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MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - July 31

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

DUBAI, July 31 (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-Dollar shines, U.S. yields surge on upbeat U.S. data MKTS/GLOB * Oil prices tumble on ample supply, weak demand O/R * Gold stays below $1,300 as U.S. economic optimism dents demand GOL-RTRS * Israeli troops, with dogs and robots, track Gaza tunnels IL-PS * Asia a hard sell for Russian firms seeking cash RU-DBT * LyondellBasell seen as mystery U.S. buyer of Kurdish oil in May LYB.N IQ-OILG * Carnage at U.N. school as Israel pounds Gaza Strip UN1-IL-PS * Army breaks up protests as Yemen raises fuel prices YE-SDS * Iran frees US-Iranian, three journalists still held -source IR-JUDIC * Tunisia's chief of army land forces resigns - official TN-POL * U.S. approves $700 million sale of Hellfire missiles to Iraq LMT.N IQ-DEFBUY * U.S. judge says cannot seize Kurdish crude for now IQ-OILG-US * IMF agrees on $5 billion credit line for Morocco IMF-MA TURKEY * Turkish women laugh online to protest deputy PM's remarks TR-POL * Turkish court arrests 11 more police in wiretap probe -lawyer TR-JUDIC EGYPT * Iran says Egypt dragging its feet on allowing aid to Gaza IR-EG-PS * Egypt's GASC says buys 175,000 tonnes Russian wheat EG-WHT * Three killed in car bomb in Cairo -Egyptian state-run TV EG-SECUR UNITED ARAB EMIRATES * Alitalia to present final proposal to Etihad on Thursday AE-IT-AIRL (Compiled by Dubai newsroom) ((dubai.newsroom@reuters.com)) Keywords: MIDEAST FACTORS

India FX/debt factors to watch - July 31

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

India Morning Call-Global Markets

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

EQUITIES NEW YORK - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve gave a rosier assessment of the U.S. economy while reaffirming that it is in no hurry to raise interest rates. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 31.75 points, or 0.19 percent, to 16,880.36, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.12 points, or 0.01 percent, to 1,970.07, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 20.20 points, or 0.45 percent, to 4,462.90. For a full report, click on .N - - - - LONDON - Britain's top equity index finished lower on Wednesday as weaker mining stocks, dragged down by Chilean miner Antofagasta ANTO.L , outweighed a rally in banking stocks spurred by Barclays BARC.L . The FTSE 100 index ended 0.5 percent weaker at 6,773.44 points. For a full report, click on .L - - - - TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average rose to a fresh six-month high on Thursday after solid U.S. growth buoyed sentiment and as the weakening yen lifted exporters, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group's 8316.T earnings boosted the banking sector. The Nikkei .N225 rose 0.7 percent to 15,759.66 points in mid-morning trade, the highest since Jan. 23. For a full report, click on .T - - - - HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index .HSI set to open up 0.3 percent. For a full report, click on .HK - - - - FOREIGN EXCHANGE SYDNEY - The dollar held below a 10-month peak against a basket of major currencies on Thursday after soaring on upbeat U.S. growth data, with mixed views from the Federal Reserve tempering the rally. The dollar index last traded at 81.386 .DXY after rising as far as 81.545 - a high last seen in mid-September. For a full report, click on USD/ - - - - TREASURIES NEW YORK - - U.S. Treasuries yields surged on Wednesday and two- and three-year note yields rose to their highest in three years after data showed solid U.S. economic growth, though the Federal Reserve said it is in no rush to raise interest rates. The U.S. central bank pressed ahead with its plan to wind down its bond-buying stimulus and upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy For a full report, click on US/ - - - - COMMODITIES GOLD SINGAPORE - Gold held overnight losses to trade below $1,300 an ounce on Thursday and looked likely to extend declines to a fourth day as optimism over U.S. economic growth curbed safe-haven appetite for the metal. Spot gold XAU= was flat at $1,295.20 an ounce by 0021 GMT, after dropping 0.3 percent in the previous session. For a full report, click on GOL/ - - - - BASE METALS SYDNEY - - London copper was underpinned on Thursday by indications that the U.S. Federal Reserve is not hurrying to raise interest rates, even as the world's top economy logged robust second quarter growth that brightened the outlook for demand. The U.S. economy rebounded sharply in the second quarter as consumers stepped up spending and businesses restocked, putting it on course to close out the year on a solid footing. For a full report, click on MET/L - - - - OIL NEW YORK - - Oil prices tumbled on Wednesday, with Brent leading the decline weakened by excess supplies in Europe and Asia while U.S. crude followed suit despite a larger-than-expected drop in nationwide stockpiles. Brent crude LCOc1 fell $1.21 to settle at $106.51 a barrel. For a full report, click on O/R (Compiled by Indulal PM) ((indulal.p@thomsonreuters.com)(+91-22-6180-7183)(Reuters Messaging: indulal.p.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MORNINGCALL INDIA/

FOREX-Bullish dollar retains bulk of gains on good US growth, more data awaited

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Upbeat U.S. Q2 GDP partly offset by mixed Fed views * Dollar still firmer across the board * Nonfarm payrolls, PMI reports for China & euro zone next focus (Adds details, quotes) By Ian Chua and Shinichi Saoshiro SYDNEY/TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - The dollar held below a 10-month peak against a basket of major currencies on Thursday after soaring on upbeat U.S. growth data, with mixed views from the Federal Reserve tempering the rally. However, the dollar looked poised to resume rising should U.S. indicators due by Friday continue to paint a brighter economic picture. The dollar index last traded at 81.386 .DXY after rising as far as 81.545 - a high last seen in mid-September. Still, the index is up more than 2 percent so far this month, on track for its biggest monthly gain in over a year. Dollar bulls took heart after the U.S. economy rebounded sharply in the second quarter, with gross domestic product (GDP) motoring at a 4.0 percent annualised pace. ID:nLNSUIEAJ0 The dollar's rally was tempered somewhat after the Fed on Wednesday reaffirmed it was in no rush to raise interest rates, even as it upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy and expressed some comfort that inflation was moving up toward its target. ID:nW1N0Q4007 Junichi Ishikawa, market strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo, said any selling that resulted from the Fed meeting "is likely to be temporary. It gave a fair view on the economy and despite expressing concern about the labour market, it took note of declining unemployment. Most important of all, it made a more confident assessment on inflation." "It wasn't a dovish message, but not necessarily a hawkish one either, although the Fed did leave a psychological impact on the market with its latest view on the economy and inflation," said Ishikawa. He said he believes the dollar could receive a fresh boost if U.S. data due later in the day such as jobless claims and the Chicago PMI prove strong. The main focus is still on Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls, with manufacturing surveys in China and the euro zone also closely watched. ECONASIA Another month of healthy U.S. jobs growth will only embolden dollar bulls, with markets continuing to look for signs of when the Fed will eventually lift interest rates. ID:nL2N0Q31WJ The two-year Treasury yield US2YT=RR jumped to its highest in over three years at 0.59 percent, which in turn helped boost the allure of the U.S. dollar. Against the yen, the greenback climbed to a four-month high of 103.15 JPY= , before steadying at 102.80. It was poised to gain about 1.4 percent on the month against the yen. The euro skidded to a near nine-month trough of $1.3366 EUR= but recovered most of its losses to last stand at $1.3397. The euro was on track to lose 2.1 percent versus the dollar. Not helping the common currency, data showed annual inflation in Germany slowed to 0.8 percent in July, an outcome that pointed to another soft reading for EU-wide inflation due out later in the day. ID:nL6N0Q547C "We remain constructive on the USD and continue to run long USD/JPY and short EUR/USD recommendations," analysts at Barclays wrote in a note to clients. The dollar also fared well against higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar, which plumbed a two-month low of $0.9301 AUD=D4 before edging back to $0.9327. (Editing by Eric Meijer and Richard Borsuk) ((shinichi.saoshiro@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: shinichi.saoshiro.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

UPDATE 1-China should set lower 2015 GDP growth target of 6.5-7 pct - IMF

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds quotes, details) BEIJING, July 31 (Reuters) - China should set an economic growth target of 6.5-7 percent for 2015, below its goal for 2014, and refrain from stimulus measures unless the economy threatens to slow sharply from that level, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday. Most of its directors hold that view, though some feel that an even-lower growth target is appropriate, the IMF said. In the conclusion of its annual Article IV economic consultation with China, the IMF repeated its projection that the economic growth would dip to 7.4 percent this year, and decelerate further to 7.1 percent next year. The IMF cut its 2014 and 2015 economic growth forecasts for China last week. It had projected in April that the world's second-largest economy would grow 7.5 percent this year, and 7.3 percent next year. Weakness in China's real estate sector posed near-term risks for China's economy despite signs of steadying, Markus Rodlauer, deputy director of the IMF's Asia Pacific Department and the fund's mission chief for China, told reporters. "A key uncertainty remains in the real estate sector, some further weakness could be building and because of the very large direct and indirect importance of this sector, this still poses a risk to the near-term outlook," he said. Near-term risks in China's economy remained manageable due to the government's policy buffers, but Beijing must push reforms as the current path of growth is unsustainable, he added. Beijing is not expected to announce its 2015 target until early next year, though some government economists have suggested a level of around 7 percent to help create more room to pursue structural changes. "Regarding the growth target for 2015, while most directors concurred that a range of 6.5-7 percent would be consistent with the goal of transitioning to a safer and more sustainable growth path, a few other directors considered a lower target more appropriate," the IMF said. China fixed its annual economic growth target for this year at around 7.5 percent, suggesting for the first time in years that there is room for growth to come in slightly under the desired level. But after a weak start to the year, the government announced a flurry of stimulus measures to offset the drag from weak exports and a cooling property market. ID:nL4N0PR083 The economy grew 7.7 percent in 2013, above the target of 7.5 percent and again underpinned by government stimulus early in the year. Some analysts have criticised the 2014 target as one that is still too high to give China enough room to overhaul its economy to produce slower but better-quality growth. To that end, the IMF repeated an earlier recommendation that China should not deploy any economic stimulus unless GDP growth is in danger of falling "significantly" below the target level. This is because risks in China in the form of off-budget spending and quick growth in credit and investment have "risen to the point that containing them is a priority", it said. Any stimulus that was dispensed should be carried out through fiscal policy and accounted for in government budgets, the IMF added. "Consumption and the labour market are holding up well, and the global recovery is expected to support activity going forward." In line with the modest cooldown, the IMF estimated that annual inflation in China may ease to 2 percent this year, a good way under the government's 3.5 percent target. Price pressures are expected to pick up slightly next year to boost inflation to 2.5 percent. The fund also repeated its assessment that the yuan CNY=CFXS is "moderately undervalued", and said it supported China's attempt to move towards a more flexible exchange rate that is not subjected to "sustained, large and asymmetric intervention". The IMF stuck with its assessment that the yuan is between 5 and 10 percent undervalued, based on China's current account surplus relative to gross domestic product, Rodlauer said. "But again this is not an assessment that the exchange rate should be revalued or appreciated in the next few months by 5 percent to 10 percent," he said. The central bank is widely suspected of engineering a sharp drop in the currency earlier this year to punish speculators, though most economists expect it will eventually allow the yuan to resume a trend of gradual appreciation. At the same time, the IMF noted that previous appreciation in the yuan's real effective exchange rate had helped to narrow China's external imbalances - its current account surplus dropped to 1.9 percent of GDP last year. Turning to China's endeavours to implement the most ambitious reforms in three decades, the fund again urged authorities to free up bank deposit interest rates, remove implicit guarantees in the financial and corporate sectors, and open more industries up for competition. It said China also needed to boost consumption, reorder local government finances, and improve pension and health benefits. (Reporting by Koh Gui Qing and Kevin Yao; Editing by Eric Meijer) ((guiqing.koh@thomsonreuters.com)(+86 10 6627 1242)(Reuters Messaging: guiqing.koh.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CHINA ECONOMY/IMF

WRAPUP 6-Argentina fails to reach debt agreement, default imminent

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Settlement talks in New York end without agreement * Plan for Argentine banks to buy debt from hedge funds collapses -sources * Kicillof lays blame on holdouts, judge for lack of deal * Pollack says Argentina default 'imminent' (Recasts top paragraphs ahead of deadline, adds comments from analysts, Argentine citizens, contrasts with 2002 crisis) By Richard Lough, Eliana Raszewski and Daniel Bases BUENOS AIRES/NEW YORK, July 30 (Reuters) - Argentina will default on its debt within hours after talks with holdout creditors broke down on Wednesday. As the clocked ticked toward a midnight (0400 GMT) deadline, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof stuck firmly to the government line, repeatedly denigrating the holdouts as "vultures" after two days of intense negotiations. Argentine banks scrambled to put together a proposal to buy out the non-performing debt held by hedge funds and avert a default. But that deal collapsed, a senior banking executive and a second source from the financial market said. "It all fell through," said the banking executive. A default will hurt an economy already in recession, fueling risks to consumer prices in a country with one of the world's highest inflation rates and putting more pressure on a peso that was devalued sharply early in the year. It also marks a set-back to the Buenos Aires government's attempts to return to global credit markets. Argentina has been isolated from international financial markets since its record $100 billion default in 2002. The default results from Argentina's failure to comply with a court order that holdout bondholders be paid at the same time as a $539 million coupon payment to those who accepted reduced payments in two prior restructurings. "Unfortunately, no agreement was reached and the Republic of Argentina will imminently be in default," Daniel Pollack, the court-appointed mediator in the case, said in a statement on Wednesday evening. Mark Brodsky, chairman of Aurelius Capital Management, one of the two leading hedge funds opposing the deal, referred calls to his spokesman, who said the firm had no immediate statement. Calls to the other leading holdout, NML Capital, a unit of Elliot Management Corp, were not immediately returned. Kicillof told reporters in New York that Argentina had offered the holdouts the same terms as the bond swaps issued in 2005 and 2010. The funds rejected those terms, Kicillof said before preparing to fly back to Argentina. "Argentina paid, it has money, it will continue to pay the next installments because we want to do so and because the money is available," he said. "This money is there. If it were a default, there would be no money." U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York, who awarded $1.33 billion plus interest to the holdout hedge funds, has called Argentina's payment illegal and rejected its argument that it has fullfilled its obligations. Kicillof reiterated the country's position - that it cannot pay the holdouts without triggering a clause that could leave it open to claims worth hundreds of billions of dollars from bondholders who accepted the restructured debt agreements following the 2002 crisis. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For Take A Look at other stories related to the Argentina debt crisis, click on ID:nL2N0Q30CX BREAKINGVIEWS: Argentine opportunity cost is reason to cut deal ID:nL2N0Q31HJ GRAPHIC: http://link.reuters.com/wan52w For more stories on Argentina's debt standoff, click here: ID:nL2N0Q30CX For video of Argentina economy minister speaking on country's debt crisis, Thomson Reuters: Reuters Insider http://reut.rs/1n4bdYn ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> "USED TO BAD NEWS" Many Argentines took the news on the chin. "We are used to bad news," said 34-year-old office worker Mariano Garcia. "Every 10 years or so there is some cataclysmic event. It's a shame." The sanguine reaction is a far cry from the chaos that erupted during the country's economic crash in 2001-2002. Millions of Argentines lost their jobs, the economy collapsed and dozens of people were killed in protests that lasted months. This time the government is solvent. The country's commercial banks are solid, with low capital ratios, and Argentina still boasts a trade surplus, albeit a shrinking one, thanks in large part to high prices for soy. How much pain the default inflicts on Latin America's third-biggest economy will depend on how swiftly the government can extricate itself from the mess. "To go home carrying a default in their hands just doesn't make sense," said Kathryn Rooney Vera, senior macroeconomic strategist at Bulltick Capital in Miami. "If this is resolved over the next few days, the impact is very limited. But if it sticks, it's a very different story." In a sign of how markets might respond on Thursday, U.S.-traded shares in Argentina's energy firm YPF YPF.N slumped 7.7 percent in after-hours trading while Banco Macro BMA.N plummeted 12.7 percent. Argentina had pushed hard for a stay of the ruling by Judge Griesa that set Wednesday's deadline for the Buenos Aires government to pay the holdouts. It has consistently argued that a so-called Rights Upon Future Offers, or RUFO, clause prohibits it from settling with the holdouts on terms better than those received by holders of the restructured debt. That clause expires at the end of 2014. Argentina tried making a $539 million interest payment in late June, but Griesa blocked the funds' onward transfer to creditors. The money remained in limbo in the Buenos Aires account of trustee agent Bank of New York Mellon on Wednesday. U.S. ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the country's long- and short-term foreign currency credit rating to "selective default". The default rating will remain until Argentina makes its overdue June 30 coupon payment on its discount bonds maturing in 2033, the agency said. Prior to the collapse of the talks, Argentina's markets had rallied on optimism for a deal. Yields on Argentina's key dollar bond due 2033 fell to its lowest level in about three and a half years on Wednesday, and its MerVal index .MERV hit a record. Markets are likely to reverse those moves on Thursday. "We'll give up today's gains and then some on Thursday. We have to start pricing for the risk that this may not be a negotiation tactic or legal tactic," said Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America strategy at Jefferies in New York. "If the private sector solution is not real, I'll have to reassess for a much lower target than 68 (cents on the dollar) on the Discount bonds." (Additional reporting by Alejandro Lifschitz and Sarah Marsh in Buenos Aires, Carolyn Cohn in London and Rodrigo Campos and Luciana Lopez in New York; Editing by David Gaffen, Jonathan Oatis and Ken Wills) ((Email: richard.lough@thomsonreuters.com)(Tel: +54 11 451 005 21)(Reuters Messaging: richard.lough.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: ARGENTINA DEBT/

VIETNAM PRESS-Jan-July trade surplus with US hits $12.1 bln - Thanh Nien

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Vietnam posted a trade surplus of $12.1 billion with the U.S. market in the January-July period, with exports jumping 22 percent from a year earlier to $15.8 billion, making the United States its largest export market, the Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper reported, citing government data. Other major export destinations include the European Union, Southeast Asian nations, China and Japan. The trade deficit with China was $14.8 billion in the seven-month period, the report said. ---- NOTE: Reuters has not verified this story and does not vouch for its accuracy. (Hanoi Newsroom; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi) ((hanoi.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com +844 3825 9623)) Keywords: VIETNAM PRESS/

VIETNAM PRESS-Jan-July remittances to Ho Chi Minh City rise 5.2 pct - Tuoi Tre

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Overseas remittances to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's business hub, hit $2.42 billion in the first seven months of this year, up 5.2 percent from a year ago, said an official of the central bank branch in the city, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reports. The rise is relatively good, given the peak time for remittances this year is yet to come, the central bank official said. ---- NOTE: Reuters has not verified this story and does not vouch for its accuracy. (Hanoi Newsroom; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi) ((hanoi.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com +844 3825 9623)) Keywords: VIETNAM PRESS/

UPDATE 1-UK rate rises to be gradual, limited-BoE's Broadbent

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

SYDNEY, July 31 (Reuters) - A top official at the Bank of England sees a case for earlier increase in interest rates but emphasised that any tightening cycle would be limited and gradual. In a lengthy interview with Bloomberg News, BoE Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent also said it was possible the pound was overvalued, but only because the UK economy was outperforming many of its peers. Broadbent said markets were obsessing too much on when the first rise in interest rates might come and missing the important message that any tightening would be gradual. "The real message we're trying to get across is that for other reasons to do with what's going on in the global economy, investment, credit and risk premia, the level of interest rates that's likely to be necessary to meet our objectives and the gradient of our path to get there, are likely to be lower than the previous expansions," said Broadbent. "It's very likely to be limited and gradual." Asked whether the cautious approach meant the process should start earlier, Broadbent concurred. "There's an argument for that, possibly, amongst all the other arguments, to a degree, yes, to a degree," he said. Equally, he noted that high levels of household debt in Britain added to the case to be careful when raising rates. "It's one of the reasons for expecting why you might want to go more gradually," he said. "If you're more uncertain about the impact of a rate change you'd tend to go a little more gingerly." Asked if he agreed with the IMF view that the pound may be overvalued by more than 10 percent, Broadbent said it was "quite possible." However, he emphasised that it was not the level of the exchange rates that worried him but the sluggishness of economic growth in Britain's major trading partners that was depressing their currencies. "It's not the exchange rate I'm unrelaxed about, it's the rest of the world, that is the message I'm trying to get across," he said. "If the rest of the world were to accelerate, if Europe were to accelerate, I would fully expect sterling to weaken." (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Shri Navaratnam) ((Wayne.Cole@thomsonreuters.com)(612 9373 1813)(Reuters Messaging: wayne.cole.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: UK BOE/BROADBENT

FOREX-Dovish Fed takes edge off dollar rally

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Upbeat U.S. Q2 GDP partly offset by dovish comments from Fed * Dollar still firmer across the board, but off peaks * Nonfarm payrolls, PMI reports for China & euro zone next focus By Ian Chua SYDNEY, July 31 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar held below a 10-month peak against a basket of major currencies early on Thursday, having soared at first on upbeat growth data only to have a dovish Federal Reserve take some steam out of the rally. The dollar index last traded at 81.422 .DXY after rising as far as 81.545 - a high last seen in mid-September. Still, the index is up more than 2 percent so far this month, on track for its biggest monthly gain in over a year. Dollar bulls took heart after the U.S. economy rebounded sharply in the second quarter, with gross domestic product (GDP) motoring at a 4.0 percent annualised pace. That outcome was well above the 3.0 percent consensus and a smart turnaround from a 2.1 percent contraction in the first quarter. ID:nLNSUIEAJ0 Despite that, the Fed gave no signs it was in a hurry to raise interest rate. It delivered a slightly more upbeat assessment on the economy and scaled back its monthly bond-buying program by another $10 billion in a widely expected move. ID:nW1N0Q4007 "The accompanying statement was relatively dovish on the labour market, with the Fed keen to retain the message that rate hikes are some time away," said Spiros Papadopoulos, senior economist at National Australia Bank in Melbourne. Still, the two-year Treasury yield US2YT=RR jumped to its highest in over three years at 0.59 percent, which in turn helped boost the allure of the U.S. dollar. Against the yen, the greenback climbed to a four-month high of 103.15 JPY= , before steadying at 102.85 early in Asia. The euro skidded to a near nine-month trough of $1.3366 EUR= but recovered most of its losses to last stand at $1.3394. Not helping the common currency, data showed annual inflation in Germany slowed to 0.8 percent in July, an outcome that pointed to another soft reading for EU-wide inflation due out later in the day. ID:nL6N0Q547C "We remain constructive on the USD and continue to run long USD/JPY and short EUR/USD recommendations," analysts at Barclays wrote in a note to clients. The dollar also fared well against higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar, which plumbed a two-month low of $0.9301 AUD=D4 before edging back to $0.9324. Traders expect markets to now take stock of the overnight moves and wait for the next batch of key data including U.S. employment on Friday. Manufacturing surveys in China and the euro zone will also be closely watched. ECONASIA Another month of healthy U.S. jobs growth will only embolden dollar bulls, with markets continuing to look for signs of when the Fed will eventually lift interest rates. ID:nL2N0Q31WJ (Editing by Eric Meijer) ((ian.chua@thomsonreuters.com)(+61 2 9373 1871)(RM: ian.chua.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - July 31

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

July 31 - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. The Times FOR BANKERS, CLAWBACK MEANS A SEVEN-YEAR HITCH Banks and building societies face a bill of 260 million pounds ($439.63 million) to put in place strict new rules that will overhaul the way lenders and regulators oversee finance professionals and will allow the clawback of bonuses up to seven years after they are awarded. (http://thetim.es/Xh8YMm) ENERGY FIRMS DOUBLE PROFITS IN JUST 12 MONTHS Energy firms are set to double their profits in the space of 12 months after refusing to pass on to customers huge falls in the cost of wholesale oil and gas. (http://thetim.es/1lYwNxX) The Guardian BARCLAYS' PPI CLAIMS RISE BY 900 MLN STG AS PROFITS FALL The cost of the payment protection insurance scandal has soared again after Barclays BARC.L set aside another 900 million pounds to cover the costs of compensating customers mis-sold the insurance product. (http://bit.ly/1nKltdt) CENTRICA IN TALKS WITH GOVERNMENT OVER IMPACT OF RUSSIA SANCTIONS Britain's largest domestic energy supplier, Centrica CNA.L , is in talks with the government as fears mount that a worsening stand-off with Russia could undermine an important power deal. (http://bit.ly/1rH55cQ) HSBC SHUTS ACCOUNTS OF MUSLIM ORGANISATIONS, INCLUDING FINSBURY PARK MOSQUE Three Muslim organisations, including the Finsbury Park mosque, are demanding answers from HSBC HSBA.L after being told by the bank that their accounts were being shut down. (http://bit.ly/1zx8VJY) The Telegraph U.S. CABLE GIANT AMC 'IN TALKS' TO TAKE 50 PERCENT STAKE IN BBC AMERICA AMC Entertainment AMC.N , the U.S. cable TV broadcaster home to such hits as 'The Walking Dead' and 'Mad Men', is in talks to buy a stake of around 50 percent in BBC America, according to reports. (http://bit.ly/1k8asmd) STRONG POUND PLAYS HAVOC WITH UK PLC The damaging impact the strong pound is having on UK exporters and companies with sizeable operations abroad was laid bare on Wednesday, as British American Tobacco BATS.L , National Express NEX.L , ITV ITV.L and Barclays BARC.L all warned that the appreciation of sterling had put a dent in profits and revenues. (http://bit.ly/WNMIcT) Sky News CO-OP REVAMP GOES ON WITH SECURITY ARM SALE The restructuring of the Co-operative Group 42TE.L is poised to continue with the sale of its security arm in a deal that will raise money to help shore up its troubled finances. (http://bit.ly/1pGodFi) ($1 = 0.5914 British pounds) (Compiled by Richa Naidu) ((richa.naidu@thomsonreuters.com)(within UK +44 20 7542 1810, outside UK +91 806 749 4939)(Reuters Messaging: richa.naidu.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BRITAIN PRESS/BUSINESS

UPDATE 1-Buenaventura's net income rose 22 pct on copper and silver sales

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds details on second-quarter results) LIMA, July 30 (Reuters) - Peruvian miner Buenaventura BUEv.LM BVN.LM said on Wednesday that its net income jumped 22 percent to 9 cents per share in the second quarter from the same period in 2013 on stronger silver and copper sales. The $23.1 million result for the second quarter came in below the $49.85 million average estimate of two analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company said in a statement that its copper sales more than doubled on higher volumes from its El Brocal copper mine, and silver sales rose 9 percent on output from its Uchucchacua mine. The positive results for the April-through-June period followed two straight quarterly losses. However, Buenaventura's 43.7 percent stake in the aging Yanacocha gold mine represented a $12.9 million loss in the second quarter, leading its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for all of its operations to fall 27 percent. The company said its gold output slipped 4 percent in the second quarter on the year. Buenaventura is the biggest precious metals miner in Peru. (Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by David Gregorio and Andrew Hay) ((mitra.taj@thomsonreuters.com)(+51)(1)(221-2130)(Reuters Messaging: mitra.taj.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: PERU BUENAVENTURA/RESULTS

CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-UPDATE 2-Barrick cuts cost forecast, appoints directors

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Corrects job title of Brian Greenspun in paragraph 2 to chairman and chief executive of Greenspun Media Group following correction from Barrick) July 30 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO lowered its full-year cost forecast on Wednesday and again trimmed capital spending as the world's biggest gold producer works to rein in costs that soared industry-wide between 2008 and 2012, when bullion was rising. Barrick also said it appointed J. Michael Evans, the former vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs Inc GS.N , and Brian Greenspun, the chairman and chief executive of Greenspun Media Group and a prominent Nevada businessman, as independent directors on its board. Toronto-based Barrick this month said it would abolish its chief executive position, replacing it with two presidents in a move investors and analysts said cements the authority of its new executive chairman, John Thornton, a former Goldman Sachs executive. ID:nL2N0PR0X9 Barrick earlier reported slightly weaker-than-expected adjusted net earnings, which fell to $159 million, or 14 cents a share, in the quarter to end-June from $663 million, or 66 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Analysts expected the company to earn 15.9 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Earnings were down on weaker gold prices and lower gold and copper sales volumes. Results also were reduced by an impairment charge of $514 million related to the Jabal Sayid copper project. Barrick this month said it was forming a joint venture with Saudi Arabian Mining Co 1211.SE (Ma'aden) to run the long-delayed project. ID:nL2N0PO01W Barrick, which has mines in the Americas, Australia and Africa, said it was reducing its forecast for 2014 all-in sustaining costs, the industry cost benchmark, to between $900 and $940 per ounce from a previous forecast of between $920 and $980 an ounce. The company also cut its 2014 capital expenditure guidance range by $200 million, to between $2.2 billion and $2.5 billion. Barrick and its peers have beaten the cost-cutting drum for at least a year as the industry tries to restore profits hard hit in recent years by soaring mine site costs, over-priced acquisitions and a 28 percent fall in the bullion price last year. Barrick produced 1.49 million ounces of gold in the second quarter, down from 1.81 million ounces a year earlier. The miner has sold several higher-cost mines over the past year. It kept unchanged its full-year gold production forecast. All-in sustaining costs fell to $865 an ounce from $910 an ounce in the same period a year ago. Copper production in the second quarter was 67 million pounds, well down from 134 million pounds in the same quarter last year, reflecting a partial collapse of the main conveyor at its Lumwana mine in Zambia. Barrick said the conveyor had been repaired and normal plant operations resumed this month. Copper cash costs rose to $2.04 per pound in the quarter from $1.75 a pound in the second quarter of 2013. The company did not change its full-year copper production or cost forecasts. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio, Leslie Adler, Dan Grebler and Diane Craft) ((nicole.mordant@thomsonreuters.com)(+1-604-664-7315)(Reuters Messaging: nicole.mordant.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BARRICK GOLD RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2,CORRECTED (OFFICIA

UPDATE 1-Yamana Gold earnings beat expectations, eyes asset sales

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Recasts with more financial details, company comment) July 30 (Reuters) - Yamana Gold YRI.TO reported higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, helped by higher production and lower costs. Yamana Chief Executive Peter Marrone said in a statement the miner would look at "strategic alternatives" for operations that are underperforming, as well as at assets that could provide more value through a sale. The Canadian-based gold miner said earnings were $5.1 million, or 1 cent a share, in the quarter, compared with a net loss of $7.9 million, or 1 cent a share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Adjusted earnings came in at $43.3 million, or 5 cents a share, down from $50.2 million, or 7 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2013. But the earnings beat analysts' estimates of 4 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, reported in June that Yamana had put its three mines in Brazil up for sale at the beginning of the year. The Chapada, Jacobina and Fazenda Brasileiro mines are nearing the end of their lives and have faced a number of problems. Yamana said it produced 331,765 ounces of gold equivalent ounces in the second quarter from its mines in South America, Mexico and Canada, up from 295,545 ounces in the same period in 2013. Gold equivalent ounces are calculated using gold output plus the gold equivalent of silver using a ratio of 50:1. Yamana's all-in sustaining costs per gold equivalent ounce fell to $915 an ounce on a co-product basis in the quarter, from $950 per ounce in the same quarter a year ago. Yamana earlier this year triumphed in its joint bid for Canadian-based Osisko Mining Corp OSK.TO , which owns the mid-sized, low-cost Canadian Malartic gold mine in Quebec. Yamana's C$3.9 billion white-knight bid for Osisko, in concert with partner Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd AEM.TO , topped a bid for Osisko from another Canadian gold miner Goldcorp Inc. G.TO . (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio) ((nicole.mordant@thomsonreuters.com)(+1-604-664-7315)(Reuters Messaging: nicole.mordant.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: YAMANA GOLD RESULTS/

UPDATE 1-Canadian miner Kinross profit falls; could restart La Coipa

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds detail on La Coipa, production, costs and analyst estimates) TORONTO, July 30 (Reuters) - Kinross Gold Corp K.TO on Wednesday reported its adjusted earnings fell by more than two thirds in the second quarter, hurt by lower average gold prices, and said it could restart mining at La Coipa in Chile. The company said it has decided to start work on a pre-feasibility study on the possibility of resuming operations at La Coipa, after some promising exploration results. It suspended mining at the site late last year. Kinross produced 679,831 gold equivalent ounces in the second quarter, up from 655,381 a year earlier. But its average realized price dropped to $1,285 an ounce from $1,394. The Canadian gold miner, which has operations in North and South America, Africa and Russia, said its all-in sustaining costs improved to $976 per equivalent ounce from $1,038 a year earlier. Gold equivalent ounces include silver produced and sold, converted to a gold equivalent based on a ratio of the average spot market price for the commodities for each year. The company earned $46 million, or 4 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a net loss of $2.48 billion, or $2.17 a share a year ago, when it took a $2.29 billion one-time charge after opting not to develop the Fruta del Norte project in Ecuador. Excluding the charge and a foreign exchange gain in the recent quarter as well as other unusual items, adjusted earnings fell to $32.9 million, or 3 cents a share, from $119.5 million, or 10 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of 5 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue slipped 5.8 percent to $911.9 million, hurt by the lower gold price. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp and Allison Martell; Editing by Leslie Adler) ((allison.martell@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 416 941 8196)(Reuters Messaging: allison.martell.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: KINROSS GOLD RESULTS/

EU's Juncker weighs creating financial services role -FT

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

July 30 (Reuters) - Jean-Claude Juncker, the incoming European Commission president, is considering creating an EU financial services directorate charged with regulating the London financial scene and ensuring stability in the region, the Financial Times reported. The plans would give a single commissioner a united financial services portfolio, the FT said. Some London-based banks fear this will tilt wider EU financial policy towards the eurozone, it added. (http://on.ft.com/1nK9Gfg) The FT said, without citing sources, that potential candidates for the role included former Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem and former Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis. EU financial regulation is currently overseen by Internal Market Commissioner and former French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier. Citing senior officials, the FT said the new directorate would likely move banking and markets units from Barnier's division, combining them with the financial stability unit stripped from the department for Economic and Financial Affairs. The exact form of the new department is unclear and a final decision has yet to be taken, the report added. Representatives at the European Commission could not be reached for comment outside of regular office hours. (Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Dan Grebler) ((richa.naidu@thomsonreuters.com)(within UK +44 20 7542 1810, outside UK +91 806 749 4939)(Reuters Messaging: richa.naidu.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: EU FINANCE/

UPDATE 1-Canadian miner Agnico Eagle turns profit, boosts production forecast

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds updated forecast, context on acquisition, analyst expectations) July 30 (Reuters) - Canadian gold producer Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd AEM.TO reported a second-quarter profit on Wednesday compared with a loss a year earlier, as gold production jumped and costs improved. The miner boosted its gold production forecast for 2014 by 13 percent, to 1.35 million ounces, citing its recent acquisition of part of the Canadian Malartic mine as well as good performance at other operations. Grades improved at the Meadowbank mine in Nunavut, northern Canada. Company-wide, average cash costs per ounce of gold fell to $725 from $907 on a by-product basis, deducting revenue from other metals. In April, Agnico and Yamana Gold Inc YRI.TO agreed to buy most of Osisko Mining Corp's assets, including Canadian Malartic, located in the province of Quebec, in a deal then valued at C$3.9 billion. Agnico reported earnings of $37.7 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with a loss of $24.4 million, or 14 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $437.8 million from $336.4 million. Excluding a non-cash currency loss and other unusual items, earnings were $52.8 million, or 28 cents a share. Analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of 30 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto; Editing by Diane Craft) ((allison.martell@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 416 941 8196)(Reuters Messaging: allison.martell.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: AGNICO EAGLE RESULTS/

Miner Agnico Eagle turns profit as production rises

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

July 30 (Reuters) - Canadian gold producer Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd AEM.TO reported a second-quarter profit on Wednesday compared with a year earlier loss, as gold production jumped from a year earlier and costs improved. Agnico reported earnings of $37.7 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with a loss of $24.4 million, or 14 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $437.8 million from $336.4 million. (Reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto) ((allison.martell@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 416 941 8196)(Reuters Messaging: allison.martell.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: AGNICO EAGLE RESULTS/

Kinross reports quarterly profit but gold prices weighed

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

TORONTO, July 30 (Reuters) - Kinross Gold Corp K.TO on Wednesday reported a profit for the second quarter, after a year-earlier loss tied to a $2.29 billion one-time charge. Revenue slipped 5.8 percent to $911.9 million, as gold prices fell. The company earned $46 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $2.48 billion, or $2.17 a share a year ago. Excluding special items, it earned $32.9 million, or 3 cents a share, down from $119.5 million, or 10 cents a share, last year. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp and Allison Martell) ((alastair.sharp@reuters.com)(+1 416 941 8118)(Reuters Messaging: alastair.sharp.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: KINROSS GOLD RESULTS/

CORRECTED-PRECIOUS-Gold traders brush aside signs Fed in no hurry to raise rates

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Corrects spot gold price in paragraph 2) * Central bank reaffirms no rush to raise interest rates * Traders largely shrug off Fed statement * U.S. economy expands 4 percent in second quarter By Akane Otani and Clara Denina NEW YORK/LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Gold futures ended lower on Wednesday, but traders largely shrugged off a statement from the Federal Reserve hinting the U.S. central bank was in no rush to hike interest rates, which would reduce appetite for the precious metal. Spot gold XAU= maintained earlier losses and was down 0.2 percent at $1,295.79 an ounce by 2:34 p.m. EDT (1834 GMT), below the previous close of $1,298.10. Prices were under pressure throughout much of the session after quarterly U.S. economic growth accelerated more than expected. ID:nLNSUIEAJ0 Following a two-day meeting that ended on Wednesday, Fed policymakers reiterated concerns about slack in the labor market and reaffirmed it will not hurry to raise rates. ID:nW1N0Q4007 Higher rates would encourage investors to withdraw money from non-interest-bearing assets such as gold. The metal hit record highs after the Fed slashed rates in the wake of the financial crisis. The central bank pressed ahead with a plan to wind down its bond-buying stimulus, in line with market expectations. It has typically cut $10 billion from its monthly bond-buying program at each recent policy meeting. "The bottom line continues to reflect the idea that rates will probably remain low for an extended period," said Bill O'Neill, managing partner at LOGIC Advisors. Even so, expectations remain that the Fed will tighten policy later in the year and threaten to pressure gold, O'Neill said. In earlier trade, prices fell on a report that U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 4.0 percent annual rate in the second quarter, compared with economists' consensus forecast for 3.0 percent growth. U.S. gold futures GCQ4 closed down $3.40, or 0.3 percent, at $1,294.90 an ounce. The metal was headed for a 2 percent monthly loss after a gain of around 6 percent in June, when international political tensions prompted risk-averse investors to seek gold. The dollar maintained gains after the Fed statement. It had climbed after the unexpected jump in U.S. economic growth overshadowed a weak report on the labor market. ID:nL2N0Q50TD Signs of economic recovery could eventually weaken investors' appetite for gold because it does not bear interest. Low volumes muffled dramatic price reactions, said James Steel, chief precious metals analyst for HSBC. The next big focus will be the release of July non-farm payrolls data on Friday, which is expected to signal further that the world's biggest economy is on a steady recovery path. Spot silver XAG= was up 0.2 percent to $20.55 an ounce. Platinum XPT= rose 0.1 percent to $1,474.40 an ounce, and palladium XPD= gained 0.02 percent to $875.40 an ounce. Markets were also keeping an eye on whether tensions would worsen in the Middle East and Ukraine after the European Union and the United States announced further sanctions on Tuesday against Russia. ID:nL6N0Q44PE (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore and Chris Prentice in New York; Editing by Keiron Henderson, Bernadette Baum and Jonathan Oatis) ((christine.prentice@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 646 223 6136)(Reuters Messaging: christine.prentice.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

Barrick Gold reports second-quarter loss

July 31, 2014 - reuters.com

July 30 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO ABX.N , the world's largest gold miner, reported a net loss in the second quarter on the back of a weaker gold price and lower gold and copper sales volumes. Barrick reported a net loss of $269 million, or 23 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30, compared to a net loss of $8.56 billion, or $8.55 a share, a year earlier when it recorded a massive impairment on its Pascua-Lama project. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio) ((nicole.mordant@thomsonreuters.com)(+1-604-664-7315)(Reuters Messaging: nicole.mordant.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BARRICK GOLD RESULTS/

FOREX-Dollar pares gains after Fed statement shows steady dovish tilt

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

* Fed statement less hawkish than expected * U.S. second-quarter GDP data beats expectations * U.S. ADP jobs report weaker-than-expected * Optimism remains for strong U.S. non-farm payrolls (Updates prices, adds comments) By Sam Forgione NEW YORK, July 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar pared gains against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday after a Federal Reserve statement disappointed expectations that the central bank would take a more hawkish bias on monetary policy. The Fed, in a statement following its latest two-day policy meeting, noted a decline in the jobless rate and signaled more comfort that inflation was moving up toward its 2 percent target. But it still reiterated concerns about slack in the labor market and reaffirmed that it is in no rush to raise interest rates. ID:nW1N0Q4007 As expected, the central bank cut its monthly bond-buying program by $10 billion. "The Fed statement was not as hawkish as it could have been," said Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank Wealth Management in St. Louis. Traders are watching the Fed closely for signs of when it will raise rates, which could boost the dollar by driving capital flows into the United States. The statement came after the Commerce Department said U.S. GDP expanded at a 4.0 percent annual rate after shrinking at a revised 2.1 percent pace in the first quarter. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 3.0 percent growth rate in the second quarter after a previously reported 2.9 percent contraction. ID:nLNSUIEAJ0 Analysts said the data increased the potential for a more hawkish tilt from the Fed at its next policy meeting in September. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of six major currencies, hit a 10-1/2 month high of 81.545 after the release of the GDP data. The GDP figures overshadowed data from the ADP National Employment Report showing U.S. companies hired 218,000 workers in July, below economists' expectations for a gain of 230,000 jobs, according to a Reuters poll. [ID:nL2N0Q50TD The ADP data was "still consistent with a strong pace of monthly job creation" and didn't dampen optimism surrounding Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls report, said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington. Economists expect U.S. employers to have added 233,000 jobs in July, according to a Reuters poll. The dollar index .DXY was last up 0.25 percent at 81.419. The euro EUR= was last down 0.12 percent against the dollar at $1.3393, recovering a bit from a fresh eight-month low of $1.3368 hit earlier in the session. The dollar was last up 0.75 percent against the yen JPY= at 102.86 after hitting a three-month high of 103.08. The dollar was up 0.2 percent against the Swiss franc at 0.9087 franc CHF= after hitting a six-month high of 0.9106 franc. U.S. government bond yields rose, with the benchmark 10-year note yield US10YT=RR at 2.56 percent, from 2.46 percent late Tuesday. (Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Tom Brown and Cynthia Osterman) ((Sam.Forgione@thomsonreuters.com)(646-223-6189)(Reuters Messaging: sam.forgione.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

ICE considers changing Liffe cocoa currency to euro-sources

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

* CME cocoa plans stir currency debate * Faces some resistance from UK-based participants By Sarah McFarlane LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - The Intercontinental Exchange ICE.N is considering changing the currency of its sterling-denominated Liffe cocoa futures to euros, market participants said. Europe is the leading region for chocolate demand and many in the chocolate industry are in favour of a contract in euros. ICE is consulting the market on whether it would support the move, but there is no time frame in place for a decision, the sources said. The exchange declined to comment. The currency of the Liffe contract has been discussed intermittently for years, but plans by rival exchange CME CME.O to launch a cocoa contract have given new impetus to the debate, sources said. The CME has not announced the currency of its new product but sources said it had reconsidered its earlier plans to launch a sterling contract and was instead looking at using the euro. The CME declined to comment. "If all things were equal then this would be an ongoing debate ICE would have that no one would pay much attention to, but ICE is under tremendous competitive pressure now because of the CME," a London-based broker said. "If they (CME) are going to release a euro contract then ICE cannot not release a euro contract because it's too much of a commercial risk." ICE acquired the NYSE Liffe softs commodity contracts including cocoa in November 2013 and ahead of the acquisition, Ben Jackson, president and chief operating officer of ICE Futures U.S., said the exchange would look at the currency of the cocoa contract. ID:nL5N0IE35R The London cocoa futures contract was launched in 1928, long before the euro currency came into use, and is one of the last commodities futures traded in sterling. But the new currency has grown rapidly in importance. "The whole business of cocoa in Europe is more euro denominated than sterling denominated," a second broker said. In addition to this, the currency of the world's top grower Ivory Coast, is pegged to the euro. "I am in favour of moving from a sterling contract to a euro contract because I think it's a better reflection of the currency domination of both the supply side and the demand side," a European trader said. Chocolate makers buying cocoa products such as powder and butter mainly purchase in euros. "It would make life a little bit easier and simpler to have a euro contract because it takes away several currency hedges which we need to do in order to run our positions," said a trader. Some resistance remains, however, mostly from UK-based participants. "There's a handful of trade houses that have a nostalgic view of sterling, they think there's nothing wrong with the contract, it works in sterling and the open interest is very healthy," said a London-based broker. "The other concern is the transition, there is no elegant way to do it." The transition away from sterling has already happened in other markets, including Liffe's robusta coffee contract, which changed to dollars in the 1990s. "The main counter argument is that to do it is only going to cause disruption," said the broker. "The transition is messy but having said that it will happen, it's inevitable and we should get on with it." (Editing by Keiron Henderson) ((sarah.mcfarlane@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 5937; Reuters Messaging: sarah.mcfarlane.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: COCOA CURRENCY/

Spain, Italy yields hold near record lows after deflation data

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

* Spanish deflation keeps pressure on ECB * Strong US data sees Spain, Italy yields reverse gains * German Bunds track Treasuries higher after US GDP bounce * Likelihood of ECB QE "sharply increasing" - ING * West sanctions on Russia boost ECB easing expectations (Adds quote, US data, updates prices) By Marius Zaharia and John Geddie LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Spanish and Italian bond yields held near record lows on Wednesday as data showing Spanish consumer prices falling faster than expected in July kept pressure on the ECB to ease monetary policy further. Yields dipped into unchartered territory earlier in the day, before giving up gains as better-than-expected US data supported the case for the Federal Reserve raising rates - a move that will ripple across global markets. Strategists remain concerned about the impact a US rates rise could have on the fragile euro zone, but are confident that the ECB will do everything in its power to cushion any shock. "The ECB has been tremendously successful in being able to drive a wedge between US rates and euro zone rates, and that needs to be continued. It needs to shield the euro area from any outright pain for reasons that are not domestically driven," said David Schnautz, an interest rates strategist at Commerzbank. The European Central Bank cut all its interest rates in June and promised up to 1 trillion euros in cheap long-term loans to banks from September, but kept the door open to a programme of large-scale asset purchases, known as quantitative easing (QE). Bets that the ECB will eventually start printing money to buy bonds have pushed down yields across the euro zone, despite low price growth or even deflation in the bloc's most vulnerable states complicating efforts to stabilise debt levels. Data on Wednesday showed Spanish inflation was minus 0.3 percent, compared with expectations in a Reuters poll of minus 0.1 percent, although data also showed second-quarter growth beating expectations. ECONES "The likelihood that the ECB will need to do QE at the end of the year is sharply increasing," said Alessandro Giansanti, senior rate strategist at ING. Spanish 10-year yields ES10YT=TWEB fell 2.5 basis points to 2.455 percent after the data, while Italian yields IT10YT=TWEB fell 2 bps to 2.63 percent. Both were record lows. US data then threw a spanner in the works. Growth domestic product in the world's largest economy expanded at 4.0 percent in the second quarter, beating economists forecasts of 3.0 percent, and picking up from a 2.1 percent contraction in the first quarter. US Treasury yields shot up after the print, dragging euro zone equivalents with it. By 1530 GMT, Spanish and Italian yields were both 3 bps higher on the day at 2.51 and 2.68 percent respectively, but still just off record lows. US 10-year yields were 7 bps higher on the day at 2.53 percent, while German equivalents were 5 bps higher at 1.17 percent. US10YT=TWEB DE10YT=TWEB Investors are now waiting for the conclusion of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting with a statement set to be released at 1800 GMT. ID:nL2N0PY1SW BROKEN RECORDS Concerns that the euro zone economy might take a hit through the trade channel with Russia after the European Union and the United States imposed further economic sanctions on Moscow is also helping bolster expectations of ECB easing. The sanctions were introduced for what the West says is Russian instigation and support for the pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. ID:nL2N0Q42AZ Rabobank strategists recommended investors trade the sanctions by placing bets that long-term yields of top-rated debt will fall closer to short-term rates. "While this takes place we continue to favour flatter core curves - both on a flight to quality bid and an anticipation that any major impact on the euro zone economy would see speculation grow that the ECB will be forced to go down the QE route," they said in a note. In primary markets, Italy sold 7 billion euros of five- and 10-year bonds at record low yields, with demand boosted by a bumper 60 billion euros worth of coupon and debt repayments from Spain and Italy this week. ID:nL6N0Q53DT (Editing by Toby Chopra) ((marius.zaharia@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(207 542 0950; Reuters Messaging: marius.zaharia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS BONDS/EURO

UPDATE 1-Newmont to use dual approach to restart Indonesia mine exports-CEO

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

(Recasts; adds fresh quotes from CEO, background) By Nicole Mordant July 30 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp NEM.N will stick to a "parallel path" of arbitration and negotiation with the government of Indonesia in an attempt to resolve an impasse over copper concentrate exports, the company's chief executive said on Wednesday. The U.S.-based miner, which operates the Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia, said its revised production outlook assumes receiving an export permit by January 2015, a full year after exports were halted. "We're confident in our arbitration case. Otherwise, we wouldn't have filed it," Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg said, speaking on a conference call to discuss the gold and copper producer's results and plans to develop a new gold mine. "But we are really interested in finding a negotiated solution with the government and want to continue down this parallel path to resolve it as soon as possible," he said. Freeport-McMoRan Inc FCX.N , the biggest copper miner in Indonesia, clinched a deal with the government last Friday allowing it to resume copper concentrate exports from the Southeast Asian country. ID:nL4N0Q03JC Newmont last week said it is negotiating an agreement to restart exports, but an Indonesian official denied any talks had taken place. ID:nL4N0PZ182 The international arbitration filing by the Denver, Colorado-based miner has angered the Indonesian government. Exports of concentrate were halted in January when the government announced a sharp rise in export taxes, part of its drive to force miners to build smelters and processing plants in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Newmont halted production on June 5, saying its concentrate storage facilities were full. Goldberg said Newmont hopes to restart talks next week after a break due to religious holidays this week in Indonesia. Newmont is seeking interim relief from arbitrators so it can resume production, but estimates such a ruling could take several months, Goldberg said. Once received, a ramp up to full production would take several weeks. Newmont raised its gold production forecast for this year by 2 percent to between 4.7 million and 5 million ounces and trimmed its costs applicable to sales forecast by 3 percent to a range of $720 per ounce to $760 an ounce. ID:nL4N0Q5039 The miner also said late on Tuesday it plans to invest around $1 billion in building a gold mine in Suriname. ID:nL2N0Q4309 (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver, editing by G Crosse) ((nicole.mordant@thomsonreuters.com)(+1-604-664-7315)(Reuters Messaging: nicole.mordant.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: NEWMONT MINING INDONESIA/

Sterling hits seven-week low below $1.69

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

By Patrick Graham LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Sterling slipped to its lowest against the dollar since early June on Wednesday, after second quarter U.S. growth surged past analysts' forecasts. The pound fell briefly below $1.69 for the first time in seven weeks after the U.S. figures, which showed annualised growth of 4 percent. It is now down almost three cents in as many weeks. GBP=D4 After a 15 percent rise for sterling over the course of the previous year, the jury is out on whether that represents the end of the road for the pound's rally or just a clearing out of positions ahead of another attempt to move higher. "We have definitely seen a trimming of what were very bullish expectations on what the Bank of England would do on interest rates," said an analyst with one London-based bank, predicting sterling could fall as low as $1.67 this week. "This week, because of the data calendar if nothing else, is largely dollar-led. But once we get into August we should return to a discussion of the prospect of rises in interest rates and that should be more positive for the pound," she said. Still, the pound is on track for its fourth straight weekly loss, adding to a sense that its year-long rally, against the dollar at least, has stalled after hitting strong resistance at $1.71. The International Monetary Fund this week joined a chorus of voices questioning the value of sterling, saying the currency was overvalued by 5 to 10 percent. The main driver for the gains over the past year was forecasts that interest rates could rise as early as November, and if not at that point then definitely in March. Market interest rates show expectations of the former at least have been trimmed back. "I've thought the market was over-egging the chances of a UK rate hike this year and I'm probably in a minority in thinking they could even wait until after the second quarter of next year," said Neil Mellor, a strategist with BNY Mellon in London. "The fact that the Bank of England is concerned that wage growth is lagging the recovery is something the market is taking note of. I still think sterling goes higher. But this is a case of disappointment just for the moment." A half cent fall on Tuesday had already taken the pound past significant support around the 55-day moving average of $1.6956 GBP=D4 . "We could still see $1.80," said Mellor. "The chances are just lower than they were a couple of weeks ago. If you can't perform well for a fortnight against one of the weakest currencies in the world, then it's probably time to take a step and wait before you get back into sterling." The euro was roughly flat at 79.13 pence EURGBP=D4 . The pound is still close to a two-year high against the euro of 78.74 pence hit last week. British government bonds tracked U.S. Treasury and German Bund prices lower after the U.S. data. The 10-year gilt price GB10YT=RR underperformed other British benchmarks - its yield rose around 5 basis points on the day to 2.59 percent. (editing by Jamie McGeever and John Stonestreet) ((patrick.graham@thomsonreuters.com)(+44207 542 9429)(patrick.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS STERLING/CLOSE

South Africa's rand weakens against resurgent dollar on U.S. GDP

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, July 30 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand notched its third straight daily loss against the dollar on Wednesday, hitting 1-1/2 week lows as investors gravitated towards the greenback after U.S. GDP data came out stronger than forecast. The rand ZAR=D3 slumped to a session trough of 10.6920, its weakest since July 18, and was down 0.83 percent at 10.6850 by 1500 GMT. "It's all about a stronger dollar globally after the U.S. GDP; the domestic news flow has taken a backseat today," a trader with a Johannesburg investment bank said. The dollar hit over 10-month highs against a basket of major currencies after the GDP data, which bolstered expectations for a more hawkish Federal Reserve statement later in the day. ID:nL6N0Q54J0 Government bonds weakened alongside the rand, pushing yields to their highest levels in more than two weeks. The 2026 instrument, which the secondary market uses as a benchmark ZAR186= , was yielding 6 basis points higher at 8.29 percent at the close of trade. The shorter-dated 2015 paper ZAR157= added 4 basis points to 6.695 percent. The rand has weakened more than 2 percent against the dollar since the start of the year, weighed by fears that wage strikes in the platinum and manufacturing sectors will keep economic growth depressed. (Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; Editing by Ed Stodard) ((stella.mapenzauswa@thomsonreuters.com)(+27117753161)(Reuters Messaging: stella.mapenzauswa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/CURRENCY

UPDATE 3-Russian assets rally, shrugging off Western sanctions

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

* RTS shares up 1.4 pct, MICEX index gains 1.1 pct * Western sanctions seen less severe than feared * Rouble adds 0.5 pct vs dollar, 0.8 pct vs euro (Updates prices, adds temporary suspension of trading) By Alexander Winning and Lidia Kelly MOSCOW, July 30 (Reuters) - Russian assets rallied on Wednesday, shrugging off a new round of Western economic sanctions on Moscow as investors deemed the punitive measures less severe than feared and analysts said their impact was already priced in. The European Union agreed its first broad economic penalties on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis on Tuesday in measures targeting Russia's energy, banking and defence sectors. ID:nL6N0Q44PE The United States, meanwhile, sanctioned three large state-owned Russian banks, banning U.S. citizens and companies from dealing with new debt carrying maturities longer than 90 days, or with new equity. Investors were relieved that neither the EU nor U.S. measures extended to existing holdings of debt or equity for the Russian companies affected and that the EU measures would be reviewed after three months, according to EU diplomats. "There is an underlying sense that the West still does not really want to bite the bullet and roll out a meaningful sanctions regime," said Timothy Ash, head emerging markets analyst at Standard Bank in London. "It has the toolkit to hurt Russia but would rather not for fear of the collateral damage back to its own business interests," Ash said in a note. Russia's main share indexes opened lower before rising more than 1 percent by late afternoon trading. The rouble strengthened by around 0.4 percent against the dollar, bouncing off a three-month low, while there were gains for Russia's sovereign bonds. Russian markets have fluctuated wildly this year due to fierce fighting in former Soviet republic Ukraine and the threat of economic sanctions from the West over Moscow's perceived backing for pro-Russian rebels fighting forces loyal to Kiev. New sanctions had been widely anticipated ever since Western countries accused pro-Russian rebels of shooting down a Malaysian airliner on July 17, killing all 298 aboard. Erik de Poy, an equities strategist at Gazprombank in Moscow, said the stock market was relieved the EU's latest sanctions would be reviewed after three months. "The market's focusing on that. But volumes are low in the summer so the move isn't that indicative," he said. "I still think we're entering a qualitatively different investing environment in Russia." Russia's dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was 1.4 percent higher at 1,224.4 points by 1450 GMT and the rouble-traded MICEX .MCX rose 1.1 percent to 1,384.9 points. The Moscow Exchange MOEX.MM temporarily suspended trading on its main market mid-afternoon without giving a reason. Russia's second-largest bank VTB VTBR.MM , which featured in the U.S. sanctions alongside its subsidiary Bank of Moscow MMBM.MM and Russian Agricultural Bank, underperformed the broader market. Its shares fell 1.5 percent on MICEX. In currency markets, the rouble strengthened by 0.46 percent against the dollar to 35.63 RUBUTSTN=MCX and by 0.77 percent against the euro to 47.64 EURRUBTN=MCX . That left the Russian currency 0.67 percent stronger at 41.02 versus the dollar-euro basket the central bank uses to guide the rouble's nominal exchange rate. RUS=MCX Among the factors driving the rouble higher, Pavel Demeshchik, a trader at ING Eurasia, cited short-term buying from overseas speculators who see the Russian currency as oversold. The yield on Russia's benchmark Eurobond maturing in 2030 fell to 4.56 percent from 4.77 percent on Tuesday 0#RU011428878= . Moscow's debt insurance costs fell, retracing some recent gains as analysts said the sanctions were now largely priced in. Russia's five-year credit default swaps dropped 4 basis points from Tuesday's close to 227 bps, according to Markit. ID:nL6N0Q52BQ For rouble poll data see FXRUB FXEURRUB FXRUS For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM Russia in graphics: http://link.reuters.com/dun63s (Additional reporting by Vladimir Abramov; Editing by Elizabeth Piper, John Stonestreet and Susan Fenton) ((lidia.kelly@thomsonreuters.com)(+7 495 775 1242)(Reuters Messaging: lidia.kelly.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: UKRAINE CRISIS/RUSSIA MARKETS

POLONIA Rate rises 0.60 pp.

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

WARSAW, Jul 30 (Reuters) - POLONIA the reference rate for Overnight deposits amounted to 2.51 percent. The volume of transactions concluded till 16:30 by banks participating in POLONIA fixing amounted to 3,110 mln PLN. Note: Description of reference rate at: http://www.acipolska.pl/ ((warsaw.newsroom@reuters.com))

Nigerian naira flat vs dollar on oil firms' sales

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

LAGOS, July 30 (Reuters) - The Nigerian naira NGN=D1 closed unchanged against the dollar on the interbank market on Wednesday, after two days public holiday to mark a Muslim festival, supported by dollar sales by two major energy companies. The local unit closed at 161.85 to the dollar, the same level it closed at on Friday before the holiday. A unit of Royal Dutch Shell sold an undisclosed amount of dollars to some lenders, while Eni ENI.MI sold $5 million. Month-end dollar sales by some energy companies have continued to provide support for the local currency in the last two weeks, keeping it within the band of 161.50-162 against the dollar. "We see the naira stable around the present band in the near term, with more dollars expectated from some energy companies," one dealer said. (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Tim Cocks) ((oludare.mayowa@thomsonreuters.com)(+234 803 3964 138)) Keywords: NIGERIA NAIRA/INTERBANK

FOREX-Dollar hits 10-month highs on strong U.S. GDP data

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

* U.S. second-quarter GDP data beats expectations * U.S. ADP jobs report weaker-than-expected * Optimism remains for strong U.S. non-farm payrolls * Traders eye upcoming Fed statement (Updates prices, adds comments; changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON) By Sam Forgione NEW YORK, July 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar hit over 10-month highs against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday after stronger-than-expected U.S. gross domestic product data bolstered expectations for a more hawkish Federal Reserve. U.S. GDP expanded at a 4.0 percent annual rate after shrinking at a revised 2.1 percent pace in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 3.0 percent growth rate in the second quarter after a previously reported 2.9 percent contraction. ID:nLNSUIEAJ0 "The risks are certainly there that the Fed becomes more hawkish, since the rebound in GDP was pretty substantial," said Brian Daingerfield, currency strategist at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Stamford, Connecticut. The Fed is scheduled to release a statement at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) following the central bank's two-day policy meeting. The Fed is expected to cut its monthly bond-buying program by another $10 billion, and traders are watching closely for signs of an eventual hike in rates from rock-bottom levels. Analysts said that, since the Fed will not be updating its economic forecasts and Chair Janet Yellen will not hold a news conference Wednesday, the upbeat GDP data would likely have a greater impact on the Fed's stance on monetary policy at its next policy meeting in September. The strong GDP data overshadowed weaker-than-expected private-sector jobs data. The ADP National Employment Report showed U.S. companies hired 218,000 workers in July, below economists' expectations for a gain of 230,000 jobs, according to a Reuters poll. ID:nL2N0Q50TD Analysts said expectations were still optimistic for Friday's July non-farm payrolls growth. Economists expect U.S. employers to have added 233,000 jobs in July, according to a Reuters poll. "There may be enough hiring in the state and local level to bring non-farm payrolls up to the optimistic consensus or maybe slightly higher," said Thierry Albert Wizman, global interest rates and currencies strategist at Macquarie Ltd in New York. The U.S. dollar index .DXY , which measures the dollar against a basket of six major currencies, was last up 0.3 percent at 81.459, just under a 10-1/2-month high of 81.493 touched earlier in the session. The euro EUR= was last down 0.25 percent against the dollar at $1.3375, just under a fresh eight-month low of $1.3371 hit earlier in the session. The dollar was last up 0.51 percent against the yen JPY= at 102.64 after hitting a two-month high of 102.73. The dollar was up 0.31 percent against the Swiss franc at 0.9097 franc CHF= after hitting a six-month high of 0.9102 franc. U.S. government bond yields rose, with the benchmark 10-year note yield US10YT=RR at 2.52 percent, from 2.46 percent late Tuesday. (Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Tom Brown) ((Sam.Forgione@thomsonreuters.com)(646-223-6189)(Reuters Messaging: sam.forgione.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

Israel fiscal targets safe despite Gaza war -Fin Min official

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

JERUSALEM, July 30 (Reuters) - Despite the high cost of Israel's war with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, fiscal targets will not be harmed in 2014 and 2015, Finance Ministry Director-General Yael Andorn said. "The reason is the fiscal discipline taken in recent years, that gives us a safety cushion needed to deal with these period," Andorn told reporters on Wednesday. Israel launched the offensive in Hamas-controlled Gaza three weeks ago to try to stop a barrage of rocket fire. What began with air strikes has turned into a ground war that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said could take a while. The operation is expected to cost billions of dollars and temporarily dent Israel's economy. ID:nL6N0Q42BB "Such events only have a short-term and moderate impact," Andorn said. "At this time, we do not identify any damage that would require significant change in the base or a need to adjust the 2015 budget. The effect, if any, will apply to 2014 but it will be marginal." Before the war, Israel was expected to meet a 2014 budget deficit target of 3 percent of gross domestic product and had posted a budget deficit over the prior 12 months of 2.5 percent of GDP in June. The ministry has set a 2015 target of 2.5 percent but to meet the goal, the Bank of Israel has said the government will need tax hikes and spending reductions of around 20 billion shekels ($5.8 billion). Israel's economy is forecast to grow 2.9 percent in 2014. "The shekel's exchange rate indicates continued confidence by foreign investors in the stability of Israel's economy," Andorn said. Israel's currency ILS= stands near a 3-year high versus the dollar at a rate of 3.43. The central bank this week said the fighting, if contained to Gaza, may knock at most a half percent off 2014 growth. Deputy Bank of Israel Governor Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg told Reuters on Tuesday the conflict is not expected to be a trigger for weakening growth. ID:nL6N0Q446X ($1 = 3.4279 Israeli Shekels) (Reporting by Steven Scheer) ((steven.scheer@thomsonreuters.com)(+972 2 632 2210)(Reuters Messaging: steven.scheer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MIDEAST GAZA/ISRAEL BUDGET

Ugandan shilling gains as aid resumption triggers interbank sell-off

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

KAMPALA, July 30 (Reuters) - The Ugandan shilling UGX= firmed on Wednesday, buoyed by an interbank dollar sell-off amid expectations of a surge in future inflows after Sweden resumed full aid payments to the east African country. At 1132 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,615/2,625, stronger than Tuesday's close of 2,625/2,635. Sweden on Monday announced it had resumed financial aid to Uganda after suspending some assistance in March over a law widely condemned by donor nations that increases punishments for homosexuals. Sweden said it would provide 1.35 billion crowns ($198 million) over the next five years. "Most banks are trying to trim their dollar positions following Sweden's aid announcement," Bank of Africa trader, Ahmed Kalule, said. "There's significant expectation in the market that aid flows will significantly boost dollar supplies," he said. Major Western donors, including Sweden, suspended their financial support to Uganda early this year after President Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-gay law criticised as draconian. Uganda relies on aid to fund about 20 percent of its annual public spending and hard currency flows from external financial support are a major prop for the shilling. Crane Bank trader Shahzad Kamaluddin said the shilling was likely to maintain a bullish tone amid weak corporate demand for dollars and inflows from non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Charities often covert their dollar holdings at the end of the month to pay salaries and meet other operational expenses. UGX Spot Rate..... UGX= Ugandan Shilling Money Guide.... UGX/1 Calculated Cross Rates.......... UGXX= Deposits..................... UGXDEPO= Deposits & Forwards............. UGXF= Uganda Equities Guide....... UG/EQUITY Uganda All Share Index........ .ALSIUG Shilling background ..... UGX/BKGDINFO Ugandan Debt Guide............ UG/DEBT All Uganda Bonds............. 0#UGTSY= Uganda T-Bills.............. 0#UGTSYS= Uganda Benchmark............. 0#UGBMK= Central Bank ................ BOUGINDEX Ugandan Contributor Index.... UG/CONT1 Uganda Coffee Prices....... COFFEE/UG01 (Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by James Macharia and Louise Ireland) ((james.macharia@thomsonreuters.com)(+254 20 221 4608)(Reuters Messaging: james.macharia.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: UGANDA CURRENCY/

REFILE-Air India staff found smuggling gold

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

(Drops repeated word in headline) NEW DELHI, July 30 (Reuters) - Indian authorities have found 13 cases of gold smuggling by employees of the national carrier, Air India AIN.UL , over the past three years and the current year, the junior civil aviation minister said on Wednesday. India, the biggest buyer of gold after China, last year imposed a record 10 percent import duty and made it mandatory to export a fifth of all bullion imports to constrict its trade deficit. But this has led to heavy smuggling, with some gold in imported vehicles and even using human mules who swallow nuggets to try to get them past airport security. ID:nL4N0JD1WQ Junior Civil Aviation Minister G.M. Siddeshwara told parliament that disciplinary action has been taken against the Air India employees. He did not disclose the amount of gold smuggled or give any other details. Government figures show that only 2.34 tonnes of smuggled gold was retrieved last year, while the World Gold Council estimated 200-250 tonnes of gold illegally entering India. (Reporting by Krishna N Das, editing by William Hardy) ((Krishna.Das@thomsonreuters.com; +91-11-4178-1023, +91-98711-18314; Reuters Messaging: Krishna.Das.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net, Twitter handle: @Krishnadas56)) Keywords: INDIA GOLD/SMUGGLING

UPDATE 1-S. Africa's Bapo community to become shareholder in Lonmin

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds details on the deal) By Silvia Antonioli LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - South Africa's Lonmin LMI.L has agreed to make a royalty payment in cash and shares to the Bapo community, which will make it a shareholder in Lonmin and will allow the firm to meet South Africa's requirement on Black Economic Empowerment. In exchange for the payment, the Bapo ba Mogale community, which owns land on which Lonmin mines northwest of Johannesburg, will waive its current right to receive royalties from Lonmin's subsidiaries Eastern Platinum Limited and Western Platinum Limited (Lonplats). The Bapo also agreed to sell to Lonmin their Bapo ba Mogale Mining Company, which owns 7.5 percent in the Pandora joint venture. This would make Lonmin, that already holds a 42.5 percent in Pandora, the largest shareholder in the joint venture with rival mining company Anglo American Platinum AMSJ.J , which also has a 42.5 percent stake in Pandora. Lonmin said last week it might buy Amplats out of the joint venture. ID:nL6N0Q01JO The Bapo will receive a total of 564 million rands ($53.18 million)worth of Lonmin shares and a deferred royalty payment of 20 million rand per year, for the five years following completion of the deal. Lonmin is also setting up a Bapo Trust to which it will transfer some shares in its subsidiaries and is carrying out an employee ownership plan and a community share ownership trust, that will boost its BEE ownership further. All together, these transactions will allow Lonmin to boost the Black Economic Empowerment equity ownership from 18 percent to 26 percent, which is the target the South African government asked companies to meet by the end of 2014. ($1 = 10.6050 South African Rand) (Editing by Jason Neely and William Hardy) ((silvia.antonioli@thomsonreuters.com)(+44)(0)(20 7542 1755)(Reuters Messaging: silvia.antonioli.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: LONMIN BAPO/

CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-UPDATE 1-Russia's Polymetal ups 2014 output forecast by 5 pct

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

(Company corrects H1 output figure to 652,000 troy ounces from 657,000) MOSCOW, July 30 (Reuters) - Russian precious metals miner Polymetal POLYP.L has raised its 2014 production forecast, it said on Wednesday, after reporting a 17-percent increase in first-half output. The London-listed firm said its gold equivalent production reached 652,000 troy ounces for the first half of 2014. "The original (2014) production guidance of 1.3 million ounces is likely to be exceeded by approximately 5 percent," it added in a statement. Gold equivalent is a measure of gold and other metals expressed in units of gold. Revenues at the company, part-owned by Russian tycoon Alexander Nesis, fell 3 percent in the second quarter of 2014, year-on-year, to $389 million. Fellow Russian businessman Alexander Mamut and Czech investment group PPF own minority stakes in Polymetal. Its free cash flow generation is expected to be significantly stronger in the second half of the year due to planned destocking at its Mayskoye deposit in Russia's far east and the seasonal reduction of the gap between production and sales, Polymetal said. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Maria Kiselyova) ((Polina.Devitt@thomsonreuters.com)(+7 495 775 12 42)(Reuters Messaging: polina.devitt.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: RUSSIA POLYMETAL INTRNL/

S. Africa's Bapo community to become shareholder in Lonmin

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

(Writes through) July 30 (Reuters) - South Africa's Lonmin LMI.L has agreed to make a royalty payment in cash and shares to the Bapo community, which will make it a shareholder in Lonmin and will allow the firm to meet South Africa's requirement on Black Economic Empowerment. In exchange for the payment the Bapo community, which owns land on which Lonmin mines, will waive its current right to receive royalties from Lonmin's operating companies Eastern Platinum Limited and Western Platinum Limited (Lonplats). The transaction, will increase the Black Economic Empowerment equity stake in Lonplats by 3.3 percent, according to Lonmin. (Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by Jason Neely) ((silvia.antonioli@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(20 7542 1755; Reuters Messaging: silvia.antonioli.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: LONMIN BAPO/

UPDATE 1-Antofagasta posts higher quarterly copper output

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

(adds details on costs, Antucoya project) LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Chilean miner Antofagasta ANTO.L posted a 5 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in its second-quarter copper output, slightly ahead of forecast, as it ramped up production after maintenance dented its first-quarter output. The London-listed miner, which like others in the copper sector is battling declining ore grades, rising costs and weak metal prices, produced 178,800 tonnes of copper in the second quarter, up 5.5 percent from the previous quarter, when output was hit by plant maintenance at its Los Pelambres and Esperanza operations and declining copper grades. Production for the first half of 2014 was 348,200 tonnes, slightly ahead of analysts' consensus of 344,000 but down 4.4 percent from the same period a year earlier, mainly due to falling copper grades. Cash cost before by-product credits rose 3.8 percent quarter on quarter to $1.90 per pound, mainly due to one-off signing bonuses with labour unions at Esperanza. The miner, controlled by Chile's Luksic family, said it was on track to hit its target of 700,000 tonnes of copper and 270,000 ounces of gold this year with net cash costs of $1.45 per pound. To battle a fall in production due to aging mines and declining copper grades, Antofagasta is focusing on its $1.9 billion Antucoya greenfield project and brownfield expansions. It said the construction of Antucoya remained on time and on budget and was 86 percent complete as of the end of June. The miner hopes a $3 billion investment over the next five years will allow it to increase its output to 900,000 tonnes by 2018 from about 700,000 tonnes currently. ID:nL6N0MF1FW (Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by Mark Potter and Jason Neely) ((silvia.antonioli@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 0207 542 1755)(Reuters Messaging: silvia.antonioli.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: ANTOFAGASTA/OUTPUT

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - July 30

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

India Morning Call-Global Markets

July 30, 2014 - reuters.com

MUMBAI, July 30 (Reuters) - EQUITIES NEW YORK - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, dropping in a broad selloff as a weak outlook from courier company UPS weighed on sentiment and pressured transportation stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 70.16 points, or 0.41 percent, to 16,912.43, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 8.93 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,969.98, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 2.21 points, or 0.05 percent, to 4,442.70. For a full report, click on .N - - - - LONDON - Britain's top equity index edged up on Tuesday, lifted by gains at fashion chain Next NXT.L and at car and plane parts maker GKN GKN.L after strong results and outlook comments. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE closed up 0.3 percent, or 19.68 points, at 6,807.75 points. For a full report, click on .L - - - - TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average edged up to hover at six-month highs in choppy trade on Wednesday morning, as strong corporate earnings led by Honda Motor Co 7267.T and Tokyo Electron Ltd 8035.T eclipsed data showing weak industrial output. The Nikkei .N225 tacked on 0.2 percent to 15,643.55 in midmorning trade after moving in and out of negative territory. For a full report, click on .T - - - - HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index .HSI set to open up 0.3 percent. For a full report, click on .HK - - - - FOREIGN EXCHANGE SYDNEY - - The U.S. dollar hovered at a six-month peak against a basket of major currencies early on Wednesday, having pushed higher as investors continued to give the euro a wide berth. Traders said there was no fundamental reason for the broad strength in the greenback but suggested month-end repatriation by U.S. corporates may have helped. For a full report, click on USD/ - - - - TREASURIES NEW YORK - U.S. Treasuries prices increased on Tuesday after a new sale of five-year notes saw solid demand, and the U.S. yield curve flattened to five-year lows ahead of a busy data calendar and Federal Reserve meeting statement. The yield spread between U.S. five-year notes and 30-year bonds US5US30=TWEB flattened to its lowest level since 2009 on Tuesday at 153 basis points. For a full report, click on US/ - - - - COMMODITIES GOLD SINGAPORE - Gold was trading in a tight range below $1,300 an ounce on Wednesday, as investors nervously awaited the end of a Federal Reserve policy meeting to gauge the U.S. central bank's view on the economy and monetary policy. Spot gold XAU= was flat at $1,299.29 an ounce by 0024 GMT, after slipping 0.5 percent and breaking below the key $1,300 level in the previous session. For a full report, click on GOL/ - - - - BASE METALS SYDNEY - Lead fell on Wednesday after a weaker technical close pushed investors to take profits and after the metal rose more than five percent this month as it slipstreamed zinc. Three-month lead on the London Metal Exchange CMPB3 fell 1.1 percent to $2,241.50 by 0040 GMT adding to 1.4 percent losses from the previous session. Prices hit the highest in 17 months at $2,303 a tonne on Monday. For a full report, click on MET/L - - - - OIL NEW YORK - Brent crude ended slightly higher on Tuesday as new sanctions on Russia looked set to worsen relations between Moscow and the West, while U.S. prices slipped after a Kansas refinery fire curbed demand for WTI crude. Brent crude LCOc1 gained 15 cents to settle at $107.72 a barrel, after swinging between $107.13 and $108.05 earlier in the session. For a full report, click on O/R (Compiled by Indulal PM) ((indulal.p@thomsonreuters.com)(+91-22-6180-7183)(Reuters Messaging: indulal.p.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MORNINGCALL INDIA

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