Monday, 21 November 2016

A Week To Remember?

Baltic Dry Index. 1257 +26   Brent Crude 47.50

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

Eurasian Snow cover. (How bad will winter be?)

"We shouldn't pour cold water on everything.  We, the eight or nine players in global investment banking, have a very good future."

Deutsche Bank, CEO Josef Ackermann. Davos, January 2007.

With Americans heading off this week to celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday, the week ahead is likely to be thinly traded and subject to more volatility. Themes likely to dominate the week ahead and probably the week following, are the coming OPEC meeting on November 30th, President-elect Trump’s cabinet making skills, the Italian reform referendum on December 4th, and will the Fed pull the trigger on a baby step interest rate increase at their December meeting. They’ve dropped enough hints at saying a rate increase is coming.

Below, some points of interest this morning as we start the serious retail madness in the run up to Christmas and New Year.  Will we really get hit with a triple jinx of a higher oil price, an Italian referendum failure, and a pre –Christmas interest rate hike in the dying days of a lame duck president?  Nowhere was President Obama’s “lame duckery” more visible  than at the weekend’s APEC meeting in Peru.

Oil Bets Are Biggest in 9 Years Amid OPEC, Trump Volatility

November 21, 2016 — 12:01 AM GMT Updated on November 21, 2016 — 4:44 AM GMT
Money managers, producers and consumers made the biggest bets on West Texas Intermediate crude prices in nine years, amid signals more volatility is coming.

Global markets were roiled after Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president and as OPEC continued negotiations on a deal to cap output. The U.S. dollar climbed to the highest since January. A measure of oil volatility surged last week to a seven-month high, a sign that traders were anticipating bigger price swings.

Wagers on higher and lower prices held by speculators and hedgers reached 1.47 million contracts in the week ended Nov. 15, the most since 2007, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Trading volume of calls giving investors the right to purchase WTI futures surged to a record that day. The CBOE Crude Oil Volatility Index reached the highest since April.

“There’s tension in the market, with both producers and consumers worried about what OPEC does or won’t do on Nov. 30,” said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York. “They want to be protected from surprising price moves.”

OPEC Meeting

Investors are weighing the chances that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will complete a deal to cap output at its Nov. 30 meeting in Vienna. While Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told Al Arabiya television he’s optimistic a deal will be reached, only 7 of 20 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg last week expect the group to set output targets for its members.

Putin Sees ‘Great Chance’ of OPEC Deal as Moscow Ready to Freeze

November 21, 2016 — 2:16 AM GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he sees no obstacles to OPEC reaching an agreement later this month, and Russia is willing to freeze its crude oil output at current levels as he thinks that oil exporters have overcome major differences in their positions.  

“Whether an agreement will be reached, I can not say for one hundred percent, but there is a strong likelihood that it will be achieved,” Putin told reporters on Sunday after he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima. “Main contradictions within OPEC if not yet eliminated, they can be eliminated.”

After initial negotiations aimed at freezing production failed in April a preliminary deal was reached in Algiers on Sept. 28., which ended a two-year policy of pumping without limits. Although the OPEC pledge to cut output is still due to be finalized, Russia has already added more than 400 billion rubles ($6 billion) to the nation’s budget, thanks to its talks with OPEC, according to two officials familiar with the government’s calculations.

“There is no difficulty for us to freeze production” at current levels, Putin repeated Russia’s position on Sunday.

China, Russia to Push for Free-Trade Area in Asia-Pacific

November 20, 2016 — 4:12 AM GMT
China and Russia will push for a free-trade area in the Asia-Pacific region, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement after the leaders of the two nations met Saturday in Lima, Peru.

President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin met during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the South American city. Leaders of both the countries should communicate frequently, according to the statement on Sunday.

The call for free trade in the region comes amid a protectionist mood in the U.S. following the election victory of Donald Trump, which is threatening to derail a trans-Pacific commerce agreement that excludes the world’s second-biggest economy.

In a speech Saturday at the APEC summit, Xi pledged to boost global trade and cooperation by opening up further and giving greater access to foreign investors.

Currency Vigilantes Ready to Strike Again as Italian Vote Looms

November 20, 2016 — 10:00 PM GMT
Italy’s constitutional referendum is giving the newly empowered currency vigilantes their latest chance to pounce.

Investors see the euro, not Italian bonds, as the best way to express concern that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s reforms will become the latest victim of a rising populist mood. While both assets have fallen in the run-up to the Dec. 4 vote, traders are speculating that the European Central Bank could backstop bonds in the event of a “no” result -- supporting debt markets but further undermining the single currency.

Making the hedge more attractive is the fact that the euro’s decline is seen enduring even after a “yes” vote as Donald Trump’s election continues to boost the U.S. dollar.

While so-called bond vigilantes used to prowl the market dispensing fiscal discipline by forcing up borrowing in countries they saw as erring from the right path, in Europe at least, central-bank easing has nullified their impact. Currency traders have picked up the mantle. Their impact was seen in the aftermath of the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union. The pound bore the brunt of investors’ displeasure, while bonds jumped amid expectations of more quantitative easing and rate cuts.

Selling the euro before Italy’s vote “makes a lot of sense given the potential for more expansionary fiscal and tighter monetary policy in the U.S., coupled with the increased focus on political risk and the increased likelihood of more policy from the ECB,” said James Athey, a money manager in London at Aberdeen Asset Management Plc, which oversees more than $400 billion.

“It’s a good idea to save your money. One day it might be worth something again.”

Mad Magazine.

At the Comex silver depositories Friday final figures were: Registered 30.91 Moz, Eligible 147.34 Moz, Total 178.25 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
In wealth and jobs destroying EUSSR news, more of the same decline. To save the ship from destruction reform is badly needed and is long overdue, more of the same is all it will get.
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

Europe’s Bond Traders Await the Calm Before Next Looming Storm

November 19, 2016 — 7:00 AM GMT
After two weeks of being whipsawed by politics and the outlook for monetary policy, European bonds may be about to get a breather.
There’s barely any major economic data from the euro zone next week, and traders are instead focused on Italy’s Dec. 4 referendum on constitutional reform and the European Central Bank’s policy meeting four days later. The Italian vote has the potential to oust Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, while speculation is growing that the ECB will unveil more bond buying to stoke the regional economy.
A hiatus would be quite a change from recent days, when Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency on Nov. 8 led to expectations of an increase in government spending and boosted inflation wagers. This, combined with traders pricing a December Federal Reserve interest-rate hike as a near certainty, sent European bonds tumbling as part of a record global selloff.
“There’s not much to really go on data-wise and the driver is clearly going to be on the political front,” said Orlando Green, a rates strategist at Credit Agricole SA’s corporate- and investment-banking unit in London. “There’s a lot going on beyond next week.”
Italian and Spanish debt extended their earlier declines into a fourth weekly slide, though German bunds rallied.
The yield on Germany’s benchmark 10-year security fell four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, in the week to 0.27 percent as of the 5 p.m. London-time close on Friday. The zero percent bund climbed 0.345, or 3.45 euros per 1,000-euro ($1,060) face amount, to 97.389. The yield reached a 10-month high of 0.4 percent on Nov. 14.
Italy’s 10-year yield rose seven basis points this week to 2.09 percent, after touching 2.23 percent on Monday, the highest since July 2015. Spain’s yield reached a post-Brexit-vote high of 1.69 percent on Friday.

Merkel Says She’ll Run for Fourth Term as German Chancellor

November 20, 2016 — 12:48 PM GMT Updated on November 20, 2016 — 9:18 PM GMT
Angela Merkel positioned herself as a force for stability in what she called “exceptionally difficult” and uncertain times as she ended months of speculation and announced that she’ll run for a fourth term as German chancellor.

Saying that she had weighed her decision “endlessly,” Merkel broke her silence on her political future on Sunday by saying that she will seek re-election as chairwoman of her party and will then contest next year’s federal election. Merkel said that she intends to serve a full, four-year term, “as long as my health allows it.”

----With U.S. President-elect Donald Trump assuming office in January and the U.K. preparing to leave the European Union, Merkel is defending her position as Europe’s pre-eminent leader amid unprecedented political uncertainty. A referendum in Italy and an Austrian presidential ballot in two weeks, followed by elections in the Netherlands, France and then Germany will all test voter appetite for populist candidates who promise to upset the established order.

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.

The EUSSR’s 5 Presidents, with apologies to Cary Grant. To Catch A Thief.

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?

Worrying traces of resistant bacteria in air

Date: November 18, 2016

Source: University of Gothenburg

Summary: Polluted city air has now been identified as a possible means of transmission for resistant bacteria. Researchers have shown that air samples from Beijing contain DNA from genes that make bacteria resistant to the most powerful antibiotics we have.
Polluted city air has now been identified as a possible means of transmission for resistant bacteria. Researchers in Gothenburg have shown that air samples from Beijing contain DNA from genes that make bacteria resistant to the most powerful antibiotics we have.
"This may be a more important means of transmission than previously thought," says Joakim Larsson, a professor at Sahlgrenska Academy and director of the Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at the University of Gothenburg.
Joakim Larsson and his colleagues have previously received attention for their research on waterborne release of antibiotics from pharmaceutical production in India, which was shown to trigger the development of resistant bacteria.
n this new study, the researchers looked for genes that make bacteria resistant to antibiotics in a total of 864 samples of DNA collected from humans, animals, and different environments worldwide.
"We studied only a small number of air samples, so to generalize, we need to examine the air from more places. But the air samples we did analyze showed a wide mix of different resistance genes. Of particular concern is that we found a series of genes that provide resistance to carbapenems, a group of last resort antibiotics taken for infections caused by bacteria that are often very difficult to treat," says Larsson.
The results do not show whether the sampled bacteria were actually alive in the air, which would make them a real threat.
"It is reasonable to believe that there is a mixture of live and dead bacteria, based on experience from other studies of air," says Larsson.
European treatment plants
The next step for the research is to find out if resistance spreads through air from European sewage treatment plants. This research will be carried out within the framework of a larger collaborative international project that has just been selected for funding by the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPI-AMR), where the Swedish Research Council is providing the Gothenburg group's financing.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished October

DJIA: 18142  +32 Up NASDAQ:  5189 +31 Up. SP500: 2126 +46 Up.

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