Tuesday, 2 August 2016

China Responds to UNCLOS.

Baltic Dry Index. 650 -06     Brent Crude 42.35

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

"Increasingly, the wealth of the modern world has come to be represented by financial assets rather than real assets, and this to me is a very unhealthy situation, because financial assets are inherently unstable. Financial assets (currencies, bonds, mortgages, stocks, bank credit, etc.) can be quickly and violently reduced in value, or destroyed completely by either inflation or deflation."

Donald J. Hoppe

Today Asia, where tensions are rising between rising China and setting Japan. China has responded to last week’s South China Sea arbitration decision.  China intends to enforce its own law. We note with rising concern the bear market resuming again in shipping and oil.

Asian markets slide as oil prices dip

Published: Aug 2, 2016 12:03 a.m. ET
A sharp fall in the price of oil overnight in the U.S. weighed on sentiment in Asia on Tuesday, with traders also ready to be disappointed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s stimulus package that will be unveiled later in the day.

The S&P ASX/200 XJO, -0.67%   was down 0.1%, while the Kospi SEU, -0.46%   fell 0.4%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.03%   rose 0.1%. Trading was halted in Hong Kong, which was hit by a typhoon.

Overnight in the U.S., oil prices fell sharply, briefly dipping below $40 a barrel due to a supply glut. Prices have dropped 22% in less than two months, ending a rally that took prices above $50 in early June. Supply is coming back to Iraq and Nigeria, and Saudi output is expected to hit record levels, say analysts.

“Saudi Arabia cut its official selling price for Arab Light [a benchmark] into Asia for September by the biggest amount in nearly a year, in a move reflecting lower demand,” said Stuart Ive, a client manager at OM Financial. “This seasonal drop in prices does still have room to target $35 before maybe reversing toward the end of year.”

Hong Kong Closes Stock Market as Typhoon Nida Shuts City

August 1, 2016 — 7:10 AM BST Updated on August 2, 2016 — 5:29 AM BST
Hong Kong’s stock exchange halted trading for the day as Typhoon Nida lashed the city with rain and wind, forcing schools shut and flights grounded.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. said in a statement that Tuesday sessions, including after-hours futures trading, had been canceled due to Storm Signal No. 8, the city’s third-highest warning. The Hong Kong Observatory said it will issue signal No. 3 before 1 p.m. As of noon, Typhoon Nida was centered about 160 kilometers northwest of the city and forecast to move inland into China’s Guangdong province, further away from Hong Kong. Nida has weakened into a tropical storm.

"There’s not much to do at home anyway so I came in," said Frank Huang, head of trading at Sinopac Securities Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong, adding he’s the only person in his office. "I had an overnight deal to work on. Japan and Singapore are still open, so there’s still trading."

About 325 flights are expected to be rescheduled from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the Airport Authority Hong Kong. As of 3 a.m., 156 flights were canceled and another 290 delayed. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and unit Dragonair have said they will cancel flights until 2 p.m. Tuesday. All schools are closed.

China court warns against illegal fishing in riposte to South China Sea ruling

Tue Aug 2, 2016 12:47am EDT
China's Supreme Court said on Tuesday that people caught illegally fishing in Chinese waters could be jailed for up to a year, issuing a judicial interpretation defining those waters as including China's exclusive economic zones.

An arbitration court in The Hague ruled last month that China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea and that it has breached the Philippines' sovereign rights with its actions, infuriating Beijing which dismissed the case.

None of China's reefs and holdings in the Spratly Islands entitled it to a 200-mile exclusive economic zone, the court decided.

The Supreme Court made no direct mention of the South China Sea or The Hague ruling, but said its judicial interpretation was made in accordance with both Chinese law and the United Nations' Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), under which the Philippines had also bought its case.

"Judicial power is an important component of national sovereignty," the Supreme Court said.

"People's courts will actively exercise jurisdiction over China's territorial waters, support administrative departments to legally perform maritime management duties ... and safeguard Chinese territorial sovereignty and maritime interests."

Jurisdictional seas covered by the interpretation include contiguous zones, exclusive economic zones and continental shelves, it added.

People who illegally enter Chinese territorial waters and refuse to leave after being driven out, or who re-enter after being driven away or being fined in the past year, will be considered to have committed "serious" criminal acts and could get up to a year in jail, the Supreme Court said.

'Give them a bloody nose': Xi pressed for stronger South China Sea response

Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:29pm EDT
China's leadership is resisting pressure from elements within the military for a more forceful response to an international court ruling against Beijing's claims in the South China Sea, sources said, wary of provoking a clash with the United States.

China refused to participate in the case overseen by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

It denounced the emphatic July 12 ruling in favor of the Philippines as a farce that had no legal basis and part of an anti-China plot cooked up in Washington.

The ruling has been followed in China by a wave of nationalist sentiment, scattered protests and strongly worded editorials in state media.

So far, Beijing has not shown any sign of wanting to take stronger action. Instead, it has called for a peaceful resolution through talks at the same time as promising to defend Chinese territory.

But some elements within China's increasingly confident military are pushing for a stronger - potentially armed - response aimed at the United States and its regional allies, according to interviews with four sources with close military and leadership ties.

"The People's Liberation Army is ready," one source with ties to the military told Reuters.

"We should go in and give them a bloody nose like Deng Xiaoping did to Vietnam in 1979," the source said, referring to China's brief invasion of Vietnam to punish Hanoi for forcing Beijing's ally the Khmer Rouge from power in Cambodia.

The sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Japan defense review expresses 'deep concern' at Chinese coercion

Mon Aug 1, 2016 10:29pm EDT
Japan's annual defense review on Tuesday expressed "deep concern" over what it sees as China's coercion as a more assertive Beijing flouts international rules when dealing with other nations.

Japan's Defence White Paper comes amid heightened tension in Asia less than a month after an arbitration court in the Hague invalidated China's sweeping claims in the disputed South China Sea, in a case brought by the Philippines.

China has refused to recognize the ruling. Japan called on China to adhere to the verdict, which it said was binding. Beijing retorted by warning Tokyo not to interfere.

In the defense review approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, Japan warned that "unintended consequences" could result from Beijing's assertive disregard of international rules.

"China is poised to fulfill its unilateral demands without compromise," the government said in the review.
China claims most of the 3.5-million-square-km (1.35- million-square-mile) South China Sea, with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also staking claims.

Japan has no territorial claims there, but it fears that Chinese military bases will bolster Beijing's influence over a region through which $5 trillion in trade passes every year, much of it to and from Japanese ports.

Rather than confront China directly by sailing warships past its man-made island bases in the sea, Japan is providing equipment and training to the Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines and Vietnam, which are most opposed to China's territorial ambitions.

Beijing's most powerful adversary in Asia is the United States, with its Seventh Fleet operating from bases in Japan and South Korea. Japan has Asia's second-biggest indigenous navy.. The defense review noted China's growing capability to threaten naval vessels with its growing armory of anti-ship missiles.

At 484 pages, Japan's document is more than a tenth longer than last year's report, and lays out other security concerns, such as the threat from neighboring North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear bomb programs and a revival of Russian military strength in the Far East.

It takes 50 pages to outline Japan's deepening alliance with the United States, as Tokyo takes a step back from its war-renouncing constitution by easing curbs on overseas operations for its Self Defence Forces.

"The international monetary order is more precarious by far today than it was in 1929. Then, gold was international money, incorruptible, unmanageable, and unchangeable. Today, the U.S. dollar serves as the international medium of exchange, managed by Washington politicians and Federal Reserve officials, manipulated from day to day, and serving political goals and ambitions. This difference alone sounds the alarm to all perceptive observers."

Hans F. Sennholz
At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 26.38 Moz, Eligible 126.71 Moz, Total 153.09 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, South Korea bans Volkswagens, and yet another dodgy bank that helped American tax cheats switches sides. There’s just no honour among thieves anymore.

South Korea bans almost all Volkswagen sales over emissions scandal

Published: Aug 1, 2016 10:51 p.m. ET

Automaker also slapped with $16.1 million fine

SEOUL — South Korea banned sales of almost all Volkswagen AG cars and handed down heavy fines on the German auto maker, one of the most severe punishments globally for the company as it struggles with a deepening emissions scandal.

Korea is a relatively small market for Volkswagen, but authorities have pursued the company aggressively since it first said last year that it cheated on emissions.

The Ministry of Environment on Tuesday revoked the certification of 80 models sold by Volkswagen and its premium Audi brand in the country and banned the sale of 83,000 cars.

The ministry also fined Volkswagen VOW, -0.52%   17.8 billion won ($16.1 million), saying it fabricated documents to obtain the certification.


Israeli Bank Secrets Smuggled in Necklace to Help U.S. Tax Cheat

August 1, 2016 — 8:15 PM BST Updated on August 1, 2016 — 11:34 PM BST
A Swiss banker used a toothpaste tube a decade ago to smuggle diamonds into the U.S. Prosecutors now say an Israeli bank employee devised a new way to help a U.S. client hide assets from the Internal Revenue Service: She carried account statements into the country on a USB flash drive concealed in her necklace.

The businessman, Masud Sarshar, agreed to plead guilty to hiding more than $21 million through accounts at Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. and two other Israeli banks, the Justice Department said Monday.

The case comes as the U.S. shifts the focus of its offshore tax cases beyond Switzerland. Eighty Swiss banks avoided prosecution by paying $1.37 billion in penalties and admitting how they helped Americans cheat on their taxes. In December 2014, Bank Leumi agreed to pay $400 million for helping American clients evade taxes for a decade. The bank also agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Court papers spell out how Sarshar, owner of a clothing business, tried to avoid leaving a paper trail that could expose his offshore money. He used a code name in 1993 to set up an account at an unidentified Israeli bank, and he and his relationship manager at the time would secretly meet in Sarshar’s car so the manager could show him copies of his account statements.

In 2007, Sarshar opened three accounts at Bank Leumi that he hid by placing them in the names of entities he created. Sarshar believed his new relationship manager “knew of his desire to keep his Bank Leumi accounts secret,” and she “acted accordingly,” according to his plea agreement.

She “brought electronic copies of Sarshar’s Bank Leumi account statements during her visits to the United States, which she kept hidden on a USB drive contained in a necklace that she wore,” according to Sarshar’s plea agreement.

Neither of his two relationship managers were identified in court papers or charged with wrongdoing.
Sarshar closed his Bank Leumi accounts in 2011, telling his manager there that he was worried his accounts would be revealed to U.S. investigators.

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?

Scientists find a way of acquiring graphene-like films from salts to boost nanoelectronics

Physicists use supercomputers to find a way of making 'imitation graphene' from salt

Date: July 29, 2016

Source: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

Summary: Scientists have found a way to acquire 2-D graphene-like layers of various salts. Because to the unique properties of two-dimensional materials, this opens up great prospects for nanoelectronics. Using computer modeling they have found the exact parameters, under which certain salts undergo graphitization -- rearrangement of atoms in the slab with further decomposition of a crystal into 2-D layers.The received data will soon be used to acquire these layers experimentally.
Researchers from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), the Technological Institute for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials (TISNCM), the National University of Science and Technology MISiS (Russia), and Rice University (USA) used computer simulations to find how thin a slab of salt has to be in order for it to break up into graphene-like layers. Based on the computer simulation, they derived the equation for the number of layers in a crystal that will produce ultrathin films with applications in nanoelectronics. Their findings were in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
From 3D to 2D
Unique monoatomic thickness of graphene makes it an attractive and useful material. Its crystal lattice resembles a honeycombs, as the bonds between the constituent atoms form regular hexagons. Graphene is a single layer of a three-dimensional graphite crystal and its properties (as well as properties of any 2D crystal) are radically different from its 3D counterpart. Since the discovery of graphene, a large amount of research has been directed at new two-dimensional materials with intriguing properties. Ultrathin films have unusual properties that might be useful for applications such as nano- and microelectronics.
Previous theoretical studies suggested that films with a cubic structure and ionic bonding could spontaneously convert to a layered hexagonal graphitic structure in what is known as graphitisation. For some substances, this conversion has been experimentally observed. It was predicted that rock salt NaCl can be one of the compounds with graphitisation tendencies. Graphitisation of cubic compounds could produce new and promising structures for applications in nanoelectronics. However, no theory has been developed that would account for this process in the case of an arbitrary cubic compound and make predictions about its conversion into graphene-like salt layers.
For graphitisation to occur, the crystal layers need to be reduced along the main diagonal of the cubic structure. This will result in one crystal surface being made of sodium ions Na? and the other of chloride ions Cl?. It is important to note that positive and negative ions (i.e. Na? and Cl?) -- and not neutral atoms -- occupy the lattice points of the structure. This generates charges of opposite signs on the two surfaces. As long as the surfaces are remote from each other, all charges cancel out, and the salt slab shows a preference for a cubic structure. However, if the film is made sufficiently thin, this gives rise to a large dipole moment due to the opposite charges of the two crystal surfaces. The structure seeks to get rid of the dipole moment, which increases the energy of the system. To make the surfaces charge-neutral, the crystal undergoes a rearrangement of atoms.
Experiment vs model
To study how graphitisation tendencies vary depending on the compound, the researchers examined 16 binary compounds with the general formula AB, where A stands for one of the four alkali metals lithium Li, sodium Na, potassium K, and rubidium Rb. These are highly reactive elements found in Group 1 of the periodic table. The B in the formula stands for any of the four halogens fluorine F, chlorine Cl, bromine Br, and iodine I. These elements are in Group 17 of the periodic table and readily react with alkali metals.
---- Pavel Sorokin, Dr. habil., is head of the Laboratory of New Materials Simulation at TISNCM. He explains the importance of the study, 'This work has already attracted our colleagues from Israel and Japan. If they confirm our findings experimentally, this phenomenon [of graphitisation] will provide a viable route to the synthesis of ultrathin films with potential applications in nanoelectronics.'
The scientists intend to broaden the scope of their studies by examining other compounds. They believe that ultrathin films of different composition might also undergo spontaneous graphitisation, yielding new layered structures with properties that are even more intriguing.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished July

DJIA: 18432  +03 Up NASDAQ:  5162 +10 Up. SP500: 2173 +01 Up.

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