Sunday, September 23, 2012

Aussie, N.Z. Dollars Fall on Europe Stalemate, Before RBA

The Australian and New Zealand dollars declined on speculation disagreement among the euro region’s leaders on debt-crisis solutions is curbing prospects for growth, damping demand for higher-yielding assets.
The so-called Aussie and kiwi declined against most of their major peers before data today forecast to show German business confidence stayed near the lowest in more than two years. Greece and representatives of its so-called troika of international creditors agreed to take a break from inconclusive aid talks. The Reserve Bank ofAustralia will hold a policy meeting next week.
“What could move markets would be some friction news on the Greek-troika inspections,” said Imre Speizer, a strategist in Auckland at Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC), Australia’s second-largest lender. “Aussie is seeing a bit of slippage on the possibility of the RBA cutting rates as early as October.”
The Australian dollar fell 0.4 percent to $1.0420 as of 3:03 p.m. in Sydney. It declined 0.5 percent to 81.33 yen. The New Zealand dollar dropped 0.6 percent to 82.38 U.S. cents and lost 0.8 percent to 64.29 yen.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of regional shares slid 0.4 percent.
The Ifo institute will probably say its German business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, was at 102.5 this month from 102.3 in August, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the data today. August’s reading was the lowest since March 2010.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cosco Group May Order Supertankers as Oil Imports Rise

China Ocean Shipping Group Co., the nation’s biggest ship operator, is considering an order for very large crude carriers as the country’s economic growth spurs oil imports.
The plan is at the “ideas and research” stage, Meng Qinglin, managing director of tanker arm Dalian Ocean Shipping Co., said by text message today. The decision on the order will depend on factors including the company’s internal resources, market demand and costs, he said in a separate message.
The state-owned shipping group may order 10 supertankers, maritime newspaper Lloyd’s List said yesterday, citing an unidentified person at Cosco Dalian. China, the second-largest crude consumer after the U.S., has boosted oil imports 66 percent over the past five years as domestic production has failed to keep pace with rising demand.
Any order would probably be tied to a long-term charter contract, so it may not have a big impact on the spot market, where overcapacity has hit rates, said Richard Park, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul.
“It’s unlikely that Cosco Group’s order will undermine sentiment because they will use those vessels for China,” he said. “Still, it would make sense for them to charter vessels because there is an abundant supply out there.”
VLCC returns have been negative on the benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan route since July 5, according to data from the London-based Baltic Exchange. The ships, each able to hold 2 million barrels of crude, are losing $1,437 daily, its data showed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oil Advances From Two-Week Low After Japan Expands Stimulus Plan

Oil rebounded from the lowest close in more than two weeks in New York amid speculation that Japan’s expanded program of monetary easing may bolster fuel demand in the world’s third-biggest crude user.
Futures advanced as much as 0.9 percent after the Bank of Japan (8301) said it will increase its asset-purchase fund to 55 trillion yen ($697 billion) from 45 trillion yen. The BOJ joins the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank in taking steps to stimulate the economy. New-home construction in the U.S. probably rose in August to the highest level in almost four years, showing residential real estate is recovering.
“The BOJ has followed the Fed with another bout of stimulus, increasing its asset-buying program, giving commodities a lift,” said Robert Montefusco, a senior broker at Sucden Financial Ltd. in London.
Oil for October delivery gained as much as 88 cents to $96.17 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $95.98 at 9:07 a.m. London time. The contract slid $1.33 yesterday to $95.29, the lowest close since Aug. 30, and has dropped 4.4 percent since this month’s intraday high of $100.42 on Sept. 14. The October contract expires tomorrow. The more-active November future was at $96.37 a barrel, up 75 cents.
Brent oil for November settlement climbed 86 cents to $112.89 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The front-month European benchmark grade’s premium to the corresponding West Texas Intermediate contract was at $16.50, up from $16.41 yesterday.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nikkei slips, investors mull outlook for China-exposed firms

(Reuters) - The Nikkei average fell on Tuesday as companies heavily exposed to China were caught up in tensions between China and Japan over a territorial dispute that disrupted business and production, and left investors pondering unsettled scenarios.

Should the anti-Japanese protests in China worsen or the dispute over the islands escalate, China-related companies would likely see further sell-offs as their earnings from the world's second-largest economy could come under pressure.
But were the matter resolved quickly, analysts said, Tuesday's sell-off in some China-exposed names would give investors a handy buying opportunity.
"Chinese factors have two aspects: if the situation prolongs, then it would weigh on the Nikkei and if the problem is resolved soon, it would spur a buy-back," said Masayuki Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities.
The Nikkei share average .N225 ended 0.4 percent to 9,123.77 after rallying 1.8 percent on Friday after the U.S. Federal Reserve launched its QE3 round of stimulus. Monday was a public holiday in Japan.
"The concerns are what, if anything, these Chinese protests turn into," said a senior dealer at a foreign brokerage said.
Investor demand for put options outpaced demand for calls. Societe Generale analysts said most popular put options on the Nikkei with an October maturity had a strike price at 8,250 JNI082V2.OS, nearly 10 percent below Tuesday's close.
The next most-traded was a put option at 8,750 JNI087V2.OS, followed by a call at 9,500 JNI095J2.OS and another put at 8,000 JNI080V2.OS.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Stock index futures signal lower Wall Street open

LONDON (Reuters)

Stock index futures pointed to a weaker open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 falling 0.1 to 0.3 percent.

General Electric Co (GE.N) has hired Morgan Stanley to review its 33 percent stake in Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya Pcl, which could potentially lead to a sale by the U.S. conglomerate of its near $2.2 billion holding, sources familiar with the matter said.

The New York Federal Reserve releases its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for September at 1230 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of -2.00, compared with -5.85 in August.

The U.S. Treasury Department is unwilling to sell the government's stake in General Motors Co (GM.N) because a sale now would mean huge investment losses, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people close to the matter.

President Barack Obama will launch a trade complaint against China over what his administration says is Beijing's unfair government backing of its auto industry, a White House official said on Sunday.

A day before a strike deadline at the Detroit Three automakers, the Canadian Auto Workers chose Ford Motor Co (F.N) as the lead company for contract talks, saying the union believes it has the best chance of reaching a deal with Ford and averting a damaging work stoppage.

Activist hedge fund Starboard Value is expected to disclose on Monday that it has taken a 13.3 percent stake in Office Depot Inc (ODP.N), making it the biggest shareholder of the office products supplier, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

JPMorgan Chase & Co's  compliance with U.S. anti-money laundering laws is being reviewed by a banking regulator, a source said, making the largest U.S. bank the latest target of a wide investigation of how banks prevent transactions involving drug money and sanctioned countries.

European stocks .FTEU3 dipped on Monday as investors took a breather following a sharp two-week rally and a key index hit a strong resistance level, although the retreat could be short-lived as recent central bank moves boost risk appetite.

U.S. stocks rose for a fourth straight session on Friday to close out the week at nearly five-year highs after the Federal Reserve took bold action to spur the economy, a move that could keep equities buoyed in the coming months.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI ended up 53.51 points, or 0.40 percent, to 13,593.37. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX closed up 5.78 points, or 0.40 percent, to 1,465.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC gained 28.12 points, or 0.89 percent, to 3,183.95.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Crude gains on Federal Reserve quantitative easing measures

Forexpros - Crude oil futures shot up in U.S. trading on Friday after the Federal Reserve officially announced plans to stimulate the economy via a third round of quantitative easing.On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at USD99.46 a barrel on Friday, up 1.17%, off from a session high of USD100.42 and up from an earlier session low of USD98.14.

The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced plans to buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities a month from banks on an ongoing basis until the economy improves, a policy measure known as quantitative easing.
The Fed also said it would continue with its Operation Twist program that sees the U.S. central bank selling short-term Treasury holdings in the market while simultaneously buying longer-term instruments with the aim of keeping interest rates low.

The Federal Reserve will inject a total of $85 billion a month into the economy a month via its combined stimulus measures.The Fed also said conditions meriting low interest rates will likely last through mid-2015.Monetary stimulus measures in the U.S. often are bullish for commodities.

Such accommodative policies tend to weaken the dollar by design and send commodities prices rising, especially oil, which shoots up on hopes for sustained demand that comes from a jolted economy and also due to a weaker dollar, which makes the commodity a nicely-priced asset in the eyes of investors holding other currencies.

Elsewhere in the U.S., the country's month-on-month consumer price index rose 0.6% in August from 0.0% July.
Analysts had expected CPI to rise 0.5% in August.Month-on-month core inflation rates rose 0.1% in August compared to 0.1% in July, falling short of market forecasts for 0.2% growth.

Industrial production in the U.S. contracted 1.2% in August compared to a revised 0.5% expansion in July.Analyst were forecasting industrial production to expand by 0.2% in August.Consumers, meanwhile, are more upbeat these days, separate data showed.Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's index on consumer sentiment hit 79.2 in September, up from 74.3 in August.

Analysts were expecting a 74.0 reading.U.S. retail sales figures outpaced expectations as well.
The U.S. Commerce Department said that retail sales rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in August from 0.6% in July, whose figure was revised down from 0.8%.Analysts had expected retail sales to rise 0.7% in August.
Core retail sales rose 0.8% in August, matching July's 0.8% growth figure.Analysts had expected U.S. core retail sales to rise 0.6% last month.

On the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for November delivery were up 0.97% and trading at USD117.00 a barrel, up USD17.54 from its U.S. counterpart.