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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks climb ahead of Fed statement

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Corporate earnings lift U.S., European stocks * Oil jumps after big U.S. stock drawdown * Dollar gains as traders await Fed statement (Adds close of European markets) By Herbert Lash NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) - Global equity markets rose on Wednesday, lifted by strong U.S. and European corporate earnings, as investors awaited a policy statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is expected to raise interest rates, perhaps as early as September. The dollar was slightly higher against major currencies before the U.S. central bank was to conclude a two-day meeting at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT). ID:nL1N108249 The prevalent view has been that the Fed is ready to end its near-zero interest rate policy by year-end as the world's biggest economy has dug out of the global downturn. The market is looking at stock-specific earnings and is waiting for Fed Chair Janet Yellen to indicate a rate move will likely be sooner rather than later, so policymakers are not caught off guard and forced to be aggressive, said Ryan Larson, head of U.S. trading at RBC Global Asset Management in Chicago. "The market at this point should expect nothing less, and if she says that, they should be no more surprised than they were yesterday," Larson said. "That's been well telegraphed, and I think she'll go right down the middle of the road." With just over half of S&P 500 companies having reported second-quarter results, 73 percent have been above expectations, compared with a 70 percent beat rate over the past four quarters, according to Thomson Reuters data. Shares of General Dynamics GD.N hit a record high, gaining 4.7 percent, after the company said it saw a rebound in demand for its Gulfstream business jets. The shares led a sector-wide rally for major aerospace stocks. ID:nL1N1091JF The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 98.17 points, or 0.56 percent, to 17,728.44. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 9.91 points, or 0.47 percent, to 2,103.16 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 8.61 points, or 0.17 percent, to 5,097.82. MSCI's all-country world stock index .MIWD0000PUS rose 0.65 percent, while the FTSEurofirst index .FTEU3 of leading European shares closed up 1.02 percent at 1,561.48. In Europe, carmaker Peugeot PEUP.PA reported first-half net income for the first time in four years, boosting its shares 6 percent. Oil major Total TOTF.PA posted higher-than-expected second-quarter profits. ID:nP6N0X601U Merger activity also lifted shares, with Italcementi ITAI.MI surging 49 percent and HeidelbergCement HEIG.DE falling 6 percent after its takeover offer. ID:nL5N1084ZE The dollar rose 0.21 percent at 123.81 yen JPY= , while the euro was down 0.19 percent at $1.1037. Higher U.S. Treasuries yields also supported the greenback, with the two-year yield US2YT=RR rising to 0.708 percent. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note US10YT=RR fell 12/32 in price to yield 2.2949 percent US/ Oil prices reversed early losses and rose after weekly data showed an unexpectedly large drawdown in U.S. crude inventories. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed crude USOILC=ECI stocks fell by 4.2 million barrels last week, more than twenty times analysts' expectations for an decrease of 184,000 barrels. Front-month Brent futures LCOc1 rose 50 cents to $53.80 a barrel. U.S. crude for September delivery CLc1 last traded at $49.08, up $1.10 on the day. (Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Dan Grebler) ((herb.lash@thomsonreuters.com; 1-646-223-6019; Reuters Messaging: herb.lash.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

UPDATE 1-Sudan cuts subsidy for imported wheat - sources

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds quotes from state miller, background) By Khalid Abdelaziz KHARTOUM, July 29 (Reuters) - Sudan's central bank has raised the U.S. dollar exchange rate at which wheat imports are purchased, effectively reducing the subsidy. The government decision is set to raise wheat prices by around 35 percent, an official at the state-owned Seen Flour Mills told the state news agency Suna on Wednesday, adding that the large subsidy the government was paying for imported wheat had led to a shortage of the commodity in the market. One banking source and a Sudanese wheat trader confirmed the change saying that the central bank had sent a document to concerned parties changing the rate from 2.9 Sudanese pounds a dollar to 4 Sudanese pounds for wheat imports. "Large amounts of pounds go to subsidising wheat ... but the citizen does not benefit, rather the wheat producers in the countries that we import from do," Al-Aqeb Abdelrahim of Seen Flour Mills said. Protests erupted in Sudan in 2013 when the government announced fuel subsidy cuts. The Sudanese economy has suffered since the secession of oil-producing South Sudan in 2011, which deprived it of about three quarters of the crude production it relied on for state revenues and foreign currency used to import food. (Reporting By Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing By Maha El Dahan; Editing by Greg Mahlich) ((Maha.Dahan@thomsonreuters.com; + 9712 4082101; Reuters Messaging: maha.dahan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SUDAN WHEAT/SUBSIDY

South Africa's rand a touch firmer as market bets on dovish Fed

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, July 29 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed for a third straight session against the dollar on Wednesday as investors bet that the U.S. Federal Reserve might issue a dovish policy statement, boosting the appeal of high-yielding emerging market assets. With investors focused on the Fed, the rand barely moved after a Statistics South Africa survey showed that unemployment eased slightly to 25 percent in the second quarter from 26.4 percent previously. ID:nJ8N0Y201K At 1545 GMT the rand ZAR=D3 was trading at 12.5000 to the dollar, a 0.49 percent gain over Tuesday's New York close. Traders said caution had prevailed for much of the session ahead of Fed chair Janet Yellen releasing the Federal Open Market Committee policy statement at 1800 GMT. "There is talk that she might be a little more dovish than expected so that's helped the currencies a little bit; Turkey is a bit stronger, the rand is a bit stronger, the Aussie is a bit stronger," said Ion de Vleeschauwer, chief dealer at Bidvest Bank. "If (Yellen is) confident about the U.S. economy, then the rand is going to weaken pretty quickly. If she's more dovish then there could be more rand strength tomorrow." Government debt was also bid slightly firmer on the day, pulling the yield for paper maturing in 2026 ZAR186= a basis point lower to 8.18 percent. (Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; Editing by James Macharia) ((stella.mapenzauswa@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3161; Reuters Messaging: stella.mapenzauswa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/CURRENCY

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks climb ahead of Fed statement

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Corporate earnings lift U.S., European stocks * Dollar gains slightly (Adds U.S. market open, changes dateline; previous LONDON) By Herbert Lash NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) - Global equity markets rose on Wednesday, lifted by strong U.S. and European corporate earnings, although moves were subdued before a policy statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is expected to raise interest rates, perhaps as early as September. The dollar was slightly higher against major currencies before the U.S. central bank is scheduled to conclude a two-day meeting at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT). ID:nL1N108249 The prevalent view has been that the Fed is ready to end its near-zero interest rate policy by year-end as the world's biggest economy has dug out of the global downturn. The market is looking at stock-specific earnings and is waiting for Fed Chair Janet Yellen to indicate a rate move will likely be sooner rather than later, so policy makers are not caught off guard and forced to be aggressive, said Ryan Larson, head of U.S. trading at RBC Global Asset Management in Chicago. "The market at this point should expect nothing less, and if she says that, they should be no more surprised than they were yesterday," Larson said. "That's been well telegraphed, and I think she'll go right down the middle of the road." With just over half of S&P 500 companies having reported second-quarter results, 73 percent have been above expectations, compared with a 70 percent beat rate over the past four quarters, according to Thomson Reuters data. Shares of General Dynamics GD.N hit a record high, gaining 4.7 percent, after the company said it saw a rebound in demand for its Gulfstream business jets. The shares led sector-wide rally for major aerospace stocks. ID:nL1N1091JF The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 112.24 points, or 0.64 percent, at 17,742.51. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was up 11.94 points, or 0.57 percent, at 2,105.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 13.20 points, or 0.26 percent, at 5,102.41. MSCI's all-country world stock index .MIWD0000PUS rose 0.63 percent, while the FTSEurofirst index .FTEU3 of leading European shares rose .95 percent. In Europe, carmaker Peugeot PEUP.PA reported first-half net income for the first time in four years. Oil major Total TOTF.PA posted higher-than-expected second-quarter profits. ID:nP6N0X601U The dollar rose 0.23 percent at 123.83 yen JPY= , while the euro was down 0.4 percent at $1.1014. Higher U.S. Treasuries yields also supported the greenback, with the two-year yield US2YT=RR rising to 0.708 percent. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note US10YT=RR fell 10/32 in price to yield 2.2877 percent US/ Oil prices reversed early losses and rose after weekly data showed an unexpectedly large drawdown in U.S. crude inventories. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed crude USOILC=ECI stocks fell by 4.2 million barrels last week, more than twenty times analysts' expectations for an decrease of 184,000 barrels. Front-month Brent futures LCOc1 rose 60 cents to $53.90 a barrel. U.S. crude for September delivery CLc1 last traded at $49.26, up $1.28 on the day. (Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Dan Grebler) ((herb.lash@thomsonreuters.com; 1-646-223-6019; Reuters Messaging: herb.lash.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

Metallon's gold output falls short in further setback for Zimbabwe mining sector

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

HARARE, July 29 (Reuters) - Metallon Corp, the biggest gold producer in Zimbabwe, said it missed its first-half output target by 19 percent due to equipment breakdowns, in another setback for the country's mining sector, which has been hit by slumping commodities prices. The tax agency said on Wednesday that royalties from mining, which contributes around 17 percent of Zimbabwe's gross domestic product, fell 65 percent in the first half of 2015 from a year earlier, and analysts say the southern African country could tip into recession later this year. London-based Metallon, which is not listed, owns fives mines in Zimbabwe, three operational and two which are being revived, through its Metallon Gold unit. It said on Wednesday that it had experienced equipment breakdowns at the three operational mines, and that its output for January-June totalled 48,143 ounces. That was below a target of 59,621 ounces but up from 45,524 ounces in the same period last year. It said it would spend $20 million to get production back to normal but did not say when that would be achieved. Zimbabwe rakes in 52 percent of its export earnings from mining, including gold. Gold is its third-biggest export after tobacco and platinum and the country is reeling as the gold price has fallen 8 percent this year to its lowest levels in more than five years, while the price of platinum has plunged 18 percent. Metallon said early this year that it planned to expand production to 150,000 ounces of gold in 2015, from 98,864 ounces last year, but it was unclear after Wednesday's statement whether that target was still achievable. ID:nL5N0W02Y0 Zimbabwe's chamber of mines, which represents Zimbabwean mining companies, said on Wednesday that falling global prices of platinum and gold would hit the sector's production and revenue. Metallon, however, also said that it planned to re-open its Redwing mine in eastern Zimbabwe in October. The mine will add 3,400 ounces of gold by December and produce 16,000 ounces next year. The company said it would focus on reducing its debt, currently at $20 million, and renegotiate the cost of interest payments. "Metallon continues to engage with financial institutions for CAPEX funding and is confident that funding at significantly lower cost will be available in the next few weeks," it said in a statement. Zimbabwe's tax collections were 6 percent below target in the first half of this year, the tax agency said on Wednesday, due in part of the drop in revenues from mining. (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Susan Fenton) ((macdonald.dzirutwe@thomsonreuters.com; +263 4 799 112; Reuters Messaging: macdonald.dzirutwe.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: ZIMBABWE METALLON/GOLD

POLONIA Rate falls 0.11 pp.

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

WARSAW, Jul 29 (Reuters) - POLONIA the reference rate for Overnight deposits amounted to 0.81 percent. The volume of transactions concluded till 16:30 by banks participating in POLONIA fixing amounted to 4,945 mln PLN. Note: Description of reference rate at: http://www.acipolska.pl/ ((warsaw.newsroom@reuters.com))

INDICATORS - Lebanon - July 29

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

FOREX-Dollar holds steady as traders await clues from Fed

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Traders await possible hints on a September U.S. rate increase * Aussie, other commodities-linked currencies under pressure * Kiwi holds steady after RBNZ governor comments (Updates market action, changes dateline, previous LONDON) By Richard Leong NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) - The dollar held steady against major currencies on Wednesday as traders awaited possible clues from the Federal Reserve on whether it will raise interest rates, perhaps as early as September. The prevalent view has been the U.S. central bank is ready to end its near-zero interest rate policy by year-end as the world biggest economy has dug out of a recession worsened by the global credit crunch nearly seven years ago. Although inflation has remained below the Fed's 2 percent target and overseas developments including the European debt crisis and most recently China's stock market turmoil have complicated the timing of a rate "lift-off," most analysts reckon the era of near-zero rates is coming to an end. ID:nL1N108249 "The core message will be that the Fed will leave door the open for a September rate hike, which would be mildly dollar positive and disappoint those who are looking for a more dovish signal," said Alan Ruskin, global head of FX strategy at Deutsche Bank in New York. The consensus among economists in a Reuters poll published on July 23 was that the Fed would raise rates by a quarter point at its September meeting, followed by another quarter-point move in December. ID:nL1N1010UE The Federal Open Market Committee will release its policy statement at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT). FED/DIARY Higher U.S. Treasuries yields also supported the greenback, with the two-year yield US2YT=RR rising to 0.708 percent. US/ The dollar was up 0.1 percent at 123.72 yen JPY= , while the euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.1033. The dollar index .DXY was little changed at 96.788. Meanwhile, a sixth day of losses in the oil market LCOc1 exerted downward pressure on the Australian dollar AUD= , Canadian dollar CAD= and other currencies that are closely linked to commodities. O/R The move underscored growing concerns around economies whose growth is reliant on commodity exports as China is slowing and short-term supply of many natural resources is high. The Australian dollar was down 0.3 percent at $0.7318 after falling almost half a percent earlier AUD=D4 . The New Zealand dollar bucked the trend among commodity-linked currencies. It held firm above its recent six-year low against the dollar at $0.6691 NZD=D4 after its central bank governor played down the chances of further deep cuts to interest rates. ID:nL3N108011 (Additional reporting by Patrick Graham in London; Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo; Masayuki Kitano in Singapore; Editing by Alison Williams and Meredith Mazzilli) ((richard.leong@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6313; Reuters Messaging: richard.leong.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net; Twitter @RichardLeong2)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

Sterling hits 4-week high vs dollar on UK rate outlook, awaits Fed

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

By Jemima Kelly and Anirban Nag LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - Sterling hit a four-week high against the dollar on Wednesday, boosted by signs of consumer demand in Britain picking up, with most awaiting a policy statement from the Federal Reserve for a steer on when U.S. interest rates will start to rise. While the Fed is likely to hike rates by the end of the year, a recent slide in commodity prices and market turmoil in China have cast doubt on expectations of a September hike. The Bank of England, meanwhile, is expected to raise rates around the turn of the year. GBPOIS=ICAP Data released on Wednesday showed mortgage approvals in the UK rebounding in June, while another report showed increased buying of sterling debt by overseas investors. On Tuesday, data showed growth in the UK economy gathering pace in the second quarter, all of which underpinned the pound. ECONGB Sterling was up 0.4 percent at $1.5685 GBP=D4 , its highest since July 1, while the euro was down 0.7 percent at 70.40 pence EURGBP=D4 . "The Fed is going to leave their options open for a September rate hike but they're not going to get pre-committed," said Hans Redeker, global head of FX strategy at Morgan Stanley in London. "The BoE is also going to hike rates but I think it is going to be after the Fed. Why would you, as a relatively small country, raise your hat and say 'I'm first'?" The BoE's monetary policy committee (MPC) meets next week, and for the first time will simultaneously publish its decision on interest rates, the breakdown of how its policymakers voted along with a summary of their debate, and its quarterly forecasts for Britain's economy, including inflation. ID:nL5N10336Z No interest rate change is expected, although the vote could expose the first split on the nine-member MPC this year. Some are betting that up to three members will vote in favour of an immediate rate increase. "The pace of rate hikes implied by the front end of the UK curve is slower than in the U.S. and has room to adjust, providing support for sterling as long as we don't talk about the balance of payments, or 'Brexit'," said Kit Juckes, currency strategist at Societe Generale. (Editing by Mark Heinrich) ((anirban.nag@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(20 7542 8399; Reuters Messaging: anirban.nag.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS STERLING/CLOSE

FOREX-Dollar index flat after pending home sales fall in June

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) - The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies on Wednesday as domestic pending home sales unexpectedly fell 1.8 percent in June, suggesting some pullback in housing demand following recent strong gains. ID:nL1N10914E ID:nW1N0Z202W The dollar index .DXY was flat on the day at 96.766 as traders await a policy statement from the Federal Open Market Committee, the U.S. central bank's policy-setting group, at 2 p.m. (1800 GMT). FED/DIARY (Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) ((richard.leong@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6313; Reuters Messaging: richard.leong.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net; Twitter @RichardLeong2)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/PENDINGHOMES

UPDATE 2-Disappointed ECB says euro zone economies further apart than at the start

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds further detail) By Balazs Koranyi FRANKFURT, July 29 (Reuters) - The euro zone's founding members are further apart economically than they were, a "disappointing" outcome defying the premise that laggards would slowly catch up in common currency bloc, the European Central Bank said on Wednesday. Early members failed to recognise that lower borrowing costs, a key benefit in the currency union, would only provide a temporary boost, and left unchecked, would actually lead to many of the troubles that plunged the bloc into its debt crisis. "Progress towards real convergence among the 12 countries that formed the euro area in its initial years has been disappointing," the ECB said in an economic bulletin. The unusually strong commentary from the bank highlights the fragility of the currency union, which is still fighting an existential crisis after Greece came close to being forced out after years of failed reforms and ballooning debt. Though not a founding member of the currency union, Greece was included in 2001 and was among the 12 nations that started using the euro banknotes in 2002. Euro zone membership pushed down borrowing costs, fuelling unsustainable credit-driven growth, and governments assumed this would last, leading to unrealistic growth expectations. Once the boost ran out and growth faltered, debt levels rose quickly. Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece have received international bailouts since the start of the euro zone debt crisis and growth across the bloc is expected to be muted for years to come. "There is some evidence of divergence among the early adopters of the euro, given that over 15 years a number of relatively low-income countries have maintained (Spain and Portugal) or even increased (Greece) their income gaps with respect to the average," it added. "Moreover, Italy, initially a higher-income country, recorded the worst performance, suggesting substantial divergence from the high-income group," it added. Governments also kept in place rigid and protected product and labour market structures with little ability to flexibly adjust wages, exacerbating the effect of the crisis as currency devaluation could no longer be used to reestablish competitiveness. With capital allocated to low productivity sectors, part of the protectionist framework, even relatively high productivity sectors suffered, weighing on overall growth. Meanwhile, late jointers Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia have recorded the highest degree of convergence among the EU countries, the ECB added. (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt) ((Balazs.Koranyi@thomsonreuters.com; +49 69 7565 1244; Reuters Messaging: balazs.koranyi.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: EUROZONE ECONOMY/ECB

UPDATE 1-Brazil set to hike rates as inflation risks rise on weak real

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds analyst comment) By Alonso Soto BRASILIA, July 29 (Reuters) - Brazil's central bank was poised to maintain its aggressive pace of interest rate hikes on Wednesday after a steep cut in fiscal savings targets weakened the real currency and stirred doubts about the government's commitment to help contain price increases. Forty-two out of 55 analysts surveyed by Reuters last week expect the central bank to raise its benchmark Selic rate BRCBMP=ECI by 50 basis points for the sixth straight time to 14.25 percent. The remainder forecast a hike of 25 basis points. ID:nL1N1041AO The Brazilian real BRBY has slid nearly 4 percent against the U.S. dollar to its weakest in 12 years since Brazil unveiled less ambitious fiscal targets last Wednesday. The sharp depreciation has intensified inflationary pressures by making imports more expensive. The real firmed 0.2 percent early on Wednesday. Standard & Poor's threat on Tuesday to strip Brazil of its coveted investment-grade rating in the coming year is also expected to raise pressure on the bank to keep raising rates, already the highest among major world economies. ID:nL3N108553 Until recently the bank signaled it was close to ending the rate-hiking cycle that started in October, pointing to its success in bringing down inflationary expectations from 2017 onward. However, the reduction of the government's key fiscal targets prompted an immediate change in the tone used by the central bank as it warned of more vigilance. "We expect a 50-basis-points hike and the downgrade threat reaffirms that position," said Natalia Cotarelli, economist with Banco ABC Brasil in Sao Paulo. "The trigger for that change in tone of the central bank was the reduction of the fiscal goals." Still, Siobhan Morden of Jefferies LLC said in a research note the central bank will likely signal the end of the cycle in its decision statement to avoid deepening a recession that complicates the recovery of fiscal accounts by slowing revenues. Many market observers interpreted the new fiscal targets as a signal that government will not reduce spending as aggressively as planned, effectively an admission it would not be able to help the central bank rein in inflationary pressures. ID:nL1N1020YE Two days after the government announced the lower targets for fiscal savings, central bank director Luiz Pereira said it was "paramount" for the bank to remain vigilant to bring inflation back to the 4.5 percent center of the official target in 2016. ID:nL1N1040R2 Brazil's inflation slowed in the month to mid-July as the economy contracted, but remained high on an annual basis at 9.25 percent. ID:nL1N1020MJ (Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Meredith Mazzilli) ((alonso.soto@thomsonreuters.com; +55 61 34267027; Reuters Messaging: alonso.soto.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BRAZIL ECONOMY/RATES

Yield on Kenya's 182-day Treasury bills falls

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

NAIROBI, July 29 (Reuters) - The weighted average yield on Kenya's 182-day Treasury bill KE6MT=RR fell to 11.929 percent at auction on Wednesday from 12.431 percent last week, the central bank said. The yield on the 364-day Treasury bill KE1YT=RR rose to 13.500 percent from 13.034 percent last week. The bank received bids worth 3 billion shillings ($29.5 million) for the 8 billion shillings' worth of bills offered, and accepted 2.1 billion shillings. Next week, the central bank will offer 11 billion shillings worth of Treasuries of all maturities at two separate auctions, the bank said. ($1 = 101.6000 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by James Macharia) ((drazen.jorgic@thomsonreuters.com; +254 204 991 237; Reuters Messaging: drazen.jorgic.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: KENYA BILLS/

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies as investors seek cues on U.S. rate hike timing

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Dollar treads water vs basket of currencies ahead of Fed * Gold struggles to rise back above $1,100/oz level * Coming up: Fed releases policy statement at 1800 GMT (Updates prices, adds comment) By Clara Denina LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Wednesday around a 5-1/2-year low hit last week, as investors awaited the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting for cues on the timing of the first U.S. rate rise in nearly a decade. Policymakers are likely to reaffirm that only consistent signs of a strong U.S. economy and labour market would put them on track to raise interest rates in coming months, analysts said. For non-interest yielding gold, higher interest rates mean prices could come under pressure. Spot gold XAU= was at $1,095.10 an ounce by 1320 GMT, little changed from late on Tuesday, while U.S. gold for August delivery GCcv1 was down 0.2 percent at $1,094.50 an ounce. The metal touched $1,077 last week, its weakest since February 2010, following a sell-off on exchanges in New York and Shanghai, when investors cut their exposure on fears of further price declines. "In my view, the market is so oversold that the next move should be higher, but right now, who knows?" LBBW analyst Thorsten Proettel said. "A lot of people have burnt their fingers with gold, and they don't want to touch it." Much of its near-term direction will depend on the Fed, and the impact of its statement on the dollar, he said. "It's possible that the Fed will give a sign that (a rate hike) will come in September, which would give gold a shock." After breaching the $1,100 support level, gold has found it tough to recover and stay above that mark, indicating bearish investors continued to hover in the market. The dollar was unchanged against a basket of leading currencies ahead of the policy statement due at 1800 GMT. "(Gold) bounced from the low but we are little changed and waiting for the Fed's statement tonight and the second-quarter GDP tomorrow," Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said. "These are the two events that should set direction for the next few weeks." European equities advanced, spurred by gains in U.S. and Asian markets on hopes that Beijing could stem the rout in its markets without damage to the world's second-biggest economy. MKTS/GLOB Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded-fund, New York's SPDR Gold Trust GLD , were unchanged at 21.87 million ounces on Monday, the lowest since September 2008, following a seven-day slide. GOL/ETF Spot palladium XPD= was up 0.2 percent at $620.47 an ounce and platinum XPT= was down 0.1 percent at $980.74 an ounce, both not far above multi-year lows. Silver XAG= was up 0.2 percent at $14.71 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Jan Harvey in London and Manolo Serapio Jr in Manila; Editing by Susan Thomas) ((clara.denina@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 207 542 9420)(Reuters Messaging: clara.denina.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

RBI says reserve money grew 10.8 pct in week to July 24

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

July 29 (Reuters) - The Reserve Bank of India RBI says reserve money grew 10.8 pct year on year in week to july 24 vs 11.3 pct year ago RBI says currency in circulation grew 10.3 pct y-o-y in week to july 24 vs 11.8 pct year ago RBI says currency in circulation down 147.7 bln rupees to 14.88 trln rupees in week to july 24 Source Text: (http://bit.ly/1ezYfoa) (Reporting By Aditya Kondalamahanty in Bengaluru) ((Aditya.K@thomsonreuters.com; +91 80 6749 4771; Reuters Messaging: Aditya.K@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA CENBANK/RESERVEMONEY

IMF chief: China response to stock plunge won't weigh on currency review

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

WASHINGTON, July 29 (Reuters) - China's policy response to a plunge in its stock market is unlikely to affect the International Monetary Fund's decision on whether to include the yuan currency in its special drawing rights basket of currencies, the international lender's chief said on Wednesday. Commenting on Beijing's efforts to prop up stocks, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said: "Is that going to impact our assessment of the drawing rights basket? I don't think so." "We will continue to do the work, and I don't think we'll be undue derailed by some market variations that we've seen recently," she said in a news conference. (Reporting by Jason Lange and Michael Flaherty; Editing by Susan Heavey) ((jason.lange@thomsonreuters.com; 202 310 5487; Twitter @langejason; Reuters Messaging: jason.lange.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CHINA IMF/

Brazil says risk of public debt approaching 70 pct of GDP reduced

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

SAO PAULO, July 29 (Reuters) - The risk of Brazil's public debt approaching 70 percent of gross domestic product is greatly reduced, even with modest economic growth, the country's finance ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. The government last week slashed the country's fiscal savings targets for this and the next two years, prompting economists and analysts to forecast that Brazil's debt burden was going to climb above 70 percent of GDP in coming years. Debt-to-GDP ratio levels are closely watched by rating agencies as a measurement of a country's financial health. Standard & Poor's on Tuesday threatened to strip Brazil of its investment-grade rating next year because of the challenges President Dilma Rousseff faces to improve fiscal accounts and re-start economic growth. (Reporting by Patricia Duarte) ((caroline.stauffer@thomsonreuters.com; +55 11 5644 7726; Reuters Messaging: caroline.stauffer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BRAZIL ECONOMY/DEBT

FOREX-Aussie, Canadian dollars inch lower ahead of Fed statement

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Aussie, other commodities-linked currencies under pressure * Dollar inches higher ahead of Fed statement due 1800 GMT * Market already retreated from expectations of Sept. move * Kiwi edges higher after RBNZ comments (Adds more quotes, updates prices) By Patrick Graham LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - Major currencies that are closely linked to commodities prices were back on the defensive on Wednesday as oil prices fell again and traders awaited the outcome later in the day of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting. The New Zealand dollar was again the marginal exception to that rule, resisting more losses after its central bank governor played down the chances of further deep cuts to interest rates. ID:nL3N108011 But even with a more encouraging tone on China's stock markets limiting the damage, the Canadian and Australian dollar were both down by 0.2-0.3 percent in mid-morning trade in Europe. The dollar, euro and yen were all broadly steady, and the broader dollar index against a basket of currencies a touch lower, ahead of a Fed policy statement that may be crucial for fading expectations of a rate rise in September. "The commitment of many people to a September view has dripped away," said Jane Foley, a currency strategist with Rabobank in London. "It would be a big surprise for (Fed chief Janet) Yellen to be particularly hawkish today." Mid-morning in Europe, the dollar was down less than 0.1 percent against the euro at $1.1068 EUR= and flat at 123.56 yen. JPY= The mood around the U.S. currency and economy remains solid. Even if the Fed takes until later this year, or even early next, to raise interest rates, it will be doing so while many of its peers are still looking in the opposite direction. But there has been a shift away from the past year's expectations of gains against the euro, yen and other majors towards playing for a rising dollar against developing world currencies such as the rand, Brazilian real or Turkish lira. Among the majors, the biggest loser was the Australian dollar, down almost half a percent to $0.7302 AUD=D4 at one point before recovering some ground. That reflects the growing concerns around economies where growth is reliant on commodity prices at a time when China is slowing, global growth is wobbling and short-term supply of many natural resources is high. "We expect broad dollar strength against the overall commodity currency complex in developed markets as well as in emerging markets," analysts from Barclays said in a note focusing on the outlook for commodities prices and currencies. "Macroeconomic risks, particularly out of China could limit upside demand surprises, supply surprises appear largely to have been on the upside across most commodity markets." The Fed's policy statement is due at 1800 GMT, and trading ahead of that could be swayed by Wednesday being the last trading day for settlement before the month's end, traders said. Matt Cobon, head of rates and foreign exchange at Threadneedle Asset Management in London, argued that rate expectations on the dollar had in reality been static this year and that much of a longer-term structural adjustment in favour of the dollar has also been priced in. "I've been the world's biggest bear on commodity currencies and the world's biggest bear on emerging markets for a long time," he said. "But for the first time in years I see a relative value opportunity in owning some of this stuff. I think the dollar in terms of fair value is running ahead of where it should be due to cyclical reasons." (Editing by Alison Williams) ((patrick.graham@thomsonreuters.com)(+44207 542 9429)(patrick.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

FOREX-Aussie, Canadian dollars inch lower ahead of Fed statement

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Aussie, other commodities-linked currencies under pressure * Dollar inches higher ahead of Fed statement due 1800 GMT * Market already retreated from expectations of Sept. move * Kiwi edges higher after RBNZ comments (Adds more quotes, updates prices) By Patrick Graham LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - Major currencies that are closely linked to commodities prices were back on the defensive on Wednesday as oil prices fell again and traders awaited the outcome later in the day of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting. The New Zealand dollar was again the marginal exception to that rule, resisting more losses after its central bank governor played down the chances of further deep cuts to interest rates. ID:nL3N108011 But even with a more encouraging tone on China's stock markets limiting the damage, the Canadian and Australian dollar were both down by 0.2-0.3 percent in mid-morning trade in Europe. The dollar, euro and yen were all broadly steady, and the broader dollar index against a basket of currencies a touch lower, ahead of a Fed policy statement that may be crucial for fading expectations of a rate rise in September. "The commitment of many people to a September view has dripped away," said Jane Foley, a currency strategist with Rabobank in London. "It would be a big surprise for (Fed chief Janet) Yellen to be particularly hawkish today." Mid-morning in Europe, the dollar was down less than 0.1 percent against the euro at $1.1068 EUR= and flat at 123.56 yen. JPY= The mood around the U.S. currency and economy remains solid. Even if the Fed takes until later this year, or even early next, to raise interest rates, it will be doing so while many of its peers are still looking in the opposite direction. But there has been a shift away from the past year's expectations of gains against the euro, yen and other majors towards playing for a rising dollar against developing world currencies such as the rand, Brazilian real or Turkish lira. Among the majors, the biggest loser was the Australian dollar, down almost half a percent to $0.7302 AUD=D4 at one point before recovering some ground. That reflects the growing concerns around economies where growth is reliant on commodity prices at a time when China is slowing, global growth is wobbling and short-term supply of many natural resources is high. "We expect broad dollar strength against the overall commodity currency complex in developed markets as well as in emerging markets," analysts from Barclays said in a note focusing on the outlook for commodities prices and currencies. "Macroeconomic risks, particularly out of China could limit upside demand surprises, supply surprises appear largely to have been on the upside across most commodity markets." The Fed's policy statement is due at 1800 GMT, and trading ahead of that could be swayed by Wednesday being the last trading day for settlement before the month's end, traders said. Matt Cobon, head of rates and foreign exchange at Threadneedle Asset Management in London, argued that rate expectations on the dollar had in reality been static this year and that much of a longer-term structural adjustment in favour of the dollar has also been priced in. "I've been the world's biggest bear on commodity currencies and the world's biggest bear on emerging markets for a long time," he said. "But for the first time in years I see a relative value opportunity in owning some of this stuff. I think the dollar in terms of fair value is running ahead of where it should be due to cyclical reasons." (Editing by Alison Williams) ((patrick.graham@thomsonreuters.com)(+44207 542 9429)(patrick.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

Sri Lanka rupee ends steady on state bank's dollar sales

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

COLOMBO, July 29 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee LKR=LK ended steady on Wednesday a day after a state-run bank cut the currency's peg against the dollar by 10 cents to allow the exchange rate to appreciate to 133.60, dealers said. The spot rupee ended steady at 133.60 on Wednesday. One of the two state banks, through which the central bank usually directs the market, sold dollars at 133.60 to keep the rupee steady, they said. However, there was downward pressure on the rupee due to demand for the greenback from importers amid reluctant dollar sales by exporters, the dealers said. "There is importer demand ahead of the long weekend but the rupee is trading steady due to state bank (dollar) sales," said a currency dealer. Markets will be closed on Friday for a Buddhist religious holiday. Some dealers expect the currency to be less volatile amid a possible mild appreciation until the Aug. 17 parliamentary elections. (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee) ((ranga.sirilal@thomsonreuters.com; +94-11-232-5540; Reuters Messaging: ranga.sirilal.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net ; www.twitter.com/rangaba)) Keywords: MARKETS SRI LANKA/FOREX

India fwd/annualised dlr premia-(closing)-Jul 29

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

Cash Spot Cash Tom Tom Next --------------------------------------------------------------- Bid/Ask Bid/Ask Bid/Ask (in IST) 1000 02.00/03.00 01.00/01.50 01.00/01.50 05.71% 05.71% 05.71% (Jul 28) 1000 02.00/03.00 01.00/01.50 01.00/01.50 05.70% 05.70% 05.70% --------------------------------------------------------------- TIME AUG SEP OCT NOV --------------------------------------------------------------- 1000 37.50/39.00 75.25/77.25 112.50/114.50 151.00/153.00 1100 37.50/39.00 75.00/77.00 112.50/114.50 151.00/153.00 1200 37.50/39.00 74.75/76.75 112.25/114.25 151.00/153.00 1300 37.50/39.50 75.00/77.00 112.50/114.50 151.00/153.00 1400 37.50/39.50 75.00/77.00 112.50/114.50 151.00/153.00 1500 37.50/39.00 74.75/76.75 112.25/114.25 151.00/153.00 1600 37.25/39.25 74.75/76.75 112.25/114.25 150.75/152.75 1715 37.50/38.50 74.75/76.25 112.00/114.00 150.50/152.50 (C1osing Jul 28) 1715 38.75/40.75 76.25/78.25 114.00/116.00 152.50/154.50 --------------------------------------------------------------- TIME DEC JAN FEB MAR --------------------------------------------------------------- 1000 189.50/191.50 226.00/228.00 264.50/266.50 303.00/305.00 1100 189.50/191.50 225.50/227.50 264.00/266.00 302.50/304.50 1200 189.75/191.75 226.00/228.00 264.50/266.50 303.00/305.00 1300 189.50/191.50 225.50/227.50 264.00/266.00 302.50/304.50 1400 189.50/191.50 225.50/227.50 264.00/266.00 302.50/304.50 1500 189.50/191.50 225.50/227.50 264.00/266.00 302.50/304.50 1600 189.25/191.25 225.25/227.25 263.75/265.75 302.25/304.25 1715 189.00/191.00 225.00/227.00 263.50/265.50 302.00/304.00 (C1osing Jul 28) 1715 191.00/193.00 227.50/229.50 266.00/268.00 304.50/306.50 --------------------------------------------------------------- TIME APR MAY JUN JUL --------------------------------------------------------------- 1000 344.00/346.00 383.00/385.00 419.00/421.00 452.00/454.00 1100 343.50/345.50 382.50/384.50 418.50/420.50 452.00/454.00 1200 343.75/345.75 382.75/384.75 418.50/420.50 452.00/454.00 1300 343.00/345.00 382.00/384.00 418.00/420.00 451.50/453.50 1400 343.00/345.00 382.00/384.00 417.75/419.75 451.00/453.00 1500 343.00/345.00 381.75/383.75 417.50/419.50 451.00/453.00 1600 342.75/344.75 381.50/383.50 417.25/419.25 450.50/452.50 1715 342.50/344.50 381.50/383.50 417.25/419.25 450.50/452.50 (C1osing Jul 28) 1715 345.50/347.50 384.50/386.50 420.50/422.50 00.75/01.75 ---------------------------------------------------------------- TIME 1 MTH 2 MTH 3MTH 4 MTH 5 MTH 6 MTH ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1000 7.05% 7.14% 7.13% 7.12% 7.11% 7.13% 1100 7.05% 7.12% 7.12% 7.12% 7.11% 7.11% 1200 7.05% 7.09% 7.11% 7.12% 7.12% 7.12% 1300 7.10% 7.12% 7.13% 7.12% 7.11% 7.11% 1400 7.09% 7.12% 7.12% 7.12% 7.11% 7.11% 1500 7.05% 7.10% 7.11% 7.12% 7.12% 7.11% 1600 7.05% 7.10% 7.12% 7.11% 7.11% 7.11% 1715 7.00% 7.07% 7.09% 7.09% 7.09% 7.09% (C1osing Jul 28) 1715 7.09% 7.12% 7.14% 7.13% 7.12% 7.13% --------------------------------------------------------------- TIME 7 MTH 8 MTH 9 MTH 10 MTH 11 MTH 12MTH --------------------------------------------------------------- 1000 7.12% 7.12% 7.22% 7.19% 7.16% 7.11% 1100 7.11% 7.11% 7.21% 7.18% 7.15% 7.11% 1200 7.12% 7.12% 7.21% 7.19% 7.15% 7.11% 1300 7.11% 7.11% 7.20% 7.17% 7.15% 7.10% 1400 7.11% 7.11% 7.20% 7.17% 7.14% 7.09% 1500 7.11% 7.11% 7.20% 7.17% 7.14% 7.10% 1600 7.11% 7.11% 7.20% 7.17% 7.14% 7.09% 1715 7.09% 7.09% 7.19% 7.16% 7.13% 7.08% (C1osing Jul 28) 1715 7.13% 7.12% 7.22% 7.19% 7.16% 7.11% --------------------------------------------------------------- (CONVERSION RATE - $1 = 63.9100/63.9200 rupees) Note: Figures in brackets indicate negative values. Premiums have been given in paise and annualised premiums INRANFWD= are on a rolling monthly basis INRF= . For the purpose of calculating the annualised premiums, the mid-figure between bid and ask is taken. Similarly we use Spot level indicative INR=IN bid and ask for calculations. These indicative rates INR1F= are based on contributions from Andhra Bank, Bank Of Baroda,Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, ICICI Bank, Credit Agricole CIB, Standard Chartered, HDFC Bank, Indusind Bank,Corporation Bank, Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Axis Bank,State Bank Of India, HSBC,Central Bank. For contributions contact Mumbai Rate Reporting unit +91 22 6180 7222/3317 7222 or E-mail:rru.data@thomsonreuters.com Keywords: MARKET INDIA DLR PREMIA

UPDATE 1-Rwandan cbank sees weaker franc; to crack down on speculative trade

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds quotes by central bank governor, researcher) KIGALI, July 29 (Reuters) - Rwanda's central bank expects the local currency to weaken five percent this year but said there was little cause for concern, and warned that the bank would crack down on speculative trade by forex bureaus. John Rwangombwa said on Wednesday that the franc, which has lost about 4 percent to the dollar since January, has lost ground due to the global dollar strength and a high import bill. The franc has fared better than regional currencies - the Ugandan shilling has lost about 23 percent against the dollar this year, while Kenyan shilling has weakened about 12 percent. "We expect the depreciation to be around 5 percent. There is no cause for alarm," Rwangombwa told reporters in Kigali, citing a strong dollar and rising imports in June and July. He also warned that the bank would crack down on foreign exchange bureaus over speculative trading. The central bank website put the average dollar exchange rate at 723 francs, but Rwangombwa said some bureaus were charging as much as 800 francs per dollar. "That's not acceptable at all in the regulations that guide the foreign exchange markets and so we are going to address that and we are going to take punitive actions or measures against the culprits," the governor said. Wilberforce Nuwagira, a researcher at the central bank, said the exchange rate movements remain a potential source of inflation. "On this, we recommend that the central bank should remain vigilant and try to monitor exchange rate movements so as to mitigate any inflation pressures that would emanate from exchange rate volatility," he added. Rwandan inflation RWCPIY=ECI rose to 2.8 percent year-on-year in June from 2.2 percent in May, the statistics office said on Friday. ID:nN6N0XR005 (Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by James Macharia) ((drazen.jorgic@thomsonreuters.com; +254 204 991 237; Reuters Messaging: drazen.jorgic.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: RWANDA CENBANK/

UPDATE 1-Ghana's producer price inflation rises to 23.1 pct in June

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds quotes, details) By Kwasi Kpodo ACCRA, July 29 (Reuters) - Ghana's annual producer price inflation rose sharply to 23.1 percent in June from a revised figure of 18.8 percent the previous month, driven by currency depreciation and higher cement prices, the national statistics office said on Wednesday. Ghana's stubbornly high inflation rate, outstripping the average in the region, is just one of the challenges facing the West African nation, whose exports of oil and gold have been hit by a slump in prices. Ghana began a three-year International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in April designed to restore fiscal stability and curb a sharp increase in its debt levels. Government statistician Philomena Nyarko said the significant rise in the price index was influenced by changes in the extractive and manufacturing sectors. "The depreciation of the cedi in June was a key factor in relation to the price of gold which is a key component of the mining and quarrying subsector," she told a news conference. "There were also increases in the price of cement and textiles." She said producer inflation for manufacturing, which comprises petroleum refining, rose most by 5.2 percentage points to 21.9 percent. The mining and quarrying sub-sector rose by 4.6 percentage points to 30.0 percent, driven by gold prices. Producer inflation for utilities edged up 0.2 percentage points to 20.8 percent. The month-on-month change in PPI between May and June was 4.4 percent, Nyarko said. Producer price inflation is an advance indicator of consumer price inflation which rose to 17.1 percent in June, from 16.9 percent the month before. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Daniel Flynn) ((kwasi.kpodo@thomsonreuters.com ; +233244696990; Reuters Messaging: Kwasi.Kpodo.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GHANA PPI/

Czech crown extends losses, drops to 2-week low

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

PRAGUE, July 29 (Reuters) - The Czech crown dipped by 0.4 percent to more than a two-week low of 27.125 to the euro EURCZK= in midday trading on Wednesday on euro buying by London-based trading houses, Prague dealers said. The weakening reversed a trend of the past 10 days of testing the central bank's exchange rate floor loosely defined as levels "close to" 27 per euro. The bank said last week it had been in the market on July 17 for the first time since it launched its weak crown policy in 2013 but has since declined to comment on whether or not it was active in the market. The euro/crown pair was bid by banks at 27.02-27.03 over the past week, preventing the currency from further strengthening. Some traders attributed that pattern to possible central bank intervention but Reuters could not verify any central bank presence. (Reporting by Jan Lopatka) ((jan.lopatka@thomsonreuters.com; +420224190474; Reuters Messaging: jan.lopatka.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS CZECH/CROWN

BRIEF-India allows raising foreign investment in Hathway Cable to 74 pct

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

July 29 (Reuters) - Hathway Cable And Datacom Ltd HAWY.NS * Government allows Hathway Cable to raise foreign investment to 74 percent from 49 percent - statement * http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=123899 Further company coverage: HAWY.NS (Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh) ((malini.menon@thomsonreuters.com;))

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - July 29

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

Kyrgyzstan launches Taldy-Bulak gold venture with China

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

By Olga Dzyubenko TALDY-BULAK GORGE, Kyrgyzstan, July 29 (Reuters) - K yrgyzstan on Wednesday opened a gold mine at the Taldy-Bulak Levoberezhny deposit, a joint venture with China and so far the second "world-class" gold project with foreign investors. The field, discovered by Soviet geologists, lies in the Taldy-Bulak Gorge in the Tien Shan mountains some 120 km (75 miles) east of the capital Bishkek and holds an estimated 65 tonnes of gold. Continued exploration is expected to add up to 20 tonnes to the reserves, Kyrgyz geologists say. Kyrgyzstan, a mainly Muslim nation in Central Asia with a population of 5.5 million, remains volatile after popular revolts deposed two presidents in 2005 and 2010. It sorely needs foreign investment to alleviate widespread poverty. "This is a significant event for Kyrgyzstan's economy, but this is just the beginning," Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariyev said at the opening ceremony. "We will continue this work in the future and will launch a number of (mining) combines. Next month the Bozymchak deposit will be launched at full capacity," he said in a reference to a project implemented by Kazakh firm Kazakhmys Gold Kyrgyzstan. Taldy-Bulak's underground mine will be run by Altynken, a venture in which Kyrgyz state gold company Kyrgyzaltyn holds 40 percent and Superb Pacific Limited Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of China's Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd 601899.SS , another 60 percent. Altynken, which holds a 19-year licence, has so far invested $246 million. It aims to produce 1 tonne of gold by the end of this year. Annual output is set to average 3.7 tonnes of gold in several years. Taldy-Bulak will be profitable as long as gold price does not fall below $1,080 per ounce, Kyrgyzaltyn Board Chairman Almaz Alimbekov told reporters at the site. As of 0840 GMT on Wednesday, spot gold XAU= traded at $1,098 per ounce. This is the second major gold project launched in the country after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1997, Kyrgyzstan started joint production with Canada's Centerra Gold Inc. CG.TO at Kumtor, its largest gold deposit. In the past two years, the two sides have been locked in uneasy negotiations as Kyrgyzstan, which owns a third in Centerra, seeks to form a 50-50 joint venture to run Kumtor, which is the core asset of the Toronto-listed investor. (Writing by Dmitry Solovyov Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.) ((dmitry.solovyov@thomsonreuters.com; +7 727 3300 787 x 705; Reuters Messaging: dmitry.solovyov.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: KYRGYZSTAN GOLD/TALDYBULAK

Zimbabwe misses H1 tax target, mining royalties plunge

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

HARARE, July 29 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's tax collections were six percent below target during the first half of the year while mining royalties and value added tax plunged, reflecting a struggling economy, the tax agency said on Wednesday. The southern African country's economy, where mining contributes around 17 percent to gross domestic product, is expected to struggle this year due to low commodity prices and a poor farming season. Willia Bonyongwe, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) said tax collections between January and June were $1.66 billion, below the target of $1.76 billion. The agency collected $1.72 billion during the same period last year. At $39.8 million, mining royalties were 39 percent below target. When compared to the same time last year, mining royalties fell 65 percent from $112 million. "The performance of the revenue head (mining royalties) can be attributed to depressed international mineral prices," Bonyongwe said in a statement. Zimbabwe holds the world's second largest platinum reserves and produces gold, chrome and iron ore. Mining generates more than half of export earnings but weak global commodity prices, especially of platinum and gold, are expected to hit Zimbabwe's earnings this year. Bonyongwe said company tax was also 9 percent below target while value added tax (VAT) on the sale of local goods at $213 million was 33 percent short of target as consumer demand fell. Businesses are struggling with high operating costs, competition from cheaper imports and biting electricity shortages and have been forced to retrench hundreds this year. The Zimbabwe government has said the economy will flatline at 3.2 percent this year, but the World Bank sees growth at 1 percent, while some economic analysts forecast a slide into recession for the first time since 2008. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa is expected to present his half-year economic update to parliament on Thursday. (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by James Macharia) ((macdonald.dzirutwe@thomsonreuters.com; +263 4 799 112; Reuters Messaging: macdonald.dzirutwe.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: ZIMBABWE TAX/

Vietnam cbank says forex reserves at $37 bln - media

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

HANOI, July 29 (Reuters) - Vietnam's foreign exchange reserves excluding gold at the end of this month will have reached $37 billion, up from last year's record $36 billion, a state-run newspaper cited the country's central bank governor on Wednesday as saying. "If we include other items like gold and deposits in foreign currencies by the State Treasury and credit institutions at the State Bank of Vietnam, it is about $40 billion," Nguyen Van Binh was quoted in a Saigon Times newspaper in an online report as saying. Binh's comment came after Vietnam devalued the dong currency VND=VN twice this year by a combined 2 percent. Last December, the central bank said dong depreciation would be less than 2 percent for the whole of 2015. (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee) ((mai.nguyen@thomsonreuters.com; +844 3825 9623; Reuters Messaging: mai.nguyen.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: VIETNAM CURRENCY/RESERVES

PRECIOUS-Gold wedged below $1,100 ahead of Fed outcome

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

* Investors eyeing signals on timing of U.S. rate hike * Coming up: Fed releases policy statement at 1800 GMT (Updates prices) By Manolo Serapio Jr MANILA, July 29 (Reuters) - Gold steadied at just below $1,100 an ounce on Wednesday, trading not far from a 5-1/2-year low, as investors awaited the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting for more signs on the timing of this year's interest rate increase. After last week's rout, gold was stuck in narrow ranges ahead of the conclusion of the Fed's policy meeting later in the day. Policymakers are likely to affirm the strength of the U.S. economy and labour market that puts them on track to raise interest rates as early as September, suggesting more downside risk for non-interest yielding gold. "We still remain somewhat cautious about gold over the short-term, and suspect that the dollar could start to push higher over the balance of the week, possibly triggered by Wednesday's upbeat Fed policy statement," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said. "We also do not see any imminent upside price drivers for gold at the moment, with physical, investor and fund demand all being rather uninspiring." Spot gold XAU= was up 0.3 percent at $1,098 an ounce by 0630 GMT. The metal touched $1,077 last week, its weakest since February 2010, following a selloff in New York and Shanghai as investors cut their exposure on fears of further price declines. After breaching the $1,100 support level, gold has found it tough to recover and stay above that mark, indicating bearish investors continued to hover in the market. U.S. gold for August delivery GCcv1 was little changed at $1,097.40 an ounce. Global gold demand shrank to its lowest since 2009 in the second quarter as China poured funds into its now troubled equities market and imports by India dropped to the lowest in five quarters, according to a report by GFMS, a division of Thomson Reuters. ID:nL3N10833C Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded-fund, New York's SPDR Gold Trust GLD , were unchanged at 21.87 million ounces on Monday, the lowest since September 2008, following a seven-day slide. GOL/ETF In other metals, spot palladium XPD= gained 0.7 percent to $623.55 an ounce and platinum XPT= rose 0.2 percent to $983.50, both not far above multi-year lows. Silver XAG= edged up 0.3 percent to $14.72 an ounce. (Editing by Ed Davies and Sunil Nair) ((manolo.serapio@thomsonreuters.com)(+632 841 8972)(Reuters Messaging: manolo.serapio.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net Twitter: @MannySerapio))

Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

BRIEF-Gold One Africa to acquire remaining shares of Goliath Gold Mining

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

July 29 (Reuters) - Goliath Gold Mining Ltd GGMJ.J * jse: ggm - cautionary announcement ggmj.j * Gold One Africa Limited has submitted a non-binding expression of interest to acquire Goliath Gold ordinary shares that it does not already own * Shareholders could elect to receive either an immediate cash payment of r1.00 per share (total offer value of r41.2 mln or a deferred cash payment of r1.60 per share * Shareholders are advised that proposed scheme is subject to, inter alia, Gold One Africa obtaining requisite Chinese regulatory approvals * Approvals are expected to be received during month of August 2015, following which a firm intention to proceed will be submitted to Goliath Gold By Gold One Africa * Gold One Africa Limited ("Gold One Africa")holds 72 pct of the issued share capital of Goliath Gold and is an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary of Gold One International Limited (Cayman Islands) Source text for Eikon: ID:nJsec0003a Further company coverage: GGMJ.J ((Bengaluru Newsroon +918067491136;))

MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - July 29

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

DUBAI, July 29 (Reuters) - Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch for their accuracy. INTERNATIONAL/REGIONAL * GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks up as China steadies, wary of Fed MKTS/GLOB * MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets fall as oil drops further ID:nL5N1083PT * Oil prices fall on oversupply concerns, weaker dollar support O/R * Gold wedged below $1,100 ahead of Fed meeting outcome ID:nL3N10909Z * U.S., Turkey weigh which Syrian rebels to support in border area ID:nL1N1083C5 * Kerry warns U.S. Congress scrapping Iran deal would mean path to nuclear weapon ID:nL1N1081H5 * Iraqi militia leader says U.S. not serious about fighting Islamic State ID:nL5N1084AT * EU's Mogherini in Iran to discuss nuclear deal, region - TV ID:nL5N10837A * Turkey's Erdogan: peace process with Kurdish militants impossible ID:nL5N1081Z3 * Libyan court sentences Gaddafi son Saif, 8 other ex-officials to death ID:nL5N10820K * Attack halts flow in natural gas pipeline from Iran to Turkey ID:nL5N1080WM * Central Asia crackdown on militant Islam risks backlash ID:nL5N10714D * Saudi-led raid on Yemen plant appears unlawful-Rights Watch ID:nL5N1083U5 * Syrian Kurds' spending plans reflect rising ambition ID:nL5N1073M3 * South Africa proposes extending sukuk to corporate issuers ID:nL5N10804Y EGYPT * Egypt to allow 24-hour access to East Port Said with new waterway ID:nL5N1081Z9 * Fire at Egypt furniture factory kills 25 - health ministry ID:nL5N10841M * Egypt's central bank to hold rates amid inflation concern - survey ID:nL3N1084OP * Deutsche Bank, HSBC said arranging $3.7 bln Egypt power loan - Bloomberg DBKGn.DE HSBA.L SIEGn.DE ID:nL3N1083Z8 SAUDI ARABIA * Saudi's Savola Q2 profit falls 15 pct, warns Q3 profit will also fall ID:nD5N10600B * Saudi suspends shares in Middle East Paper pending news on earnings ID:nL5N10827S UNITED ARAB EMIRATES * Etisalat's net profit falls 40 pct ID:nL5N1083WJ * KKR, Majid Al Futtaim said to weigh bids for Abu Dhabi's Dunia - Bloomberg ID:nL3N1084SA * UAE shifts fuel prices as the Gulf watches ID:nL5N1082GE * DP World begins $1.6 bln Dubai port upgrade; says H1 container volumes up ID:nL5N1081BY * Dubai realtor S&K says worsening market led to bankruptcy ID:nL5N1080UR QATAR * Qatar Airways says in talks with India's IndiGo ID:nL5N1082UR * Qatar Navigation reports 26 pct increase in H1 profit ID:nL5N108071 KUWAIT * Kuwait says S.Arabia must compensate for Khafji's oilfield closure-paper ID:nL5N10853M * Kuwait awards $11.5 bln contracts to build al-Zour refinery ID:nL5N10834R * Kuwait preparing Islamic bond legislation to help finance budget-min ID:nL5N10836I BAHRAIN * Bahrain links explosives in Tuesday bombing to Iran - state news agency ID:nL5N10824K (Compiled by Dubai newsroom) ((dubai.newsroom@reuters.com)) Keywords: MIDEAST FACTORS/

PRECIOUS-Gold wedged below $1,100 ahead of Fed meeting outcome

July 29, 2015 - reuters.com

MANILA, July 29 (Reuters) - Gold held just below $1,100 an ounce early on Wednesday, trading not far from a 5-1/2-year low, as investors awaited the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting for more clues on the timing of this year's interest rate increase. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold XAU= was little changed at $1,095.25 an ounce by 0029 GMT. The metal hit a low of $1,077 last week, its weakest since February 2010. * Gold has been stuck in narrow ranges this week ahead of the conclusion of the Fed's policy meeting on Wednesday. Policymakers are expected to send more signals to the market that a U.S. interest rate hike is certain this year as the economy recovers. * That rate hike, the first in nearly a decade, could happen in September or December, analysts say, suggesting more downside risk for non-interest yielding gold. * U.S. gold for August delivery GCcv1 slipped 0.2 percent to $1,094 an ounce. * Global gold demand shrank to its lowest level since 2009 in the second quarter as China poured funds into its now troubled equities market and imports by India dropped to the lowest in five quarters, according to a report by GFMS. ID:nL3N10833C * China's gold imports could fall as much as 40 percent this year as demand for bullion used to back domestic financing deals decreases, the world's biggest refiner Valcambi said. ID:nL3N1074L9 * U.S. consumer confidence suffered its biggest blow in four years in July on a less upbeat jobs outlook, while home appreciation in major cities stalled in May, suggesting a spring pause in housing demand. ID:nL1N10816F * For the top stories on metals and other news, click TOP/MTL or GOL/ MARKET NEWS * The dollar held on to its modest overnight gains as traders look to any hints from the Federal Reserve on the timing and the pace of its future rate hikes. USD/ * Asian shares attempted a rebound on hopes that Beijing could stem the rout in its markets without damage to the economy. MKTS/GLOB DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 0600 Germany GfK consumer sentiment Aug 0645 France Consumer confidence Jul 1400 U.S. Pending home sales Jun 1800 Federal Reserve releases statement after policy meeting (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Pullin) ((manolo.serapio@thomsonreuters.com; +632 841 8972; Reuters Messaging: manolo.serapio.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net Twitter: @MannySerapio))

Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

PRECIOUS-Gold edges higher as investors await Fed meeting

July 28, 2015 - reuters.com

* Dollar gains ahead of Fed's two-day policy meeting * China stocks rout fails to spark safe-haven bids * Coming up: Fed statement Wednesday at 1800 GMT (Updates prices; adds comment, second byline, NEW YORK dateline, graphic link) By Marcy Nicholson and Jan Harvey NEW YORK/LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - Gold firmed on Tuesday but remained near 5-1/2-year lows as markets braced for this week's Federal Reserve meeting, at which policymakers are expected to give further clues on the timing of a U.S. rate increase. The Fed suggested earlier this year that a near-term rate rise was on the cards if economic data supported such a move, but slowing growth in China and a drop in commodity prices have led some to question whether it will be pushed back. Spot gold XAU= was up 0.2 percent at $1,095.28 an ounce at 2:26 p.m. EDT (1826 GMT), not far from Friday's low of $1,077, its weakest since early 2010. U.S. gold futures GCv1 for August delivery settled down 20 cents an ounce at $1,096.40. "Until the Fed provides some clarity on Wednesday, it's difficult to say that we've hit a floor," ING analyst Hamza Khan said. "The volumes we're seeing suggest that this could just be short covering in case the Fed announces some firmer vocabulary." Rising interest rates pressure gold by lifting the opportunity cost of holding bullion, while boosting the dollar. Expectations a near-term hike may be possible are making investors hesitant to bid up gold despite a price slide, with its failure to benefit from jitters over Greece this year undermining its appeal as a haven from risk. ID:nL5N1021SE The dollar rose 0.5 percent against the euro as investors focused on the Fed meeting. "Gold is treading water despite a slight improvement in the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields," Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler said. "That would seem to indicate some pricing in of the Fed pushing out interest rate rises further into the future." GFMS researchers at Thomson Reuters said in a report that global gold demand hit its lowest since 2009 in the second quarter. ID:nL3N10822D <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Graphic on GFMS data: http://link.reuters.com/buj35w Graphic on asset performance: http://link.reuters.com/dub25t ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> Also weighing on sentiment, China's net gold imports from main conduit Hong Kong fell to a 10-month low in June. ID:nL3N1073E0 ID:nL3N1074L9 Spot platinum XPT= was up 0.1 percent at $980.25 an ounce, near last week's 6-1/2-year low. "With the situation between labor unions and miners getting tenser, we believe that there is an increasing risk of strike action at South Africa's platinum mines," said Capital Economics in a note, pegging prices to rise to $1,060 at the end of the year. Silver XAG= was up 0.9 percent at $14.67 an ounce and palladium XPD= was up 0.9 percent at $617.50 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Maolo Serapio Jr in Manila; Editing by Susan Thomas and Cynthia Osterman) ((Marcy.Nicholson@thomsonreuters.com, +1 646 223 6043; Reuters Messaging Marcy.Nicholson.ThomsonReuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks rally after losing streak as China fears dwindle

July 28, 2015 - reuters.com

(New throughout, updates prices and market activity to European close, U.S. midday) * European, U.S. equities shrug off China's falling stocks * U.S. Federal Reserve in focus * Brent oil turns up By Michael Connor NEW YORK, July 28 (Reuters) - U.S. and European stocks rose on Tuesday, and were on track to snap five-day losing streaks as investors focused on earnings and mergers news and looked past another fall in Chinese equities. Prices of safe-haven government bonds eased, while the dollar rallied on growing expectations the Federal Reserve could take a hawkish bias toward raising interest rates in a policy statement due on Wednesday. Oil prices turned up on hopes U.S. crude stockpiles were shrinking. Wall Street's Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 128.01 points, or 0.73 percent, to 17,568.6 in midday New York trade, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 18.45 points, or 0.89 percent, to 2,086.09 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 32.60 points, or 0.65 percent, to 5,072.38. United Parcel Service UPS.N shares jumped 5.2 percent and Ford F.N gained 2 percent after each reported better-than-forecast profits. Merger news helped lift European stocks, with the FTSEuroFirst 300 index of leading European shares closing up 1.1 percent at just under 1,546 points .FTEU3 . RSA Insurance Group RSA.L jumped 18 percent after Zurich Insurance ZURN.VX said it was considering a bid for the British group. Shares in Kering PRTP.PA , meanwhile, surged 5.6 percent after Gucci, the flagship brand of the French luxury and sportswear group, posted a 4.6 percent rise in underlying second-quarter sales. "The market has been preoccupied with uncertainties related to China in the last couple of days, but those concerns are taking a back seat today and equities are getting some support from company earnings and M&A," said Gerhard Schwarz, head of equity strategy at Baader Bank in Munich. The main China indexes fell again, although by nowhere near as much as Monday's 8.5 percent plunge. The Shanghai market benchmark .SSEC closed 1.7 percent lower. The Fed kicked off a two-day policy meeting. No immediate change in interest rates is expected, so attention centered on whether Fed Chair Janet Yellen would signal September or December as the most likely date for a rate increase. Oil bounced up from near six-month lows, as bets for a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles offset worries about a global supply glut and equity market meltdown in China. O/R Brent LCOc1 was up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $53.57 a barrel after hitting $52.28, the lowest since early February. The price of copper CMCU3 , heavily influenced by demand from key consumer China, recovered from Monday's six-year low and was up 2.3 percent at $5,306 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange. In currency markets, the dollar rose against many of its key rivals, including the euro and yen, as traders bet that the first U.S. rate hike in almost a decade is still likely to come in September. The euro fell 0.4 percent at $1.1045 EUR= , after on Monday touching a two-week high of $1.1129. The dollar was up 0.35 percent against the yen at 123.66 yen JPY= . Bond yields edged higher, with the 10-year U.S. Treasuries off 7/32 in price and yielding 2.2553 percent US10YT=RR . The comparable UK yield rose a basis point, while the yield on the 10-year German Bund was also up 1 basis point. (Additional Reporting by Jamie McGeever; and Lionel Laurent; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and David Gregorio) ((michael.connor@thomsonreuters.com; 646 223 6309; Reuters Messaging: michael.connor.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

S.African stocks in 3-session losing streak, gold shares dive

July 28, 2015 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, July 28 (Reuters) - South African stocks fell for a third straight session on Tuesday with gold mining shares among the biggest decliners as the price of bullion remained near its lowest level in more than five years. AngloGold Ashanti ANGJ.J was the biggest loser on the blue-chip Top-40 index, dropping 5.8 percent to 79.15 rand. Smaller rival Gold Fields GFIJ.J , which is not in the Top-40 stocks, plunged 7.9 percent to 34.27 rand. Gold remained near 5-1/5-year lows on Tuesday as markets braced for this week's Federal Reserve meeting, where policy makers are expected to give further clues on the timing of a U.S. rate increase. "Until the Fed provides some clarity on Wednesday, it's difficult to say that we've hit a floor," ING analyst Hamza Khan said. The JSE Top-40 index .JTOPI lost 1.05 percent to 45,290 and the broader All-share index .JALSH was down by the same margin to 50,758. MTN Group MTNJ.J shares tumbled 6 percent to 200.30 rand after Africa's biggest mobile operator said its first-half earnings likely fell by as much as 15 percent after a weaker exchange rate hurt its international business. ID:nL5N1081CI On the upside, Kumba Iron Ore KIOJ.J climbed 3.9 percent to 109 rand as the price of iron ore climbed more than 3 percent to hit a one-week high. Trading volumes on the bourse were robust, with more than 230 million shares changing hands, well above last year's daily average of 183 million shares. (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by James Macharia) ((tiisetso.motsoeneng@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3122; Reuters Messaging: tiisetso.motsoeneng.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/STOCKS

UPDATE 2-Gold demand weakest since 2009 in Q2 as Chinese turned to stocks-GFMS

July 28, 2015 - reuters.com

* Chinese buyers favoured stocks over bullion in Q2-GFMS * Physical surplus in gold market hits highest since 2010 * Global physical demand falls 14 pct year on year to 858 T * GRAPHIC-Gold demand evolves http://link.reuters.com/buj35w (Adds graphic, comment) By Manolo Serapio Jr and Jan Harvey MANILA/LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - Demand for gold slid to its lowest in six years in the second quarter of this year as buyers from top consumer China poured funds into its now troubled equities market, an industry report showed on Tuesday. Retail investment from China fell by a quarter and jewellery demand by 23 percent in the April to June period as stock markets there soared, GFMS said in a quarterly update. However, a subsequent plunge in Chinese share prices from mid-June has not helped bullion, it said, as some investors were locked in and others nervous about switching to different asset classes while financial markets are so volatile. After a 12-year bull run peaked in 2011, global prices of the safe haven metal have struggled to gain traction. Last week, gold sank to $1,077 per ounce, its lowest in 5-1/2 years, after a sudden sell-off in New York and Shanghai, as investors worried about Chinese growth and the prospect of U.S. interest rate rises made the dollar more attractive. "Gold has certainly moved out of favour in China in recent quarters," GFMS analyst Andrew Leyland said. "I think Chinese demand was a reaction to weak price performance, rather than a cause. Both the equity market, and the U.S. dollar have promised stronger returns than gold, and this put investors off the yellow metal." GFMS was cautiously optimistic that both demand and prices could start to pick up in the final quarter of the year. "Chinese purchasers tend to buy into rallies, so when gold gets some upward momentum Chinese purchasing should support this," Leyland said. China and India are the world's top gold consumers. Physical demand there has not picked up strongly despite a sell-off last week that knocked global prices XAU= to 5-1/2 year lows. That contrasts to the explosion in physical demand seen after gold prices dropped sharply in the second quarter of 2013. GFMS, a division of Thomson Reuters, said global demand for gold bars and coins fell 12 percent year-on-year in April-June and was around 63 percent below the peak two years ago. In the largest consuming sector, jewellery, consumption dropped 9 percent and production declined 6 percent, GFMS said. Overall physical demand stood at 858 tonnes in the second quarter, down 14.2 percent from a year before. Central banks remained net buyers of gold, but their purchases fell 62 percent year on year. That helped push the physical surplus in the gold market to its highest in five years at 196 tonnes, more than double the total of a year before. While jewellery consumption in India increased 2.5 percent to 158 tonnes during the period, gross imports fell 10 percent to the lowest in five quarters, the report said. China and India consumed almost the same amount of gold in January-June, with China a tad higher at 394 tonnes against India's 392 tonnes, it said. In the full year, GFMS is expecting gold demand to come in at around 4,000 tonnes, Leyland told the Reuters Global Gold Forum on Tuesday. "That's the weakest since 2010, but still 1,000 tonnes per year higher than the 2004-2007 period," he said. GFMS forecast gold would average $1,135 an ounce in the third quarter against $1,192 in April-June, before recovering to $1,175 in the last quarter of the year. "It remains our view that a U.S. rate hike this year is already priced into the market and that an increase could well prompt a review of asset allocations that leads to an increase in gold holdings," the report said. (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. in Manila and Jan Harvey in London; Editing by Alan Raybould and Anna Willard) ((manolo.serapio@thomsonreuters.com)(+632 841 8972)(Reuters Messaging: manolo.serapio.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net Twitter: @MannySerapio)) Keywords: GOLD DEMAND/GFMS

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks end losing streak as China fears ease

July 28, 2015 - reuters.com

(Adds North American trading, quotes and changes byline and dateline; previous LONDON) * European, U.S. equities shrug off China's falling stocks * U.S. Federal Reserve in focus * Brent oil hits 6-month low By Michael Connor NEW YORK, July 28 (Reuters) - U.S. and European stocks were on track to snap five-day losing streaks on Tuesday, as investors focused on earnings news and mergers and looked past another fall in Chinese equities and sliding oil prices. Safe-haven government bonds eased in price, while the dollar rallied on growing expectations the Federal Reserve could take a hawkish bias toward raising interest rates in a policy statement due on Wednesday. Wall Street's Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 37.21 points, or 0.21 percent, to 17,477.8 in early trade, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 5.8 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,073.44 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 1.78 points, or 0.04 percent, to 5,041.56. United Parcel Service UPS.N shares jumped more than 3.5 percent and Ford F.N gained 1.5 percent after each reported better-than-forecast profits. Merger news helped lift European stocks, with the FTSEuroFirst 300 index of leading European shares up 0.90 percent at 1,543 points .FTEU3 . RSA Insurance Group RSA.L jumped 11 percent after Zurich Insurance ZURN.VX said it was considering a bid for the British group, which has a market capitalization of 4.4 billion pounds ($6.9 billion). Shares in Kering PRTP.PA meanwhile surged 6.6 percent after Gucci, the flagship brand of the French luxury and sportswear group, posted a 4.6 percent rise in underlying second-quarter sales. "For me, China is a short blip rather than a real slowdown. What we are hearing from company management is pretty buoyant," said Ingo Speich, portfolio manager at Union Investment in Frankfurt. The main China indexes fell again, although by nowhere near as much as Monday's 8.5 percent plunge. The Shanghai market benchmark .SSEC closed 1.7 percent lower. The Fed kicked off a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. No immediate change in interest rates is expected, so attention will focus on whether Fed Chair Janet Yellen signals September or December as the most likely date for a rate increase. Oil remained under pressure. Brent crude futures hit a new six-month low after Monday's Chinese stock market crash stoked worries the world's biggest energy consumer may cut back demand, adding to a global supply glut. O/R Brent fell as much as 2 percent to $52.28 LCOc1 , a level not seen since Feb. 2. U.S. crude CLc1 was down 0.35 percent to $47.27 a barrel after touching its lowest since late March. The price of copper CMCU3 , heavily influenced by demand from key consumer China, recovered from Monday's six-year low and was up 1 percent at $5,245 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange. In currency markets, the dollar rose against many of its key rivals, including the euro and yen, as traders bet that the first U.S. rate hike in almost a decade is still likely to come in September. The euro fell 0.5 percent at $1.1035 EUR= , almost a full cent down from Monday's two-week high of $1.1129, and the dollar was up 0.35 percent against the yen at 123.66 yen JPY= . Bond yields edged higher, with the 10-year U.S. Treasuries off 8/32 in price and yielding 2.2571 percent US10YT=RR . The comparable UK yield rose 3 basis points, while the yield on the 10-year German Bund was up 2 basis points. (Additional Reporting by Jamie McGeever; and Lionel Laurent; Editing by Larry King and Meredith Mazzilli) ((michael.connor@thomsonreuters.com; 646 223 6309; Reuters Messaging: michael.connor.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks rebound, ignoring decline in Chinese markets

July 28, 2015 - reuters.com

* European, U.S. shrug off China's falling stocks * UK GDP, U.S. Fed in focus * Brent oil 6-month low By Jamie McGeever LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - European stocks snapped a five-day losing streak on Tuesday, with merger activity and earnings news lifting major markets by more than 1 percent, as investors shrugged off another fall in Chinese stocks and Brent oil's slide to a six-month low. The rebound in Europe looked set to extend to the United States. Futures markets pointed to a rise of more than 0.5 percent on Wall Street. Britain published the first snapshot of second quarter economic activity of any G7 country earlier on Tuesday, reporting gross domestic product grew 0.7 percent, up from 0.4 percent in the first quarter. The U.S. Federal Reserve begins its two-day policy meeting later. No change in interest rates is expected, so attention will focus on whether Fed chair Janet Yellen signals September or December as the most likely date for a rate increase. "For me, China is a short blip rather than a real slowdown. What we are hearing from company management is pretty buoyant, even if we see the dramatic impact on stock prices and on the wealth effect," said Ingo Speich, portfolio manager at Union Investment in Frankfurt. "The earnings outlook in the euro zone is rising compared to the U.S. and companies are reporting pretty decent numbers," he said. At 1100 GMT, the FTSEuroFirst 300 index of leading European shares was up 1.2 percent at 1,548 points .FTEU3 . Germany's DAX .GDAXI was up 1.4 percent at 11,211 points, France's CAC 40 .FCHI up 1.2 percent at 4,988 points and Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE up 1 percent at 6,563 points. Shares in Kering PRTP.PA surged 6.6 percent after Gucci, the flagship brand of the French luxury and sportswear group, posted a 4.6 percent rise in underlying second-quarter sales. And RSA Insurance Group RSA.L jumped 11 percent after Zurich Insurance ZURN.VX said it was considering a bid for the British group, which has a market capitalization of 4.4 billion pounds ($6.9 billion). In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS ended the day 0.2 percent higher after falling nearly 1 percent early on, touching its lowest level since July 9. ID:nL3N1081IT Tokyo's Nikkei .N225 ended 0.1 percent lower. The main China indexes fell again, although by nowhere near as much as Monday's 8.5 percent plunge. The Shanghai market benchmark .SSEC closed 1.7 percent lower. After hitting a peak in early June, China's main indexes dropped by a third in less than a month, rebounded by a quarter, then saw their biggest one-day decline since 2007 on Monday. ID:nL3N1081IT Authorities in Beijing said they would redouble their efforts to shore up the market, something that could help soothe nerves in Western markets as well. DOMESTIC FOCUS Oil remained under pressure. Brent crude futures hit a new six-month low after Monday's Chinese stock market crash bred worries the world's biggest energy consumer may cut back demand, leading to a global supply glut. O/R Brent fell as much as 2 percent to $52.28 LCOc1 , a level not seen since February 2. U.S. crude CLc1 was down 1 percent just below $47 a barrel, its lowest since late March. The price of copper CMCU3 , heavily influenced by demand from key consumer China, recovered from Monday's six-year low and was up 1 percent at $5,245 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange. The broader Thomson Reuters CRB commodities index .TRJCRB also hit a six-year low overnight. In currency markets, the dollar rose against many of its key rivals, including the euro and yen, as traders bet that the first U.S. rate hike in almost a decade is still likely to come in September. "Undoubtedly the Fed has had its eye on China - and the other on Greece - when it comes to watching overseas developments," said Steve Barrow, head of G10 strategy at Standard Bank. "There's been some concern that either could blow away any thoughts of lift-off this year, but we very much doubt it. We think the Fed will stay focused on the domestic economy and will start to lift rates in September." The euro was down 0.5 percent at $1.1035 EUR= , almost a full cent down from Monday's two-week high of $1.1129, and the dollar was up almost 0.5 percent against the yen at 123.75 yen JPY= . Investors will also be looking to U.S. earnings on Tuesday and economic data releases, including Markit PMIs for July and CaseShiller house prices for May. Bond yields edged higher, with the 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield up 2 basis points at 2.25 percent US10YT=RR and UK and German yields up around 1 basis point. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Additional reporting by Lionel Laurent; Editing by Larry King; To read Reuters Global Investing Blog click on http://blogs.reuters.com/globalinvesting; for the MacroScope Blog click on http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope; for Hedge Fund Blog Hub click on http://blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub) ((jamie.mcgeever@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 0 207 542 8510)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks rebound, shrugging off volatile and weak China

July 28, 2015 - reuters.com

* European, U.S. stocks shrug off China fall * UK GDP, U.S. Fed in focus * Commodities under pressure By Jamie McGeever LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - Stocks rose on Tuesday, with Europe snapping a five-day losing streak as investors shrugged off further weakness in commodity markets and Chinese shares to focus on more encouraging merger activity and earnings. Oil languished at four-month lows and China's benchmark stocks fell for a third straight day, but developed market equities and commodity currencies recovered. In early European trading the FTSEuroFirst 300 index of leading European shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,537 points .FTEU3 . Germany's DAX .GDAXI , France's CAC 40 .FCHI and Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE were all up around 0.5 percent too, while S&P futures pointed to similar gains at the open on Wall Street SPc1 . "The latest count on our earnings monitor shows earnings-per-share beats at 76 percent," said Jim Reid, market strategist at Deutsche Bank. Among the main movers, RSA Insurance Group RSA.L surged 12.9 percent after Zurich Insurance ZURN.VX said it was weighing up a bid for the British group with a market capitalization of 4.4 billion pounds ($6.85 billion). ID:nL5N108159 Earlier, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS ended the day 0.2 percent higher after falling nearly 1 percent early on, touching its lowest level since July 9. ID:nL3N1081IT Tokyo's Nikkei .N225 ended 0.1 percent lower. The main China indexes fell again, although by nowhere near as much as Monday's 8.5 percent plunge. The Shanghai market benchmark .SSEC closed 1.7 percent lower. Since hitting a peak in early June, Chinese shares have gone through a roller-coaster ride with main indexes plummeting by a third in less than a month before rebounding by a quarter, only to then have their biggest one-day fall since 2007 on Monday. ID:nL3N1081IT Authorities in Beijing said they will step up efforts to shore up the market, something which could help soothe nerves in Western markets as well. "The recent debasement seems to have revived hopes of having the central bank putting more money on the table, not only to support the stock prices but to prevent stock price volatility from hitting the real economy," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya Market Analyst, London Capital Group. OIL SLIDES The main economic indicator for investors on Tuesday will be Britain's first snapshot of economic activity in the second quarter. Economists expect gross domestic product to have expanded by 0.7 percent, up from 0.4 percent in the first quarter. The U.S. Federal Reserve begins its two-day policy meeting. No move on rates is expected this week, so close attention will be paid to whether Fed chair Janet Yellen signals September or December is the most likely date for "liftoff". The dollar was higher against many of its key rivals, including the euro and yen, with the consensus for the first U.S. rate hike in almost a decade still revolving around September. The euro was down a quarter of a percent at $1.1060 EUR= , slipping back from a two-week high of $1.1129 overnight, and the dollar was up a third of one percent against the yen at 123.60 yen JPY= . The greenback was under pressure against commodity currencies such as the Australian AUD= and New Zealand dollars NZD= , however, which were up around 0.5 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively. Sterling was steady at $1.5545 GBP= ahead of Q2 GDP, the first of all G7 GDP reports. Oil struggled at four-month lows after the Chinese stock market crash fuelled worries the world's biggest energy consumer may cut back and as more evidence emerged of a global crude supply glut. O/R U.S. crude CLc1 was down more than 1 percent at $46.83 a barrel, its lowest since late March, while Brent was down almost 2 percent at $52.40 LCOc1 . The price of copper CMCU3 , heavily influenced by demand from key consumer China, recovered slightly to $5,213 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange. On Monday it fell to $5,177 a tonne, a six-year low. The broader Thomson Reuters CRB commodities index .TRJCRB also hit a six-year low overnight. Bond yields edged higher, with the 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield up 2 basis points at 2.25 percent US10YT=RR and similar rises in UK and German yields. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Mark Heinrich; To read Reuters Global Investing Blog click on http://blogs.reuters.com/globalinvesting; for the MacroScope Blog click on http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope; for Hedge Fund Blog Hub click on http://blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub) ((jamie.mcgeever@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 0 207 542 8510)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL

Global Q2 gold demand weakest since 2009, Chinese buyers stay away-GFMS

July 28, 2015 - reuters.com

By Manolo Serapio Jr MANILA, July 28 (Reuters) - Global gold demand shrank to its lowest level since 2009 in the second quarter as China poured funds into equities, which had promised better returns, and imports by India dropped to the lowest in five quarters, an industry report showed on Tuesday. A plunge in Chinese share prices from mid-June has not helped bullion, GFMS said in a quarterly report, although it was cautiously optimistic that global demand and prices could start to pick up in the final quarter of the year. China and India are the world's top gold consumers. Physical demand there has not picked up strongly despite a sell-off last week that pushed global prices XAU= to their lowest since 2010. GFMS, a division of Thomson Reuters, said demand for gold bars and coins fell 12 percent year-on-year in April-June and was around 63 percent below the peak in the second quarter of 2013. In the largest consuming sector, jewellery, consumption dropped 9 percent and production declined 6 percent, GFMS said. Overall physical demand stood at 858 tonnes in the second quarter, down 14.2 percent from a year before. "Stock market growth was the story of the first five months in China and this saw substantially lower gold purchases," the report said. "The retreat in June and July did not help gold purchasing, either, as some investors were locked in and others were nervous about asset allocation." Gold prices have lost more than 7 percent this year as the dollar strengthened on expectations it would only be a matter of time before the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates. A deep sell-off from New York to Shanghai last week dragged bullion as low as $1,077 an ounce and investors, worried prices could fall further, have hesitated to buy it back. Chinese purchases of gold bars and coins fell 26 percent year-on-year to 35 tonnes in the second quarter, the lowest since 2009, GFMS said. Jewellery buying dropped 23 percent to 102 tonnes. While jewellery consumption in India increased 2.5 percent to 158 tonnes during the period, gross imports fell 10 percent to the lowest in five quarters, the report said. China and India consumed almost the same amount of gold in January-June, with China a tad higher at 394 tonnes against India's 392 tonnes, it said. GFMS forecast gold would average $1,135 an ounce in the third quarter against $1,192 in April-June, before recovering to $1,175 in the last quarter of the year. "It remains our view that a U.S. rate hike this year is already priced into the market and that an increase could well prompt a review of asset allocations that leads to an increase in gold holdings," the report said. (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Alan Raybould) ((manolo.serapio@thomsonreuters.com)(+632 841 8972)(Reuters Messaging: manolo.serapio.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net Twitter: @MannySerapio)) Keywords: GOLD DEMAND/GFMS

PRECIOUS-Gold not far from 5-1/2-year low as investors eye Fed

July 28, 2015 - reuters.com

* Dollar gains ahead of Fed's two-day policy meeting * China stocks rout fails to spark safe-haven bids * Coming Up: U.S. consumer confidence; 1400 GMT (Adds Valcambi outlook on China imports, updates prices) By Manolo Serapio Jr MANILA, July 28 (Reuters) - Gold hovered near its weakest level since early 2010 on Tuesday, reflecting investor hesitation to bid up bullion amid growing expectations of a near-term hike in U.S. interest rates. The Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting later in the day where policymakers are likely to signal that a rate hike later in the year is certain as the U.S. economy strengthens. A further tumble in Chinese equities after their deepest rout since 2007 on Monday has barely affected trading in gold, typically seen as a safe haven. .SS "If anything it's a little bit surprising that we haven't had the safe-haven bid in gold even though you've had these big risk-off moves in the Chinese equity market," said Victor Thianpiriya, commodity strategist at ANZ Bank in Singapore. Spot gold XAU= was up 0.3 percent at $1,096.96 an ounce by 0615 GMT. Bullion fell to as low as $1,077 on Friday, its cheapest since February 2010, stretching its losing run to a fifth week. The earlier rout in Chinese stocks this month as well the Greek debt crisis had failed to spark any safe-haven bid for gold, with investors largely focused on a looming U.S. rate hike. That has strengthened the dollar and dimmed the appeal of non-interest bearing assets such as bullion. Investor confidence in gold remained shaky after last week's slide accompanied by big trading volumes in New York and Shanghai. The metal lost more than 3 percent last week, the most since March. HSBC, which has slashed its gold price forecasts for this year and next, said the precious metal is likely to remain under pressure in the short term and "could move to within striking distance of $1,000/ounce before recovering". ID:nL3N10756O The big driver for more price losses for gold is an impending U.S. rate increase and analysts are awaiting more confirmation from the Fed towards that end when this week's policy meeting wraps up on Wednesday. "We're still expecting a fourth-quarter lift-off in the Fed funds rate and that's when you'll see the trough in gold or we could potentially see gold take another leg lower," said Thianpiriya, pegging the next major support at $1,045 if $1,080 is breached again. U.S. gold for August delivery GCcv1 was flat at $1,097 an ounce. Spot platinum XPT= and palladium XPD= rose slightly. Also weighing on sentiment, China's net gold imports from main conduit Hong Kong fell to a 10-month low in June, reflecting weak demand from the major consuming nation. ID:nL3N1073E0 China's gold imports could fall as much as 40 percent this year as demand for bullion used to back domestic financing deals decreases, said Michael Mesaric, head of the world's biggest refiner Valcambi. ID:nL3N1074L9 (Editing by Himani Sarkar) ((manolo.serapio@thomsonreuters.com)(+632 841 8972)(Reuters Messaging: manolo.serapio.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net Twitter: @MannySerapio))

Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - July 28

July 28, 2015 - reuters.com

China's gold imports to plunge as financing deals unwind-Valcambi

July 28, 2015 - reuters.com

By Rajendra Jadhav MUMBAI, July 28 (Reuters) - China's gold imports could fall as much as 40 percent this year as demand for bullion used to back domestic financing deals decreases, the world's biggest refiner Valcambi said. A lot of the gold China imported in the last three years was used to secure cheaper loans due to a liquidity crunch, but that is now flowing back into the market as lending rates drop. "All this gold that was used for financing has been given back as there is liquidity in the market and liquidity is cheap," Valcambi Chief Executive Michael Mesaric told Reuters. "There is no need to use gold anymore," Mesaric said. Lower demand from China, which accounts for nearly a fifth of global consumption, may add pressure on global prices XAU= that tumbled last week to $1,077 an ounce, the lowest since 2010, and have yet to recover strongly. Chinese firms may have locked up as much as 1,000 tonnes of gold in financing deals, the World Gold Council said in a report last year. But Mesaric said after China's central bank has continuously cut lending rates to support the economy, China's gold imports had been dropping. "The market is supplied by itself by gold coming out of loans, financing," he said. China's gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong dropped to a 10-month low in June, data showed on Monday. Imports fell to 813.13 tonnes last year from a record 1,158.16 tonnes in 2013. ID:nL3N1073E0 China does not provide official trade data on gold and the Hong Kong numbers serve as a proxy for flows to the mainland. The Hong Kong data, however, does not provide a full picture as Chinese imports also come directly through Shanghai and Beijing. Mesaric was referring to China's imports via all routes in estimating the fall in this year's purchases. The decline in China's appetite is evident in modest premiums on the Shanghai Gold Exchange over the global benchmark, said ANZ Bank commodity strategist Victor Thianpiriya. "In the past two years we've seen a big pickup in the Shanghai premium which makes it profitable for traders to import gold and sell them on the domestic market and we're not seeing that premium pick up this year," said Thianpiriya. Lower imports from China could pull gold towards $1,025 an ounce, said Mesaric. "I think $1,025 is a good support. In worst case scenario gold can drop to $950, but I don't think at the moment that is going to happen." (Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr in Manila; Editing by Anand Basu) ((rajendra.jadhav@thomsonreuters.com)(+91-22-6180-7153)(Reuters Messaging: rajendra.jadhav.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CHINA GOLD/IMPORTS

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