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London platinum/palladium 1400 fix - Jan 29

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

HIGHLIGHTS-South African central bank comments on interest rates

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Below are comments from South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago, made during his announcement on the Bank's decision on interest rates. RATES DECISION "For some time we have emphasised that we are in a process of interest rate normalisation. The lower inflation path gives us some room to pause in this process, particularly against the backdrop of continued weakness in the economy. "The MPC has therefore unanimously decided to keep the repurchase rate unchanged at 5.75 percent. "The MPC is aware that the moderation in inflation could raise expectations of lower interest rates. The MPC is of the view that the bar for further accommodation remains high and would require a sustained decline in the inflation rate and inflation expectations." INFLATION "Having averaged 6.1 percent in 2014, inflation is now expected to average 3.8 percent in 2015, compared with the previous forecast of 5.3 percent, and to reach a low of 3.5 percent in the second quarter of this year compared with 5.1 percent previously. "The steep decline in 2015, however, produces a strong base effect in 2016, and, when combined with a slightly higher oil price assumption and depreciated nominal effective exchange rate of the rand, results in an average inflation forecast of 5.4 percent for the year (5.5 percent previously), and 5.3 percent in the final quarter." RISKS TO INFLATION OUTLOOK "The MPC views the overall risks to the inflation outlook to be more or less balanced, with no evidence of excess demand pressures on inflation." RAND CURRENCY "The rand exchange rate against the US dollar remains an upside risk to the inflation outlook and is vulnerable to the timing and pace of U.S. policy normalisation, despite the partial offset from a weaker euro. "Further depreciation of the rand against the U.S. dollar could also erode the positive benefits of lower oil prices on inflation. The slow pace of contraction of the current account will continue to keep the rand sensitive to both domestic and external factors." WAGES AND SALARY "Along with the exchange rate, wage and salary increases in excess of inflation and productivity growth remain an upside risk to the inflation outlook. "Unless nominal wage increases moderate in the lower inflation environment, the beneficial effects of the depreciated currency on competitiveness will be eroded." MINING AND MANUFACTURING "Platinum output still remains below pre-strike levels, and the sector is likely to face headwinds in 2015 from lower commodity prices and electricity supply uncertainty. The outlook for the manufacturing sector, which contracted for three consecutive quarters, is looking more positive following the resolution of the strikes in the sector." BLACKOUTS "The impact of load-shedding and a deterioration of the global growth outlook are likely to offset some of the positive impacts of the lower petrol price on domestic growth." FOOD PRICES "Food prices remain a major source of inflation pressure with increases still in excess of the headline inflation rates. However, the moderation observed in recent months is expected to continue, despite the reversal of the downward trend in manufactured food prices at the producer level since October. "Agricultural food price inflation remains low, having measured 1.4 percent in December, with a bumper maize crop expected this year." (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura and Ed Stoddard; editing by David Dolan and James Macharia) ((stella.mapenzauswa@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3161; Reuters Messaging: stella.mapenzauswa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA CENBANK/HIGHLIGHTS

Belarus has enough resources to fulfill 2015 debt obligations - finance ministry website

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

MINSK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Belarus's finance ministry said on Thursday that the country had sufficient resources to fulfill its debt obligations in 2015 and that it was not considering restructuring its debt. The statement was issued shortly after President Alexander Lukashenko said at an annual press conference that Belarus would hold talks on restructuring $4 billion of debt falling due this year if it became difficult to repay. (Writing By Richard Balmforth; Editing by Alessandra Prentice) ((Richard.Balmforth@thomsonreuters.com; +380442449150; Reuters Messaging: richard.balmforth.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BELARUS LUKASHENKO/DEBT MINISTRY

Travelex and UAE Exchange to merge, list in Abu Dhabi by early-2017 - chairman

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

ABU DHABI, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Foreign exchange operator Travelex and UAE Exchange are poised to merge and are planning a stock market listing of the combined company on the Abu Dhabi bourse by the early part of 2017, the chairman of UAE Exchange said on Thursday. Indian billionaire B.R. Shetty, along with Abu Dhabi private equity house Centurion Investments, agreed in May last year to buy Travelex for about 800 million pounds ($1.21 billion) from its shareholders including Chairman Lloyd Dorfman and Apax Partners. ID:nL6N0O945E "We signed the deal today (Thursday), the acquisition is completed," Shetty told Reuters by phone from London. "We have plans to merge the two entities to expand, to grow the business," adding that a flotation in Abu Dhabi was part of the plans. ($1 = 0.6612 pounds) (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Editing by David French) ((davidj.french@thomsonreuters.com; +971 4 362 5864; Reuters Messaging: davidj.french.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: TRAVELEX UK M&A/LISTING

New Issue- TVO prices 500 mln euro 2025 bond

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

Jan 29(Reuters) -Following are terms and conditions of a bond priced on Thursday. Borrower Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) POHVOT.UL Issue Amount 500 million euro Maturity Date February 4, 2025 Coupon 2.125 pct Reoffer price 99.307 Reoffer yield 2.203 pct Spread 148 basis points Underlying govt bond Over Mid-swaps, equivalent to 188.8bp Over the 1.0 pct August 2024 DBR Payment Date February 4, 2015 Lead Manager(s) Credit Agricole CIB, Danske Bank, Mizuho & RBS Ratings BBB (S&P) & BBB (Fitch) Listing Lux Full fees Undisclosed Denoms (K) 100-1 Governing Law English Notes Launched under issuer's EMTN programme ISIN XS1183235644 Security details and RIC, when available, will be on ZC18 Customers can right-click on the code for performance analysis of this new issue For ratings information, double click on RRS0001 For all bonds data, double click on BONDS For Top international bonds news TOP/DBT For news about this issuer, double click on the issuer RIC, where assigned, and hit the newskey (F9 on Reuters terminals) ((EMEA Fixed Income Desk Bangalore; jenifer.prabhaker@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging jenifer.prabhaker.reuters.com@reuters.net; +91 80 6677 2510, fax +44 20 7542 5285))

Romania cenbank recommends individual solutions to franc loans issue

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

BUCHAREST, Jan 29 (Reuters) - The problems of Swiss franc borrowers in Romania cannot be fixed with one single solution, but by applying a mix of measures to individual cases, the central bank said on Thursday. The bank recommended that potential solutions aim for reasonable burden sharing between banks and loan holders, in a statement after a meeting with banking executives and the country's banking association. Potential solutions could include banks offering to keep monthly repayment rates to levels similar to before the cap on the franc was lifted, the central bank said. They could also include a temporary cut in the loan interest rates or more flexible repayment schemes. Potential loan conversions into the local leu currency should be done at current exchange levels, with a discount to the debt servicing costs, it said. "Negotiating any solution will aim ... not to create moral hazard, meaning not generate unreasonable expectations and not discriminate debtors in other currencies," the central bank said in a statement. (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Matthias Williams) ((luiza.ilie@thomsonreuters.com; +4021 305 5262; Reuters Messaging: luiza.ilie.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SWISS SNB/ROMANIA

GLOBAL MARKETS-Fed rate outlook weighs on stocks, lifts dollar

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Fed outlook pushes stocks lower, lift dollar * Wall St heading for modestly positive start * Greece concerns weigh on Europe, Athens stocks up By Nigel Stephenson LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - European stocks slipped and the dollar strengthened on Thursday after the Federal Reserve took an upbeat view of the world's largest economy and signalled it was on track to raise interest rates this year. The stronger dollar helped push U.S. oil prices to six-year lows and weighed on the price of gold. Greece, where an anti-austerity prime minister took over on Monday, also kept investors nervous, although Greek shares regained some ground after falling 9.2 percent on Wednesday. The Fed, after a two-day policy meeting, said it would be "patient" and would take international developments into account in deciding when to raise borrowing costs. Some saw that as indicating any rate increase could be delayed. ID:nL1N0V724L U.S. shares, which closed lower on Wednesday after the Fed statement, with energy stocks weakening, were set to open modestly higher, according to stock index futures. SPc1 DJc1 . German government bond yields fell, as did U.S. Treasuries, on this dovish view. U.S. 30-year bond yields US30YT=RR reached a record low on Wednesday. Concern over Greece, whose new government opposes the terms of Greece's international bailout, also boosted demand for low-risk debt. European shares, driven lower on Tuesday and Wednesday, after the Syriza party won Sunday's election in Greece, fell again. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 was last down 0.5 percent. "The bullish tone by the Fed on the economy caught investors off-guard," said John Plassard, senior equity sales trader at Mirabaud Securities in Geneva. "Meanwhile, investors are fretting about Greece again, and it could go on for a while." The main Athens stock index .ATG was up 2.4 percent as bank shares, hammered earlier this week, bouncing off record lows. Greek 10-year bond yields GR10YT=TWEB , which had risen some 2 percentage points since the election, gave up some of those gains and were last down 21 basis points at 10.6 percent. Shares were weak in Asia. Japan's Nikkei .N225 fell 1.1 percent in its biggest one-day drop in two weeks. MSCI's main measure of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 1.2 percent. The Fed's monetary policy stance contrasts with those of other major central banks. The European Central Bank last week announced a bond-buying programme to stimulate the economy. Highlighting the problem, preliminary January inflation data from Germany showed consumer prices falling 0.5 percent, more than forecast. The dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was up 0.2 percent. The dollar was up 0.5 percent at 118.09 yen JPY= . The euro, however, gained 0.1 percent to $1.1294 EUR= . "By underlining 'international developments', the Fed is highlighting that process and the attraction of the U.S. as an investment destination. That all plays in to dollar strength," said Ian Stannard, head of European FX strategy with Morgan Stanley in London. The New Zealand dollar NZD= fell to its lowest since March 2011 after the central bank opened the door to a possible rate cut ID:nL4N0V71O8 . Brent crude oil LCOc1 held above $48 a barrel. U.S. oil futures CLc1 were down 0.1 percent at $44.43. They had fallen to $44.08, the lowest in nearly six years, after data showed U.S. stockpiles rose by almost 9 million barrels last week. Gold XAU= retreated after the Fed outlook lifted the dollar and was last at $1,268.86 an ounce. (Additonal reporting Blaise Robinson in Paris, Patrick Graham in London; Editing by Crispian Balmer, Larry King) ((nigel.stephenson@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 8682; Reuters Messaging: nigel.stephenson.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

BRIEF-Strength of U.S. dollar expected to impact Dorel in 2015

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

Jan 29 (Reuters) - Dorel Industries Inc DIIb.TO : * Strength of U.S. dollar expected to impact Dorel in 2015 * Increase in value of dollar impacts cost of sales for international divisions that purchase in U.S. dollars,sell in local currencies * Expect surge in the value of the U.S. dollar to impact co through the current year * Increase in value of dollar impacts co's reported earnings translated into U.S. dollars * Says recent reductions in oil prices and many commodities will help offset the higher U.S. dollar * Home furnishings segment will benefit from strong U.S. dollar as portion of products are manufactured in Canada and sold in the U.S * Source text for Eikon ID:nMKW2JdH5a * Further company coverage DIIb.TO ((Bengaluru Newsroom; +1 646 223 8780))

S.African Reserve Bank keeps repo rate at 5.75 pct

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 29 (Reuters) - South Africa's Reserve Bank left interest rates unchanged at 5.75 percent as expected on Thursday, saying the overall risks to the inflation outlook were more or less balanced, with no evidence of excess demand pressures on inflation. "The MPC is aware that the moderation in inflation could raise expectations of lower interest rates," Governor Lesetja Kganyago said after a meeting of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). "The MPC is of the view that the bar for further accommodation remains high and would require a sustained decline in the inflation rate and inflation expectations." (Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; Editing by Ed Cropley) ((stella.mapenzauswa@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3161; Reuters Messaging: stella.mapenzauswa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA CENBANK/

S.Africa cenbank: rand slide could erode benefits of lower oil prices

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 29 (Reuters) - For highlights of South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago's news conference after the central bank's policy meeting, please double-click on ID:nL6N0V83LC (Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; editing by David Dolan) ((david.dolan@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3150; Reuters Messaging: david.dolan@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA CENBANK/CURRENCY

FOREX-Dollar firm post-Fed, franc eyed for intervention

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

(Recasts with franc, Aussie, kiwi moves) * Swiss franc sinks on intervention talk * Dollar higher after Fed sounds reasonably upbeat * Kiwi, Aussie dollars sharply lower By Patrick Graham LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Switzerland's franc again dominated trade on major currency markets on Thursday, falling as much as two percent against the euro and dollar amid renewed speculation of intervention by the Swiss National Bank. The franc sank to 1.0430 francs per euro in morning trade in Europe EURCHF=EBS , by far its weakest since the SNB triggered the most violent move in a major currency in four decades by dumping its cap on the franc two weeks ago. But as interesting for most players was the speculation that the SNB was also intervening in favour of the dollar, a shift which may allow it to battle the franc's broad strength at less overall cost. "Nobody actually knows that they are intervening, but the interesting thing is that everyone now expects them to use a basket rather than just the euro," said a senior trader with one international bank in London. "Doing it more directly may be more effective." Morgan Stanley's head of European FX strategy Ian Stannard said he believed the Swiss were moving to a "dirty float" where they will intervene regularly under a framework built around a basket of currencies including the dollar, euro and others. He forecast the franc to weaken to 1.02 francs per dollar by the end of the year and the euro to 1.07, compared to 0.9091 CHF=EBS and 1.0272 EURCHF=EBS respectively on Thursday. The other big movers in the European morning were the Australian and New Zealand dollars, suffering from expectations interest rates in both Antipodean economies will have to be eased to deal with poorer growth elsewhere. "For the NZ dollar, a further repricing of RBNZ rate expectations will imply a period of under performance against the G10 crosses, especially given that a number of markets have already undergone a significant repricing of policy expectations in recent months," JPMorgan analyst Sally Auld said. The kiwi last traded at $0.7271 NZD=D4 , down 0.6 percent on the day and having hit a 4-year low of $0.7266. Against the yen, it hit a three-month low of 85.59 yen NZDJPY=R . The Aussie sank almost 1.5 percent to a 5-1/2-year low of $0.7773. Action on the three majors was muted, the U.S. dollar inching higher against the yen and a touch lower against the euro after a Federal Reserve statement which, with some caveats, was read as keeping the bank on track to raise interest rates later this year. There were hints from the Fed of concern about both the headwinds facing other major economies and an undershoot in inflation that might stay its hand somewhat longer than the mid-2015 timeline previously forecast by many. ID:nL1N0V724L That prodded U.S. bond yields lower US10YT=TWEB , but the overall picture, of a steadily improving U.S. economy while Europe and Japan remain mired in crisis, was left firmly intact. "For us, its the growth and yield differentials that are most important," Morgan Stanley's Stannard said. "By underlining 'international developments' the Fed is highlighting that process and the attraction of the U.S. as an investment destination. That all plays in to dollar strength." (Additional reporting by Ian Chua in Sydney and Masayuki Kitano in SINGAPORE; Editing by Toby Chopra) ((patrick.graham@thomsonreuters.com)(+44207 542 9429)(patrick.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

UPDATE 1-Nigerian naira ends 1.6 pct lower against dollar

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds naira close, details) LAGOS, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Nigerian naira NGN=DMT shed 1.64 percent to close at 189.10 against the greenback on Thursday, despite dollar sales by the central bank and oil companies, dealers said. The naira traded at around 191 on Thursday, prompting the central bank to intervene, which helped lift it to 185.20. But it then finished weaker compared with its close of 186 on Wednesday after demand surged. One dealer traded the naira at a one-off rate of 194.10 during the midday session. Dealers said Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L had sold an undisclosed amount of dollars on Thursday, adding that liquidity from state oil company NNPC's $350 million sale on Wednesday was still in the market. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Andrew Roche) ((chijioke.ohuocha@thomsonreuters.com; +234 703 4180 621; Reuters Messaging: chijioke.ohuocha.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: NIGERIA CURRENCY/

Austrian fin min rules out forced conversion of FX loans

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

VIENNA, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Austria will not adopt measures that help holders of foreign-currency loans absorb losses from the Swiss franc's EURCHF= surge against the euro, Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling said on Thursday. There is a "very clear no that it will come to a law like in Hungary or Croatia. Such a thing is not under consideration," the ministry quoted him as saying during a trip to the western province of Vorarlberg. ID:nL6N0V236U He said forced currency conversions into euro loans would penalise consumers who had already made the switch, as authorities have urged. Nearly a fifth of all households loans in Austria are in foreign currency, 96 percent of them in Swiss francs, according to central bank data. (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Shadia Nasralla) ((Michael.Shields@thomsonreuters.com; +43 1 531 12 258; Reuters Messaging: michael.shields.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SWISS SNB/AUSTRIA

UPDATE 2-Turkey's lira slides on rate cut expectations

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds analyst quotes, prices) ISTANBUL, Jan 29 (Reuters) - The Turkish lira tumbled to a record low against the dollar on Thursday on expectations that the central bank will cut interest rates at an extraordinary monetary policy committee meeting as early as next Wednesday. In a Reuters poll, all 15 economists who responded said they expected the bank to hold an unscheduled meeting after inflation data are released on Feb. 3. They expect it to cut its main interest rate by 50-75 basis points. ID:nL6N0V733D The Federal Reserve's upbeat view on the U.S. economy and signal that it was on track to raise interest rates this year also hit the lira TRYTOM=D3 , which slipped as far as 2.4188 from 2.3780 late on Wednesday. It edged back to 2.4068 by 1307 GMT on Thursday. "With many investors taking the view that the Fed is firmly on course to begin hiking rates in the middle of this year, one would expect the lira to be under pressure. But its recent slide has as much, if not more, to do with the perceived politicisation of monetary policy in Turkey," said Nicholas Spiro of Spiro Sovereign Strategy in London. "The more (central bank governor Erdem) Basci hints at further rate cuts, the stronger the perception that his hand is being forced by the government, particularly when (the bank) has gone so far as to arrange an unscheduled meeting to consider trimming rates further," he added. The main share index .XU100 fell 1.23 percent to 89,232.29 points, slightly outperforming the emerging market index .MSCIEF which fell 1.4 percent. The benchmark 10-year government bond yield tTR240724TA=IS rose to 7.07 percent from 6.99 percent on Wednesday. (Reporting by Daren Butler, Dasha Afanasieva and Ece Toksabay; Editing by Andrew Roche) ((daren.butler@thomsonreuters.com; +90-212-350 7122; Reuters Messaging: daren.butler.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS TURKEY/

S.Africa cenbank: capital flows to emerging markets seen volatile

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 29 (Reuters) - For highlights of South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago's news conference after the central bank's policy meeting, please double-click on ID:nL6N0V83LC (Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; editing by David Dolan and James Macharia) ((david.dolan@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3150; Reuters Messaging: david.dolan@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA CENBANK/MARKETS

S.Africa cenbank governor: inflation outlook dominated by oil

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 29 (Reuters) - For highlights of South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago's news conference after the central bank's policy meeting, please double-click on ID:nL6N0V83LC (Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; editing by David Dolan) ((david.dolan@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3150; Reuters Messaging: david.dolan@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA CENBANK/OIL

South Africa cuts 2015 GDP forecast to 2.2 pct

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 29 (Reuters) - For highlights of South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago's news conference after the central bank's policy meeting, please double-click on ID:nL6N0V83LC (Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa, editing by David Dolan and James Macharia) ((david.dolan@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3150; Reuters Messaging: david.dolan@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA CENBANK/GDP

S.Africa revises down 2015 headline inflation forecast to 3.8 pct

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 29 (Reuters) - For highlights of South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago's news conference after the central bank's policy meeting, please double-click on ID:nL6N0V83LC (Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; editing by David Dolan and James Macharia) ((david.dolan@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3150; Reuters Messaging: david.dolan@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA CENBANK/INFLATION

BOJ set to watch and wait as Abe team urges caution on fresh easing

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

By Leika Kihara and Sumio Ito TOKYO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan has put monetary policy on hold and found backing for its wait-and-see stance from advisors to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who worry more easing could send the yen to damagingly low levels, according to officials in the administration and central bank. This newfound caution from some of the same Abe advisors who urged the BOJ to launch its massive stimulus in 2013, means Japan is set to be an outlier at a time when central banks from Canada to the euro zone to Singapore have shocked markets by easing policy in recent days. Concerns about the yen, along with a belief among central bank officials - including Governor Haruhiko Kuroda - that coming wage increases will support higher prices, suggest the BOJ could hold policy steady until October, months after many economists expect it to be eased. "The environment under which the BOJ is working to hit 2 percent inflation has changed dramatically. We need to take that into account," Economics Minister Akira Amari said earlier this week. The BOJ stunned markets by expanding its stimulus in October last year to try to prevent slumping oil prices, and a subsequent slowdown in price growth, from causing the central bank to miss its 2 percent inflation target. But since then, oil prices have fallen by another 50 percent and consumer inflation has fallen below 1 percent, stoking expectations the BOJ could face pressure to ease again. But Kozo Yamamoto, a leading expert on monetary policy in Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said last week that he expected the BOJ could even hold policy steady for the remainder of this year in the absence of some external shock. "What more can the BOJ do? I think the central bank can hold off on action and take a wait-and-see stance for the time being," Yamamoto told Reuters in an interview last week. ID:nL4N0UY2UB YEN WORRIES The BOJ's stimulus, dubbed "quantitative and qualitative easing," or QQE, has been a mainstay of Abe's pro-growth policies known as Abenomics, an attempt to push Japan's economy out of the slow growth and deflation that characterized the 15 years before Abe took office. Privately, government officials in the Abe administration said the stand-back and wait comments by Amari and Yamamoto reflect a caution that any further BOJ action could drive the yen lower. That, in turn, could offset the gains to consumer purchasing power from lower prices for imported oil, they said. "Further monetary easing is scary because if the yen weakens more, that could cause problems," one official said. The dollar has risen 9 percent against the yen since early October and almost 30 percent since Abe was elected in December 2012. The weak currency has been a boon to exporters like Toyota Motor 7203.T but has hurt companies like discount carrier Skymark Airlines 9204.T , which cited higher costs for its dollar-based aircraft leases as a reason for its bankruptcy filing this week. ID:nL4N0V7465 Kuroda has essentially watered down his two-year time frame for hitting the BOJ's inflation target, admitting earlier this month that Japan may not see inflation hit 2 percent until fiscal 2016. ID:nL4N0V00TE Many BOJ officials prefer to stand pat for now on hopes that companies will raise base salaries in trade union wage talks in March. They also expect the economy to rebound solidly from the recession, helping offset the deflationary pressure of falling oil prices. "I think inflation rates may even fall in the short term. But we expect to see price increases accelerating in the second half of next fiscal year," Kuroda said in parliament on Thursday. By October, the statistical impact of oil prices compared to the prior year would have partially washed out of the inflation data. At that time, the central bank will also be issuing new quarterly forecasts for the economy and prices. Some people close to the BOJ's policymaking said they believed it could stand pat until then. "By sharply cutting its inflation forecast this month, the BOJ bought itself about a year's worth of time," said a former BOJ executive who remains in close contact with incumbent officials. The BOJ held policy steady in January even as oil prices continued to fall and forced it to cut its core consumer inflation forecast for next fiscal year to 1 percent. ID:nL4N0V00TE In the latest survey of economists by the Japan Center for Economic Research, 13 of 25 economists who expect a further BOJ easing see it happening in April or July. The survey, the broadest of its kind, is tracked as a benchmark for market expectations on Japan's monetary policy. (Additional reporting by Izumi Nakagawa, Yuko Yoshikawa and Yoshifumi Takemoto; Editing by Kevin Krolicki and Rachel Armstrong) Keywords: JAPAN ECONOMY/BOJ

India overtakes China as world's leading gold consumer -GFMS

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* China bought less gold jewellery, sold more scrap in 2014 * India re-takes lead as world's biggest gold consumer * Gold prices to bottom out in 2015 at average $1,170/oz By Jan Harvey LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - India overtook China as the world's biggest gold consumer in 2014 as global physical demand fell, an industry report showed on Thursday, forecasting that prices that have declined for the last two years would bottom out this year. Chinese gold demand slid by more than a third last year to a four-year low of 866 tonnes, while the country's scrap gold supply rose 21 percent to an unprecedented 182 tonnes, the report by GFMS analysts at Thomson Reuters showed. Slower economic growth and a crackdown on corruption helped knock Chinese jewellery demand to 608 tonnes, 33 percent below the previous year's "extraordinary" levels, it said. Physical bar demand fell 53 percent to 171 tonnes, a five-year low. "We do expect an increase in Chinese demand this year. However, without a dramatic course of events we would not expect it to come close to matching the level in 2013," GFMS analyst Ross Strachan said. "The recovery will be helped by the fact there was an overhang of stock at the start of 2014 in China due to the voracious buying in 2013, and this kept purchases subdued last year." Indian jewellery demand rose 14 percent last year to a record 690 tonnes, putting it back ahead of China as the world's number one jewellery manufacturer. The drop in buying in China helped drive a 19 percent fall in global physical gold demand, with all areas declining except central bank buying, the report said. World jewellery demand fell 11 percent. An expected price decline to an average $1,180 an ounce in the first six months of this year is not expected to be enough to stimulate fresh retail investment demand, the report said. Gold prices are expected to average $1,170 an ounce in the full year. That should mark the low point of spot gold's XAU= decline of recent years, GFMS said. It ended a 12-year bull run with a 28 percent drop in 2013 and declined another 1.5 percent last year. "This year is forecast to be the nadir for average annual prices," GFMS said. "With price-elastic buyers partially sidelined in 2014, we expect fresh pent-up demand later this year to give price support and start to reverse the prevailing bear market." On the supply side, gold mine production rose 2 percent to a record 3,109 tonnes in 2014, though that was offset by an 11 percent drop in scrap supply. Gold mining companies also returned to net hedging last year for only the second time in a decade. ID:nL6N0U02F6 (Reporting by Jan Harvey; editing by John Stonestreet) ((jan.harvey@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(207 542 7744; Reuters Messaging: jan.harvey.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GOLD GFMS/REPORT

Sri Lanka rupee forwards weaker despite intervention; seen lower on imports

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

COLOMBO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan rupee forwards ended weaker on Thursday due to importer dollar demand despite moral suasion by the central bank, while exporters awaited direction from a supplementary budget, dealers said. Currency dealers said the rupee may depreciate because of an expected increase in consumption after a raft of tax reductions on key commodities in the budget. Fears of depreciation kept exporters away from the market, resulting in the currency's fall and leading the central bank to cap four-day forwards at 133.00 and one-week forwards at 133.50, dealers said. One-month forwards ended at 134.00/10 per dollar compared with Wednesday's close of 133.90/80. One-week forwards ended at 133.50/60 per dollar, unchanged from Wednesday's close of 133.50/60, while four-day also ended unchanged at 133.00/133.40 per dollar. "The currency will be under pressure with the increase of disposable income from the budget," said a dealer. The new government on Thursday imposed taxes on cash-rich firms to pay for populist policies and tax reduction on key commodities in a bid to woo voters as it faces a parliamentary election in the second quarter. Dealers said exporters were not selling as they expected further depreciation in the currency in the short term, with the widening trade balance and in line with global currencies. Spot currency LKR=LK has not been trading, while forwards have been trading with downward pressure, dealers said. The new central bank governor, Arjuna Mahendran, told Reuters on Tuesday the current foreign exchange policy does not need "any big changes" and expects the currency to stabilise, ending the depreciation trend that started in August. The market had been expecting a flexible exchange rate with more foreign grants under the new government as opposed to the controlled exchange rate regime earlier. (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; editing by Robert Birsel) ((ranga.sirilal@thomsonreuters.com; +94-11-232-5540; Reuters Messaging: ranga.sirilal.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net ; www.twitter.com/rangaba)) Keywords: MARKETS SRI LANKA/FOREX

PRECIOUS-Gold falls as Fed's upbeat outlook boosts dollar

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Fed says U.S. economy expanding at "solid pace" * Dollar not far off 11-year peak vs basket of currencies * Coming up: U.S. pending home sales at 1500 GMT (Updates prices) By Clara Denina LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices dropped for a fourth session in five on Thursday, losing more than 1 percent as the dollar firmed after the Federal Reserve signalled it was still on track to lift U.S. interest rates this year. In Wednesday's policy statement, the Fed said the U.S. economy was expanding "at a solid pace", but it reiterated it would be patient in deciding when to increase benchmark borrowing costs. ID:nL1N0V724L Gold had been boosted by increased central bank liquidity and low interest rates since the 2008 credit crisis. The prospect of higher U.S. rates could encourage investors to pull back from the metal, a non-interest-bearing asset. Spot gold XAU= fell to a session low of $1,265.20 an ounce and was down 1.2 percent at $1,269.10 by 1234 GMT. Gold hit a five-month high of $1,306.20 on Jan. 22, before retreating on stronger risk appetite after the European Central Bank announced new liquidity measures. U.S. gold for February delivery GCcv1 eased 1.4 percent to $1,268.60 an ounce. "There was a chance that the ECB and the Fed would restore order and that's basically what happened, that the ECB QE (quantitative easing) was just about the right pitch and then the Fed last night was certainly hawkish relative to expectations," Macquarie analyst Matthew Turner said. "It's possible we can see a bit more weakness with the U.S. GDP coming out Friday." The dollar was slightly firmer against a basket of currencies and not far from an 11-year peak reached last week, while European shares edged lower. MKTS/GLOB The Fed said it would take "financial and international developments" into account when determining when to raise rates, referencing global markets for the first time since January 2013. Analysts said that did little to alter market expectations of a mid-year rate increase. "Overall, there is little to signal a shift from expecting the first hike to come in June," Mizuho Bank said in a note. Investors will be watching the gross domestic product data for more clues on the strength of the economy. Some economists say a drop in U.S. business investment spending for the fourth straight month in December suggested a risk that fourth-quarter economic growth could fall short of forecasts that mostly hover around a 3.0 percent annual pace. ID:nL1N0V60ZA Spot silver XAG= dropped 2.6 percent to $17.48 an ounce. Palladium XPD= fell 0.7 percent to $786.70 an ounce and platinum XPT= was down 1.1 percent at $1,239.75 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr in Singapore; Editing by Dale Hudson and John Stonestreet) ((clara.denina@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 207 542 9420)(Reuters Messaging: clara.denina.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

UPDATE 2-Raiffeisen reassures on capital position, shares rise

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Raiffeisen to cut risk-weighted assets * Shares bounce off lows as reassures on capital position (Adds quotes from call) By Michael Shields VIENNA, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Raiffeisen Bank International RBIV.VI sees no need for "fire sales" as it shrinks its balance sheet, its finance chief said on Thursday, seeking to reassure investors that it has the strength to withstand turmoil in Russia and other markets. RBI, which has said losses could exceed 500 million euros ($565 million) in 2014, said late on Wednesday that it was planning to extend its capital buffer by reducing risk-weighted assets (RWA) by at least 20 percent. "I'm not worried that we can execute it. Mind you, this is not a fire sale. We are not in a rush," Chief Financial Officer Martin Gruell told a call with analysts, saying the asset reduction was a medium-term project. Shares in the bank rebounded as much as 17.5 percent on the news and were up 13.1 percent at 10.18 euros by 1209 GMT, having hit a new low on Wednesday. Gruell said emerging Europe's second-biggest lender would take an orderly approach to pruning RWAs, which stood at 79.4 billion euros at the end of September. More details are expected next month when it releases 2014 financial results. "It will be a combination of an organic reduction of risk weighted assets and also (perhaps) sale of portfolios or also possible exit of units," he said. Letting short-term loans expire will make up a "considerable part" of the programme, which could also entail selling parts of a loan book or loan portfolio. WHAT COULD GO? Raiffeisen is in the process of floating its Polbank unit in Poland and could end up selling more than 25 percent, Gruell said, although no decisions on this had been made. Conflict in Ukraine has scuppered plans to sell its unit there, and it pulled plans to sell its Hungary unit to a local investor a year ago when it did not get the price it wanted. RBI also reiterated it was not planning to sell its lucrative Russian unit or carry out a capital increase. The bank's equity and total capital ratios fulfilled all regulatory capital requirements, it said. Based on draft documents, Gruell said he was "pretty relaxed" about new minimal capital levels the bank expected to get from the European Central Bank next month. RBI operates in Austria and 15 countries in central and eastern Europe, but also has branches in other countries. RBI's business in 2014 suffered particularly in Ukraine and Hungary. Gruell said Raiffeisen continued to lend in Russia but was being more selective given a worsening economic climate and its desire to keep a safe capital buffer at the unit, which he said had sufficient capital and liquidity. "We are very confident that for 2015 we have a positive result coming out of Russia," he said. "We do not expect excessive further provisioning requirements for 2015." ($1 = 0.8450 euros) (editing by David Clarke and Keith Weir) ((Michael.Shields@thomsonreuters.com; +43 1 531 12 258; Reuters Messaging: michael.shields.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: RAIFFEISEN CAPITAL/

Belarus's Lukashenko urges bondholders not to worry

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

MINSK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday that holders of the country's sovereign bonds should not be worried over Minsk's ability to service its obligations. "Some bondholders are worrying that we are in a pre-default situation. This doesn't mean anything," Lukashenko told his annual briefing, referring to his earlier comments. ID:nL6N0V81G9 "Refinancing would be good for us but we envisage complete financing of our debts in the budget ... Our bondholders should not worry or find ways to sell them (bonds) cheap." (Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; writing by Katya Golubkova, editing by Elizabeth Piper) ((ekaterina.golubkova@thomsonreuters.com; +7 495 775 1242;)) Keywords: RUSSIA CRISIS/BELARUS

New Issue- EIB prices 1.0 bln euro 2031 bond

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

Jan 29(Reuters) -Following are terms and conditions of a bond priced on Thursday. Borrower European Investment Bank (EIB) EIB.UL Issue Amount 1.0 billion euro Maturity Date March 14, 2031 Coupon 1.0 pct Reoffer price 99.852 Yield 1.01 pct Spread Minus 3 basis points Underlying govt bond Mid-swaps Payment Date February 5, 2015 Lead Manager(s) BAML, Barclays, Credit Agricole CIB, Goldman Sachs & RBS Ratings Aaa (Moody's), AAA (S&P), AAA (Fitch) Listing Lux Full fees Undisclosed Denoms (K) 1 Notes Launched under issuer's EMTN programme ISIN XS1183208328 Security details and RIC, when available, will be on xxxx Customers can right-click on the code for performance analysis of this new issue For ratings information, double click on RRS0001 For all bonds data, double click on BONDS For Top international bonds news TOP/DBT For news about this issuer, double click on the issuer RIC, where assigned, and hit the newskey (F9 on Reuters terminals) ((EMEA Fixed Income Desk Bangalore; jenifer.prabhaker@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging jenifer.prabhaker.reuters.com@reuters.net; +91 80 6677 2510, fax +44 20 7542 5285))

TABLE-NSE Currency Futures traded on Jan 29

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

SNAPSHOT-India stocks, bonds, rupee, swap, call at close

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

STOCKS .BSESN .NSEI ----------------------- The benchmark BSE index ends up 0.41 percent and the broader NSE index gains 0.43 percent, rising for a 10th consecutive session, its longest winning streak since September 2007, as shares of capital goods firms gain ahead of the fiscal budget next month. .BO RUPEE INR=D2 -------------- The partially convertible rupee ends at 61.86/87 per dollar, its weakest since Jan. 20 on month-end dollar buying and weak Asian currencies. The unit had ended at 61.41/42 on Wednesday. INR/ GOVERNMENT BONDS IN084024G=CC ------------------------------- India's benchmark bond yield ends flat at 7.71 percent. Traders keep their positions light ahead of a weekly bond sale on Friday and a monetary policy review due next week. IN/ INTEREST RATE SWAPS INROIS MIOIS= ------------------------------------- The benchmark five-year rate ends 3 bps higher at 6.82 percent and the one-year rate up 1 bp at 7.52 percent. CALL MONEY INROND= -------------------- India's one-day cash rate ends steady at 6.80/6.85 percent. (Compiled By Suvashree Dey Choudhury) ((Dipika.Lalwani@thomsonreuters.com; 022-61807098; Reuters Messaging: dipika.lalwani@thomsonreuters.com)) Keywords: INDIA SNAPSHOT/

New Issue- Laender 47 prices 1.5 bln euro 2025 bond

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

Jan 29 (Reuters) -Following are terms and conditions of a bond priced on Thursday. Borrower Laender No 47 Issue Amount 1.5 billion euro Maturity Date February 05, 2025 Coupon 0.50 pct Issue price 98.6960 Reoffer price 98.6960 Yield 0.635 Spread Minus 9 basis points Underlying govt bond Through midswaps, equivalent to 29.6 basis points Over the February 2025 DBR Payment Date February 5, 2015 Lead Manager(s) Goldman sachs, HSBC Bank, HSH Nordbank LBBW & Natixis Listing Frankfurt & Hamburg Full fees Undisclosed Denoms (K) 1 Governing Law German Notes Launched under issuer's Global DIP programme ISIN DE000A14J421 For ratings information, double click on RRS0001 For all bonds data, double click on BONDS For Top international bonds news TOP/DBT For news about this issuer, double click on the issuer RIC, where assigned, and hit the newskey (F9 on Reuters terminals) ((EMEA Fixed Income Desk Bangalore; Satish.KB@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging Satish.KB.reuters.com@reuters.net; +91 80 6677 2510, fax +44 20 7542 5285))

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - Jan 29

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

London gold 1030 fix - Jan 29 - 1275.50 dlrs

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

London platinum/palladium 0945 fix - Jan 29

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

BRIEF-Odas Elektrik unit Anadolu Export Maden signs license assignment agreement

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

Jan 29 (Reuters) - Odas Elektrik ODAS.IS : * Its unit Anadolu Export Maden Sanayi signs license assignment agreement with Stratex Madencilik Sanayi, unit of Stratex International PLC STIL.L * Says license assignment agreement is for gold prospecting in Karaagac area, Turkey Source text for Eikon: ID:nIKA6qk4ga Further company coverage: ODAS.IS (Gdynia Newsroom) ((gdynia.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com; +48 58 698 3920;)) Keywords: ODAS ENERJI/BRIEF

PRECIOUS-Gold retreats as Fed's upbeat outlook boosts dollar

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Fed says U.S. economy expanding at "solid pace" * Dollar not far off 11-year peak vs basket of currencies * Coming up: U.S. pending home sales at 1500 GMT (Adds comment, updates prices) By Manolo Serapio Jr SINGAPORE, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Gold dropped for the fourth session in five on Thursday after the Federal Reserve painted a bullish picture of the U.S. economy, signalling it was on course to lift interest rates this year. The prospect of a hike in U.S. rates makes non-interest-bearing assets such as gold less attractive, helping pull bullion further away from a five-month peak reached last week. "People are already adjusted to the new policy stance and there's no further reason to push up gold to a much higher level," said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group. In Wednesday's policy statement, the Fed said the U.S. economy was expanding "at a solid pace" with strong job gains, leaving the central bank on track to raise rates this year. But it repeated it would be "patient" in deciding when to increase benchmark borrowing costs from zero. ID:nL1N0V724L Spot gold XAU= was off 0.2 percent at $1,282.11 an ounce at 0657 GMT, adding to a 0.6-percent loss in the previous session. Gold hit a five-month high of $1,306.20 on Jan. 22. U.S. gold for February delivery GCcv1 eased 0.3 percent to $1,281.90 an ounce. The dollar was firmer against a basket of currencies and not far from an 11-year peak reached last week as dollar bulls focused on the positive in the Fed's statement. USD/ The Federal Open Market Committee said it would take "financial and international developments" into account when determining when to raise rates, referencing global markets for the first time since January 2013. But analysts say that does little to alter market expectations of a mid-year rate increase. "Overall, there is little to signal a shift from expecting the first hike to come in June," Mizuho Bank said in a note. Gold is likely to "test levels below $1,200" again once the first U.S. rate hike happens, Phillip Futures said in a note. Investors will be watching U.S. gross domestic product data on Friday for more clues on the strength of the economy. Some economists say a drop in U.S. business investment spending for the fourth straight month in December suggested a risk that fourth-quarter economic growth could fall short of forecasts that mostly hover around a 3.0 percent annual pace. ID:nL1N0V60ZA Precious metals prices 0657 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Spot Gold 1282.11 -2.24 -0.17 8.33 Spot Silver 17.81 -0.14 -0.78 13.73 Spot Platinum 1252.00 -1.00 -0.08 4.34 Spot Palladium 794.20 2.20 +0.28 0.19 COMEX GOLD FEB5 1281.90 -4.00 -0.31 8.26 COMEX SILVER MAR5 17.84 -0.25 -1.40 14.33 Euro/Dollar 1.1281 Dollar/Yen 117.69 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Joseph Radford and Alan Raybould) ((manolo.serapio@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3884; Reuters Messaging: manolo.serapio.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

Russia's Polyus wants to trade notes on Moscow exchange

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

MOSCOW, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Russia's top gold miner Polyus Gold PGIL.L said on Thursday it wants to trade its notes on the Moscow exchange and would apply for the necessary admission. Polyus issued notes worth $750 million in April, 2013. They have so far traded on the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, the company said in statement. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Gabriela Baczynska) ((Polina.Devitt@thomsonreuters.com; +7 495 775 12 42; Reuters Messaging: polina.devitt.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: RUSSIA POLYUS GOLD INTE/

UPDATE 1-China to gradually reduce metal export quotas

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Fewer metals will carry export quotas over time -spokesman * No progress on decision about primary aluminium export tax (Adds aluminium) BEIJING, Jan 29 (Reuters) - China will over time reduce its export quotas for metals, the spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday, in a move aimed at complying with a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling that sees these curbs as discriminatory. The country was widely expected to abolish the quota system and taxes after the WTO ruling in March last year that said such export tariffs violated trade rules by giving domestic consumers an unfair advantage over foreign competitors. ID:nL4N0V11L5 "The trend is that fewer metals will carry export quotas over time," the spokesman Shen Danyang said. When asked about China's export tariff on primary aluminium, Shen said no progress had been made for now as any change to the tax structure would involve other departments and more research. China is the world's top producer and consumer of primary aluminium and levies an export tax of 15 percent on the metal. Smelters have lobbied Beijing in past few years to cancel or cut the tax as the domestic market is oversupplied. Higher Chinese exports would support domestic metal prices 0#SAF: , but drag on global aluminium futures CMAL3 that rose only about 3 percent last year, retaining most of their sharp 13 percent drop from 2013. China has kept export quotas on tin, antimony, indium and silver this year after removing the quotas on exports of rare earths, molybdenum and tungsten. ID:nL4N0SP4VT (Reporting by Hou Xiangming and Koh Gui Qing, additional reporting by Polly Yam; Editing by Himani Sarkar) ((guiqing.koh@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 6627 1242; Reuters Messaging: guiqing.koh.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CHINA METALS/QUOTAS

China to eventually reduce metal export quotas

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

BEIJING, Jan 29 (Reuters) - China will over time reduce its export quotas for metals, Shen Danyang, the spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said on Thursday. China was widely expected to abolish the quota system and taxes following a World Trade Organisation ruling in March last year that the tariff and quota system was discriminatory and gave unfair advantage to domestic consumers. ID:nL4N0V11L5 (Reporting by Hou Xiangming and Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Michael Perry) ((guiqing.koh@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 6627 1242; Reuters Messaging: guiqing.koh.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CHINA METALS/QUOTAS

MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - Jan 29

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

DUBAI, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Thursday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch of their accuracy. INTERNATIONAL/REGIONAL * GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares tripped up by surprisingly bullish Fed MKTS/GLOB * Oil markets open up weak following record U.S. stockpiles O/R * MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia rallies on as oil pares losses ID:nL6N0V736X * PRECIOUS-Gold steadies after fall as Fed keeps patient stance on rates ID:nL4N0V806V * New Iran UN envoy appointee expected to get U.S. visa -sources ID:nL1N0V738V * Islamic State said to set new deadline for hostage swap ID:nL4N0V81J6 * UN rights chief faults Israel, Palestinians over Gaza war justice ID:nL6N0V74OS * Shell signs $11 bln deal to build petrochemicals plant in Iraq ID:nL6N0V7133 * Lebanon's Blom Bank says 2014 net profit up 3.5 pct at $365 mln ID:nL6N0V73RF * Fed, ECB encourage return to emerging markets in January - IIF ID:nL6N0V71W3 * Stanbic Bank Uganda signs debut $85 mln 18-month loan ID:nL6N0V70ZT TURKEY * Dogus Otomotiv unit starts negotiations to acquire 100 pct of Man Finansman ID:nFWN0V702V * Turkcell says chief executive to stand down as of Jan. 31 ID:nL6N0V747T * Turkish central bank seen cutting rates at early policy meeting ID:nL6N0V733D EGYPT * Egyptian poet goes on trial accused of contempt of Islam ID:nL6N0V70F6 * Jobless and desperate, Egyptians risk all in perilous Libya ID:nL4N0V7321 SAUDI ARABIA * Saudi's Emaar Economic City says cheap oil may boost growth ID:nL6N0V72C1 * Yasref refinery in Saudi Arabia to load 2nd diesel cargo on Thursday -source ID:nL4N0V73V8 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES * UAE bank NBAD sees tougher 2015 as oil slide, competition bite ID:nL6N0V71XG * UAE bank FGB Q4 net profit rises 13 pct, beats analyst forecasts ID:nL6N0V7337 * Gourmet date company Bateel agrees L Capital Asia partnership ID:nL6N0V735O * Dubai's Drake & Scull wins $54 mln engineering contract ID:nL6N0V7091 QATAR * Qatari-led group wins $4 billion battle for Canary Wharf ID:nL6N0V70U7 * Olympics-Qatar unsure over 2024 Games host bid, eye later date ID:nL4N0V73HX KUWAIT * Kuwait cuts diesel fuel prices after political pressure ID:nL6N0V73YK * Kuwaiti telecom group Zain may sell transmitter towers ID:nL6N0V70HV BAHRAIN * Bahrain's most senior opposition leader goes on trial ID:nL6N0V70ZV * Bahraini bank BBK plans bond issue to refinance maturing $500 mln debt ID:nL6N0V723N OMAN * Oman Bank Dhofar proposes 10 pct cash, 10 pct bonus share dividend ID:nL6N0V708L (Compiled by Dubai newsroom) ((dubai.newsroom@reuters.com)) Keywords: MIDEAST FACTORS/

BRIEF-Fortescue Metals says qtrly ore mined 43.6 mt vs 42.9 mt in prior quarter

January 29, 2015 - reuters.com

Jan 29 (Reuters) - Fortescue Metals Group Ltd FMG.AX : * December 2014 quarterly production report FMG.AX * Qtrly ore mined 43.6 mt versus 42.9 mt in prior quarter * Q2 c1 costs $28.48 /wmt versus $32.99/wmt a year ago * Capital guidance halved to US$650 million " * Says US$25-26/wmt c1 cost guidance for second half FY 2015 * Says Q2 total ore shipped 41.1 mt versus 28 mt a year ago * FY 2015 production and shipping guidance of between 155mt to 160mt is maintained * Total delivered costs are forecast to be us$35/wmt by the end of FY 2015 * Says capital expenditure guidance for the FY 2015 year was reduced to US$650 million from US$1.3 billion * Says c1 operating cost for the full year of US$28-29/wmt, compared to previous guidance of US$31-32/wmt * Source text for Eikon ID:nASX8RlkyZ * ((For more news, please click here FMG.AX )) ((Bengaluru Newsroom; +91 80 6749 1130))

BRIEF-PanAust Ltd says full year copper in concentrate production rose 10 pct year on year to 71,155T

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

Jan 28 (Reuters) - PanAust Ltd PNA.AX : * December quarter 2014 activities report PNA.AX * Says group consolidated 2014 production exceeded guidance * Full year copper in concentrate production rose 10% year on year to 71,155t * Says 2015 guidance is for production of copper in concentrate of between 73,000t and 76,000t * Says in FY, silver in concentrate and doré is expected to be between 1.3moz and 1.4moz * Says 2015 guidance of gold in concentrate and doré of between 175,000oz and 183,000oz * FY production of gold in concentrate and doré totalled 168,755oz gold and FY production of silver totalled 1.3moz * Source text for Eikon ID:nASX55ZkP6 * ((For more news, please click here PNA.AX )) ((Bengaluru Newsroom; +91 80 6749 1130))

BRIEF-Northern Star Resources appoints Shaun Day as CFO and says for Dec quarter gold sold was in line with guidance

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

Jan 29 (Reuters) - Northern Star Resources Ltd NST.AX : * Says for December quarter total gold sold was in line with guidance at 142,556 oz * Shaun Day appointed as CFO * Source text for Eikon ID:nASX5L5ZYc * ((For more news, please click here NST.AX )) ((Bengaluru Newsroom; +91 80 6749 1130))

PRECIOUS-Gold falls further after Fed reiterates its patience

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

* Dollar extends gains after Fed statement * China's gold imports from Hong Kong fell in 2014 (Updates prices, adds comment, Fed statement) By Marcy Nicholson and Clara Denina NEW YORK/LONDON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Gold extended losses on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it will remain "patient" with regard to any interest rate increase decisions. After its first policy-setting meeting of the year, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said the U.S. economy is on track despite turmoil in other markets around the world. The statement no longer contains the closely watched "considerable time" phrase in connection to interest rates. ID:nTLASCEB10 ID:nW1N0U301F Spot gold XAU= was down 0.6 percent at $1,284.11 an ounce by 2:57 p.m. EST (1957 GMT), trading in a $13 range. It hit a five-month high of $1,306.20 last week, before retreating on stronger risk appetite after the European Central Bank announced liquidity measures. U.S. gold futures GCcv1 settled down $5.80 at $1,285.90 an ounce. "The removal of 'considerable time' was balanced by the acknowledgement of the international situation and reiteration of patience," said Tai Wong, director of base and precious metals trading for BMO Capital Markets in New York. "The market, however, remains concerned that perhaps the Fed does want to normalize rates as risky assets have slipped lower and USD is steady. Short-term money is long gold and silver which may be why both are struggling." The dollar =USD rose 0.4 percent to its session high after the statement. On Tuesday, a Reuters poll showed gold prices are forecast to fall for a third year in a row in 2015, with the United States readying for its first rate hike in nearly a decade. ID:nL6N0V6255 In the near term, gold is unlikely to fall below $1,250 because of buying interest from the Chinese ahead of the Lunar New Year next month, said Howie Lee, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures. Gold imports from Hong Kong by top consumer China fell by nearly a third in 2014, although purchases were still the second highest on record at just over 813 tonnes. ID:nL4N0V63AC Among other precious metals, spot silver XAG= was down 0.3 percent at $17.97 an ounce. Palladium XPD= gained 2 percent at $793.50 an ounce while platinum XPT= was down 0.4 percent at $1,253.50 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr in Singapore; Editing by Jason Neely, John Stonestreet and Diane Craft) ((Marcy.Nicholson@thomsonreuters.com, +1 646 223 6043; Reuters Messaging Marcy.Nicholson.ThomsonReuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

UPDATE 1-Fugitive treasure hunter arrested in Florida

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

(Updates with detail of arrest, detail on case) By Letitia Stein TAMPA, Fla., Jan 28 (Reuters) - A treasure hunter who allegedly bilked investors after recovering tens of millions of dollars worth of gold from a shipwreck was arrested in south Florida after years on the run and was due to appear in federal court there on Thursday. Tommy Thompson was detained on Tuesday night at a Hilton hotel in Palm Beach County, said Barry Golden, spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in the Southern District of Florida. U.S. marshals in Ohio said Thompson would be extradited in a matter of days to that state, where he was charged in 2012 with criminal contempt for failing to appear in federal court to reveal the location of gold and funds from his treasure hunt. Thompson was arrested with a woman, Alison Antekeier, who also has an outstanding arrest warrant in Ohio, according to Golden. They appeared to have been living in the hotel for about two years. Thompson is a defendant in multiple federal and state civil lawsuits that accuse him of cheating investors who put money into his expedition, according to a criminal complaint in the Southern District of Ohio that was unsealed on Wednesday. Thompson used sonar and robotic technology to discover the shipwrecked SS Central America in a 1988 expedition. The ship carried as much as 21 tons of gold from the California mines when it sank in 1857 off the coast of South Carolina. More than 400 people drowned and the loss of the gold contributed to a U.S. banking panic. According to the criminal complaint, Thompson's company, Columbus Exploration, brought up gold coins and bars worth up to $400 million. But previous reports have estimated the recovery at more than $40 million. In 2012, federal agents came close to tracking down Thompson and Antekeier in Vero Beach, Florida, where they had lived in a multimillion-dollar mansion under false names and had led a cash-only existence for at least eight years. According to the criminal complaint they paid rent with damp bills that they had buried underground, and used 12 different cell phones to talk to Thompson's children and to lawyers. Explorers continue to retrieve gold from the wreck of the Central America. Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Exploration said last May that it had recovered some $1.3 million of gold from the site after it was hired by the court-appointed receiver that took over Thompson's company during his legal battles with creditors and investors. (Reporting by Letitia Stein; Additional reporting by Kim Palmer in Cleveland, Ohio; Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Eric Beech) ((fiona.ortiz@thomsonreuters.com; +1 312 408 8559; Reuters Messaging: fiona.ortiz.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: USA SHIPWRECK/GOLD

Fugitive treasure hunter arrested in Florida

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

By Letitia Stein TAMPA, Fla, Jan 28 (Reuters) - An Ohio man who recovered as much as $400 million in gold from a shipwreck has been arrested in Florida after two years on the run and was scheduled to appear in federal court on Wednesday. Tommy Thompson was detained on Tuesday night at a Hilton hotel in west Boca Raton, Florida, said Barry Golden, spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in the Southern District of Florida. He was due to appear in federal court in West Palm Beach on Wednesday, Golden said. He is wanted for failing to appear in a federal court in Ohio in 2012. Thompson was arrested with a woman, Alison Antekeier, who also has an outstanding arrest warrant in Ohio, according to Golden. They appeared to have been living in the hotel for about two years, he said. Thompson is a defendant in multiple federal and state civil lawsuits that accuse him of bilking investors who put money into his treasure expedition, according to a criminal complaint in the Southern District of Ohio that was unsealed on Wednesday. Thompson led a 1988 expedition to retrieve gold from the SS Central America, which sank in 1857 with 21 tons of gold in its hold. According to the criminal complaint, Thompson's company, Columbus Exploration brought up gold coins and bars worth up to $400 million. "Many of the investors have brought suit because they have not been given any profits from the proceeds," the complaint said. In 2012, federal agents came close to tracking down Thompson in Florida. They searched a house where he had been living and found books about how to live a cash-only existence, the criminal complaint says. (Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Doina Chiacu) ((fiona.ortiz@thomsonreuters.com; +1 312 408 8559; Reuters Messaging: fiona.ortiz.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: USA SHIPWRECK/GOLD

London gold 1500 fix - Jan 28 - 1288.00 dlrs

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

London platinum/palladium 1400 fix - Jan 28

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

BRIEF-Koza Altin announces FY 2014 reserves and resources

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

Jan 28 (Reuters) - Koza Altin KOZAL.IS : * FY 2014 gold reserves of 4.2 million ounces versus 3.5 million ounces year ago, up 28 percent * 2014 production of 317,000 ounces * FY 2014 total resource of 13.4 million ounces versus 13.3 million ounces year ago Source text for Eikon: ID:nIKA6r59Ta Further company coverage: KOZAL.IS (Gdynia Newsroom) ((gdynia.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com; +48 58 698 3920;)) Keywords: KOZA ALTIN/BRIEF

TABLE-Holdings of SPDR Gold rise, iShares Silver unchanged

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

Jan 28 (Reuters) - Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded-fund (ETF), New York's SPDR Gold Trust GLD , rose 1.25 percent on Tuesday from Monday, while the largest silver-backed ETF, New York's iShares Silver Trust SLV , remained unchanged during the same period. Exchange-traded funds, the most widely recognized type of ETP, back each security issued with physical stocks of a given commodity, creating a product they say is free from counterparty risk. Name New Holdings Date Prev Holdings Prev Abs Change % chg YTD Abs GOLD (OZ) (OZ) (OZ) Change (OZ) SPDR Gold Trust HLDSPDRGT=XAU 24,199,961.1 Jan 27 23,902,263.9 Jan 26 297,697.2 1.25% 1,404,401.7 ETF Securities gold (ex-US) HLDETFXUS=XAU 7,386,589.2 Jan 27 7,481,206.8 Jan 26 -94,617.6 -1.26% 214,564.6 COMEX Gold Trust HLDCMXGOT=XAU 5,386,650.0 Jan 27 5,386,650.0 Jan 26 0.0 0.00% 204,485.8 ZKB Physical Gold HLDZKBPYG=XAU ** 4,493,687.5 Jan 16 4,493,687.5 Jan 16 -- -- 71,143.1 Julius Baer Physical Gold HLDJBAEPY=XAU *** 1,673,610.0 Jan 22 1,673,610.0 Jan 22 -- -- 33,350.0 Sprott Physical Gold Trust HLDSPROPY=XAU 1,270,757.0 Jan 27 1,270,757.0 Jan 26 0.0 0.00% -29,761.0 ABSA - NewGold ETF HLDNEWGOT=XAU 1,085,852.7 Jan 26 1,085,900.4 Jan 23 -47.7 0.00% -20,483.2 ETFS Physical Swiss Gold HLDETFSCH=XAU 763,648.7 Jan 27 763,648.7 Jan 26 0.0 0.00% -20,133.6 Total HLDTOTALL=XAU 46,260,756.2 46,057,724.3 203,031.9 0.44% 1,857,567.4 SILVER iShares Silver Trust HLDISHAST=XAG 319,314,728.3 Jan 27 319,314,728.3 Jan 26 0.0 0.00% -10,249,438.4 ZKB Physical Silver HLDZKBPYS=XAG 77,256,141.3 Jan 16 77,256,141.3 Jan 16 -- -- 180,711.2 Sprott Physical Silver HLDSPROPY=XAG 49,287,870.0 Jan 27 49,287,870.0 Jan 26 0.0 0.00% 0.0 ETF Securities silver ex-US HLDETFXUS=XAG 47,384,938.6 Jan 27 47,384,938.6 Jan 26 0.0 0.00% 8,479,859.4 ETFS Physical Silver Shares HLDETFSSF=XAG 17,806,171.4 Jan 27 18,100,878.4 Jan 26 -294,707.0 -1.63% -594,745.9 Julius Baer Physical Silver HLDJBAEPY=XAG 15,146,990.0 Jan 22 15,146,990.0 Jan 22 -- -- 490,000.0 Total HLDTOTALL=XAG 526,196,839.6 526,491,546.6 -294,707.0 -0.06% -1,693,613.7 PLATINUM ABSA - NewPlat ETF HLDNEWPLT=XPT 1,104,236.8 Jan 23 1,104,236.8 Jan 23 -- -- -278.9 ETFS Physical Platinum Shares HLDETFSPY=XPT 494,798.0 Jan 27 494,798.0 Jan 26 0.0 0.00% -19,673.5 ETF Securities platinum ex-US HLDETFXUS=XPT 348,831.0 Jan 27 351,959.7 Jan 26 -3,128.7 -0.89% -5,652.5 ZKB Physical Platinum HLDZKBPYP=XPT 277,172.6 Jan 16 277,172.6 Jan 16 -- -- -124.4 Julius Baer Physical Platinum HLDJBAEPY=XPT 103,565.0 Jan 22 103,565.0 Jan 22 -- -- 3,820.0 Total HLDTOTALL=XPT 2,328,603.4 2,331,732.1 -3,128.7 -0.13% -21,909.3 PALLADIUM Standard Bank AfricaPalladium HLDSTNDRDB=XPD # 701,617.9 Jan 27 697,620.0 Jan 26 3,997.9 0.57% -1,213.7 ABSA - NewPalladium ETF HLDNEWPLD=XPD **** 508,153.4 Jan 23 508,153.4 Jan 23 -- -- -8,103.8 ETF Securities palladium ex-US HLDETFSPY=XPD 497,141.8 Jan 27 503,837.4 Jan 26 -6,695.6 -1.33% -16,245.6 ETFS Physical Palladium Shares HLDETFSPY=XPD 489,974.5 Jan 27 489,974.5 Jan 26 0.0 0.00% -24,529.0 ZKB Physical Palladium HLDZKBPYP=XPD 239,422.9 Jan 16 239,422.9 Jan 16 -- -- 1,368.5 Julius Baer Physical Palladium HLDJBAEPY=XPD 143,443.0 Jan 22 143,443.0 Jan 22 -- -- 2,970.0 Total HLDTOTALL=XPD 2,579,753.5 2,582,451.2 -2,697.7 -0.10% -45,753.6 The figures above are those reported to Reuters by the organizations involved by telephone or email on the date shown, or those that are publicly available on their websites. ** ZKB physical gold, silver, platinum and palladium funds are fully backed by physical precious metal and investors are entitled to physical delivery of them. *** Shareholders in the Julius Baer Gold fund can elect to hold "A class" shares, which are fully backed by physical gold. Investors in that class are entitled to physical delivery of the precious metal. Investors may also elect to hold "AX" class shares, which are fully backed by physical gold. Investors in that class are not entitled to physical delivery of the precious metal. **** Absa Capital's NewPalladium Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) was listed on March 27, 2014 and is fully backed with South African palladium. # Standard Bank's AfricaPalladium ETF, South Africa's first listed palladium exchange traded fund, debuted on March 24, 2014. (Bengaluru Commodities desk) ((BLRCEEditorial@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 651 848 5832; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 1298; Reuters Messaging: rmchat://room/reuters.com/Bangalore-CE-News)) Keywords: PRECIOUS ETFS/

London gold 1030 fix - Jan 28 - 1287.00 dlrs

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

London platinum/palladium 0945 fix - Jan 28

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

BRIEF-Auriant Mining 2014 total gold production down to 1,079 kg

January 28, 2015 - reuters.com

Jan 28 (Reuters) - Auriant Mining AB AURIM.ST : * Publishes 2014 operational update * 2014 Tardan production was on target increasing by 2 pct to 673 kg (21,637 oz) * 2014 total gold production of 1,079 kg (34,689 oz) was on target, but decreased by 5.5 pct on previous year * Overall Solcocon production decreased in 2014 by 16 pct to 406 kg (13,053 oz) due to a drop in grades and alluvial production Source text for Eikon: ID:nSSN5FXC Further company coverage: AURIM.ST (Gdynia Newsroom) ((gdynia.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com; +48 58 698 3920;)) Keywords: AURIANT MINING/RESULTS

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