Monday, 18 July 2016

Turkey – No Change.

Baltic Dry Index. 745 +07       Brent Crude 47.79

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

"Gold would have value if for no other reason than that it enables a citizen to fashion his financial escape from the state."

William F. Rickenbacker
We open with the failed coup in Turkey. Asia and the oil market shrugged it off as irrelevant to their booming stock markets. All news is back to being good news it seems this morning, unless of course you’re unfortunate enough to live in Turkey, where all the violence and instability will do nothing for the tourist trade and inward investment. Still, you have to ask the question, is Turkey fit to be in NATO, let alone fit to join the EUSSR?

Asian Stocks Advance as Investors Shrug Off Turkey Concerns

July 18, 2016 — 3:12 AM BST
Asian stocks outside Japan rose for a sixth day following a failed coup attempt in Turkey as energy and financial companies advanced.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index added 0.2 percent to 432.85 at 9:35 a.m. in Hong Kong, set for the highest close in almost nine months. Turkish officials over the weekend sought to prevent a selloff by promising unlimited liquidity to lenders and measures to support the lira. Taiwanese shares extended gains after entering a bull market Friday. A gauge of mainland companies traded in Hong Kong climbed to three-month high. Brent oil held gains and U.S. stock index futures climbed. Japan’s equity market is closed for a holiday. 

The thwarted coup attempt came after global equities recovered from a rout that wiped out more than $4 trillion in market value since June’s shock U.K. vote to leave the European Union. Expectations grew that policy makers will act to boost growth and as data showed China’s economy is stabilizing.

Oil prices rise as market shrugs off Turkey coup bid

Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:20am EDT
Oil prices rose in Asian trade on Monday, following gains last week, as traders shrugged off the impact of Friday's attempted coup in Turkey, while a weaker dollar and upbeat economic data from the United States lent price support.

Brent crude futures rose 26 cents to $47.87 a barrel as of 0402 GMT after closing up 24 cents in the previous session, having gained nearly 2 percent for the week.

U.S. crude futures climbed 10 cents to $46.05 a barrel after ending the previous session up 27 cents, gaining more than 1 percent for the week.

Both benchmarks rebounded after declining early in Monday's session as investors digested the impact from the coup bid.

"The market is looking past the coup," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at Sydney's CMC Markets.
"There is no disruption to shipping. There is nothing in terms of short-term risk (to oil supply)," he said.
Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait, a key chokepoint for oil which handles about 3 percent of global shipments, mainly from Black Sea ports and the Caspian region, was reopened on Saturday after being shut for several hours after Friday's attempted military coup.

Turkey Set for Market Turmoil as Coup Turns Investors ‘Ice-Cold’

July 17, 2016 — 8:00 PM BST Updated on July 17, 2016 — 11:39 PM BST
Things were looking up for Turkey when investors went home on Friday afternoon.
Markets were rallying around the world on speculation global monetary policy was going to remain loose, there was a lull in the country’s fractious politics and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government was moving to normalize relations with Russia and Israel.

Now, after an attempted military coup that erupted at about 10 p.m. that evening in Ankara and Istanbul, sending the lira into its sharpest nosedive in about eight years, those investors are waking to a very different world, steeling themselves for tumultuous trading as local markets open on Monday. The currency rebounded 2 percent to 2.9563 per dollar at 1:29 a.m. in Istanbul, after closing last week at 3.0157 per dollar, about 2 percent away from a record low in September.

“Political risk was always in my mind, but even I went ice-cold when I saw the news” of the coup attempt, Burak Cetinceker, a fund manager at Strateji Portfoy in Istanbul, said in an interview Saturday. “I don’t think I would rush into Turkish markets in the short term if I were a foreign investor.”

The failed takeover, in which about 200 people died, was the culmination of a worsening political backdrop partly fueled by Erdogan’s efforts to invest the presidency with increased powers while combating an upsurge in terrorist attacks blamed on Islamists and Kurdish separatists. The fighting that began Friday came less than three weeks after bombings at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul left more than 40 people dead, the latest in a series of deadly attacks in towns and cities across the country.

----Though Turkey’s currency is likely to recover some of those losses now the violence has dissipated, longer-term investors may be more circumspect about investing in the nation’s assets as Erdogan seeks to root out opponents, detaining thousands of people, including army officers and judges.

 “The almost instant issuance of arrest warrants for thousands of members of the Turkish judiciary raises questions about the coup itself,” said Gary Greenberg, an emerging-markets manager at Hermes Asset Management in London, which manages $2.5 billion, including Turkish equities. “Although the knee-jerk reaction of the market on Monday might be one of relief, it is hard to feel entirely sure that democracy in Turkey is on firmer footing.”

Foreigners this year poured a net $7.3 billion into Turkish assets through May, after $3.2 billion of outflows in the same period a year earlier, data released by the central bank last week showed.

EU ministers meet on Turkey, facing perfect storm

Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:25pm EDT
European foreign ministers will urge Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday to respect the law and human rights in dealing with defeated coup plotters but have limited leverage over their strategic neighbor.
Diplomats said an EU line on Turkey would be agreed after ministers breakfast in Brussels with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. He shares concern over Erdogan's authoritarian turn and will discuss Turkey's role as an ally in Syria, in facing off with Russia and as gatekeeper on a migrant route to Europe.

What was to be a routine if busy meeting, to address before the summer break such simmering crises as Ukraine and Libya, African migration and the China's maritime expansion, has been swept into a perfect storm as three major developments battered Brussels' agenda in 48 hours on successive days last week:

-- The accelerated formation of a new British government under Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday and her choice of Brussels-baiting journalist and Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson as foreign secretary. He will brief uncomfortable counterparts on how Britain, one of the EU's two main military powers, may cooperate on foreign policy once it leaves the Union. It will be the first high-level EU meeting for one of May's new ministers.

-- The killing of 84 people by a Tunisian-born local man who ploughed a truck along the seafront at Nice as France celebrated Bastille Day on Thursday, claimed by Syria-based Islamic State. Ministers will observe a minute's silence for the victims and discuss, after the third major Islamist attack in France in 18 months and four months after bombers struck Brussels itself, how to cooperate against radicals at home and IS in the Middle East.

-- And finally, on Friday, the military coup that crumbled when Erdogan rallied his supporters onto the streets and secured the loyalty of a greater part of the security services.

Next, more on the continuing currency wars. Australia wants in on the action, in the race to beggar thy neighbour. Yet another reason to stay long fully paid up physical gold for long term insurance.

Aussie Devaluation Best for RBA in Extreme Scenario, Eslake Says

July 17, 2016 — 9:00 PM BST Updated on July 18, 2016 — 2:27 AM BST
Devaluing Australia’s currency would be the best option for the central bank if conventional monetary policy reached its limits, according to Saul Eslake, a veteran economist of the nation’s financial markets.

Australia’s advantage is that its dollar is largely irrelevant in a global context, so targeting a lower level shouldn’t draw the magnitude of opposition that a bigger developed economy would, according to Eslake, who has previously studied the concept of quantitative easing in Australia. By contrast, even the potential for Japanese currency intervention this year already stirred U.S. and European opposition.

“It’s likely that no other central bank -- except perhaps New Zealand’s -- gives a stuff about what happens to the Australian dollar, ” Eslake said. “Australia isn’t a major trading partner for anyone else, except New Zealand. And the Reserve Bank of New Zealand may well choose to match what the RBA does, if market forces don’t push the New Zealand dollar down in parallel.”
News that the Reserve Bank of Australia has studied the experience of counterparts in conducting unorthodox monetary stimulus has put a new focus on potential options for the RBA, in the unlikely event of having to take such steps. RBA Assistant Governor Christopher Kent said in an interview with Bloomberg that the central bank favors a multi-pronged stimulus -- using various unconventional policies simultaneously -- rather than one in isolation.

"As fewer and fewer people have confidence in paper as a store of value, the price of gold will continue to rise. The history of fiat money is little more than a register of monetary follies and inflations. Our present age merely affords another entry in this dismal register."

Hans F. Sennholz

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 27.18 Moz, Eligible 125.52 Moz, Total 152.70 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, more on communist China reverting to type. So much for free speech, a Chinese sense of humour, and China’s rule of law.

$7,000-a-Month ‘Shameless China’ Blogger Loses All With One Post

July 17, 2016 — 10:00 PM BST
At the peak of her WeChat blogging career, Laura Lian was earning about $7,000 a month. Writing satirical articles for more than 220,000 fans, she won backing from an investor and quit her public-relations job.
Then it all came tumbling down. Internet authorities shut down her blog, called Shameless China, with no warning. It happened just after she posted an article mocking Chinese men’s hairstyles, including former President Jiang Zemin’s slick-backed coiffure.

“It didn’t dawn on me how serious the situation was,” Lian said. “I didn’t realize I was never getting back this account and all my followers.”

Lian’s story underscores how precarious the world of blogging remains for many writers in China.
Well-known bloggers have been jailed and shamed on national TV. Qin Zhihui, a well-known author on social-media platform Weibo, was sentenced to three years in prison for publishing false information to drive web traffic. A 2013 missive by the Supreme People’s Court and top national prosecutor effectively criminalized defamatory web posts that are read by more than 5,000 people, reposted more than 500 times or caused people to hurt themselves.

As one of the 20 million official accounts operating on Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat, Lian’s account stood out for its blunt and edgy humor about Chinese and expatriate stereotypes. WeChat, which had 762.4 million monthly active users at the end of March, is a mobile app that blends chats, blogging, shopping, digital wallets and other smartphone apps.

Even before she started Shameless, Lian knew censorship was an issue. China polices and aggressively scrubs online content deemed undesirable or a threat to society, from violence and pornography to anti-government commentary. Tencent said in May that it deleted 85,000 rumor articles and that 7,000 accounts were punished for violating regulations “to maintain a healthy internet environment.”

Canny Lo, a spokeswoman for Tencent, didn’t respond to an e-mail and text message seeking comment.
As a 26-year-old Beijing resident who often crossed paths with the Chinese and expat community, Lian had an keen eye for spotting gaffes and irksome traits from both camps. She didn’t think a light-hearted column about her community’s foibles would offend sensitivities, so she started with a story in April of last year about “the eight types of foreigners in Beijing,” covering hipsters to foreign bankers.

After reading it, a friend told her, “not everyone is as shameless as you are,” Lian said. Because her last name has a pronunciation similar to the Chinese word for face -- “I said, shameless? That’s so me!” -- her blog was born.

Lian went on to write stories about different types of Chinese girlfriends, boyfriends, how to drink with Chinese people, and Lunar New Year survival strategies. Many attracted more than 1 million clicks from readers.

“The blog wasn’t intended to be serious, what I wanted was to humor people and then if they realized that these perceptions existed and that people saw things differently that would be great,” Lian said.

Shameless China also attracted plenty of angry comments, with people telling her to stop writing about China or leave if she wasn’t happy about life in Beijing. Still, the blog prospered, with advertisers for brands, events and parties approaching her and asking her to post their articles. Lian would earn commissions based on readership, making almost 50,000 yuan ($7,478) a month during good times.

China to prosecute prominent rights lawyer on subversion charges

Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:03am EDT
China will prosecute a prominent Chinese human rights lawyer on charges of subverting state power after months of secret detention, prosecutors said on Friday, the latest move by authorities to crack down on dissent.

President Xi Jinping's administration has tightened control over almost every aspect of civil society since 2012, citing the need to buttress national security and stability.

China consistently rejects any criticism of its human rights record, saying it adheres to the rule of law, that all are equal under the law and that those who break the law can expect to be punished.

Dozens of lawyers and activists associated with the Beijing Fengrui law firm have been swept up in the crackdown and held since last July, triggering concern in Western capitals.

The firm has represented several high-profile clients, including the ethnic Uighur dissident, Ilham Tohti.
State media has accused the firm and its associates of orchestrating protests outside courts and politicizing ordinary legal cases in order to attract international attention.

All Chinese are equal, but some Chinese are more equal than others.

With apologies to George Orwell and Animal Farm.

Solar  & Related Update.

With events happening fast in the development of solar power and graphene, I’ve added this 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?

Indian State Plans To Increase Solar Power Use In Agriculture

July 17th, 2016 by smiti
One of the largest state in India is planning to shift all its electricity consumers in the agricultural sector to shift from thermal power to solar power.

According to media reports, the government of Maharashtra is working on a long-term proposal to shift all agricultural power consumers to solar power. This motive behind this plan is to reduce the subsidy being provided to farmers for electricity supply.

Farmers are being supply electricity at prices about a tenth of what some other consumers in the industrial and domestic sectors. Subsidy being provided to the farmers is around Rs 5,000 crore (US$750 million). This subsidy is recovered from other consumer classes in the form of higher tariff rates. At present, the unrecovered dues stand at Rs 15,000 crore (US$2.25 billion).

Shifting a large consumer base from thermal to solar power will not only result in environmental sustainable electricity production but will also rid the state government and utilities of the huge financial burden they are struggling with.

Some other Indian states have proposed similar measures as subsidy in the agricultural sector has risen significantly over the years. The central government has directed state governments to improve the financial condition of power utilities by reducing subsidies and regularly increasing tariffs.

Among the ideas floated for integration of solar power into the agriculture sector is a proposal that allows farmers to lease out land to project developers who set up small-scale solar power projects. Electricity generated from those projects will be used by the farmers and any surplus electricity would sold to the grid. This will ensure a sustainable power supply and an additional source of income for the farmers especially during the droughts.

 The monthly Coppock Indicators finished June

DJIA: 17930  -14 Up NASDAQ:  4843 -08 Down. SP500: 2099 -10 Up.

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