The gold standard has returned to mainstream U.S. politics for the first time in 30 years, with a “gold commission” set to become part of official Republican party policy.
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” The first official warning of food price increases due to the U.S. drought came last month, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast an increase of 2.5% to 3.5% for food consumed at home in 2012, rising to an increase of 3%-4% in 2013. Beef and veal prices are expected to rise 4%-5% in 2013.”Comments »
Australia’s resources minister, Martin Ferguson, has declared the nation’s mining boom “over” after BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest miner, delayed plans to build the largest open-pit mine in the world as the global economy slows.
“You’ve got to understand, the resources boom is over. We’ve done well – A$270bn (£179bn) in investment – the envy of the world,” Mr Ferguson told ABC radio.
“It has got tougher in the last six to 12 months. Look at Europe, the state of the European and global economy. Think about the difficulties in China. The commodity price boom is over and anyone with half a brain knows that.”Comments »
” $BHP reported a 35 percent drop in second-half profit which just added to signs of a wider malaise in Australia’s mining industry.
A slowdown in China and the global economy is threatening the commodity boom in Australia and the south Australian economy that has thrived on mining.
Coal accounts for 20 percent of Australia’s exports and until as recently as May, its coal exports to China had been strong, showing large year-over-year growth. But as shale-gas production picked up in the U.S., and natural gas prices started to fall, American utilities companies started to shift away from coal to natural gas to meet their electricity needs This in turn caused demand for coal and in turn coal prices to decline.
U.S. coal producers naturally turned to international markets, and Gao and Mou write:
“Coal exports by the US to China, a relatively unnoticed trend, can have significant and long-lasting substitution effect on Australia, in our view. In fact, the effect has already started showing up in recent months.”Comments »
” Last week it was Brent and Crude; yesterday it was Silver; and today Gold has broken out of its three-month range over $1640 – testing up to its 200DMA once again. Party on in tech stocks like its 1999 but don’t forget the unintended consequence of all that free-money exuberance.”Comments »
“Oil climbed for a fifth day in New York, the longest streak of gains in a month, on signs of a strengthening U.S. economy and speculation that higher Saudi Arabian crude output indicates increasing demand for fuel.
Futures gained as much as 0.5 percent after closing at a three-month high on Aug. 17 as a report showed U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly improved. Home sales and orders for durable goods probably climbed in July, economists said before figures this week. Saudi Arabiapumped crude at the highest level in more than three decades in June and monthly exports were the most since November 2005, according to the Joint Organization Data Initiative.”Comments »
“Speculators held wagers on rising commodities near the highest in 11 months as speculation that China will act to bolster its economy and signs of improving U.S. growth boosted prices for a third consecutive week.
Money managers’ net-long position across 18 U.S. raw materials was little changed at 1.2 million futures and options in the week ended Aug. 14, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Investors increased bets on costlier corn, soybeans and cattle amid the worst U.S. drought in 56 years, reduced wagers on a rally in crude oil and became more bearish on the outlook for copper.”Comments »
“While the Achilles heel to the endless “economic data” BS coming out of China may be its electric production and demand, both of which show a vastly different picture than what the Beijing politburo’s very wide brush strokes paint, the US itself is not immune from indicators that confirm that anything the BEA dishes out should be taken with a grain of salt. One data set that we showed recently that paints a drastically different (read slowing) picture of the US economy which we noted recently is railcar loading of waste and scrap for the simple reason that “The more we demand, the more waste is generated by that production.” Of course, the propaganda manipulation machinery only focuses on the “entrance” of production, and completely ignore the “exit.” But an even far more important metric of the general health of the US economy may be none other than broad energy demand, in the form of petroleum deliveries and gasoline demand. ”Comments »
“BANGKOK (AP) — Oil fell to near $93 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a rise in oil supplies offset U.S. retail sales data showing Americans spending more.
Benchmark oil for September delivery was down 16 cents at $93.27 per barrel at midafternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 70 cents to end at $93.43 a barrel in New York on Tuesday.
Americans increased their retail spending in July by the most in five months, a gain of 0.8 percent over June, government data showed Tuesday. The increase came after three straight monthly declines.
Traders were remaining cautious, however, after the American Petroleum Institute said crude stockpiles in the U.S. rose some 2.8 million barrels last week. Expectations were for a drop of 1.7 million, according to Natalie Rampono, a commodities analyst at ANZ Banking Group in Melbourne.
“”It is a negative signal for demand,” she said.
Brent crude was down 1 cent at $112.14 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. It has gained more than $8 per barrel this month.
In other futures trading on the Nymex, gasoline fell marginally to $3.01 a gallon. Heating oil fell 0.5 cents to $3.029 a gallon. Natural gas fell 1.8 cents to $2.82 per 1,000 cubic feet”Comments »
” On the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, about an hour upstream from New Orleans, the outline of Nucor Corp. (NUE)’s new $750 million iron-processing plant is rising between fields of sugar cane and sweet gum trees.
Surveying the facility from the road, Michael Eades, president of Ascension Economic Development Corp., says it’s part of a wave of investment lured by low natural gas prices to this stretch of Louisiana’s industrial riverfront. Companies such as Westlake Chemical Corp., Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Methanex Corp. (MX) have projects in the works. Ormet (ORMT) Corp. reopened an alumina refinery last year, bringing back 250 jobs.”Comments »
“Brent crude rose to a three-month high amid concern that Middle East political tension may disrupt oil supplies.
Brent climbed as much as 1.9 percent after the U.S. said one of its guided-missile destroyers collided with an oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. Israel will hold home defense drills this week as the Haaretz daily reported that the nation is considering a strike against Iran over its nuclear program. Brent has advanced 17 percent since European Union sanctions against Iran took effect last month.”Comments »
Generally, when platinum is at a discount to gold, it points to concerns about the economic outlook, given that 60% of demand for platinum comes from the automotive industry. But when platinum moves above gold, it tends to indicate that investors expect the economy to pick up. Gold also tends to trade as an alternative to traditional currencies, such as the dollar, in times of market nervousness or as a hedge against inflation.
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