Posts Tagged ‘copper’

Notes From Underground: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Stands Alone

March 12, 2014

This afternoon the little bank from down under announced it was raising its overnight cash rate (OCR) by 25 basis points to 2.75%. There is no question that the New Zealand economy has been growing (as has private credit for housing) but the KIWI has been elevated by the strength of the economy and the huge global demand for New Zealand commodities–dairy and other agricultural products. Previously, the RBNZ has refrained from raising the OCR because of the strength of the KIWI versus the Aussie dollar and other commodity-based currencies. But the improvement in global financial conditions gave Governor Graeme Wheeler reassurance for increasing the interest rate. Wheeler noted that “the high exchange rate remains a headwind to the tradables sector. The bank doesn’t believe the current level of the exchange rate is unsustainable in the long run.” The market had been expecting the Bank to raise rates  so the initial market reaction was a short selloff but within two minutes the KIWI was trading higher and actually closed on its high of the day in the spot market. If the RBNZ doesn’t intervene, which it shouldn’t, the NZ currency should hold up on the crosses, especially with the high yield on its 10-year note. Finally, one bank breaks out of the pack, even in the face of a potential slowdown in China.

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Notes From Underground: Four Central Bank Meetings, and, Oh Yeah, the Fiscal Cliff

December 2, 2012

The weekend news was rather sparse as the Greeks got their trust fund check from the overlords in Brussels. The Greeks need to be leery of Eurocrats bearing gifts. The Sunday news shows in the U.S. highlighted the vast chasm between Speaker Boehner and Secretary Geithner. There was finger-pointing all around about as to which group was holding up the negotiations as to affect genuine compromise and a resolution to the fiscal cliff. As the rhetoric heats up, the S&Ps and global stock indices all closed higher on the week, showing that the price action speaks louder than words. The market has fears that failure to resolve the fiscal crisis will result in a new U.S. recession and will also undermine the global economic recovery, but yet the COPPER closed above the 200-day moving average for the first time in many weeks. Other industrial metals also performed well last week making me wonder if all the fiscal cliff rhetoric is missing some larger picture. We will watch to see if the COPPER can sustain its recent strength or whether we are in the midst of a short covering rally.

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Notes From Underground: It’s Raining Liquidity All Over the World

September 9, 2012

Friday’s unemployment report solidified the TRIFECTA of LIQUIDITY for the week. ECB President Draghi seeded the “liquidity clouds” at Thursday’s press conference by announcing the installation of the OTM (outright monetary transaction), which will allow the ECB/ESM to purchase unlimited amounts of sovereign debt of up to three-year duration–of course with conditions for those asking for help. Draghi is hoping to buy the whole EU project enough time so that a FISCAL UNION CAN BE FORMED WITH THE ABILITY FOR THE EU TO ISSUE A TRUE EUROBOND.

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Notes From Underground: Will the European Summit Yield Another Financial Valley?

June 28, 2012

If it is Thursday it must be another major Euro summit in Brussels. There is so much chatter about the outcomes and German capitulation that is impossible to conjecture the result. Will George Soros’s apocalyptic prognosis bear fruit or will the European policymakers provide enough initial capital to help stem the financial cliff for another three months and allow the EURO ELITE to enjoy the beaches of Spain and Greece? So before we return to the SUMMIT let’s examine a few other financial thoughts.

***ARE THE SWISS GOING TO COMMIT FINANCIAL SUICIDE? HYPOTHESIS: The Swiss National Bank has resigned itself to defend the 1.20 EUR/CHF crossrate and in so doing has committed to buy EUROS at that level. The question the SNB needs to ask is what happens if the GERMANS were to abandon the EURO and leave the PIIGS at trough and create a DEUTSCHE MARK ZONE? The Swiss would be the bagholders for a huge amount of depreciating EUROS while the most valuable part of the EURO project was denominated in D-MARKS.

There is speculation that it is the SWISS who are pushing German SCHATZ to record lows as the SNB is buying two-year German paper with the EUROS they buy to maintain the cross. I have no certainty to this but if I ran the SNB that is certainly one way I would hedge my exposure. If the SNB is not buying German DEBT, then the answer to the question is that they stand to commit FINANCIAL SUICIDE. This possibility is just another variable in the game of disruption caused by the credit crisis in Europe.

***An interesting story yesterday was that the long-awaited merger between XSTRATA and GLENCORE looked to be falling apart. Some large shareholders in Xstrata were pressing the BOARD to ask for an increased price and thus were threatening to block the merger. RUMORS AROSE THAT GLENCORE WOULD WALK AWAY FROM THE DEAL BECAUSE OF ALL THE ACRIMONY. This merger has been the biggest commodity story of the year and if the two parties were going to cancel the deal  it would seem that GLENCORE FELT IT WAS PAYING TOO MUCH FOR XSTRATA IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF SOFTENING COMMODITY PRICES (except grains).

There have been several stories about the Chinese economy slowing and the impact the slowdown is having on raw material prices. Rumors abound about bulk cargo ships sitting off Chinese ports and nobody desiring to take delivery of pre-arranged shipment for lack of funds. If global commodity prices are headed lower, GLENCORE may believe that it could make a better deal in the future for XSTRATA. It seems that XSTRATA’s newfound greed is giving GLENCORE the excuse to walk on the deal. IF GLENCORE ALLOWS THE DEAL TO COLLAPSE BY NOT MEETING XSTRATA’s INCREASED DEMANDS,IT MAY BE A PRECURSOR TO FALLING COMMODITY PRICES.

IF THIS IS CORRECT, A TRADE THAT WOULD COME TO MIND IS LONG GOLD AND SHORT COPPER. COMMODITY PRICES REFLECTING INTERNATIONAL SLACK WILL SIGNAL THE WORLD’S CENTRAL BANKS THROWING ALL CAUTION TO THE WIND ON THE NEXT ROUND OF QE. This is something to pay close attention to as the rumors of a Chinese slowdown begin to gain traction. Looking at the world right now I would advise XSTRATA TO TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN.

Notes From Underground: CNBC-Market’s Disaster Response

March 16, 2011

Click on image to watch Yra on CNBC.

Notes From Underground: The markets will labor with the unemployment report

January 6, 2011

Let me state out again as to why the FOREX markets are going to be a difficult investment in 2011. The emerging markets and commodity-based currencies have been the repositories of global capital seeking to take advantage of the Chinese and India growth phenomena without having to actually invest in the countries themselves. If you like China, buy the Australian equity or currency as it provides a proxy on Beijing’s growth policies: A classic case of providing picks and shovels rather than mining yourself.

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Notes From Underground: Just like Frank Zappa, the markets are like a Penguin in Bondage

December 8, 2010

During the last two days the markets have heard from the Australian and Canadian central banks and both institutions held its rates steady. Both banks cited its strong currencies and the still-fragile state of the global economy outside of emerging Asia as the primary reasons for holding.  (more…)

Notes From Underground: Bank of Canada raises rates + robust Ivey PMI = Canadian Dollar gets a boost

September 8, 2010

The BOC raised rates 25 basis points today as it attempts to remove the stimulus it provided while the world financial system was under extreme stress. The statement from the bank was mildly hawkish and because the market was unsure of the bank’s intensions, the LOONY went immediately bid. An hour later, the IVEY PMI was released and the data was much more robust than anticipated. All in all a very positive day for Canadian fundamentals.

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Notes From Underground: CEBS and the ECB roll the dice and it comes up seven

July 25, 2010

The “results” of the European bank stress tests were released Friday afternoon and we learned that seven European banks failed and need to raise about €3.5 billion to meet the needed tier one capital ratios.

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