Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Russian Roulette.

Baltic Dry Index. 598 +14        Brent Crude 44.31

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

May you live in interesting times.

Chinese Curse.

It is an interesting week.  The anti-carbon, “tax everything” nutters are in day three of their global witches coven in Paris. Nothing good for mankind is expected, but more wealth destroying nonsense and crippling taxes is about one week away. Tomorrow the ECB meets to further destroy the wealth destroying dying euro. “Whatever it takes” gets is roll out. On Friday OPEC meets, essentially to nuke US frackers and Canada’s tar babies. Collateral damage includes Venezuela, Brazil and Nigeria. Commodities plod on in their global depression. The greatly indebted commodity behemoths get nuked in 2016.

Below, December 2, 2015.

Asia stocks wary, dollar knocked after weak U.S. data

Wed Dec 2, 2015 12:22am EST
Asian stock markets wavered on Wednesday after downbeat U.S. manufacturing data raised questions about how aggressive the Federal Reserve would be when hiking interest rates, while the dollar retreated from 8-1/2-month highs.

Still, spreadbetters forecast Britain's FTSE .FTSE, Germany's DAX .GDAXI and France's CAC .FCHI would open slightly higher following gains on Wall Street overnight driven by health and consumer shares.

The U.S. manufacturing sector contracted last month to its weakest level since June 2009, according to Institute for Supply Management (ISM) data on Tuesday, though construction spending rose in October to the highest level since December 2007.

"The poor ISM data is unlikely to derail any rate hike plans as U.S. domestic demand is firm and wages show inflationary signs," wrote Makoto Noji, a senior rates strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.

"But it could also prevent the Fed from actively hiking rates (later on) as it showed that monetary tightening could negatively affect the U.S. economy through a stronger dollar, weaker emerging currencies and lower commodities."

Investors' focus is now turning to the closely-watched U.S. jobs report due on Friday, a factor that could determine what kind of a rate hike approach the Fed adopts at its Dec. 15-16 policy meeting.

A slower tightening cycle would mean that the flood of liquidity the Fed has been providing to global risk asset markets would not subside as quickly. But it could also lead to concerns among Asian exporters about the strength and sustainability of demand in one of their key markets.

---- The dollar's retreat provided some respite to the euro, which has been battered recently by prospects of the European Central Bank rolling out more stimulus at its policy meeting on Thursday. The common currency traded above $.10600 EUR=, pulling back from a 7-1/2-month low of $1.0557.

Oil prices fall on rising U.S. stockpiles, weak China outlook

Wed Dec 2, 2015 12:48am EST
Oil prices fell on Wednesday as an unexpected rise in inventories pulled down U.S. crude contracts, while Brent was weighed down by China's bleak economic outlook and a widespread expectation that OPEC will maintain high production.

U.S. crude CLc1 was trading down 25 cents at $41.60 per barrel at 0539 GMT (0039 ET), down more than 10 percent since the start of November.

Internationally traded Brent LCOc1 was 16 cents lower at $44.28 a barrel.

"The market is a little bit skittish ahead of the OPEC meeting, it is going to be very range-bound between now and Friday," said Ben Le Brun, market analyst at Sydney's OptionsXpress.

Oil production exceeds demand by 0.5-2 million barrels per day. The glut has seen prices tumble over 60 percent since June 2014, but OPEC is not expected to budge from its stance of keeping output high to defend market share against producers such as Russia and North America.

Anything you can do we can do too, says Russia. Since Turkey was given the green light by Washington to set up and shoot down a Russian bomber, killing two Russians in the process,  Russia is squeezing back in the Baltics where it has a massive advantage. A dangerous game of sabre rattling and proxy war is underway between the American War Party and Moscow. Under plan A, after the botched American coup in Kiev, President Putin was by now supposed to be long gone, with Russia and Belarus being sliced and diced for resources, China fully contained and afraid. Nothing good, I suspect,  will come from playing this new 21st century version of Russian roulette.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, ….

President Obama, Mad Dog McCain, and the US War Party, with apologies to Sir Walter Scott.

Lithuania says Russian military activity stoking tension in Baltics

Tue Dec 1, 2015 2:01pm EST
Russia's deployment of troops close to Lithuania and its unannounced military exercises in surrounding Baltic areas have heightened tensions in the volatile region, Lithuania's defense minister said.

Alarmed by Russia's seizure of Crimea last year and support for pro-Kremlin rebels in eastern Ukraine, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania along with Poland are some of Europe's most hawkish countries on relations with Moscow.

"Security is not increasing in the Baltic region since Russia has been more involved in Syria. We still see Russian activities on our borders," Lithuanian Defence Minister Juozas Olekas told Reuters on a visit to London.

Russia has stepped up its military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Olekas said Russian President Vladimir Putin's backing for the establishment of an air base in neighboring Belarus was part of Moscow's efforts to "demonstrate their power".

"We cannot exclude that they are trying to test our national reaction and the NATO reaction in such cases," he said.

Russian officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The three Baltic states and Poland are NATO members.

Olekas said Russia's westernmost Kaliningrad region, which borders Poland and Lithuania and is home to Russia's Baltic military fleet, remained a tense area due to over flights by Russian aircraft and naval activity.
Lithuanian officials are concerned about a troop build-up in Kaliningrad, which has been the site of military drills by Russian forces in recent years.

We end for the day with the USA putting boots back into Iraq with incursions into Syria. Is the “peacenik” President is going full on G. W. Bush? From far away Christmas London the move seems more like JFK May 1961 in Vietnam. Since Iraq says they are not needed for special ops in Iraq, my guess is that it’s cover for operating in Syria without Assad’s approval. Does Obama have something in mind for Christmas? What if a Russian bomb makes a mistake in Syrian payback?

U.S. deploying new force to Iraq to boost fight against Islamic State

Tue Dec 1, 2015 9:42pm EST
The United States said on Tuesday it was deploying a new force of special operations troops to Iraq to conduct raids against Islamic State there and in neighboring Syria, in a ratcheting up of Washington's campaign against the group.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the deployment of the new "specialized expeditionary targeting force" was being carried out in coordination with Iraq's government and would aid Iraqi government security forces and Kurdish peshmerga forces.

"These special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders," Carter told the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, using an acronym for Islamic State.

"This force will also be in a position to conduct unilateral operations into Syria."

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office issued a statement saying it welcomed foreign assistance but Iraq's government would need to approve any deployment of special operations forces anywhere in Iraq - a point Carter also acknowledged.

Abadi reiterated that foreign ground combat troops were not needed in Iraq, although it was unclear whether Baghdad viewed these special operations forces in that role.

"...we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to insure the survival and the success of liberty."

JFK. 1961.

At the Comex silver depositories Tuesday final figures were: Registered 43.64 Moz, Eligible 115.31 Moz, Total 158.95 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Bad news from gambling mad Macau, China’s high rollers are staying home. Bling and attracting attention are out. No one wants to be disappeared for a few days, taking an unplanned holiday with the police.

Macau November Casino Revenue Slumps 32.3% as China Curbs Hit VIP Gambling

December 1, 2015 — 4:41 AM GMT Updated on December 1, 2015 — 7:52 AM GMT
Macau’s casino revenue fell for the 18th straight month in November, as China’s moves to curb illicit money flows from the mainland deterred the high-stakes players who rely on junket promoters for betting loans.

Gross gaming revenue fell 32.3 percent to 16.4 billion patacas ($2.1 billion), according to data released by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. That compared with the median estimate of a 31.5 percent decline from six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Gaming revenue in the world’s largest center of gambling has fallen 35.3 percent so far this year.

The worse-than-expected decline “shows that the ongoing pressure on the high roller business hasn’t been offset by mass market stabilization,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Tim Craighead. If mass-market gambling doesn’t progressively improve from now until the peak Lunar New Year holiday period in February, “it will be a bad time” for the industry, he said.

Macau’s casino industry has been on a downward spiral since mid-2014, as China’s slowing economy and its campaign against corruption scared off Chinese VIP players and hurt mass-market gambling. These high-stakes punters, typically measured via their favorite card game baccarat, have led the decline since the downturn started.

Macau, which relies on gamblers for about two-thirds of economic output, saw its economy shrink 24.2 percent in the three months through September. The Chinese city’s GDP is expected to fall more than 20 percent this year, local broadcaster Teledifusão de Macau reported Tuesday, citing Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong.


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?

India unveils global solar alliance of 120 countries at Paris climate summit

Narendra Modi announces a new alliance of nations and industry on large-scale expansion of solar energy use in the tropics and beyond
Monday 30 November 2015

India’s prime minister has launched an international solar alliance of over 120 countries with the French president, François Hollande, at the Paris COP21 climate summit.

Narendra Modi told a press conference that as fossil fuels put the planet in peril, hopes for future prosperity in the developing world now rest on bold initiatives.

“Solar technology is evolving, costs are coming down and grid connectivity is improving,” he said. “The dream of universal access to clean energy is becoming more real. This will be the foundation of the new economy of the new century.”

Modi described the solar alliance as “the sunrise of new hope, not just for clean energy but for villages and homes still in darkness, for mornings and evening filled with a clear view of the glory of the sun”.

Earlier, France’s climate change ambassador, Laurence Tubiana, had called the group “a true game-changer”.

While signatory nations mostly hail from the tropics, several European countries are also on board with the initiative, including France.

Hollande described the project as climate justice in action, mobilising public finance from richer states to help deliver universal energy access.

“What we are putting in place is an avant garde of countries that believe in renewable energies,” he told a press conference in Paris. “What we are showing here is an illustration of the future Paris accord, as this initiative gives meaning to sharing technology and mobilising financial resources in an example of what we wish to do in the course of the climate conference.”

The Indian government is investing an initial $30m (£20m) in setting up the alliance’s headquarters in India. The eventual goal is to raise $400m from membership fees, and international agencies.

Companies involved in the project include Areva, Engie, Enel, HSBC France and Tata Steel.

“It is very, very exciting to see India nailing its colours to the mast and providing leadership on this issue,” said James Watson, the director of SolarPower Europe, which represents the continents’ solar photovoltaic industry. “It will mean more opportunities for solar across the world and that can only be positive for combating climate change.”

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished November

DJIA: +25 Down. NASDAQ: +121 Down. SP500: +45 Down. 

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