is a real shock,” Donald Selkin, the New York-based chief market strategist at National Securities Corp., which manages about $3 billion, said in a telephone interview. “Everybody is so hung up on the 200,000 increase.” Equity traders had 45 minutes to react to the jobs report in the U.S. Futures linked to the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average stopped at 9:15 a.m. New York time on CME Group Inc.’s Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

U.K. Stocks Climb as Mining Rally Reverses FTSE 100 Drop
U.K. stocks rose, with the FTSE 100 Index rebounding from its largest decline since November, as a rally in basic-resource shares reversed earlier losses. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Group, the biggest London- listed mining companies, advanced more than 1 percent as copper climbed. British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) sank to a seven- month low as the pay-TV broadcaster in which Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. owns a 39 percent stake said its Sky News channel approved the hacking of e-mails on two occasions. The FTSE 100 gained 19.9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,723.67 at the close in London. The gauge declined as much as 0.7 percent earlier as British manufacturing output unexpectedly contracted and concern about the euro-area debt crisis resurfaced. The FTSE All-Share Index rose 0.3 percent today, while Ireland’s ISEQ slipped less than 0.1 percent. Western European markets are closed tomorrow and April 9 for Easter.
“Investors will be pleased to see that we’re going into the Easter break without adding to yesterday’s big declines,” said Angus Campbell, the head of market analysis at Capital Spreads in London. “Negative sentiment turned positive as Spanish bond yields retreated following an earlier spike, allowing investors to dip back into beaten-up equities.”

U.S. Employment Growth Seen Rebounding From Slump
The March setback in hiring will prove temporary as the U.S. economy, in its third year of expansion, now is better equipped to overcome a slowdown in Europe and rising fuel costs, economists said. Growing sales and profits may give business leaders the confidence to take on staff at a faster clip than last month’s 120,000 gain in payrolls, according to analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. They say the data don’t signal a repeat of 2010 and 2011 -- when hiring was derailed after promising starts by concern about government debt, energy costs and natural disasters -- even though the total was weaker than all the estimates from 80 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
That sentiment isn’t universal, with economists at Bank of America Corp. among those projecting employment will slump in the second half of the year as the government prepares to put the brakes on spending to tame the budget deficit. Joseph LaVorgna and Carl Riccadonna at Deutsche Bank counter that income gains will unleash increases in household spending and hiring that will boost job creation by an average of at least 200,000 a month for all of 2012. “While the economy is going to do OK, we think jobs are going to be doing better than OK,” Bruce Kasman, chief economist at JPMorgan in New York, said in an April 6 conference call following the Labor Department’s employment report. “We don’t think today’s number represents the trend,” he said, affirming a forecast that payrolls will rise by 200,000 workers on average for the rest of the year.

Prices Probably Rose at a Slower Pace: U.S. Economy Preview
The cost of living in the U.S. probably rose at a slower pace in March as increases in energy expenses subsided, economists said before a report this week. Consumer prices advanced 0.3 percent after climbing 0.4 percent in February, according to the median of 58 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey ahead of the Labor Department’s April 13 release. Other figures may show prices paid by producers also grew more slowly and that the nation’s trade deficit was little changed from the widest gap since October 2008. An economic expansion that probably slowed at the beginning of the year may be encouraging companies to hold the line on prices. Limited pricing power would enable Federal Reserve policy makers to keep interest rates near zero to spur the pace of the economic recovery and boost employment.
“With growth barely managing to keep pace with trend, underlying inflation should remain modest this year,” Michael Hanson, an economist at Bank of America Corp. in New York, said in an April 5 research note to clients. “The main risk to the inflation forecast remains a sharp increase in oil prices.”

Bernanke Warning on Jobs Vindicated by March Payrolls Report
The Labor Department’s March jobs report may have proved Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke right after he warned that payroll gains might slow as companies adjust staffing for a period of moderate growth. Employers in the U.S. added 120,000 jobs in March, the fewest in five months, the report showed yesterday. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent the month before as people stopped looking for work. The March report followed the best six-month streak of job growth since 2006. “Chairman Bernanke should be putting out the world’s biggest ‘I told you so,’” said Phillip Swagel, an economist at the University of Maryland and former assistant Treasury secretary in George W. Bush’s administration. “It must give the Fed some comfort that they continue to have this accommodative stance.”
The data probably won’t trigger a decision to buy more assets when Fed policy makers next meet April 24-25, nor will it alter their commitment to keep the benchmark lending rate around zero until late 2014, said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Consumer Credit in U.S. Rose Less Than Forecast in February
U.S. consumer borrowing rose less than forecast in February, restrained by a drop in credit-card debt, according to a Federal Reserve report. Credit increased $8.7 billion, the least in four months, after a revised $18.6 billion gain in January that was more than initially estimated, Federal Reserve figures showed today in Washington. Economists projected a $12 billion rise in the measure of revolving and non-revolving loans for February, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Smaller gains in borrowing indicate American households are continuing to pay down debt or are less optimistic about their finances. Another report today showed the economy created fewer jobs than forecast in March, a sign it may take time before consumers become more comfortable taking on debt.
“Credit card borrowing has slowed down a bit,” Aneta Markowska, a senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York, said before the report. “Clearly there was a run up in the past few months related to the holidays, and we’ve seen a pretty meaningful slowdown. The process of repairing consumers’ balance sheets still has farther to go.”

Employment Increase in U.S. Trails Most-Pessimistic Forecasts
Hiring by American employers trailed the most pessimistic forecasts in March, casting doubt on the strength of the expansion now in its third year. The 120,000 increase in payrolls reported by the Labor Department in Washington yesterday was the smallest in five months. The data also showed the unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent as people left the labor force, while workers put in fewer hours. The figures, which followed an average 246,000 increase in payrolls in the previous three months, underscored Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s concern that stronger economic growth is required to keep powering the labor market. Yesterday’s report showed a drop in weekly earnings that bodes ill for consumer spending at a time when Americans are paying more at the filling station.
“Not welcome news,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York. “The economy needs a lot of momentum to get through the latest headwind of the return of $4 gasoline, and this report is distinctly on the slow side.”

Treasuries Gain After Jobs Increase Falls Below Forecasts
Treasuries rose, with 10-year note yields falling the most since December, as less-than-forecast job growth renewed speculation the Federal Reserve will provide more monetary stimulus to support the economic recovery. The benchmark note gained for a third consecutive week after the Labor Department said yesterday that employers added 120,000 jobs in March and the jobless rate fell to 8.2 percent. Treasuries rallied on concern the European debt crisis is worsening as rising borrowing costs make it more difficult to finance deficits in nations such as Spain. The U.S. will sell $66 billion in three-, 10-, and 30-year debt next week. “Things were not quite as rosy as previous numbers led us to believe, and we are seeing some payback for that,” said Jay Mueller, who manages about $3 billion of bonds at Wells Fargo Capital Management in Milwaukee. “One number won’t determine the Fed’s action, but it does give them more cover to remain dovish.”
The benchmark 10-year note yield fell this week 15 basis points, or 0.15 percentage point, to 2.05 percent in New York, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices. Thirty-year bond yields fell 12 basis points, the most since December, to 3.22 percent.

China Consumer Prices Rise Faster-Than-Estimated 3.6%
China’s inflation accelerated more than forecast in March amid rising wages and a fuel-price increase, signaling that policy makers may exercise caution in adding stimulus to boost growth. Consumer prices rose 3.6 percent from a year earlier after gaining 3.2 percent in February, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website today. That was more than the median 3.4 percent estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 33 economists. Today’s data show Premier Wen Jiabao’s officials may need to remain alert to the risk of inflation bouncing back even after price increases stayed below the government’s 4 percent target for a second month. Authorities will seek to “prevent a rebound” in consumer prices and manage inflationary expectations, Wen said during a visit to southern China from April 1 to 3.
“Inflation will pick up further as China’s economy warms up again,” Liu Li-Gang, Hong Kong-based head of Greater China Economics at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said before the release. Rising wage costs and the government’s policies to boost consumption will add upward pressure on prices, he said.

China’s Stock-Index Futures Drop Before Inflation Report
China’s stock-index futures fell, signaling declines for the benchmark index, after the U.S. added fewer jobs than estimated and economists forecast Chinese inflation quickened last month. Futures on the CSI 300 Index (SHSZ300) expiring in April, the most active contract, lost 0.3 percent to 2,508.20 as of 9:21 a.m. local time. China Merchants Bank Co. (600036) may drop after its plan to raise 35 billion yuan ($5.6 billion) in a rights offer was approved. China Vanke Co. and Poly Real Estate Group Co., the biggest developers, may advance after the Xinhua News Agency reported banks are offering discounts on first-time mortgages. “Inflation may rebound a bit and that’ll prevent the government from using more monetary stimulus to boost the economy,” said Wu Kan, a Shanghai-based fund manager at Dazhong Insurance Co., which oversees $285 million.
The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) climbed 4.31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,306.55 on April 6. The CSI 300 Index rose 0.3 percent to 2,519.83. About 7.3 billion shares changed hands in the Shanghai Composite on April 6, or 17 percent lower than the daily average this year. Thirty-day volatility in the gauge was at 17.9, near the highest in a month. The Shanghai index gained 1.9 percent last week after the China Securities Regulatory Commission increased quotas for qualified foreign institutional investors to $80 billion from $30 billion. For the year, it’s up 4.9 percent on expectations the central bank will lower lenders’ reserve requirements and reduce borrowing costs as economic growth and inflation slow.

Japan, China to ‘Consult Closely’ on Support for IMF, Azumi Says
Japan and China will seek to coordinate on supporting the International Monetary Fund’s effort to contain Europe’s debt crisis, Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said. “Rather than make decisions independently, we’ve agreed to consult each other very closely” on financial contributions to the IMF, Azumi told reporters today after meeting with Chinese Finance Minister Xie Xuren in Tokyo. The finance ministers of Asia’s two largest economies met before the Group of 20 countries gathering later this month in Washington. One topic at the G-20 meeting will be increasing cooperation with the IMF. The Fund needs more resources to shield the global economy from threats of strains on Europe’s financial system, rising oil prices and high unemployment, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said this week.
“It won’t probably be smooth for G-20 nations to hammer out details for their contributions to the IMF,” Tomoko Fujii, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Tokyo, said before Azumi and Xie met. “It’s important for Japan to check China’s intention on this, while China probably wants to increase its political influence if it puts up money.”

Japan Current Account Moving to Surplus Adds Support for Yen
Japan swung to a current-account surplus in February after a record deficit in January, lending support to a currency that officials have sought to weaken to spur the recovery of the world’s third-biggest economy. The excess in the widest measure of trade was 1.18 trillion yen ($14.5 billion) the Ministry of Finance said in Tokyo today. The median estimate of 25 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a surplus of 1.12 trillion yen. The yen is rebounding even after interventions by the finance ministry and monetary easing by the Bank of Japan helped to bring the currency down from October’s post World War II high against the dollar. Strength in the yen cuts exporters’ profits, dragging on the recovery from last year’s tsunami, earthquake and nuclear crisis. The yen traded at 81.49 per dollar, up 0.2 percent as of 9:47 a.m. in Tokyo, strengthening for a fourth straight day.
“I hope the BOJ will strengthen monetary easing to leave the yen somewhere between 85 and 90,” Masayuki Kichikawa, Tokyo-based chief economist at Merrill Lynch Japan, said before today’s data was released. The bank’s officials are holding a monetary policy meeting today and tomorrow.

Korea Says No Plan to Curb Record Foreigner Bond Buying
South Korea, which suffered a sudden outflow of capital in 2008, has no plans to curb record purchases of its debt by foreign funds and will sell 30-year bonds aimed at such investors, a finance ministry official said. The level of foreign investment is “manageable” and no curbs are planned, Shin Hyung Chul, director general of the treasury bureau at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, said in an April 5 interview in Gwacheon, south of Seoul. The government will “gradually increase” issuance of securities maturing in a decade or more to stabilize fundraising, he said. “Foreign investors, especially insurers, have shown keen interest in the 30-year notes, and we expect the sale to be done smoothly,” Shin said. “Overseas central banks including Norway and Switzerland have entered the South Korean debt market recently, and these moves reflect their positive views on the Korean economy.”
Overseas funds raised holdings of the nation’s bonds to a record 88.5 trillion won ($78.2 billion) last month, the Financial Supervisory Service said on April 4. The ministry plans to sell 30-year debt from September, raising 400 billion won each month, the government said in January. The won fell 26 percent in 2008 when the subprime mortgage crisis shook financial markets, the worst performer among Asian currencies. Overseas funds sold a net 43.2 trillion won of South Korean stocks in 2008, while cutting holdings of the nation’s debt by 991 billion won, government data shows. The won will gain 4.8 percent by year-end to 1,080 per dollar, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

South Korean Producer Prices Rise at Slowest Pace in Two Years
South Korean producer inflation rose at the slowest pace in two years in March on a decline in agricultural product prices. Prices (KOPPIYOY) climbed 2.8 percent from a year earlier, the smallest gain since March 2010, after a 3.5 percent increase in February, the Bank of Korea said in a statement in Seoul today. They rose 0.6 percent from February. The Bank of Korea will keep its benchmark rate at 3.25 percent for a 10th straight month on April 13, according to all of nine economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Consumer prices rose 2.6 percent in March from a year earlier, the slowest pace in 20 months, a government report showed on April 2.

U.K. Home Prices to Reach Pre-Recession Levels in ’16, CEBR Says
House prices in the U.K. will rise to levels in late 2007 before the country’s economy sank into a recession, the Centre for Economics and Business Research said. Shortage of housing relative to demand, improved affordability and mortgage availability will probably support house prices in the U.K., the London-based research group said in a report today. It sees unemployment as a negative factor. “House prices have been pretty stable over the past two years,” said Shehan Mohamed, an author of the report. “Lending for housing was 74.5 billion pounds ($118 billion) in 2011 and we forecast that this will rise to 109.9 billion pounds by 2016.” It forecast house prices will rise 0.8 percent this year, compared with a contraction of 1.3 percent in 2011. That’s a downward revision from 1.6 percent growth projected in November.

20120409 1017 Global Commodities Related News.

Hedge Funds Cut Wagers as Fed Signals Less Stimulus: Commodities
Hedge funds reduced bullish bets on commodities for a second consecutive week as the Federal Reserve signaled it may refrain from more monetary stimulus, increasing concern that growth will slow and curb demand for raw materials. Money managers lowered net-long positions across 18 U.S. futures and options by 2.8 percent to 1.1 million contracts in the week ended April 3, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission show. Bets on higher corn prices fell to the lowest since February, while those on hogs dropped by the most since May. Speculators cut wagers on costlier crude oil for a third week, and are now the least bullish in two months.
Minutes from the March 13 Fed policy meeting released April 3 showed policy makers will probably hold off on increasing monetary accommodation unless the U.S. economic expansion falters. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose more than 80 percent from December 2008 to June 2011 as the central bank set rates at a record low and bought $2.3 trillion of debt in two rounds of quantitative easing. The U.S. economy will accelerate this quarter and the next, economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg show. “The market is addicted to stimulus,” said Jeffrey Sica, the Morristown, New Jersey-based president of SICA Wealth Management who helps oversee $1 billion of assets. “This market has risen because of the liquidity push and the market will decline when it’s deprived of liquidity.”

France’s Wheat Area to Slump to Nine-Year Low on Winter Kill
France’s soft-wheat growing area may fall to the lowest in nine years after freezing temperatures destroyed fields in the European Union’s largest grower of the grain, the government’s crop office reported.  The area may fall 5.4 percent to 4.72 million hectares (11.7 million acres) from 4.98 million hectares in 2011, according to data from FranceAgriMer, which last month estimated farmers had planted 5.07 million hectares of soft wheat, an increase of 1.7 percent over last year’s area. Temperatures in France’s Lorraine, Champagne and Burgundy regions fell as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit) in February, damaging emerging wheat plants. French wheat production may be cut by 2.5 million tons due to winter kill, farm adviser Offre et Demande Agricole estimates. The estimated crop area was reviewed following the damage caused by frost, Xavier Rousselin, head of arable crops at Montreuil-sous-Bois, France-based FranceAgriMer, said by e-mail.

Slumping U.S. Crop Reserves Raising Food Costs in Election Year
U.S. corn stockpiles are poised to be the smallest in 16 years by August and soybean reserves will be lower than the government expected, potentially accelerating food-price inflation in an election year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture may say tomorrow that corn inventories on Aug. 31 will be 37 percent lower than a year earlier at 715 million bushels (18.2 million metric tons), the average of 32 analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with a projection of 801 million bushels last month. Soybean stockpiles will be 242 million bushels, down from a March prediction of 275 million, the survey showed.
The government is already predicting food inflation of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2012. While that’s down from 3.7 percent in 2011, it would be higher than gains in as many as five of the past eight years. Drivers are contending with gasoline prices that have jumped 20 percent this year, American Automobile Association data show. Global food costs rose for the third straight month in March, the United Nations said April 5. “Consumers will see additional price gains this year,” said Corinne Alexander, an agricultural economist at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. “There will be no relief for consumers until later this year if high prices lead to large world crops.”

Crude Oil Declines on Economic Outlook; Brent Slides
Oil fell for the third time in four days after U.S. employers added fewer jobs than expected, damping the economic outlook in the biggest crude consumer, and Iran agreed to resume talks over its nuclear program. Futures slid as much as 1.2 percent after climbing 1.8 percent on April 5. The U.S. created 120,000 jobs in March, the smallest increase in five months, a Labor Department report showed April 6. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists was for an increase of 205,000. International negotiations with Iran’s government are scheduled to start this week, easing concern that supplies may be disrupted by the dispute over the Persian Gulf nation’s nuclear program. “The payroll number seems to be quite negative, so probably people are thinking there will be a slowdown in the economy in the US,” said Tetsu Emori, a commodity fund manager at Astmax Ltd. (8734) in Tokyo. “It might be regarded as a downside risk for the oil market and also for oil demand.”
Oil for May delivery declined as much as $1.28 to $102.03 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $102.09 at 9 a.m. Singapore time. The contract closed at $103.31 on April 5. Prices have gained 3.3 percent this year. Brent crude for May settlement slid $1.04, or 0.8 percent, to $122.39 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The premium of the European benchmark contract to New York futures was at $20.30, the widest gap in three days. Markets were closed in New York and London on April 6 for public holidays.

Gold Prices Gain as U.S. Employers Add Fewer Jobs Than Forecast
Gold in London rose for a second straight day after U.S. employers added fewer than jobs than forecast, boosting prospects for the Federal Reserve to use additional stimulus measures to spur growth. Payrolls climbed by 120,000 in March, the Labor Department said today. Economists forecast a gain of 205,000, the median of 80 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Minutes from a Fed policy meeting released this week indicated that the central bank will hold off on increasing monetary accommodation unless economic expansion falters. “There’s going to be this feeling that the Fed’s minutes that said easing was off the table is not going to pan out,” Michael Gayed, the chief investment strategist who helps oversee $150 million at New York-based Pension Partners LLC, said in a telephone interview. “We’re getting the consistent message that stimulus is good for gold.” Bullion for immediate delivery gained 0.3 percent to settle at $1,636.43 an ounce. Trading on the Comex in New York is closed today for Good Friday.

20120409 1016 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Palm Oil Advances to 13-Month High as Soybean Supplies Dwindle
Palm oil, used in food and fuel, climbed to the highest in more than a year in Malaysia as South American soybean supplies declined. In China, palm and soybean oil rose to the costliest in more than six months. The June-delivery contract advanced 1.3 percent to end at 3,604 ringgit ($1,176) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, the most expensive close for a most-active contract since March 7, 2011. Futures advanced 5 percent this week, the fifth straight gain and the longest run in more than 16 months. Speculation stockpiles in Malaysia may drop also spurred buying. Palm oil is “rising mainly on anticipation of bullish stock data and also on the back of the increase of soybean prices,” Ivy Ng, an analyst with CIMB Group Holdings Bhd., said by phone from Kuala Lumpur today. With Malaysian inventory data on April 10, “people will buy in anticipation of that news as well as the lower soybean crop.”
Stockpiles (PASTTOTL) in Malaysia fell 2.4 percent to 2.01 million tons in March, from 2.06 million tons in February, according the median of estimates in a Bloomberg survey of four analysts and two plantation companies. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board will release data for inventories, output and exports.