Wednesday, 30 November 2016

OPEC’s Big Day.

Baltic Dry Index. 1202 +18   Brent Crude 46.94

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

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

My big focus is China and OPEC and all of these countries that are just absolutely destroying the United States.

Donald Trump.

Today, it’s all about OPEC.  Will they or won’t they reach an agreement to cap their crude oil production, and if they do cap production, will it be meaningful, and will the cartel of cheats and liars actually stick to it? Past performance of the OPEC group suggests that even with an agreement, most members will cheat on each other by over producing above their agreed cap. But assuming that somehow OPEC does reach a meaningful agreement today, and that the members actually stick to the agreement if only for a few months, how long will OPEC get before US frackers and Russia pump up production and take market share? In Russia’s case that’s probably not before next spring due to winter 2016-2017, but in the good old USA, that’s probably next week down in Texas.

Below, today’s big story (or not.)

OPEC Deadlocked as Iran, Saudis Harden Positions on Oil Deal

November 29, 2016 — 9:18 AM EST November 29, 2016 — 11:44 PM EST
An OPEC deal to curtail oil production and prop up global prices appeared in jeopardy as Iran said it won’t make cuts while Saudi Arabia insisted Tehran must be willing to play a meaningful role in any agreement.
Ministers gathering in Vienna before Wednesday’s crucial OPEC meeting attempted to resolve differences obstructing an accord. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh laid out his country’s position following talks with his Algerian and Venezuelan counterparts. Under an Algerian proposal Tuesday, the 14 members of OPEC would cut production to 32.5 million barrels per day from their October level of 33.6 million, according to two delegates familiar with the talks. 

With oil prices languishing below $50 a barrel, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets Wednesday to finalize its first production curbs in eight years. Resistance from Iran -- and from neighboring Iraq -- has made the foundations for a deal look increasingly shaky. Top producer Saudi Arabia is ready to reject an accord unless all members, bar Libya and Nigeria, participate, people with knowledge of the kingdom’s position said earlier.

“I don’t know” if there will be an agreement, Indonesian Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan told reporters in Vienna. “The feeling today is mixed."

Under the Algerian proposal, Angola, which had a key oil field under maintenance in October, will cut from its September level. Nigeria and Libya will be exempted from cuts. Still, OPEC will consider their output to calculate the overall 32.5 million-barrel target, using their year-to-date averages, rather than their October levels.

An OPEC proposal initially agreed in Algiers in September would see producers trim output by about 1.2 million barrels a day from October levels. Iran has sought special treatment since it’s ramping up output following years of crippling sanctions.

Read more: The balance of power in OPEC shifts toward Iran and Iraq

Iran has suggested it freeze production at 3.975 million barrels a day, or about 200,000 barrels a day above current output, two OPEC delegates said Monday. Saudi Arabia countered with a proposal for Iran to cap output at 3.707 million. Algeria, acting as a go-between, offered an alternative that would see Iran freeze at 3.795 million, the delegates said.

Crude prices remain at half their level of mid-2014 as global supply continues to swamp demand. Brent gained 1 percent to $46.82 a barrel as of 5:28 a.m. in Vienna on Wednesday, after dropping 3.9 percent on Tuesday to the lowest settlement in two weeks.

Oil prices rise in nervous trading ahead of OPEC meeting

Wed Nov 30, 2016 | 1:14am EST
Oil markets edged up in nervous trading on Wednesday ahead of an OPEC meeting later in the day, with members of the producer cartel trying to thrash out an output cut to curb oversupply that has seen prices more than halve since 2014.

International Brent crude LCOc1 was trading at $46.85 per barrel at 0603 GMT, up 47 cents, or 1 percent, from its last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 29 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $45.52 a barrel.

Traders said markets were jittery, and that prices could sharply swing either way depending on developments at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Vienna.

Oil dropped nearly 4 percent the previous session over disputes between Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq regarding details of the planned cut.

Despite the disagreements, most analysts still expect some form of deal.

"We expect OPEC will reach an agreement ... We believe OPEC's resolve in reaching an agreement remains strong," ANZ bank said.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and ANZ agree that oil prices would quickly rise above $50 per barrel should OPEC come to an agreement. Without a deal, the consensus is for a fall to the low $40s.

In other news.

Asia stocks trim gains as liquidity fears jolt China markets

Wed Nov 30, 2016 | 12:58am EST
Asian stocks tried to stabilize after a rocky November month drew to a close, but Wednesday's session brought new anxieties as Chinese equities and commodities tanked amid worries that Beijing's efforts to support its currency could squeeze liquidity.

Analysts said moves by China's central bank in recent days to shore up a sliding yuan were sucking additional funds from the banking system, which is pushing up domestic borrowing costs.

"The stress could continue for a while," said Gu Weiyong, chief investment officer at hedge fund Ucom Investment Co, which specializes in fixed-income investment.

"Whether the situation gets better depends on the willingness of the central bank to inject more liquidity into the system."

Coking coal and steel rebar futures prices were on track for their biggest one-day drop on record while Chinese stocks .SSEC were the worst performing stock market in the region with a drop of 1 percent. and

The decline in Chinese stocks weighed on regional markets with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS trimming early gains to be up 0.2 percent.

While it held near its highest levels since Nov. 11, the index was set for a second consecutive monthly drop in a sign of the uncertainty around U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's administration and the outlook for global growth.

European stocks are expected to edge higher in early deals.

A six percent rise in the dollar against a trade-weighted basket of currencies .DXY since Trump's upset U.S. election win has hammered emerging markets, as investors pulled money out in favor of U.S. dollar-based assets on bets Trump will boost fiscal spending, growth and inflation.

More than $16 billion have been sucked out of emerging markets in the two weeks following the Nov. 8 vote but stock exchange data in India, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea indicate the outflows may be slowing.

For decades, our dependence on OPEC oil has dictated our national security decisions and tied us up in the Middle East at an incredible price. We've spent more than $5 trillion and thousands of American soldiers have died securing Middle East oil.

T. Boone Pickens

At the Comex silver depositories Tuesday final figures were: Registered 30.71 Moz, Eligible 148.14 Moz, Total 178.85 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
No crooks today, excepting Volkswagen, just a renewed push by Europe’s automakers to promote electric vehicles.

VW, BMW, Ford to Set Up Charging Network to Spur E-Car Demand

November 29, 2016 — 10:32 AM GMT
Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Ford Motor Co. plan to set up a European network for speedy charging of electric-car batteries as the auto manufacturers seek to overcome customer resistance to the vehicles.

The partnership, which will also include Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG, aims to establish “thousands” of stations along European highways by 2020, the automakers said Tuesday in a statement. With an initial target of about 400 sites, the group plans to start the rollout in 2017, deploying technology that will be “significantly faster” than current setups.

“A reliable, ultra-fast charging infrastructure is important for mass consumer adoption and has the potential to transform the possibilities for electric driving,” Ford Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields said in the statement.

The rare broad-based cooperation shows the strains on carmakers as they invest billions of dollars to develop battery-powered vehicles to comply with tighter environmental regulations. Buyers have so far shown little interest in the models because of limited driving range, the time needed for recharging and the high price of vehicles. BMW sold fewer than 24,100 of its i3 electric city car last year, out of the company’s total 2.2 million deliveries, while the Renault-Nissan automaking alliance has only handed over 350,000 electric vehicles to customers since 2010, versus a target of 1.5 million by the end of 2016.

Germany’s government agreed earlier this year to a 1 billion-euro ($1.06 billion) financing package to encourage electric-car purchases, with about two-thirds of the figure slated for developing roadside charging stations. U.S. carmaker Tesla Motors Inc.’s network of 744 Supercharger-branded stations includes outlets across Europe.

They’ll always be an England, even if it’s in Hollywood.

Bob Hope.

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?

Researchers explore new 2D materials that could make devices faster, smaller, and efficient

Date: November 28, 2016

Source: University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering

Summary: A new study by an international team of researchers highlights how manipulation of 2D materials could make our modern day devices faster, smaller, and better.

A new study by an international team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota highlights how manipulation of 2D materials could make our modern day devices faster, smaller, and better.
The findings are now online and will be published in Nature Materials, a leading scientific journal of materials science and engineering research.
Two-dimensional materials are a class of nanomaterials that are only a few atoms in thickness. Electrons in these materials are free to move in the two-dimensional plane, but their restricted motion in the third direction is governed by quantum mechanics. Research on these nanomaterials is still in its infancy, but 2D materials such as graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides and black phosphorus have garnered tremendous attention from scientists and engineers for their amazing properties and potential to improve electronic and photonic devices.
In this study, researchers from the University of Minnesota, MIT, Stanford, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, IBM, and universities in Brazil, UK and Spain, teamed up to examine the optical properties of several dozens of 2D materials. The goal of the paper is to unify understanding of light-matter interactions in these materials among researchers and explore new possibilities for future research.
They discuss how polaritons, a class of quasiparticles formed through the coupling of photons with electric charge dipoles in solid, allow researchers to marry the speed of photon light particles and the small size of electrons.
“With our devices, we want speed, efficiency, and we want small. Polaritons could offer the answer,” said Tony Low, a University of Minnesota electrical and computer engineering assistant professor and lead author of the study.
By exciting the polaritons in 2D materials, electromagnetic energy can be focused down to a volume a million times smaller compared to when its propagating in free space.
“Layered two-dimensional materials have emerged as a fantastic toolbox for nano-photonics and nano-optoelectronics, providing tailored design and tunability for properties that are not possible to realize with conventional materials,” said Frank Koppens, group leader at the Institute of Photonic Sciences at Barcelona, Spain, and co-author of the study. “This will offer tremendous opportunities for applications.”
Others on the team from private industry also recognize the potential in practical applications.
“The study of the plasmon-polaritons in two-dimensions is not only a fascinating research subject, but also offers possibilities for important technological applications,” said Phaedon Avoruris, IBM Fellow at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center and co-author of the study. “For example, an atomic layer material like graphene extends the field of plasmonics to the infrared and terahertz regions of the electromagnetic spectrum allowing unique applications ranging from sensing and fingerprinting minute amounts of biomolecules, to applications in optical communications, energy harvesting and security imaging.”

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished October

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

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