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11 Sep 2012

Australia 2011-12 Gold production value to hit A$14 billion

MELBOURNE:

World's second largest gold producer Australia produced 65 tons of gold in the second quarter this year, 2.5 tons more than in the first quarter,according to mining consultants Surbiton Associates. Surbiton however said production decreased by 4% during 2011/12, compared with the previous year. Australia's production was set to rise, with several new and rejuvenated mining projects coming on stream later this year and in 2013, the firm added. At the current spot price, the value of 2011/12 gold production was estimated at around 14-billion Australian dollar. In Australian dollar terms, the gold price rose 1.2% in the first half of 2012, compared with an 0.03% increase in U.S. dollar terms. The average Australian-dollar spot gold price for 2011/12 was around A$1 620/oz, which was more than $230/oz higher than for the 2010/11 year. Surbiton also said takeover activity had increased recently in the Australian gold sector, which was currently around 60% foreign-controlled. Super Pit remained the country's top producer in the 12 months to June 30, with output of 746,000 ounces. This was followed by Newmont's Boddington mine, which produced 713,000 ounces, and Newcrest's Telfer, which produced 540,115 ounces.

Courtesy: BullionStreet

Natural gas futures surge 5% in early trade to hit 4-week high

Natural gas futures soared to a four-week high during U.S. morning trade on Tuesday, as market participants looked ahead to a U.S. government report on natural gas supplies scheduled for later in the week. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in October traded at USD2.939 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning trade, soaring 4.5%. It earlier rose by as much as 5% to trade at a session high of USD2.950 per million British thermal units, the strongest level since August 9. Natural gas prices rallied 4.8% on Monday, as a bullish outlook for Thursday’s storage data prompted traders to return to the market to cover bets on falling prices, a move known as short covering. Early injection estimates for this Thursday’s storage data range from 22 billion cubic feet to 55 billion cubic feet, which is significantly lower than last year's build of 80 billion cubic feet. The five-year average change for the week is an increase of 72 billion cubic feet. Also supportive was the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, which shut much of the natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 10% of gas production remained shut on Sunday, U.S. regulators said. Some technical buying also contributed to gains, after futures moved in to oversold territory. Natural gas prices fell 4.1% last week, the sixth weekly decline in the past seven weeks. A bout of extreme heat across much of the U.S. earlier in the summer helped boost natural gas prices above the key USD3.00-level in late-July. Prices rallied to a 2012 high of USD3.275 per million British thermal units on July 31. But futures have come under heavy selling pressure since the start of August, losing almost 17% after extended weather forecasts pointed to milder weather across most parts of the U.S. Updated weather forecasts Monday predicted below-normal temperatures in parts of the Midwest in the coming week and above-normal readings along both coasts. Natural gas demand typically rises in the summer as air-conditioning use boosts utility demand, then sinks in the fall as demand weakens ahead of the peak winter heating season. Despite the strong two-day gain, natural gas futures were likely to come under pressure in the near-term amid ongoing concerns over bloated U.S. inventory levels. Total U.S. gas supplies stood at 3.402 trillion cubic feet as of last week, 13.1% above last year’s level and 10.7% above the five-year average level for the week. Inventory did not top the 3.4-trillion cubic feet level in 2011 until October 5, with stocks peaking at a record 3.852 trillion cubic feet in November of last year. Market analysts have warned that without strong demand through the rest of the summer cooling season, gas inventories will reach the limits of available capacity later this year. The storage surplus to last year will have to be cut by at least another 150 billion cubic feet in the 12 weeks left before winter withdrawals begin to avoid breaching the government's 4.1 trillion cubic feet estimate of total capacity. Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in October rose 0.45% to trade at USD96.99 a barrel, while heating oil for October delivery added 0.1% to trade at USD3.169 per gallon.

Courtesy: ForexPros

Oil Trades Near Three-Week High on Outlook for Economic Stimulus

Oil traded near the highest close in almost three weeks in New York amid speculation the U.S. will add to measures to revive its economy, countering concern that Europe’s bailout plan will falter. Futures were little changed, paring an earlier decline. U.S. crude inventories probably dropped to the lowest level since March as more than a third of Gulf of Mexico output remained shut 10 days because of Hurricane Isaac, a Bloomberg survey showed. The Federal Reserve starts a two-day meeting tomorrow where it may announce stimulus measures. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said West Texas Intermediate oil may rise to narrow the gap between the benchmark grade and other regional crudes. “Prices are likely to break to the upside,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management in Middelfart, Denmark, who predicts Brent crude will surpass $116 a barrel in the next week. “Oil fundamentals are balanced. A rise in prices would mostly be fueled by more money flooding in from the Fed.” Crude for October delivery was at $96.55 a barrel, up 1 cent, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:45 a.m. London time. The contract rose 12 cents to $96.54 yesterday, the highest close since Aug. 22. Prices are 2.3 percent lower this year. Brent oil for October settlement gained 23 cents to $115.04 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade’s premium to West Texas Intermediate was at $18.47, compared with $18.27 yesterday.

Technical Support:

Brent, a benchmark grade for more than half of the world’s oil, has risen 30 percent since this year’s lowest close on June 22, as a European Union embargo on crude purchases from Iran took full effect on July 1. Global supply, demand and inventories of crude don’t justify the increase in prices, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said yesterday, according to the official Saudi Press Agency. The kingdom is the world’s largest crude exporter. Oil in New York has technical support along the middle Bollinger Band on the daily chart, at around $94.30 a barrel today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Futures halted declines near this indicator in July and August. Buy orders tend to be clustered near chart-support levels. WTI may add $10 a barrel from current levels to attract crude flows from Canada and the Bakken shale formation to Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for New York-traded contracts, according to Goldman Sachs. The benchmark grade may narrow its discount to other crudes as increased railway capacity reduces an oil glut in the U.S. Midwest, Goldman said in a report e-mailed today.

Goldman Forecast:

We expect that Bakken and Canadian crude oil will need to continue to flow to Cushing in the fourth quarter 2012, and WTI prices will need to rise back above Canadian and Bakken prices in order to motivate these flows,” David Greely, a New York- based analyst at Goldman Sachs, said in the report. Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court will rule tomorrow on the country’s participation in the European Stability Mechanism, a permanent 500 billion-euro ($638 billion) fund that offers loans to member states and may buy their bonds to cut borrowing costs. Germany will be the biggest contributor to the fund with a 27 percent share, according to a statement from the European Commission. The Fed may announce a third round of asset purchases, or quantitative easing, after its meeting. The nation, the world’s biggest oil consumer, added 96,000 workers in August compared with 141,000 in July, Labor Department figures showed Sept. 7. U.S. crude inventories probably dropped 2.63 million barrels last week, according to the median of eight analyst estimates in a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Department report tomorrow. Gasoline supplies may have slipped 1.65 million barrels, the survey shows. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute will release separate stockpile data today. The API collects stockpile information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines. The government requires that reports be filed with the Energy Department for its weekly survey.

Courtesy: Bloomberg

Copper futures steady ahead of German court ruling, FOMC meeting

Copper futures were little changed near the previous session’s four-month high, as investors were hesitant to make major moves ahead of a key German court ruling on whether the euro zone's permanent bailout fund is compatible with German law. Market players are also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s next meeting, which will take place on September 12 and 13, for more clarity on the central bank’s monetary policy. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for December delivery traded at USD3.685 a pound during European morning trade, easing down 0.1%. Prices were stuck in a tight trading range of USD3.649 a pound, the daily low and a session high of USD3.693 a pound. Prices rallied to USD3.700 a pound on Monday, the strongest level since May 10. Investors turned jittery ahead of a closely-watched German court ruling scheduled for Wednesday, on the constitutionality of the European Stability Mechanism. Germany’s approval will be necessary in order to implement the European Central Bank’s bond purchasing program announced last week, dubbed Outright Monetary Transactions. Meanwhile, markets continued to eye the outcome of the Fed’s policy meeting on Thursday, amid fresh speculation that the U.S. central bank may announce a third round of quantitative easing to boost growth. Market expectations of a QE3 announcement this week increased after last Friday’s weaker-than-expected jobs report. Past monetary stimulus rounds weakened the U.S. dollar, boosting the price of dollar-denominated commodities like copper. Copper prices also drew support from ongoing hopes for more stimulus measures by Chinese policymakers to boost growth in the world's second biggest economy. China’s government last week approved a USD157 billion infrastructure spending program to build highways, ports and railways across the country in an effort to stimulate the economy. China is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year. Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for October delivery added 0.1% to trade at USD1,731.35 a troy ounce, while silver for December delivery eased up 0.1% to trade at USD33.67 a troy ounce.

Courtesy: ForexPros

Crude oil futures decline ahead of German ruling, U.S. supply data

Crude oil futures were mildly lower during European morning hours on Tuesday, as investors stuck to the sidelines ahead of a key German court ruling on whether the euro zone's permanent bailout fund is compatible with German law. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at USD96.38 a barrel during European morning trade, dipping 0.15%. Prices were stuck in a narrow trading range of USD96.08 a barrel, the daily low and a session high of USD96.55 a barrel. Investors turned jittery ahead of a closely-watched German court ruling scheduled for Wednesday, on the constitutionality of the European Stability Mechanism. Germany’s approval will be necessary in order to implement the European Central Bank’s bond purchasing program announced last week, dubbed Outright Monetary Transactions. Meanwhile, markets continued to eye the outcome of the Fed’s policy meeting on Thursday, amid fresh speculation that the U.S. central bank may announce a third round of quantitative easing to boost growth. Market expectations of a QE3 announcement this week increased after last Friday’s weaker-than-expected jobs report. Past monetary stimulus rounds weakened the U.S. dollar, boosting the price of dollar-denominated commodities like oil. Oil traders were also anticipating fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products to gauge the strength of oil demand in the world’s largest oil consumer. The American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories report later in the day, while Wednesday’s government report could show crude stockpiles fell by 2.1 million barrels. The U.S. is the world’s biggest oil-consuming country, responsible for almost 22% of global oil demand. Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for November delivery eased down 0.1% to trade at USD114.17 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD17.79 a barrel.

Courtesy: ForexPros

Russia to sell strategic Sukhoi Log Gold mine in Siberia

MOSCOW:

Russia's Sukhoi Log gold mine in the Siberian wilderness is put up for sale,according to Vedomosti newspaper. The newspaper said the country will auction off its largest unmined gold deposit in the nearest future despite the prohibitive cost of reaching the remote eastern Siberian field. Sukhoi Log's estimated reserves of 2,000 and 3,000 tonnes (64.3 million to 96.4 million Troy ounces) of gold and a smaller amount of silver make it into one of the world's largest untapped deposits of the precious metal. The field -- located in the vast Irkutsk region of eastern Siberia -- has been labeled "strategic" by the Russian government and is not subject to bids from foreigners. But Russia is now undergoing a new privatisation campaign and the business daily cited First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov as saying the auction terms would be announced "shortly". His spokesman specified that the final announcement's timing would depend on market conditions and come after a round of consultations with experts and financial consultants. But the paper noted that similar comments had been issued in 2009 and 2010 without any progress toward a sale. It also quoted senior employees at Russia's largest mining companies as saying they had no new information from the government about the field. Sukhoi Log (meaning Dry Ravine in English) suffers from a series of drawbacks that have been under study for some 50 years. Studies show that its ore has a low gold concentration and needs to be enriched. It also remains inaccessible by road and has no independent or outside supply of the water required for processing. Vedomosti added that the Irkutsk region suffers from regular electricity problems that would further need to be addressed by the perspective developer. The government's own estimates say the project would take 12 years to develop at a cost of 49 billion rubles ($1.5 billion).

Courtesy: Bullionstreet

Crude dips as market awaits policies from upcoming Federal Reserve meet

Crude oil futures fell in Asian trading on Tuesday as investors sold the commodity for profits, cooling a recent rally that began after poor U.S. jobs data sparked talk the Federal Reserve will stimulate the economy via monetary stimulus measures. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at USD96.26 a barrel on Tuesday, down 0.29%, off from a session high of USD96.61 and up from an earlier session low of USD95.41. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the U.S. economy created a net 96,000 nonfarm payrolls in August, well below market calls for 125,000 jobs. The weak jobs numbers fueled already growing sentiment that the Federal Reserve will roll out a third round of quantitative easing at two-day monetary policy meeting that starts Wednesday. Under quantitative easing, the Fed buys assets such as Treasury holdings or mortgage-backed securities held by banks, pumping the economy full of fresh liquidity in a way that pushes down interest rates to encourage investing and hiring. Such accommodative policies tend to weaken the dollar by design and send commodities prices rising, especially oil, which shoots up on hopes for sustained demand that comes from a jolted economy and also due to a weaker dollar, which makes the commodity a nicely-priced asset in the eyes of investors holding other currencies. Oil, however, cooled its gains as investors jumped to the sidelines to await official word from the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, investors also huddled on the sidelines to await a ruling from a German court, which is mulling whether participation in eurozone bailout activities violates the country's constitution. The court could unveil its ruling later this week, and uncertainty as to the ruling sparked some selling of the growth-sensitive commodity. On the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for November delivery were down 0.17% and trading at USD114.12 a barrel, up USD17.86 from its U.S. counterpart.

Courtesy: ForexPros

Gold ekes out gains; eyes on Fed, German ruling


Gold edged higher on Tuesday, paring losses from the previous session, with investors waiting for a key German ruling on the euro zone's bailout funds and a U.S. Federal Reserve decision on possible measures to stimulate the economy.

FUNDAMENTALS:
* Spot gold had edged up 0.2 percent to $1,728.40 an ounce by 0037 GMT, after dropping more than 0.6 percent the session before.

* U.S. gold was little changed at $1,730.90.

* Holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded funds rose to an all-time high of 72.492 million ounces on Monday.

* While all eyes are on the Fed's policy meeting on Wednesday and Thursday, the latest data showed U.S. consumer credit fell in July for the first time in nearly a year, a worrisome sign for an economy that has struggled to create jobs.

* A German constitutional court will rule on Wednesday whether Germany can contribute to the European rescue fund which plays a crucial role in the European Central Bank's plan to fight the region's debt crisis.

* Around 10,000 striking South African platinum miners marched from one Lonmin (LMI.L) mine shaft to another on Monday, threatening to kill strike breakers, as another illegal stoppage hit Gold Fields (GFIJ.J), the world's fourth biggest gold miner.

* China, the world's top gold producer, churned out 31.3 tonnes of the precious metal in July, bringing total output in the first seven months of the year to 208 tonnes, up 7 percent on the year.

* Vehicle sales in China rose 8.3 percent in August from a year earlier, maintaining a steady pace though far from the blistering speed of recent years, as a recent fuel price rise and a slowing economy discouraged consumers from buying.

* The data lent support to platinum group metals, which are widely used to produce autocatalysts. Spot palladium rose to a four-month high of $670.50, before easing to $667.14. Spot platinum traded nearly flat at $1,587.75, retreating from a five-month high of $1,603.50 marked in the previous session.

MARKET NEWS:
* Wall Street stocks fell on Monday as investors locked in gains on a recent rally ahead of possible policy action from the Fed. (.N)

* The euro held steady against the dollar on Tuesday, after dropping for the first time in four days in the previous session, but elevated expectations for the Fed's new stimulus measures will provide more support to the single currency.

Courtesy: Reuters

Today Market Levels


11-SEP-2012 RESISTANCE LEVELS SUPPORT LEVELS
COMMODITY RES-1 RES-2 RES-3 SUP-1 SUP-2 SUP-3
GOLD 32016 32126 32208 31824 31742 31632
SILVER 64176 64373 64582 63771 63563 63366
COPPER 456.20 459.15 463.45 448.95 444.65 441.70
NICKEL 936.00 945.20 956.90 915.10 903.40 948.20
ZINC 111.60 112.85 114.65 108.55 106.75 105.50
LEAD 118.35 119.70 121.00 115.70 114.40 113.05
ALUMINIUM 114.20 115.10 116.70 111.70 110.10 109.20
CRUDEOIL 5351 5375 5406 5296 5265 5241
NATURAL GAS 153.90 155.80 158.90 148.90 145.80 143.90