Friday, June 27, 2014

Euro economy; swinging between growth, expansion and slow inflation.

While Germany is scheduled to grow 2 percent this year, Italy will expand 0.3 percent in 2014, To ensure its debt is sustainable, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is under pressure to push through spending cuts and foster growth in an economy burdened by the threat of deflation and the highest number of people unemployed in modern history.
The euro is poised to decline against its counterparts in the U.Sas well as those inemerging markets such as Brazil amid monetary easing from the European Central Bank, according to Barclays Plc, The dollar fell as a Commerce Department report showed U.S. consumer purchases increased 2 percent last month after being little changed in April. U.S. jobless-benefit claims declined less than forecast last week, another report showed. They decreased to 312,000, versus a Bloomberg survey’s projection for 310,000. The dollar gained 0.2 percent to $1.3607 per euro.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

WTI on three days high, Brent decline

West Texas Intermediate crude pared gains amid speculation that an Obama administration ruling on U.S. fuel exports would have limited impact on global markets. Brent’s premium narrowed as Iraq pledged to increase exports. WTI was traded 0.4 percent higher in New York, trimming an earlier advance of as much as 1.4%. Brent declined 0.7% in London, narrowing its spread against WTI to the least in a week. The Commerce Department granted Pioneer Natural Resources Co.’s request to classify stabilized condensates as petroleum products eligible for export, the company said. Oil production in Iraq remained unaffected as the government promised higher crude exports in July. Crude stockpiles reached 399.4 million barrels in April, the highest level since the EIA started publishing weekly data in 1982. Inventories probably fell by 1.7 million barrels.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

U.S. housing regaining footing as supply improves

U.S. home resale rose more than expected in May and the stock of properties for sale was the highest in more than one and a half years years, suggesting that housing was pulling out of a recent slump. The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales increased 4.9% to an annual rate of 4.89 million units. May's increase was the largest since August 2011. The forecast was that the sales will rise only 2.2% to a 4.73 million-unit pace last month. Sales, which rose in all four regions, were driven by the single-family home segment, the largest portion of the market. They likely reflected a pause in mortgage rates. The housing recovery stalled in the second half of 2013 as interest rates increased and prices surged against the backdrop of a dwindling supply of properties available for sale. Despite the second consecutive month of gains, sales were down 5.0% compared to May last year. They remain down 9% from a peak of 5.38 million units hit in July. Still, the increase in sales will be welcomed by the Federal Reserve, which is closely watching the housing market as it contemplates the future course of monetary policy.
 Fed Chair Janet Yellen has warned a prolonged slump could undermine the economy. The relatively bullish housing report offered further evidence that the economy has regained strength after weakening sharply in the first quarter. Rising sales and a steady pace of groundbreaking should help residential investment to modestly rebound in the second quarter after two straight quarters of decline. A separate report showed manufacturing expanding strongly in June. Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary or "flash" U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 57.5, the highest reading since May 2010, from 56.4 in May. A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity. While home sales are rising, pockets of weakness remain. First-time buyers, a necessary ingredient for a strong housing market, continue to hug the sidelines. Many have also been priced out by stringent lending practices. Last month, first-time buyers accounted for only 27 percent of the transactions, hovering near their lowest level since the Realtors group started tracking the series. A market share of 40 percent to 45 percent for first-time buyers is considered by economists and real estate professionals as ideal. Investors, who have propped up housing are retreating fast, accounting for only 16 percent of transactions in May. The inventory of unsold homes on the market increased 6.0 percent from a year-ago to 2.28 million in May, the highest level since August 2012. In May, the month's supply of existing homes increased to 5.6 months from 5.7 months in April. Six months' supply is normally considered a healthy balance between supply and demand. Still, the improving supply is helping to temper price increases. The median home price increased 5.1 percent from a year ago, the smallest increase since March 2012.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Euro-Zone, More loans for more liquidity…

The shared currency edged lower against the greenback on Friday, but still ended the week higher after the Federal Reserve indicated that its isn’t going to raise interest rates for a long period of time. The greenback remained under pressure after the Fed gave no indication of when interest rates could start to rise at the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday. In addition, the Fed’s forecast of where interest rates might reach in the long term fell from 4% to 3.75%. The central bank cut its bond purchases by $10 billion a month, to $35 billion, saying there was "sufficient underlying strength" in the U.S. economy to continue tapering. Despite this, the Fed also lowered its forecast for growth this year to a range of 2.1% to 2.3% from 2.8% to 3.0% previously, due to "unexpected contractions" in the first quarter as a result of the unusually harsh winter.

The Fed acknowledged the recent increases in inflation and drop in unemployment, but Chair Janet Yellen said no formula was in place for when interest rates would start to rise. In the blue region, The ECB plans to offer banks targeted long-term loans, or TLTROs, of as much as 400 billion Euros ($544 billion) for four years, with the condition that they boost credit to companies and households. By offering the loans at a small premium to current ultra-low rates, the ECB is signaling that borrowing costs will eventually increase. Banks have an incentive to use the program if they believe rates would be higher at the end of the loan period. The ECB’s benchmark rate is 0.15%. Euro dipped 0.06% to 1.3598 late Friday, but posted a weekly gain of 0.47%.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

WTI decline as production rose

WTI crude slid 0.4 percent today to $105.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The grade is up 4.3 percent this quarter. Brent, the European benchmark, climbed 0.7 percent to $114.26, for a 6 percent gain in the quarter. U.S. gross domestic product will increase 2.2 percent this year and 3 percent in 2015, following a 1.9 percent gain in 2013, U.S. crude production increased 17,000 barrels a day to 8.477 million, the most since October 1986. Output has surged this year as a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies trapped in shale formations, including the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

First export drop in more than a year in Japan

Japan’s exports fell in May for the first time in 15 months on weak demand from the U.S. and Asia, Outbound shipments decreased 2.7% from a year earlier, the finance ministry said in Tokyo today, steeper than a median forecast for a 1.3 percent decline as estimated. Imports dropped 3.6%, with the trade deficit narrowing to 909 billion yen ($8.9 billion).adding to challenges for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he tries to steer the economy through a forecast contraction this quarter. Masahiko Shibayama, chairman of the lower house cabinet committee, Data showed U.S. industrial production expanded more than forecast in May, a sign gains in manufacturing are supporting growth as the U.S. economy picks up.
The New York Fed’s Empire manufacturing report rose to 19.28, exceeding the average estimate, a separate report indicated. The dollar rose after a measure of U.S. inflation accelerated in May faster than forecast as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and policy makers meet to consider further reductions in monetary stimulus. Yen fell 0.3 percent to 102.15.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Sterling is on four and a half years high

The pound fell for the first time in five days against the dollar after U.K. inflation dropped to its lowest rate in 4 1/2 years in May, damping speculation the Bank of England will raise interest rates sooner than forecast. Sterling weakened against most of its 16 major peers. The yield on two-year U.K. government bonds earlier reached the highest since 2011 after policy maker David Miles hinted that minutes of its June 5 meeting will show the central bank is moving closer to raising interest rates, according to the London-based Times newspaper. Governor Mark Carney said on June 12 that borrowing costs may rise sooner than economists expect.
Sterling slid less than 0.1% to $1.6975 at after rising to $1.7011 yesterday, the highest since August 6, 2009. The pound was little changed at 79.91 pence per euro after yesterday appreciating to 79.59 pence, the strongest level since Oct. 1, 2012. The pound strengthened 8.9 percent in the past year, the best performer after the New Zealand dollar among 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The euro gained 1.7 percent and the dollar was little changed. Regarding the inflations measures, Consumer prices rose 1.5% in May, the least since October 2009, the Office for National Statistics said. That compared with a n forecast of 1.7%. Inflation has been at or below the central bank’s 2 percent target for six months, the longest stretch since 2009.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

U.S. Crude Drops From 9-Month High as Gains Seen Excessive

West Texas Intermediate fell as a technical indicator shows last week’s increase to the highest price in nine months was excessive. Futures slid as much as 0.4 percent in New York. WTI’s relative strength index closed above 70 for a third day yesterday, signaling prices rose too quickly to sustain further gains. Iraq’s army pummeled the positions of Sunni Muslim insurgents who have captured large chunks of territory in the country’s north as the U.S. weighed a military intervention to help the government. WTI for July delivery fell as much as 46 cents to $106.44 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $106.54 at 4 p.m. Sydney time. The contract lost 1 cent yesterday after ending last week’s trading at $106.91, the highest close for the front month since Sept. 18.

The volume of all futures traded was about 4% above the 100-day average. Prices are up 8.3% this year. In the U.S., crude inventories probably shrank by 750,000 barrels in the week ended June 13, according to the projections before an EIA report tomorrow. Supplies decreased the prior two weeks to 386.9 million barrels, according to the Energy Department’s statistical arm. Gasoline stockpiles slid by 550K barrels last week while distillates, including heating oil and diesel, expanded by 350K barrels, expectations said. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute in Washington is scheduled to release its own supply data today.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Gold is jumping over $1,270 per ounce

Gold jumped to $1,270 as The dollar fell for a second day as government reports showed the U.S. economy remains sluggish, backing speculation the Federal Reserve will hold interest rates at historically low levels and Jobless claims climbed by 4,000 in the week ended June 7, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.
The forecast was a 310,000. U.S. retail sales rose 0.3 percent last month followed a revised 0.5 percent gain in April that was much larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Zealand Raises Rates, Kiwi on four months high

New Zealand’s dollar surged, headed for its biggest daily gain in four months, after the central bank raised interest rates and flagged further increases. The two-year swap rate climbed 11 basis points, or 0.11% point, to 4.13%, the highest since July 2010. New Zealand’s central bank boosted its official cash rate by a quarter-percentage point to 3.25 percent, the third increase this year, and signaled more tightening to come. The RBNZ left its forecast for the 90-day bank bill rate broadly unchanged; suggesting borrowing costs may rise twice more this year.
RBNZ Assistant Governor John McDermott said currency traders are mispricing the nation’s dollar and should be taking more notice of falling commodity prices. The kiwi rallied at least 1 percent versus all of 31 major counterparts as Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Graeme Wheeler said it was important to contain inflation expectations. And it appreciated 5.8 percent this year. New Zealand’s currency jumped 1.4 percent to 86.70 U.S. cents, headed for its biggest gain on a closing basis since Feb. 4. The kiwi appreciated to as much as 86.85, the highest level since May 15.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WTI Rose as China is Incraesing its Stockpiles

China is hoarding crude at the fastest pace in at least a decade, shielding itself from supply disruptions and helping keep prices above $100 a barrel.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is building
stockpiles as his nation clashes with Vietnam over resources in the South China Sea and faces potential risks to oil sales from Russia, Africa and the Middle East because of sanctions and violence.

The purchases are helping drive oil prices higher, according to Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc. and Nomura Holdings Inc. As China’s thirst for crude grows with the expansion of its emergency stockpiles and refining, the International Energy Agency estimates that the Asian nation is poised to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest oil consumer by 2030.

China bought more than 600,000 barrels a day of surplus crude from January to April. The surplus supplies are calculated by subtracting refinery runs from the combined total of net imports and domestic production.

U.S. crude production rose 77,000 barrels a day to 8.46 million last week, the Energy Information Administration said today. Output reached 8.47 million barrels a day in the week ended May 23, the most since October 1986, according to the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm.

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On two weeks high, the metal is shining...

Gold held near the highest in almost two weeks as speculation some investors are cutting bets on lower prices was weighed against signs of an improving U.S. economy. Palladium traded near a more than three-year high. Bullion rose as much as 1.5 percent since the week ended June 3, halting declines last week at about $1,240 an ounce, partly as the European Central Bank became the first major central bank to take one of its main rates negative. Gold fell to a four-month low on June 3.
U.S. data due tomorrow may show retail sales rose in May, after a report last week showed employment exceeded its pre-recession peak, sending U.S. equities to a record. Palladium, used in pollution control devices in cars, climbed 19 percent this year as mineworkers went on strike since January in South Africa, the second-largest producer. Talks ended without a resolution two days ago. Bullion for immediate delivery added 0.1 percent to $1,261.07 per ounce. It reached $1,263.66 yesterday, the highest since May 28. Gold for August delivery rose 0.1% to $1,261.20 per ounce. Futures trading volume was 50% below the average for the past 100 days for this time of day.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

WTI over $104 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate advanced for a third day amid speculation that crude inventories declined for a second week in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent was steady in London. Futures rose as much as 0.5% in New York. Crude stockpiles probably fell by 1.5 million barrels in the week ended June 6, according the estimates before data from the Energy Information Administration tomorrow. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, responsible for about 40% of global supply, will maintain its production quota at 30 million barrels a day when it meets in Vienna, said oil ministers including Venezuela’s Rafael Ramirez. U.S. crude inventories probably dropped to about 388 million barrels, according to the median estimate in the Bloomberg survey of six analysts. Supplies were at 399.4 million through April 25, the most since the EIA began publishing weekly data in 1982. Gasoline stockpiles are forecast to have expanded by 1 million barrels to about 212.8 million, the survey shows. The peak U.S. driving season typically starts from Memorial Day, which was on May 26, to Labor Day on September 1.
The American Petroleum Institute in Washington is scheduled to release separate inventory data today. The industry group collects information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines, while the government requires that reports be filed with the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, for its weekly survey. WTI for July delivery gained as much as 48 cents to $104.89 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $104.69. The contract climbed $1.75 to $104.41 yesterday, the highest close since March 3. The volume of all futures traded was about 91 percent above the 100-day average. Prices have increased 6.4 percent this year.

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