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Peru's central bank sells $180 million, sol ends at new 5-yr low

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

LIMA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Peru's central bank sold $180 million in the local spot market on Friday and the sol currency PEN= PEN=PE weakened 0.10 percent to finish trading at 2.921/2.922 per dollar, the lowest in more than five years. (Reporting By Ursula Scollo; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli) ((mitra.taj@thomsonreuters.com; +51 1-221-2130; Reuters Messaging: mitra.taj.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: PERU CURRENCY

UPDATE 4-Army chief takes power after Burkina president bows to protests

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* In statement, Compaore calls for election in 90 days * Protesters frustrated after military chief takes power * General vows "process of return to constitutional order" (Adds details) By Mathieu Bonkoungou and Joe Penney OUAGADOUGOU, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The head of Burkina Faso's armed forces took power on Friday after President Blaise Compaore resigned amid mass protests against an attempt to extend his 27-year rule. Compaore, a taciturn former soldier in office since a 1987 military coup, had sought to defy popular pressure for him to step down after a day of violent unrest on Thursday in which demonstrators stormed parliament and state television. Impoverished Burkina Faso under Compaore had emerged as a key mediator in the turbulent Sahel and his departure robs the region of an elder statesman -- though one whose rights record was often criticised. The landlocked nation is also a key ally in Western operations against al Qaeda-linked groups in West Africa and the crisis was being closely watched by the United States and France, which has a special forces base there. Demonstrations erupted on Thursday when parliament had been due to vote on plans to change the constitution to allow Compaore to seek reelection next year. At least three people were shot dead and dozens wounded. With hundreds of thousands packing the Place de la Nation in the capital Ouagadougou for a second day on Friday, and with no sign of international support -- particularly from former colonial power France -- Compaore bowed to public pressure. "I declare a vacancy of power with a view to allowing a transition that should end with free and transparent elections in a maximum period of 90 days," Compaore said in a written statement read by presenters on local radio and television. CONVOY HEADS TOWARDS BORDER A heavily-armed convoy believed to be carrying the former president was seen travelling towards the southern town of Po near the border with Ghana, which is home to a large military base, diplomatic sources and local media said. The departure of the 63-year-old -- who until recently was seen as one of West Africa's most invulnerable Big Men -- will send ripples across a region where several long-standing rulers are nearing the end of their terms amid rumbling discontent. Crowds danced, cheered and blew whistles in Ouagadougou's dusty streets after Compaore's statement was broadcast. "This is a sub-Saharan Spring and it must continue against all the presidents who are trying to hang on to power in Africa," said law student Lucien Trinnou, referring to the Arab Spring that toppled several long-term leaders. Jubilation turned to frustation, however, as it became plain that military chief General Honore Traore -- a former military aide de campe of Compaore -- had taken over the reins of power. Under Burkina Faso's constitution, the head of the National Assembly should take office if the president resigns but parliament was dissolved by Traore on Thursday under short-lived martial law, leaving a power vacuum into which he stepped. It was the seventh time that a military officer had taken power since the country declared independence from France in 1960, when it was known as Upper Volta. "Considering the urgency of saving the nation, I have decided to assume from today the responsibilities of head of state," said the bespectacled Traore, wearing military fatigues and a three-star general's cap, flanked by other officers. "I make a solemn pledge to proceed without delay to consultations with all parties to start the process of returning to the constitutional order as soon as possible." There was no immediate reaction from the leaders of the fragmented opposition to the announcement by Traore, regarded by many as a Compaore loyalist. He was named military chief in the wake of a failed 2011 uprising in which soldiers took part, with a mission to shake up the armed forces. In the Place de la Nation, the epicentre of the demonstrations, many people called for a transition led by retired General Kouame Lougue, a popular former defence minister accused of trying to topple Compaore in 2004. "The people have seized power and chosen its president. It is General Kouame Lougue. We don't trust Honore Traore who was a lackey to Blaise Compaore," said a demonstrator who identified himself as Souleyman. Others chanted "Lougue, Lougue!" PRESIDENTIAL GUARD SPEAKS OUT Adding to the uncertainty, Lieutenant Colonel Issaac Zida -- the presidential guard commander who had first announced Compaore's decision to resign -- read his own statement to the crowd at a military barracks surrounded by armed troops. "A transitional body will be put in place in consultation with all stakeholders in the nation," he said, announcing the suspension of Burkina's 1991 constiution. It was not immediately clear if this was a challenge to Traore's authority from within the presidential guard, the best-equipped and trained section of the armed forces and traditionally regarded as fiercely loyal to Compaore. French President Francois Hollande, who had discreetly sought ways to usher Compaore into an international role when his term ended next year, welcomed the former president's resignation in a statement and called for quick elections. A delegation from the African Union, the United Nations and regional West African bloc ECOWAS was due in Burkina Faso on Friday to hold talks with all sides. ECOWAS said on Thursday it would not accept any seizure of power by unconstitutional means. The country was also of the last in Africa to retain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and diplomats will closely watch for any change of foreign policy stance. Compaore is often blamed for the death of former president Thomas Sankara -- his friend and former patron -- in his 1987 putsch. Sankara was a popular left-wing revolutionary, dubbed "Africa's Che Guevara", who changed the name of the country to Burkina Faso -- meaning 'Land of the Upright Men'. The political turbulence drew a sanguine response from mining investors in Africa's fourth largest gold producer, including Endeavour Mining EDV.TO , IamGold IMG.TO and Randgold Resources RRS.L . "We are hopeful that there will be some kind of peaceful transition," said Jim Wynn, vice president for finance and company secretary at Avocet AVM.L , which operates a gold mine in the northeast. "It shouldn't affect our operations unless it gets significantly worse and we hope that it won't." (Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris, Emma Farge and Bate Felix in Dakar; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Daniel Flynn; Editing by Emma Farge and Andrew Roche) ((matt.bigg@thomsonreuters.com)(+233)(0)(209 607-203)(Reuters Messaging: matt.bigg.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BURKINA POLITICS/

UPDATE 1-Peru says most of $3 bln in bonds sold to manage existing debt

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds details of bond sale, finance minister's quote) LIMA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Peru's finance minister said on Friday that more than 80 percent of the $3.04 billion in bonds the government issued on Thursday was part of the management of existing debt. Peru tapped global markets for the first time in two years on Thursday, selling 7.41 billion soles ($2.54 billion) in 10-year bonds, and $500 million in a reopened dollar-denominated global bond. The government described the total amount, 8.86 billion soles ($3.04 billion), as Peru's biggest bond operation ever. Finance Minister Alonso Segura said that most of the 10-year bonds issued were buy-backs or swaps of Peru's existing debt. "The financing needs of Peru are very low," Segura told reporters while attending an event. "More than 80 percent of the operation was really to manage our debt." (Reporting By Marco Aquino; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Alan Crosby) ((mitra.taj@thomsonreuters.com; +51 1-221-2130; Reuters Messaging: mitra.taj.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: PERU BONDS/

Peru says most of $3 bln in bonds sold to manage existing debt

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

LIMA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Peru's finance minister said on Friday that more than 80 percent of the $3.04 billion in bonds the government issued on Thursday was part of the management of existing debt. Peru tapped global markets for the first time in two years on Thursday, selling 7.41 billion soles ($2.54 billion) in 10-year bonds, and $500 million in a reopened dollar-denominated global bond. (Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli) ((mitra.taj@thomsonreuters.com; +51 1-221-2130; Reuters Messaging: mitra.taj.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: PERU BONDS

S.Africa stocks rally strongly, gold producers cap gains

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Top-40 up 2.4 percent * Gold shares take a beating JOHANNESBURG, Oct 31 (Reuters) - South African stocks made their biggest daily gain in over a year on Friday as the Bank of Japan's surprise boost to stimulus lifted global markets, although gold producers took a hard knock as the precious metal's price tumbled. Generic drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd APNJ.J zipped up over 3 percent to 393.44 rand after saying it had concluded a deal to acquire a 50 percent stake in New Zealand New Milk Limited, a producer of infant milk formula. Analysts said the move was welcomed as it opens the door to the $15 billion Chinese infant milk formula sector. Other gainers included education-focused Adtech Group ADHJ.J , which jumped almost 6 percent after it said it was in exclusive talks to acquire a number of private schools. Bullion producers slid again as the precious metal touched four-year lows below $1,180 an ounce in the face of gains by the dollar, which was lifted by the Bank of Japan's shock move to ramp up its massive monetary stimulus programme. GOL/ Sibanye Gold SGLJ.J tanked 6.5 percent to 21 rand and Gold Fields GFIJ.J lost almost 5.5 percent. Hamony Gold HARJ.J , which said it was halting output at its Kusasalethu mine for two weeks to try to remove illegal miners from the operation, shed over 3 percent. "The gold share price has been falling faster than the dollar price and this is a reflection of the real issues of the mining industry on the ground such as rising costs and labour problems," said Ferdi Heyneke, portfolio manager at Afrifocus Securities. "But these shares are looking oversold at the moment." The 14-day RSI -- a momentum indicator tracked by chartists -- for Johannesburg's Gold Mining Index .JGLDX shows that it is deeply into oversold territory. The benchmark Top-40 index .JTOPI put in its biggest gains in a year, climbing 2.4 percent to 44,385. (Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Catherine Evans) ((Edward.Stoddard@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3160; Reuters Messaging: edward.stoddard.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/STOCKS

UPDATE 1-Banks boost FX settlement war chest to as much as $6.5 bln

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds Breakingviews link) By Jamie McGeever LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Major U.S. and European investment banks this month boosted to as much as $6.5 billion their collective war chest for settling with global regulators who are investigating allegations of collusion and manipulation in the foreign exchange market. Royal Bank of Scotland RBS.L on Friday became the latest bank to make provisions in its third-quarter earnings report, putting aside $640 million specifically for potential settlements in the global inquiry that has been running for more than a year. Not all the total of $6.5 billion set aside by seven banks in their latest earnings reports over the last few weeks will go solely to currency-related issues. But that's where most of the total is likely to be spent. Swiss bank UBS UBSN.VX ring-fenced the most of any single bank in the third quarter, its $1.9 billion almost double the provisions made by the next in line, Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE , with $1.1 billion and JP Morgan JPM.N with $1 billion. Those three banks declined to disclose how much of the provisions were specifically for foreign exchange. No bank has been accused of wrongdoing, but several are cooperating with UK, U.S. and as many as 10 other authorities around the world in their investigations into the allegations of collusion and price manipulation. Earlier this week, British bank Barclays BARC.L set aside $800 million for FX-related settlements and Citi C.N added a further $600 million for legal costs, while Credit Suisse said $400 million would be kept back for future litigation. This all comes as a settlement between the UK financial market regulator and a group of major banks before the end of the year - maybe as soon as next month - draws into view. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and six banks are in advanced talks over a settlement that may be worth 1.5 to 2 billion pounds ($2.4-$3.2 billion). ID:nL6N0RR2EC The six banks are RBS, Barclays, UBS, JP Morgan, Citi and HSBC HSBA.L . Curiously, given its position as the second- biggest currency market bank in the world, Deutsche Bank isn't part of these collective talks. HSBC releases its third-quarter results on Monday. This settlement is likely to be based on banks acknowledging lax internal compliance, oversight failures and market conduct breaches by individual employees, but not deliberate manipulation of the $5 trillion-a-day market. ID:nL5N0RC1GI Settlements with U.S. authorities are expected to be much more costly, particularly with the Department of Justice (DOJ), which has shown it has the power and willingness to levy multi-billion dollar fines on banks for financial misconduct. Earlier this year, French bank BNP Paribas BNPP.PA paid the DOJ a record $8.9 billion fine for violating U.S. sanctions on Sudan, Libya and Cuba between 2002 and 2012. Estimates on how much banks will be fined in total vary wildly. Earlier this year, banking research firm Autonomous put the worldwide total at around $35 billion. ID:nL5N0OT2I3 This would dwarf the $6 billion paid by 10 financial firms to settle an international investigation into the manipulation of Libor interest rates. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ BREAKINGVIEWS-Bank synchrony hints at right kind of collusion ID:nL1N0SQ156 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Larry King) ((jamie.mcgeever@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(207 542 8510;)) Keywords: FX INVESTIGATION/BANKS

TAKE-A-LOOK-Gold tumbles to four-year low

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Gold prices slumped to their lowest since 2010 on Friday as the dollar and stock markets soared following a new round of quantitative easing by the Bank of Japan and data showing a robust U.S. economy. GOL/ A surprise double-digit dive in the gold price in 2013 after 12 years of gains spooked Western investors, who sold en masse. Rallying dollar and stock markets in 2014, on signs the U.S. economy was on the mend, have continued to divert investment away from the metal, which had however been helped by global political risks at the beginning of the year. The prospect that the U.S. Federal Reserve is now close to increasing interest rates and the end of its monetary stimulus there has been the trigger for the latest price movements. Further losses are widely anticipated. Below is a selection of Reuters stories on the most recent price action and expectations of future moves: > Gold tumbles to 4-year low on rocketing dollar ID:nL4N0SQ61F > Poll-Gold tipped to decline for 3rd year ID:nL6N0SC3QL > Charts show gold could drop to $1,000/oz ID:nL6N0RG4B3 > Gold to bottom out in 2015 on low inflation ID:nL6N0RI4DJ > Fading volatility promises gold stagnation ID:nL5N0QQ4ER > Gold near tipping point for mine cuts,closures ID:nL2N0RQ18D > GRAPHIC: Price performance in various currencies http://link.reuters.com/fyt33w (Compiled by Clara Denina and Jason Neely) ((clara.denina@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 207 542 9420)(Reuters Messaging: clara.denina.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GOLD/TAKEALOOK

Peru's central bank offers to sell dollars as sol slides

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

LIMA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Peru's central bank offered to sell dollars in the local spot market on Friday as the sol currency PEN=PE PEN= slipped 0.17 percent to trade at 2.923/2.924 per dollar. (Reporting By Ursula Scollo; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) ((mitra.taj@thomsonreuters.com; +51 1-221-2130; Reuters Messaging: mitra.taj.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: PERU CURRENCY

Sterling sinks to two-week low against rallying dollar

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Sterling hits 2-week low vs dollar after U.S. wage data * Pound posts fourth straight month of losses vs greenback * Struggling euro hits 4-week low vs sterling By Liisa Tuhkanen LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Sterling hit a fresh two-week low against the dollar on Friday after data showed U.S. wages picking up, leaving the pound on track for its fourth straight month of losses - its weakest run since 2009. The U.S. currency was sent rallying on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve sounded a slightly less dovish than expected tone in its latest policy statement. The greenback gained further on Friday after the Bank of Japan shocked financial markets by unleashing a fresh round of quantitative easing in a pre-emptive bid to see off deflation in the world's third-largest economy. ID:nL4N0SQ041 Sterling fell to as low as $1.5943 GBP=D4 after the release of the U.S. data, which showed wages recording their biggest increase in over six years in the third quarter. ID:nL1N0SQ0RJ The pound later recovered some ground and was last trading at $1.5988, flat on the day, but was on track to finish October 1.3 percent lower than where it started. Sterling has struggled all week as Bank of England policymakers have emphasised that interest rates would stay at their record low level for longer than previously thought. ID:nL5N0SN562 ID:nL5N0SM5AU "Sterling specifically has some issues which really come down to little more than the fact that the date when the BoE is likely to hike rates just keeps being pushed further and further back," Simon Derrick, head of currency research at Bank of New York Mellon, said. Sterling's losses against the dollar were relatively small compared with the greenback's gains against other currencies on Friday - the yen lost as much as 3 percent JPY= . But they marked another day of a downward trend that started in mid-July, when sterling peaked at a six-year high on expectations that the BoE would start hiking interest rates by the end of this year. Those bets have since been pushed well back, with many now not expecting rates to rise until the second half of 2015. GBPOIS=ICAP . RBC Capital Markets has postponed its expectations for a first BoE rate hike to June 2015, from February 2015 previously. EURO WEAKER The pound climbed 0.6 percent against the euro, which was trading at 78.325 pence EURGBP= , its weakest since early October. Earlier in the day, German retail sales posted their biggest monthly fall in more than seven years, adding to worries about Europe's largest economy, though inflation in the euro zone posted a slight increase in October. ID:nL5N0SQ126 ID:nL5N0SQ28I "One of the things that you might argue was really pushed today was that here is the Bank of Japan making a bold move on monetary policy, and people were then looking at Europe and saying: look how long it takes the ECB to make a move," Derrick said. "Perhaps this pushes the ECB to become a little more proactive." British government bond prices fell modestly as investors shied away from safe-haven bonds and shifted into riskier assets like stocks, following the U.S. wage data. At 1628 GMT, the 10-year gilt yield GB10YT=RR was up around 1.5 basis points on the day at 2.25 percent, having wavered between slight gains and losses through most of the trading session. The yield spread between the 10-year gilt and the equivalent German Bund EU10YT=RR peaked during the session at 140.2 basis points - its highest level since Oct. 7. (Additional reporting by Jemima Kelly; Editing by Jon Boyle) ((liisa.tuhkanen@thomsonreuters.com)) Keywords: MARKETS STERLING/CLOSE

BRIEF-Continental Gold comments on market activity

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Continental Gold Ltd CNL.TO : * Comments on market activity * Says company wishes to state that there are no material changes to report * Says the preliminary economic assessment is on track for release in the fourth quarter * Says the environmental amendment to complete the permitting process is proceeding according to schedule * Source text for Eikon ID:nMKWzRptDa * Further company coverage CNL.TO ((Bangalore Newsroom; +1 646 223 8780))

Paulson & Co. PFR Gold Fund up 11 pct through September

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

By Jennifer Ablan NEW YORK, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Hedge-fund manager John Paulson's $400 million PFR Gold Fund was up 11 percent year-to-date through the end of September, according to a person familiar with Paulson's firm. Preliminary figures for October were not available as gold prices slumped to their lowest since 2010 on Friday as the dollar and stock markets soared following a new round of quantitative easing by the Bank of Japan and data showing a robust U.S. economy. Collectively, the onshore and offshore PFR Gold Funds - named after Paulson and his gold specialists Victor Flores and John Reade - are less than 2 percent of the Paulson & Co's assets under management totaling $22 billion. New York-based Paulson & Co also owned around 10.2 million shares of the world's biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust GLD GLD.P , worth $1.31 billion on June 30, according to the latest filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The latest of Paulson's GLD holdings for the third quarter will be released on Nov. 14. (Reporting By Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Steve Orlofsky) ((jennifer.ablan@thomsonreuters.com; tel 646 223 6297)) Keywords: INVESTING GOLD/

South African rand tumbles in emerging market sell-off

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The rand tumbled to its weakest level against the dollar in over a week on Friday as a sell-off of emerging market currencies wiped out the gains it made after South Africa's trade shortfall surprisingly narrowed sharply in September. The currency firmed slightly after data showed the domestic trade deficit narrowed to 2.91 billion rand, compared with a 16.75 billion shortfall in August, but weakened in subsequent trade and was pushed past the 11.000 per dollar mark. ID:nJ8N0QY01E By 1522 GMT the rand had fallen 1.65 percent to 11.043 per dollar, its weakest level in seven sessions, after closing at 10.8675 in New York ZAR=D3 . The index that measures a basket of emerging currencies against the dollar showed a 0.54 percent decline against the U.S. currency. .MSCIEF The dollar index .DXY , a measure of the greenback against major currencies, was up 1.14 percent. The rand, which made recent gains after the Bank of Japan's surprise expansion of its massive bond-buying programme gave the South African market a boost, on Friday failed to hold below the 10.84 resistance level it has touched three times this week. ID:nL4N0SQ041 Local bonds shed their early momentum, with the yield on the benchmark issue due in 2026 dropping only 2 basis points to 7.89 percent after recording a year-low yield in early trade. "The (gain) in the rand was a little bit of a knee-jerk reaction. The structural problems plaguing the rand are here to stay," said Cheslyn Francis, a market analyst with Afrifocus. "The narrow trade deficit was just a spot in the ocean." Earlier, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Lesetja Kganyago told a conference of global central bankers in Pretoria that South Africa's high unemployment rate, which stands at 25.4 percent, reflected a rigid labour market and that there was little the bank's policies could do to affect it. ID:nL5N0SQ3PR (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Pravin Char) ((mfuneko.toyana@thomsonreuters.com; +27117753153; Reuters Messaging: mfuneko.toyana.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/CURRENCY

FOREX-Yen slammed to near seven-year low vs dollar on BoJ easing

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Updates with New York open, comment; dateline previously LONDON) * BoJ's surprise could put pressure on ECB to ease * Euro struggles vs dollar, euro zone inflation in-line * Dollar index extends reaches fresh four-year highs By Daniel Bases NEW YORK, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The yen plunged to a near seven-year low against the U.S. dollar on Friday, putting it on track for its worst day in 18 months, after the Bank of Japan shocked financial markets with an aggressive easing of its monetary policy. In addition to the BoJ's decision on Friday to expand its purchases of Japanese government bonds, an announcement by the country's government pension fund that it would increase its holdings of foreign and domestic shares further eroded the yen's position. Ahead of Friday's developments, BoJ already had a massive monetary stimulus plan in place designed to address decades of deflationary pressures and low economic growth. While some investors had expected some easing, most had thought any additional action was months away as Governor Haruhiko Kuroda had voiced optimism over the Japanese economic outlook even after soft economic data. Japan's monetary policies are moving in the opposite direction of the hawkish policy tone adopted earlier this week by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which drove market expectations that the Fed will increase U.S. interest rates sooner than previously forecast. In New York trade, the dollar surged 3 percent to 112.47 yen JPY= , its highest level since Dec. 31, 2007. The dollar is on track for its biggest one-day move against the yen since April 2013. There are two elements working in favor of a stronger dollar, says Win Thin, currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York. "On one side you have firm U.S. data and the Fed on track to hike next year. On the other side you have the BoJ's aggressive dovish move and the expectations that the ECB is going to have to do more in light of the weak data. That's driving euro/dollar down." The European Central Bank had remained more hesitant in the face of deteriorating economic data in the euro zone. And the 0.4 percent rise in consumer prices in October announced on Friday lowered expectations the ECB will ease policy at its meeting next week. ID:nL5N0SQ28I The euro fell to a 26-month low of $1.2484 EUR= before paring losses to trade just above the $1.25 level, down 0.83 percent on the day EUR= . Against the yen, the euro traded up 2 percent, to 140.46 yen, having earlier reached a six-week high of 140.70 yen. The dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against six major currencies, reached a four-year high of 87.133. Gareth Berry, a currency analyst with UBS, said both the BoJ's monetary easing and the announcement by the Government Pension Investment Fund are likely to propel dollar/yen higher, taking the pair closer to their three-month forecast of 115 yen. "We doubt it would escape investor attention that, with the BoJ buying at a faster pace with near-immediate effect, an early start to GPIF diversification could be more likely," he wrote. (Additional reporting by Anirban Nag in London, and Shinichi Saoshiro and Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo; Editing by Catherine Evans and Leslie Adler) ((anirban.nag@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 8399; RM: anirban.nag.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

POLONIA Rate falls 0.20 pp.

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

WARSAW, Oct 31 (Reuters) - POLONIA the reference rate for Overnight deposits amounted to 1.80 percent. The volume of transactions concluded till 16:30 by banks participating in POLONIA fixing amounted to 1,150 mln PLN. Note: Description of reference rate at: http://www.acipolska.pl/ ((warsaw.newsroom@reuters.com))

BRIEF-Fitch downgrades Argentina's Par bonds ratings to 'D'

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Oct 31 (Reuters): * Fitch downgrades Argentina's Par bonds ratings to 'D' * Fitch - affirmed Argentina's foreign currency issuer default rating at 'RD'; short-term foreign currency IDR at 'RD'; country ceiling at 'CCC' * Fitch-Argentina hasnt been able to cure missed coupon payments on Par bonds issued under foreign law after expiration of 30-day grace period on October 30 * Fitch- according to Fitch's criteria, this constitutes an event of default and Fitch has downgraded the affected securities to 'D' * Fitch- Fitch's affirmation of the foreign currency IDR at 'RD' reflects Argentina's inability to cure the default * Fitch- affirmation of local currency IDR at 'CCC' reflects view that economy will continue to suffer from higher uncertainty and financial volatility * Fitch- Argentine economy is in recession and is likely to worsen as default event affects confidence; further constrains forex flows to the country * Fitch- potentially higher fiscal deficits and monetization of those deficits could further weaken Argentina's economy * Fitch- pressure on foreign reserves is likely to resume, especially next year as there are sizeable maturities falling due on some of these bonds * Source text for Eikon ID:nFit812802 * ((Bangalore Newsroom; +1 646 223 8780))

London gold 1500 fix - Oct 31 - 1164.25 dlrs

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

UPDATE 1-S.Africa's Harmony halts Kusasalethu mine to remove illegal miners

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds quotes, background) JOHANNESBURG, Oct 31 (Reuters) - South Africa's Harmony Gold HARJ.J has halted output at its Kusasalethu mine for two weeks to try to remove illegal miners who have been trespassing into the operation and are believed to be starting fires, the company said on Friday. A spokeswoman for Harmony said the operation would involve the police and mine security. "No production will occur during this period and employees will be sent on leave," Harmony said in a statement. "Management has decided to take serious action to tackle illegal mining at its Kusasalethu mine. The initiative has been stepped up following the outbreak of a fire at the mine yesterday afternoon, which is believed to have been caused by illegal miners," the statement said. The fire was the third at Kusasalethu, a deep level operation west of Johannesburg, this month. No one has been hurt in the fires. Harmony has been battling to get Kusasalethu back to full production 20 months after reopening the operation, which had shut for several weeks at the start of 2013 because of labour violence rooted in a union rivalry. "Kusasalethu's production has not reached planned levels and these ongoing incidents of sabotage further undermine the mine's sustainability," the Harmony statement said. "Although illegal mining is more common at abandoned and near-surface mines, it is still rife in deep-level underground mines where trespassers illegally enter the mines with the intent of mining and removing gold or copper bearing material." The company also said its employees had been threatened by illegal miners, while others had provided them with assistance in entering the mine as well as food and water. "During October 2014, 105 illegal miners have been arrested and about 25 employees are subject to disciplinary action." (Reporting by Ed Stoddard and Helen Nyambura-Mwaura, editing by Mark Heinrich) ((helen.nyambura@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3034; Reuters Messaging: helen.nyambura.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA HARMONY/

UPDATE 1-Clorox profit beats as demand for household products rises

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds details, background, shares) Oct 31 (Reuters) - U.S. cleaning products maker Clorox Co CLX.N reported better-than-expected quarterly sales and adjusted profit, helped by strong demand for its household products and price increases in international markets. The maker of Pine-Sol cleaners and Poett home care products, which had missed the Street's profit estimates in the past four quarters, also reaffirmed its profit outlook for the year ending June. Net income from continuing operations rose to $145 million, or $1.10 per share, in the first quarter ended Sept. 30, from $139 million, or $1.05 per share, a year earlier. Total sales rose 0.7 percent to $1.35 billion. While revenue from household products increased 5.4 percent to $392 million, sales of cleaning products, Clorox's largest business, fell 1.9 percent to $470 million. ID:nMKWblGsRa Last month, the company said it was exiting Venezuela as business there was "no longer viable". ID:nL3N0RN43L Excluding a loss of 42 cents per share from discontinued Venezuela operations, and a one-time benefit of 5 cents per share, the company earned $1.05 per share in the first quarter. Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.03 per share, on revenue of $1.33 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Clorox said it continued to expect full-year earnings from continuing operations of $4.35 to $4.50 per share, and forecast flat sales mainly due to foreign currency declines in its international markets, particularly Argentina. Shares of the Oakland, California-based, were up 0.1 percent at $98.71 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Tresa Sherin Morera) ((shailaja.sharma@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 3654; Reuters Messaging: shailaja.sharma.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CLOROX RESULTS/

UPDATE 1-S.Africa's high jobless rate reflects rigid labour market - Kganyago

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Incoming governor says central bank can do little for jobs * Outgoing head urges U.S. Fed to consider policy impact (Adds Marcus comments, details) PRETORIA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - South Africa's high unemployment rate reflects a rigid labour market and central bank policies can do little to lower the stubborn jobless rate, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Friday. The official jobless rate was stuck at 25.4 percent in the third quarter, leaving 5.151 million people without work. Including people who have stopped looking for jobs, unemployment is at nearly 36 percent in Africa's most advanced economy. "The nature of unemployment in South Africa is emanating from the structural constraints that we are facing and there is pretty little that monetary policy could do to sustainably bring down unemployment," Kganyago, who will take over as central bank governor next week, said in Pretoria. "There are rigidities in our own labour market." Unemployment remains high despite the government's nine billion rand (815 million US dollar) jobs fund launched in 2011 to encourage companies to create new jobs in a country where one in four people has been without work for about a decade. The government says it has spent about 5 billion rand of the money on 91 projects aiming to create about 160,000 jobs over the next 5 years. Speaking at a conference on inflation targeting, Kganyago also said the central bank's flexible inflation target band of between 3-6 percent had served the country well. Responding to inflationary pressures fueled by a weak rand exchange rate this year, the bank has hiked interest rates by 75 basis points to 5.75 percent and said it is embarking on a gradual tightening cycle. The bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will meet in two weeks to take its last scheduled interest rate decision of the year. The rand has fallen five percent against the dollar so far this year. It was pushed to 11.0050 on Friday as the dollar strengthened against emerging market currencies. ZAR=D3 Speaking at the same conference, Governor Gill Marcus said emerging markets have carried some of the load of the financial slowdown and the United States Federal Reserve should consider the impact of their policy decision on emerging markets. "We are now seven years into this crisis. Emerging markets actually carried the load and they are more than 50 percent of the global economy today," she told global central bankers and market players in Pretoria. "Therefore I think it behooves bodies like the Fed that they have a responsibility," she said. "In the end, the Fed will take decisions about what is in the best interests of the United States ... but it cannot ignore the fact that it has an impact on emerging markets." Kganyago will take over from Marcus as the governor of the Reserve Bank after the end of her term on November 8. (1 US dollar = 11.0480 South African rand) (Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; Writing by Xola Potelwa; Editing by Tom Heneghan) ((xola.potelwa@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3098; Reuters Messaging: xola.potelwa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA CENBANK/KGANYAGO

RPT-UPDATE 2-Peru returns to global bond market to raise $3 bln

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Repeats Oct 30 story with no changes to text) LIMA, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Peru said it sold 7.41 billion soles ($2.54 billion) worth of new 10-year bonds, to be settled in dollars, with a 5.7 percent coupon on Thursday - making its first foray into global markets since 2012. Taken together with the reopening of a 2050 dollar-denominated global bond to raise $500 million, the two deals marked the biggest splash that Peru has ever made in the bond market. The 2050 bond reopened at a 4.9 percent yield and a spread of 185 basis points over U.S. Treasuries, according to IRF. ID:nIFR95Wdwk "The finance ministry today carried out the biggest integral debt operation in the history of the Republic," the government said in a statement on the two operations totalling 8.86 billion soles ($3.04 billion). Peru is tapping global markets for the first time in two years to support public spending amid sluggish economic growth and to raise the maturity and ease the cost of its debt with bond swaps and buy-backs. The $500 million in reopened debt is to be used exclusively for prefinancing the 2015 budget, the finance ministry said. The global minerals exporter, rated A3/BBB+/BBB+, expects a fiscal deficit next year equal to 0.4 percent of gross domestic product, following its estimated economic expansion of about 3 percent this year. Peru's economy grew by more than 6 percent on average over the past decade, but lower prices and softer demand for minerals have hit exports and eaten away at private investment. Peru's finance minister has said the government is preparing new stimulus measures to get growth back on track. ($1 =2.918 soles) (Reporting By Lima Newsroom; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore) ((mitra.taj@thomsonreuters.com; +51 1-221-2130; Reuters Messaging: mitra.taj.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: PERU BONDS

S.Africa's Harmony halts Kusasalethu operation to remove illegal miners

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 31 (Reuters) - South Africa's Harmony Gold HARJ.J has halted production at its Kusasalethu mine for two weeks in a bid to remove illegal miners who have been trespassing into the operation and are believed to be starting fires, the company said on Friday. "No production will occur during this period and employees will be sent on leave," Harmony said in a statement. (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Ed Stoddard) ((helen.nyambura@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3034; Reuters Messaging: helen.nyambura.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA HARMONY/

London platinum/palladium 1400 fix - Oct 31

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Investors start hedging bets on Swiss franc as gold vote approaches

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

By Anirban Nag LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Currency investors have started to hedge against sharp moves in the Swiss franc, just a month before a referendum in Switzerland on whether the central bank should be required to increase its gold reserves. The one-month euro/Swiss franc implied volatility EURCHF1MO= , a gauge to show how much a currency is likely to swing, rose to above 3 percent for the first time in three weeks to trade around 3.35 percent on Friday. Traders said the one-month options cover the vote on gold reserves to be held Nov. 30. The Swiss People's Party has put forward an initiative called "Save our Swiss gold" to prevent the Swiss National Bank from offloading its gold reserves, obliging it to hold at least 20 percent of its assets in gold. Until late last week, many investors were nonchalant about hedging their exposure. But recent polls have showed decent support for "Save our gold," and traders and analysts said the vote was getting more attention among hedge funds and investors. A poll on Friday showed 38 percent of respondents were in favour of the initiative, down from 45 percent in a poll in the paper last week. Some 47 percent of those surveyed opposed the proposals. Fifteen 15 percent remained undecided. A more reliable and widely watched poll published last Friday showed the initiative has the support of 44 percent of the public. ID:nL6N0SJ37A While support for such initiatives tends to wane as the vote approaches, investors are nonetheless wary. "There is some nervousness and as a risk event the focus is increasing," said Beat Siegenthaler, a strategist at UBS, Zurich. "Chances of the a `Yes' vote are low, but if it does happen there will be huge implications, and just not for gold." A "Yes" vote would send jitters through both the gold and currency markets, since it would require the Swiss National Bank to massively bolster its holdings of the precious metal. ID:nL6N0SH4OV The SNB would need to buy around 1,500 tonnes to meet the requirements, driving up gold prices XAU= . It could also endanger the central bank's three-year-old cap on the franc's value against the euro EURCHF= , by giving the bank less flexibility to buy foreign currency to defend the minimum exchange rate. The SNB set a cap of 1.20 Swiss francs to the euro to help stave off recession and the threat of deflation. "Anything Swiss is being bid," said a chief options trader at an European bank in London. "There is a bit more risk premium being attached to the gold referendum, and we have seen the one-month euro/Swiss franc vols rise on the back of that." SNB OPPOSITION The SNB opposes the initiative as higher gold holdings would escalate costs for the central bank and could lead to losses. Four years ago, the SNB came under strong criticism domestically after its currency interventions led to sharp losses. The bank invests the bulk of its 522 billion francs worth of currency reserves in euros and about a third in U.S. dollars. Gold's share has been falling in recent years and now accounts for about 7 percent of its balance sheet. ID:nFWN0SP03Q A "Yes" vote would see it more than double the quantity of gold holdings. And given the preponderance of euros in its FX reserves, that would most likely require selling euros, threatening the euro/Swiss franc floor. Of course, a "Yes" vote will not restrict the SNB from expanding its balance sheet. It can still print Swiss francs to weaken the currency, but that would entail considerable costs - it would still need to buy more gold to meet the requirements. Currency investors are aware of this and some are betting that the floor will be threatened if there is a "Yes" vote. "There are some who are of the view that the euro/Swiss franc pair will fall towards the floor and the SNB will be forced to protect it," said another options trader in London. (Reporting by Anirban Nag) ((anirban.nag@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 8399 ; Reuters Messaging: anirban.nag.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/SWISS FRANC

New Issue- Novartis prices dual tranche deal

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Oct 31(Reuters) -Following are terms and conditions of a dual tranche deal priced on Friday. Borrower Novartis Finance SA NOVNXR.UL Guarantor Novartis AG NOVN.VX * * * * Tranche 1 Issue Amount 600 million euro Maturity Date November 9, 2021 Coupon 0.75 pct Reoffer price 99.134 Spread 18 basis points Underlying govt bond Over Mid-swaps, equivalent to 50.8bp Over the 2.25 pct September 2021 DBR ISIN XS1134758116 * * * * Tranche 2 Issue Amount 600 million euro Maturity Date November 9, 2026 Coupon 1.625 pct Reoffer price 99.697 Spread 38 basis points Underlying govt bond Over Mid-swaps, equivalent to 80.7bp Over the 1.0 pct August 2024 DBR ISIN XS1134729794 * * * * Common terms Payment Date November 7, 2014 Lead Manager(s) Barclays, BNP Paribas & Deutsche Bank Ratings Aa3 (Moody's) Listing SIX Full fees Undisclosed Denoms (K) 100-1 Governing Law English Security details and RIC, when available, will be on Z4SQ Z4SU Customers can right-click on the code for performance analysis of this new issue For ratings information, double click on RRS0001 For all bonds data, double click on BONDS For Top international bonds news TOP/DBT For news about this issuer, double click on the issuer RIC, where assigned, and hit the newskey (F9 on Reuters terminals) ((EMEA Fixed Income Desk Bangalore; jenifer.prabhaker@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging jenifer.prabhaker.reuters.com@reuters.net; +91 80 6677 2510, fax +44 20 7542 5285))

Burkina Faso military chief says he has taken over as head of state

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

OUAGADOUGOU, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Burkina Faso's armed forces chief General Honore Traore said on Friday that he had taken charge of the West African state after former President Blaise Compaore resigned. (Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; Writing by David Lewis) ((david.lewis2@thomsonreuters.com; Dakar Newsroom +221 338645076; Reuters Messaging: david.lewis2.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.com)) Keywords: BURKINA POLITICS/ARMY

South Africa's petrol price to drop by 3.3 pct on November 5

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The retail price of 95-grade petrol in South Africa will drop by 45 cents or 3.3 percent a liter from next Wednesday, while wholesale diesel will decrease by 4.9 percent, the government said on Friday. Petrol will cost 13.16 rand ($1.20) a liter while the wholesale diesel price will be at 11.85 rand in the main Gauteng inland region. (1 US dollar = 10.9937 South African rand) (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana) ((mfuneko.toyana@thomsonreuters.com; +27117753153; Reuters Messaging: mfuneko.toyana.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA FUELOIL

UPDATE 1-Burkina Faso president resigns, calls for 90-day transition

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds details, background) OUAGADOUGOU, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore announced his resignation in a statement on Friday and called for a 90-day transition to "free and transparent" elections in the West African country, local radio and television said. "I declare a vacancy of power with a view to allowing a transition that should finish with free and transparent elections in a maximum period of 90 days," said the statement, read on local radio and television by presenters. Lieutenant-Colonel Issaac Zida of the presidential guard had earlier announced Compaore's departure in the central Place de la Nation in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou to cheering from tens of thousands of protesters. Huge crowds had gathered to demand the president's resignation after a day of violent protests on Thursday. A heavily armed convoy believed to be carrying Compaore was seen travelling on Friday towards the southern town of Po, near the border with Ghana, two diplomatic sources and local media said. ID:nL5N0SQ3RA (Reporting by Joe Penney and Mathieu Bonkoungou in Ougadougou and Bate Felix in Dakar; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Alison Williams) ((emma.farge@thomsonreuters.com; +221 33 864 5077; Reuters Messaging: emma.farge.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BURKINA POLITICS/RESIGNATION

Convoy thought to contain Burkina ex-president approaches Ghana-sources

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

DAKAR, Oct 31 (Reuters) - A heavily armed convoy believed to be carrying Burkina Faso's former president Blaise Compaore was seen travelling on Friday towards the southern town of Po, near the border with Ghana, two diplomatic sources and local media said. The sighting took place as Compaore's resignation statement was announced on local media after days of widescale protests. (Reporting by David Lewis and Bate Felix; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Emma Farge) ((david.lewis2@thomsonreuters.com; Dakar Newsroom +221 338645076; Reuters Messaging: david.lewis2.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.com)) Keywords: BURKINA POLITICS/CONVOY

New Issue- Impresa prices 30 mln euro 2018 FRN

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Oct 31(Reuters) -Following are terms and conditions of an FRN priced on Friday. Borrower Impresa Sociedade Gestora De Participacoes Sociais SA IMPA.LS Issue Amount 30 million euro Maturity Date November 12, 2018 Coupon 6-month Euribor + 400bp Issue price Par Reoffer price Par Discount Margin 6-month Euribor + 400bp Payment Date November 12, 2014 Lead Manager(s) BES Listing Lisbon Denoms (K) 100-50 Governing Law Portuguese ISIN PTIPRAOE0002 For ratings information, double click on RRS0001 For all bonds data, double click on BONDS For Top international bonds news TOP/DBT For news about this issuer, double click on the issuer RIC, where assigned, and hit the newskey (F9 on Reuters terminals) ((EMEA Fixed Income Desk Bangalore; jenifer.prabhaker@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging jenifer.prabhaker.reuters.com@reuters.net; +91 80 6677 2510, fax +44 20 7542 5285))

Poland's CPI expectations flat at 0.2 pct y/y in Oct

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

WARSAW, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Polish households' expectations of average inflation over the next 12 months stabilised at 0.2 percent on an annual basis in October, the central bank said on Friday. The central bank also confirmed the figure for September at 0.2 percent. (Reporting by Marcin Goettig; Editing by Adrian Krajewski) ((marcin.goettig@thomsonreuters.com; +48226539720; Reuters Messaging: marcin.goettig.reuters.com@thomsonreuters.net)) Keywords: POLAND CPI/EXPECTATIONS

Clorox's quarterly net profit falls nearly 34 pct

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Oct 31 (Reuters) - U.S. cleaning products maker Clorox Co CLX.N reported a nearly 34 percent drop in quarterly net profit, hurt by a strong dollar, and higher trade promotion spending. Net profit fell to $90 million, or 68 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Sept. 30, from $136 million, or $1.03 per share, a year earlier. ID:nMKWblGsRa From continuing operations, the company earned $145 million or $1.10 per share compared with $139 million or $1.05 per share, a year earlier. Clorox discontinued its operations in Venezuela from Sept. 22, calling the business unviable. Sales rose 0.7 percent to $1.35 billion, helped by price increases in international markets. (Reporting by Tresa Sherin Morera in Bangalore) ((tresa.sherin@thomsonreuters.com; + 80 6678 6549; Reuters Messaging: tresa.sherin@thomsonreuters.com)) Keywords: CLOROX RESULTS/

Brazil's Treasury says government will lower 2014 fiscal target

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

BRASILIA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Brazil's Treasury chief Arno Augustin on Friday said the government will lower its fiscal target for 2014 as revenues fall more than anticipated. Speaking to reporters, Augustin said the government would await September primary budget data before deciding on the new target. (Reporting by Alonso Soto) ((asher.levine@thomsonreuters.com; +55-11-5644-7756; Reuters Messaging: asher.levine1.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BRAZIL FISCAL/AUGUSTIN

UPDATE 2-Russia raises interest rate sharply as rouble slides, inflation climbs

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Central bank raises main lending rate to 9.5 pct from 8 pct * Large rise reflects concern over falling rouble, inflation * Rouble down nearly 2 pct after rate move * Analysts say more steps may be needed * Bank leaves intervention policy unchanged (Adds details and comment) By Jason Bush and Alexander Winning MOSCOW, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Russia's central bank raised its main interest rate much more than expected on Friday, trying to tackle a sliding rouble and climbing inflation as plunging global oil prices and Western sanctions hurt the economy. However, the bank said that it had not changed its rouble exchange rate intervention policy, confounding speculation that it might use Friday's meeting to announce changes that would have enabled a stronger defence of the rouble. The 1.5 percentage point increase, which takes the one-week minimum auction repo rate to 9.5 percent, compares with analysts' forecasts of a half-point rise in a Reuters poll this week. ID:nL5N0SP3GY The decision of the central Bank of Russia (CBR) brings the cumulative increase this year to four percentage points, despite the economy's weakness. "This represents a pretty bold move by the CBR to regain the initiative, having been faced with a collapse of their currency," said Neil Shearing, chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics. "The question is will it work?" "I expect the market will keep testing the central bank. A consequence of this will be continued rouble weakness." In a separate statement, the bank told Reuters it had not changed its exchange rate intervention policy, which involves keeping the currency within a nine-rouble-wide band against a dollar-euro basket. The bank plans to scrap the band at the end of this year when it floats the rouble. There had been speculation that the bank might use Friday's meeting to scrap the band ahead of schedule, or bring in a more discretionary policy that would enable bigger interventions. "My concern is that the pressure on the rouble that we saw before this was hardly the result of interest rates being too low," said VTB Capital economist Vladimir Kolychev. "I very much want to believe that this (rate rise) will help the rouble. If not, then the central bank will have to change its exchange rate policy." The central bank has been under pressure to raise rates to defend the rouble, which has shed around 20 percent against the dollar since mid-year due to falling prices of oil, a major export earner, and the sanctions imposed over Russia's actions in Ukraine. The move appeared to do little to buttress the Russian currency, even though higher rates should make it more attractive to hold deposits and other instruments in roubles. At 1232 GMT the rouble was down 3.1 percent on the day against the dollar at 42.92, doubling its loss compared with at the time of the rate decision. The rouble had already been well down on Friday, following a surprise 3 percent rally on Thursday which traders had linked to rumours over an agreement between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea, which Moscow annexed in March. RUBUTSTN=MCX ID:nL5N0SP16P While no such agreement has materialised, Ukraine, Russia and the European Union signed a deal on Thursday under which Moscow will resume gas supplies to its ex-Soviet neighbour. ID:nL5N0SP084 Standard Bank analyst Timothy Ash said Friday's rise would probably not be enough. "Market reaction suggests that they will need to do more - which could well push the Russian economy formally into recession," he said in a note to clients. "Long term it is unlikely to stop the rot, given the underlying drivers for rouble weakness which the rate hike does not help... structural weaknesses in the economy, sanctions, strains in the relationship with the West, and lower oil prices." HIGH INFLATION In an earlier statement explaining its rate decision, the central bank said annual inflation in September and October had increased more rapidly than expected, reaching 8.4 percent as of Oct. 27. It expected inflation to remain above 8 percent until the end of the first quarter of 2015. The bank also cited "significant changes in external conditions" since its last rates meeting on Sept. 12, referring to a "considerable fall in oil prices and stricter sanctions imposed by certain countries against several large Russian companies". The bank said that higher inflation was the result of the weaker rouble, as well as Russian counter-sanctions which have banned the import of many Western food products. It expected inflation to decline as the economy gradually adjusts to these factors, but this would be slower than previously expected. "If external conditions improve, and a persistent trend for lowering inflation and inflation expectations emerges, the Bank of Russia will be ready to start to ease its monetary policy," the bank said in its statement. The bank also said it expected economic growth to be close to zero in the fourth quarter of this year and in the first quarter of next year. However, it said the weak economy was having only a limited downward impact on inflation as slow growth was the result of structural factors. (Reporting by Alexander Winning, Jason Bush, Elena Fabrichnaya and Oksana Kobzeva; editing by David Stamp) ((alexander.winning@thomsonreuters.com; +7 495 775 1242; Reuters Messaging: alexander.winning.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: RUSSIA CENBANK/RATES

France seeks to appease Burkina Faso situation- minister

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

PARIS, Oct 31 (Reuters) - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday he had asked his ambassador in Burkina Faso to try to appease the situation in the west African nation, where parliament has been dissolved and a transitional government put in place after mass protests. "We have asked our ambassador on the ground (in Burkina Faso) to facilitate the solution to calm the situation down," Fabius told journalists, adding that it was not up to France to set up a new government. (Reporting By John Irish; Writing by Nick Vinocur; editing by Mark John) ((nicholas.vinocur@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 4949 5188; Reuters Messaging: nicholas.vinocur.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BURKINA POLITICS/FRANCE

London platinum/palladium 0945 fix - Oct 31

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

London gold 1030 fix - Oct 31 - 1173.25 dlrs

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Freeport Indonesia union cancels planned one-month strike

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

JAKARTA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Workers at Freeport-McMoRan Inc's FCX.N Indonesian copper mine have cancelled a planned one-month strike due to start next week, a union official said on Friday, after reaching an agreement with the company's management following two days of talks. Three Freeport unions representing almost 11,000 workers had agreed to take strike action from Nov.6 until Dec. 6, demanding changes to the local management following the death of four workers in a Sept. 27 accident. ID:nL4N0SM2NV "Strike cancelled," a union spokesman Juli Parorrongan told Reuters. "Through intensive, informative and constructive dialogue, we successfully reached a win-win solution for everyone," senior union official Sudiro said in a statement. "Our goal is to create a safe and productive work place at Freeport Indonesia for all workers." Freeport Indonesia, which employs around 24,000 workers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Michael Taylor and Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Jane Merriman) ((michael.taylor@thomsonreuters.com; +62)(0)(21 2992-7602; Reuters Messaging: michael.taylor.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDONESIA FREEPORT/STRIKE

Protestors in Burkina Faso call for Campaore to step down

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

OUAGADOUGOU, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Hundreds of protesters marched in the capital of Burkina Faso on Friday demanding that President Blaise Compaore step down, a day after the military dissolved parliament and announced a transitional government in the face of mass protests and violence. "We don't want him. We want him out of power. He is not our president," demonstrator Ouedrago Yakubo told Reuters. The demonstrators gathered at the main Place de la Nation and before the army headquarters. (Reporting by Joe Penney; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Emma Farge) ((matt.bigg@thomsonreuters.com; +233)(0)(209 607-203; Reuters Messaging: matt.bigg.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BURKINA POLITICS

Vietnam domestic market commodity prices-Oct 31

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Following are domestic prices of Vietnam's key commodities. Unit: million dong VND= per tonne. Item Oct 27-31 Oct 20-24 Location Robusta beans 38.6-40.1 38.3-41.2 Central Highlands Black pepper 182.0-183.0 182.0-186.0 Southern region Refined sugar 13.0-15.5 13.0-15.5 Southern region Summer-autumn paddy 5.50-6.40 5.90-6.30 Mekong Delta ___________________ SJC gold 3.541-3.573 3.570-3.590 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=21,220 dong) (Compiled by Hanoi Newsroom) ((ho.minh@thomsonreuters.com; +844 3825 9623)) Keywords: VIETNAM COMMODITIES/PRICES

BHP offers little hope of revisiting giant copper mine expansion

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

By James Regan SYDNEY, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Expansion by BHP Billiton's BHP.AX BLT.L giant Olympic Dam mine in Australia, once considered among its prized growth assets, is off the agenda due to low metals prices and productivity inefficiencies, the company said on Friday. BHP shelved plans for a multi-billion-dollar expansion of the copper, gold and uranium mine in 2012 after a year-long study, citing a need to reign in spending as the Australian mining boom started to fade. Since then business leaders and politicians, including Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, have implored BHP to reconsider its decision, hoping to alleviate job losses caused by the exit of car manufacturing in Australia. But BHP has stood firm and on Friday reiterated its mothballing of expansion plans for Olympic Dam. "Our immediate challenge is how we self-fund the required investment by being prudent and creative with our capital and engaging our workforce to not only reduce costs but also accelerate the initiatives that will reduce our costs," Darryl Cuzzubbo, Olympic Dam asset president, said in a business speech emailed to Reuters. The mine was originally designed to yield 200,000 tonnes of copper annually but consistently runs under that level due to maintenance issues, such as smelting and equipment repairs. "Once we are able to run our existing operation at full capacity, we then - and only then - earn the right to grow," Cuzzubbo said. Prices for copper, uranium and gold from Olympic Dam have dropped 33, 50 and 35 percent respectively from 2011 highs, according to Cuzzubbo, creating a "very tough situation." BHP's blueprint to quadruple output from Olympic Dam - the fourth-largest known copper deposit and largest uranium source in the world - was part of a now defunct five-year programme to spend $80 billion digging new mines and solidifying the Anglo-Australian company as the world's biggest resources company. Analysts estimated at the time it would cost BHP $30 billion to complete the expansion and require development of a separate open pit mine adjacent to an existing underground lode. The company has a licence to mine Olympic Dam until 2036 and it is extendable for 50 more years thereafter. As it stands, BHP expects production at Olympic Dam this year to remain broadly unchanged from the prior year. Olympic Dam was the driving force in a $7 billion takeover of WMC Resources by BHP in 2008 that also brought with it Australian nickel assets. Those assets have since been put up for sale, thus far unsuccessfully. (Editing by Michael Perry) ((jim.regan@thomsonreuters.com; +612 9373-1814; Reuters Messaging: jim.regan.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BHP BILLITON AUSTRALIA/OLYMPIC DAM

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - Oct 31

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

India Morning Call-Global Markets

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

EQUITIES NEW YORK - U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, boosted by a strong reading on quarterly economic growth and by another round of upbeat earnings reports including Visa, which accounted for nearly 140 points in the Dow industrials. Despite the bullish data and the Federal Reserve's Wednesday statement indicating the economy is strengthening, gains on the S&P 500 were led by healthcare and utilities, traditionally defensive sectors. For a full report, click on .N - - - - LONDON - Britain's top equity index staged a late rally on Thursday to recover from losses earlier in the day, with wealth management group St James's Place SJP.L outperforming after strong results. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE had been in negative territory for much of the day. For a full report, click on .L - - - - TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average jumped on Friday as the government prepared to approve new allocation targets for the world's largest pension fund that are expected to sharply increase its purchases of domestic stocks. Tokyo will approve on Friday targets for the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) which aim to increase the ratio of Japanese shares in its holdings to 25 percent form the current 12 percent, sources told Reuters. For a full report, click on .T - - - - HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index .HSI is trading 0.8 percent higher. For a full report, click on .HK - - - - FOREIGN EXCHANGE SYDNEY - The dollar held at four-week highs against a basket of major currencies early on Friday, getting another boost from encouraging growth data a day after the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment on the economy. The dollar index .DXY climbed as far as 86.491 - a high last seen on Oct. 6 - after U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual pace of 3.5 percent in the third quarter, beating forecasts for 3.0 percent. For a full report, click on USD/ - - - - TREASURIES NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury debt prices edged higher on Thursday but were off the session's peak as global risk appetite took off amid reports Japanese pension funds are going to buy more domestic equities. A lackluster U.S. seven-year note auction which sold at a yield that was higher than market expectations before the bid deadline also helped trim gains in Treasuries. For a full report, click on US/ - - - - COMMODITIES GOLD SINGAPORE - Gold was struggling near $1,200 an ounce on Friday and looked likely to post its worst week in seven, while silver was stuck near its lowest in 4-1/2 years, as strong U.S. economic data and fears of an early rate hike curbed the metals' appeal. Gold was also headed for its second monthly decline and silver looked set for a fourth monthly drop in a row. Spot gold XAU= was little changed at $1,200.12 an ounce by 0038 GMT. The metal fell 1 percent on Thursday, when it also touched its lowest since Oct. 6 at $1,195.70. For a full report, click on GOL/ - - - - BASE METALS SYDNEY - London copper drifted on Friday as a dollar-rally threatened to extinguish its modest monthly gains, and as traders said further strength in the greenback may erode prices going into November. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 had edged down 0.1 percent to $6,731.50 a tonne by 0145 GMT, after dropping 1.2 percent the session before. For a full report, click on MET/L - - - - OIL NEW YORK - Brent crude futures fell below $86 a barrel on Friday as a firmer dollar and a well supplied oil market combined to put the benchmark on course to end October with its steepest monthly decline since 2012. Unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries moves to cut oil output at its meeting next month, traders say oil prices, which have dropped by a quarter since June, are likely to extend their rout. For a full report, click on O/R (Compiled by Abhishek Vishnoi) ((abhishek.vishnoi@thomsonreuters.com; +91 22 61807225; Reuters Messaging: abhishek.vishnoi.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MORNINGCALL INDIA/

BRIEF-Banks Island Gold provides update

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Banks Island Gold Ltd BOZ.V : * Provides update and releases second quarter financial statements * Dms plant was shut down on June 11,2014 in order to complete tie-in between the plant and the grinding,flotation sections * No production from the property occurred in the period from June 11 to August 7, 2014 * Source text for Eikon ID:nMKW5v6VFa * Further company coverage BOZ.V ((Bangalore Newsroom; +1 646 223 8780))

UPDATE 6-Burkina president rejects opposition calls to step down after violence

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

* Tens of thousands protest against bid to extend Compaore's rule * Military says government, national assembly has been dissolved * President says willing to open talks on transitional government * Emergency services say at least three protesters shot dead (Adds President Compaore's statement) By Mathieu Bonkoungou and Joe Penney OUAGADOUGOU, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore said on Thursday he would stay in power at the head of a transitional government until after elections, rejecting opposition calls for him to step down immediately following a day of violent protests. The head of the armed forces, General Honore Traore, had earlier dissolved parliament and announced talks with all political parties to create an interim government to take the West African country to democratic elections within a year. The move came after at least three protesters were shot dead and scores wounded in clashes with security forces as demonstrators attacked the homes of senior members of the ruling party and symbols of Compaore's long rule. Hundreds of people had earlier stormed parliament, looting the building and setting it on fire, while others ransacked state television, forcing it off the air. Protests also gripped Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina's second-largest city, and other towns across the gold and cotton-producing country. "I have heard the message, understood it and taken note of strong desire for change," Compaore said in a statement broadcast on BF1 TV. "I am available to open talks on a transitional period at the end of which I will hand over power to the democratically elected president." Compaore, who seized power in a military coup in 1987, said he had dissolved his government and was lifting martial law that was announced earlier in the day. He also scrapped plans for an unpopular constitutional amendment that would have allowed him to seek reelection next year, a prospect that had sparked Thursday's protests. Regional West African bloc ECOWAS had said earlier on Thursday that it would not accept any party seizing power through non-constitutional means - suggesting diplomatic pressure to leave Compaore in place. A delegation from the African Union, the United Nations and ECOWAS was due in Burkina Faso on Friday to hold talks with all parties involved. "BLAISE LEAVE" Protesters had faced off with security forces for several hours outside the presidential palace as opposition leaders held talks with senior military officials in an attempt to ease Compaore from power. Both opposition politicians and ordinary demonstrators made it plain they did not want any role for Compaore in a transition. "We want Blaise Compaore to leave. We want change," said George Sawadogo, a 23-year-old student. The fate of Compaore, a close military ally of the United States and former colonial power France, will be closely watched by other governments across West and Central Africa, where a number of long-serving leaders are reaching the end of their constitutional terms. Burkina Faso is one of the world's poorest nations but has positioned itself as a mediator in regional crises. It is also a key ally in Western operations against al Qaeda-linked groups in West Africa. White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan had earlier said in a statement that the United States was deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Burkina Faso and called on all parties to end the violence and respect democratic norms. France, which has a special forces base there that conducts operations across the Sahel, also appealed for restraint by all sides. Its ambassador had held talks with opposition leaders on Thursday. CONCERN ABOUT PROSECUTION Compaore has ruled the nation with a firm grip but has faced increasing criticism in recent years, including defections by members of his party. He weathered a military and popular uprising in 2011 thanks to the support of his elite presidential guard. Diplomatic pressure had mounted over the past year for Compaore to step down in 2015, amid calls from his own entourage for him to seek re-election, diplomats said. A letter from French President Francois Hollande to Compaore earlier this month, seen by Reuters, offered France's support in finding him a job with an international organisation. Diplomats, however, say Compaore has been concerned about the possibility of losing his immunity from prosecution, particularly in the wake of the trial of former Liberian leader Charles Taylor in the Hague. Burkina Faso's former president Thomas Sankara, a leftist leader dubbed Africa's Che Guevara, was killed in the coup that swept Compaore to power. Protesters in the streets of Ouagadougou waved photographs of Sankara and signs reading, "Sankara look at your sons. We are fighting your fight." At the headquarters of state television, which was forced off the air after the building was taken, jubilant protesters posed on the set of the evening news programme. Burkina Faso, the fourth-largest gold producer in Africa, is home to several international mining firms including TrueGold TGV.M , IamGold IMG.TO and Randgold Resources RRS.L . "There's been no impact on our operations whatsoever," said Doug Reddy, senior vice president for business development at Endeavour Mining EDV.TO , which has a mine near the southern border with Ghana. "Obviously, we're monitoring the situation and we're keeping in touch with our people in the mine." (Additional reporting by Daniel Flynn, David Lewis and Bate Felix in Dakar, Joe Bavier and Ange Aboa in Abidjan, John Irish in Paris; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Tom Heneghan and Ken Wills) ((david.lewis2@thomsonreuters.com)(Dakar Newsroom +221 338645076)(Reuters Messaging: david.lewis2.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.com)) Keywords: BURKINA POLITICS/

UPDATE 1-Buenaventura reports 20 pct jump in third-quarter net profit

October 31, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds details of reported results, comments from company executive) LIMA, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Peruvian precious metals miner Buenaventura BVN.N BUEv.LM said on Thursday that its net profit jumped 20 percent in the third quarter because of a recent acquisition, beating market forecasts. The company's reported income of $78.3 million, or 31 cents a share, came in slightly above the estimate of a single analyst of $69 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Two local analysts polled by Reuters last week said they expected Buenaventura to post a third-quarter loss. The miner's acquisition of Gold Field's GFIJ.J 51-percent stake in the Chucapaca gold project helped it boost its results, Buenaventura's Vice President and Financial Manager Carlos Galvez said by telephone. The purchase forced the company to put the estimated value of the proposed mine on its balance sheets as an asset, Galvez added. The strong results followed a similar rise in year-on-year net profit in the second quarter, helping the company recover from two previous straight quarterly losses. In the first nine months of the year, Buenaventura's net income fell 55 percent on the year to $85.3 million, the company said in a statement. Buenaventura's chief executive told Reuters last week that he expects end-of-the-year net profit to come in positive after last year's $288.4 million loss. ID:nL2N0SF2ML In the third quarter, the company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 15 percent to $200.8 million, the company said. Third-quarter net sales fell 8 percent on the year on lower metal prices and a 5 percent slide in gold production, the company said. Silver output was up 6 percent. The company is Peru's biggest publicly-traded precious metals miner. (Reporting By Teresa Cespedes and Patricia Velez; Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman) ((mitra.taj@thomsonreuters.com; +51 1-221-2130; Reuters Messaging: mitra.taj.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: PERU BUENAVENTURA/

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