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Reuters Infos

TABLE-NSE Currency Futures traded on Aug 22

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

London platinum/palladium 1400 fix - Aug 22

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

Poland keeping 'foot in door' to euro zone membership - Finance Minister

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

* Szczurek says joining euro less attractive than in past * Poland legally required to join but has no target date * Poland wants euro zone reforms completed before joining By Marcin Goettig WARSAW, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Poland is keeping the door open to euro zone membership, but joining the common currency will not boost the country's status because it is already a stable and developed economy, Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek was quoted on Friday as saying. Poland, which joined the European Union in 2004, is legally obliged to join the euro zone at some point. But it has not set a target date and says it needs to see the final shape of new euro zone institutions before it takes further steps towards adopting the common currency. "In 2004 the euro zone and Poland were different. Since then the balance of benefits and costs from switching the currency has changed," Szczurek told the wnp.pl website. "Joining the euro zone in itself is no longer a trampoline to the status of a stable, developed economy - we have already become one," he said. "Adopting the euro will also not mean as significant a fall in interest rates as was earlier indicated. We are already financing ourselves more cheaply than euro zone countries with the same (credit) rating," Szczurek said. Poland has enjoyed years of strong economic growth since joining the EU, even during the global financial meltdown of 2008-09 and the euro zone debt crisis that began in 2010. Several other former communist countries that also joined the EU in 2004, including Slovakia and Estonia, have already joined the euro, but Poland is much larger. Szczurek said he could imagine a situation where Poland's euro zone accession process would have to be accelerated for political reasons. "If the conditions for using our strategy of 'keeping a foot in the door' change to such an extent that these doors start to crush our foot, that is if there is a need to maintain the position of Poland in Europe, then I would allow the possibility of re-evaluating this strategy," Szczurek said. POLITICS "However, one cannot rule out a possibility (...) that the situation in the euro zone is so bad that the 'political benefits' (...) will not play a significant role," he added. Some analysts argue that euro zone membership would anchor Poland more firmly in Western institutions, increasing its security and political clout. In March, Poland's central bank governor Marek Belka said the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine made him more positive about the benefits for Poland of joining the euro. But Prime Minister Donald Tusk then said Poland would not rush to join the euro zone just because of the crisis in Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are battling Kiev's forces in the east of the country. ID:nL6N0M71U9 Poland also faces a domestic political obstacle to adopting the euro as it would need to amend its constitution, which now states that the zloty is its national currency. Such a change would require a two-thirds majority in parliament, something Tusk's centre-right government now lacks. Opinion polls show a majority of Poles oppose joining the euro. Asked if Poland should enter the euro zone or not, Szczurek reiterated the government's public position: "Enter, but only when we are ready, when we meet the criteria in a sustainable way and when the euro zone passes effective institutional reforms." "We must be convinced that the changes in the European Union and the euro zone -- including the banking union -- will allow for an effective reaction in case of a crisis situation in the future," Szczurek said. (Editing by Gareth Jones) ((marcin.goettig@thomsonreuters.com; +48226539720; Reuters Messaging: marcin.goettig.reuters.com@thomsonreuters.net)) Keywords: POLAND EURO/FINMIN

UPDATE 1-Russian gold miner Polyus swings to profit as sales volume up

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

* Posts $253 mln profit after a $167 mln loss in H1 2013 * Says on track to produce up to 1.65 mln oz in 2014 * Sales volumes up 15 pct, revenue down 2 pct (Adds details, quote and context) By Andrey Kuzmin MOSCOW, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Russia's Polyus Gold PGIL.L swung to a profit in the first half of 2014 from a year-ago loss thanks to higher sales volumes, cost-cutting and a fall in the rouble, which outweighed a fall in gold prices. Russia's biggest gold miner, which is part-owned by businessman Suleiman Kerimov, on Friday reported a net profit of $253 million for the first six months, compared with a net loss of $167 million for January-June 2013, when the company had to record big impairment charges because of a sharp fall in gold prices. Gold sales volumes increased 15 percent year-on-year to 751,000 troy ounces. Revenue declined 2 percent to $1 billion, however, due to lower prices, Polyus said, citing an average price of $1,296 per troy ounce in the first half, down 14 percent from the first half of 2013. Polyus was able to reduce production costs during the first half by 13 percent to $662 per ounce from $757 a year earlier thanks in part to a weaker rouble, the company said. "The company is satisfied with results to date of the cost-cutting initiatives implemented across its assets in 1H 2014, enabling all of the operations to maintain solid profitability despite depressed gold prices", Polyus said in the statement. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were down 6 percent to $393 million due to lower gold prices. The net also benefited by comparison with last year, when the company recorded large impairment charges. Polyus added that it remained on track to produce 1.58 million to 1.65 million troy ounces in 2014 and confirmed plans to launch its vast Natalka project next summer. Benchmark gold prices in London XAU= reached a two-month low of $1.273.06 this week, hurt by data showing a recovering U.S. economy and by speculation that the Federal Reserve could hike interest rates sooner than expected. (editing by Jane Baird) ((andrey.kuzmin@thomsonreuters.com; +74957751242; Reuters Messaging: andrey.kuzmin.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: RUSSIA POLYUS/

India to auction 130 bln rupees of T-bills on Aug. 27

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

Aug 22 (Reuters) - The Reserve Bank of India will auction 130 billion rupees ($2.15 billion) of treasury bills on Aug. 27, including 80 billion of 91-day t-bills and 50 billion rupees of 182-day t-bill, it said in a release on Friday. ($1 = 60.4650 Indian rupee) (Reporting by Aditya Kondalamahanty in Bangalore; Editing by Anand Basu) ((Aditya.K@thomsonreuters.com; +91 80 6749 4771; Reuters Messaging: Aditya.K@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA CENBANK/TBILLS

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

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

STOCKS .BSESN .NSEI ----------------------- The benchmark BSE index ended up 0.23 percent and the broader NSE index closed 0.28 percent higher, as software stocks gained after upbeat U.S. and German data raised optimism about the sector's business outlook, while higher global shares also helped. .BO GOVERNMENT BONDS IN084024G=CC -------------------------------- India's benchmark 10-year bond yield ended 1 basis point higher at 8.52 percent on profit-taking and on caution ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech at Jackson Hole later in the day, although broader sentiment remained supported by recent strong foreign buying. IN/ RUPEE INR=D2 -------------- The partially convertible rupee ended stronger at 60.4650/4750 per dollar against its previous close of 60.67/68, after earlier hitting a three-week high against the dollar, on continued strong buying of debt and shares by foreign investors. INR/ INTEREST RATE SWAPS INROIS MIOIS= ------------------------------------- The benchmark five-year swap rate and the one-year rate both closed down 2 bps at 8.01 percent and 8.44 percent, respectively. CALL MONEY INROND= --------------------- India's cash rate ended at 7.95/8.00 percent against Thursday's close of 7.70/7.75 percent. ---------------------- Double click on codes in <> Reuters MIOR/MIBOR MIBR= NSE MIBID/MIBOR MIBR=NS Reuters Corporate Bond Yield/Spread 0#AAAINBMK= For Reuters Benchmarks IN/BENCH (Compiled by Dipika Lalwani) ((dipika.lalwani@thomsonreuters.com; +91-22-61807098; Reuters Messaging: dipika.lalwani.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA SNAPSHOT/

Sri Lanka rupee ends firmer; seen stable for 2014

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

COLOMBO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee rose against the dollar on Friday as exporter dollar sales outpaced late importer demand, while dealers expect the currency to be stable throughout the year after the central bank chief's comments. The rupee LKR=LK closed at 130.18/20 per dollar, slightly stronger than Thursday's close of 130.19/22. "There was late importer dollar demand. But the rupee is firmer on inflows and the appreciating trend is intact," a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity. Central bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said at a foreign correspondents forum on Wednesday that it would intervene in the market to keep the rupee stable. Cabraal said Sri Lanka's foreign exchange market was thin and the intervention was mainly because the central bank did not want the market to get disturbed with a single transaction, "whether an inflow or outflow". Dealers said the two state banks, through which the central bank usually intervenes in the market, were not actively seen in the market. The central bank has absorbed $1.09 billion from the market this year through Wednesday, a central bank official said recently, to keep the rupee steady and prevent sharp appreciation as well as excess volatility in the rupee. Offshore investors bought a net 1.81 billion rupees worth of government securities in the week ended Aug. 20, official data showed. (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee) ((ranga.sirilal@thomsonreuters.com; +94-11-232-5540; Reuters Messaging: ranga.sirilal.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net ; www.twitter.com/rangaba)) Keywords: MARKETS SRI LANKA/

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies, set for 2nd weekly drop on rate speculation

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

* Gold steady after 5-day losing streak * Weekly loss headed for 1.9 pct, biggest since July * Coming up: Fed Chair Yellen speaks at Jackson Hole at 1400 GMT (Updates prices) By Clara Denina LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Gold steadied above a two-month low on Friday after a five-day losing streak and was headed for its biggest weekly loss in five, hurt by strong U.S. economic data and speculation the Federal Reserve could hike interest rates sooner than expected. Bullion has been hit hard after minutes from the Fed's July meeting on Wednesday showed policymakers debated whether interest rates should be raised earlier given a surprisingly strong job market recovery. ID:nL2N0QQ228 The metal came under further pressure on Thursday when a break below the 200-day moving average of $1,284 an ounce triggered stops losses -- automatic sale orders placed by traders at pre-set levels to limit losses -- and sent prices tumbling more than 1 percent. Spot gold XAU= was up 0.3 percent at $1,280.60 an ounce by 1129 GMT, not far from a two-month low of $1,273.06 hit on Thursday. The metal is down almost 2 percent for the week, the biggest drop since the week ended July 18. U.S. gold futures GCcv1 gained 0.5 percent to $1,281.30. The dollar hovered below its 2014 peak against a basket of major currencies ahead of an eagerly awaited speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. FRX/ Any further strengthening of the U.S. currency is likely to add pressure to gold by making the metal more expensive for holders of foreign currencies. But a dovish speech from Yellen, who in July stressed that there was still significant slack in labour markets, would counter this week's Fed minutes. Higher interest rates would dull the attractiveness of non-interest-bearing assets such as gold. "Yellen's Jackson Hole (speech) is going to be a dominating story as it comes at a sensitive time for Fed communication, given that the minutes released this week had a slightly more hawkish tinge," Macquarie analyst Matt Turner said. "However, Jackson Hole speeches are not the most obvious place to communicate a change in policy; on previous occasions, they have done so when the economy was faltering, and that's not the case now, so we shouldn't expect it to be a major event." Data on Thursday showed U.S. home resales raced to a 10-month high in July, while the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, signalling strength in the economy and reducing gold's appeal as an alternative investment. ID:nL2N0QR0NC Physical markets failed to provide any significant support for gold as demand in major consumers China and India remained weak. Analysts, however, expected buying from India to increase heading into the festival and wedding season, when it is traditionally considered auspicious to buy gold. GOL/AS "Lower gold prices are coming at an opportune time for the Indian market, which is on the cusp of its seasonally busy period," UBS said in a note. Silver XAG= rose 0.4 percent to $19.48 an ounce, having touched a two-month low of $19.25 in the previous session. Spot platinum XPT= snapped a nine-day losing streak, its longest since July 2008, up 0.6 percent to $1,421.00 an ounce. Spot palladium XPD= was up 0.5 percent to $878.60 an ounce. (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by William Hardy and Jane Baird) ((clara.denina@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 207 542 9420)(Reuters Messaging: clara.denina.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

Indian rupee hits 3-week high; gains for third straight week

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

* Rupee ends at 60.4650/4750 per dlr vs 60.67/68 prev close * INR seen in 59.50 to 61.00 range over the next month-trader * Yellen's speech at Jackson Hole key for market direction By Swati Bhat MUMBAI, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee rose on Friday, after earlier hitting a three-week high against the dollar, on continued strong buying of debt and shares by foreign investors, while gains in emerging market currencies also contributed to the improved sentiment. The rupee was also helped after Bloomberg quoted an analyst at Standard & Poor's calling the Indian government's target to lower the fiscal deficit a positive for the country's ratings, helping the currency rise to a session's high. ID:nL4N0QS1QL The rupee put on 0.5 percent for the week, a third straight week of gains, as foreign funds turned active buyers of Indian assets, especially debt, despite lingering concerns in global markets including the prospect of earlier-than-expected U.S. rate hikes. Foreign institutional investors bought debt worth $2.65 billion on Wednesday alone, which some traders called the biggest single-day buying on record. That took total inflows into the debt and sharemarket so far in 2014 to about $29 billion. However, caution set in ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, due later in the day. "Geopolitical tensions have eased and market expects Yellen to be more dovish at the Jackson Hole meeting," said Ashtosh Raina, head of foreign exchange trading at HDFC Bank. "The overall trend points towards more appreciation in the rupee. It will all depend on the (foreign) flows, however, and the central bank will let it gain in a gradual manner while also accumulating reserves," he added, predicting a range of 59.60 to 61 over the next month. The partially convertible rupee INR=D2 closed at 60.4650/4750 per dollar compared with 60.67/68 in the previous session. The unit rose to 60.3750, its strongest level since July 31. Most other Asian currencies also rose as the dollar rally lost steam ahead of Yellen's speech, adding to positive sentiment for the rupee. ID:nL4N0QS1XM Broader gains were, however, capped on the back of some dollar demand from oil importers at 60.40 levels, traders said. In the offshore non-deliverable forwards PNDF , the one-month contract was at 60.76, while the three-month was at 61.33. FACTORS TO WATCH * Dlr rally stalls as Yellen at Jackson Hole now in focus FRX/ * Won leads Asia FX gains ahead of Yellen EMRG/FRX * Asian shares hitch a ride on Wall Street's record MKTS/GLOB * Foreign institutional investor flows INFII INFII01 * For data on currency futures INRFUTURES DIARIES & DATA: Indian Data Watch ECONIN European diary WEU/EQTY2 Indian diary IN/DIARY US Diary US/DIARY (Editing by Prateek Chatterjee) ((swati.bhat@thomsonreuters.com; +91-22-61807353; Reuters Messaging: swati.bhat.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS INDIA FOREX/

FOREX-Yen and Swiss franc rise vs euro on Ukraine tension, dollar steady

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

* Safe-haven currencies gain as Russia-Ukraine tension flares * Dollar rally pauses as investors trim long positions * Yellen speech could counter hawkish tone in Fed minutes * ECB's Draghi also due to speak at Jackson Hole gathering (Recasts, adds fresh comment) By Anirban Nag LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The yen and the Swiss francs rose against the euro on Friday, helped by safe-haven inflows after a Russian aid convoy crossed into Ukraine without permission from Kiev, rattling investors. ID:L5N0QS1KV The dollar, meanwhile, hovered below its 2014 peak against a basket of major currencies on Friday, as investors stayed cautious ahead of a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. While Yellen's speech will take centre stage later in the session and potentially sway the dollar against most currencies, the conflict in Ukraine grabbed attention in an otherwise quiet European session. The euro fell to the day's low against the yen EURJPY= of 137.32 yen, and was last down 0.3 percent at 137.60. The single currency also shed 0.1 percent against the Swiss franc to trade at 1.2095 francs EURCHF=R , not far from a 19-month low of 1.20865 francs struck on August 15. The euro fell 0.1 percent against the dollar to trade at $1.3264 EUR= , as investors sold European stocks and sought safety in top-notch German Bunds. The single currency was not far from a 11-month low of $1.3242 struck on Thursday. "The Ukraine headlines saw both the Swiss franc and the yen rise, but gains have been relatively muted," said Alvin Tan, currency strategist at Societe Generale. "The big mover, I guess, will be Yellen's speech later in the day." FOCUS ON YELLEN The dollar index .DXY was steady at 82.194, having risen as high as 82.364 on Thursday, a level last seen in early September. It was still up 0.9 percent so far this week and on track for its best weekly gain since January. Upbeat U.S. housing data and hawkish-sounding Fed minutes have combined to give the dollar a boost. ID:nL2N0QQ228 "Some of those who held long dollar positions before have probably taken profits since yesterday," said Lutz Karpowitz, currency strategist at Commerzbank. He said those who missed the dollar rally are likely to hold off now until there are fresh cues from an annual gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Yellen will give her speech. The topic of this year's symposium is "Re-Evaluating Labor Market Dynamics". Last month, Yellen stressed there was significant slack in labour markets, prompting markets to push back the timing of the first interest rate hike. A dovish speech from Yellen would counter this week's Fed minutes that showed policymakers debating whether rates should be raised earlier or not. This week's rally left the dollar on the verge of breaking above its April peak of 104.13 yen JPY= , a move that could open up the way to 105.45, set in January, traders said. The dollar eased to 103.65 yen, still not that far from a 4-1/2 month high near 103.97 yen on Thursday. "Anything remotely less dovish than expected from Yellen should lift the dollar, and dollar/yen will be the front-runner there," said Jesper Bargmann, head of trading for Nordea Bank in Singapore. One factor that could help temper gains in the dollar is the lack of a significant rise in U.S. bond yields, analysts said. The U.S. two-year Treasury yield last stood at around 0.46 percent US2YT=RR . While the two-year yield has edged up from a two-month low hit last Friday, it remains below a three-year high of 0.59 percent touched in late July. (additional reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt) ((anirban.nag@thomsonreuters.com; 44 20 7542 8399; Reuters Messaging: anirban.nag.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

Burundi H1 trade deficit narrows as local currency strengthens-central bank

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

BUJUMBURA, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Burundi's trade deficit narrowed to $325.7 million in the first half of 2014 from $389.1 million in the same period a year ago as the local currency strengthened against the dollar, the central bank said on Friday. An imbalance between imports and exports has hampered economic growth in the small east African nation of nearly 10 million people, where coffee and tea production accounts for 85 percent of total export revenues. For the six months to the end of June, Burundi's franc gained 1.7 percent in value against the dollar compared with January and June 2013, central bank figures showed. Export revenues increased by 10.6 percent to $40.5 million and import costs fell 14 percent to $366.2 million. The International Monetary Fund projects Burundi's economy could expand 4.7 percent this year from 4.5 percent in 2013. Economists have urged the landlocked country to diversify its export crops, attract foreign investors and promote tourism in order to see its annual economic growth exceeding 5 percent. (Reporting by Patrick Nduwimana; Editing by James Macharia,Larry King) ((james.macharia@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +254 204 991 232 ; Reuters Messaging: james.macharia.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: BURUNDI TRADE/

German Bund yields fall as Russian trucks enter Ukraine

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

* Fed, ECB seen dovish but no promises expected * Bund yields below 1 pct, other EZ yields also at historic lows * Ukraine: Russian aid convoy crosses border without permission By Marius Zaharia LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - German Bund yields fell close to their record lows below 1 percent on Friday, after Ukrainian authorities said 90 trucks from a Russian aid convoy had crossed the border without permission. ID:nL5N0QS1KV The latest development in the Ukraine crisis that has seen Russia and the West imposing economically damaging sanctions on each other prompted investors to seek refuge in top-rated assets. Ukraine said will not use any force against the Russian convoy, as it wishes to avoid provocations. ID:nL5N0QS1SW Also keeping Bund yields subdued was widespread expectation that central bankers gathering for an annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, would signal they are in no rush to either tighten or loosen monetary policy. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen is likely to reiterate a view expressed last month that there is significant under-utilisation of labour resources. Those comments prompted markets to push back the timing of an interest rate hike. "Our guess is that we won't get any particularly dramatic insight from Yellen. Her views on the labour market are well entrenched," said Chris Scicluna, head of economic research at Daiwa Capital Markets. German 10-year Bund yields DE10YT=TWEB were down 2.4 basis points lower at 0.969 percent, within touching distance of a record low of 0.952 percent. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is under pressure to use his last remaining tool -- printing money -- to tackle near-zero inflation and lift a stagnating economy, but he is not expected to show any urgency in that regard. The ECB cut all its interest rates in June and will offer up to 1 trillion euros of cheap four-year loans to banks (TLTROs)from September. Draghi has said he wants to see the results of these measures before taking new steps. "Slow growth ahead ... will keep hopes up that the ECB will start a full-scale QE programme," said Suvi Kosonen, an analyst at Nordea, referring to quantitative easing, the technical term for central bank asset purchases. "Draghi will most likely stay dovish, but we expect no promises of new measures at this point with the TLTROs still about to materialise. So no 'whatever it takes' 2.0 coming up today." FLIPPING FRESH COINS Other euro zone yields also held relatively steady around historic lows. Spanish ES10YT=TWEB and Italian IT10YT=TWEB yields were flat at 2.39 percent and 2.58 percent respectively. Such low borrowing costs for countries which have a combined debt of 3 trillion euros, are struggling to grow and have no inflation raise questions about the sustainability of a two-year-old rally sparked by Draghi's promise in 2012 to do 'whatever it takes' to save the euro. Some observers such as the Bank for International Settlements, which is known as the central bank of central banks, see the rally as a potential bubble which might burst once money gets more expensive, especially in the United States. But a weak correlation between Spanish and Italian yields with their U.S. counterparts is reassuring. ID:nL5N0QP3SD http://link.reuters.com/jyw62w The ECB's stance also helps the euro zone bond market to decouple from the one across the Atlantic. "In essence, growth and inflation surprises would help sovereign credit risk through supporting debt sustainability, while the absence of growth and inflation will spur further ECB accommodation," Societe Generale rate strategist Ciaran O'Hagan said in a note. "So heads, prices rise and tails, yields fall." (Reporting by Marius Zaharia; Graphic by Monica Ulmanu; 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

Ugandan shilling stronger on inflows from offshore investors

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

KAMPALA, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The Ugandan shilling UGX= strengthened on Friday, riding healthy inflows from offshore investors who participated in this week's Treasury auction, while company demand for dollars faded. At 0926 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,592/2,602, stronger than Thursday's close of 2,598/2,608. "There are inflows from some of the offshore investors who took part in the auction," said Sage Daniel Muganza, trader at Centenary Bank. "Corporate demand is low so those inflows are not being taken up and it's pushing up the shilling." Strong offshore uptake of Ugandan debt typically supports the shilling as these investors have to convert their hard currency to pay up for their succesful bids. The central bank or Bank of Uganda (BoU) sold a total of 145 billion shillings ($55.98 million) worth of Treasury bills of all maturities this week. Traders say offshore appetite for Ugandan debt has surged in recent weeks, drawn by rising yields. At this week's auction rates rose across all tenors. ID:nL5N0QQ239 The shilling, which is down 2.8 percent against the greenback this year, has firmed in recent weeks on the back of subdued dollar demand, flows from offshore investors and improving relations between Uganda and western donors. Another likely strengthening factor was a court decision overturning an anti-gay law that drew Western criticism and halted aid payments. ID:nL6N0Q731V This month's central bank decision to leave its policy rate unchanged at 11 percent for August and September is expected to provide extra support for the local currency. A trader at a leading commercial bank said the shilling could strengthen to about 2,500 shillings per dollar next week. 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 (1 US dollar = 2,590.0000 Ugandan shilling) (Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by James Macharia/Mark Heinrich) ((elias.biryabarema@thomsonreuters.com; Tel. +256772887571; Reuters Messaging: elias.biryabarema.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: UGANDA CURRENCY/

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Russian shares lower as Moscow warns over aid convoy

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

(Refiles to add dropped word in first paragraph) MOSCOW, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Russian shares fell back on Friday after a 10-day rally, as investors focused on tensions in Ukraine after the foreign mnistry in Moscow warned against disrupting an aid convoy that finally crossed the border after a delay of several days. Speculation about a speech later in the day by the head of the Federal Reserve that could clarify signals on when U.S. interest rates might rise added to the cautious mood. At 0855 GMT, the dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was down 1.4 percent at 1,257 points, while its rouble-based peer MICEX .MCX traded 1.3 percent lower at 1,442 points. The rouble weakened against both the dollar and the euro after strong gains in the previous session. ID:nL5N0QR23G "The market is buying on rumours and selling on facts. The rise was driven in part by events linked to the movement of the Russian convoy," said Alexei Evsyutin, an equities salesman at BCS brokerage in Moscow. "Market players aren't buying for the long haul, they were able to get a small profit and that's enough," he said, adding that traders were nervous ahead of Fed chair Janet Yellen's speech. Russia's most liquid stocks were all trading lower by early afternoon, with top bank Sberbank SBER.MM down 1.3 percent and oil major Rosneft ROSN.MM 1.9 percent lower. Russian markets have been supported in recent days by hopes for a de-escalation of the Ukraine conflict, which has prompted the West to impose several rounds of sanctions on Moscow that have spurred capital flight and dampened the outlook for Russia's economy. President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko are due to meet on Aug. 26 in Minsk to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine, where fierce fighting is continuing between pro-Russian rebels and government forces. The market has taken news of the meeting as a sign that a peace deal could be thrashed out. But news that the Russian aid convoy had crossed the Ukrainian border headed for the rebel stronghold of Luhansk and a strong statement from the Foreign Ministry threatened to ratchet up tensions once more. ID:nL5N0QS0XX ID:nL5N0QS16U "The Russian side has taken the decision to act," the ministry said, warning against any attempts to disrupt the convoy's movement. "The Foreign Ministry statement, in my opinion, was the straw that broke the camel's back. There needed to be a reason for a correction, and it appeared. Of course the risk of an unforeseen development of events has risen," said Alexander Golovtsov, chief analyst at UralSib Asset Management. The rouble was 0.32 percent weaker against the dollar at 36.13 RUBUTSTN=MCX and was 0.35 percent weaker at 48.01 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX . That left the currency 0.33 percent weaker at 41.47 against the dollar-euro basket RUS=MCX the central bank uses to gauge the rouble's nominal exchange rate. 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 Zlata Garasyuta and Alexander Winning; Editing by Jason Bush and John Stonestreet) ((alexander.winning@thomsonreuters.com; +7 495 775 1242; Reuters Messaging: alexander.winning.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: RUSSIA MARKETS/

UPDATE 1-Mine collapse in Central African Republic kills 25

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds quote, detail, background) BANGUI, Aug 22 (Reuters) - At least 25 people have died in a collapse at a gold mine 60 km (40 miles) north of the Central African Republic town of Bambari, Ahmat Negat, spokesman for the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, said on Friday. The mine at Ndassima is carved deep into a forested hilltop north of Seleka's military headquarters in Bambari. It is owned by Canada's Axmin AXM.V but was overrun by rebels more than year ago and now forms part of an illicit economy driving sectarian conflict in the country. At least 27 artisanal miners were buried in the collapse of the mine on Thursday and 25 bodies have been retrieved, Negat said. "Nobody from our service is on the ground to regulate the miners so they dig without any rules. Lower than 3 metres it gets dangerous and with rain there can be collapses," Georges Yacinth-Oubaouba, a senior official in the Ministry of Mines, told Reuters. He confirmed the incident. At Ndassima, labourers toil beneath the gaze of Seleka gunmen to produce some 15 kilos of gold a month - worth roughly $350,000 on the local market, or double that in international trade. Thousands of people have died and more than a million fled their homes in Central African Republic amid the violence between the Seleka rebels and Christian militia. Some 2,000 French and 6,000 Africa Union peacekeepers have been deployed to Central African Republic, but they have struggled to help the weak transitional government stamp its authority on the mineral-rich country. (Reporting by Crispin Dembassa-Kette; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Toby Chopra) ((matt.bigg@thomsonreuters.com)(+233 0)(209 607-203)(Reuters Messaging: matt.bigg.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CENTRALAFRICA MINE

Vietnam domestic market commodity prices-Aug 22

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

Aug 22 (Reuters) - Following are domestic prices of Vietnam's key commodities. Unit: million dong VND= per tonne. Item Aug 18-22 Aug 11-15 Location Robusta beans 37.9-39.3 37.5-39.3 Central Highlands Black pepper 182.0-183.0 182.0-183.0 Southern region Refined sugar 13.0-15.5 13.0-15.5 Southern region Summer-autumn paddy 5.50-6.20 5.60-6.40 Mekong Delta ___________________ SJC gold 3.647-3.665 3.662-3.678 Hanoi, HCM City NOTES: Gold prices are low/high selling prices quoted in million dong during the week by top manufacturer SJC per 3.75-gram ingot. Coffee export prices COFFEE/ASIA1 Rice export prices RICE/ASIA1 Historical data VNCOMM01 Central bank's gold auction SBVGOLD2013 ($1=21,170 dong) (Compiled by Hanoi Newsroom) ((mai.nguyen@thomsonreuters.com)(+844 3825 9623)) Keywords: VIETNAM COMMODITIES/PRICES

Mine collapse in Central African Republic kills 25

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

BANGUI, Aug 22 (Reuters) - At least 25 people have died in a collapse at a gold mine 60 km (40 miles) north of the Central African Republic town of Bambari, a spokesman for the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels said on Friday. The mine at Ndassima is carved deep into a forested hilltop north of Seleka's military headquarters in Bambari. It is owned by Canada's Axmin AXM.V but was overrun by rebels more than year ago and now forms part of an illicit economy driving sectarian conflict in the country. (Reporting by Crispin Dembassa-Kette; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Alison Williams) ((matt.bigg@thomsonreuters.com; +233)(0)(209 607-203; Reuters Messaging: matt.bigg.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CENTRALAFRICA MINE

EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks resume climb on view Fed will stay loose

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

(There will be no EMERGING MARKETS report from London on Aug 25, a UK holiday) By Chris Vellacott LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Emerging stocks resumed their upward trajectory on Friday, hitting three-year highs and heading for a gain of more than 1 percent for the week on the back of expectations that monetary policy in the United States will stay loose for now. The MSCI emerging index .MSCIEF rose 0.4 percent on hopes that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will signal at an annual gathering of central bankers later on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that interest rates will not rise just yet. "Today everyone is waiting to hear what Yellen might say, expecting her to modify tightening expectations a little bit," said Per Hammarlund, chief emerging markets strategist at SEB. Rising rates in the United States could prompt heavy flows of investment out of emerging markets where investors have flocked in search of higher returns. Meanwhile, a 10-day rally in Russian shares driven partly by hopes for no further escalation in the Ukraine crisis ran out of steam. The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was down 1.4 percent and its rouble-based peer MICEX .MCX lost 1.3 percent. The rouble RUB= was 0.32 percent weaker against the dollar following strong gains in the previous session that were prompted by hopes that a bilateral meeting between Russia and Ukraine next week will ease tensions between the countries. Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko are due to meet on Aug. 26 in Minsk to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine, where fighting is raging between pro-Russian rebels and government forces. Ukraine's hryvnia UAH= fell nearly 2 percent to a new record low. In Turkey the lira TRY= advanced 0.2 percent against the dollar and shares .XU100 were 0.4 percent higher as investors awaited clarity on who will be running the economy in the country's new government. Turkish president-elect Tayyip Erdogan named Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as his future prime minister on Thursday. Erdogan's AK Party was set to approve his nomination at a congress on August 27. "(Davutoglu) is largely perceived to be a loyal ally of Erdogan. It's very likely we will see the same kind of policy continuing, with pressure on the central bank to lower interest rates. That will make the lira more vulnerable to changes in U.S. monetary policy, when they come," Hammarlund said. The Turkish economy is dependent on foreign capital to finance a current account deficit so a hawkish signal from the Fed could prompt heavy selling of Turkish assets. In South Africa, the rand ZAR= held on to gains from the previous session with a 0.1 percent gain on the dollar with investors waiting for clarity from the Fed. Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said on Thursday it was not looking to downgrade South African banks after a Moody's cut earlier in the week. Bankers citing data from EPFR Global said investors put more money into emerging market funds in the week to August 20, with inflows amounting to 0.34 percent of assets under management. Renaissance Capital said in a note that much of the new money had flowed to Asia-focused funds - which saw new money equivalent to 0.5 percent of assets - while Latin America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa saw outflows. Argentina's key dollar discount bond due 2033 US040114GL81=R fell 2 cents to 78 cents on the dollar, extending losses from earlier this week, after U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa on Thursday called a proposed debt restructuring plan by Argentina "illegal". ID:nL2N0QR0SL For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2014, see http://link.reuters.com/jus35t For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2014, see http://link.reuters.com/weh36s For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging Europe performance 2014, see http://link.reuters.com/jun28s For GRAPHIC on MSCI frontier index performance 2014, see http://link.reuters.com/zyh97s For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see CEE/ For TURKISH market report, see .IS For RUSSIAN market report, see RU/RUB ) (Additional reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Gareth Jones) ((Reporting by Chris Vellacott. Editing by Simon Jessop)(follow me on twitter @ReutersChrisV. Email: chris.vellacott@thomsonreuters.com)(+44)(0)(20 75423987)(Reuters Messaging: chris.vellacott.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS EMERGING/

London platinum/palladium 0945 fix - Aug 22

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

China gold exchange gains traction as yuan reforms stir interest

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

* Global Chinese exchange exceeds target of 30 members * Foreign banks, refiners, trading houses sign up - source * To allow offshore yuan in trading of gold contracts * Aims to challenge dominance of New York and London By A. Ananthalakshmi SINGAPORE, Aug 22 (Reuters) - China's planned global gold exchange has signed up more members than targeted, as foreign banks and trading houses seek direct access to the world's top physical gold consumer and to test out reforms allowing them to trade commodities in the yuan currency. The strong response from foreign players will boost efforts by China - also the world's biggest producer of gold - to gain pricing power over the metal and to challenge the dominance of London and New York in trading. The Shanghai Gold Exchange targeted 30 companies for the first round of membership but has signed up 40, including many foreign banks, with just over a month to go before the launch, a senior source with direct knowledge of the matter said. The exchange's progress is being closely tracked by the global trading community as gold is one of the first commodities that China is opening up to foreign players by allowing them to participate directly in physical trade and to use offshore yuan. The bourse is set to begin operations on Sept. 29 in the Shanghai free-trade zone, with three yuan-denominated physical gold contracts, of 100 grams, 1 kg and the bigger London gold delivery bar weighing 12.5 kg, according to the source who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It is too important a market to stay away," said Bernhard Schnellmann, director of Swiss-based Argor-Heraeus, one of the world's biggest gold refineries, which is considering joining. "I think the SGE will be successful with this new exchange as they have a big home market and there should be enough liquidity." The new free-trade zone is also seen as a testing ground for currency reforms, as Beijing takes cautious steps towards allowing full convertibility of China's currency. ID:nL3N0O80S3 YUAN TRADE Allowing foreign players to trade yuan-denominated bullion contracts - without the need to exchange into U.S. dollars - would give the Chinese currency more international exposure, while also drawing in demand for gold in offshore yuan. Trading offshore yuan is currently restricted to certain international financial centres such as Hong Kong, Singapore and London. "Having a gold contract delivered in the free trade zone in local currency is interesting in terms of bringing together the onshore and offshore players," said a trader with a bullion bank that is considering being part of the exchange. The senior source with direct knowledge of the exchange declined to name the companies that had signed up, but market sources said HSBC HSBA.L , Australia and New Zealand Banking Group ANZ.AX , Standard Bank SBKJ.J , Standard Chartered STAN.L , Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO and J.P. Morgan JPM.N were interested in participating. Refiners Argor-Heraeus and the Perth Mint were also considering membership, company officials said. It wasn't immediately clear if all the firms were joining as the first set of trading members or would sign up later. Metalor had told Reuters in June that it would join as a founding member. ID:nL4N0P518T "We're very keen to explore cooperation in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone gold market and see the development of a new exchange as being a great opportunity to entice foreign investment to China's physical gold market," ANZ said in an emailed statement. The other companies declined to comment. PRICING POWER The senior source with direct knowledge of the exchange said the 40 members that had signed up, including international banks, refiners and trading houses. "The response has been better than our expectations," said the source. "After the opening of the exchange, we will increase the number of participants." A spokesman for the SGE said it had targeted 30 members but declined to say how many had signed up. China - the world's biggest buyer of raw materials from copper to coal - is pushing hard to establish pricing benchmarks for a number of commodities. China and other Asian gold trading centres such as Singapore are seeking control over pricing of the precious metal as they seek alternatives to the so-called London fix, the global benchmark, which is being investigated by regulators on suspicion that it may have been manipulated. ID:nL4N0P42BW The active presence of foreign players in the Chinese gold bourse is seen as an important positive step, though liquidity and full convertibility of the yuan would ultimately determine whether Chinese gold prices would be widely accepted. (Editing by Ed Davies) ((ananthalakshmi.as@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3726; Reuters Messaging: ananthalakshmi.as.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GOLD CHINA/EXCHANGE

SNAPSHOT-India stocks, bonds, rupee, swaps, call at 0803 GMT

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

STOCKS .BSESN .NSEI ----------------------- Indian shares trade higher with the broader NSE index up 0.16 percent after hitting a record high in early trade, tracking global shares. .BO GOVERNMENT BONDS IN084024G=CC -------------------------------- India's benchmark 10-year bond yield down 1 basis point at 8.50 percent even after RBI announces revised framework for liquidity management as traders say the measures will not lead to more liquidity injections. IN/ RUPEE INR=D2 -------------- The partially convertible rupee stronger at 60.47/48 per dollar against its previous close of 60.67/68. Earlier in the day, it rose to as high as 60.3750, its strongest since July 31, after Bloomberg quoted an analyst at Standard & Poor's calling the Indian government's target to lower the fiscal deficit a positive for the country's ratings. INR/ INTEREST RATE SWAPS INROIS MIOIS= ------------------------------------- The benchmark five-year swap rate down 3 bps at 8.00 percent, while the one-year rate lower 2 bps at 8.44 percent. CALL MONEY INROND= --------------------- India's cash rate at 8.00/8.05 percent against Thursday's close of 7.70/7.75 percent. ---------------------- Double click on codes in <> Reuters MIOR/MIBOR MIBR= NSE MIBID/MIBOR MIBR=NS Reuters Corporate Bond Yield/Spread 0#AAAINBMK= For Reuters Benchmarks IN/BENCH (Compiled by Dipika Lalwani) ((dipika.lalwani@thomsonreuters.com; +91-22-61807098; Reuters Messaging: dipika.lalwani.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA SNAPSHOT/

Sterling holds steady after worst run versus dollar in 6 years

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

By Jamie McGeever LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Sterling bulls licked their wounds on Friday and fought back from a mauling that has seen the currency suffer its longest losing streak against the dollar in six years. With investors having pushed expectations of a UK rate hike back into next year, the British pound is well on track for its seventh weekly loss against the greenback, a run not seen since the financial crisis of August and September 2008. But traders bought back some of those cheaper pounds on Friday, squaring positions ahead of potentially the most important market-moving event of the year: a keynote speech from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at the Fed's annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. "The pullback in the dollar overnight ahead of today's speech from Yellen is understandable following the strong gains recorded earlier this week," said Lee Hardman, currency analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in London. "But with the market pushing back expectations for rate hikes from the Bank of England back into next year, the pound will find it difficult to strengthen against the dollar." At 0745 GMT sterling was unchanged on the day against the dollar at $1.6585 GBP= , still close to Thursday's trough of $1.6561, its lowest since early April. Poor wage growth -- average British pay is falling in real terms -- has developed into the main barrier to the BoE making good on longstanding expectations that it would raise rates either in November of this year or early in 2015. Bank of England minutes on Wednesday showed the first dissenting votes at a policy committee meeting earlier this month but the majority said the inflation outlook was still too weak to justify raising borrowing costs. From a technical perspective, this week's fall below the 200-day moving average -- the first break of the long-term technical indicator in a year -- suggests selling pressure on sterling against the dollar could persist. "Following the latest and decisive break below the 200-DMA (now resistance at $1.6682) we see the bears in full control, shooting for a straight extension towards $1.6394," wrote JP Morgan technical analysts in a note on Friday. Sterling fared better against the euro, however, which is under broad selling pressure as investors anticipate more monetary easing from the European Central Bank to counter the twin threats of recession and deflation. The pound was on course for its biggest weekly gain against the common currency in over a month, with the euro trading slightly lower on the day at 80.00 pence EURGBP=D4 . Analysts also noted that uncertainty over the Scottish independence referendum on Sept. 18 could keep the pound under pressure in the coming weeks, even though a vote to stay in the United Kingdom is widely expected. (Editing by Gareth Jones) ((jamie.mcgeever@thomsonreuters.com)(+ 44 207 542 8510)(Reuters Messaging: jamie.mcgeever.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS STERLING/

FOREX-Dollar rally stalls as Yellen takes centre stage at Jackson Hole

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

* Dollar rally loses steam as investors trim long positions * Yellen speech could counter hawkish tone in Fed minutes * ECB's Draghi also due to speak at Jackson Hole gathering (Updates prices, adds comments) By Anirban Nag LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The dollar hovered below its 2014 peak against a basket of major currencies on Friday, as investors cautiously trimmed favourable bets and booked profits ahead of a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. The dollar index .DXY slipped to 82.106, having risen as high as 82.364 on Thursday, a level last seen in early September. It was still up 0.8 percent so far this week and on track for its best weekly gain since March. Upbeat U.S. housing data and hawkish-sounding Fed minutes have combined to give the dollar a boost. ID:nL2N0QQ228 "Some of those who held long dollar positions before have probably taken profits since yesterday," said Lutz Karpowitz, currency strategist at Commerzbank. He said those who missed the dollar rally are likely to hold off now until there are fresh cues from an annual gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Yellen will give her speech. The topic of this year's symposium is "Re-Evaluating Labor Market Dynamics". Last month, Yellen stressed there was significant slack in labour markets, prompting markets to push back the timing of the first interest rate hike. A dovish speech from Yellen would counter this week's Fed minutes that showed policymakers debating whether rates should be raised earlier or not. This week's rally left the dollar on the verge of breaking above its April peak of 104.13 yen JPY= , a move that could open up the way to 105.45, set in January, traders said. The dollar eased to 103.70 yen, not that far from a 4-1/2 month high near 103.97 yen on Thursday. "Anything remotely less dovish than expected from Yellen should lift the dollar, and dollar/yen will be the front-runner there," said Jesper Bargmann, head of trading for Nordea Bank in Singapore. DRAGHI ALSO TO SPEAK The euro was also firmer, trading at $1.3280 EUR= and staying away from an 11-month low of $1.3242 struck on Thursday. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is also due to give a speech at Jackson Hole on Friday. The common currency has shed 0.8 percent this week as the dollar rallied. Falling German bund yields that have widened the rate gap over U.S. Treasuries, lower money market rates and a narrowing euro zone current account surplus have all combined to push the euro lower. Traders said the dollar could slip if Yellen sounds dovish, but added that any fall was likely to be mild. "There could be some profit-taking, but at the same time I think the profit-taking could be quite shallow," said Sim Moh Siong, FX strategist for Bank of Singapore, referring to the outlook for the dollar against the yen. One factor that could help temper gains in the dollar against the yen is the lack of a significant rise in U.S. bond yields. The U.S. two-year Treasury yield last stood at around 0.47 percent US2YT=RR . While the two-year yield has edged up from a two-month low hit last Friday, it remains below a three-year high of 0.59 percent touched in late July. (additional reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Editing by Gareth Jones) ((anirban.nag@thomsonreuters.com; 44 20 7542 8399; Reuters Messaging: anirban.nag.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - Aug 22

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

India Morning Call-Global Markets

August 22, 2014 - reuters.com

EQUITIES NEW YORK - U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday, with the S&P 500 at a record after a flurry of positive economic data, as investors hoped for signs from an annual meeting of central bankers that interest-rate hikes are not imminent. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 60.36 points, or 0.36 percent, to 17,039.49. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 5.86 points, or 0.29 percent, to end at 1,992.37. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 5.62 points, or 0.12 percent, to 4,532.10. For a full report, click on .N - - - - LONDON - Britain's top equity index rose on Thursday on gains in healthcare stocks, led by AstraZeneca AZN.L on speculation rejected U.S. suitor Pfizer PFE.N might make another bid. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE closed up 22.18 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,777.66 points, approaching three-week highs touched earlier this week. For a full report, click on .L - - - - TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average rose for the 10th consecutive session on Friday morning thanks to a record close on Wall Street after upbeat U.S. economic data. The Nikkei .N225 tacked on 0.2 percent to 15,611.35, moving close to a three-week high of 15,759.66 hit on July 31 For a full report, click on .T - - - - HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index .HSI set to open up 0.5 percent. For a full report, click on .HK - - - - FOREIGN EXCHANGE SYDNEY - The dollar hovered just below its 2014 peak against a basket of major currencies early on Friday, with bulls turning cautious ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. The dollar index .DXY , which ended the New York session lower for the first time this week, traded at 82.154, off a high of 82.364 - a level last seen in early September. For a full report, click on USD/ - - - - TREASURIES NEW YORK - U.S. Treasuries drifted higher on Thursday, showing little reaction to stronger-than-expected economic data while investors held out for any developments from the annual central banker get-together in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries rose 6/32 of a point in price, to yield 2.40 percent US10YT=RR . For a full report, click on US/ - - - - COMMODITIES GOLD SINGAPORE - Gold held near a two-month low on Friday and was headed for its sharpest weekly drop in nearly three months, hurt by strong U.S. economic data and fears that the Federal Reserve could hike interest rates sooner than expected. Spot gold XAU= was little changed at $1,277.69 an ounce by 0030 GMT, near a two-month low of $1,273.06 hit on Thursday, when it fell for a fifth straight session. For a full report, click on GOL/ - - - - BASE METALS SYDNEY - London copper held steady on Friday but was eyeing its biggest weekly gain since early July on brightening prospects over global growth, but caution over China's stuttering property markets kept traders cautious and capped gains. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 was bid at $7,022 a tonne by 0007 GMT, little changed from the previous session when it hit its highest since Aug. 6 at $7,045.75 a tonne. For a full report, click on MET/L - - - - OIL NEW YORK - U.S. and Brent crude futures rose on Thursday, lifted by supportive economic data from the United States after a plentiful supply picture and Chinese economic data had earlier pressured prices. Brent October crude LCOc1 on Thursday rose 35 cents to settle at $102.63, up from its session low of $101.21. Brent fell to $101.07 on Tuesday, its lowest since June 26, 2013, the same month it was last traded under $100 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

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 2-month low on technical sales, Fed hike fears

August 21, 2014 - reuters.com

* Break below 200-day moving average triggers selling * Heavy overnight trading sets bearish tone for day * Encouraging U.S. jobless claims, housing data weigh * U.S. July new home sales Monday (Updates prices) By Frank Tang and Clara Denina NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Gold slid 1.3 percent to its lowest in two months on Thursday, extending losses to a fifth consecutive session, as fears about an early interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve sparked a technical selloff after prices broke below a key support level. Bullion was hit hard by follow-through selling after minutes from the Fed's July meeting on Wednesday showed policymakers debated whether interest rates should be raised earlier given a surprisingly strong job market recovery, traders said. ID:nL2N0QQ228 Thursday's encouraging U.S. housing and jobs data also stirred economic optimism, pressuring gold. Bullion underperformed the precious metals complex and equities, with the S&P 500 index up 0.4 percent to a record. .N ID:nL2N0QR0NC In overnight trading between 2:00 a.m. and 2:05 a.m. EDT (0600-0605 GMT), more than 8,000 lots changed hands for the December contract, or about one-third of the volume at the time, when prices broke below $1,287 an ounce, the 200-day moving average where traders placed stop-loss orders, traders said. "Now that we have crossed below the 200-day moving average, an important threshold watched by many, a lot of trend-following traders are likely to establish short positions in gold," said Phillip Streible, senior commodities broker at Chicago-based RJO Futures. Spot gold XAU= was down 1.3 percent at $1,275.46 by 2:41 p.m., its biggest one-day loss in more than a month. Earlier, bullion traded as low $1,273.06 an ounce, its weakest since June 18. U.S. COMEX gold futures GCZ4 settled down $19.80 at $1,275.40. Investors largely ignored data showing holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust GLD , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.9 tonne to 800.09 tonnes on Wednesday, the third straight daily increase. GOL/ETF Analysts said the next focus for the market will be Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments at the Jackson Hole central bankers' gathering on Friday. Among other precious metals, silver XAG= was unchanged from Wednesday's close at $19.45 an ounce, having earlier touched a two-month low of $19.25. Spot platinum XPT= fell to its lowest level in more than three months at $1,407.30. It was down 0.5 percent at $1,414.75, down for the ninth consecutive session in the longest losing streak since July 2008. Spot palladium XPD= , which hit a 13-1/2 year high of $900 earlier this week before falling back, was up 1.4 percent at $874.90 an ounce. (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore and Susan Thomas in London; Editing by Michael Urquhart, Jane Baird, Marguerita Choy and Nick Zieminski) ((Frank.Tang@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6126; Reuters Messaging: frank.tang.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

London platinum/palladium 1400 fix - Aug 21

August 21, 2014 - reuters.com

Gold Fields to try new mining techniques at South Deep project

August 21, 2014 - reuters.com

* South Deep sits on $50 bln reserve * Project has been plagued by setbacks * New methods may speed up extraction By Ed Stoddard JOHANNESBURG, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Gold Fields GFIJ.J will pilot two new techniques at its flagship South Deep mine, the last remaining asset in its South African home base, as it tries to unlock value from the world's second-largest gold reserve. Chief Executive Nick Holland said at an earnings presentation on Thursday the new methods at South Deep, a fully-mechanised operation, were in a bid to meet a target of producing 700,000 ounces a year there by around 2018. Currently, Gold Fields is using a system called "destress mining" in which horizontal cuts are made into the rock in such a way that a lot of the "stress" that can cause rock bursts underground are removed. But it also means opening up vast areas which require a lot of support, so much time and money can be spent before any bullion is extracted. Holland said the company was experimenting with a variation of destress mining as well as an entirely new way of doing things called the inclined slot method, which has been employed at its Australian operations. In layman's terms: with the inclined slot method, you open, extract and then back-fill without support structures, speeding up the whole process of getting to the gold, which is done with machines rather than miners holding hand-drills. "It is much quicker, easier and probably will be cheaper," Holland told journalists. "It's going to be a year for us to pilot it, assimilate all the results and determine the way forward," he said. South Deep descends to three kms (almost two miles) and South Africa, with the world's deepest mines, has over a century of experience when it comes to extracting ore far below the surface with a large, unskilled workforce. But heavily mechanised mining is relatively virgin territory in South Africa's gold reefs, from which a third of the bullion ever mined in recorded history has been produced. South Deep, which sits atop a mammoth 40-million ounce reserve worth around $50 billion at current spot prices, is one of the few gold mines in South Africa where sophisticated mechanisation is possible because the seam is so big - 120 metres wide in some places, making it suitable for big machines. Gold Fields has brought in a top Australian engineering team to help overcome the technical and geological challenges at South Deep, where delays and shifting production targets have annoyed investors. In the most recent setback, production has been curtailed by maintenance and a safety review though Gold Fields insists this "will make the mine safer and position the mine for an improved performance in 2015". It is also a long-term project which is seen producing gold for several decades to come and the company's stable of global mines are generating a steady cash flow at the moment. Gold Fields reported a 20 percent rise in quarterly profit on Thursday despite a fall in prices and production as output increased at its lower-cost mines. (Editing by David Evans) ((Edward.Stoddard@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3160; Reuters Messaging: edward.stoddard.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GOLDFIELDS SOUTHDEEP/

Indian gold premiums to stay low in 2014 due to weak demand - refiner

August 21, 2014 - reuters.com

NEW DELHI, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Indian gold premiums will average $3-$4 an ounce over London prices this year, roughly half what they were last year, because of continuing restrictions on imports that will soften demand, the head of the country's biggest gold refiner said on Thursday. Struggling with a high trade deficit, India raised its gold import duty to a record 10 percent last year and made it mandatory to export a fifth of all bullion imports. Gold is India's second-biggest expense on the import bill after oil. The restrictions crimped supply, pushing premiums at one point to about $160 an ounce. Premiums - the difference between local prices and the global benchmark - are a good measure of supply and demand in the market. The drop in demand means MMTC-PAMP's premiums on gold will probably fall to an average of $3-$4 an ounce over London prices this year compared with last year's average of $7-$10, Rajesh Khosla, managing director of the refiner, told Reuters. "Quantitative restriction is here to stay," Khosla said. "As a country we do not have the foreign exchange to spend on an unlimited free import of gold. And that is the reality." MMTC-PAMP, a joint venture of Swiss refiner PAMP and India's MMTC Ltd MMTC.NS , had to close its refinery for three months after the government imposed the restrictions in August last year. The government later allowed refiners to hold 15 percent of their licensed quantity of 150 kg as bulk allocation. The World Gold Council said this month that the import restrictions meant India's gold demand in 2014 would be 850-950 tonnes, below the record 974.8 tonnes last year. ID:nL4N0QJ54E (Reporting by Krishna N Das; Editing by Alan Raybould) ((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/IMPORTS

London platinum/palladium 0945 fix - Aug 21

August 21, 2014 - reuters.com

Gold Fields earnings rise as low-cost mines boost output

August 21, 2014 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 21 (Reuters) - South African bullion producer Gold Fields GFIJ.J reported a 20 percent rise in quarterly profit on Thursday despite a fall in prices and production as output increased at its lower-cost mines. But the company also reported fresh setbacks at its flagship South Deep project, its last mine in South Africa, where production has been curtailed by maintenance and a safety review. Delays at South Deep, a mechanised operation where a team of Australian engineers has been brought in to iron out problems, has been a source of annoyance to investors. But Gold Fields said the review "will make the mine safer and position the mine for an improved performance in 2015". Gold Fields' adjusted headline earnings increased to 24.6 cents per share in the quarter to the end of June from 20.5 cents in the previous quarter and versus a loss of 36 cents for the same quarter a year earlier. Production fell by 2 percent to 548,000 ounces compared to the March quarter and the gold price XAU= also slipped to an average of $1,288 an ounce from $1,293. But the company's lower-cost mines boosted output and earnings. Output at the Granny Smith mine in Australia rose to 85,000 ounces from 65,000 ounces while all-in costs fell to $692 per ounce from $910. (Reporting by Ed Stoddard; editing by Jason Neely) ((Edward.Stoddard@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3160; Reuters Messaging: edward.stoddard.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GOLD FIELDS RESULTS/

Fading volatility promises long period of gold stagnation

August 21, 2014 - reuters.com

(Repeats with no changes to text) * Volatility in gold slumps in line with other markets * Price stagnation 'could go on for 5 years' * Inflation dormant in major economies, for now By Jan Harvey and Clara Denina LONDON, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Ultra-calm trading conditions in gold are becoming self-perpetuating as a persistent lack of volatility frustrates investors seeking a return, pushing them further away from a market that analysts say could be becalmed for years. Gold XAU= , which saw a dramatic reversal last year after a 12-year bull run took prices to record highs in 2011, has seen the spread between its daily price highs and lows narrow to just $15 an ounce this year on average, from nearly $25 in 2013. Implied volatility, an estimation of an asset's future volatility, has dropped in gold to around 12 percent this month from an average of 19 percent in August last year, and from highs of nearly 60 percent in mid-2008. With the dollar strengthening, equities showing a better return, and signs of inflation still notably absent from most developed economies, the metal has run out of reasons to rise. "We are pretty unexcited by the outlook of gold," Charles Morris, head of absolute return at HSBC Global Asset Management, said. "It could stay in this range for another five years. "If inflation is under control for a long period of time, then gold will be under control for a long period of time, and because you don't get a yield, it is a waste of money to have a large position in gold." Gold is not the only market to be losing momentum. Volatility in the global foreign exchange market approached historic lows in July, while average daily volumes dropped by almost 14 percent, data from FX settlement system CLS showed. "What the central banks have done to provide liquidity has pushed down volatility in the commodity market, and interest rates market, and indeed equities," Credit Suisse analyst Tom Kendall said. "They all feed through to every part of the traded economy, so it is a problem for FX traders, it is a problem for interest rates traders, it's a problem across everything." As an asset in its own right, gold does not lack price drivers at the moment. The problem is, they are working against each other. Federal Reserve policy is slowly normalising after years of ultra-loose conditions, which had fed into rising gold prices. The U.S. central bank has signalled that it is ready to start thinking about raising interest rates, probably next year. That should be pushing prices lower, as should a rise in the dollar index this year. But working against that is uncertainty over the long-term inflationary effects of the monetary stimulus measures that followed the 2008 financial crisis. Gold has also taken support from outbreaks of violence in Ukraine and the Middle East, which some fear may destabilise a fledgling recovery in the European Union and push up oil prices. The fact that this unrest has not done more to push prices is adding to investors' caution over gold. "There has been very little and short-lived correlation between the Middle East problems, Russia and Ukraine with gold itself," Adam Laird, investment manager at Hargreaves Lansdown, said. "There is a lot of concern among smaller investors that the market has not been able to react to wider political events." STORE OF VALUE Not all buyers are seeking price volatility. Those who buy metal as a store of value, for instance, prefer a stable market. This has particularly been true in India, historically the world's biggest gold consumer, where buying dried up during the violent price moves that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers. But supply to Indian consumers has been constrained by restrictions on gold imports as the government tries to get its current account deficit under control, meaning its response to a more appealing price environment has been limited. Meanwhile buyers in China, which has recently overtaken India as the world's number one gold consumer, appear much less happy with price stability. Consumer demand is not in any event going to lead to a repeat of gold's scorching price rise of the last decade. The doubling in gold prices in the three years to September 2011 was overwhelmingly due to investment flows, as funds piled into the metal as a haven from financial market risk. What would turn gold around would be a significant rise in inflation, which few economists see happening any time soon. Until another clear driver emerges, investors prefer to stay on the sidelines. "Essentially, you have plenty of supply, (and) demand is likely to fall because of low volatility, rising interest rates and a strong dollar," HSBC's Morris said. "You put all this together and you think: 'why are people going to come running'?" (Reporting by Jan Harvey; editing by Veronica Brown and Keiron Henderson) ((jan.harvey@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(207 542 7744; Reuters Messaging: jan.harvey.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GOLD VOLATILITY/

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