Thursday, 2 February 2017

The Anti-Trump Campaign Kicks Off.

Baltic Dry Index. 786 -14   Brent Crude 56.58

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

"Gold would have value if for no other reason than that it enables a citizen to fashion his financial escape from the state."

William F. Rickenbacker

While China parties on, and London easily clears a Brexit hurdle, in America a sustained anti-Trump media campaign seems to be underway. Little good comes from a house divided, yet that seems to be what the losing Democrats have in mind. Like the Brexit Remainiac’s here in the UK, it’s their way or no way, seems to be the big idea. A massive misjudgement of the public mood is abroad on both sides of the Atlantic.

Dollar Weakens and Asian Stocks Slump After Fed: Markets Wrap

1 February 2017, 22:54 GMT 2 February 2017, 05:27 GMT
The dollar slumped against all its major peers and Asian equities fell after the Federal Reserve gave investors little fodder to change their views on the pace of U.S. interest-rate hikes.

The U.S. currency resumed declines, falling toward the lowest close since November, after gaining for the first time in three days on Wednesday. Japan and Hong Kong led losses among Asian equity markets. The Aussie jumped to the highest level in almost three months as trade data topped estimates. Oil halted its gains above $53 a barrel while gold advanced. The yield on Japan’s 10-year bonds rose to 0.1 percent for the first time since December.

The Fed reiterated its intention to lift rates gradually as the labor market tightens, acknowledging rising confidence among U.S. consumers and businesses. Investors will now be looking toward Friday’s jobs report after the uncertainty created during Donald Trump’s first two weeks in office brought equity indexes down from record highs.

----What’s coming up in the markets:
  • Earnings are coming thick and fast with results from Siemens AG to Volvo AG and Facebook Inc. boosting optimism for corporate forecasts. Later Thursday in Japan, heavyweights including Mazda Motor Corp. and Sony Corp. are due to release profit reports. Royal Dutch Shell Plc results are scheduled during European hours, while investors in the U.S. will be scrutinizing Inc.’s earnings.
  • Bank of England Governor Mark Carney faces a delicate balancing act when policy makers meet to decide interest rates on Thursday.
  • Economists expect a 175,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls for January, in line with the recent trend, when the U.S. Labor Department releases jobs data on Friday. With both hiring and unemployment likely to remain relatively stable, the focus on the jobs report will center on wage pressures.

In USA news, President Trump is slowly getting his team in place over partisan party political opposition. The Democrats still haven’t come to terms with the scale of their losses last November. But an orchestrated anti-Trump media campaign now seems underway. From London, a four year long civil war of attrition looks to be getting underway. I think I’ll add some physical gold.

U.S. Senate confirms Tillerson as secretary of state

Wed Feb 1, 2017 | 8:59pm EST
The U.S. Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson as President Donald Trump's secretary of state on Wednesday, filling a key spot on the Republican's national security team despite concerns about the former Exxon Mobil Corp chief executive officer's ties to Russia.

The vote, mostly along party lines, was by far the closest in at least half a century.

Fifty-six senators backed Tillerson, and 43 voted no. Every Republican favored Tillerson, along with four members of the Democratic caucus, Senators Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin and Mark Warner as well as Angus King, an independent.

Democratic Senator Chris Coons did not vote.

Tillerson's predecessor in the position, John Kerry, was confirmed by 94 to 3. Condoleezza Rice, the last secretary of state nominated by a Republican, was confirmed by 85-13.

Senate Democrats had tried, but failed, to delay the vote on Tillerson because of Trump's executive order banning immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries and temporarily halting the entry of refugees.
They said they wanted to ask Tillerson more questions about the issue after Trump signed the order on Friday, prompting protests and chaos at airports across the country and uncertainty and disruption for travelers around the world.
But Republicans hold a majority of 52 seats in the 100-member Senate, and so far have confirmed all of the six Trump nominees who have come up for votes.

Japan PM Abe to hold two-day summit with Trump: sources

Wed Feb 1, 2017 | 11:14pm EST
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump are planning to extend their summit meeting scheduled for Feb. 10 by one day, two Japanese government sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

After meeting with Trump in Washington, officials are arranging for Abe to then meet Trump at his Mar-a-Lago private resort in Florida on Feb. 11, where they may even play golf, the sources said.

Trade and currency policy are likely to be high on the agenda during the summit. Trump has criticized the lack of access to the Japanese auto market for U.S. producers and said Tokyo is using monetary policy to devalue its currency.

Japan is expected to defend its auto sector, which has built many manufacturing plants in the United States. Japan is also expected to emphasize that its monetary policy is intended to spur inflation and not trigger competitive devaluation.

A Japanese government spokesman said the details of Abe's trip haven't been decided yet.

Trump threatens to send U.S. troops to Mexico, reports say

Published: Feb 1, 2017 11:30 p.m. ET
President Donald Trump threatened to send U.S. troops to Mexico to stop “bad hombres,” according to multiple news reports Wednesday.

“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, according to an excerpt of a Friday phone conversation transcript seen by the Associated Press. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”

The AP’s transcript did not specify who Trump was referring to as “bad hombres,” but Mexican news website Aristegui Noticias reported that Trump was referring to drug traffickers.

“It was a very offensive conversation where Trump humiliated Peña Nieto,” reporter Dolia Estevez, who claimed to have heard the call, told Aristegui Noticias.

The White House did not respond to the Associated Press, but Mexico’s foreign relations department strongly denied both reports, saying they were “based on absolute falsehoods.”

U.S. President says to study 'dumb' refugee deal with Australia

Wed Feb 1, 2017 | 11:51pm EST
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will review a "dumb deal" to take hundreds of Australian asylum seekers after the Washington Post reported he had angrily berated Australia's prime minister and abruptly ended a tense telephone call.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters the call on Saturday had been frank and candid but refused to provide further details on a "private" conversation that has hit headlines on both sides of the world.

The Washington Post reported that Trump had described the call with the leader of Australia, one of the United States' staunchest allies, as "the worst so far".

The honeymoon is over: Wall Street is finally taking Trump literally

Published: Feb 1, 2017 8:38 a.m. ET
By itself, the 230-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.14%  this week wasn’t earth shattering: 1% gains and losses happen all the time. But the clattering sound accompanying it wasn’t hard to diagnose: It was the sound of scales falling off of Wall Street’s eyes.

The market this week is dealing with the realization that President Donald Trump means all the things he says. He really is a protectionist, really does think America needs to be protected from the world both economically and physically. He really does make policy without much care or thought to get details right, he really has recruited an honest-to-God terrible team, and it actually is kind of dangerous.

For months, Wall Street strategists scrambled to justify a post-election rally most didn’t see coming by claiming Trump’s proposed tax cuts and vague infrastructure spending plans would goose growth, while discounting his vow to impose trade barriers as not really serious. Ten days into his presidency, the president has alienated our third-biggest trading partner in Mexico while having his spokesman float vague proposals about 20% taxes the president himself says might apply to all imports.

"As fewer and fewer people have confidence in paper as a store of value, the price of gold will continue to rise. The history of fiat money is little more than a register of monetary follies and inflations. Our present age merely affords another entry in this dismal register."

Hans F. Sennholz

At the Comex silver depositories Wednesday final figures were: Registered 30.20 Moz, Eligible 149.43 Moz, Total 179.63 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
No crooks today, just more on our changing 21st century way of generating cheap electric power.

Saudi Arabia Plans the World’s Cheapest Power With Solar and Wind

1 February 2017, 12:42 GMT
Saudi Arabia will award its first tender to build 700 megawatts of solar and wind energy in September, with the cost of power forecast to be the lowest in the world, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said.
OPEC’s biggest oil producer plans to build 300 megawatts of solar plants in the al-Jouf area in northern Saudi Arabia and 400 megawatts of wind projects in nearby Tabuk, he said. Requests to qualify for bidding will be issued Feb. 20 and bids will be on April 17.
“The terms on renewable contracts will be motivating so that the cost of generating power from these renewable sources will be the lowest in the world,” Al-Falih said Wednesday at a press conference in Riyadh.
The kingdom plans to produce 9.5 gigawatts of power from renewable energy sources by 2023, Al-Falih said. Building more solar plants and developing a nuclear-power industry is part of a broader government plan to diversify away from crude sales as the main source of income. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest crude exporter and pumps the most oil among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

“These projects have a significant size,” Al-Falih said. “They will be the largest in the region size-wise and they are the first Saudi project that will be tendered through private-public partnership.”

The projects will be financed and operated by private investors, and international financial institutions are expected to participate, he said. In all, Saudi Arabia is planning $30 billion to $50 billion of renewables. The energy ministry has created a division to handle the tenders, Al-Falih said.


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?

Ultrahigh sensitivity graphene infrared detectors for imaging and spectroscopy

Date: January 31, 2017

Source: Graphene Flagship

Summary: Researcher have developed a novel graphene-based infrared (IR) detector demonstrating record high sensitivity for thermal detection. Graphene's unique attributes pave the way for high-performance IR imaging and spectroscopy.

Graphene's benefits are opening possibilities in high-performance IR imaging and spectroscopy. Researchers from the Graphene Flagship, working at the University of Cambridge (UK), Emberion Ltd. (UK), the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO; Spain), Nokia UK, and the University of Ioannina (Greece) have developed a graphene-based pyroelectric bolometer that detects infrared (IR) radiation by measuring tiny temperature changes with an ultra-high level of accuracy. The work, published in Nature Communications, demonstrates the highest reported temperature sensitivity for graphene-based uncooled thermal detectors, capable of resolving temperature changes down to a few tens of µK. Only a few nano-Watts of IR radiation power are required to produce such a small temperature variation in isolated devices, about 1000 times smaller than the IR power delivered to the detector by a human hand in close proximity.
The high sensitivity of the detector is of great use for spectroscopic applications beyond thermal imaging. With a high-performance graphene-based IR detector that gives a strong signal with less incident radiation, it is possible to isolate different parts of the IR spectrum. This is of key importance in security applications, where different materials -- such as explosives -- can be distinguished by their characteristic IR absorption or transmission spectra.
Dr Alan Colli, Principal Engineer at Emberion and co-leader of the research, said: "With a higher sensitivity detector, one can restrict the large thermal band and still form an image using photons in a very narrow spectral range and do multi-spectral IR imaging. For security screening, there are specific signatures that materials emit or absorb in narrow bands. So, you want a detector that is trained in that narrow band. This can be useful while looking for explosives, hazardous substances, or anything of the sort."
Typical IR photodetectors operate either via the pyroelectric effect, or as bolometers, which measure changes in resistance due to heating. The graphene-based pyroelectric bolometer combines both approaches with the excellent electrical properties of graphene, for maximum performance. Graphene acts as a built-in amplifier for the signal, removing the need for external transistors -- meaning no losses from parasitic capacitance, and remarkably low noise. The high conductivity of graphene also offers a convenient impedance matching with the external readout integrated circuit (ROIC) used to interface with the detector pixels and the recording device. With the continuous improvement in the quality of graphene (e.g., higher mobility), robust devices with an extended dynamic range (temperature range over which the device will operate reliably) can be fabricated while maintaining the same excellent temperature responsivity.
Prof. Andrea Ferrari, Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre and co-author of the work said "This work is another example of the steady march of graphene on the roadmap towards applications. Emberion is a new company created to produce graphene photonics and electronics for infrared photodetectors and thermal sensors, and this work exemplifies how basic science and technology can lead to swift commercialisation." Ferrari is the Science and Technology Officer of the Graphene Flagship, and Chair of the Flagship Management Panel.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished January

DJIA: 19864  +92 Up NASDAQ:  5615 +95 Up. SP500: 2279 +95 Up

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