Please wait...

Reuters News

GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. stocks extend rally, dollar touches 11-year high

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

* Wall Street firms after February rally, Nasdaq hits 5,000 * China rate cut lifts Asia equities, gold * Dollar index eases after touching 11-year peak * Spanish, Italian yields fall to record lows before ECB QE (Updates with U.S. market action; changes dateline; previous LONDON) By Richard Leong NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stock prices rose on Monday, with the Nasdaq composite touching the 5,000-point mark for the first time in 15 years, while the dollar hit an 11-year high on expectations the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates later this year. Wall Street kicked off March on a high note after a stellar February, when the benchmark S&P 500 Index .SPX registered its best monthly gain since October 2011. ID:nL1N0W12PW "After a strong February, you are seeing some money moving into the stock market at the start of the month," said Lou Brien, market strategist at DRW Trading in Chicago. Asian stocks ended higher after China cut interest rates over the weekend, but European equities slipped from seven-year highs hit on merger activity in the telecom sector. China, which posted its slowest growth in decades in 2014, on Saturday cut its benchmark lending and deposit rates. ID:nL4N0W306F Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell more than 2 percent in London to about $61 a barrel after Iran said a deal on its nuclear program could be reached this week if the West lifts sanctions, which could boost the country's oil exports. Gold steadied as investors cashed in gains after upbeat Asian demand earlier lifted the metal to two-week highs. Expectations the U.S. central bank might end its near-zero interest rate policy as early as this summer remained despite some data suggesting the world's biggest economy was losing some momentum in early 2015. ID:nN9N0T402L ID:nL1N0W12BD <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Graphics: U.S. PCE price index http://link.reuters.com/qec92t U.S. personal consumption http://link.reuters.com/haf65v U.S. construction spending http://link.reuters.com/vus72w U.S. manufacturing: ISM PMI http://link.reuters.com/xek62w U.S. PMI: Markit vs. ISM http://link.reuters.com/geg47v ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 112.58 points, or 0.62 percent, at 18,245.28. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was up 7.27 points, or 0.35 percent, at 2,111.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 29.46 points, or 0.59 percent, at 4,992.98. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 stocks index .FTEU3 edged up at the open but lost steam and was last down 0.4 percent. A 5 percent fall in Vivendi shares VIV.PA and a 7 percent drop in Greek banks .FTATBNK pressured the market and outweighed any beneficial impact of broadly upbeat euro zone data. .EU Tokyo's Nikkei .N225 ended up 0.15 percent. .T Against a basket of currencies, the dollar .DXY climbed to its strongest level since September 2003 before retreating. It was last up 0.09 percent. The greenback was up 0.3 percent at 120.115 yen JPY=EBS , while the euro was flat against the dollar at $1.1199 EUR=EBS . FRX/ In the bond market, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese yields ES10YT=RR IT10YT=RR fell to record lows as investors looked forward to the start of the European Central Bank's quantitative easing program later this month. ECB policymakers meet in Cyprus on Wednesday and Thursday. ID:nL5N0W12Y6 Yields on less risky 10-year U.S. US10YT=RR and German DE10YT=RR government debt rose to 2.057 percent and 0.340 percent, respectively. US/ GVD/EUR Brent crude LCOc1 for April delivery was last down $1.22, or down 1.9 percent, at $61.36 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 was last up $1.12, or 2.25 percent, at $50.88 per barrel. O/R Spot gold prices XAU= fell $3.90 to $1,208.65 an ounce. GOL/ (Additional reporting by Nigel Stephenson, Atul Prakash and Patrick Graham in London, Shinichi Saoshiro in Tokyo, Lidia Kelly and Vladimir Abramov in Moscow; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Dan Grebler) ((richard.leong@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6313; Reuters Messaging: richard.leong.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net; Twitter @RichardLeong2)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

POLONIA Rate falls 0.13 pp.

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

WARSAW, Mar 2 (Reuters) - POLONIA the reference rate for Overnight deposits amounted to 1.83 percent. The volume of transactions concluded till 16:30 by banks participating in POLONIA fixing amounted to 1,275 mln PLN. Note: Description of reference rate at: http://www.acipolska.pl/ ((warsaw.newsroom@reuters.com))

Sterling retreats from recent highs as political risks weigh

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

(Updates prices, adds details on U.S. dollar) LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - Sterling fell on Monday, retreating from a seven-year high against the euro and an eight-week peak against the dollar as the prospect of an unsettling British parliamentary election in May clouded the outlook. Data showing British house prices fell in February for the first time in five months also hurt sentiment. A survey from Nationwide showed annual house price growth of 5.7 percent, the lowest since September 2013. ECONGB The euro was up 0.5 percent at 72.90 pence, recovering from a seven-year low of 72.35 struck in Asia EURGBP=D4 . Against the dollar, the pound was down 0.5 percent at $1.5362 GBP=D4 . It failed to get much of a lift from a survey that showed British manufacturing growth at a seven-month high in February and trailed the dollar .DXY as the gap between 10-year U.S. US10YT=RR and British government bond yields GB10YT=RR widened. Last week, sterling hit a more than six-year high against a trade-weighted basket of currencies =GBP on expectations GBPOIS=ICAP the Bank of England could deliver an interest rate hike early in 2016. But analysts at major banks have flagged risks to sterling from the May 7 election, set to be the closest in modern British history. Worries over heavier spending and taxes and regulation of the financial sector by a potential centre-left Labour government top the list. But the increased potential that Britain could leave the European Union if the ruling Conservatives win is also undermining sterling. Under pressure from the anti-EU UK Independence Party, which has recently won two parliamentary seats, the Conservatives have promised a referendum on EU membership within two years if they win. Options market pricing shows a jump in the cost of hedging against volatility around the parliamentary election date. Three-month implied volatility traded around 9 percent compared to 7.5 percent for the two-month option. GBPVOL= Nevertheless, with the European Central Bank embarking on a 1.1 trillion euro asset purchase programme, and the Bank of England likely to tighten in time, monetary policy divergence will continue to drive euro/sterling in the near term. "With Governor (Mark) Carney easing traders' fears by illustrating UK inflation risks as temporary, and very little positive economic news coming out of Europe, euro/sterling looks set for a future downside move to 70 pence," said Jameel Ahmad, chief market analyst at FXTM. (Editing by Kevin Liffey) ((anirban.nag@thomsonreuters.com)(+44207 542 8399)(anirban.nag.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/STERLING

South Africa's rand weakens on strong dollar pressures

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, March 2 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand weakened against the dollar on Monday, in line with other emerging-market currencies, after the greenback strengthened on growing prospects of a rise in U.S. interest rates. At 1502 GMT the rand ZAR=D3 was trading 0.63 percent weaker to the dollar at 11.7280, extending the previous week's losses triggered by poor trader numbers. The dollar hit an 11-year high against a basket of currencies on hopes of interest rates hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve, exerting pressure on emerging-market currencies across the board. ID:nL5N0W41Q4 "Emerging markets are under pressure, there is very much a risk-off tone to the market," Rand Merchant Bank trader Jim Bryson said. With the domestic data calendar light for most of the week, attention will be on offshore data releases, with the closely watched U.S. non-farm payrolls figures expected on Friday. Government bonds gained, and the yield for the 2026 benchmark ZAR186= was down 1.5 basis points to 7.625 percent. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by James Macharia) ((Olivia.Kumwenda@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3159; Reuters Messaging: olivia.kumwenda.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/CURRENCY

UPDATE 4-India sets inflation target in monetary policy overhaul

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds detail on consequences of miss, MPC) By Rafael Nam and Manoj Kumar MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, March 2 (Reuters) - India has formally adopted inflation targeting, a historic monetary policy overhaul that marks a victory for Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, as the government makes subduing chronically volatile prices a priority. In a document dated Feb. 20 but published on the ministry website on Monday, the government and the central bank agreed to set a consumer inflation target of 4 percent, with a band of plus or minus 2 percentage points, from the financial year ending in March 2017. Rajan, an academic and former International Monetary Fund chief economist who took the reins at the RBI in 2013, has championed the move to inflation targeting, increasingly popular among emerging market economies which typically struggle to contain price rises that hurt their poorest citizens. Monday's document showed the move - the most significant change in monetary policy since India opened its economy more than two decades ago - had the support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. That will be critical, given India's inflation woes cannot be fixed by monetary policy alone. "The monetary policy framework is clear: the objective is containing inflation," Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi told reporters in New Delhi. India has suffered from almost chronic price volatility, due in part to its dependence on energy imports and the uncertain impact of monsoon rains on its large farm sector, as well as the difficulties transporting food items to market because of its poor roads and infrastructure. The government has also historically borrowed heavily to finance its spending, resulting in high fiscal deficits that also push up inflation. Fixing the infrastructure bottlenecks was a major part of a federal budget unveiled by the government on Saturday. In return, however, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also asked for an additional year to bring down the country's fiscal deficit to its medium-term target of 3 percent of gross domestic product, which it now intends to do by 2017/18. "PARADIGM SHIFT" Rajan has long argued that inflation has to be subdued for India to achieve sustainable long-term growth. In a break with RBI practice, he first set targets at the start of last year after an RBI commissioned report recommended it - without the government's formal buy-in. In the decades before that, interest rate policy took into account several criteria aside from inflation, including the government's borrowing needs and, at times, the stability of the rupee exchange rate and the need to protect exports. Rupa Rege Nitsure, group chief economist at L&T Financial Services, who was part of the panel that proposed inflation targeting, said the change marked a "paradigm shift". "This framework will decrease the uncertainty around the decision-making process and there will be limited possibility of any speculation," she said. "Transparency and predictability in monetary policy decisions are significant progress." The government will now need to amend the RBI Act to reflect a new mandate for the central bank, ushering in the biggest overhaul of monetary policy since the big bang reforms of 1991 that saw India open its up economy to foreign investors. Any amendments will need to be approved by parliament, which finance ministry officials have said will come within months. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For a factbox on inflation targeting: ID:nL4N0W4264 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> RATE MOVE NEXT? The RBI is widely expected to continue cutting interest rates after lowering the key repo rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 7.75 percent on Jan. 15. ID:nL4N0VM4SN The RBI governor will continue to determine those rates. He is currently informally advised by bank officials and an external panel of advisers, which may be replaced by a monetary policy committee whose composition is still to be agreed. Indian inflation has moderated sharply as oil prices slumped since last year. In January, consumer prices INCPIY=ECI rose an annual 5.11 percent, well within the target. ID:nL4N0VM4SN Under the document, the RBI will first aim to have consumer inflation fall below 6 percent by January 2016, in line with objectives already spelt out by the central bank. The central bank will be deemed to have missed its target if inflation is at more than 6 percent for three consecutive quarters starting in the 2015/16 fiscal year. From the year after, it will also need to stay above 2 percent. If it misses, the bank will have to write to the government to explain the causes, what steps it intends taking to bring inflation back on target, and within what time frame. Analysts said the inflation target of 2-6 percent would be challenging in a country that as recently as 2013 was suffering from double-digit inflation - a particular risk if oil or food prices rebound. Reducing this volatility will need action from the bank but also from the government, which was overwhelmingly elected in May 2014 by pledging significant economic reforms. Yet the budget - billed as a test of Modi's willingness to reform a $2 trillion economy - delayed fiscal consolidation, was short on structural reforms and contained revenue targets some called unrealistic. Inflation targeting, used by the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve, is also becoming increasingly common among emerging markets such as South Africa and Brazil. But many, including Brazil, have struggled to hit the official target. (Additional reporting by Suvashree Dey Choudhury, Neha Dasgupta, and Swati Bhat; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Clara Ferreira Marques and Nick Macfie) ((rafael.nam@thomsonreuters.com; +9122-6180-7425; Reuters Messaging: rafael.nam.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA RBI/

New Issue- Bank of Ireland prices 750 mln euro 2020 bond

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

March 2(Reuters) -Following are terms and conditions of a bond priced on Monday. Borrower The Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland BKIR.I Issue Amount 750 million euro Maturity Date April 9, 2020 Coupon 1.25 pct Reoffer price 99.887 Yield 1.273 pct Spread 100 basis points Underlying govt bond Over Mid-swaps, equivalent to 134.7bp Over the OBL 171 Payment Date March 9, 2015 Lead Manager(s) Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan, Nomura & UBS Investment Bank Ratings Ba1 (Moody's) & BB+ (S&P) Listing Irish Denoms (K) 100-1 Governing Law English Notes Launched under issuer's EMTN programme ISIN XS1198677897 Security details and RIC, when available, will be on Z6AF 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))

UPDATE 1-Germany calls Greek conspiracy remarks "foul play", Commission mediating

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds German, Portuguese comments) By Jan Strupczewski BRUSSELS, March 2 (Reuters) - The European Commission said it was seeking to maintain EU unity after Greece accused Spain and Portugal of conspiring against it, triggering complaints from Madrid and Lisbon and a charge of "foul play" from Berlin. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused Spain and Portugal of leading a conservative conspiracy to topple his anti-austerity government because they feared the rise of the left in their own countries. Spain and Portugal complained to the European Commission about the remarks. Germany, whose relations with Athens are strained over the Greek government's reluctance to reform, also weighed in against Tsipras's remarks. "By European standards, this was very unusual foul play. We don't do that in the Eurogroup, that's not appropriate," a spokesman from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday during a regular press conference in Berlin. Greece will run out of cash this month and needs new euro zone loans to avoid default. It can only get them if it implements reforms the previous Greek government promised, but which Tsipras has vowed to discontinue. Countries that had to implement their own reforms, such as Ireland, Portugal and Spain, argue Greece should not get preferential treatment. "The Portuguese government was a bit perplexed by the statements (by Tsipras)," Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said on Monday. "It is a natural demand that we were demanding, as other governments were demanding, that the Greek government express, in a clear way, its willingness to meet the responsibilities taken on by Greece in the past," Coelho said. "It cannot be considered, in any way, as an attempt to overthrow governments, or conspire against governments, whatsoever," he said. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy commented on Sunday that his country, which was struggling with its own financial problems, had lent billions of euros to help Greece and that it was not responsible "for the frustration generated by the radical Greek left that promised the Greeks something it couldn't deliver on." The European Commission confirmed it had received complaints from Portugal and Spain. "The complaint, including a request to comment, from the Spanish and Portuguese governments has been communicated to the Commission over the weekend and this is regarding the statement of Prime Minister Tsipras," a Commission spokeswoman told the daily news briefing. "We are now in close contact with all actors involved ... in order to ensure there is unity among EU member states and especially among the EU states of the euro zone," she said. (Additional reporting by Robin Emmott in Brussels, Michael Nienaber in Berlin and Axel Bugge in Lisbon; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop, Larry King) ((jan.strupczewski@thomsonreuters.com; +32 2 287 68 37; Reuters Messaging: jan.strupczewski.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: EU GREECE/SPAIN PORTUGAL

Nigerian naira gains on dollar sales by oil firms

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

LAGOS, March 2 (Reuters) - Nigeria's local currency firmed 1.13 percent against the dollar on the interbank market in thin trade on Monday, supported by dollar flows from two energy companies, traders said. The naira closed at 199.7 to the dollar compared with 202 on the interbank market on Friday, dealers said. The central bank had set its intervention rate at 196.8/197.8 to the dollar on Monday, but dealers said the regulator had not yet sold dollars to lenders by 1302 GMT. The Nigerian unit of Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L sold an undisclosed amount of dollars while Eni ENI.MI sold $15 million, lending support to the naira, traders said. The currency of Africa's top crude exporter suffered its biggest monthly fall in over five years in February on concerns over political uncertainty and the central bank's ability to manage a currency hammered by weak oil prices. L5N0W14HN "There was not much of activity in the market today, apart from dollar sales by the two oil companies which boosted liquidity a bit and supported the naira," said a trader. Traders expect the local currency would be driven by availability of dollar inflows through anticipated month-end sales by oil companies during the week. (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by James Macharia) ((oludare.mayowa1@thomsonreuters.com; +234 803 3964 138;)) Keywords: NIGERIA CURRENCY/

New Issue- Abbey National prices 1.0 bln euro 2025 bond

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

March 2(Reuters) -Following are terms and conditions of a bond priced on Monday. Borrower Abbey National Treasury Services plc ANLTS.UL Guarantor Santander UK plc SANS_p.L Issue Amount 1.0 billion euro Maturity Date March 10, 2025 Coupon 1.125 pct Issue price 99.129 Reoffer price 99.129 Spread 55 basis points Underlying govt bond Over Mid-swaps Payment Date March 10, 2015 Lead Manager(s) Commerzbank, Santander GBM, SG CIB and UBS Investment Bank Ratings A2 (Moody's), A (S&P), A (Fitch) Listing London Full fees Undisclosed Denoms (K) 100-1 Notes Launched under issuer's EMTN programme ISIN XS1199439222 Security details and RIC, when available, will be on Z6AI 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))

CANADA FX-C$ weaker after Canada current account deficit widens

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

TORONTO, March 2 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar CAD=D4 pared early gains to turn weaker on Monday following a report showing the country's current account deficit was wider than expected. ID:nL1N0W40W5 The Canadian dollar weakened to C$1.2505, or 79.97 U.S. cents after the data. It had ended the North American session on Friday at C$1.2503 to the greenback, or 79.98 U.S. cents. (Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) ((jeffrey.hodgson@thomsonreuters.com; +1 416 941 8099; Reuters Messaging: jeffrey.hodgson.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS CANADA/CURRENCY

New Issue- Nord/LB prices 500 mln euro 2020 bond

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

March 2(Reuters) -Following are terms and conditions of a bond priced on Monday. Borrower NORD/LB Covered Finance Bank S.A NDLGC.UL Issue Amount 500 million euro Maturity Date March 10, 2020 Coupon 0.25 pct Issue price 99.503 Reoffer price 99.503 Yield 0.3504 pct Spread 8 basis points Underlying govt bond Over Mid-swaps Payment Date March 10, 2015 Lead Manager(s) Commerzbank, Credit Agricole CIB, DZ BANK, NORD/LB & UBS Listing Lux Full fees Undisclosed Denoms (K) 100 Governing Law German Notes Launched under issuer's EMTN programme ISIN XS1199018398 Security details and RIC, when available, will be on Z6PU 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))

UPDATE 2-Sonova to move Swiss jobs and freeze pay to counter surge in franc

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

* Relocation to affect 100 Swiss jobs * Moves to save around 15 million Swiss francs * Sonova buy Germany's Hansaton Akustik (Adds background, CEO, analyst comments, share price) By Karolin Schaps and Katharina Bart ZURICH, March 2 (Reuters) - Sonova SOON.VX , the world's largest maker of hearing aids, will shift jobs out of Switzerland and freeze pay for Swiss staff as it cuts costs to cope with a surge in the value of the franc. Switzerland's central bank scrapped the cap on the franc against the euro on Jan. 15, an unexpected decision after more than three years of holding down the value of the Swiss currency. Many companies that rely on Swiss-based manufacturing, including medical technology firms - a niche area where Switzerland excels - are feeling the pain as a stronger franc means costs rise and export revenue shrinks. Dental implant maker Straumann STMN.S said last month it would reduce bonuses for Swiss-based staff and management. ID:nFWN0VC03F Sonova said on Monday that 100 jobs would be lost in Switzerland, with some manufacturing roles shifted to China and client services positions to Britain in the coming year. It will also freeze pay for its Swiss workforce, which numbers around 1,000. Chief Executive Lukas Braunschweiler told Reuters this could save the company around 5 percent of its annual Swiss costs through the move, or about 15 million Swiss francs. It also said it would buy German hearing aid retailer Hansaton Akustik for an undisclosed price. The acquisition of the firm, which had revenue of 42 million euros ($47 million) last year, will bolster Sonova's presence in the world's second-largest hearing aid market after the United States. Shares in Sonova were up 1.8 percent higher at 134.50 francs at 1015 GMT, bucking a 0.4 percent decline in the European healthcare index .SXDP . ECONOMY Sonova's move is emblematic of the difficulty the franc poses for firms in Switzerland's export-reliant economy and highlighted the effect of the Swiss National Bank's decision on the country, which is predicted to enter a recession this year. It comes ahead of national elections in October, with some politicians calling for a debate on the workings of the central bank. ID:nL5N0VZ1ES But not all exporters are equal. Many big multinationals are helped by their global footprint which means their sales and costs are spread out over a variety of currencies. Some, including drugmakers like Novartis NOVN.VX and luxury goods producers like Richemont CFR.VX , are also expected to be somewhat cushioned by their fatter margins. But analysts at Credit Suisse said in a recent report that the export-oriented machinery, electrical engineering and metals industry were likely to "react particularly sensitively". They forecast those areas would shed 0.9 percent of jobs this year compared with 2014. ID:nL6N0VD0W9 Aircraft maintenance firm SR Technics said last week that it would cut as many as 250 jobs. ID:nL5N0W15JF Smaller companies that tend to produce a higher proportion of their goods in Switzerland could be hit hardest. The economic implications could be grave, since small and medium-sized companies employ 2.3 million of the country's 8 million people, a study by consultancy OBT has estimated. Watchmakers are exposed, since under legislation passed in 2013 at least 60 percent of the value of industrial products has to be manufactured in Switzerland to carry the coveted "Swiss Made" label. ($1 = 0.9574 Swiss francs; $1 = 0.8920 euros) (Additional reporting by Oliver Hirt; Editing by Pravin Char) ((karolin.schaps@thomsonreuters.com; +41 58 306 7336; Reuters Messaging: karolin.schaps.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SONOVA HANSATON/

BRIEF-Fitch - India budget to have a mixed sovereign credit impact

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

March 2 (Reuters) -: * Fitch: India budget to have a mixed sovereign credit impact * Fitch- Continuation of structural reform process,efforts to reduce infrastructure bottlenecks is credit positive * Fitch - The widening deficit target is particularly notable for India * Fitch- Part of the increase in the planned deficit is also linked to a significant rise in central government capex * Fitch- Medium-term fiscal consolidation strategy has been loosened somewhat, which is credit negative * Fitch- The lack of a more ambitious deficit reduction path will mean that India's debt burden will continue to be a rating and credit weakness * Fitch - Credibility is also boosted by central government having met its FY 2015 budget deficit target of 4.1%, despite over-optimistic revenue targets * Source text for Eikon ID:nFit915703 ((Bengaluru Newsroom; +1 646 223 8780))

GLOBAL MARKETS-European shares dip from 7-year highs, China rate cut lifts Asia

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

* Europe shares dip off lows as Vivendi weighs * China rate cut helps lift Asian equities, gold * U.S. stocks seen opening modestly higher * Dollar dips from 11-year peak vs basket By Nigel Stephenson LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - European shares slipped from seven-year highs on Monday, weighed down by merger activity in the telecoms sector, while Asian stocks edged up after China cut interest rates at the weekend. The dollar hit an 11-year high against a basket of currencies on growing prospects of a rise in U.S. interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve, before giving up the gains as economic data lifted the euro. U.S. stocks looked to be headed for a steady open, according to index futures SPc1 . The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 stocks index .FTEU3 edged up at the open but lost steam and was last down 0.4 percent. French media group Vivendi VIV.PA said on Friday it had agreed to sell its remaining stake in the telecoms company Numericable-SFR NUME.PA to Altice ATCE.AS , whose shares were up 6.5 percent. But falls of 5 percent in Vivendi and 7 percent in Greek banks .FTATBNK pressured the market and outweighed any beneficial impact of broadly upbeat euro zone data. German manufacturing activity expanded further in February as new orders rose, according to Markit's final purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the month. Italy's Markit/ADACI PMI showed the first expansion in activity for five months, but French activity slowed further in February. However, the numbers buoyed up the euro, which reversed early losses to trade up 0.3 percent at $1.1288 EUR= . "This could well be coming from the data this morning, but any rebounds at this point will be quite limited," said Ian Stannard, head of European FX strategy with Morgan Stanley in London. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar hit a peak not seen since September 2003 .DXY before retreating. It was last down 0.2 percent on the day. The dollar was up 0.2 percent at 119.72 yen JPY= . China, which posted its slowest growth in decades in 2014, on Saturday cut its benchmark lending and deposit rates. ID:nL4N0W306F A survey on Monday showed China's HSBC/Markit PMI had climbed to 50.7 in February - its strongest since July - from 49.7 in January. An official survey released on Sunday showed the factory sector had contracted for a second straight month in February. ID:nL4N0W14PM The rate cut helped push Australian shares .AXJO 0.5 percent higher as shares in resources companies, which have prospered on the back of Chinese demand, rose. The Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC closed up 0.8 percent The impact in the rest of Asia was muted. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.2 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei .N225 closed up 0.2 percent as the yen lost ground against the dollar. In euro zone government bond markets, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese yields fell to record lows, as investors looked forward to the start of the European Central Bank's quantitative easing programme later this month. ECB policymakers meet in Cyprus on Wednesday and Thursday. ID:nL5N0W12Y6 ROUBLE WEAKER Russia's rouble weakened to 62.2 to the dollar RUBUTSTN=MCX , as the oil price fell and after the murder of Boris Nemtsov, and prominent opposition leader and critic of the Kremlin. Brent crude LCOc1 fell nearly 2 percent to $61.40 a barrel, due to dollar strength and a rise in Libyan oil output. Expectations of demand from China lifted gold to a two-week high. Spot gold XAU= later eased to $1,216.40 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Atul Prakash and Patrick Graham in London, Shinichi Saoshiro in Tokyo, Lidia Kelly and Vladimir Abramov in Moscow; Editing by Kevin Liffey) ((nigel.stephenson@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 8682; Reuters Messaging: nigel.stephenson.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

Indonesian president says lower inflation shows room for possible rate cut

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

JAKARTA, March 2 (Reuters) - Indonesia's president said on Monday the fall in consumer prices signalled that there was room for another interest rate cut, but the decision was up to the central bank. "If we look at the situation, inflation has fallen, we're seeing deflation, which is a signal a cut is possible. But that is Bank Indonesia's territory," President Joko Widodo told reporters after meeting with central bank governor Agus Martowardojo. In a surprise move, Bank Indonesia cut its benchmark rate by 25 bps to 7.50 percent last month saying inflation would fall below 4 percent by year-end, compared with its target range of 3-5 percent. The central bank next meets on March 17. Widodo said he hoped the weakness in the rupiah, which dropped to a 17-year low on Monday, was temporary and told the central bank he would like the rupiah at a "safe level". Annual inflation in February eased more than expected to 6.29 percent, from 6.96 percent in January. A Reuters poll had expected inflation to slow to 6.70 percent. On a monthly basis, prices fell for the second month at a rate of 0.36 percent. (Reporting by the Jakarta bureau; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Nick Macfie) ((Randolph.Fabi@thomsonreuters.com; +62 21 2992 7601; Reuters Messaging: randolph.fabi.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDONESIA PRESIDENT/CENBANK

FOREX-Euro recovers footing, looks vulnerable to QE launch

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

* Euro recovers from falls in Asian trade * Up 0.3 percent vs dollar on the day at $1.1228 * Dollar jumps to 2-year high vs yuan after Chinese rate cut * All eyes on ECB preparations for quantitative easing * Aussie central bank seen cutting rates on Tuesday (Recasts after European data, euro turnaround) By Patrick Graham LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - The euro gained a third of a percent against the dollar on the back of marginally better economic numbers on Monday, showing some resilience ahead of the launch of outright money-printing by the European Central Bank. The Australian dollar was the biggest loser, down almost one percent against the euro, on speculation that China's weekend cut in interest rates had increased the probability of a second reduction in as many months by the Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday. Dealers and analysts in London, where 60 percent of the world's currency trade is done, said the main theme of the next week would be how markets will deal with the launch of the ECB's bond buying programme. The bank is expected to lay out more details of the programme, due to start this month, at a news conference on Thursday, and the euro has fallen to its lowest in five weeks in the run-up. Bolstered by better purchasing manager surveys out of Germany and Italy, as well as a slightly smaller fall in the first estimate of February inflation, it was up 0.3 percent at $1.1230 EUR= by 1200 GMT. ECONEZ "I think this could well be coming from the data this morning, but any rebounds at this point will be quite limited," said Ian Stannard, head of European FX strategy with Morgan Stanley in London. "After the change in tone by (U.S. Federal Reserve chief) Janet Yellen last week, it looks like the market wants to be positive on the dollar." Major banks that have backed the dollar to head closer to parity with the euro over the next year have been more cautious through a month of choppy trading, but now largely seem to be predicting another rise. "Be it U.S. or Chinese data that is the trigger, the euro right now is vulnerable," said Jane Foley, a strategist focused on G10 major currencies at Rabobank in London. "There is a conviction that it will be foreigners who are going to sell bonds to the ECB rather than euro zone investors, and that should have a negative effect on the euro." The dollar rose to as high as 95.505 .DXY against a basket of major currencies, its highest level since September 2003, before retreating to 95.157, down 0.15 percent on the day. Against the yen, JPY= it was up 0.2 percent on the day at 119.75 yen, having hit a two-week high of 119.965 yen. It reached a two-year high against China's yuan CNH= CNY= after the rate cut. Many analysts had been convinced that Australia's Reserve Bank would hold fire on another rise in interest rates this week but the signs of concern over the pace of Chinese growth are just the latest in a run of poor economic news. "Rate cuts by the People's Bank of China over the weekend are a further sign of relative weakness in China's economy and a further sign that monetary policy globally is typically being eased outside of the United States," ANZ said in a note, predicting a cut on Tuesday. (Editing by Kevin Liffey) ((patrick.graham@thomsonreuters.com)(+44207 542 9429)(patrick.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

FOREX-Euro recovers footing, looks vulnerable to QE launch

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

* Euro recovers from falls in Asian trade * Up 0.3 percent vs dollar on the day at $1.1228 * Dollar jumps to 2-year high vs yuan after Chinese rate cut * All eyes on ECB preparations for quantitative easing * Aussie central bank seen cutting rates on Tuesday (Recasts after European data, euro turnaround) By Patrick Graham LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - The euro gained a third of a percent against the dollar on the back of marginally better economic numbers on Monday, showing some resilience ahead of the launch of outright money-printing by the European Central Bank. The Australian dollar was the biggest loser, down almost one percent against the euro, on speculation that China's weekend cut in interest rates had increased the probability of a second reduction in as many months by the Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday. Dealers and analysts in London, where 60 percent of the world's currency trade is done, said the main theme of the next week would be how markets will deal with the launch of the ECB's bond buying programme. The bank is expected to lay out more details of the programme, due to start this month, at a news conference on Thursday, and the euro has fallen to its lowest in five weeks in the run-up. Bolstered by better purchasing manager surveys out of Germany and Italy, as well as a slightly smaller fall in the first estimate of February inflation, it was up 0.3 percent at $1.1230 EUR= by 1200 GMT. ECONEZ "I think this could well be coming from the data this morning, but any rebounds at this point will be quite limited," said Ian Stannard, head of European FX strategy with Morgan Stanley in London. "After the change in tone by (U.S. Federal Reserve chief) Janet Yellen last week, it looks like the market wants to be positive on the dollar." Major banks that have backed the dollar to head closer to parity with the euro over the next year have been more cautious through a month of choppy trading, but now largely seem to be predicting another rise. "Be it U.S. or Chinese data that is the trigger, the euro right now is vulnerable," said Jane Foley, a strategist focused on G10 major currencies at Rabobank in London. "There is a conviction that it will be foreigners who are going to sell bonds to the ECB rather than euro zone investors, and that should have a negative effect on the euro." The dollar rose to as high as 95.505 .DXY against a basket of major currencies, its highest level since September 2003, before retreating to 95.157, down 0.15 percent on the day. Against the yen, JPY= it was up 0.2 percent on the day at 119.75 yen, having hit a two-week high of 119.965 yen. It reached a two-year high against China's yuan CNH= CNY= after the rate cut. Many analysts had been convinced that Australia's Reserve Bank would hold fire on another rise in interest rates this week but the signs of concern over the pace of Chinese growth are just the latest in a run of poor economic news. "Rate cuts by the People's Bank of China over the weekend are a further sign of relative weakness in China's economy and a further sign that monetary policy globally is typically being eased outside of the United States," ANZ said in a note, predicting a cut on Tuesday. (Editing by Kevin Liffey) ((patrick.graham@thomsonreuters.com)(+44207 542 9429)(patrick.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

Sri Lankan rupee forwards end steady in dull trade

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

COLOMBO, March 2 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan rupee forwards ended steady on Monday in dull trade as investors waited for direction on interest rates after the central bank removed a lower repo penalty rate of 5 percent, five months after it adopted the measure to boost credit growth. Actively-traded one-week forwards ended at 133.60/75 per dollar, little changed from Friday's close of 133.65/75. "The market is waiting for this week's t-bill auction after the central bank scrapped the lower repo rate," a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity. "The market expects the minimum interest rate to rise to 6.5 percent after the move." ID:nL4N0W146F Call money rates were 7.15 percent in early trade before the central bank prevented trades above 6.75 percent through moral suasion, dealers said. It closed at 6.25 percent on Friday. The spot currency LKR=LK ended steady at 132.90/133.20 per dollar for a seventh straight session, keeping to the limits set by the central bank. Central bank officials were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee) ((shihar.aneez@thomsonreuters.com)(+94-11-232-5540)(Reuters Messaging: shihar.aneez.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net twitter:@shiharaneez)) Keywords: MARKETS SRI LANKA/FOREX

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

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

STOCKS .BSESN .NSEI ----------------------- India's broader NSE index marked its highest closing level on Monday as stocks ranging from capital goods makers such as Larsen & Toubro to cement makers and power sector lenders surged on the federal budget's infrastructure push. The 50-share index gained 0.62 percent to 8,956.75, surpassing its previous record of 8,952.35 hit on Jan. 29. The benchmark BSE index closed 0.33 percent higher at 29,459.14. .BO RUPEE INR=D2 -------------- The Indian rupee fell for the second straight session against the dollar, as the government forecast a wider-than-expected budget deficit for the next fiscal year, hurting demand for the local currency. Likely purchase of the greenback by the central bank also weighed on the rupee, traders said. The rupee closed at 61.8650/8750 per dollar versus its previous close of 61.83/84. INR/ GOVERNMENT BONDS IN084024G=CC ------------------------------- The benchmark 10-year bond yield ended up 2 basis points at 7.74 percent after the government set a higher-than-expected fiscal deficit target for 2015/16 as part of the federal budget unveiled on Saturday. IN/ INTEREST RATE SWAPS INROIS MIOIS= ------------------------------------- Benchmark five-year rate INRSMONMI5Y= ended up 8 basis points at 7.05 percent, while the one-year rate INRAMONMI1Y= closed up 7 basis points at 7.74 percent. CALL MONEY INROND= -------------------- India's one-day cash rate closed at 6.90/7.00 percent vs Friday's three-day rate of 7.25/7.30 percent. (Compiled by Himank Sharma) ((swati.bhat@thomsonreuters.com; twitter.com/swatibhat22; +91-22-61807353; Reuters Messaging: swati.bhat.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA SNAPSHOT/

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Indonesia sets Newmont deadline for Freeport smelter deal

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

(Fixes name in headline) By Wilda Asmarini JAKARTA, March 2 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp's NEM.N Indonesian copper export permit will not be renewed beyond March 19 unless it strikes a deal with Freeport-McMoRan Inc FCX.N to invest in the latter's planned smelter, a mines ministry official said on Monday. Southeast Asia's largest economy is in talks with miners about their plans to develop domestic smelting and processing facilities. ID:nL4N0VU16O "For an export permit extension for Newmont, we are still awaiting an agreement between Freeport and Newmont," Coal and Minerals Director General Sukhyar told a news conference. "It will depend how serious Newmont's commitment to co-operate with Freeport is and how much they will share the investment," Sukhyar said. Early last year, Indonesia put in place export restrictions aimed at forcing mining firms to develop smelting and processing facilities so that Indonesia could refine all of its raw ores and concentrates. Although fellow U.S.-based miner Freeport is pushing ahead with expansion plans at Indonesia's sole copper smelter at Gresik, Newmont has said multiple studies show its Batu Hijau mine cannot sustain a smelter on its own. ID:nL3N0QX2N0 The Indonesian government has long urged the companies to cooperate on a smelter. After an increasingly fractious nine-month export tax dispute, Newmont signed a deal with the Indonesian government late last year that allowed for the resumption of copper concentrate exports. This agreement is set to end unless it can show it is serious about domestic processing. ID:nL3N0RV1VI "If they really commit, they will be given an export permit extension," Sukhyar said. "The time limit for us to give an export permit extension is March 19." Newmont and Freeport, which account for 97 percent of Indonesia's copper output, could not be reached for comment on Monday. Freeport's local CEO told Reuters last year that a new smelter would be designed only to take concentrate from its assets. ID:nL4N0QJ373 Newmont is expected to produce 500,000 tonnes of copper and gold concentrate in 2015 "at most", up from 400,000 tonnes in 2014, Sukhyar forecast last month. ID:nL4N0VK464 (Additional reporting by Michael Taylor; writing by Michael Taylor; editing by Louise Heavens and David Clarke) ((michael.taylor@thomsonreuters.com; +62)(0)(21 2992-7602; Reuters Messaging: michael.taylor.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDONESIA NEWMONT/EXPORT

RPT-Traders say lack of Bank of Canada guidance fuels volatility

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

(Repeats without change) By Randall Palmer and Leah Schnurr OTTAWA, Feb 27 (Reuters) - When Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz abandoned a policy of offering forward guidance on interest rates last year, he said telling traders explicitly what's going to happen can boost volatility as it spurs a rush for the exits when things change. But traders say that so far the policy shift has in fact increased volatility with the central bank blindsiding markets with its surprise rate cut in January, and then catching them off guard again this week with comments by Poloz suggesting it will hold rates steady next month. "How fast the market is flip-flopping around on interest rates in Canada has been quite remarkable," said Amo Sahota, director at Klarity FX in San Francisco. When Poloz set out his reasons for eliminating forward guidance in a paper (http://bit.ly/1LQhJPC), he said one of his goals was "to shift some of the policy uncertainty from the central bank's plate back unto the market's plate". By offering transparency on the economic risks the central bank is weighing, the idea is that markets will trade off new data and become "two-way and less vulnerable to unusual leveraging and volatile shifts". Poloz reiterated on Tuesday that it is healthier for the central bank to lay out how it sees the economy and then let markets draw conclusions about rates. Drawing such conclusions hasn't been easy for traders, partly because of what they perceive as the bank's mixed messages. Just a week before the oil-price-driven rate cut in January, Deputy Governor Tim Lane said the plunge in crude prices would not have a drastic impact on growth in Canada, a major oil exporter. After the 25-basis-point rate cut, designed to stimulate the economy, and after what was seen as a dovish speech by Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins on Feb. 10, investors ramped up their bets on another rate cut to more than a 70 percent probability. Those bets dropped to less than 30 percent after Poloz's comments on Tuesday. BOCWATCH CA/POLL CIBC World Markets director of foreign exchange strategy Bipan Rai noted the Canadian currency's trading range has been the widest in years recently. "Whenever there is now a Bank of Canada speaker on the data calendar, everyone goes into duck-and-cover mode because they don't have any inclination of what could come out," said Brad Schruder, director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital Markets. "The reputation of the bank might be more important than their actual stewardship, and right now it is net-net not extremely positive." To be sure, not all market participants see volatility as bad. "The lack of forward guidance makes for a slightly hairier market but in some ways that means more opportunity," said Adam Cole, global head of foreign exchange strategy at RBC Capital Markets in London. The Bank of Canada declined to comment, citing a self-imposed blackout period ahead of its March 4 rate decision. Schruder said the volatility can have real-world consequences, cutting into the available credit that companies have to hedge foreign exchange exposure. Greater uncertainty has also driven some participants out of the market for the Canadian dollar, which can reduce liquidity and fuel more violent moves, he said. "It's not like the Bank of Canada should lead the market by the hand, but most certainly given the lack of actual data signals that triggered the move, without forward guidance, markets don't have very much to go on at this point," said Emanuella Enenajor, Canada and U.S. economist at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch in New York. (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson; and Peter Galloway) ((randall.palmer@thomsonreuters.com, Twitter @reutersPalmerR; +1-613-235-6745; Reuters Messaging: randall.palmer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CANADA CENBANK/

BRIEF-European Uranium to buy four gold properties located in Nevada

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

March 2 (Reuters) - European Uranium Resources Ltd EUU.V : * Signs agreement to acquire four gold properties located in Nevada * Says euu intends to consolidate its shares on an up to 4:1 basis and change its name to reyes resources inc * Says has commissioned work to begin on an independently prepared geological report on the mustang project * Expected that report will recommend a first phase drill program at mustang project with an estimated budget of US$150,000 * Has reached agreement with certain current and past related parties to settle an aggregate of up to $240,500 debt * Source text for Eikon ID:nFSC2vNnnB * Further company coverage EUU.V ((Bengaluru Newsroom; +1 646 223 8780))

EU Commission: seeking unity in EU after Spain, Portugal clash with Greece

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

BRUSSELS, March 2 (Reuters) - The European Commission said it was mediating between Spain, Portugal and Greece after Madrid and Lisbon complained to the EU executive about accusations by Greek left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' that they were conspiring against Athens. Tspiras accused Spain and Portugal of leading a conservative conspiracy to topple his anti-austerity government because they feared the rise of the left in their own countries. Spain's centre-right prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, hit back on Sunday saying his country, which was struggling with its own financial problems, had lent billions of euros to help Greece. He said Spain was not responsible "for the frustration generated by the radical Greek left that promised the Greeks something it couldn't deliver on." Portugal and Greece complained to the European Commission, asking the EU executive arm to comment on the Greek remarks. "The complaint, including a request to comment, from the Spanish and Portuguese governments has been communicated to the Commission over the weekend and this is regarding the statement of Prime Minister Tsipras," a Commission spokeswoman told the daily news briefing. "We are now in close contact with all actors involved ... in order to ensure there is unity among EU member states and especially among the EU states of the euro zone," she said. (Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Robin Emmott) ((jan.strupczewski@thomsonreuters.com; +32 2 287 68 37; Reuters Messaging: jan.strupczewski.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: EU GREECE/SPAIN PORTUGAL

Indonesia give Newmont three weeks to strike smelter deal

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

JAKARTA, March 2 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp's NEM.N Indonesian copper export permit will not be renewed beyond March 19 unless it strikes a deal with Freeport-McMoRan Inc FCX.N to invest in the latter's planned smelter, a mines ministry official said on Monday. Southeast Asia's largest economy is in talks with miners over their plans to develop domestic smelting and processing facilities. ID:nL4N0VU16O "For an export permit extension for Newmont, we are still awaiting an agreement between Freeport and Newmont," said Coal and Minerals Director General Sukhyar. "It will depend how serious Newmont's commitment to co-operate with Freeport is and how much they will share the investment." (Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; writing by Michael Taylor; Editing by Louise Heavens) ((michael.taylor@thomsonreuters.com; +62)(0)(21 2992-7602; Reuters Messaging: michael.taylor.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDONESIA NEWMONT/EXPORT

Mauritius central bank seeks to buy gold from Australia

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

PORT LOUIS, March 2 (Reuters) - Mauritius central bank plans to buy gold from Australia to keep the Indian Ocean economy's currency from extreme fluctuation, its finance minister said on Monday. In 2009, Mauritius bought two tonnes of gold from the International Monetary Fund, valued at an equivalent of $72 million at the time. Finance Minister Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo said the central bank will buy an undisclosed amount of gold from Australia's Perth Mint. He has said the depreciation of the euro against the rupee was hurting exports industries and tourism operators. "Gold remains an essential insurance policy in the present economic context where currencies are extremely volatile," Lutchmeenaraidoo told reporters on the sidelines of an IMF forum in Balaclava, to the north of the island. It was not immediately clear how much Mauritius' gold holdings will reach out of its total foreign exchange reserves after the purchase. Lutchmeenaraidoo said there was also a plan to introduce a Mauritius Gold Fund on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, which he said would be exempt from tax for its citizens who invest in it. (Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Editing by James Macharia) ((george.obulutsa@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +254 20 499 1232; Reuters Messaging: george.obulutsa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MAURITIUS CENBANK/GOLD

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - March 2

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - March 2

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

DUBAI, March 2 (Reuters) - Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Monday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch of their accuracy. INTERNATIONAL/REGIONAL * GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia edges higher after China rate cut, euro slips MKTS/GLOB * MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed, Egypt falls after election setback ID:nL5N0W30IJ * Oil falls on supply concerns; pick-up in China manufacturing helps O/R * Gold hits 2-week high as rate cut seen spurring Chinese buying ID:nL4N0W40A0 * Netanyahu arrives in U.S., signs of easing of tensions over Iran speech ID:nL1N0W304Y * Iraq minister sees oil at $64 to $65 per barrel ID:nL5N0W30MF * Baghdad says progress made on Kurdish oil export dispute ID:nL5N0W30OE * Iraq oil exports rise to 2.597 mln bpd in February ID:nL5N0W30DR * Iraq says launches offensive on Islamic State north of Baghdad ID:nL5N0W30RI * Islamic State releases 19 Christians, more than 200 still captive - monitor ID:nL5N0W30PO * Libya's oil production more than 400,000 bpd - NOC Official ID:nL5N0W30LY * Yemen's Hadi says Saleh conspired with Iran to undermine power transfer deal ID:nL5N0W30KU EGYPT * Egypt parliamentary poll looks set for delay after court ruling ID:nL5N0W3069 * Egypt's central bank sells $420 mln in interbank market ID:nL5N0W30J5 * Egypt's GB Auto Q4 net profit down 29 pct- statement ID:nL5N0W30JM * Egypt's Sisi meets new Saudi King to discuss Middle East crises ID:nL5N0W30H4 * Egypt GASC negotiates lower prices for tender in Egyptian pounds ID:nL5N0W301Y * EFG Hermes eyes Egypt renewables investments, leasing business -CEO ID:nL5N0W30UO SAUDI ARABIA * Saudi Kayan says president resigns ID:nL5N0W304P * Saudi's ACWA Power gets $344 mln loan for Dubai solar project ID:nL5N0W3044 * Saudi January bank lending grows 11.6 pct, slowest since Dec 2011 ID:nL5N0W20LR * Saudi Aramco senior VP Buainain steps down-sources ID:nL5N0W302G UNITED ARAB EMIRATES * Big Abu Dhabi industrial group Senaat considers IPO for unit ID:nL5N0W30A3 * Abu Dhabi's Gulf Capital sees 4-6 acquisitions this year ID:nL5N0W305G * Abu Dhabi's NBAD says not interested in Citi's Egypt assets ID:nL5N0W30MV QATAR * Lower energy prices slash Qatar Jan trade surplus 48 pct y/y ID:nL5N0W309G * Qatar Jan bank credit growth at 5.3 pct, slowest in several years ID:nL5N0W308X OMAN * Oman to issue first sovereign sukuk by mid-2015 -c. bank chief ID:nL5N0W30G4 BAHRAIN * Bahrain charges 17 bombing suspects ID:nL5N0W3043 (Compiled by Dubai newsroom) ((dubai.newsroom@reuters.com)) Keywords: MIDEAST FACTORS/

Canada extends, broadens tax credits to aid miners

March 02, 2015 - reuters.com

By Euan Rocha TORONTO, March 1 (Reuters) - The Canadian government outlined plans on Sunday to extend for a year exploration tax credits offered to miners and broaden the scope of the credits, in an attempt to boost a sector that has been ravaged by falling commodity prices and a scarcity of funding. The government said it hopes the tax credit, which is aimed at boosting exploration activity within Canada, will support hundreds of small companies. Canada is home to the vast majority of the world's metal and mineral exploration companies, which have been hit hard as copper, gold, iron ore and other commodity prices have slumped over the last four years. ID:nL1N0VX05B "We are extending the mineral exploration tax credit to provide junior mining companies access to the venture capital they need," said Finance Minister Joe Oliver on the sidelines of the sector's largest annual show, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention, which got under way in Toronto on Sunday. Canada is extending the 15 percent tax credit for investors in flow-through shares for an additional year, until March 31, 2016. Flow-through shares, which can only be issued to finance a company's exploration efforts, allow early stage miners to pass on a tax credit to investors that buy them. The government said since 2006, the credit has helped juniors raise more than C$5.5 billion ($4.4 billion) for exploration. Even with the tax credit however, miners have struggled to raise funds. The latest data from research firm Oreninc shows that cash raised from flow-through funding fell to C$373 million in 2014 from about C$710 million in 2012, when metal prices were much stronger. The government also said it plans to amend the law to ensure that costs associated with undertaking environmental studies and community consultations, required to obtain exploration permits, will now be eligible for treatment as exploration expenses. This would make them deductible for tax purposes and allow miners to also fund these costs via the issuance of flow-through shares. Costly, lengthy and grueling environmental studies and community consultation processes in Canada are among the factors that have prompted many miners to bet on projects in politically risky jurisdictions overseas in recent years. The government said it recognizes that these costs are part of doing business in Canada, and it hopes the moves enhance the attractiveness of investing in Canada. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Cynthia Osterman) ((euan.rocha@thomsonreuters.com; +1 416 941 8185; Reuters Messaging: euan.rocha.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MINING PDAC/TAXBREAKS

RPT-Australia's gold output at decade high as miners cash in on currency drop

March 01, 2015 - reuters.com

(Repeats story published Sunday; no changes to text) SYDNEY, March 1 (Reuters) - Australia recorded its highest annual rate of gold production in a decade in 2014, accelerating the depletion of high-grade mine reserves, a survey released on Sunday said. Gold output in Australia, the second highest producing nation after China, rose to 284 tonnes in 2014, up 11 tonnes or four percent on 2013, mining consultants Surbiton Associates Pty said in its latest survey of Australian gold mining. This is the highest annual figure tallied by Surbiton since 2003. Output for the fourth quarter 2014 reached 73 tonnes, up three tonnes on the previous quarter, according to Surbiton. "Superficially, the figures give the impression of a healthy and vibrant industry but you need to dig a little deeper to get the whole picture. Its not all good news," said Sandra Close, a Surbiton director. Gold in Australian dollars peaked in August 2011 at just over A$1,800 per ounce XAUAUD=R compared to around A$1,550 per ounce currently, Close noted. Over this period the Australian dollar exchange rate has declined by 25 percent, while the U.S .dollar gold price XAU= has fallen some 37 percent, she said. Lower prices forced producers to mine their richest deposits to remain profitable, a practice known as high grading. "The downside is higher grades certainly lift production but lower grade material left behind for another day becomes uneconomic, so mine-lives are shortened," Close said. For now at least, say analysts, the higher output, cheap oil and expectations of more interest rate cuts puts most Australian gold miners in the black heading into the second half of fiscal 2015. The Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to lower the official rate by a quarter point to a record low of 2.25 percent on Feb. 3 prompted the Australian dollar to drop as low as $0.7627, sweeping the Australian gold price to its highest since October 2012. A majority of economists polled by Reuters sees the RBA cutting a further 25 basis points off the official rate on Tuesday AURATE1. , raising the prospect that the Australian dollar will weaken in the immediate aftermath. Australia & New Zealand Bank sees a stagnate U.S. dollar gold price this year, indicating further declines in the Australian dollar will again boost the bullion price in local currency terms. "We see the outlook over the next six months of fiscal 2015 being very supportive of the Australian gold miners, particularly in regard to the direction of the Australian dollar," said James Wilson, an analyst with Morgans Financial in Perth. The S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold index tracking gold producers is up nearly 30 percent so far this year. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Michael Perry) Keywords: GOLD AUSTRALIA/SURVEY

MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - March 1

March 01, 2015 - reuters.com

DUBAI, March 1 (Reuters) - Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Sunday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch of their accuracy. INTERNATIONAL/REGIONAL * GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks fall on mixed data; oil rebounds MKTS/GLOB * MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets slip, Egypt falls on Q4 results, politics ID:nL5N0W04P4 * Oil up sharply, posts first monthly gain since June O/R * Oil market may have bottomed out -Reuters poll ID:nL4N0VZ39L * TABLE-OPEC oil supply falls by 350,000 bpd in February ID:nL5N0W12H6 * Gold up after U.S. data, set for biggest monthly loss since Sept ID:nL4N0W13GZ * Kurdish rebel leader in Turkey calls for disarmament congress ID:nL5N0W209Y * Iran nuclear talks advancing, no deal likely next week -U.S. official ID:nL1N0W12V5 * Libyan PM says Turkey supplying weapons to rival Tripoli group ID:nL5N0W151Q * UAE and Kuwait to reopen embassies in Yemen's south, backing Hadi ID:nL5N0W15UZ EGYPT * Egypt courts list Hamas as terrorist group, give Brotherhood leader life ID:nL5N0W20C3 * Egypt could raise up to $2 bln in Eurobond issue ID:nL5N0W13GU * Egypt army could play role in new Suez industrial hub -chairman ID:nL4N0W02KZ * Egypt's central bank keeps benchmark interest rates unchanged ID:nL5N0W05GO * Egypt's pound steady at official auction, slightly weaker on black market ID:nL5N0W03TJ SAUDI ARABIA * U.S. jury convicts Saudi over Africa embassy bombings ID:nL1N0W02RR UNITED ARAB EMIRATES * UAE military buys two Boeing C-17s as part of record IDEX spend ID:nL5N0W0419 QATAR * Qatar sovereign fund to buy rest of prime Milan property area ID:nL5N0W13BO OMAN * Oman's Bank Dhofar gets shareholder assent for capital plans ID:nL5N0W20FB BAHRAIN * Bahrain sentences three men to death for killing policeman ID:nL5N0W02FW (Compiled by Dubai newsroom) ((dubai.newsroom@reuters.com)) Keywords: MIDEAST FACTORS/

Australia's gold output at decade high as miners cash in on currency drop

March 01, 2015 - reuters.com

SYDNEY, March 1 (Reuters) - Australia recorded its highest annual rate of gold production in a decade in 2014, accelerating the depletion of high-grade mine reserves, a survey released on Sunday said. Gold output in Australia, the second highest producing nation after China, rose to 284 tonnes in 2014, up 11 tonnes or four percent on 2013, mining consultants Surbiton Associates Pty said in its latest survey of Australian gold mining. This is the highest annual figure tallied by Surbiton since 2003. Output for the fourth quarter 2014 reached 73 tonnes, up three tonnes on the previous quarter, according to Surbiton. "Superficially, the figures give the impression of a healthy and vibrant industry but you need to dig a little deeper to get the whole picture. Its not all good news," said Sandra Close, a Surbiton director. Gold in Australian dollars peaked in August 2011 at just over A$1,800 per ounce XAUAUD=R compared to around A$1,550 per ounce currently, Close noted. Over this period the Australian dollar exchange rate has declined by 25 percent, while the U.S .dollar gold price XAU= has fallen some 37 percent, she said. Lower prices forced producers to mine their richest deposits to remain profitable, a practice known as high grading. "The downside is higher grades certainly lift production but lower grade material left behind for another day becomes uneconomic, so mine-lives are shortened," Close said. For now at least, say analysts, the higher output, cheap oil and expectations of more interest rate cuts puts most Australian gold miners in the black heading into the second half of fiscal 2015. The Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to lower the official rate by a quarter point to a record low of 2.25 percent on Feb. 3 prompted the Australian dollar to drop as low as $0.7627, sweeping the Australian gold price to its highest since October 2012. A majority of economists polled by Reuters sees the RBA cutting a further 25 basis points off the official rate on Tuesday AURATE1. , raising the prospect that the Australian dollar will weaken in the immediate aftermath. Australia & New Zealand Bank sees a stagnate U.S. dollar gold price this year, indicating further declines in the Australian dollar will again boost the bullion price in local currency terms. "We see the outlook over the next six months of fiscal 2015 being very supportive of the Australian gold miners, particularly in regard to the direction of the Australian dollar," said James Wilson, an analyst with Morgans Financial in Perth. The S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold index tracking gold producers is up nearly 30 percent so far this year. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Michael Perry) Keywords: GOLD AUSTRALIA/SURVEY

Login required

Please note that, in order to view the full text, you must be logged-in at our system.

Please login at the easy-forex homepage (new users need registration).

Thank you.