Australia Stay updated with Business News, Pakistan news, Current world news and latest world news with Business Recorder Sun, 28 Aug 2016 00:25:48 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb London copper mired near two-month low as supply mounts imageMELBOURNE: London copper hovered near a two-month low on Thursday on evidence of mounting supply while nickel weakened after lower shipments to China as markets marked time ahead of a key meeting of central bankers.

The dollar was range-bound as major currencies continued to tread water ahead of the global central bankers' gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at which Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen may offer new clues on U.S. monetary policy.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $4,637 a tonne at 0727 GMT, following 1.7-percent loss in the previous session, when it fell to its weakest since July 24.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper slipped 1.2 percent, paring an early loss of 2 percent, to 36,370 yuan ($5,465) a tonne.

LME copper stocks jumped by 14,625 tonnes, the latest data showed, bringing total stocks above 250,000 tonnes for the first time since November 2015. Stocks have shot up by a fifth in the last week alone.

Meanwhile, China's imports of nickel and zinc slumped on the month in July, while its copper imports slipped by 3 percent, partially due to seasonal factors with many factories closing over the northern hemisphere summer.

LME nickel extended declines by 1 percent to $9,880 a tonne, hitting the weakest since July 11 at $9,860. Heavy losses were also seen in ShFE nickel down 3.3 percent as fears fade over a wholesale halt to Philippine ore exports.

"Despite the closure of eight small-scale producers so far, we could see imports stabilise, belying any concerns of supply constriction from the Philippines that has recently riled markets artificially boosting nickel prices," Citi said in a note.

Elsewhere, Glencore said it expected to exceed a previous target to cut debt, but it took a nearly $400 million hit from a bad bet on coal and echoed warnings voiced by mining rivals of volatile commodity markets.

Russian aluminium giant Rusal on Thursday reported a nearly 40-percent drop in second-quarter core earnings due to weak aluminium prices, slightly better than analysts feared, and warned the second half of the year would remain tough.

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]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:48:49 +0000
Iron ore miner Fortescue eyes dividend rise as profit leaps imageSYDNEY: Australia's Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, the world No. 4 iron ore producer, reported a tripling of its annual net profit on Monday to nearly $1 billion and said it could shoulder a big jump in future dividend payouts.

Fortescue surpassed analysts' forecasts by boosting its final dividend by 500 percent to A$0.12 ($0.90) a share for fiscal 2016, taking its total payout for the year to 36 percent of net profit.

With iron ore prices holding up better than expected and an attack on production costs and debt, the company's payout ratio could exceed its 40 percent target "in the not too distant future," Chief Executive Nev Power told an analysts' call.

Power said global iron ore supply was now in balance with demand, while China's ability to produce half the world's steel was underpinning the company's prospects.

Fortescue, which has built Australia's third-biggest iron ore miner over the past decade to feed demand in China, reported a net profit of $985 million for the year to end-June, up from $317 million a year ago.

The figure was ahead of the $895 million average forecast of 13 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Power said Fortescue was maintaining the flexibility to continue early debt repayments or refinancing to further cut debt, which stood at $5.2 billion on June 30.

"As we reduce debt, there will be more cash flow available to pay dividends going forward," Power said on a post-earnings call. "It's very sustainable."

The jump in the company's final dividend took its payout for the year to A$0.15 a share.

Fortescue had produced a "clean result", UBS analyst Glyn Lawcock said, with revenue and earnings ahead of UBS estimates.

"We expect the market to focus on sustainability of the higher dividend, which ultimately comes down to price," he said in a note.

Revenue slid 17 percent to $7.1 billion but the company said it cut costs 43 percent, while capital spending more than halved.

Power also stuck to an earlier forecast of lowering Fortescue's production cost target for fiscal 2017 to $12-$13 per wet tonne from $15.43 in fiscal 2016.

This would put it on par with larger rivals Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton , which combined control more than 70 percent of global sea trade in iron ore.

Iron ore was selling for $61 a tonne on Monday. The price has climbed 13 percent since July 1.

Fortescue shares dipped 2 percent cents on Monday to A$4.83, but have still more than doubled so far this year.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Parvez Jabri) Australia Mon, 22 Aug 2016 06:47:26 +0000
London nickel sinks on profit-taking, copper steady imageMELBOURNE: London nickel fell on Thursday from a one-year high hit in the previous session as traders booked profits on the near completion of a Philippine mine review, while copper held steady not far from four-week lows.

Nickel and zinc contracts on the London Metal Exchange rallied on Wednesday to their highest since 2015 as a weaker dollar and a greater risk appetite spurred buying in the metals that have the brightest fundamental outlooks for this year.

"There should be a pause today as the markets take stock of events and await the U.S. employment data this afternoon," said Kingdom Futures in a report.

U.S. job openings increased in June and layoffs dropped to their lowest in nearly two years as labour market conditions tightened further, a government report said on Wednesday.

"Sharp falls after yesterday's rallies suggest the timing is not right for a sustainable rally but was a warning of how markets can fly away when speculative money comes in with a rush," Kingdom Futures added.

LME nickel fell 1 percent after prices on Wednesday hit the highest in a year at $11,030 a tonne on concerns the Philippines may shutter its nickel mining industry.

Mine suspensions by Manila's new government have helped to push up prices by more than 20 percent since June 1 as part of a sector review that is due to be completed later this month.

"Either the seller is back or the market is starting to think not too many mines shut down in the Philippines given the mining review is likely to be completed by next week," a trader said.

Nickel Asia Corp, the country's top nickel ore producer, said it expects earnings to improve in the second half as prices have rebounded from 13-year lows. It posted a sharp drop in first-half profit.

LME copper traded up 0.2 percent to $4,831 a tonne by 0446 GMT, adding to gains of 0.9 percent made a day earlier. Prices on Tuesday fell to the lowest in four weeks at $4,761 a tonne.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper rose 0.5 percent to 37,540 yuan ($5,654) a tonne.

Reflecting ebbing concerns about bankruptcies in the metals sector, the rise in troubled loans at China's commercial banks slowed in the second quarter although the total volume of bad loans reached an 11-year high.

Meanwhile, in news that could herald lower trade finance costs, HSBC , Bank of America Merrill Lynch and financial technology firm R3 said on Wednesday that they had created ways of using blockchain technology to simplify trade finance processes.

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]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Thu, 11 Aug 2016 07:41:40 +0000
Australia monthly wheat exports to soar, easing worries over slow sales imageSYDNEY: Australian wheat exports in August look set to hit an eight-month high as the lowest prices in a decade draw Southeast Asian millers to market, easing worries that the fourth-biggest seller would fail to meet official forecasts for the season.

Exports will hit 1.4 million tonnes in August, port shipping data shows, a rise of nearly 30 percent from July and the largest business month since December 2015.

The jump in Australian exports comes after global benchmark wheat prices dropped to their lowest in nearly 10 years over July and August, pressured by ample global supplies.

"The futures market had come off a fair bit and that encouraged some customers to come in and take advantage," said James Foulsham, wheat trading manager at Cooperative Bulk Handling, Australia's largest grain exporter.

"We have seen a lot of interest for September, too," he said.

The sales are a welcome upturn in business for Australia's wheat sellers, who have struggled amid rising competition and cheap freight rates that have eroded their competitive edge.

Black Sea exporters, for instance, including Ukraine and Russia, have eaten into Australia's share of the market in its largest buyer of the grain, Indonesia.

Australia is expected to sell 17.21 million tonnes of wheat during the 2016/17 season - which began on July 1 - the country's chief commodity forecaster said in June, but sales have been slow until this month.

Australian wheat shippers have also struggled to buy grain to export as some farmers had not wanted to forward sell grain in the first-half of the year, hoping for a price recovery.

But with near perfect growing conditions across Australia, farmers in the largest wheat-producing region of Western Australia have released their supplies, enhancing the nation's competitiveness with Asian grain buyers in Indonesia, South Korea, Japan and other regional buyers, traders said.

"The volumes booked are unusual as August and September are normally pretty flat months for exports out of Australia," said Andrew Woodhouse, grains analyst at Advance Trading Australasia.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Parvez Jabri) Australia Wed, 10 Aug 2016 07:56:06 +0000
Soybeans rise for fifth session on strong demand for US crop imageSYDNEY: US soybeans rose for a fifth straight session on Tuesday, lingering near a one-week high touched during the previous session, as recent strong export demand for US supplies supported prices.

Corn firmed after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) pegged the condition of the crop below market forecasts, while wheat edged higher.

The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade rose 0.1 percent to $9.86 a bushel, after rising 1.1 percent on Monday when prices hit a one-week high of $9.89 a bushel.

Analysts said export demand for US soybean supplies and supply concerns continues to support prices.

"The USDA reported that a large proportion of the US soybean crop remains in favourable condition," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"The market's optimism for strong US export demand was bolstered after the USDA reported yet another large sale of beans to China."

The USDA pegged 72 percent of the soybean crop at good to excellent, unchanged from a week earlier and matching analysts' expectations.

Robust export demand kept a floor under corn and soybean prices as the USDA on Monday announced large sales of both commodities via its daily reporting system. Monday's 246,000-tonne soybean sale to China was the ninth daily sales announcement in nine trading days.

The most active corn futures rose 0.3 percent to $3.35-3/4 a bushel, adding to a 0.2 percent gain in the previous session.

USDA said 74 percent of the corn crop was rated good to excellent, below market expectations of 75 percent good to excellent.

Market attention is turning to the next USDA report on Friday due on Friday. The government is broadly expected to increase its US corn and soy production forecasts.

The most active wheat futures rose 0.12 percent to $4.17-1/2 a bushel after closing little changed in the previous session.

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]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Tue, 09 Aug 2016 08:11:03 +0000
Soybeans hit 1-week high on wave of US export deals imageSYDNEY: US soybeans rose on Monday for a fourth straight session, the longest unbroken rally in nearly four months, as strong export demand pushed the oilseed to a one-week high.

Wheat rose more than 0.5 percent, extending gains made last week. Corn edged lower on ample supply expectations.

The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade rose 0.8 percent to $9.82-1/4 a bushel by 0403 GMT, having earlier touched $9.89 a bushel - the highest since August 1. Soybeans firmed 1.9 percent on Friday.

Soybeans are up for four straight sessions, the longest unbroken rally since mid-April.

Soybeans have drawn support amid a wave of purchases of U.S. cargoes, traders said.

"Much tighter South American supply conditions have improved U.S. demand prospects, which is now helping to offset worries over bumper U.S. production," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday reported that exporters had struck deals to sell 498,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to top-importer China for delivery in the marketing year that starts on Sept. 1.

It was the eighth consecutive trading day in which the USDA confirmed a soybean sale to China or "unknown destinations," bringing total volumes for that period to 2.8 million tonnes.

The most active corn futures fell 0.22 percent to $3.33-1/2 a bushel, having firmed 1 percent in the previous session.

The most active wheat futures rose 0.72 percent to $4.19 a bushel, still near the session-high of $4.22-1/4 a bushel - the highest since July 26. Wheat closed up 3.2 percent on Friday and gained 2 percent last week.

Corn and soybean futures have been under pressure recently from favourable weather forecasts for the U.S. Midwest that have boosted expectations for massive harvests later this year.

Analytical firm Informa Economics on Friday predicted the autumn corn harvest will reach 14.694 billion bushels, with a yield of 169.8 bushels per acre. The company pegged the soybean harvest at 3.958 billion bushels, with a yield of 47.7 bushels per acre.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Mon, 08 Aug 2016 07:54:21 +0000
Soybeans rise for a second session on demand for US supplies imageSYDNEY: US soybeans rose for a second session on Thursday, drawing support from international demand for US supplies, though favourable weather forecasts for key producing regions capped the rally.

Corn was little changed, under pressure from expectations of silo-bursting supplies, while wheat rose for a second session.

The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade rose 0.31 percent to $9.58-1/2 a bushel, having firmed 0.3 percent on Wednesday.

"The market will be tallying the net impact of strong US export demand against a potential bumper US harvest," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Exporters on Wednesday reported sales of 441,000 tonnes of US soybeans to China for delivery in the 2016/17 marketing year, which begins on Sept. 1, the US Department of Agriculture said.

There were 256,000 tonnes of soybeans sold to reportedly unknown destinations with 66,000 tonnes for delivery in the 2015/16 marketing year and 190,200 tonnes for delivery in 2016/17, according to the USDA.

It was the sixth consecutive business day on which the agency confirmed soybean sales, with volumes to China and unknown destinations totalling more than 2 million tonnes over that period.

While demand appears strong for US crops, with favourable weather expected across the Midwest, forecasters are increasingly confident of bumper US supplies.

The most active corn futures rose 0.1 percent to $3.35-1/4 a bushel, having gained 0.3 percent in the previous session.

The most active wheat futures rose 0.3 percent to $4.11-1/2 a bushel, having closed up 2.2 percent on Wednesday. Corn is under pressure from the weather outlook, but also drew support from news the Brazilian government is working to adjust its regulations on imports of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to allow more corn imports from the United States.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Thu, 04 Aug 2016 07:30:57 +0000
London copper hemmed in on fitful global factory growth imageMELBOURNE: London copper was stuck in the summer doldrums on Tuesday after a glimmer of an improvement at smaller Chinese factories in July was offset by modest reports on global manufacturing elsewhere, dampening optimism over demand.

Growth eased in the euro zone last month, with factories in China, Japan and elsewhere in Asia offering only crumbs of comfort, surveys indicated, even as British manufacturers slammed on the brakes last month after the Brexit vote.

A summer slowdown in the northern hemisphere, weaker oil prices and looming oversupply were also weighing on metals, analysts said.

"The weaker energy market will continue to weigh on the wider complex. Investors will also remain cautious leading into this week's jobs data release in the U.S.," said ANZ in a research report.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded flat at $4,885 a tonne by 0254 GMT, after a 0.9 percent daily loss from the previous session, when copper at one point hit the highest since July 22 at $4,965 a tonne.

U.S. crude tumbled below $40 per barrel on Monday for the first time since April, as oil prices settled down nearly 4 percent on heightened worries of a crude glut despite peak summer fuel demand.

U.S. manufacturing activity eased in July amid shrinking order backlogs and declining employment, while an unexpected drop in construction spending in June suggested second-quarter economic growth was probably even weaker than reported last week.

In news, police in the Chinese city of Kunming said on Monday they would prosecute 20 people involved with the Fanya Metals Exchange, which authorities and investors say was a multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Also, a crackdown against pollution in China will mostly affect production of nickel ore, refined nickel and lead ore, said BMI Research in a report.

"We forecast Chinese lead output growth to average 0.3 percent annually during 2016-2020, compared to 6.0 percent during 2011-2015."

Elsewhere, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday warned mining companies to strictly follow tighter environmental rules or shut down, saying the Southeast Asian nation could survive without a mining industry.

The Southeast Asian nation is China's biggest supplier of nickel ore. The crackdown and prices that hit 12-year lows in February have hampered production in the country, helped to boost nickel prices by 22 percent this year.

LME nickel rose 0.3 percent to $10,770 a tonne, near 11-month highs of 10,900 hit on July 21.

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]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Tue, 02 Aug 2016 08:08:05 +0000
Corn falls to near two-year low on USDA condition report imageSYDNEY: US corn fell to a near two-year low on Tuesday, slipping for a second session after the U.S. Department of Agriculture pegged the condition of the crop at above market expectations.

Soybeans fell more than 0.5 percent to hit a three-and-a-half month low, while wheat was little changed.

The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade fell 0.2 percent to $3.33-1/2 a bushel by 0315 GMT, having earlier hit a session low of $3.33 a bushel - the lowest since October, 2014. Corn closed down 2.5 percent in the previous session.

Analysts said corn was coming under pressure as any lingering weather related supply concerns ease.

"The proportion of U.S corn rated in good to excellent condition added to the bearish tone," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, adding that updated weather models are also favourable.

"While corn is not yet totally in the clear, the window for significant weather related losses is quickly closing."

The USDA rated 76 percent of the corn crop as good to excellent, unchanged from the week before and ahead of analyst forecasts.

The outlook is increasing market confidence of bumper U.S. corn production.

Commodity brokerage INTL FCStone on Monday projected U.S. 2016 corn production at 15.146 billion bushels, a record high if realized, with an average yield of 175.0 bushels per acre.

The U.S. weather outlook also continues to pressure soybeans, analysts said.

The most active soybean futures fell 0.4 percent to $9.57-1/2 a bushel, near the session low of $9.55-1/2 a bushel - the lowest since April 19. Soybeans slumped 4.1 percent on Monday.

The USDA rated 72 percent of the U.S. soybean crop as good to excellent, up from 71 percent the previous week and above market expectations.

The most active wheat futures was little changed at $4.05-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.4 percent on Monday.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Tue, 02 Aug 2016 08:07:42 +0000
Soybeans fall 1pc as ample global supplies regain focus imageSYDNEY: US soybeans fell 1 percent on Monday, retreating from a one-week high touched in the previous session, as ample global supplies offset recent support from strong demand for US shipments of the grain.

Corn lost as much as 0.5 percent, while wheat climbed around 1 percent after hitting its lowest in almost 10 years on Friday.

The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade fell 1 percent to $9.92-3/4 a bushel by 0336 GMT, having firmed 2.6 percent on Friday and closing near their highest since July 22.

Soybeans had been drawing support from recent purchases of US soybeans but analysts said the increased demand does little to alter the market dynamics.

"The market is trying to breakout of this downward trend but when you look at the supply picture, there just isn't enough demand to change the fundamentals," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported on Friday that exporters sold 129,000 tonnes of US soybeans to unknown destinations, the third sale of at least 100,000 tonnes in as many days.

The most active corn contract fell 0.44 percent to $3.41-1/4 a bushel, having gained 1.2 percent in the previous session.

Most active wheat rose 0.92 percent to $4.11-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 0.6 percent on Friday when prices hit a low of $4.03-1/2 - the lowest since September 2006.

Genetically modified wheat that has never been approved by US regulators was recently found growing in Washington state, the USDA said on Friday, sparking worries of further measures being taken against US exports in the midst of a supply glut.

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]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Mon, 01 Aug 2016 07:08:16 +0000
London copper jumps above $5,000 as risk appetite returns$5000-as-risk-appetite-returns.html$5000-as-risk-appetite-returns.html imageMELBOURNE: London copper surged through the $5,000 mark on Wednesday for the first time since late April, as renewed appetite for risk triggered a furious flurry of short-covering.

Prospects of solid U.S. growth and accommodative economic policy in major markets whet investor risk appetite that had been damaged by uncertainty from Brexit.

A weaker dollar and looser fiscal policy raise the allure of hard assets such as commodities that tend to hold their value as that of paper money falls.

"There's been a definite risk-on tone which has been driving markets," said analyst Daniel Hynes of ANZ in Sydney.

"In base metals, the market is definitely taking a glass half full approach at the moment and it's probably a bit premature, given concerns over China's growth and the questions over rising inventories."

London Metal Exchange copper jumped to $5,032 a tonne, its strongest since April 29, before trading at $5,006 by 0327, up 2.8 percent and adding to 2.5-percent gains from Tuesday.

The rally comes despite a dim fundamental outlook for prices, with a burst of new mine supply already feeding into global exchange inventories. LME copper stocks are the highest since February, having jumped by half since early June.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper rallied 5.5 percent to 39,090 yuan ($5,848) a tonne, having hit the highest since March 7. Suggesting short-holders have been covering their losing positions, open interest has dropped by 27 percent since peaking on June 1, although it climbed again on Wednesday.

"Market players keep saying more easing is expected ... funds have been buying and stopping out of shorts, and in particular stopping out some big bearish downside option plays," said a trader in Singapore.

Elsewhere, ShFE nickel gained 4.6 percent, while ShFE zinc rallied 2.1 percent, on prospects that steel makers will rush to boost output ahead of a government mandated shutdown later this month.

LME nickel hit $10,635 a tonne, its highest since October, while LME zinc marked a new 13-month top. Aluminium was a few dollars short of its strongest in a year.

Meanwhile, mining group Eramet said that the board of its nickel subsidiary SLN in New Caledonia has approved a 200 million euro ($222.28 million) loan from the French government, aimed at helping the loss-making business survive a severe market downturn.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Wed, 13 Jul 2016 04:43:16 +0000