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FOREX-Disappointing U.S. hiring data, factory survey weigh dollar down

April 02, 2015 - reuters.com

* Dollar backtracks after another batch of soft data * Treasury yields slide, 10-year below 1.9 pct * U.S. nonfarm payrolls next key test for dollar (Adds details, quotes) By Shinichi Saoshiro and Ian Chua TOKYO/SYDNEY, April 2 (Reuters) - The dollar nursed modest losses on Thursday, having suffered a setback on fresh signs that the U.S. economy slowed significantly in the first quarter which could delay the Federal Reserve's decision to begin hiking interest rates. The dollar fell as far as 119.42 yen JPY= overnight, from levels above 120.00. It last fetched 119.57, down 0.2 percent on the day. Data on Wednesday showed U.S. private employers added the smallest number of workers in more than a year in March and factory activity hit a near two-year low, highlighting the impact of a harsh winter, weaker global demand and a strong dollar. ID:nL2N0WY12M "Right now the market's worry is the Fed showing concern about a strong dollar, and the data only compounded such fears," said Masashi Murata, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo. "Even if Friday's non-farm payroll number is decent -it could come in around 250,000- that might not dispel strong dollar concerns. That is why there isn't much bargain hunting for the dollar," he said. For the closely-watched U.S. non-farm jobs data due on Friday analysts polled by Reuters expect a rise of 245,000 in March, following a gain of 290,000 in February. ECONUS "Another print above 200,000 in March would represent the 13th in a row, a string of persistent strength that has not been seen since 1977," said Greg Moore, senior currency strategist at RBC. Treasury yields fell with the benchmark 10-year yield US10YT=RR sliding back below 1.9 percent. That in turn undermined the greenback, which lost ground against a basket of major currencies. In contrast to the United States, figures out of Europe were much more encouraging with manufacturing activity across the euro zone accelerating and adding to signs the bloc's economy is recovering. ID:nL9N0VT020 The euro climbed to $1.0800 EUR= , from one-week lows of $1.0713. It last stood flat at $1.0764. Wariness over Greece's debt negotiations with lenders prevented the euro from making more gains. Among commodity currencies the Canadian dollar benefited from a jump in oil prices. But persistent weak iron ore prices kept its Australian counterpart under pressure, while a further fall in dairy prices weighed on the New Zealand dollar. The loonie last stood at C$1.2610 per USD CAD=D4 , continuing to recover from this week's low of C$1.2784 per USD after oil jumped as much as 5 percent on Wednesday. The Aussie was down 0.3 percent at $0.7579, languishing near a six-year trough of $0.7561 AUD=D4 as prices of iron ore, Australia's single biggest export earner, hit fresh lows. ID:nL3N0WY2N8 Expectations that the Reserve Bank of Australia will ease policy further also kept the Aussie on the defensive. Also weighed by rising supply, international milk prices fell in this month's first auction held by New Zealand's Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world's biggest dairy exporter. ID:nL3N0WY59Y That knocked the kiwi to a two-week low of $0.7392 NZD=D4 overnight. It has since recovered to $0.7451. (Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore) ((shinichi.saoshiro@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: shinichi.saoshiro.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

Australia & NZ dollars on the defensive, weak commodities drag

April 02, 2015 - reuters.com

By Ian Chua and Naomi Tajitsu SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, April 2 (Reuters) - The Australian dollar lurched towards a six-year trough on Thursday, continuing to falter as sliding iron ore prices bolstered expectations for a cut in interest rates next week. The Aussie reached a session low of $0.7575 AUD=D4 , edging ever closer to the trough of $0.7561 set in March. It last stood at $0.7595, down 0.1 percent on the day. Debt markets imply a 77 percent chance of a quarter point easing on April 7, when the Reserve Bank of Australia holds its policy review. CSSY Markets have been upping the risk for a rate cut as prices for iron ore - Australia's single biggest export earner - hit successive lows this week. There are fears that output cuts at Chinese steel mills would eat into demand for the raw material. "We view the most significant data point of the week as the decline in iron ore prices. The fall in iron ore to sub $50 a tonne suggests that AUD/USD 'belongs' in the very low 70s or high 60s," analysts at Deutsche Bank wrote in a note to clients. The New Zealand dollar NZD=D4 was also on the defensive at around $0.7452, having reached a two-week low of $0.7392 in choppy offshore trade. The kiwi has its own commodity troubles with dairy prices suffering a second consecutive sharp slide at Fonterra's latest auction. The 10.8 percent drop in prices for New Zealand's biggest export earner renewed the threat to Fonterra's forecast payout to suppliers. ID:nL3N0WY59Y Near term support for the kiwi is seen at $0.7390 with resistance at $0.7480. New Zealand government bonds 0#NZTSY= were firmer, sending yields 4 basis points lower across the curve. Australian government bond futures tracked U.S. Treasuries higher. The three-year contract YTTc1 climbed 4 ticks to 98.360, while the 10-year contract YTCc1 put on 2.5 ticks to 97.6900. Financial markets in both Australia and New Zealand will be shut on Friday and Monday for the Easter holiday. ((ian.chua@thomsonreuters.com; +61 2 9321 8174; RM: ian.chua.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS AUSTRALIA/FOREX

Iron ore plunge stokes pressure for Australia rate cut

April 02, 2015 - reuters.com

By James Regan and Wayne Cole SYDNEY, April 2 (Reuters) - Pressure is mounting for a cut in Australian interest rates as soon as next week as plunging prices for iron ore, the country's single most valuable export earner, punish both mining profits and government tax revenue. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) holds its monthly policy meeting on April 7 and markets are wagering heavily it will follow up a February easing with another quarter point cut to an all-time low of 2.0 percent. ID:nS9N0VR00R In part any move would be aimed at lowering the Australian dollar, which would assist commodity producers exporting U.S. dollar-priced products. ID:nS9N0VR00L Westpac chief economist Bill Evans noted iron ore prices had fallen around 15 percent since the RBA's March policy meeting, while the local currency was only down a single U.S. cent. "That is why it will be important for the bank to maintain an easing bias when it announces the cut next week," said Evans. "It will maintain downward pressure on the AUD." Interbank futures 0#YIB: imply a better than 60 percent probability of an April easing, and are fully priced for one by May. Indeed, investors are already wagering rates will fall to 1.75 percent before the year is out. RBA governor Glenn Stevens says Australia is struggling with the end of its mining boom, noting that past mining booms had almost all ended very badly for Australia, usually through runaway inflation followed by a major crash. But Stevens says the RBA will continue to support the economy. BLOW TO MINING PROFITS, TAX REVENUE Spot Iron ore .IO62-CNI=SI stood at $49 a tonne after plunging 3.9 percent on Wednesday - the weakest since the index was introduced in 2008 and could drop as low as $47, forecasts Westpac Bank. The decline had a deadening impact on mining shares with Fortescue Metals Group FMG.AX off 3 percent, while Atlas Iron AGO.AX fell 3.8 percent and BC Iron BCI.AX 4 percent. With little prospect of rising iron ore prices, as global supply continues to expand in the face of waning demand growth, miners are counting on lower oil prices, cheaper freight rates and a weaker Australian currency to turn a profit. Iron ore is Australia's single biggest export earner so the collapse in prices has been as big a blow to government tax revenues as to mining profits. A half-decade after insulating Australia from the worst of the global financial crisis, the giant mining state of Western Australia is being forced to defer iron ore royalties which underpin tens of thousands of jobs. ID:nL3N0WY5TA Stephen Walters, chief economist at JPMorgan, cites estimates from Australia's Treasury that every $10 per tonne drop in the iron ore price cuts up to A$3 billion off the national budget. "Iron ore prices have fallen 70 percent, putting the ultimate drag on revenue up to A$30 billion," said Walters. That has only intensified pressure on Treasurer Joe Hockey to come up with savings or tax raising measures in his annual budget due in May, while also ensuring that the drag does not harm an already sluggish economy. "With fiscal policy being tightened, the onus will be on monetary policy to provide the support the economy needs." (Editing by Michael Perry) ((jim.regan@thomsonreuters.com; +612 9373-1814; Reuters Messaging: jim.regan.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: AUSTRALIA ECONOMY/IRONORE

EM ASIA FX-Ringgit, won, rupiah, yuan rise

April 02, 2015 - reuters.com

FOREX-Disappointing data reins in dollar bulls, eyes on payrolls

April 02, 2015 - reuters.com

* Dollar backtracks after another batch of soft data * U.S. Treasury yields slide, 10-year below 1.9 pct * U.S. nonfarm payrolls next key test for dollar By Ian Chua SYDNEY, April 2 (Reuters) - The dollar nursed modest losses early on Thursday, having suffered a setback on fresh signs that the U.S. economy slowed significantly in the first quarter. U.S. private employers added the smallest number of workers in more than a year in March and factory activity hit a near two-year low. ID:nL2N0WY12M Treasury yields fell with the benchmark 10-year yield US10YT=RR sliding back below 1.9 percent. That in turn undermined the greenback, which lost ground against a basket of major currencies. It fell as far as 119.42 yen JPY= , from levels above 120.00, before steadying at 119.66 early in Asia. The euro climbed to $1.0800 EUR= , from one-week lows of $1.0713. It last stood at $1.0771. In contrast, figures out of Europe were much more encouraging with manufacturing activity across the euro zone accelerating and adding to signs the bloc's economy is recovering. ID:nL9N0VT020 Dollar bulls are now pinning their hopes on non-farm payrolls due on Friday. Analysts polled by Reuters expect a rise of 245,000 in March, following a gain of 290,000 in February. "As a reminder of the larger context, another print above 200k in March would represent the 13th in a row, a string of persistent strength that has not been seen since 1977," said Greg Moore, senior currency strategist at RBC. Commodity currencies had a mixed night with the Canadian dollar benefiting from a jump in oil prices. But persistent weak iron ore prices kept its Australian counterpart under pressure, while a further fall in dairy prices weighed on the New Zealand dollar. The loonie last stood at C$1.2615 per USD CAD=D4 , continuing to recover from a low of C$1.2784 per USD after oil jumped as much as 5 percent on Wednesday. The Aussie on the other hand languished at $0.7600 AUD=D4 , having come within a whisker of a six-year trough of $0.7561 as iron ore prices hit fresh lows. Iron ore is Australia's single biggest export earner. ID:nL3N0WY2N8 Also weighed by rising supply, international milk prices fell in this month's first auction held by New Zealand's Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world's biggest dairy exporter. ID:nL3N0WY59Y That knocked the kiwi to as low as $0.7392 NZD=D4 , from Wednesday's session high of $0.7490. It has since recovered to $0.7448. With many financial centres globally closed on Friday for the Easter holidays, trading is likely to be choppy as volumes dwindle. (Editing by Richard Pullin) ((ian.chua@thomsonreuters.com; +61 2 9373 1871; RM: ian.chua.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

S.Korea Feb s/adj c/a surplus hits fresh record high

April 02, 2015 - reuters.com

(For full table, please click ID:nL3N0WY27L ) SEOUL, April 2 (Reuters) - South Korea's current account surplus in February hit a record high for a second consecutive month in seasonally adjusted terms as exports rose while imports fell, central bank data showed on Thursday. The seasonally adjusted current account surplus in February rose to a preliminary $10.77 billion from a revised $10.38 billion in the previous month, Bank of Korea data showed. Exports in February rose a seasonally adjusted 2.0 percent from January while imports fell 0.4 percent. In the financial account, Asia's fourth-largest economy saw a net outflow of $5.54 billion in February, smaller than a net outflow of $8.24 billion in January. (Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Choonsik Yoo and Richard Pullin) ((christine.kim@thomsonreuters.com; 822 3704 5665; Reuters Messaging: christine.kim.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SOUTHKOREA ECONOMY/CURRENTACCOUNT

UPDATE 1-Kinross Gold says Chile mine operations still down after flooding

April 02, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds details, background) April 1 (Reuters) - Kinross Gold Corp K.TO said on Wednesday its mining and crushing operations at its Maricunga mine in northern Chile remain suspended following severe floods in the region last week. Even so, the Toronto-based producer said it doesn't expect the temporary halt to affect its regional production forecast for the year. Its heap leach plant continues to operate. The mine site is relying on generators to supply electricity as power lines are down. Although the main road to Maricunga is currently impassable, facilities at the site have not been damaged, Kinross said. Torrential downpours in the north of Chile, the world's biggest copper producer, forced companies last Wednesday to suspend operations at several of the area's major mines. Some mines have already started to re-open. ID:nL2N0WS1CS Maricunga produced 247,216 ounces of gold in 2014, putting it in the middle of the pack of Kinross' mines in terms of size. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Alan Crosby and Cynthia Osterman) ((nicole.mordant@thomsonreuters.com; +1-604-664-7315; Reuters Messaging: nicole.mordant.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: KINROSS CHILE/

CANADA STOCKS-Oil and gold price rallies boost TSX resource stocks

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

* TSX ends down 40.11 points, or 0.27 percent, at 14,942.55 * Six of 10 main index sectors decline * Barrick, Goldcorp soar with bullion price By John Tilak TORONTO, April 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index gained on Wednesday as rising prices for commodities such as oil and bullion bolstered the energy and mining sectors, which together make up almost a third of the index. Oil prices jumped after three days of losses as U.S. crude output fell for the first time in two months. O/R Gold also rallied after a downbeat U.S. jobs report suggested policymakers there could delay a tightening of U.S. monetary policy. GOL/ Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO surged 9.5 percent to C$15.16 and Goldcorp Inc G.TO rose 4.7 percent to C$24. The pair, two of the world's largest gold miners, topped all positive influencers. Fund managers said Canadian trading would likely struggle to form a coherent narrative in coming weeks and months as a range of issues jostle for attention. "It doesn't feel very calm out there," said Marcus Xu, portfolio manager at M.Y. Capital Management Corp in Vancouver. "We are entering a quarter that's full of uncertainty, whether it is on corporate earnings, Fed interest rate (policy) or commodity prices. This quarter will be confusing and volatile." Trading in the benchmark Canadian index, which recorded a gain of 1.9 percent in the first quarter, has been choppy in recent months because of volatility in commodity prices. Xu said he was sticking to a forecast of single-digit gains for the second quarter but that a pullback was also possible. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 40.11 points, or 0.27 percent, at 14,942.55. Six of the 10 main sectors ended lower. "At least the fluctuations don't seem too violent in scope," said David Cockfield, portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management. "While I'm getting more negative on the energy sector, and in particular the oil stocks, I am becoming more positive on the longer-term economic outlook," he said. Shares of energy producers gained 1.1 percent, resuming an upward trend that began in mid-March. Crescent Point Energy Corp CPG.TO gained 3.2 percent to C$29.14 and Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO added 0.7 percent to C$37.25. Financial shares fell, with Manulife Financial Corp MFC.TO slipping 1.1 percent to C$21.28. (Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Diane Craft) ((john.tilak@thomsonreuters.com; 1-416-687-7918; Reuters Messaging: john.tilak.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS CANADA/STOCKS

UPDATE 1-Barrick Gold must face U.S. lawsuit over mothballed mine

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds lawyer's comment, closing share price) By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO has lost its bid to dismiss a U.S. lawsuit that accuses the world's largest gold producer of concealing problems at a troubled South American mine and of fraudulently inflating the company's market value by billions of dollars. U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday that shareholders can pursue class action claims that Barrick intended to deceive them about environmental problems afflicting its Pascua-Lama project on the border of Argentina and Chile. "Though plaintiffs have not alleged a motive, they have sufficiently alleged strong circumstantial evidence of conscious misbehavior or recklessness," the judge wrote in a 55-page decision. Scheindlin also said shareholders can pursue claims that Barrick misled them about its accounting for the project. The judge dismissed claims alleging that Barrick intentionally misled them about costs and production delays. She also dismissed claims related to transactions conducted on the Toronto Stock Exchange, saying a key U.S. securities fraud law does not reach that far. Jim Hughes, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a phone interview: "It is a very good result for shareholders, and allows us to go forward on several very strong claims." Barrick bought the untapped Pascua-Lama mine in 1994, and had been counting on it to generate a large percentage of its overall gold production. But cost overruns, environmental issues, labor unrest, political opposition and falling bullion prices contributed to Barrick's decision on Oct. 31, 2013 to indefinitely halt the project, after it had already spent more than $5 billion. Investors who bought Barrick's common stock sued for losses covering the period from May 7, 2009, when Barrick said it would begin construction on Pascua-Lama, through Nov. 1, 2013. These investors said Barrick touted Pascua-Lama during this period as a "world-class project that will contribute low-cost ounces at double-digit returns," even as it became clear the project would fall short of expectations. Scheindlin said the shareholders may amend their lawsuit, though it was "difficult to believe that plaintiffs will be able to plead additional facts that are not already included in their almost 200-page, 548-paragraph complaint." Barrick shares closed up C$1.33, or 9.6 percent, at C$15.18 on Wednesday in Toronto. That gave Barrick a market value of C$17.7 billion ($14 billion), Reuters data show. Shares of several other mining companies also rose on Wednesday. The case is In re: Barrick Gold Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-03851. ($1=$1.26 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker; and Peter Galloway) ((jon.stempel@thomsonreuters.com;)(646 223-6317; Reuters Messaging: jon.stempel.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BARRICK GOLD LAWSUIT/

FOREX-Dollar retreats on weak data as fresh quarter begins

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

* Weak ADP, ISM data raise bets U.S. Fed stays on hold * Euro rises vs dollar on encouraging factory readings * Yen rises on soft Japanese business sentiment data (Updates with late New York market action) By Richard Leong NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - The dollar slipped on Wednesday at the start of the second quarter as disappointing data on U.S. manufacturing and jobs growth raised bets the Federal Reserve might refrain from raising interest rates until late 2015 at the earliest. The soft readings reinforced the notion that the recent surge in the greenback has hurt exporters and dragged on the economy, which would worry Fed policymakers. Payroll processor ADP said U.S. companies added 189,000 workers in March, the fewest in 14 months, while the Institute for Supply Management said its index on U.S. factory activity fell to a lower-than-expected 51.5 last month. ID:nZON1YF400 "There's more uncertainty about the timing and pace of policy normalization from the Fed," said Eric Viloria, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New York. "We saw a negative reaction (from the data) that contributed to the weakness in the dollar." After a tumultuous couple of weeks for many major currencies, volumes have eased and traders said the market would lighten further ahead of Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls numbers and the Easter holiday weekend. Most U.S. markets will be closed on Friday, while a number of major European markets will shut on Friday and reopen on Tuesday. HOLIDAY <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Graphics Currencies vs dollar: http://link.reuters.com/tak27s Global assets in 2015: http://link.reuters.com/dub25t ADP vs. U.S. Labor Department http://link.reuters.com/fex44t U.S. PMI: Markit vs. ISM http://link.reuters.com/geg47v U.S. manufacturing: ISM PMI http://link.reuters.com/xek62w U.S. construction spending http://link.reuters.com/vus72w ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> Expectations the Fed was on track to end its near-zero rate policy later this year resulted in the dollar index .DXY posting a stellar first quarter, its strongest since the third quarter of 2008. As the new quarter kicks off, it was 0.2 percent lower at 98.198, several points below a 12-year peak set in March. The greenback was down 0.4 percent against the yen at 119.62 yen JPY= as a soft Japanese business survey dented Japanese stocks but helped bolster the safe-haven yen. ID:nL3N0WX167 Earlier, the euro strengthened on encouraging European data after coming off the worst quarter in its 15-year history. Slightly improved final readings of last month's purchasing manager surveys in France and Germany, and healthy figures in Italy and Spain, provided more signs that euro zone manufacturing is recovering from a low base. ID:nL6N0WY163 The euro was up 0.3 percent versus the dollar at $1.0761 EUR= . Its gains were limited by the absence of a deal between Greece and its creditors, and record low euro zone yields DE10YT=TWEB stemming from the European Central Bank's 1.1 trillion euro bond purchase program. ID:nB4N0VR01V The euro dipped 0.2 percent at 128.71 yen EURJPY= and slumped to a seven-week low against the Swiss franc at 1.040 franc EURCHF=EBS . (Additional reporting by Patrick Graham and Jemima Kelly in London,; Lisa Twaronite in Tokyo; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Meredith Mazzilli and Chizu Nomiyama) ((richard.leong@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6313; Reuters Messaging: richard.leong.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net; Twitter @RichardLeong2)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

Barrick Gold must face U.S. lawsuit over mothballed mine

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO lost its bid to dismiss a U.S. lawsuit accusing the world's largest gold producer of concealing problems at a troubled South American mine, and fraudulently inflated its market value by tens of billions of dollars. U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday that shareholders could pursue class action claims that Barrick intended to deceive them about environmental problems afflicting the Pascua-Lama project, on the border of Argentina and Chile. "Though plaintiffs have not alleged a motive, they have sufficiently alleged strong circumstantial evidence of conscious misbehavior or recklessness," the judge wrote in a 55-page decision. Scheindlin also said shareholders could pursue claims that Barrick misled them about its accounting for the project. The judge dismissed claims alleging that Barrick intentionally misled them about costs and production delays. A spokesman for Toronto-based Barrick and a lawyer for the shareholders did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Barrick bought the untapped Pascua-Lama mine in 1994, and had been counting on it to generate a large percentage of its overall gold production. But cost overruns, environmental issues, labor unrest, political opposition and falling bullion prices contributed to Barrick's decision on Oct. 31, 2013 to indefinitely halt the project, after it had already spent more than $5 billion. Investors who bought Barrick's common stock sued for losses covering the period from May 7, 2009, when Barrick said it would begin construction on Pascua-Lama, through Nov. 1, 2013. These investors said Barrick touted Pascua-Lama during this period as a "world-class project that will contribute low-cost ounces at double-digit returns," even as it became clear the project would fall short of expectations. Scheindlin said the shareholders may amend their lawsuit, though it was "difficult to believe that plaintiffs will be able to plead additional facts that are not already included in their almost 200-page, 548-paragraph complaint." Barrick shares were up C$1.36 at C$15.21 in afternoon trading in Toronto. The company's market value was C$16.1 billion ($12.8 billion) as of Tuesday's close, Reuters data show. The case is In re: Barrick Gold Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-03851. ($1 = 1.262 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker) ((jon.stempel@thomsonreuters.com;)(646)(223-6317; Reuters Messaging: jon.stempel.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BARRICK GOLD LAWSUIT/

PRECIOUS-Gold jumps after downbeat March, awaits U.S. jobs data

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

* Gold fell 2.4 pct in March, second monthly loss * Dollar falls after weaker-than-forecast ADP report * Investors await U.S. non-farm payrolls data on Friday * Silver rises most among precious metals in Q1, up 6 pct (Updates prices, adds comment) By Marcy Nicholson and Jan Harvey NEW YORK/LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - Gold rallied 2 percent on Wednesday as the dollar retreated after a downbeat U.S. jobs report raised expectations that the Federal Reserve could be more cautious in tightening monetary policy. The dollar fell 0.2 percent against a basket of currencies, after weaker-than-expected ADP private jobs data raised concerns that Friday's impending jobs report could also point to worsening conditions in the labor market. ID:nL2N0TN0PG "There is so much discord in the U.S. data that is difficult to find what exactly the next report is going to be. It's the uncertainty that pushes people towards safe-haven assets such as gold," ING Bank senior strategist Hamza Khan said. Spot gold XAU= rose 2.2 percent to a session high of $1,208.90 an ounce, and was trading up 1.8 percent at $1,204.90 at 2:12 p.m. EDT (1812 GMT). U.S. gold futures GCv1 for June delivery settled up 2.1 percent at $1,208.20. A strong reading from the U.S. jobs data on Friday could boost bets the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates sooner rather than later, lifting the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold. ID:nL6N0WU0U6 However, a worse-than-expected report could support views that the Fed will hold off any rate hike until next year. Gold is particularly sensitive to shifts in U.S. interest rates, which also move the dollar, in which the metal is priced. "There's a lot of concern about the employment report that's coming out on Friday, that it might be worse than expected," said Phillip Streible, senior commodities broker at RJO Futures in Chicago. "Because of that, traders are positioning themselves with some safety ahead of the report." The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York-listed SPDR Gold Trust GLD , in March recorded its biggest monthly outflow since December 2013. GOL/ETF Buying interest in China, the world's second-largest gold consumer after India, has been relatively soft of late, but dealers reported some interest overnight after prices eased. "Following yesterday's sell off, China was back as a buyer today," MKS said in a note. "We saw gold add a few dollars in Tokyo before Shanghai took over and sent the yellow metal to a session high." Silver XAG= rose 1.9 percent to $16.93 an ounce, while platinum XPT= was up 2 percent at $1,161.60 an ounce and palladium XPD= climbed 1.9 percent to $746.50 an ounce. Silver saw the biggest gain among the precious metals in the last quarter, rising 6 percent, while palladium fell 7.6 percent. Platinum fell just over 5 percent. (Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by William Hardy, Pravin Char, David Evans and Gunna Dickson) ((Marcy.Nicholson@thomsonreuters.com, +1 646 223 6043; Reuters Messaging Marcy.Nicholson.ThomsonReuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

Brazil's post unexpected trade surplus in March

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

BRASILIA, April 1 (Reuters) - Brazil posted a trade surplus BRTBAL=ECI of $458 million in March, government data showed on Wednesday, beating market expectations for a deficit that month. Sixteen analysts surveyed by Reuters had a median forecast of a deficit of $400 million. The country posted a deficit of $2.842 billion in February. (Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Writing by Alonso Soto; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) ((alonso.soto@thomsonreuters.com; +55 61 34267027; Reuters Messaging: alonso.soto.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BRAZIL ECONOMY/TRADE

Mexico central bank sells $52 mln in daily currency auction

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

MEXICO CITY, April 1 (Reuters) - The central bank of Mexico sold $52 million on Wednesday at an average price of 15.1086 pesos per dollar, the bank said, part of an auction program to boost foreign exchange liquidity following a recent slide in the peso currency. (Reporting by Dave Graham and Michael O'Boyle) ((michael.oboyle@thomsonreuters.com; +5255-5282-7153; Reuters Messaging: michael.oboyle.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MEXICO PESO/

China might devalue yuan against weaker euro - Deutsche Bank

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - The chances are growing of a formal devaluation of China's yuan against a weakening euro, analysts from Germany's Deutsche Bank, the currency world's second-biggest player, said in a note on Wednesday. The note is broadly in line with market talk about the issue in London, the world's biggest foreign exchange centre, over the past month. The world's biggest currency trader, Citigroup, said last week that the People's Bank of China might shift its controlled yuan trading bands lower and could move the emphasis away from dollar rates. "We do not expect any change in China's currency policy near term, but if (as we expect) the USD appreciates markedly further, debate may resurface over whether China's FX link to the USD is sustainable over time," Citigroup said last week. "Possible near-term weakness in (the yuan) may be intensified if the People's Bank of China shifts its peg with the dollar to a basket of currencies." The talk comes as China is pushing to have the yuan formally named as a reserve currency through inclusion in the IMF's Special Drawing Rights (SDR) reserve basket, which is due for its five-yearly review later this year. China's unwillingness in past years to swiftly open its economy up to financial in- and outflows and the yuan's resulting slow appreciation against the dollar remains an issue. But against that is the need of Chinese companies, in an economy losing momentum, to remain competitive against its Asian peers, many of whom have devalued sharply this year. The yuan has appreciated 15 percent against the euro EURCNH= while falling 1 percent against the dollar CNH=D4 since the beginning of the year "If the euro resumes a downward trend (against the dollar) toward parity and beyond ... it is difficult to see how Chinese authorities will stand by and allow their competitive position to erode further, even if this jeopardises their entry into the IMF's SDR," said Deutsche Bank. China's big European partners are hoping to take the lion's share of Chinese capital markets as they open up and the yuan floats more freely. China is now the euro zone's biggest trading partner and the yuan is the top currency in the European Central Bank's trade-weighted euro basket, which determines the single currency's effective exchange rate. ID:nL6N0TU4BO Data from transaction services organisation SWIFT on Monday showed that offshore centres excluding Hong Kong handled 25 percent of global yuan payments in February, with London playing a key role in driving global yuan adoption. ID:nL3N0WW1C7 Citigroup said it saw the yuan becoming part of the SDR by November this year and that demand and sentiment for it would improve if that were to be the case. The yuan broke into the top five as a world payment currency in November, overtaking the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar, SWIFT said in January. ID:nL4N0V71LI (Reporting By Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Larry King) ((ahmed.aboulenein@thomsonreuters.com; +442075420218; Reuters Messaging: ahmed.aboulenein.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS YUAN/DEUTSCHE

UPDATE 1-Wall St earnings estimates may not foretell currency impact

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

* Analyst have trouble keeping up with currency fluctuations * Estimating currency impact like "playing darts with blindfold" * Currency volatility may shave $25 bln off Q1 revenue: FiREapps * Monsanto EPS misses Wall St. view, currency headwind expands (Adds Monsanto results in paragraph 6, adds last bullet point) By Sinead Carew April 1 (Reuters) - Wall Street analysts may be inadequately accounting for the dollar's sharp first-quarter rally, setting up a scenario in which some multinational companies may miss already low earnings estimates and be punished with selloffs of their shares. Equity analysts admit their trouble keeping up with the dollar's rapid 9 percent rise so far this year. While companies have issued forecasts mentioning "currency headwinds," most Wall Street analysts are not updating their estimates to reflect those rapidly moving exchange rates. That could hurt. North American public companies could give up more than $25 billion in revenues and 7 cents per share in earnings in the first quarter alone because of currency-related volatility, said Wolfgang Koester, chief executive of FiREapps, a foreign exchange data analytics firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Monsanto Co MON.N is one early example in which analysts failed to keep up with currency fluctuations. On Jan. 7, before the dollar's biggest moves of the quarter, the agricultural product company had estimated the changes would reduce 2015 earnings by 15 to 20 cents, similar to 2014, when the greenback rose 12.8 percent against major currencies. Yet only five of 25 analysts cut their estimates for Monsanto between the time it closed the books at the end of February and its April 1 report, Thomson Reuters data show. On Wednesday, Monsanto reported earnings and revenue that missed analysts' estimates for its fiscal quarter ended Feb. 28 and said it now expects the dollar's rally to cut 35 to 40 cents from its full-year earnings per share. ID:nASB09EBF Earnings for the quarter came in at $2.90 per share, below the $2.93 analysts had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. "The chance of U.S. earnings coming through lower (than estimates) is noticeably high," said Chris Faulkner-MacDonagh, market strategist at Standard Life Investments in Edinburgh, a global asset manager with $383.6 billion under management. "You're going to really feel it this quarter and next." While not every analysis that fails to account for the dollar's rise will miss its mark, even some on-target companies find the lack of currency-based analysis disturbing. Investor relations experts at Red Hat Inc RHT.N said consensus forecasts are "dubious at best" because of the lack of revisions, a complaint also raised by the software company's chief financial officer in its March 25 conference call. "The rapid devaluation of nearly every foreign currency versus the U.S. dollar is not news, yet surprisingly only about 30 percent of the sell-side analysts who follow Red Hat have updated their models at current rates," Red Hat CFO Charles Peters said. Analysts contend that it is nearly impossible to quantify currency headwinds if companies give little detail about their hedging strategies or the expected revenue and earnings break-down for different currency regions. "Currency moves faster than the Street's ability to publish updated estimates," said Ed Maguire, an analyst at CLSA in New York. He and other analysts, such as Daniel Ives, who covers software for FBR Capital Markets in New York, cited challenges to their models posed by the dollar's volatility. "Analysts are trying to play a game of darts with a blindfold depending on the granularity provided by a respective management team," said Ives. "The massive volatility has made this a difficult situation for both analysts and management teams." (Reporting By Sinead Carew; Editing by Linda Stern and Richard Chang) ((sinead.carew@thomsonreuters.com; +1)(646 223 6186; Reuters Messaging: sinead.carew.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: USA EARNINGS/DOLLAR

South Africa's rand climbs as weak U.S. data weighs on dollar

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, April 1 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand gained as much as 1.4 percent against the dollar on Wednesday, after weak-than-expected U.S. data led investors to scale back their expectations of when the Federal Reserve will start hiking interest rates. The rand reached a session high of 11.9615, its firmest since last Friday, making it the third strongest performer in a basket of 25 emerging market currencies tracked by Reuters after the Russian rouble and the Brazilian real. By 1527 GMT, the local unit was up 1.36 percent at 11.9670 compared with Tuesday's close at 12.1325. "We had some fairly weak data out of the U.S. and this is just guys squaring out of (dollar) positions before (U.S.)non-farm payrolls on Friday," Investec trader David Gracey said. The dollar fell against major currencies as disappointing data on U.S. manufacturing and jobs growth raised bets the Fed might refrain from raising interest rates until late 2015 at the earliest. ID:nL6N0WY2XF South African government bonds mirrored the stronger rand, and the yield on the benchmark 2026 government bond ZAR186= fell 9 basis points to 7.725 percent. (Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; Editing by James Macharia) ((stella.mapenzauswa@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3161; Reuters Messaging: stella.mapenzauswa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/CURRENCY

U.S. trade office says Chinese laws may breach WTO rules

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) - China's bank technology restrictions and a draft anti-terrorism law may run counter to the country's international trade commitments, the U.S. Trade Representative said in a report released on Wednesday. In a review of compliance with telecommunications trade agreements, the USTR said rules pushing China's state-owned banks to buy technology from domestic vendors "may raise substantive concerns" about China's obligations under World Trade Organization agreements. The draft counter-terrorism law "has generated serious concerns among U.S. stakeholders and may raise questions with respect to China's obligations," the report said. (Reporting by Krista Hughes; Editing by Emily Stephenson) ((krista.hughes@thomsonreuters.com; +1 202 354 5854; Reuters Messaging: krista.hughes.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CHINA SECURITY/USA

S.Africa's shares creep higher, MTN up on Nigeria election

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, April 1 (Reuters) - South African stocks ticked up slightly on Wednesday buoyed by telecoms operator MTN Group MTNJ.J , spurred on by peaceful presidential elections in Nigeria where it is a market leader. Financial markets in Africa's most populous country, which is also MTN's most important market in terms of revenue and subscribers, rallied after an unprecedented win by opposition politician Muhammadu Buhari. ID:nL6N0WY252 ID:nL6N0WY252 MTN shares ended nearly 6 percent higher, pushing Johannesburg's Top-40 index .JTOPI up 0.2 percent to 46,128. The All-share index .JALSH added 0.2 percent to 52,281. "MTN was on the back of the Nigerian election. A lot of people thought the elections wouldn't go through smoothly," said Chad Bushnell, a trader at Anglorand Asset Managers. Capitec Bank Holdings CPIJ.J hit a life high of 537.65 rand per share as investors lapped up the stock anticipating it would be included in the blue chip Top-40 index, on the back of its rising market capitalisation, which has gained 57 percent so far this year. Gold producers listed in Johannesburg fell as job figures from U.S. private employers showed the smallest growth in more than a year, supporting views that the Federal Reserve will hold off any rate hike until next year. Gold is particularly sensitive to shifts in U.S. interest rates, which also move the dollar, in which the metal is priced. The gold index .JGLDX was down 2.3 percent as AngloGold Ashanti ANGJ.J shed 2.7 percent and Gold Fields GFIJ.J lost 3 percent. Activity was fairly brisk with more than 198 million shares changing hands, comparison to a daily average of 183 million shares last year. (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by James Macharia) ((helen.nyambura@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3034; Reuters Messaging: helen.nyambura.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/STOCKS

UPDATE 2-Russian assets boosted by impasse at Iran nuclear talks

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds details and comment, updates prices) MOSCOW, April 1 (Reuters) - The rouble and Russian shares gained on Wednesday, boosted by a rise in oil prices as talks over Iran's nuclear programme dragged on, curbing hopes of an immediate deal. The rouble was up 1.3 percent to 57.43 against the dollar RUBUTSTN=MCX at 1520 GMT and up 0.9 percent at 61.89 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX . The rouble-based MICEX share index .MCX was up 1.9 percent to 1,656 points. The dollar-based RTS index .IRTS was up 3.2 percent at 909 points. Russian assets were following the gains by oil. The international benchmark Brent was up 2.7 percent to around $56.6 per barrel. ID:nL3N0WY1GY Investors had been concerned that sanctions against Iran being eased, leading to more oil being sold on the international market. Oil is Russia's chief export and a key driver for its financial markets. But a delay in concluding the talks and signs of disagreement have curbed expectations of an imminent deal. ID:nL2N0WX2SG "Today the main theme on the market was the course of negotiations with Iran about the nuclear programme," Golden Hills Capital analyst Nataliya Samoilova said in a note. "The understanding that Iran may not enter the (oil) market with full volume has supported a turn-around of Brent, and with it the position of the rouble." 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 (Reporting by Jason Bush, editing by Larry King) ((jason.bush@thomsonreuters.com; +7 495 775 1242; Reuters Messaging: jason.bush.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: RUSSIA CRISIS/MARKETS ROUBLE

POLONIA Rate falls 0.03 pp.

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

WARSAW, Apr 1 (Reuters) - POLONIA the reference rate for Overnight deposits amounted to 1.50 percent. The volume of transactions concluded till 16:30 by banks participating in POLONIA fixing amounted to 1,210 mln PLN. Note: Description of reference rate at: http://www.acipolska.pl/ ((warsaw.newsroom@reuters.com))

FOREX-Dollar retreats on weak data as new quarter begins

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

* Weak ADP, ISM data raise bets U.S. Fed stays on hold * Euro rises vs dollar on encouraging factory readings * Yen firmer as weak Tokyo shares weigh on risk sentiment (Update markets action, change dateline, previous LONDON) By Richard Leong NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - The dollar fell on Wednesday at the start of the second quarter as disappointing data on U.S. manufacturing and jobs growth raised bets the Federal Reserve might refrain from raising interest rates until late 2015 at the earliest. The soft readings reinforced the notion that the recent surge in the greenback has hurt exporters and dragged on the economy, which would worry Fed policymakers. Payroll processor ADP said U.S. companies added 189,000 workers in March, the fewest in 14 months, while the Institute for Supply Management said its index on U.S. factory activity fell to a lower-than-expected 51.5 last month. ID:nZON1YF400 "There's more uncertainty about the timing and pace of policy normalization from the Fed," said Eric Viloria, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New York. "We saw a negative reaction (from the data) that contributed to the weakness in the dollar." After a tumultuous couple of weeks for many major currencies, volumes have eased and traders said the market would lighten further ahead of Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls numbers and the Easter holiday weekend. Most U.S. markets will be closed on Friday, while a number of major European markets will shut on Friday and reopen on Tuesday. HOLIDAY <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Graphics Currencies vs dollar: http://link.reuters.com/tak27s Global assets in 2015: http://link.reuters.com/dub25t ADP vs. U.S. Labor Department http://link.reuters.com/fex44t U.S. PMI: Markit vs. ISM http://link.reuters.com/geg47v U.S. manufacturing: ISM PMI http://link.reuters.com/xek62w U.S. construction spending http://link.reuters.com/vus72w ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> Expectations the Fed was on track to end its near-zero rate policy later this year resulted in the dollar index .DXY posting a stellar first quarter, its strongest since the third quarter of 2008. As the new quarter kicks off, it was 0.3 percent lower at 98.085. The greenback was down 0.5 percent against the yen at 119.50 yen JPY= as a soft Japanese business survey dented Japanese stocks but helped bolster the safe-haven yen. Earlier, the euro strengthened on encouraging European data after coming off the worst quarter in its 15-year history. Slightly improved final readings of last month's purchasing manager surveys in France and Germany, and healthy figures in Italy and Spain, provided more signs that euro zone manufacturing is recovering from a low base. ID:nL6N0WY163 The euro was up 0.5 percent versus the dollar at $1.0781 EUR= . Its gains were limited by the absence of a deal between Greece and its creditors, and record low euro zone yields DE10YT=TWEB stemming from the European Central Bank's 1.1 trillion euro bond purchase program. ID:nB4N0VR01V The euro dipped 0.1 percent at 128.82 yen EURJPY= and slumped to a seven-week low against the Swiss franc at 1.040 franc EURCHF=EBS . (Additional reporting by Patrick Graham and Jemima Kelly in London,; Lisa Twaronite in Tokyo; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Meredith Mazzilli) ((richard.leong@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6313; Reuters Messaging: richard.leong.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net; Twitter @RichardLeong2)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

Iamgold in talks to buy AngloGold's stakes in two Mali mines

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

April 1 (Reuters) - Canadian gold miner Iamgold Corp IMG.TO is in talks with AngloGold Ashanti Ltd ANGJ.J on buying AngloGold's stakes in two gold mines in Mali in which they are partners, Iamgold said late on Tuesday. Iamgold and AngloGold each own 41 percent of the Sadiola mine in southwestern Mali. The two miners also each own a 40 percent stake in the nearby Yatela mine. South African-headquartered AngloGold is the operator of both mines, in which the government of Mali owns the remaining interests. AngloGold, under pressure to reduce its debt, said earlier on Tuesday that it intends to dispose of its stakes in Sadiola and Yatela. It said it had been approached by a potential buyer that meets its criteria and has asked for a binding bid. ID:nL6N0WX40D The Sadiola mine is nearing the end of its supply of oxide ore, or soft rock, and an expansion to process hard rock is necessary. Iamgold has said that although the expansion will provide growth at lower costs it is not its preference to make the investment on its own. "Iamgold has been having ongoing dialogue with AngloGold, with respect to how the Sadiola expansion project could move forward and to help facilitate their exit from their share of the assets. Acquiring their share of the assets has always been one of the options," Iamgold spokeswoman Laura Young said in an email. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Peter Galloway) ((nicole.mordant@thomsonreuters.com; +1-604-664-7315; Reuters Messaging: nicole.mordant.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: IAMGOLD ANGLOGOLDASHANTI/

Sterling weakens as election jitters overshadow strong UK data

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds quote, updates prices) By Jemima Kelly LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - Political worries trumped good economic news on Wednesday, sending sterling down against the dollar and the euro, with investors growing increasingly jittery about next month's too-close-to-call British election. Data showing Britain's manufacturing sector grew at the fastest rate in eight months in March gave the pound little respite. By afternoon trade, it was down 0.2 percent against the dollar at $1.4790 GBP=D4 and 0.3 percent lower against the euro at 72.635 pence per euro. ID:nL9N0VT021 Attention is swinging to a seven-way TV debate between Britain's party leaders on Thursday, which will shed the spotlight on the political risks ahead. The latest opinion polls point to a hung parliament, in which no single party can form a government on its own, leaving open the possibility of a whole range of coalition agreements. "There's no doubting that the UK fundamentals are consistently robust, but traders have chosen to ignore relatively strong economic data once again," said Jameel Ahmad, chief market analyst at FXTM, adding the May 7 election was weighing on sentiment. The inclusion of seven parties in Thursday's debate, including the anti-EU UKIP, is seen as a sign of just how fragmented Britain's political landscape has become. Reflecting some of the nervousness, the two-month implied volatility GBP2MO= , which investors can buy to hedge against big swings in sterling's exchange rate over the election and in the three weeks after it, remained close to a 3-1/2-year high hit the previous day of 13.2 percent. "At the moment there are too many (political) uncertainties," said Simon Smith, director and chief economist at online broker FxPro. "And the way the Bank of England is looking at the moment, there's no anticipation of any change in policy so it's got that much harder for the data to have any effect on the currency." The manufacturing data followed strong final growth data on Tuesday, which showed Britain's economy expanded at a quarterly 0.6 percent in the last three months of 2014, revised up from a previous reading of 0.5 percent. That gave a small boost to the pound on Tuesday, which hit a one-week high against the euro. Sterling has struggled in the past few days on growing expectations that the Bank of England will keep interest rates lower for longer as well as growing investor jitters over the election. GBPOIS=ICAP (Additional reporting by Anirban Nag; Editing by Alison Williams) ((anirban.nag@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 8399 ; Reuters Messaging: anirban.nag.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/STERLING

UPDATE 1-Chile central bank head sees rate rise around year-end

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds comments on interest rate, peso, context) SANTIAGO, April 1 (Reuters) - Chile central bank head Rodrigo Vergara said on Wednesday the bank's operating assumption was that it would raise the benchmark interest rate CLINTR=ECI towards the end of 2015 or at the start of next year. If inflationary pressures become more intense that rise could happen sooner, Vergara said at a business forum in Santiago. "The working hypothesis we have is that the interest rate will rise towards the end of this year or the start of the next," he said. "Towards that date we should already be discussing what we call monetary normalization." In its quarterly monetary policy report on Monday, the bank gave an indication that it was moving away from the neutral bias on rates it has held since October. ID:nL2N0WW0Z0 Vergara reiterated on Wednesday that recent economic forecasts implied that the key interest rate would follow a trajectory "somewhat higher" than that projected in polls. Analyst and trader polls conducted by the central bank last month forecast the rate remaining at 3 percent over the next 12 months. In the year previous to October, the bank cut its benchmark interest rate 200 basis points to 3 percent to stimulate the flagging economy, but inflation that has consistently been higher than market forecasts has since stayed its hand. Inflation CLCPI=ECI - above the bank's target range of 2 to 4 percent for the last year, and currently at 4.4 percent - has been driven higher by a weakening peso CLP= , which has increased the cost of imported goods in Chile's relatively open market. Vergara has previously said he is comfortable with the peso's level, and on Monday said the bank board had not considered intervening in the currency market to prop it up. The peso was up around 1 percent on Wednesday morning, trading at around 618 to the dollar. It fell an overall 3 percent in the first quarter of 2015, after weakening 13 percent in 2014. (Reporting by Felipe Iturrieta, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and W Simon) ((rosalba.obrien@thomsonreuters.com, Twitter: @rosalbaob; +56 2 23704250; Reuters Messaging: rosalba.obrien.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CHILE CENBANK/

Russia sells 5 bln roubles of T-bonds maturing in 2028 - exchange

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

MOSCOW, April 1 (Reuters) - The Russian Finance Ministry sold 5.0 billion roubles ($86.30 million), or the full volume on offer, in OFZ treasury bonds maturing in 2028, Reuters data showed on Wednesday. Data showed total demand reached 28 billion roubles and the ministry sold the bonds at an average yield of 11.77 percent. ($1 = 57.9391 roubles) (Reporting by Lena Orekhova and Alexander Winning; Writing by Lidia Kelly, editing by Elizabeth Piper) ((lidia.kelly@thomsonreuters.com; +7 495 775 1242; Reuters Messaging: lidia.kelly.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: RUSSIA CRISIS/BONDS AUCTION

REFILE-UPDATE 2-AngloGold says may sell U.S. asset, approached on Mali mines

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

(Refiles March 30 story to correct names of Mali mines) * AngloGold keen to reduce debt burden of $3 bln * Planned rights issue last year sunk by shareholders JOHANNESBURG, March 31 (Reuters) - Africa's top bullion producer AngloGold Ashanti ANGJ.J said it was seeking a partner or buyer for its Cripple Creek & Victor (CC&V) mine in the United States and had received an approach for the purchase of its stakes in two mines in Mali. AngloGold has said it wants to reduce debt and on Tuesday said the stake sales were in line with an "objective to simplify and improve the overall quality of its portfolio". CC&V is a surface mining operation in Colorado which produced 211,000 ounces of bullion last year. "AngloGold confirms that it has been approached by a potential buyer who meets its qualifying criteria, and a binding bid has been requested," the company said regarding its stakes in the Sadiola and Yatela mines in Mali. "The company intends to dispose of its 41 percent stake in Sadiola and its 40 percent stake in Yatela, which produced 85,000 and 11,000 attributable ounces of gold respectively, in 2014," the company said. AngloGold, which produced 4.44 million ounces last year, had debt at the end of 2014 of just over $3.1 billion, giving it a debt to EBITDA ratio of 1.88. It has said it wants to reduce this by at least $1 billion over the next one to three years. A sale of assets had also been widely expected since a shareholder revolt last year forced the company to scrap a planned demerger and rights issue just five days after the proposals were announced. The $2.1 billion rights issue was aimed at paring its debt, which Chief Executive Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan has called "unsustainably high". (Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by James Macharia and David Evans) ((Edward.Stoddard@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3160; Reuters Messaging: edward.stoddard.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: ANGLOGOLD ASHNTI M&A/

Japan's Dowa expects flat H1 copper output

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

PRECIOUS-Gold edges up after March drop as dollar slips

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

* Gold snaps 3-day fall, lost 2.4 pct in March * Coming up: U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI; 1400 GMT (Updates prices) By Manolo Serapio Jr SINGAPORE, April 1 (Reuters) - Gold kicked off April by climbing on Wednesday as the dollar retreated, but expectations the Federal Reserve is on course to lift interest rates this year capped gains. Investors are looking to U.S. jobs data due on Friday, when another strong number could boost bets the U.S. central bank will hike interest rates sooner rather than later. Economists polled by Reuters have forecast a 244,000 rise in non-farm payrolls in March, which would mark the 13th straight month of job gains of over 200,000, matching a run in 1994-95. ID:nL6N0WU0U6 The Fed will have a "strong" case to hike interest rates in June, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said, dismissing recent weak U.S. economic data as transitory and perhaps due to unseasonable weather. ID:nL2N0WX0MF Spot gold XAU= was up 0.2 percent at $1,185.65 an ounce by 0632 GMT, after ending March with a loss of 2.4 percent. "There's some short-term support around $1,180, but I still believe the price will continue to go down given pressure from the Fed increasing rates," said Chen Min, analyst at Jinrui Futures in Shenzhen. Bullion has dropped nearly 3 percent since touching a three-week high last week, as the dollar gained momentum after Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments on Friday suggested a rate hike is still on the cards for later this year. Yellen's remarks halted a seven-day rally in gold, its longest since 2012, that had been spurred by hopes the Fed would take it slow in raising rates. The greenback slipped against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, making dollar-denominated assets such as gold cheaper for holders of other currencies. U.S. gold for April delivery GCcv1 rose 0.2 percent to $1,185.50 an ounce. Buying interest from China, the world's second largest gold consumer after India, is "relatively soft" at current prices, said Chen. "Buyers are waiting for prices to fall below $1,100," she said. The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York-listed SPDR Gold Trust GLD , in March recorded its biggest monthly outflow since December 2013. GOL/ETF Investors were also keeping an eye on talks between Iran and six world powers to settle a dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme as discussions extended beyond a Tuesday deadline. ID:nL2N0WX2SG A deal could see the dollar "sell off slightly thus giving gold a bit of a lift," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note. Precious metals prices at 0632 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Spot Gold 1185.65 2.55 +0.22 0.18 Spot Silver 16.61 -0.01 -0.06 6.07 Spot Platinum 1138.05 -0.80 -0.07 -5.15 Spot Palladium 735.95 3.52 +0.48 -7.16 COMEX GOLD APR5 1185.50 2.40 +0.20 0.12 COMEX SILVER MAY5 16.63 0.03 +0.16 6.58 Euro/Dollar 1.0779 Dollar/Yen 119.85 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Joseph Radford and Tom Hogue) ((manolo.serapio@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3884; Reuters Messaging: manolo.serapio.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - April 1

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - April 1

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

DUBAI, April 1 (Reuters) - Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch of their accuracy. INTERNATIONAL/REGIONAL * GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks sag, dollar falls vs yen as Nikkei recoils MKTS/GLOB * Oil prices edge lower as Iran talks extend beyond deadline O/R * MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems, banks drag down Saudi Arabia; rest of Gulf strong ID:nL6N0WX394 * MIDEAST MONEY-Potential loopholes could limit impact of Saudi land tax ID:nL6N0WW0P8 * PRECIOUS-Gold edges up after March drop as dollar slips ID:nL3N0WY0RH * Middle East Crude-Dubai up on Shell's purchases ID:nL3N0WX1YB * Iran nuclear talks miss deadline; Russia says "key aspects" agreed ID:nL2N0WX2SG * UN says attack on Yemen camp broke law, calls for accountability ID:nL2N0WX2YP * Heavy clashes on Saudi-Yemeni border; Hadi government pleads for troops ID:nL6N0WX3MY * Japan looks for growth and influence from Islamic finance boom ID:nL6N0WK061 * UN says donors pledge $3.8 billion to Syria crisis ID:nL6N0WX1O6 * Emerging market bond sales drop 10 pct year-on-year in 2015 ID:nL6N0WX2YY * Libya's two biggest oil ports to open soon -NOC official ID:nL6N0WX3EM * EMERGING MARKETS-Equities set to gain for quarter, dollar pressures currencies ID:nL6N0WX25Q * Middle East funds moving to cash as risks rise -survey ID:L6N0WX0EM TURKEY * Prosecutor dies of wounds after Istanbul hostage shootout ID:nL6N0WX348 * Istanbul exchange names finance professor as chairman ahead of IPO ID:nL6N0WX3YQ * Major power outage hits cities and provinces across Turkey ID:nL6N0WX2OX * Turkey plans to boost low-income pensions at $900 mln annual cost -officials ID:nL6N0WX32V * Turkish growth beats forecasts but misses target as election looms ID:nL6N0WX0QT EGYPT * Obama ends freeze on U.S. military aid to Egypt ID:nL2N0WX2X7 * Egypt's Edita public offering 4.5 times oversubscribed ID:nL6N0WX3CG * Egypt court frees 68 activists in rare move ID:nL6N0WX3M1 SAUDI ARABIA * Saudi Arabia's Jeddah metro seen operating by 2020 -official ID:nL6N0WW3LN * Saudi Butanol Co says plant to start trial operations in Q3 2015 ID:nL6N0WX3S7 * Cost no barrier to Saudi Arabia's Yemen intervention ID:nL6N0WX1C7 * Saudi bourse's rules for opening to foreigners expected by end-April ID:nL6N0WX2B7 * Saudi's Sipchem says initial operations begin at plastics plant ID:nL6N0WX0ZM * Saudi Aramco sets April propane at $460/T, down $40 ID:nL6N0WX0YJ * Saudi's Sidra Capital opening Islamic trade fund to GCC investors ID:nL6N0WW2M3 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES * Dubai March crude average at $54.658/bbl, down $0.78 - traders ID:nL3N0WY1I8 * Rwanda signs deal with UAE-based company for water treatment plant ID:nL6N0WX5EL * Facelift or folly, Belgrade braces for Dubai-style makeover ID:nL6N0WX4WA * Abu Dhabi's TDIC delays fundraising plans for huge shopping mall - sources ID:nL6N0WS3Z2 * Dubai's Arabtec says appoints CEO for its construction unit ID:nL6N0WX0GV * Dubai's Drake & Scull proposes no 2014 dividend ID:nL6N0WX0BS KUWAIT * National Bank of Kuwait sets IPTs for benchmark dollar Tier 1 bond ID:nL6N0WW1ME * Telco Zain Iraq appoints new senior executives -statement ID:nL6N0WX1ED OMAN * Oman crude OSP fall to $55.09/bbl for May ID:nEONF3U0SH (Compiled by Dubai newsroom) ((dubai.newsroom@reuters.com)) Keywords: MIDEAST FACTORS/

India Morning Call-Global Markets

April 01, 2015 - reuters.com

EQUITIES NEW YORK - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as energy and healthcare shares retreated, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq registered their ninth straight quarterly advance. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 200.19 points, or 1.11 percent, to 17,776.12, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 18.35 points, or 0.88 percent, to 2,067.89 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 46.56 points, or 0.94 percent, to 4,900.88. For a full report, click on .N - - - - LONDON - Britain's top share index fell sharply on Tuesday, depressed by weaker tobacco and commodity company shares, but managed to make its biggest quarterly gain since 2013. The FTSE was down 118.39 points, or 1.7 percent, at 6,773.04 by the close, and is up 3.2 percent this year. For a full report, click on .L - - - - TOKYO - Tokyo shares fell on Wednesday as investors sold recent gainers to lock in profit on the first day of Japanese financial year and after soft reading on the Bank of Japan's tankan business sentiment survey. The Nikkei .N225 fell as much as 1.5 percent to 18,927.95 points, its lowest in three weeks and falling below the 25-day average, which stood around 19,155, for the first time in two months. For a full report, click on .T - - - - HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index .HSI is up 0.53 percent. For a full report, click on .HK - - - - FOREIGN EXCHANGE SYDNEY - The dollar edged down against the yen in early Asian trade on Wednesday, after the Bank of Japan's tankan survey of business sentiment showed that a weaker currency failed to improve Japanese corporate sentiment. Confidence among big Japanese manufacturers held steady at plus 12 in the three months to March, falling short of economists' expectations that it would rise to 14. Moreover, it was expected to worsen slightly ahead, the quarterly BOJ survey showed. For a full report, click on USD/ - - - - TREASURIES NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury debt prices rose on Tuesday on buying by institutional investors preparing their portfolios for the end of the quarter, a period in which prices of government securities rose. Prices were up in most maturities, with the largest gains in long-dated issues, and were keeping Treasuries on track for a fifth straight quarter of gains. For a full report, click on US/ - - - - COMMODITIES GOLD SINGAPORE - Gold kicked off April by climbing on Wednesday as the dollar retreated, but expectations the Federal Reserve is on course to lift interest rates this year capped bullion's gains. Investors are looking to Friday's U.S. jobs data when another strong number could boost bets the U.S. central bank will hike interest rates sooner rather than later. For a full report, click on GOL/ - - - - BASE METALS SYDNEY - London copper prices steadied on Wednesday after Chinese factory activity performed a fraction better than expected, while nickel plumbed new six-year lows as China nickel pig iron producers sold stocks to raise cash. Three month copper CMCU3 on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.1 percent at $6,047.50 a tonne by 0148 GMT, after a small fall the session before. For a full report, click on MET/L - - - - OIL NEW YORK - Oil futures edged lower on Wednesday amid speculation that a last-minute deal over Iran's nuclear programme would be reached that could allow more Iranian crude onto world markets. Brent crude for May delivery LCOc1 was down 8 cents at $55.03 a barrel by 0201 GMT, after settling down $1.18 on Tuesday. The contract had fallen 8 percent over the last week amid expectations of a nuclear deal. 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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