Australia Stay updated with Business News, Pakistan news, Current world news and latest world news with Business Recorder Sun, 25 Sep 2016 00:12:54 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb London copper below 4-week high ahead of central bank calls imageMELBOURNE: London copper eased on Wednesday from four-week highs as the dollar rose ahead of key decisions by the Japanese and U.S. central banks, but expectations of a pick-up in demand from China underpinned prices.

The Bank of Japan is expected on Wednesday to make negative interest rates the centrepiece of a new policy framework - widely seen as a desperate attempt to show it still has the means to fight chronic stagnation.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to leave its benchmark overnight interest rate unchanged following its two-day meeting on Wednesday.

But as indicators improve from the world's top metals user, China, it appears more likely that January marked a floor for prices, Macquarie said in a report.

"The latest data points confirm that Chinese construction activity remains in a positive trend, while we are in a nascent global industrial production recovery," Macquarie said.

"We continue to increase our 12-month forward demand outlook across industrial metals as the Chinese government prolongs its more commodity-intensive phase of growth, something we expect to persist through the next political transition in 2017."

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had slipped half-a-percent to $4,786 a tonne by 0125 GMT, paring small gains from the previous session. Prices on Tuesday hit their highest since Aug. 22 at $4,800 a tonne.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper was flat at 37,270 yuan ($5,586) a tonne.

The U.S. central bank could again cut its forecasts for how high interest rates will need to go in an economy where output, productivity and inflation are growing at a slower pace than in past decades.

ShFE lead and zinc were also up around 1 percent after gains in the overnight session.

Supporting copper, the global world refined market showed an 83,000-tonne deficit in June, compared with a 69,000-tonne deficit in May, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said.

LME nickel sagged by 1.2 percent to $10,190 a tonne, paring this week's gains to 4.7 percent. That climb had been fuelled by prospects of a widespread suspension of Philippine mines on environmental grounds.

"We have seen some technical short-covering as the market had got itself a little short by the end of last week on the basis of a worsening technical picture," said Triland in a note.

Meanwhile, BHP Billiton said it disagreed with Australian tax collectors' assessment that the miner needed to pay $766 million in back taxes and charges for its Singapore commodities marketing hub.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Wed, 21 Sep 2016 07:36:02 +0000
London copper, nickel slip after holiday gains imageMELBOURNE: London copper and nickel dipped on Tuesday as the dollar edged higher, but encouraging economic signals from China offered some support to prices.

A real estate boom and stronger than expected factory activity over summer has brightened the outlook for metals, with copper also finding support from earlier than expected consumer restocking.

"With summer coming to a close, copper demand conditions in China have improved markedly," JP Morgan said in a report.

"Orders for low voltage copper cables used in real estate construction have increased and production at major copper wire rod companies has stabilized."

JP Morgan sees China's copper imports increasing, its exports decreasing and its bonded stocks falling.

While this should help to tighten surplus outside of China, JP Morgan has retained its short December copper trade recommendation.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped by half a percent $4,752 a tonne by 0207 GMT, following a small loss in the previous session. Prices have marked out a floor around $4,700 and are within reach of fresh highs above $4,794.50, a three-week top hit last week.

LME nickel also saw modest profit-taking after prices surged by 4.4 percent, the biggest daily gain since July on prospects that more Philippine mines may be suspended when the results of an environmental audit are announced this week. Prices slipped 0.3 percent to $10,115 a tonne.

"While the miners there are complaining of anti-mining activists being involved in the government efforts, it seems like this push will finally force the dirty miners to tighten their controls and update their facilities or face permanent closure," said Triland in a note.

"Until Friday, nickel had been looking weak/neutral on the charts. Today's move suggests more gains are likely in the short term but we can't talk about a resumption of the uptrend just yet."

China has boosted its imports of nickel ore, with stockpiles at ports standing at more than 1.5 million tonnes and the highest since last October.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper traded up 0.3 percent at 37,210 yuan ($5,579), while zinc was up 2 percent. Aluminium, lead and nickel all rose more than 1 percent as markets resumed following a long autumn break.

China's refined zinc output has fallen 1 percent year on year to 4.1 million tonnes, Standard Chartered noted as smelters face lower processing fees, suggesting they will have to import more refined metal.

"Ongoing constraint in China's refined output is a clear signal of tightness in the concentrate market."

"Zinc prices should resume upward momentum once refined import volumes rebound from current depressed levels."

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Tue, 20 Sep 2016 07:26:22 +0000
London copper falls, nickel jumps as China returns from holiday imageMELBOURNE: London copper dropped nearly 1 percent on Monday while London nickel jumped in volatile trade as Chinese markets returned from an extended autumn break.

China returned to a spate of encouraging readings of its economy. Business confidence among entrepreneurs has picked up for the second quarter in a row in 2016, while average new home prices in China's 70 major cities rose 9.2 percent in August from a year earlier.

Higher property prices in China are set to feed fresh developments, in turn boosting demand for metals like copper and nickel in consumables and finishings.

But that may not be sufficient to counter the impact of a stronger dollar and ample supply this year, analysts said.

"We tell people stay away from copper, we still see a move to $4,400 towards year-end" said analyst Dominic Schnider of UBS Wealth Management in Hong Kong.

"I'm still convinced that China has imported too much. With that in mind, a stronger dollar and some shaky leading indicators, for copper that combination is a lethal one."

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had fallen 1 percent to $4,738 a tonne by 0240 GMT, after closing little changed in the previous session.

Prices had hit their highest in more than three weeks on Friday at $4,794.50 a tonne, and have marked out a new floor around the 100-day moving average, last at $4,740.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper rallied 1.4 percent to 37,160 yuan ($5,571) a tonne.

LME nickel held a 2-percent advance at $9,920 a tonne, paring last week's 6.2-percent losses as investors rushed to cover short positions. LME zinc traded up about 0.4 percent.

Expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may hike interest rates in December may find further grounding in comments from a meeting this week. A stronger dollar erodes demand for commodities by making them more expensive for purchases paying with other currencies.

Hedge funds and money managers reduced their net short positions in COMEX copper contracts in the week to Sept. 13, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

Meanwhile, Anglo American said on Friday it had reached a wage agreement with two unions at its flagship Los Bronces copper mine in central Chile, ending a strike that began a week ago.

Russian aluminium giant Rusal expects aluminium prices to stabilise within a $1,600-1,700 per tonne range next year if China does not increase production, global stocks keep falling and demand grows.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Mon, 19 Sep 2016 07:54:11 +0000
Soybeans fall nearly 1 percent ahead of USDA report imageSYDNEY: US soybeans fell nearly 1 percent on Monday as investors squared positions ahead of a widely watched US Department of Agriculture report.

Corn fell for the first time in seven sessions, while wheat eased nearly 0.5 percent.

The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade had fallen 0.79 percent to $9.72-1/4 a bushel by 0207 GMT, near the session low of $9.70-3/4 a bushel. Soybeans firmed 0.36 percent on Friday.

Driven by recent strong demand for US exports, soybeans hit a two-week peak last week, though analysts said the forthcoming USDA report would pressure that trend.

"The market's ideas about supply though will be tested by tonight's (USDA) update, analysts are expecting a slight upward revision to US yields," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The USDA is likely to raise its soybean yield forecast in its September supply and demand outlook due 1600 GMT on Monday, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

The USDA is expected to raise its estimate for average soybean yields to 49.2 bushels per acre, up from 48.9 bushels per acre in August.

The most active corn futures fell 0.37 percent to $3.39-3/4 a bushel, having gained 0.74 percent in the previous session when prices hit their highest since Aug. 23 at $3.42.

The USDA is expected to reduce its corn yield forecast, reflecting lower yields. The USDA is expected to estimate corn yields at 173.4 bushels per acre, down from 175.1 bushels per acre.

US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released after the close of trading on Friday suggested that speculative investors also were bearish, with speculators expanding their net short corn bet in corn to the largest in more than four months.

The most active wheat futures fell 0.5 percent to $4.01-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 0.62 percent on Friday.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Mon, 12 Sep 2016 07:37:59 +0000
London copper hovers near 2-week high; China data in focus;-china-data-in-focus.html;-china-data-in-focus.html imageMELBOURNE: London copper was holding near its highest level in a fortnight on Thursday, as investors took heart from encouraging signals in China's economy and as a softer dollar lent support.

China's imports unexpectedly rose in August for the first time in nearly two years, boosted by coal and other commodities, suggesting domestic demand may be picking up and putting the world's second-largest economy on a more balanced footing.

Metals markets largely dismissed as seasonal news that China's imports of copper fell 2.8 percent from a month ago to 350,000 tonnes in August, the lowest in one year, due to a summer lull at factories and China producing more of its own refined metal.

Instead, a persistently soft dollar lent support.

"Unexpectedly weak data in the U.S. non-manufacturing sector and a weaker U.S. dollar have lent buoyancy to metal prices," Commerzbank said in a report.

London Metal Exchange copper little changed at $4,646 a tonne by 0717 GMT, following gains of 0.7 percent in the previous session when it nudged to its highest in two weeks at $4,688.50, boosted by short-covering and options expiry.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper traded flat at 36,570 yuan ($5,487) a tonne.

The dollar has been under pressure since Friday's slightly disappointing jobs report, while a surprisingly soft service sector survey on Tuesday cast doubt about the Federal Reserve's ability to raise interest rates soon despite hawkish rhetoric from Fed officials.

A weaker dollar underpins commodities by making them more affordable to buyers paying with other currencies.

The premium of nearby tin futures over the LME benchmark has spiked to the highest in almost a year after one investor amassed up to half of the remaining LME inventories.

Spot treatment charges suggest that supply of zinc concentrates in China continue to tighten, "with refined tightness the next stage as we head into Q4", analyst Leon Westgate at ICBC Standard Bank said in a report.

China's huge zinc smelting industry has slashed its fees for turning ore concentrates into refined metal by 20 percent to mid-August from February.

Elsewhere, China's steel exports fell to the lowest in six months in August amid stronger domestic prices, offering relief to rivals overseas angered by a flood of cheap Chinese products.

Steel is typically a leading indicator for industrial metals demand and a pick up in local prices may herald further gains in nickel and zinc prices, used in stainless steel and galvanising respectively.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Thu, 08 Sep 2016 09:16:39 +0000
London copper hits two week top as US data drags on dollar imageMELBOURNE: London copper rose to the highest in two weeks on Wednesday as a falling dollar spurred demand for commodities given fading prospects of a US interest rate hike in September.

US service sector activity slowed to a 6-1/2-year low in August amid sharp drops in production and orders, pointing to slowing economic growth that further diminished prospects for an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve this month.

A weaker dollar makes commodities more affordable for buyers paying with other currencies. But analysts did not expect the dollar effect on demand to last, given a flood of new mine supply.

"We reiterate our second half 2016 view that copper and... aluminium are expected to move lower on a combination of slowing demand growth and rising supply, and zinc and nickel set to rise on idiosyncratic supply factors," Goldman Sachs said in a note.

London Metal Exchange copper rose by 1.3 percent to $4,679 a tonne by 0316 GMT, after closing little changed in the previous session. Prices topped out at $4,683, the highest since Aug. 24, and have marked out a floor above $4,600, a nine-week low hit last week.

Ahead of options expiry later in the session, positioning had accelerated copper's short-covering rally this morning, a broker said.

"It's all about expiry today," said the broker, adding that key options strike prices were at the $4,600 and $4,700 a tonne levels.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper climbed 0.9 percent to 36,850 yuan ($5,525) a tonne.

ShFE nickel was resilient in the face of steep declines in other materials used by China's steel sector after steel prices plunged, prompting downside pressure.

Elsewhere, strong exports and household demand drove economic expansion in the euro zone in the second quarter, but growth slowed from previous quarters on weakening inventories and investment, EU data showed.

Set to support metals prices in the medium term, China will step up proactive fiscal policy efforts now that commodity prices are relatively low, the State Council said.

Metals prices are particularly sensitive to China's credit cycle.

London-listed Antofagasta Plc's Antucoya copper mine reached its full monthly production capacity of 7,000 tonnes of copper in August, chief executive Ivan Arriagada said at a mining conference on Tuesday.

The total net-long position of funds trading copper on the London Metal Exchange fell to 18,033 lots last Friday from a net-long position of 27,026 lots the previous week, the LME's Commitments of Traders Report (COTR) showed on Tuesday.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Wed, 07 Sep 2016 06:39:46 +0000
London copper near two-month low; outlook sluggish;-outlook-sluggish.html;-outlook-sluggish.html imageMELBOURNE: London copper hovered near its weakest in two months on Monday as the dollar gained ground and as investors bet that more mine supply would drag on prices for the rest of the year.

A long weekend in the United States for the Labor Day holiday was set to keep trading in check.

"We are cautious about the near-term price outlook for copper and aluminium ... in view of the pending U.S. Fed rate hikes, slower-than-expected capacity reduction in aluminium in China and a near-term oversupply threat in the global copper market," Argonaut Securities said in report.

"On the demand side, there is a lack of positive catalysts for demand mainly because of some cool-off in the property sector."

China's home prices are expected to rise 10 percent this year due to robust demand, but will nearly stall in 2017 as more cities try to curb sharp price rises, a Reuters poll found.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had edged up by 0.1 percent to $4,633.50 by 0700 GMT, after closing Friday little changed on the week. Prices sank to a nine-week low of $4,600 a tonne on Tuesday.

"Although the key $4,600 support was successfully tested ... copper is not safe from another challenge in the coming sessions and we know what kind of implications this could have if the level ends up broken," broker Triland said in a report.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper ended little changed at 36,510 yuan ($5,469) a tonne. ShFE nickel and ShFE tin traded up 1 percent as metals with tighter supply continue to outperform.

In wider markets, U.S. employment growth slowed more than expected in August after two straight months of robust gains and wages were tepid, which could effectively rule out an interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve this month.

Signs of strength in China's industrial sector should give Beijing room to push much-needed reforms through the end of the year, though trade and investment are expected to remain weak, according to Reuters polls.

Hedge funds and money managers sharply increased their net-short position in copper futures and options in the week to Aug. 30, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed.

LME nickel, among last week's best performers with gains of more than 2 percent, slipped amid profit-taking on Monday. LME zinc, however, nudged up to a fresh 15-month high of $2,370.50.

A surprise jump in stainless steel production this year in China, the world's biggest nickel user, may reignite a rally in nickel prices as investors shift focus to demand from worries over Philippine supply.

The Philippines will this week announce the suspension of more of the country's mines for violating environmental regulations, the mining minister said on Monday, as the government wrapped up a seven-week review.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Mon, 05 Sep 2016 08:22:04 +0000
London copper faces 6pc monthly loss in August imageMELBOURNE: London copper edged up on Wednesday but was set for a monthly drop in August, pushing it into negative territory for the year, while zinc, tin and lead eyed monthly advances.

Metals prices rose on limited bargain-hunting but were still under pressure, traders said, with the dollar hovering near a three-week high against a basket of currencies on Wednesday.

Upbeat U.S. data enhanced expectations of a near-term rate hike by the Federal Reserve, with a U.S. payrolls report on Friday also in focus. A stronger dollar dents commodity demand by making the asset class less affordable for those paying with other currencies.

"The pullback in commodities is likely to continue in the short term with a stronger U.S. dollar and weaker fundamentals reducing investor appetite," ANZ said in a report.

London Metal Exchange copper had climbed 0.1 percent to $4,612 a tonne by 0720 GMT, after plumbing its weakest since June 24 at $4,600 a tonne on Tuesday due to mounting supply.

Prices slid 6.3 percent in August and now face a 2-percent loss for the year, the only LME contract in negative territory.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper slipped 0.3 percent to 36,270 yuan ($5,431) a tonne.

LME tin was the biggest monthly gainer, up by 5 percent and 29 percent this year as top exporter Indonesia shipped less and after pollution-related shutdowns in China.

LME zinc and lead were both set to climb around 3 percent in August, taking year-to-date gains to nearly 43 percent and nearly 5 percent respectively after the closure of several giant mines, and also aided by China's crackdown on polluting plants.

China's zinc mine output climbed to 515,000 tonnes in June, up 11 percent year-on-year and a new record monthly volume, Standard Chartered said in a report.

"Given how stretched investor positioning is to the long side in zinc, the increase in China's mine supply may catalyse some profit-taking. However, the broader fundamental trends suggest any such correction in price should be relatively shallow and short lived."

LME nickel was eyeing a 8-percent monthly drop, trimming the year's advance to 11 percent after a wider crackdown on Philippine mine supply failed to materialise. LME aluminium was barely changed facing a half a percent loss on the month.

Elsewhere, Chile's mining regulator on Tuesday ordered a halt to all operations at two major copper mines, state-owned Codelco's Chuquicamata and Freeport-McMoran Inc's El Abra, to investigate separate fatal accidents. The closures are unlikely to make a dent in a surplus expected this year.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Wed, 31 Aug 2016 08:43:04 +0000
Shanghai copper treads water near 2-month lows amid London holiday imageMELBOURNE: Shanghai copper was stuck near two-month lows on Monday, with the dollar pushed up after comments by the Federal Reserve left the door open to a rate hike this year, while a holiday in London drained the market of direction.

The Fed is getting closer to raising interest rates again, the head of the U.S. central bank, Janet Yellen, and other policymakers said on Friday.

"The volatility seen post the Yellen speech is likely to continue this week as the market digests her comments amidst conflicting fundamentals," ANZ said in a note.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper was trading up 0.2 percent at 36,420 yuan ($5,456) a tonne by 0705 GMT. Prices last week hit two-month lows at 36,050 yuan.

The LME is closed for a public holiday and will reopen on Tuesday.

Global copper stockpiles outside China are expected to rise for the remainder of the year, as China's imports slow and its exports stay robust, Standard Chartered said in a note.

China will need to import 290,000 tonnes of copper a month to avert a rising global surplus.

"Current signals suggest no imminent pick-up in imports. The import arbitrage window has been firmly shut since mid-June, bonded stocks have been unchanged (at 620,000 tonnes) since May and premia remain soft," it said in a report.

"Copper prices and LME spreads are likely to remain pressured in this environment."

In brighter news for demand, profits earned by China's industrial firms grew at their fastest pace in four months in July, aided by a pick-up in sales and reduced costs, the statistics bureau said on Saturday.

U.S. economic growth was slightly more tepid than initially thought in the second quarter as businesses aggressively ran down inventories, offsetting a spurt in consumer spending.

Hedge funds and money managers switched back to a net short position in COMEX copper futures and options in the week to Aug. 23, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

In other metals, ShFE zinc and ShFE tin both held gains of around half a percent, in the slipstream of fresh 15- and 18-month peaks hit in London's Friday session respectively, as speculators bid up metals with supply concerns.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Mon, 29 Aug 2016 09:46:27 +0000
Wheat drops for 6th session on ample supplies; Egypt demand eyed;-egypt-demand-eyed.html;-egypt-demand-eyed.html imageSYDNEY: US wheat fell for a sixth consecutive session and hovered near a three-week low on Monday, as ample global stocks and a regulatory clamp-down from the world's largest buyer of the grain dragged on prices.

Egypt, the world's biggest wheat importer, reinstated on Sunday a controversial ban on wheat shipments containing even the slightest amount of a common grain fungus ergot, baffling traders who had returned to the Egyptian market just last month when the ban was lifted.

"The market is bemused as to where Egypt expects to find millions of tonnes of ergot-free wheat," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "The market though has lots of wheat with traces of ergot that it might have sold to Egypt."

The most active wheat futures contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade fell 0.5 percent to $4.05-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 3.8 percent on Friday when prices hit a low of $4.05 a bushel - the lowest since Aug. 5.

Ample supplies also weighed on the wheat market, with the International Grains Council recently raising its forecast for world output in the 2016-17 season to a record high.

Among other grains, the most active corn futures edged up 0.38 percent to $3.26-1/4 a bushel, having closed down 2.1 percent in the previous session.

The most active soybean futures rose 0.26 percent to $9.69-3/4 a bushel, having slipped almost a percent on Friday.

Profarmer on Friday predicted that US average corn yields in 2016 will be 170.2 bushels per acre, or enough to produce a record-large 14.728 billion-bushel crop. Soybean production was seen at a record 4.093 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 49.3 bushels per acre.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Mon, 29 Aug 2016 06:57:06 +0000
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.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Imaduddin) Australia Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:48:49 +0000