Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Global Wobble Worsens.

Baltic Dry Index. 516 +18        Brent Crude 43.65

LIR Gold Target in 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.

We open again with commodities. Yesterday Saudi Arabia tried talking up oil ahead of the next OPEC meeting on December 4th. Outside of oil, commodities crashed. Get ready for a new round of slide towards bankruptcy at the great flotilla of over indebted commodities behemoths led by Glencore. The US manufacturing slump is extending. Dr. Copper, the metal with a degree in forecasting recessions, continues signalling a recession ahead.

Oil Advances as Saudi Arabia Reiterates Market Stability Pledge

November 24, 2015 — 12:14 AM GMT Updated on November 24, 2015 — 5:27 AM GMT
Oil gained amid a reiteration by Saudi Arabia that the world’s biggest exporter is committed to working with OPEC members and other producers to stabilize the crude market.

Futures rose as much as 1 percent in New York. Saudi Arabia strives to “cooperate with all oil producers and exporters, from inside and outside of OPEC, to preserve the stability of the market and prices,” the nation’s cabinet said in a statement Monday. U.S. crude stockpiles probably rose for a ninth week through Nov. 20, according to a Bloomberg survey before Energy Information Administration data Wednesday.

Oil has slumped about 45 percent the past year amid signs a global glut will be prolonged as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries continues to pump above its collective quota. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said there isn’t a strong intention from some part of OPEC to stabilize the market. The 12-member group meets Dec. 4 to discuss its production target.

Mining Stocks Lead Asia Losses With Metals Near Multi Year Lows

November 23, 2015 — 10:59 PM GMT Updated on November 24, 2015 — 6:27 AM GMT
Mining stocks drove declines across Asia as copper and nickel traded near their lowest prices in at least six years following a rout in industrial metals.

Australian stocks snapped a five-day climb and Chinese shares retreated in Hong Kong as a Bloomberg gauge of mining companies fell for a third day. Copper traded below $4,500 a metric ton in London and nickel fluctuated near its lowest level since 2003. While crude’s climb back above $42 a barrel bolstered Malaysia’s ringgit, the dollar held its advance versus major peers amid the prospect for higher U.S. interest rates this year.

Expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise borrowing costs at its meeting next month have underpinned gains in the dollar, making metals more expensive for buyers holding other currencies. An increase in output from some producers coupled with concern over the impact of China’s slowdown on demand is also fueling anxiety. Energy and materials stocks have led regional equity declines this year, sliding at least 13 percent compared with the 2.7 percent retreat in the wider Asia-Pacific measure.

“The commodity sector is really being hit hard, primarily by global growth concerns but also the oversupply issue,” Yogesh Dewan, founder and chief executive officer at Hassium Asset Management LLP, told Bloomberg TV.

Flash U.S. manufacturing PMI slumps to 25-month low in November

Published: Nov 23, 2015 9:49 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A reading of manufacturing sentiment fell in November to its lowest level in 25 months, according to data released Monday. The flash manufacturing purchasing managers index from Markit fell to a reading of 52.6 from 54.1 in October, with all five of the PMI components deteriorating. While over the 50 mark indicating improving conditions, this puts the PMI closer to the more downbeat assessment from the Institute for Supply Management. The flash estimate is typically based on approximately 85%-90% of total PMI survey responses each month.

Asian shares wobble, dollar close to eight-month peak

Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:31pm EST
Asian shares struggled on Tuesday after a healthcare mega merger failed to impress Wall Street, while the dollar took a breather from its run to eight month highs on rising convictions that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS wavered in and out of positive territory, and was last down 0.2 percent.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 dipped about 0.1 percent after a long weekend. Markets were closed for a national holiday on Monday.

"We're post Japan Inc earnings now and the focus is back on China where local brokers are talking about market reforms, many of which have direct market impacts, which is important because China is a policy-driven market," said Gavin Parry, managing director of Parry International Trading.

"There's also a continued focus on the U.S. Federal Reserve, with a lot of sell-side banter about quantifying what level of rate increase brokers are expecting," he said.

Chinese shares dropped, with the blue chip CSI300 index .CSI300 of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen down 1.2 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC down 1 percent.

In the never ending “clean diesel” car crash at Volkswagen, death by corporate suicide continues apace. Below the latest in killer dirty diesel saga. You have to ask yourself, would you buy a new or used Volkswagen and put your health and your family’s health at risk?

VW's Bad News Drip Continues Two Months After Scandal Started

November 23, 2015 — 11:01 AM GMT Updated on November 23, 2015 — 1:38 PM GMT
Volkswagen AG’s emissions scandal is still widening more than two months after its cheating became public, undercutting the carmaker’s argument that only a few rogue engineers knew of the manipulations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board are now probing Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche models with 3.0-liter diesel engines as far back as the 2009 model year, after initially focusing on newer versions. That’s in addition to the smaller cars that VW admitted in September were rigged to pass emissions tests.

The probe extends the reach of the scandal from VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to Audi, the Bavarian luxury-car unit that also builds engines for Porsche. Volkswagen had initially denied any cheating when first confronted about a smaller number of 3.0-liter Audi-engineered motors earlier this month. On Friday, the carmaker conceded that U.S. regulators considered one feature of the engine-control software to be illegal.

With the latest revelations, “nobody can really say that it simply slipped through,” said Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. “VW has a cultural problem. It’s not just about individuals. It’s about structures that need to change.”

Volkswagen is facing a scandal on three fronts: the cheating software installed in about 11 million vehicles with 1.2-, 1.6- and 2.0-liter diesel engines; irregular carbon-dioxide ratings on about 800,000 vehicles; and questionable software in 85,000 larger diesel engines targeted in the EPA’s latest probe. While Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller has vowed a thorough investigation, answers have been slow in coming.

We end for today with typical news from Brussels. Belgian banksters are urged to stay home and work from their mansions during Brussels highest ever terror alert. Peons and hamburger flippers to report for work as usual. The more things change…..  The USA issues a global travel alert ahead of their Thanksgiving holiday. Holiday bookings slump in Paris.

Brussels Bankers Urged to Work From Home Amid Terror Alert

November 23, 2015 — 3:47 PM GMT
Financial companies in Brussels instructed employees to work from home as fears of a terror attack brought business in the Belgian capital to a standstill.

Belgium’s financial industry employs about 50,000, mainly in Brussels, where shops, schools and subways were closed Monday on the third day of an unprecedented lock-down.

“It’s not entirely business as usual,” Pascal Brabant, a spokesman for Euronext Brussels, said by phone from the office. “There’s absolutely no impact on the stock exchange activities, but we decided to facilitate working from home.”

Belgium’s benchmark stock index, the Bel20 Index, declined 0.2 percent to 3,695.24 at 4:07 p.m. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was down 0.4 percent to 380.13. The volume was lower at 93 percent of the three-month average.

Only about half of Euronext’s 25 employees were operating from its offices in central Brussels on Monday. Insurer Ageas SA, housed in the same building as Euronext, also allowed staff to work from home, while Belgian bank KBC Groep NV closed its headquarters and told employees to work from home or a local office.

U.S. issues travel warning, sees 'increased terrorist threats'

Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:49pm EST
The U.S. State Department issued a worldwide travel alert on Monday warning U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling because of what it described as "increased terrorist threats."

"Current information suggests that (Islamic State), al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions," the department said in a warning posted on its website. 
A State Department official noted that the agency has issued worldwide travel alerts in the past and said this latest alert effectively updated past warnings.

Paris Suffers Slump in Christmas Bookings After Terror Attacks

November 24, 2015 — 12:01 AM GMT
Passenger bookings for flights arriving in Paris during the Christmas period are down 13 percent on last year after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks, with visits from the U.S, Spain, Japan and Germany worst affected, according to a study based on figures from 200,000 travel agencies.

While a 25 percent jump in cancellations the week after the tragedy has now eased, new bookings remain “dramatically below” last year’s level, travel-data specialist ForwardKeys said, citing reservation numbers through Nov. 20.

“The booking situation for arrivals during the Christmas holidays has become worrisome,” 
ForwardKeys Chief Executive Officer Olivier Jaeger said in an interview, citing figures for arrivals in the Dec. 25 to Dec. 31 period. “Paris will rebound. The question is, when will that start?”

France is the world’s biggest vacation destination, leaving it vulnerable to changes in consumer behavior. 
While Air France has said traffic immediately after the attacks remained in line with forecasts, past outrages have tended to produce a fall off in demand that recovers over weeks or months.

Cancellations were highest last weekend, according to ForwardKeys, with the second-most affected travel period being immediately prior to the start of United Nation climate talks in Paris on Nov. 30.

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 43.55 Moz, Eligible 116.73 Moz, Total 160.28 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Is the “next Lehman” at hand?
'Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Yellen (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English.)
With apologies to Lewis Carroll.

Masters of the Finance Universe Are Worried About China

November 22, 2015 — 11:00 PM GMT
David Tepper says a yuan devaluation may be coming in China. John Burbank warns that a hard landing there could spark a global recession.
Tepper, the billionaire owner of Appaloosa Management, said last week at the Robin Hood Investor’s Conference that the Chinese yuan is massively overvalued and needs to fall further. His comments follow similar forecasts from some of the biggest hedge fund managers, including Crispin Odey, founder of the $12 billion Odey Asset Management, who predicts China will devalue the yuan by at least 30 percent.
The money managers are losing faith in China’s ability to revive its economy, which suffers from rising nonperforming loans and falling exports, after the surprise 1.9 percent currency devaluation in August and global market rout that followed. The investors made their dire forecasts after shares of U.S.-traded Chinese companies, which their funds sold in the third quarter, began to rebound in October.
“The downside scenario for China seems more intimidating than ever before,” billionaire Dan Loeb wrote on Oct. 30 to investors at Third Point, which manages $18 billion. “The new question is not whether but how severe the slowdown of the world’s foremost growth machine will be.”
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Thursday echoed the managers’ concerns, saying the biggest risk to a rebound in emerging-market assets next year is a “significant depreciation” of the yuan. Policy makers, facing a stronger dollar and slower growth, may let the currency decline, which would ripple through emerging markets, strategists led by Kamakshya Trivedi wrote.
“In our view, the fallout from such a shift is the primary risk,” the analysts said.

Hedge Fund Selloff

Hedge fund holdings of some of the largest U.S.-listed Chinese companies have dropped in the past six months. The funds owned about 8 percent of reported U.S.-traded shares of Baidu Inc. at the end of the third quarter, according to regulatory filings. That’s down from about 13 percent in the first quarter. Fund ownership of Ctrip.com International Ltd. sunk to roughly 16 percent from 25 percent in the period, and it declined to approximately 22 percent from 44 percent at JD.com Inc.

Chinese brokerage’s shares plunge after CEO disappears

Yim Fung, chairman and chief executive of Guotai Junan Securities, has not been in touch since November 18

By Bloomberg 8:49AM GMT 23 Nov 2015
Shares in Guotai Junan International plunged by as much as 17pc in Hong Kong after the brokerage said it could not contact its chairman and chief executive Yim Fung.
The Hong Kong unit of one of China’s biggest securities firms, Guotai Junan Securities, appointed temporary replacements after failing to reach Yim since November 18, the company told the stock exchange on Monday. The executive “currently cannot discharge his duties,” the company said. Two calls to Yim’s mobile phone went to his voicemail box.
The 17pc decline was the biggest intraday fall since July. They closed down 12.3pc at HK$2.85 (24p).
Based in Hong Kong, Yim is a high-profile figure in the local securities industry, including through his comments to the media and roles with the Chinese Securities Association of Hong Kong. He has been a chairman of the organisation and is now an honorary chairman. In China, Yim is known as Yan Feng.
The developments at Guotai Junan International coincide with a stock market clampdown in China that has seen officials at the securities regulator, senior staff at Citic Securities, and a top fund manager caught up in investigations.

 “It’s hard to avoid that people may associate the incident with the recent crackdown on the financial industry by mainland authorities,” said Ronald Wan, chief executive at Partners Capital International in Hong Kong.
“Investors will be concerned about the company’s operations. It will also affect sentiment over the brokerage industry as a whole as the industry is now under greater scrutiny.”

Solar  & Related Update.

With events happening fast in the development of solar power and graphene, I’ve added this new section. Updates as they get reported. Is converting sunlight to usable cheap AC or DC energy mankind’s future from the 21st century onwards? DC? A quantum computer next? 

“From little acorns mighty oaks do grow”

Research and Markets: Global Graphene (Graphene Oxide (GO), Graphene Nanoplatelets (GNP), and Others) Market 2015-2020

November 23, 2015 05:12 AM Eastern Standard Time                          
The global graphene market is expected to reach USD 278.47 Million by 2020, with a growth rate of 42.8% from 2015 to 2020.
The graphene market is expected to grow at a firm annualized growth of 40% between 2015 and 2020. Factors such as fire resistant, flexibility, non-toxicity, pressure resistant, tensile strength fuel the growth of graphene in various applications globally. The growing demand from these applications such as display & touch screens energy storage in Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries, rust free coating, printed electronics, and conductive inks have led to increase in the consumption of graphene in the global advanced materials market.
The increasing number of patents filed for graphene-based applications by global players, growing manufacturing industries, and continuous collaborative agreements between research institutes, universities, and companies are key factors for the growth of graphene in the global market.
North America was the largest market for graphene, in 2014. Among all the countries, the U.S. dominates the graphene market in 2014. The growing manufacturing industries, increasing collaborations between research institutes/universities and companies, and increasing demand of graphene-based composite and coating materials are the key growth drivers for graphene in this region.
The graphene market is in growth stage in countries such as China, India, Japan, Canada, Germany, Spain, the U.K. and France, among others. There are a large number of players in the graphene market. The key players are focused on initiating collaborative agreements, expanding their operations, launching new products in the emerging markets, and enhancing their portfolio to provide cost-efficient and high-quality graphene-based materials to various applications such as catalysts, coatings, composites, electronics, energy, and sensors, among others.
The major players of the graphene market include CVD Equipment Corporation (U.S.), Graphene NanoChem Plc. (Malaysia), Graphenea SA (Spain), Grafoid Inc. (Canada), Haydale Graphene Industries Plc (U.K.), Group NanoXplore Inc. (Canada), Thomas Swan & Co., Ltd. (U.K.), Vorbeck Materials (U.S.), 2D Carbon Tech Inc. Ltd. (China), and XG Sciences Inc. (U.S.), among others.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished October

DJIA: +31 Down. NASDAQ: +125 Down. SP500: +53 Down. 

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