Posts Tagged ‘commodities’

Weekly Update 23rd – 27th August 2010

The buying continued in the Indian markets and helped broader indices to surge to two and a half year highs. While negative sentiments in the global markets led to profit booking with major markets closing in the negative on weekly basis. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index dropped to the lowest reading since July 2009 to minus 7.7 this month, signaling contraction in the area covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

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The unemployment claims unexpectedly shot up by 12,000 to 500,000 last week more than the economist estimates. U.S. recovery is fading and European governments would struggle to reduce their deficits are the worrisome factors that are lingering on in the investors mind. The producer price index in U.S. increased 0.2 percent following a 0.5 percent drop in June.

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Excluding food and energy costs it climbed 0.3 percent signaling that world’s largest economy may not face deflation moving with slower growth. China, the Emerging Market frontier that saw an unparallel growth in the past is facing threats of faltering demand for exports as U.S. and European consumers are cutting spending, rising wages and the risk of bad loans from record lending by banks in the past. Japan Economy saw an expansion of an annualized 0.4 percent in the quarter ending June pushing it into third place behind the U.S. and China.

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In India, with good monsoon season the prospects of harvest have improved and now it is widely believed that inflation would come down by the end of this quarter. The primary articles index rose 14.85% in the year to 7 August 2010, lower than previous week’s annual rise of 15.66%. The food price index rose 10.35%, lower than previous week’s annual rise of 11.4%, as prices of vegetables, potatoes and onions fell.

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Going forward the domestic market is expected to remain firm with the support of foreign investment.

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However, investors will continuously monitor the global developments after some of the recent disappointing data coming from U.S.markets. Trend of Indian Stock Markets is up though other world markets are coming under pressure especially the European and US markets. Dollar index is showing some strength which is giving jitters to commodities. But till the trend of our stock markets is up, one should be playing on the long side with a cautious approach. Nifty has support between 5400-5350 and Sensex between 18000-17800 levels.

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Gold has benefited from last few weeks as investors are escalating the insurance like metals in their portfolio. However, gold silver ratio is rising once again as silver is moving in a range due to falling base metals. With the looming weakness in various economies, gold may invite bulls further. After touching many week highs, base metals washed off their previous gain on unexpected drop in Philadelphia Fed survey and bad employment data. Now the pulse of base metals is likely to be guided by the outcome of housing and durable goods data of US this week. Weakness in equity market, swelling inventories, slow recovery may weigh on the crude prices further, which already hit six week low last week. Dollar gain against euro is dampening the commodities demand, compelling CRB index to trade range bound with bearish bias.

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Nevertheless, lower level buying cannot be denied in between.

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Commodity Weekly Commentary 2nd – 6th August

Bullion counter hammered down last week as prices fell like nine pins after investors wind up their long positions in gold and silver. Gold slid nearly $100.0 from the historic record highs, recorded June 21 at $1265.30 an ounce, affected by traders reducing their stakes and investments in the SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest exchange-trade fund.

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The absence of fundamentals from Europe, led traders to turn to the US for signs of global recovery, but the disappointment came from US durable goods report which slumped in the month of June by 1.0 percent, compared with a revised -0.8%. Base metal pack extended their previous week gains as global inventory draw down and gains in the euro boosted the metals despite a surprise decline in U.S. orders for long-lasting
goods.

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Western world unwrought aluminium stocks fell to 1.192 million tonnes in June from a revised 1.306 million tonnes in May, industry data showed. Moreover, gains in equity market also supported the prices as investors anticipate robust demand in near future. In energy counter crude oil prices wiped out its previous week gains and just fell from the level of $80 after the U.S Energy department reported a surge in inventories in the US. However, crude oil prices managed tom conquer some part of the lost territory mainly on the back of the softer US dollar index.

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However, natural gas futures ended higher last week, backed by firmer cash prices and a government report
showing another light weekly inventory build despite ongoing concerns about too much supply.

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As regards agro commodity, the week gone by majorly known for profit booking at higher levels in many commodities. Traders preferred profit booking in most of the spices as they became overbought in the market. Cardamom futures caught the attention of traders as they traded in lower circuits throughout the week, supported by weak spot market.

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After trading in positive territory for many weeks, finally jeera, turmeric and pepper saw pause in the rally as stockiest released some stocks at higher levels. Good monsoon and improved sowing in producing area dragged down guar counter in both spot and future market.

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What surprised the market was the upside move oil seeds. R M seed, refined soya oil and crude palm oil witnessed nonstop four week rally on confident move in CBOT amid fall in dollar index.

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Maize futures ignored the positive sentiments of CBOT and moved down on profit booking. Additionally, soyabean saw good short covering. Good export demand supported mentha futures to recover from its week low. Weak sentiments in spot market continuously hammered the potato futures.

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Weekly Update 26th – 30th July 2010

The markets witnessed good buying in the week gone by as the corporates from U.S. to Europe showed good performance raising the confidence in the strength of the global economic growth. Continuous buying by the foreign institutions and the strength in the developed markets helped stocks to scale 29 months high. U.S. Fed chief Ben S. Bernanke said that central bank would take additional action if the world’s largest economy does not continue to improve.

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European Banks Stress test result showed that from a sample of 91 European banks, representing 65% of the European market in terms of total assets, 7 banks would see their Tier 1 capital ratios fall below 6%. The focus of the test was mainly to assess the ability of the banks to absorb possible shocks on credit and market risks, including sovereign risks over a 2 years horizon, until the end of 2011. The test revealed that the aggregate Tier 1 ratio, used as a common measure of banks’ resilience to shocks, under the adverse scenario would decrease from 10.3 percent in 2009 to 9.2 percent by the end of 2011 (compared to the regulatory minimum of 4 percent and to the threshold of 6 percent set up for this exercise). However investors are still ambiguous about the credibility of the test as it ignores the majority of banks’ holdings of sovereign debt assuming a case of no default by Greece or any other European country.

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India Inc. has so far shown good performance. The net profit of 339 companies that have declared results has grown by 25.5 percent and sales have shot up by 17.8 percent compared to corresponding quarter last year. The annual monsoon rains improved 24 percent from the deficit in the previous week, but were still 17 percent below normal in the week to 21July 2010, as per the data of the India Meteorological Department on Thursday, 22 July 2010. The seasonal monsoon rains during 1 June to 22 July 2010 were 12 percent below normal.

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The expectation of another 25bps hike in policy rates has already been built in the market. Market would take a cue from what RBI says in its monetary policy on 27th July about the health of domestic market and the steps in its act of balancing growth while anchoring inflationary expectations.

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Trend of Indian Stock Markets is up since a month and now the world markets are also participating in the rally. The rise in Base metal commodities is giving more steam to the rally as that is a reflection of increasing demand for metals in the industry. Nifty has support between 5315-5250 levels and Sensex between 17700- 17500 levels.

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Better than expected earnings amid optimistic equity market bestowed the much needed direction to the commodity market and thus it headed for biggest gain since March. In the meantime, dollar is going down and likely to trade in a negative territory as investors are moving back to the risky asset, which is appearing more promising in current context. Gold is narrating the same story and it is moving in a range with downside bias. Gold silver ratio has declined as silver outperformed gold, getting support from terrific rise in base metals prices. Energy complex has ignored the negative news and shore up on better results and strong technicals. But yes, it’s a time to book profit in spices as they are overbought now, especially pepper.

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Weekly Update 19th – 23rd July 2010

The concerns over recovery in global economy resurfaced in investors mind as China economy grew 10.3 percent in the second quarter showing moderation from 11.9 percent expansion in the first quarter. In U.S., consumer confidence dropped in July to the lowest level in the year to 66.5 from 76 in previous month and factory output too fell by 0.4 percent in June.

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The minutes released by the office of the Federal Reserve said that “The economic outlook had softened somewhat and a number of members saw the risks to the outlook as having shifted to the downside”. The statement and weak data only added to the worries and led to the decline in most of the global markets.

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India’s Industrial Production growth came surprisingly low to 11.5 percent in May from a year earlier and the April growth was revised downward to 16.5 percent from 17.6 percent. It is expected that the Industrial Production will remain close to double digits as some of the leading indicators like vehicle sales remained buoyant in June.

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Keeping a vigil on the liquidity and in order to ensure smooth credit lines for both government and corporate to sustain the growth momentum, RBI has further extended the second liquidity adjustment facility (SLAF) on a daily basis till July 30, 2010. Strong credit growth in Banking system and Industrial production together with high food inflation may influence RBI to raise policy rates by another 25 bps in its first quarter review on 27th July.

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The latest statement by the IMD that the monsoon up to 15 July has so far been 14 percent below the long period average is a cause of concern.July, especially being the most important month for sowing the Kharif crops has led to the alteration of earlier beliefs that going ahead food inflation will moderate.

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Mostly world markets are in downtrend though Indian stock market is still in uptrend. The base metal commodities are not able to rise which is showing the underlying uncertainty in the markets. One should be cautious in such markets.

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Nifty has support between 5280-5220 levels and Sensex between 17600-17400 levels.Indian markets have gone up substantially in last one and half month and dollar index has fallen sharply from higher levels but the Indian rupee has not moved much which is a sign of concern as rupee should have strengthened in such an environment.

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Lack of clarity with reference to the direction of world economy is painting a hazy picture for commodity market. Even uncertain outcome of economic releases and result of second quarter is giving little direction to the commodities. Investors are refraining to make large position in current situation. This week, we have important data form UK and Canada. Housing data can give further direction to base metals. Bullions can trade in a slim spread. Expiry of July contract in NCDEX may result in more volatility in all agro commodities. After witnessing a multi week high some spices may see a pause in rally.

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NATURAL GAS “Volatile by Nature, getting ahead” Final Part :)

3. Active hurricane forecasts may underpin prices

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The numbers are out. An active storm season is predicted for the Atlantic and natural gas-related ETFs are already gearing up and moving on the news. More storms than “normal” – about 16 – are anticipated to hit the Atlantic coast of  the United States this season. Of these, eight are expected to become hurricanes and about four of them are going to be intense, according to the Tropical Storm Risk.

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The forecast joins a growing number of predictions that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, which starts June 1, will be among the most active on record. As the number of hurricanes rises, so do the chances of one striking the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico or Florida’s crop areas.

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The Gulf is home to about 30% of U.S. oil and 12 % of U.S. natural gas production, the U.S. Energy Department says. It also has seven of the 10 busiest U.S. ports, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Meanwhile, BP is still trying to cap a leaking offshore oil well that has created a devastating slick that is washing up in Louisiana. Attempts to stop the oil will be hampered if and when a tropical storm or hurricane passes through the Gulf of Mexico.

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4. Warm Weather

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It is expected that temperatures in the Northeast and Midwest, the key gas consuming regions, to average above normal in the coming days, with highs frequently climbing to the mid-80s Fahrenheit area. However, a healthy economic recovery also could trigger a strong gain in industrial demand this year, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of total gas consumption.

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Crude Oil & Natural Gas Ratio

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Historically, the price of oil and natural gas has moved in tandem because the demand for both commodities move up or down in conjunction with the economy and weather. The historical oil-to-gas price ratio has ranged from 6:1 to 13:1. For example, at a 10:1 ratio, if the price of natural gas is $7 per MMBtu, then the value or price per barrel of crude oil is expected to be around $70 per barrel. This oil-to-gas price ratio move up and down based on current and expected future events, particularly if there is political unrest.

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However, the oil-to-gas price ratio changed dramatically in the middle of 2009. As crude oil climbed to over $80 per barrel & natural gas NYMEX prices fell to $4 per MMBtu, taking the oil-to-gas price ratio to 20:1.Because of the wide price ratios last summer, some investment companies urged investors to buy natural gas commodities based solely on this ratio, under the belief that it would ultimately return to a historical level of 6:1 to 13:1, providing investors with a formidable profit. Now days we are witnessing that natural gas prices are getting underpinned and are expected to outperform crude oil so that the ratio will come again in its range.

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With keeping these fundamentals into consideration, investors can bet on this interesting commodity.

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Weekly Update 5th – 9th July 2010

The global markets fell in the week gone by as the manufacturing growth exhibited weakness from China to U.S. The investor’s across the globe became nervous with the fading signs of global recovery. G20 leaders said that the limited demand in advanced economies has left the world reliant on emerging markets, led by China, to drive a recovery is “uneven and fragile.”

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China’s manufacturing growth slowed more than expected in June adding to the concerns that the fastest- growing major economy is cooling. The government’s Purchasing Managers’ Index declined to 52.1 from 53.9 in May. In the U.S., manufacturing slowed in June with the cooling demand from rest of the world.

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The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of manufacturing fell to 56.2 from 59.7 a month earlier.

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As anticipated in our last two editions, RBI raised the policy rates i.e. Repurchase and Reverse Repurchase rate by 25 bps taking it to 5.50 percent and 4 percent respectively as a part of the calibrated exit from the expansionary monetary policy. The strong growth shown by manufacturing sector especially capital goods sector, acceleration in credit growth and the widening current account deficit helped RBI to take such a step in order to anchor inflationary expectations going forward. In order to address the liquidity situation which is currently in deficit mode under LAF operations, RBI allowed banks to borrow to 0.5 per cent of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) even in case of a shortfall in maintenance of statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) till July 16, 2010.

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The expectation of hike in policy rates by RBI was very much priced in and will not have any bearing effect on the stock markets. However expecting good monsoon, the market was in the belief that inflation will come down in the months to come. But the recent numbers from IMD suggests a relook as so far the monsoon was 16 percent below normal in June 2010.

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Indian stock markets were holding on when all the world stock markets are falling but one should be very cautious when world markets are falling so much as Banking and IT sector are showing some weakness. Nifty has support between 5200-5100 levels and Sensex between 17300-17000 levels.

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Gone was wholly a brutal week for commodities. After the fourth quarter of 2008, first time commodities witnessed quarterly decline. Even the topmost hot favorite of investors gold and dollar index toppled down as money manager’s shifted their attentions towards euro, which saw a decent rise last week. Poor economic data’s in a row further pave the path for selling. At present one should wait for the clear trend. Base metals and energy have already seen a steep decline, may trade in a range for the time being. Similar story is of gold and silver.

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Commodity Weekly Commentary 28th June – 2nd July

Last week we have experienced a profound volatile session in bullion section. On COMEX division gold August future contract notched another all-time high of $1266.50 on Monday and traded as low as $1225.20 during the Wednesday session. This volatility is a direct result of the continued uncertainty with the fiscal crisis in the European Union as well as the growing geo-political tensions world –wide. Silver also tracked moves in gold and equity markets and settled in red territory.

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However mixed economic data from U.S front kept the base metal pack sideways during the week. U.S. data last week has been a mixed bag so far with Thursday’s data showing weekly jobless claims falling last week and a bounce in U.S. durable goods orders in May helping offset poor new home sales data and the Federal Reserve’s subdued assessment of the economy on Wednesday.

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Once again, with a weakening economic outlook, some terrible housing numbers and a not so inspiring Energy Information Agency report, crude oil prices remain under pressure in early trades of the week but on Friday prices get underpinned and ended up to hit a seven-week high as odds increased that an Atlantic storm would form and head to the Gulf of Mexico, where oil production may be disrupted.

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Turmeric futures rebounded on fresh buying. Once again jeera and pepper followed the same direction as they did in past. They have seen continuous three week jump in the prices. It was a good short covering in jeera futures. Even lower level stimulated fresh buying despite fragile fundamentals.

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The overseas demand is weak due to the higher prices of Indian Cumin seed over Syrian and Turkey cumin seed prices. Pepper was up on good overseas demand. Good export demand propped up cardamom futures, however the upside was limited on improving arrivals and rains.

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Export of spices and spice products from India has crossed 5,00,000 metric tonnes for the first time in the history of spice trade this year. It was not a good week for chilli and again it marched towards it support of around 4600 on absence of buyers and profit booking at higher levels. Very uncertain movements were witnessed in oil seeds complex which kept investors aside throughout the week. Guar complex moved gradually as support came from lower level buying and fear of fall in acreage. There is a fear in market that farmers may switch to barley and other crops which are enjoying good MSP. Maize shot up on short covering.

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YUAN …. “KNEE-JERK REACTION”

The Chinese New Year has only just started, and already trade tensions are ratcheting up. The strength of China’s Yuan gave the world a confidence to end the peg & acted as a cushion for reviving from the fears of the global financial crisis, especially with European debt worries in the background.

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China’s yuan soared at 6.7980, its highest level against the US dollar since its July 2005 revaluation after the central bank signaled it would allow the yuan to continue its rise.

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REVALUATION OR REVOLUTION???

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The yuan policy change signaled that the Chinese economy “the world’s third-biggest economy” is on a more solid footing. China has been under intense global pressure, especially from the US, to introduce more flexibility between the yuan and the dollar to encourage the cash-rich Chinese to buy more from the heavily indebted West.

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Needless to say, a stronger yuan would allow China to lower the cost of its imports, particularly commodities.

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Even a small rise in the yuan could shave billions off the cost while raising the volume of China’s commodity purchases. China’s economy is still in a cycle towards overheating.

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China’s inflation accelerated in May to 3.1%, the quickest pace in 19 months, highlighting overheating risks in the fastest-growing major economy. Inflationary pressures may convince China to allow its currency to appreciate. A stronger yuan is in China’s interest to satisfy its appetite for resources.

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Yuan appreciation should benefit China’s importers of bulk commodities like soybeans, cotton, copper and various mining products including iron ore and other metal ores as these commodities, priced in the dollar, will be cheaper. The appreciation will support commodities prices in dollar terms in global markets as China will be able to accept higher prices in the dollar terms.

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Following is a list of some likely winners and losers from any yuan appreciation.

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WINNERS

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·Foreign resource companies – On hopes China’s move would increase its resource imports.

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·Foreign heavy machinery makers – The U.S. sells billions of dollars worth of machinery and products to China each year.

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·Foreign automakers – Foreign automakers that sell cars in the world’s largest vehicle market, should also gain.

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·U.S. companies such as General Electric Co and Procter & Gamble Co are likely to make currency exchange gains when their China profits are converted into U.S.dollars.

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·Chinese airlines – China’s three top carriers, Air China China Eastern Airlines and China Southern which borrow in foreign currencies to pay for aircraft, but generate reveyuan, could benefit the most. Airlines also use dollars to buy fuel.

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·Foreign luxury firms – A firmer yuan would likely boost other Asian currencies as a strong yuan is seen by investors as a pledge of confidence for Asia’s growth. That should help luxury goods makers, whose imported products will be cheaper across the region, just as more Asians benefit from increased wealth.

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LOSERS

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·Foreign retailers- Companies signed earlier memorandum of understanding for projects to build, would have to spend more in U.S. dollars to fund investments.

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·Chinese commodity firms – Companies with dollar-linked prices for their output, but their costs are in yuan, would find their revenues falling while their costs remain steady, if yuan strengthens.

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In a nut shell, China is not shying away from commodity consumption any time soon.They still have roads to pave, factories to build, and cities to expand. China is thinking ahead in terms of commodity demand. The shift toward a stronger exchange rate may give more purchasing power to its people. Chinese consumers might buy more while their counterparts in the U.S. may have to pay more & cut back on their spending as the cost of goods imported into America rises. This move is a net plus for the world economy.

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Weekly Update 28th June – 2nd July

China’s central bank move to increase flexibility in yuan against the dollar pushed global markets higher with the onset of the week. The optimism for the demand of commodities rose as the move is expected to increase Chinese consumers demand with the rise in purchasing power. Thereafter, the worrisome news flow from both U.S. & Europe only gave weakness to the markets.

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Disappointing earnings forecast by U.S. companies reignited the growth concerns in the market during the week. Fed policy makers left the overnight interbank lending rate target unchanged in a range of zero to 0.25 percent. Fed echoed that low inflation, stable price expectations and high unemployment “are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.”

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It said the U.S. recovery is progressive but not strengthening and “Financial conditions have become less supportive of economic growth on balance, largely reflecting developments abroad.” Concerns also rose about solvency position of both U.K. and Global banks. Bank of England said that U.K. banks remain “vulnerable” to further writedowns on their assets because of a potential decline in investor appetite for risk. Overall investors are circumspect of the global recovery and are not sure whether the austerity plan by various government will lead to economic prosperity.

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The Indian government now seems to be batting its second innings in power by working on many reforms that were in its agenda for long time. On the recommendations of Kirit Parekh committee, the government decided to go ahead by linking petrol prices to market linked prices & giving Rs. 2/-, Rs. 3/- & Rs. 35/- hike in diesel, kerosine & LPG prices respectively. The long awaited step is expected to cool down the burgeoning under-recoveries of OMC’s & will help consequently in lowering the fiscal deficit. As per our estimates the said increase will accentuate inflation by close to 0.50%. The move that was quite necessary from the long term perspective may put some pressure on the Equity & Bond Markets. As we are already facing high inflation & are on mercy of good monsoon, the step is likely to increase worries. We expect now, with the robust manufacturing activity & clear signs of demand pull inflation the next step may come soon from the monetary body by hiking policy rates. The move may lead to some correction in the capital markets & bond prices may fall.

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Trend of Indian stock markets is up though U.S. and other markets is down which is giving rise to volatility here. Even dollar index is taking some reaction which might give some relief rally to metals in coming week. Nifty has support between 5200- 5100 levels and Sensex between 17300-17000 levels.

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Notwithstanding the doubt over the health of world economy, especially U.S. and Europe, commodity is reacting optimistically on every small news and statements.

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CRB index is going through a consolidation phase; any positive news can result in good upside. Two factors; flattish dollar index amid strong Asian economic growth accompanied by commodity demand can keep commodity on stronger side. In past seven months dollar index has rallied around 20%, the move was not showing the inner strength of dollar, rather it was majorly due to European debt crisis and safe haven demand. If we see rangebound to bearish movements in dollar index again it will boost up commodities prices. However, we can see some correction in between, but that should be considered as good buying opportunity.

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Weekly Update 21st – 25th June

Global markets saw synchronized gains of more than two percent this week except China’s Shanghai Composite Index which closed in the negative. The recent measures that were taken in China to cool down the economy like larger down payment for home buyers and increase in reserve requirements for banks seems to have started showing its effects as reflected by the weakening demand for construction metals like Nickel pig iron. Asset price bubble concerns rose after property prices in China rose by 12.4 percent in May.

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China Banking Regulatory Commission said that risks associated with home mortgages are growing and a “chain effect” may reappear in real-estate development loans. The economic restructuring in China has raised the possibility of resurgence in credit risks. The index of leading indicators in US, a gauge of the outlook for growth over the next three to six months, climbed 0.4 percent in May. It is viewed that the largest economy will continue expanding though at a moderate pace in the second half of the year without stoking inflation & creating fewer jobs. This would help the Federal Reserve in continuing with low interest policy for longer time. The European Union’s decision to publish the results of stress tests came after more than a year when U.S. published the results of stress tests on 19 financial institutions. The details of the tests including whether they include a sovereign debt restructuring is not yet disclosed by the European Union. However the step is welcomed by the investors as it will reveal the soundness of the European financial system.

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Coming back at home, as mentioned last week the possibility of hike in policy rates by RBI is gaining strength after Inflation accelerated to 10.16 percent in May giving concerns of generalized Inflation in the economy. Demand side pressures are quite evident now with the encouraging growth in Industrial production together with healthy growth in Exports and Imports. The European concerns that may have a bearing effect on the India’s trade and temporary liquidity squeeze in the Banking system has so far refrained the Banking regulator to continue its exit from an expansionary policy in a calibrated manner.

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Indian Stock Markets went up sharply last week and are looking much better but the problem it seems is with other world markets. It has to be seen whether the Indian markets are able to pull the other markets up or the weaker markets pull down India. Base metal commodities are not doing well though precious metals are all looking good. It seems volatility is likely to continue in such a scenario.

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Nifty has support between 5200-5100 levels and Sensex between 17300-17000 levels.

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Market players were enthralled with the captivating movements commodities noticed last week. Base metals and energy touched multi months low in the beginning of the week while second half of the week witnessed steep profit booking. Sideways congestion may be witnessed in commodities this week, as investors are endeavoring to figure out the next direction in commodities.

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However, the week is full of event risk and may trigger volatility in between.

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Many meets and high importance economic releases from US, UK and other nations are scheduled this week. Traders may refrain to create large position before FOMC meeting, which is scheduled on Wednesday.