Thursday, 15 September 2016

The Wait.

Baltic Dry Index. 756 -40    Brent Crude 46.10

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

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Things cooled down in the casinos yesterday, where although next week’s Fed interest rate hike is now unofficially off again, the central banksters and their talking chair, have s damaged their credibility over the summer that only the HFT algo traders and hard core gamblers are left at the betting tables.  We face a week of wait and see, light volumes, and high volatility, unless some outside event comes along to force a money vote, up or down. Such central banksterism is what passes for capitalism in the last act in the Great Nixonian Error of fiat money, communist money.

We open with today’s news from Asia where UCle Sam is opening up a new front in his trade war with China.

Asia stocks waver as policy uncertainty, weaker oil sap confidence

Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:08am EDT
Asian stocks wavered on Thursday as investors grappled with the apparently diminishing ability of major central banks to stimulate growth, while a tumble in crude oil prices added to the risk-averse mood.
Spreadbetters saw sentiment remaining somber in the European session, forecasting a lower open for Britain's FTSE .FTSE, Germany's DAX .GDAXI and France's CAC .FCHI.

While expectations over a Federal Reserve rate hike at next week's meeting have faded, investors are bracing for a tightening before year-end.

Perceived limits to the extensive monetary easings led by major central banks such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan have also soured broader risk sentiment, driving global debt yields to multi-month highs earlier this week.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS edged down 0.1 percent.
Singapore .STI lost 0.4 percent but Hong Kong's Hang Seng .HSI rose 0.6 percent in thin trade. Mainland China markets were closed for holidays.

Sliding U.S. export share, trade disputes, set stage for China grains clash

Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:33am EDT
On the surface, the timing of the United States' audacious challenge to China's price supports for its grain farmers looks odd.

Farmers in the world's second-biggest economy are currently harvesting their first corn crop in a decade that will not be priced by the government, after Beijing launched efforts to reform its corn policy earlier this year. Furthermore, domestic Chinese corn prices are languishing close to multi-year lows.

But the steady erosion of the U.S. role in the world grain export market, a ballooning global crop glut and the years-long premium that Chinese grains have held over global prices help to explain what compelled the politically influential U.S. farm sector to file its case with the World Trade Organization.

European and U.S. regulators have criticized China's farm policies for years but the country's leaders have prioritized the sector to ensure self-sufficiency in staple food crops and boost rural incomes to address widening inequalities with urban residents. To do that, Beijing has set goals to provide jobs across the farm belt, feed its growing urban population and reduce its dependence on imports.

The U.S. appears willing to risk ratcheting up tensions in an already-fraught trade relationship as its own farmers grapple with record grain inventories and near 10-year lows in grain prices.

The two countries, the world's biggest agricultural producers, are already enmeshed in ongoing bilateral trade deal discussions and a Chinese investigation into alleged dumping of animal feed grains by U.S. producers. These tensions are what analyst Rosa Wang at Shanghai JC Intelligence Co Ltd believe sparked the U.S. action.

"It's totally related to the trade relationship," said Wang.

A ruling in the dumping case against U.S. producers of distillers's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), an animal feed made as a byproduct of ethanol production, was expected earlier this week.

Part of the U.S. pain is explained by an historic shift in trade flows.

Between 2010 and 2015, the U.S. share of the burgeoning volumes of global exports of corn, wheat and rice shrank by a third as it was crowded out by rivals Brazil, Argentina and Russia, according to data compiled by Reuters.

Its portion of sales to China fell even faster, dropping by over 40 percent.

An even larger sticking point in the controversy centers on the difference in prices for grains between China and the United States that started to widen in early 2010.

The United States says the spread distorts world trade and gives Chinese farmers an unfair advantage over competitors.

We close with yet more trouble for Europe. The global economy seems to be rolling over once again and for doddery Europe it couldn’t come at a woese time.

Gloom Descends on Luxury-Goods Industry

September 14, 2016 — 8:11 AM BST Updated on September 14, 2016 — 11:27 AM BST
The crisis in the global luxury-goods industry deepened after Hermes International SCA abandoned a long-standing forecast and Richemont predicted a profit plunge that Chairman Johann Rupert deemed unacceptable.
Richemont, the maker of Cartier jewelry, said first-half operating profit will probably decline about 45 percent and warned it may have to deepen cost cuts. Kelly bag maker Hermes, traditionally among the industry’s most resilient companies, scrapped a target for 8 percent annual sales growth, replacing it with what it described as “an ambitious goal.”
Shares of both companies slid, dragging other luxury stocks down with them. The industry is grappling with another year of waning demand as China’s campaign against extravagant spending is compounded by a drop in tourism after terrorist attacks in France and Belgium, a situation Rupert characterized as a “fiasco.” Richemont’s revenue slid 13 percent, excluding currency shifts, in the five months through August, missing analysts’ estimates.
“The warnings show that macro and geopolitical uncertainties put near-term volume growth in question,” said Zuzanna Pusz, an analyst at Berenberg. “The challenges facing the luxury industry are not over yet.”

Singapore Airlines not to extend lease on first A380 jet

Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:28am EDT
Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA) (SIAL.SI) will not extend the lease on its first Airbus A380 jet when it expires next year, a further blow for Airbus Group (AIR.PA) as the manufacturer seeks to bolster new sales of the world's largest passenger plane.

"Our first five A380s are on a 10-year lease, with options to extend. The first one will expire in October next year, and we have decided not to extend it," a SIA spokesman said.

"For the other four, decisions will be made later."

The Southeast Asian airline, which at present has 19 A380s in its fleet, was the first to fly the world's largest jetliner in 2007. Airlines usually have to give around one year's notice on whether to renew leases for large aircraft.

SIA's decision not to extend the lease comes amid doubts over demand for the double-decker A380, after Airbus cut the jet's production in July, but said it remained optimistic about its long-term prospects.

"We do not comment on the fleet plans of individual airlines. We are confident in the market for second-hand A380s, which can be leased or acquired at attractive rates. This will offer a great opportunity for new entrants with new business models to start operating the A380," said an Airbus spokeswoman.

SIA said the decision not to extend the lease was the result of a regular review of its fleet requirements.

Top German companies say refugees not ready for job market

Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:06pm EDT
Germany's blue-chip companies will have to explain to Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday why they have managed to hire fewer than 100 refugees after around a million arrived in the country last year.
Merkel, fighting for her political life over her open-door policy, has summoned the bosses of some of Germany's biggest companies to Berlin to account for their lack of action and exchange ideas about how they can do better.
Many of the companies say a lack of German-language skills, the inability of most refugees to prove any qualifications, and uncertainty about their permission to stay in the country mean there is little they can do in the short term.
A survey by Reuters of the 30 companies in Germany's DAX stock market index found they could point to just 63 refugee hires in total. Several of the 26 firms who responded said they considered it discriminatory to ask about applicants' migration history, so they did not know whether they employed refugees or how many.
Of the 63 hires, 50 are employed by Deutsche Post DHL, which said it applied a "pragmatic approach" and deployed the refugees to sort and deliver letters and parcels.
"Given that around 80 percent of asylum seekers are not highly qualified and may not yet have a high level of German proficiency, we have primarily offered jobs that do not require technical skills or a considerable amount of interaction in German," a spokesman said by email.
What is clear is that early optimism that the wave of migrants could boost economic growth and help ease a skills shortage in Germany - where the working-age population is projected to shrink by 6 million people by 2030 - is evaporating.

Merkel Pleads for Middle Ground in Bid to Shore Up Berlin Vote

September 14, 2016 — 7:27 PM BST
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged voters in Berlin to reject populism, seeking to stave off losses for her party as she told a state election rally that the “political center” needs to stay strong.

Four days before elections in the capital, Merkel was heckled by protesters while campaigning on Wednesday for her Christian Democratic Union. She warned against a vote like the one that boosted the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party, or AfD, in another state contest this month.

“There are people who believe that if you provoke and use scathing language and short phrases, the problems will solve themselves,” Merkel told the crowd in the western part of the city that party officials estimated at 2,500. “That is not the case and that’s why we need a strong political middle in Berlin. ”

Merkel’s party was beaten into third place by the AfD for the first time in a state election on Sept. 4 in the eastern region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Polls suggest that the capital’s governing Social Democrats and the CDU, the junior partner, will both lose support in the election on Sunday, possibly bumping Merkel’s party out of the city government in Berlin, which also is a federal state.

"All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed... and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the I.R.S."

President F.D. Roosevelt, 1933
At the Comex silver depositories Tuesday final figures were: Registered 30.02 Moz, Eligible 136.03 Moz, Total 166.05 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Just when exactly in the last 25 years did the crooks get to finally take over, thanks to the Great Nixonian Error of fiat money, communist money, run by the ever more corrupt central banksters?
Why did I take up stealing? To live better, to own things I couldn't afford, to acquire this good taste that you now enjoy and which I should be very reluctant to give up.

President Nixon, with apologies to Cary Grant. To Catch A Thief.

Three ships chartered to troubled Hanjin sold, more on the block

Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:44am EDT
Three ships chartered to Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd (117930.KS) have been sold and two more vessels are up for sale, ship brokers said on Wednesday, kicking off an asset sale sparked by the failure of the world's seventh largest container shipper.

Around $14 billion of cargo has been tied up globally as ports, tugboat operators and cargo handling firms worried about not being paid refuse to work for Hanjin, which filed for receivership in a Seoul court on Aug 31.

While some ships have been offloaded since then, bottlenecks are forming at some ports and truck yards as containers pile up.

Three bulk carriers, used for carrying commodities such as iron ore, coal and grain, were sold by lessors for a total of almost $39 million, according to data from ship valuation firm VesselsValue.

The largest, the 180,000 deadweight tonne (DWT) capesize Hanjin Matsuyama, was sold by Japanese shipping firm Kumiai Senpaku to Singapore-based Winning Shipping for $22.75 million, according to the data. An official at Winning said the deal had not yet been completed.

The five-year old ship, last tracked off South Korea, was sold charter-free, meaning it is no longer chartered by Hanjin Shipping, a ship broker told Reuters.

The two smaller 37,000 DWT handyside vessels have been sold to Greek buyers, also charter-free, the broker said.

Vessels that are sold can be bought by their new owners with existing charter, or rental, agreements in place or charter-free, meaning they can be hired out to new firms such as commodities companies.

With prices already depressed by over-capacity, the values achieved were in line with recent similar sales and estimates from shipping services firm Clarkson.

Two container ships worth between $18-$22 million have also been put up for sale, two other ship brokers with knowledge with the matter said.

"Potential buyers have to register their interest by the end of this week with offers by the end of this month," said an Asian secondhand ship broker.

The vessels, both built in 2013, can carry up to 4,522 20-foot containers. The Hanjin Mar is currently anchored off the south coast of South Korea while the Hanjin Marine is heading to Prince Rupert in Canada, according to Thomson Reuters ship tracking data.

A spokeswoman for Hanjin Shipping said the two vessels were chartered and were being returned to the owners, declining to identify them.

Thomson Reuters data and Equasis, a European ship database, showed Panama-registered Tribridge Marine-Oceania and Tribridge Marine-Pacific as the registered owners, but Hanjin Shipping Holdings as the beneficial owner.

Shipbrokers expect more Hanjin ships to be put on the market although uncertainty about the company's future could delay progress and some could be sold off-market to other South Korean companies.

A court has given Hanjin until late November to come up with a rehabilitation plan that creditors agree to.

Hanjin Brings One of World's Busiest Shipping Terminals Close to Standstill

September 13, 2016 — 10:00 PM BST Updated on September 14, 2016 — 3:00 AM BST
The Hanjin Shipping Co. terminal at South Korea’s largest port used to be one of the world’s busiest. Dozens of container carriers would line up to ferry boxes to and from the giant cranes that loaded and unloaded the world’s biggest ships.
Last week the terminal, as big as 100 football fields, came to a virtual standstill. In front of hundreds of containers stacked four-high, Seo Seong Deok, a 35-year-old driver of the port tractors, wondered if he would ever get to move them again.
“We have no work now,” said Seo, one of about 1,000 tractor drivers without work. “This Hanjin terminal used to be always bustling with trucks and ships. Now, I heard some fresh food such as mango or banana is rotting in Hanjin container ships drifting somewhere in the ocean.”
Since the world’s seventh-largest container line filed for protection from creditors on Aug. 31, the port has been paralyzed as unshipped boxes piled up. The collapse has come at the worst time: September is peak season for the industry as manufacturers look to stock store shelves for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Port officials say cargo owners have been scrambling to find alternative ways to send goods.
The port in Busan, on the tip of the Korean peninsula about 325 kilometers (200 miles) southeast of Seoul, handles more than 70 percent of the containers that enter or leave South Korea, according to local government data. Until last week, Hanjin alone accounted for about 10 percent of goods that flow through its wharves. The company declined to comment on the current situation in Busan.

Chinese Electric Bus Companies Took Subsidies for Vehicles They Never Produced

by GTM Editors September 13, 2016
China's Electric Vehicle Industry Shaken by Scandal

China's electric vehicle industry, a flagship for Beijing's technology ambitions, has been rocked by scandal after five companies were caught collecting millions of dollars in subsidies for buses they never made.

The affair of the phantom buses has prompted questions about whether the ruling Communist Party's financial support to an industry it is spending heavily to promote might be disrupted.

The Finance Ministry announced that five manufacturers were fined for fraudulently collecting a total of more than 1 billion yuan ($120 million) in subsidies. Chinese news reports, citing unidentified industry sources, say as many as 20 others might be in trouble.

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?

Integrating graphene, reduced graphene oxide onto silicon chips at room temperature

Date: September 13, 2016

Source: North Carolina State University

Summary: Researchers have developed a technique that allows them to integrate graphene, graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide onto silicon substrates at room temperature using lasers. The advance raises the possibility of creating new electronic devices, and the researchers are already planning to use the technique to create smart biomedical sensors.
Materials researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a technique that allows them to integrate graphene, graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) onto silicon substrates at room temperature by using nanosecond pulsed laser annealing. The advance raises the possibility of creating new electronic devices, and the researchers are already planning to use the technique to create smart biomedical sensors.
In the new technique, researchers start with a silicon substrate. They top that with a layer of single-crystal titanium nitride, using domain matching epitaxy to ensure the crystalline structure of the titanium nitride is aligned with the structure of the silicon. Researchers then place a layer of copper-carbon (Cu-2.0 atomic percent C) alloy on top of the titanium nitride, again using domain matching epitaxy. Finally, the researchers melt the surface of the alloy with nanosecond laser pulses, which pulls carbon to the surface.
If the process is done in a vacuum, the carbon forms on the surface as graphene; if it is done in oxygen, it forms GO; and if done in a humid atmosphere followed by a vacuum, it forms as rGO. In all three cases, the carbon's crystalline structure is aligned with the underlying copper-carbon alloy.
"We can control whether the carbon forms one or two monolayers on the surface of the material by manipulating the intensity of the laser and the depth of the melting," says Jay Narayan, the John C. Fan Distinguished Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper describing the work.
"The process can easily be scaled up," Narayan says. "We've made wafers that are two inches square, and could easily make them much larger, using lasers with higher Hertz. And this is all done at room temperature, which drives down the cost."
Graphene is an excellent conductor, but it cannot be used as a semiconductor. However, rGO is a semiconductor material, which can be used to make electronic devices such as integrated smart sensors and optic-electronic devices.
"We have already patented the technique and are planning to use it to develop smart biomedical sensors integrated with computer chips," Narayan says.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished August.

DJIA: 18401  +18 Up NASDAQ:  5213 +16 Up. SP500: 2171 +18 Up.

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