Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Trump Minus 16.

Baltic Dry Index. 953 -08   Brent Crude 55.87

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

If the financial system goes down, our business is going down and, trust me, yours and everyone else's is going down, too.
Lloyd Blankfein’s CEO Goldman Sachs, threat 2008. Mr. Goldman Sacks.

Trumpmania continues apace in Japan, far less so in Wobbly China, where President Trump's potential trade war with China continues to fuel capita flight from the Yuan. Far less so too in Canada, were President Trump's plan to pull out of NAFTA offers both problems and opportunities. A US, Canada, UK trade deal perhaps?  We seem to have well and truly left the plains of the 1990s -2005 economy, and after an excursion into Death Valley 2007-2009, are leaving the foothills of the Himalayas for the real thing.

Japan stocks soar as Asian markets post gains

By Kenan Machado   Published: Jan 3, 2017 11:23 p.m. ET
The Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +2.45%   was up 2.2%, with the market reopening after a four-day holiday weekend, helped by gains in financial and export-oriented stocks.
Among key outperforming shares, Shinsei Bank 8303, +4.08%   gained 4.1%, with Mitsubishi UFJ 8306, +3.55%   adding 4.4%. Honda Motor 7267, +4.22%   and Mitsubishi 7211, +4.05%  ach gained 4.2%.
Other Asian markets also tracked Japan’s gains, with Singapore’s Straits Times Index STI, +0.82%   up 0.8%, and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia index FBMKLCI, +0.48%   adding 0.4%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.06%   was up 0.1%.
“Today was the first day of trade in Japan and market participants are reacting to the good news over the global economy,” said analyst Masashi Murata, who covers regional and emerging markets for Brown Brothers Harriman.
The outlook for the global economy is strong with inflation picking up in the U.S. and Europe, he said.
Overnight, the U.S. dollar gained to a 14-year high, boosted by data that underscored the strength in the nation’s economy. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index, released Tuesday, rose to its highest level in two years. The news pushed the WSJ Dollar Index up 0.3% to its highest level since mid-2002.

China Said to Consider Options to Back Yuan, Curb Outflows

Bloomberg News  4 January 2017, 03:10 GMT 4 January 2017, 04:58 GMT
China has studied possible scenarios for the yuan and capital outflows this year and is preparing contingency plans, according to people familiar with the matter.

The authorities have used stress tests, models and field research, said the people who asked not to be identified as the studies haven’t been made public yet. Financial regulators have already encouraged some state-owned enterprises to sell foreign currency and may order them to temporarily convert some holdings into yuan under the current account if necessary, they added. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange didn’t immediately reply to a fax seeking comment.

The reported plans come amid increasing pressure on the yuan from a resurgent dollar, rising capital outflows and concern that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump may make good on his threats to take punitive measures on China’s exports. Policy makers in Beijing have recently taken a slew of measures to tighten control of the currency market, including placing higher scrutiny on citizens’ conversion quotas and stricter requirements for banks reporting cross-border transactions.

“China has been challenged by capital outflows and declining foreign-exchange reserves, and policy makers are taking measures to solve the problem,” said Eddie Cheung, a Hong Kong-based foreign-exchange strategist at Standard Chartered Plc, the most accurate forecaster for Asian emerging-market currencies according to a Bloomberg ranking. "Funds will continue to exit in the first half due to individuals’ purchases of the dollar and on concerns of U.S. political uncertainty.”

China may also further sell U.S. Treasuries in 2017 if needed to keep the yuan’s exchange rate stable, the people said, adding that the size of the reduction will depend on capital outflows and market intervention. The nation’s holdings of Treasuries declined to the lowest in more than six years in October as the world’s second-largest economy used its currency reserves to support the yuan.

China’s currency stockpile has probably shrunk further after hitting a five-year low of $3.05 trillion in November, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before data due as early as this week.

Fearing protectionism, Canada's Trudeau reaches out to U.S. Congress

Tue Jan 3, 2017 | 5:36pm EST
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reached out in a video address to the new U.S. Congress on Tuesday to stress how tightly linked the economies of Canada and the United States are, amid fears of a protectionist Trump administration.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has promised to either renegotiate or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has said overhauling trade policy will be a top priority after he takes office on Jan. 20.

Canada sends 75 percent of its exports to the United States and could suffer from changes to NAFTA, which also includes Mexico. Ford Motor Co (F.N) on Tuesday scrapped a planned Mexican car factory and added 700 jobs in Michigan following criticism by Trump, who turned his attention toward General Motors Co (GM.N) with the threat of a "big border tax" over compact cars made in Mexico.

In the video address, Trudeau and David MacNaughton, the Canadian ambassador to Washington, stressed the closeness of ties between the neighbors.

"We've built an economic relationship that supports jobs in every Congressional district. We are the largest international customer for goods and services made in the USA," said Trudeau, who was filmed in his office in front of the U.S. and Canadian flags.

MacNaughton said Canada was ready to work with Congress to make the lives of citizens in both nations better and more prosperous.

Christine Constantin, a spokeswoman for the Canadian embassy in Washington, said ambassadors had sent video greetings to the two previous opening sessions of Congress.

But as we get closer to the President Trump, a wall of worry is building among the elite pundits. The next few months will be interesting. Time to add a little more fully paid up physical gold and silver as insurance.

It’s the ‘Most Volatile’ Year for Political Risk Since WWII, Eurasia Group Says

by Rainer Buergin
3 January 2017, 11:00 GMT 3 January 2017, 13:47 GMT
Bremmer: Trump Is Principal Driver of Global Market Risk

U.S. unilateralism under Donald Trump, China’s growing assertiveness and a weakened German Chancellor Angela Merkel will make 2017 the “most volatile” year for political risk since World War II, according to Eurasia Group.

“In 2017 we enter a period of geopolitical recession,” the New York-based company said in its annual outlook. International war or “the breakdown of major central government institutions” isn’t inevitable, though “such an outcome is now thinkable.”

With Trump’s ascent to the presidency on an America First platform, the global economy can’t count on the U.S. to provide “guardrails” anymore, according to Eurasia, which advises investors on political risk. Trump’s signals of a thaw with Russia, skepticism toward the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and his “alignment” with European anti-establishment parties such as France’s National Front could weaken the main postwar alliance protecting the global order, according to the report released Tuesday.
The warning is a reminder of the range of threats to stability in 2017, from elections in Germany, France and the Netherlands and Britain’s planned exit from the European Union to setbacks in emerging nations such as Brazil and refugee crises.
Even so, the U.S. may be poised to gain strength, said Eurasia Group’s president, Ian Bremmer.
“You could see an environment that geopolitically is by far the worst that we’ve experienced in decades in 2017 and yet the investment into the U.S. markets and the strength of the American dollar is going to grow,” he said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

In China, a scheduled leadership transition makes it likely that President Xi Jinping will be “more likely than ever to respond forcefully to foreign policy challenges,” potentially leading to spikes in U.S.-China tensions, according to Eurasia. To maintain domestic stability, Xi might “overreact” to any sign of economic trouble, leading to a risk of new asset bubbles or capital controls, Eurasia said.

Roubini: Trump presidency could mean end of Pax Americana and the prosperity it has brought

By Nouriel Roubini  Published: Jan 3, 2017 8:16 a.m. ET
NEW YORK (Project Syndicate) — Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States does not just represent a mounting populist backlash against globalization. It may also portend the end of Pax Americana — the international order of free exchange and shared security the U.S. and its allies built after World War II.
That U.S.-led global order has enabled 70 years of prosperity. It rests on market-oriented regimes of trade liberalization, increased capital mobility, and appropriate social-welfare policies; backed by American security guarantees in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, through NATO and various other alliances.
Trump, however, may pursue populist, anti-globalization, and protectionist policies that hinder trade and restrict the movement of labor and capital. And he has cast doubt on existing U.S. security guarantees by suggesting he will force America’s allies to pay for more of their own defense. If Trump is serious about putting “America first,” his administration will shift U.S. geopolitical strategy toward isolationism and unilateralism, pursuing only the national interests of the homeland.
When the U.S. pursued similar policies in the 1920s and 1930s, it helped sow the seeds of World War II. Protectionism, starting with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which affected thousands of imported goods, triggered retaliatory trade and currency wars that worsened the Great Depression. More important, American isolationism — based on a false belief that the U.S. was safely protected by two oceans — allowed Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to wage aggressive war and threaten the entire world. With the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. was finally forced to take its head out of the sand.

Today, too, a U.S. turn to isolationism and the pursuit of strictly U.S. national interests may eventually lead to a global conflict. Even without the prospect of American disengagement from Europe, the European Union and the eurozone already appear to be disintegrating, particularly in the wake of the United Kingdom’s June Brexit vote and Italy’s failed referendum on constitutional reforms in December. Moreover, in 2017, extreme anti-Europe left- or right-wing populist parties could come to power in France and Italy, and possibly in other parts of Europe.

'You just never know. That unpredictability is the great thing about life. You change. The world changes. You live in a country where we are still blessed with enormous opportunity. Leave yourself open to the world of possibility. You have the ambition, you have the smarts and you have the toughness. So, turn the page on your biography - you have just started a new chapter in your lives.'

Lloyd Blankfein, “Mr. Goldman  Sacks, CEO of Goldman Sachs unintentionally backs Brexit, and President Trump in a US speech to graduates, mid 2016.

At the Comex silver depositories Tuesday final figures were: Registered 27.45 Moz, Eligible 155.55 Moz, Total 183.00 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Up today, the President-elect is already rattling the trees to see who falls to the ground. The early fallers seem to be US automakers and the House Republicans of President Trump’s own party.

Ford cancels $1.6 billion Mexican plant

Tue Jan 3, 2017 | 11:32am EST
Ford Motor Co (F.N) said Tuesday it will cancel a planned $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and will invest $700 million at a Michigan factory as it expands its electric vehicle and hybrid offerings.

The second largest U.S. automaker had come under harsh criticism from President-elect Donald Trump for its Mexican investment plans.

Trump assails GM over car production in Mexico, threatens tax

Tue Jan 3, 2017 | 11:23am EST
President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to impose a "big border tax" on General Motors Co for making some of its Chevrolet Cruze compact cars in Mexico, an arrangement the largest U.S. automaker defended as part of its strategy to serve global customers, not sell them in the United States.
Trump's comments marked his latest broadside aimed at an American company over jobs, imports and costs before he takes office on Jan. 20, signaling an uncommon degree of intervention for an incoming U.S. president into corporate affairs.
"General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!" Trump said in a post on Twitter.
Trump did not provide further details but previously vowed to hit companies that shift production from America to other countries with a 35 percent tax on their exports into the United States. He also has denounced the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada.
GM, the world's No. 3 automaker, said it sold about 190,000 Cruze cars in the United States in 2016. All of the sedan versions sold in the United States, or about 185,500, were built at its plant in Lordstown, Ohio. About 4,500 hatchback versions of the Cruze were assembled in Mexico and sold in the United States.
"GM builds the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S." it said in a statement posed on its website.
The Cruze is one of GM's best-selling cars, although its sales numbers were down significantly in 2016.

House GOP Reverses on Ethics Change After Trump Criticism

by Billy House and Erik Wasson
3 January 2017, 02:10 GMT 3 January 2017, 17:24 GMT
House Republicans dropped their bid to weaken the independent Office of Congressional Ethics after President-elect Donald Trump blasted the move as counter to his call to "drain the swamp" of corruption in Washington.

The amendment was stripped from a rules package by voice vote, three lawmakers said, in a last-minute meeting called Tuesday as criticism mounted. The controversy over the office that investigates lawmakers’ alleged misconduct was starting to overshadow the opening of the 115th Congress, normally a day of glad-handing as lawmakers bring family members to the floor to join the festivities.

---- The House GOP voted behind closed doors Monday night to make the independent office “subject to oversight” by the House Ethics Committee and significantly restrict its powers. The three lawmakers who confirmed the amendment was dropped were Mo Brooks of Alabama, Darrell Issa of California and Bill Flores of Texas.

“People could have concerns” after Trump criticized the GOP’s move, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California told reporters before the meeting.
Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.

George Orwell.

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?

Solar Could Beat Coal to Become the Cheapest Power on Earth

by Jessica Shankleman and  Chris Martin
3 January 2017, 00:00 GMT 3 January 2017, 12:16 GMT
Solar power is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world. In less than a decade, it’s likely to be the lowest-cost option almost everywhere.

In 2016, countries from Chile to the United Arab Emirates broke records with deals to generate electricity from sunshine for less than 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, half the average global cost of coal power. Now, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Mexico are planning auctions and tenders for this year, aiming to drop prices even further. Taking advantage: Companies such as Italy’s Enel SpA and Dublin’s Mainstream Renewable Power, who gained experienced in Europe and now seek new markets abroad as subsidies dry up at home.

Since 2009, solar prices are down 62 percent, with every part of the supply chain trimming costs. That’s help cut risk premiums on bank loans, and pushed manufacturing capacity to record levels. By 2025, solar may be cheaper than using coal on average globally, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“These are game-changing numbers, and it’s becoming normal in more and more markets," said Adnan Amin, International Renewable Energy Agency ’s director general, an Abu Dhabi-based intergovernmental group. "Every time you double capacity, you reduce the price by 20 percent.”
Better technology has been key in boosting the industry, from the use of diamond-wire saws that more efficiently cut wafers to better cells that provide more spark from the same amount of sun. It’s also driven by economies of scale and manufacturing experience since the solar boom started more than a decade ago, giving the industry an increasing edge in the competition with fossil fuels.
The average 1 megawatt-plus ground mounted solar system will cost 73 cents a watt by 2025 compared with $1.14 now, a 36 percent drop, said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis for New Energy Finance.
That’s in step with other forecasts.
  • GTM Research expects some parts of the U.S. Southwest approaching $1 a watt today, and may drop as low as 75 cents in 2021, according to its analyst MJ Shiao.
  • The U.S. Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Lab expects costs of about $1.20 a watt now declining to $1 by 2020. By 2030, current technology will squeeze out most potential savings, said Donald Chung, a senior project leader.
  • The International Energy Agency expects utility-scale generation costs to fall by another 25 percent on average in the next five years. 
  • The International Renewable Energy Agency anticipates a further drop of 43 percent to 65 percent for solar costs by 2025. That would bring to 84 percent the cumulative decline since 2009.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished December

DJIA: 19763  +74 Up NASDAQ:  5383 +70 Up. SP500: 2239 +75 Up

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