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GLOBAL MARKETS-OPEC decision knocks oil down, dollar gains

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

* U.S. crude falls more than 10 percent, Brent also tumbles * Falling energy shares weigh on global equities; Wall St rises * Dollar mostly strengthens on OPEC decision; bond yields fall (Adds ruble at all-time low) By Herbert Lash NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Crude oil tumbled on Friday, knocking down both energy-related shares and currencies after OPEC's decision a day earlier not to cut output reinforced prospects of a worldwide oil supply glut. The dollar mostly strengthened following the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Thursday, a move that slammed commodity currencies like the Norwegian crown, which fell to five-year lows against the greenback and the euro. The ruble RUB= weakened to more than 50 to the dollar in late trade, setting a new all-time low. The ruble has lost a third of its value this year as Western sanctions imposed due to the Ukraine crisis and falling oil weigh on the Russian economy. Euro zone government bond yields held near record lows as declining energy prices cut into consumer price growth across the bloc and raised the chances of more stimulus from the European Central Bank on increased deflation fears. A rout in U.S. and European energy shares weighed on equity markets. But other sectors edged higher, lifting Wall Street's Dow industrials and the Nasdaq, while several leading indexes in Europe pared losses in late trade to close slightly higher. U.S. crude, or West Texas Intermediate, fell more than 10 percent and Brent crude fell another 3.3 percent after a 6.7 percent slide on Thursday. The sell-off since OPEC's decision amounts to about $67 billion in lost market value, Reuters estimates. The slide could deepen when traders and investors return after Thursday's U.S. holiday and Friday's shortened session. "There's a notion that yesterday's selling was overdone, but not everyone is fully back to work yet after Thanksgiving," said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital in New York. "WTI could certainly be down a couple of dollars more next week, and test newer lows from there." Brent LCOc1 fell $2.43 to settle at $70.15 a barrel, lows last seen in May 2010, while U.S. crude settled down $7.54 to $66.15 a barrel. The European oil and gas sector .SXEP fell 3.5 percent, while the S&P Energy index .SPNY fell 6.3 percent. The energy index in Europe has lost $240 billion in market value since late June, more than the market cap of Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDSa.L , Europe's biggest oil major, Thomson Reuters data shows. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 rose 0.02 percent to close at 1,392.70, while MSCI's all-country world equity index .MIWD00000PUS fell 0.4 percent to 425.55. Stocks on Wall Street ended mixed in light trading. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI ended up 0.49 point, or 0 percent, at 17,828.24. The S&P 500 .SPX fell 5.27 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,067.56 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 4.31 points, or 0.09 percent, to 4,791.63. The drop in oil sparked a sharp decline in inflation expectations as measured by "breakevens," with 10-year TIPs at their lowest since October 2011 at about 1.8 percent. In fed fund futures, expectations of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by September fell to below 50 percent. German 10-year yields DE10YT=TWEB - the benchmark for euro zone borrowing - were down a fraction at 0.70 percent. Yields on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries US10YT=RR fell to 2.1728 percent, with the price up 17/32. The dollar gained 0.84 percent to 118.67 yen JPY= , while the dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, gained 0.79 percent to 88.295. The euro EUR= fell 0.18 percent to $1.2444. (Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Dan Grebler) ((herb.lash@thomsonreuters.com; 1-646-223-6019; Reuters Messaging: herb.lash.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

FOREX-Dollar gains as oil slide stirs disinflation fears

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds Russian rouble) By Karen Brettell NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The dollar gained on Friday as sliding oil prices stirred disinflation fears in the euro zone and Japan, while investors also looked ahead to a heavy week of central bank meetings and the U.S. monthly employment report. U.S. crude CLC1 fell 10 percent on Friday on OPEC's decision not to cut output, settling at $66.15 a barrel. ID:nL3N0TI16E Annual consumer inflation in the euro zone cooled to a five-year low as energy prices fell, suggesting deflation remains a real threat for the European Central Bank. ID:nL6N0TI1UQ Japan's annual core consumer inflation also slowed for a third straight month in October. ID:nL3N0TG1KW "The expectation that oil prices are going to remain under pressure at least for the next few months, and the disinflation data that came out, confirms that both Japan and the eurozone are struggling with disinflationary pressures that are quite severe. That helped the U.S. dollar stand out," said Martin Schwerdtfeger, a foreign exchange strategist at TD Securities in Toronto. The euro EUR= weakened to $1.2442. The single currency is under pressure ahead of next week's ECB meeting, where the central bank is expected to signal further action to ward off disinflation. Central bank meetings are also due in England, Canada and Australia, while the United States will focus on Friday's employment report for November. The dollar neared seven-year highs against the yen, last trading at 118.68 yen JPY= . The dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, gained 0.79 percent to 88.301, just below four-year highs of 88.44 set on Monday. Thursday's decision not to cut oil output slammed the currencies of oil producing nations. The Russian rouble weakened to more than 50 to the U.S. dollar RUB= in late Friday trade, setting a new all-time low. The U.S. dollar rallied to more than seven Norwegian crowns NOK= for the first time in more than five years. Investors unwinding positions for year-end may pause the dollar rally, though rising geopolitical tensions if oil prices stay low could favor the greenback. "It causes pain in a lot of countries ... the response you would expect is not just market volatility, but over the medium-term geopolitical volatility," said Greg Anderson, global head of FX strategy for BMO Capital Markets in New York. (Editing by Richard Chang and Chris Reese) ((karen.brettell@thomsonreuters.com)(+1-646-223-6274)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

FOREX-Dollar gains as oil slide stirs disinflation fears

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

(Updates prices) By Karen Brettell NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The dollar gained on Friday as sliding oil prices stirred disinflation fears in the euro zone and Japan, while investors also looked ahead to a heavy week of central bank meetings and the U.S. monthly employment report. U.S. crude CLC1 fell 10 percent on Friday on OPEC's decision not to cut output, to settle at $66.15 a barrel. ID:nL3N0TI16E Annual consumer inflation in the euro zone cooled to a five-year low as energy prices fell, suggesting deflation remains a real threat for the European Central Bank. ID:nL6N0TI1UQ Japan's annual core consumer inflation also slowed for a third straight month in October. ID:nL3N0TG1KW "The expectation that oil prices are going to remain under pressure at least for the next few months, and the disinflation data that came out, confirms that both Japan and the eurozone are struggling with disinflationary pressures that are quite severe. That helped the U.S. dollar stand out," said Martin Schwerdtfeger, a foreign exchange strategist at TD Securities in Toronto. The euro EUR= weakened to $1.2442. The single currency is under pressure ahead of next week's ECB meeting, where the central bank is expected to signal further action to ward off disinflation. Central bank meetings are also due in England, Canada and Australia, while the United States will focus on Friday's employment report for November. The dollar neared seven-year highs against the yen, last trading at 118.68 yen JPY= . The dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, gained 0.79 percent to 88.301, just below four-year highs of 88.44 set on Monday. Investors unwinding positions for year-end may pause the dollar rally, though rising geopolitical tensions if oil prices stay low could favor the greenback. "It causes pain in a lot of countries ... the response you would expect is not just market volatility, but over the medium-term geopolitical volatility," said Greg Anderson, global head of FX strategy for BMO Capital Markets in New York. Thursday's decision not to cut oil output slammed commodity currencies like the Norwegian crown, which fell to five-year lows against the dollar and euro. The U.S. dollar rallied to more than seven Norwegian crowns NOK= for the first time in more than five years. It last traded at 7.0186, up 1.34 percent on the day. (Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang) ((karen.brettell@thomsonreuters.com)(+1-646-223-6274)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

GLOBAL MARKETS-OPEC decision knocks oil down, dollar gains

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

* U.S. crude falls more than 10 percent, Brent also tumbles * Falling energy shares weigh on global equities; Wall St rises * Dollar mostly strengthens on OPEC decision; bond yields fall (Adds U.S. market close, oil settlement prices) By Herbert Lash NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Crude oil tumbled on Friday, knocking down both energy-related shares and currencies after OPEC's decision a day earlier not to cut output reinforced prospects of a worldwide oil supply glut. The dollar mostly strengthened following the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Thursday, a move that slammed commodity currencies like the Norwegian crown, which fell to five-year lows against the greenback and the euro. Euro zone government bond yields held near record lows as declining energy prices cut into consumer price growth across the bloc and raised the chances of more stimulus from the European Central Bank on increased deflation fears. A rout in U.S. and European energy shares weighed on equity markets. But other sectors edged higher, lifting Wall Street's Dow industrials and the Nasdaq, while several leading indexes in Europe pared losses in late trade to close slightly higher. U.S. crude, or West Texas Intermediate, fell more than 10 percent and Brent crude fell another 3.3 percent after a 6.7 percent slide on Thursday. The sell-off since OPEC's decision amounts to about $67 billion in lost market value, Reuters estimates. The slide could deepen when traders and investors return after Thursday's U.S. holiday and Friday's shortened session. "There's a notion that yesterday's selling was overdone, but not everyone is fully back to work yet after Thanksgiving," said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital in New York. "WTI could certainly be down a couple of dollars more next week, and test newer lows from there." Brent LCOc1 fell $2.43 to settle at $70.15 a barrel, lows last seen in May 2010, while U.S. crude settled down $7.54 to $66.15 a barrel. The European oil and gas sector .SXEP fell 3.5 percent, while the S&P Energy index .SPNY fell 6.3 percent. The energy index in Europe has lost $240 billion in market value since late June, more than the market cap of Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDSa.L , Europe's biggest oil major, Thomson Reuters data shows. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 rose 0.02 percent to close at 1,392.70, while MSCI's all-country world equity index .MIWD00000PUS fell 0.4 percent to 425.55. Stocks on Wall Street ended mixed in light trading. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI ended up 0.49 point, or 0 percent, at 17,828.24. The S&P 500 .SPX fell 5.27 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,067.56 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 4.31 points, or 0.09 percent, to 4,791.63. The drop in oil sparked a sharp decline in inflation expectations as measured by "breakevens," with 10-year TIPs at their lowest since October 2011 at about 1.8 percent. In fed fund futures, expectations of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by September fell to below 50 percent. German 10-year yields DE10YT=TWEB - the benchmark for euro zone borrowing - were down a fraction at 0.70 percent. Yields on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries US10YT=RR fell to 2.1728 percent, with the price up 17/32. The dollar gained 0.84 percent to 118.67 yen JPY= , while the dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, gained 0.79 percent to 88.295. The euro EUR= fell 0.18 percent to $1.2444. (Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Dan Grebler) ((herb.lash@thomsonreuters.com; 1-646-223-6019; Reuters Messaging: herb.lash.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

Uganda's GDP expands by 13 pct after rebasing

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

KAMPALA, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Uganda said its gross domestic product has expanded by 13 percent after it rebased its calculation to incorporate new sectors in the economy. The east African country's GDP stood at 68.4 trillion Ugandan shillings ($24.69 billion) at the end of the 2013/14 financial year, after the rebasing, the finance ministry said on Friday, from a previous estimate of 60.5 trillion shillings. The ministry said it changed the base year for its GDP calculations to 2009/10 from 2002. Uganda follows in the footsteps of other sub-Saharan African countries including Nigeria and Kenya which have rebased their economies to try to capture the output of new sectors like information technology and entertainment services. Uganda's rebasing exercise means debt levels fall as a proportion of GDP, a closely watched ratio, and could give the government some leeway for more borrowing to help finance its plans to build new transport links and repair creaking infrastructure. At a function to release results of the rebasing, Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka said the government now had a better understanding of "sectors where investments should be channeled in order to grow the economy and create jobs." With a population of about 34.9 million people, Uganda's GDP per capita now stands at about $700. Uganda expects to start pumping crude oil in 2018 after commercial reserves, estimated at 6.5 billion barrels, were found its in west in 2006. (Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Edith Honan and Susan Fenton) ((Edith.Honan@thomsonreuters.com; +254 715 336 233;)) Keywords: UGANDA RATES/

GLOBAL MARKETS-OPEC decision knocks oil down, dollar gains

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

* U.S. crude falls almost 8 percent, Brent also declines * Falling energy shares weigh on global equities; Wall St rises * Dollar mostly strengthens on OPEC decision; bond yields fall (Adds European bond, stock market close) By Herbert Lash NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Crude oil tumbled on Friday, knocking down both energy-related shares and currencies after OPEC's decision a day earlier not to cut output reinforced prospects of a worldwide oil supply glut. The dollar mostly strengthened following the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Thursday, a move that slammed commodity currencies like the Norwegian crown, which fell to five-year lows against the greenback and the euro. Euro zone government bond yields held near record lows as declining energy prices cut into consumer price growth across the bloc and raised the chances of more stimulus from the European Central Bank on increased deflation fears. A rout in U.S. and European energy shares weighed on equity markets but other sectors edged higher, lifting Wall Street's Dow industrials and the Nasdaq, while several leading indexes in Europe pared losses in late trade to close slightly higher. U.S. crude, or West Texas Intermediate, fell almost 8 percent on OPEC's decision and Brent crude fell to $71.12, a low last seen in July 2010. The sell-off since Thursday amounts to about $67 billion in lost market value, Reuters estimates. The slide could deepen when traders and investors return after Thursday's U.S. holiday and Friday's shortened session. "There's a notion that yesterday's selling was overdone, but not everyone is fully back to work yet after Thanksgiving," said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital in New York. "WTI could certainly be down a couple of dollars more next week, and test newer lows from there." Brent LCOc1 was 85 cents lower at $72.73 a barrel, while U.S. crude fell $5.75 to $67.94 a barrel. The European oil and gas sector .SXEP fell 3.5 percent, while the S&P Energy index .SPNY fell 6.3 percent. The energy index in Europe has lost $240 billion in market value since late June, more than the market cap of Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDSa.L , Europe's biggest oil major, Thomson Reuters data shows. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 rose 0.02 percent to close at 1,392.70, while MSCI's all-country world equity index .MIWD00000PUS fell 0.4 percent to 425.54. Stocks on Wall Street ended mixed in light trading. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI ended up 0.49 point, or 0 percent, at 17,828.24. The S&P 500 .SPX fell 5.26 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,067.57 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 4.31 points, or 0.09 percent, to 4,791.63. German 10-year yields DE10YT=TWEB - the benchmark for euro zone borrowing - were down a fraction at 0.70 percent. Yields on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries US10YT=RR fell to 2.2025 percent, with the price up 9/32. The dollar gained 0.88 percent to 118.73 yen JPY= , while the dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, gained 0.84 percent to 88.340. The euro EUR= fell 0.28 percent to $1.2431. (Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Dan Grebler) ((herb.lash@thomsonreuters.com; 1-646-223-6019; Reuters Messaging: herb.lash.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

Concha y Toro raises glass to weaker Chilean peso as profits rise

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

SANTIAGO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Chilean wine producer Concha y Toro CHT.SN reported a 15 percent rise in core earnings in the third quarter, boosted by a favorable exchange rate and higher sales prices, the company reported on Friday. Concha y Toro, one of the world's biggest wine producers and the company behind the 'Casillero del Diablo' brand, reported earnings before income, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) at 21.5 billion Chilean pesos ($35 million) in the three months to end-September. Revenues rose 10 percent from last year to 148 billion Chilean pesos, although sales by volume slipped on a high comparative. Chile's peso CLP= has depreciated by over 13 percent against the dollar this year, lending a hand to exporters - particularly wine producers, who typically export over 90 percent of what they make. Concha y Toro's biggest export market is Europe, including Britain, where it is a sponsor of soccer club Manchester United. It also owns vineyards in Argentina and the U.S., and said on Friday that revenues at its Californian Fetzer brand rose 16 percent as wine prices in the U.S. domestic market increased 6 percent. The amount of wine produced worldwide is expected to fall in 2014 compared to last year, including in Chile, due largely to poor weather in many producer countries. ID:nL1N0ST1Z2 (Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Chris Reese) ((rosalba.obrien@thomsonreuters.com, Twitter: @rosalbaob; +56 2 23704250; Reuters Messaging: rosalba.obrien.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: CONCHA Y TORO RESULTS/

Ghana 91-day bill yield rises to 25.7727 pct

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

ACCRA, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The Bank of Ghana said the yield on its 91-day bill rose to 25.7727 percent at Friday's auction, from 25.5636 percent at the last sale. The bank said it accepted all 681.89 million cedis ($213.75 million) worth of bids tendered for the 91-day paper. For full details please click here: http://www.bog.gov.gh/privatecontent/Treasury/Auctresults%201409.pdf ($1 USD = 3.1900 Ghana cedis) (Writing by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Joe Bavier) ((kwasi.kpodo@thomsonreuters.com;)(+233 24 469 6990)(Reuters Messaging: kwasi.kpodo.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GHANA BONDS/

UPDATE 2-Nigerian naira falls further, devalued level faces test

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

* Central bank intervention fails to prevent slide * OPEC decision not to cut output weighs on Nigeria unit * Naira was devalued by 8 pct on Tuesday to save reserves * Nigeria failed to save forex when oil price was high (Recasts with closing price, intervention, analyst comment) By Tim Cocks and Oludare Mayowa LAGOS, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Nigeria's naira fell 2.5 percent on Friday, despite central bank intervention, and it briefly touched a record low on concerns OPEC's decision not to cut oil output would put further pressure on Nigeria's shaky finances. The central bank has struggled to keep the naira within its preferred band even after devaluing the currency by 8 percent on Tuesday in a bid to halt a slide in Nigeria's foreign reserves. Oil sales provide around 95 percent of those reserves. ID:nL6N0TG1BH The naira briefly touched a record low of 180.90, according to Thomson Reuters dealing data, before the bank intervened with dollar sales to lift it to 178.75 at the close, dealers said. The bank's target band after devaluation is 5 percent plus or minus 168 to the dollar, but doubts remain about whether it went far enough given the bleak outlook for oil prices. The naira has consistently tested the lower end of the new band. "The market is saying: 'We like what you're doing, but have you done enough?' Now the oil price is at $71 a barrel, all bets are off," Bismarck Rewane, economist and CEO of Lagos-based consultancy Finance Derivatives, said. Foreign reserves in Africa's leading energy producer dropped 17.3 percent year-on-year to $36.9 billion by Nov. 26, according to central bank data released on Friday. Falling world oil prices and a retreat from emerging markets have put pressure on the currencies of several oil exporters, including the Russian rouble RUB= and Angola's kwanza AOA= . Brent crude LCOc1 fell more than $6 to $71.25 a barrel after OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna left the group's output ceiling unchanged despite huge global oversupply, marking a shift away from its long-standing policy of defending prices. RAINY DAYS In Nigeria, Saudi Arabia's decision on Thursday to block calls from poorer OPEC members to cut oil output came as a disappointment to many. ID:nL6N0TH14H "Nigeria gets short end of the stick as OPEC fails to cut output," read the front page headline of local daily Business Day. Oil prices have lost a third of their value since June and with OPEC's decision set to send them lower still, pressure on Nigeria's foreign currency reserves and the naira is set to increase. "Many importers are bringing forward their obligations in view of the persistent fall in oil prices," one dealer said. "A number of them ... anticipate a further depreciation of the naira, so they are stockpiling the dollar." Pressure on the currency risks reigniting inflation, which has stabilised in single digits for two years, creating a headache for President Goodluck Jonathan who will seek a second term in elections in February. Unlike Gulf countries, which have squirreled away large foreign currency reserves, Nigeria's oil savings fell during the boom times, partly owing to theft of its oil by criminal gangs, hurting output, and partly because too much money was spent by the government. Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala admitted on Thursday that a significant portion of the billions of dollars drained from the oil savings account over the past two years was distributed to powerful governors instead of being saved for a "rainy day". ID:nL6N0TH2TY "The sun is not shining any more and there's not much left in the Excess Crude (oil savings) Account," Rewane said. The country's fiscal problems are adding to challenges to stability posed by an Islamist insurgency raging in the northeast, seen as the country's biggest security threat. ID:nL6N0TI363 (Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Julia Payne and Susan Fenton) ((tim.cocks@thomsonreuters.com; +234 803 400 4248; Reuters Messaging: tim.cocks.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: NIGERIA CURRENCY/

FOREX-Dollar gains as oil slide increases disinflation fears

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds details on next week's activities, adds quote, updates prices) By Karen Brettell NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The dollar gained on Friday as low oil prices added to disinflation fears in the euro zone and Japan, while investors also looked ahead to a heavy week of central bank meetings and the U.S. monthly employment report. Annual consumer inflation in the euro zone cooled to a five-year low as energy prices fell, suggesting deflation remains a real threat for the European Central Bank. ID:nL6N0TI1UQ Japan's annual core consumer inflation also slowed for a third straight month in October. ID:nL3N0TG1KW "The expectation that oil prices are going to remain under pressure at least for the next few months, and the disinflation data that came out, confirms that both Japan and the eurozone are struggling with disinflationary pressures that are quite severe. That helped the U.S. dollar stand out," said Martin Schwerdtfeger, a foreign exchange strategist at TD Securities in Toronto. Brent crude LCOc1 touched a four-year low on Thursday, when Saudi Arabia blocked calls from poorer members of the OPEC oil cartel to cut production to stem a slide in global prices. ID:nL3N0TH1DN The euro EUR= weakened to $1.2437. The single currency is seen as remaining under pressure ahead of next week's ECB meeting, where the central bank is expected to signal further action to ward off disinflation. Central bank meetings are also due in England, Canada and Australia, while the U.S. will focus on Friday's employment report for November. The dollar neared seven-year highs against the yen at 118.70 yen JPY= . The dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, gained 0.79 percent to 88.301, just below four-year highs of 88.44 set on Monday. Investors unwinding positions for year-end may pause the dollar rally, though rising geopolitical tensions if oil prices stay low could favor the greenback. "It causes pain in a lot of countries ... the response you would expect is not just market volatility, but over the medium-term geopolitical volatility," said Greg Anderson, global head of FX strategy for BMO Capital Markets in New York. Thursday's decision not to cut oil output slammed commodity currencies like the Norwegian crown, which fell to five-year lows against the dollar and euro. The U.S. dollar rallied to more than seven Norwegian crowns NOK= for the first time in more than five years. It last traded at 7.0008, up 1.08 percent on the day. (Editing by Chris Reese) ((karen.brettell@thomsonreuters.com)(+1-646-223-6274)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops as oil shares keep falling

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

* TSX down 98.84 points, or 0.66 percent, at 14,823.60 * Six of the 10 main index sectors advance * Energy shares shed 2.1 percent (Adds comment, details, updates prices) By John Tilak TORONTO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped on Friday as oil and gas shares kept diving after OPEC's decision on Thursday not to cut output pushed oil prices to four-year lows, while gold-mining shares also fell on a lower bullion price. The decline in energy shares comes after months of choppiness in the oil price, which has dropped dramatically since June on concerns about oversupply. Shares of energy producers were down 2.1 percent on Friday after tumbling nearly 7 percent on Thursday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) opted to keep production steady. The Toronto stock market's energy sector has lost a third of its value since the middle of June. "This is just a straight follow-through from yesterday. I'm not convinced that the oil price selloff is finished yet," said Colin Cieszynski, chief markets strategist at CMC Markets. "As the realization comes in that we are looking at a lower price environment that could persist for a while, you'll see that it will have significant impact on the producers," he added. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 98.84 points, or 0.66 percent, at 14,823.60. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Among oil and gas producers, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd CNQ.TO shed 2.6 percent to C$37.45, and Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO lost 1.9 percent to C$36.18. The gold-mining sector was down 3.4 percent, reflecting weakness in the bullion price. Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO dropped 3.2 percent to C$13.84, and Goldcorp Inc G.TO fell 2 percent to C$23. ($1=$1.14 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway) ((john.tilak@thomsonreuters.com)(1-416-687-7918)(Reuters Messaging: john.tilak.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS CANADA/STOCKS

Venezuela paves way to legalize foreign currency black market

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

CARACAS, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has paved the way for the legalization of the black market for currency through a reform of the Exchange Crimes Law, potentially clarifying operations currently seen stuck in a legal gray area. The country's currency controls provide dollars at three different exchange rates depending on the product being imported, but individuals and businesses routinely tap the black market because they cannot get greenbacks via official channels. The new regulations, which circulated on Friday, would allow for currency transactions between private companies and individuals, providing a legal underpinning for transactions that currently do not have one. Maduro's socialist government will need to publish a separate foreign exchange decree for the black market to become a fully legal parallel market, according to economists consulted by Reuters. "This law gives the government room to open the foreign exchange market in the future," said Asdrubal Oliveros, director of consultancy Ecoanalitica. Maduro decreed the legal changes during a televised speech on Nov. 18 without providing details. The new law was published in the Official Gazette that was distributed on Friday. Venezuela's currency has plummeted almost 60 percent this year on the black market, with dollars now fetching 150 bolivars, according to the widely watched web site Dolartoday.com. (Reporting by Brian Ellsworth and Corina Pons; Editing by Corina Pons and Paul Simao) ((brian.ellsworth@thomsonreuters.com)(58 212 277 2660)(Reuters Messaging: brian.ellsworth.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net, @ReutersVzla)) Keywords: VENEZUELA ECONOMY/

UPDATE 2-India eases gold import rule in surprise move

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

(Adds details, analyst comment) By Suvashree Choudhury and Meenakshi Sharma MUMBAI, Nov 28 (Reuters) - India has scrapped a rule mandating traders to export 20 percent of all gold imported into the country, in a surprise move that could cut smuggling and raise legal shipments into the world's second-biggest consumer of the metal after China. Along with a record duty of 10 percent, India introduced the so-called 80:20 import rule tying imports to exports of jewellery last year to bring down inbound shipments and narrow the current account deficit that had hit a record. "It has been decided by the Government of India to withdraw the 20:80 scheme and restrictions placed on import of gold," the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Friday, without giving a reason for the change in the rule. Only days ago there were talks between officials of the Mumbai-based central bank and the finance ministry in New Delhi to bring back curbs on some trading houses following a surge in imports over the past few months. Traders said before the decision on Friday that India's gold imports could climb to around 100 tonnes for a third straight month in November as dealers bought heavily on fears of curbs on overseas purchases, especially as the wedding season picks up. ID:nL3N0TI2IG But the government's latest move came as a surprise even to some officials. A policymaker associated with India's gold import policy said the government instructed the RBI at 1830 local time on Friday to urgently change the rule. A notification was posted on the central bank's website two hours later. "We were not informed about the reason for scrapping this rule. The restrictions on who all can import who can't are still valid," said the policymaker, declining to be named as he is not authorised to talk to media. The rule change, however, was a relief to jewellers facing difficulties in sourcing gold during the key festival and wedding season that started in October. Bachhraj Bamalwa, director of the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, said the 80:20 rule was not only encouraging smuggling but was also misused by many traders. From getting human mules to swallow nuggets to hiding gold bars in dead cows, smugglers had raised their activity since the middle of last year after the import curbs. Following the disbanding of the 80:20 rule, the government may place a monthly or yearly quota for traders, said Sudheesh Nambiath, a senior analyst at consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS. "Quota is a more logical and simple way of monitoring and limiting gold imports," Nambiath said. (Additional reporting by Neha Dasgupta and Devidutta Tripathy; Writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and David Evans) ((sumeet.chatterjee@thomsonreuters.com; +91-22-61807068; Reuters Messaging: sumeet.chatterjee.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA GOLD/IMPORTS

South Africa's rand falls to week lows on wide trade deficit

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 28 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand fell to a week's low against the dollar on Friday, losing ground after the trade deficit widened sharply in October. The latest blow to Africa's most advanced, but struggling, economy was softened by the energy department announcing that fuel prices would drop from next week because of falling global oil prices. ID:nJ8N0QZ015 The trade deficit widened to a record 21.33 billion rand ($1.9 billion) in October, from 3.04 billion rand in September, as exports fell nearly 2 percent while imports soared by 18 percent, the revenue service said. ID:nJ8N0QY02O The rand ZAR=D3 hit a session low of 11.0675 against the dollar on the news, its weakest since Nov. 20, according to Thomson Reuters data. By 1541 GMT the local unit was 0.51 percent softer at 11.0400 compared with Thursday's close. Government bonds extended the previous day's gains, with the yield for the 2026 benchmark ZAR186= shedding 6.5 basis points to end at 7.61 percent, near the 1-1/2 year low of 7.605 percent touched earlier in the session. Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Daniel Mminele reiterated on Friday that rand weakness posed upside risks to the inflation outlook, reinforcing expectations that the bank would raise interest rates further next year after 75 basis points of hikes in 2014. (Reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; editing by David Dolan) ((stella.mapenzauswa@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3161; Reuters Messaging: stella.mapenzauswa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS SAFRICA/CURRENCY

POLONIA Rate falls 0.02 pp.

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

WARSAW, Nov 28 (Reuters) - POLONIA the reference rate for Overnight deposits amounted to 2.00 percent. The volume of transactions concluded till 16:30 by banks participating in POLONIA fixing amounted to 1,117 mln PLN. Note: Description of reference rate at: http://www.acipolska.pl/ ((warsaw.newsroom@reuters.com))

GLOBAL MARKETS-Brent hits four-year low after OPEC, dollar gains

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

* Brent crude rebounds after OPEC, but U.S. crude falls further * Falling energy shares weigh on global equities, Wall St rises * Dollar mostly strengthens on OPEC decision, bond yields fall (Adds U.S. market open, byline, dateline; previous LONDON) By Herbert Lash NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Brent crude touched fresh four-year lows on Friday, knocking down both energy-related shares and currencies after OPEC's decision a day earlier not to cut output reinforced prospects of an oil supply glut around the world. The dollar mostly strengthened following the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Thursday, a move that slammed commodity currencies like the Norwegian crown, which fell to five-year lows against the greenback and the euro. Euro zone government bond yields held near record lows as the falling energy prices pulled down consumer price growth across the bloc and raised the chances of more stimulus from the European Central Bank on increased deflation fears. European shares snapped a five-day winning streak and the S&P 500 slipped from record highs as the price of energy shares fell across the board on both sides of the Atlantic. But other equity sectors rose, lifting the Dow industrials and the Nasdaq on Wall Street. Brent crude oil steadied above $73 a barrel after earlier falling to $71.12, while U.S. crude fell 6 percent to below $70 a barrel. Investors said OPEC's decision, in tandem with higher U.S. output, would leave oil markets heavily oversupplied. "We are seeing continued oversupply," said Bill Hubard, chief economist at Markets.com. "I think $70 a barrel will be the new norm. We could see oil go considerably lower." Brent LCOc1 rebounded 56 cents to $73.14 a barrel, while U.S. crude fell $4.44 to $69.25 a barrel. The European oil and gas sector .SXEP fell 3.8 percent, while the S&P Energy index .SPNY fell 5.8 percent. The energy index in Europe has lost $240 billion in market value since late June, more than the market cap of Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDSa.L , Europe's biggest oil major, Thomson Reuters data shows. "At $72 a barrel, we're well below the pain threshold for many companies in the sector, as well as many exporting countries such as Iran, Libya or Russia," said IG France's chief market analyst, Alexandre Baradez. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 fell 0.26 percent to 1,388.77, while MSCI's all-country world equity index .MIWD00000PUS fell 0.24 percent to 426.28. Stocks on Wall Street were mixed to slightly higher. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 44.9 points, or 0.25 percent, to 17,872.65. The S&P 500 .SPX fell 0.18 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,072.65 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 17.17 points, or 0.36 percent, to 4,804.49. German 10-year yields DE10YT=TWEB - the benchmark for euro zone borrowing - were down a fraction at 0.70 percent. Yields on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries US10YT=RR fell to 2.2043 percent, pushing its price up 8/32. The dollar gained 0.71 percent to 118.52 yen JPY= , while the dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, gained 0.67 percent to 88.192. The euro EUR= came off its overnight lows of $1.2430 to last trade slightly lower at $1.2462. (Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Jonathan Oatis) ((herb.lash@thomsonreuters.com; 1-646-223-6019; Reuters Messaging: herb.lash.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

Mexico peso falls over 1 pct to lowest level since June 2012

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

MEXICO CITY, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso weakened on Friday, easing 1.05 percent to its lowest level since June 2012. The peso MXN=D2 , which has weakened on concern over a steep fall in oil prices, traded at 13.9060 pesos per dollar in morning trading. (Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez) ((Gabriel.Stargardter@thomsonreuters.com; +52 1 55 54 55 26 49; Reuters Messaging: gabriel.stargardter.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MEXICO PESO/

Oil producing emerging market Eurobonds in heavy post-OPEC selloff

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

By Sujata Rao LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - From Russia to Ghana, the Eurobonds of energy-exporting emerging markets suffered a heavy selloff on Friday as the slump in oil towards $70 a barrel raised fears about the creditworthiness of many exporters. Crude prices have declined by more than a third this year and the downward momentum received fresh impetus on Thursday when the OPEC oil club decided against output cuts. One of the biggest losers has been Russia, where energy makes up a third of exports and oil moves add to headwinds caused by Western sanctions imposed over Moscow's perceived role in the Ukraine crisis. Russian yield spreads to Treasuries - the premium investors demand to hold Russian risk - widened 10 basis points to three-year highs on the EMBI Global index 11EML .JPMEGRUSR . Russian bonds tumbled across the curve with the main 2030 eurobond down almost a cent to four-year lows RUSGLB30=RR and sovereign debt insurance costs are at three-year highs. Societe Generale strategist Regis Chatellier said he had cut Russian and Venezuelan dollar bonds to underweight. "I'd thought the risks were already in the price (on Russian bonds) but that was before oil went into free fall. For me, $80 on Brent was ok with Russia, but now, it's another story," Chatellier said. "A lot of countries are going to suffer; it's going to impact their credit profile." In Africa, Angolan and Gabonese yield spreads blew out 39 and 29 bps respectively. Angola's 2019 bond tumbled 1.4 cents while Gabon's 2024 issue was down 2 cents XS081451222=TE XS094470722=TE . Nigerian and Ghanaian bonds fell 1.6 and 1.0 cents respectively, XS094470722=TE US374422AB9=TE Investor jitters are being exacerbated by the depreciation of local currencies against the dollar, which makes it costlier for countries to service external debt. The rouble and naira touched new record lows on Friday RUB= NGN= . African bonds have been in favour with investors because of high yields, low debt ratios and robust commodity prices. Some such as Stuart Culverhouse, head of research at brokerage Exotix, still see the bond moves as a knee-jerk reaction. "Even with a lower oil price outlook, debt servicing is manageable. There is an element of uncertainty and some countries will have to implement policy adjustments but I am not spooked about oil impairing debt servicing ability," he said. Activity on Latin American credits was subdued because of thin post-Thanksgiving Day staffing at most U.S. banks. (Additional reporting by Chris Vellacott; Editing by Mark Heinrich) ((sujata.rao@thomsonreuters.com; 44 20 7542 6176 ; Reuters Messaging: sujata.rao.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net)) Keywords: EMERGINGMARKETS BONDS/

London gold 1500 fix - Nov 28 - 1182.75 dlrs

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

Turkish c.bank cuts daily forex auctions volume to min $20 mln

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

ISTANBUL, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Turkey's central bank will cut its daily forex auctions volume to a minimum of $20 million from Dec. 1, the bank said on Friday. (Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Nick Tattersall) ((dasha.afanasieva@thomsonreuters.com; +90 212 350 7051;)) Keywords: TURKEY CENBANK/FOREX

UPDATE 2-South Africa's twin deficits, weak growth a challenge for policymakers

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

* Trade balance in record deficit in October * Rand hits weakest in a week versus dollar * U.S. policy normalisation poses a risk (Adds trade gap, fuel price, market reaction, analyst comments) By Stella Mapenzauswa JOHANNESBURG, Nov 28 (Reuters) - South Africa's trade shortfall widened in October, data showed on Friday, underlining warnings from the central bank that persistent current account and fiscal deficits along with weak economic growth would make policy decisions harder. The trade report sent the rand ZAR=D3 to its lowest level in a week against the dollar, although it was offset by an energy department announcement that fuel prices would drop from next week because of falling global oil prices. ID:nJ8N0QZ015 South African exports fell nearly 2 percent in October and imports soared nearly 18 percent, leading to a record trade gap of 21.33 billion rand ($1.9 billion), the revenue service said. ID:nJ8N0QY02O The data points to continued pressure on the current account, an longstanding Achilles heel for the rand that has earned it a place among the "fragile five" currencies which tend to take the brunt of emerging-market sell-offs. In a speech delivered at a banking conference in Johannesburg, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Daniel Mminele said global conditions had become "less hospitable" to countries with large external funding requirements. He was alluding to growing expectations the United States will start raising interest rates soon, reducing investor appetite for high-yielding but riskier emerging-market assets. South Africa's nagging current account deficit has historically been funded by foreign portfolio inflows. "Against the background of South Africa's elevated current account deficit, which is expected to only correct slowly, the risk of abrupt swings in capital flows cannot be under-estimated," Mminele said. "If this is not challenging enough, we are also faced with stagflation - that is, low growth and high inflation." The central bank, which targets a CPI inflation rate of 3 to 6 percent, raised interest rates by 75 basis points to 5.75 percent this year, signaling a tightening cycle even as Africa's most advanced economy struggles to grow after a 2009 recession. Future rate increases would depend on how inflation expectations develop, the timing and speed of normalisation of monetary policy in the U.S. and the state of the domestic economy, Mminele said. The bank's Monetary Policy Committee will next meet in January to decide on interest rates. (Additional reporting by Xola Potelwa and Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Larry King) ((stella.mapenzauswa@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3161; Reuters Messaging: stella.mapenzauswa.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: SAFRICA ECONOMY/

India eases gold import rules - central bank

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

MUMBAI, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The Indian government has decided to withdraw the rule that mandated trading companies to export 20 percent of the gold imported, the central bank said in a statement on Friday. The import curb was imposed last year to bring down gold imports, which had pushed India's current account deficit to a record high in the fiscal year ended March 2013. "It has been decided by the Government of India to withdraw the 20:80 scheme and restrictions placed on import of gold," the Reserve Bank of India said, without giving a reason for the change in the rule. (Reporting by Neha Dasgupta, Devidutta Tripathy and Suvashree Dey Chaudhury; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee) ((sumeet.chatterjee@thomsonreuters.com; +91-22-61807068; Reuters Messaging: sumeet.chatterjee.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA GOLD/IMPORTS

FOREX-Dollar gains from oil slide, deflation in Europe and Japan

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

(Rewrites throughout, changes byline and dateline, previous LONDON) By Karen Brettell NEW YORK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The dollar gained on Friday as concerns about continuing low oil prices added to deflation fears in the euro zone and Japan, while conversely boosting expectations that cheaper oil will help stimulate U.S. consumer spending. Annual inflation in the euro zone cooled to 0.3 percent in November, marking a return to September's five-year low for consumer inflation, as energy prices fell, suggesting deflation remains a real threat for the European Central Bank. ID:nL6N0TI1UQ Japan's annual core consumer inflation slowed for a third straight month in October due to falling oil prices, highlighting the economic gloom facing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he campaigns for a new mandate to implement his stalled recovery plan. ID:nL3N0TG1KW "The expectation that oil prices are going to remain under pressure at least for the next few months, and the inflation data that came out, confirms that both Japan and the eurozone are struggling with disinflationary pressures that are quite severe. That helped the U.S. dollar stand out," said Martin Schwerdtfeger, a foreign exchange strategist at TD Securities in Toronto. Brent crude LCOc1 touched a four-year closing low on Thursday, when Saudi Arabia blocked calls from poorer members of the OPEC oil cartel to cut production to stem a slide in global prices. ID:nL3N0TH1DN The euro EUR= came off its overnight lows of $1.2430 to last trade at $1.2484. The single currency is seen as remaining under pressure ahead of next week's ECB meeting, where the central bank is expected to signal further action to ward off deflation. The dollar gained to 118.43 yen JPY= , up from 117.68 yen on Thursday. The dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, gained 0.46 percent to 88.905, just below four-year highs of 88.44 set on Monday. The dollar has been bolstered in recent months by expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates next year as the U.S. economy strengthens, while Europe and Japan will continue to struggle with low inflation and lackluster growth. Thursday's decision not to cut oil output also slammed commodity currencies like the Norwegian crown, which fell to five-year lows against the greenback and the euro. The U.S. dollar rallied to more than seven Norwegian crowns NOK= for the first time in more than five years. It last traded at 6.9691, up 0.63 percent on the day. ((karen.brettell@thomsonreuters.com)(+1-646-223-6274)) Keywords: MARKETS FOREX/

Sterling dips on oil move, PM Cameron speaks on Europe

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

(Updates prices) By Patrick Graham LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Sterling fell on Friday, a softer consumer sentiment survey adding to negative news on the economy as a speech by Prime Minister David Cameron underlined Britain's increasingly conflicted attitude to Europe. The pound, pushed down along with other major currencies against the greenback by an almost 7 percent slump in oil prices over the past day, fell another third of a percent to $1.5690 GBP=D4 . Amid a rise in bets on more volatility into next week's European Central Bank meeting, the pound was also down 0.4 percent at 79.74 pence per euro. EURGBP=D4 EURGBPVOL= Lower fuel costs should mean that inflation, already declining across Europe, will fall further, encouraging bets that the Bank of England will hold off on raising interest rates for longer - possibly even into 2016, some analysts now say. The GFK indicator of consumer morale held steady at -2 for a second month running in November but was a shade weaker than the forecast of -1 in a Reuters poll. "Whatever positive connotations lower energy might have for global growth, the extent and pace of the decline in oil seems the more worrying factor for the moment," said Michael Turner, a strategist with RBC Capital Markets. "The pound is back testing 1.57 against the dollar." Revised expectations for official borrowing costs have been the main reason the pound has fallen around 9 percent against the dollar since July. But the market is also increasingly aware of political risks linked to next year's general election, worried that the new government may end up taking Britain out of the European Union. Cameron reiterated that he would hold a referendum on continued EU membership if his Conservatives win the election and outlined curbs on benefits for migrant workers in Britain, though not hard ones on immigration itself. Dealers and analysts said the issue was weighing on the pound but the speech had little immediate impact. "The European issue and the election are creating political uncertainty and that is never a positive for a currency," said Neil Mellor, a strategist with BNY Mellon in London. "It is probably not enough itself to drive sterling lower, but it is running concurrently with a lot of economic uncertainties. The direction is clearly still lower." He forecast the pound would fall further against the dollar by the end of the year, with the next big support around $1.53, and that it would dip below $1.50 in six months. (Editing by Andrew Roche) ((patrick.graham@thomsonreuters.com)(+44207 542 9429)(patrick.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS STERLING/AFTERNOON

London platinum/palladium 1400 fix - Nov 28

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

Poland's Q1 debt supply to stay moderate - finmin

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

WARSAW, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Poland will continue with it current policy of moderate debt supply in the first quarter of 2015, as over a quarter of next year's borrowing needs is likely to be pre-financed in 2014, the finance ministry said on Friday. "The level of pre-financing of next year's needs should not be lower than 25 pct," head of the finance ministry's debt department Piotr Marczak said in a statement. Marczak added that while the foreign holdings of Polish debt fell by 2.5 billion zlotys ($747 million) in October, they rose slightly last month. (1 US dollar = 3.3468 Polish zloty) (Reporting by Michal Janusz; Writing by Wiktor Szary; Editing by Marcin Goettig) ((marcin.goclowski@thomsonreuters.com; +48 22 6539724; Reuters Messaging: marcin.goclowski.reuters.com@thomsonreuters.net)) Keywords: POLAND DEBT/INFLOWS

South Sudan limits dollar sales as oil exports fall

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

By Carl Odera JUBA, Nov 28 (Reuters) - South Sudan has issued new rules banning the trade of dollars in the black market and restricting the sale of hard currency at foreign exchange bureaus, as the country struggles with a shortage of dollars due to falling oil exports. South Sudan's oil exports have fallen by more than a third since fighting between ethnic groups erupted last December, leaving the country, which seceded from Sudan in 2011, short of dollars and struggling to pay for the food and other imports that it depends upon. Plummeting oil prices, which have lost more than a third of their value since June, are aggravating the situation. The governor of the central bank, Kornelio Koriom Mayik, said in a notice published in newspapers on Thursday, that companies, organisations and individuals were now banned from buying or selling hard currencies in a parallel or black market, and that those found doing so would be breaking the law. He did not say what the penalties would be. Under the new rules, forex bureaus can only sell dollars to companies or individuals that can produce documents showing they require medical treatment, need to pay school fees or require cash for foreign travel, or have family living abroad in need of financial support. Dollar sales must only be in bulks of at least $2,000, Mayik said, but did not elaborate. The new rules took effect on Thursday. Central bank officials were not available for comment. South Sudan has had a currency problem since independence in 2011 as oil exports have been disrupted, initially by disputes with Sudan. Only a fraction of the population has a bank account so most people buy foreign currency from foreign exchange bureaus or the black market. "It is now difficult to trade openly because of the central bank's directive yesterday," a black market trader, who wished only to be identified as Puoth told Reuters. Black market trade had surged as dollars became scarce. While the official exchange rate is 2.95 South Sudan pounds to the dollar, the cost of a dollar on the black market has risen from around 3.50 pounds before the fighting began to around 5.90 pounds now. Land-locked South Sudan relies heavily on imports from neighbours such as Kenya and Uganda and one of the biggest challenges for banks and businesses is securing dollars to pay for purchases abroad. South Sudan's oil fields have been damaged by months of fighting, slashing output to about 160,000 barrels per day, from 245,000 barrels per day in December 2013. The conflict has killed more than 10,000 people, driven 1 million from their homes and raised the spectre of famine. (Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Susan Fenton) ((james.macharia@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +254 204 991 232 ; Reuters Messaging: james.macharia.thomsonreuters@reuters.net)) Keywords: SOUTHSUDAN CURRENCY/

India scraps 20 pct export rule for gold imports - TV channels

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

MUMBAI, Nov 28 (Reuters) - India has decided to scrap the rule that required trading companies to export 20 percent of gold imported, known as 80:20 scheme, local television channels reported on Friday, citing unnamed government sources. The curb was imposed last year to bring down gold imports which had pushed India's current account deficit to a record high in the fiscal year ended March 2013. A finance ministry spokesman told Reuters he had no information on the matter. (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy, Suvashree Dey Chaudhury and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee) ((sumeet.chatterjee@thomsonreuters.com; +91-22-61807068; Reuters Messaging: sumeet.chatterjee.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA GOLD

C$ briefly trims some losses after GDP data

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

TORONTO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar briefly pared some session losses against the U.S. dollar after higher-than-expected third quarter Canadian growth figures. The Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.1383, or 87.85 U.S. cents shortly after the data was released, stronger than just prior to the release, but weaker than Thursday's close at C$1.1332, or 88.25 U.S. cents. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) ((solarina.ho@thomsonreuters.com; 1-416-941-8067; Reuters Messaging: solarina.ho.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; Twitter: @shtweet)) Keywords: MARKETS CANADA/CURRENCY

Colombian cenbank may hold rate amid oil worries, impact on growth

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

By Julia Symmes Cobb BOGOTA, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Colombia's central bank will likely hold the key interest rate for a third straight month on Friday, as on-target inflation allows policymakers to delay further increases amid worry over a drop in global oil prices and the impact on the economy. The seven-member board will leave the lending rate at 4.5 percent, according to 15 of 16 analysts polled by Reuters. In October it voted unanimously to hold borrowing costs. The bank raised the interest rate 125 basis points between April and August after faster-than-expected first quarter growth raised questions about inflationary pressure. Economists had expected the rate to end the year at 5 percent. Although the bank forecasts economic growth of up to 5 percent this year - among the highest in the world - it says it is worried about global oil prices and the negative effect slowing growth in other countries could have on Colombia. The United States' recovery comes as China, Europe and other Latin American nations are easing, and trade terms could deteriorate along with a drop in oil prices, policymakers said. "To the extent there's this hit on oil that somehow ends up impacting the economy, it will be difficult for the bank to consider additional raises and considering decreases is not an immediate scenario," said Munir Jalil, chief economist at Citibank for Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. "We expect the central bank to pause, not only for what remains of the year, but for all of 2015." Global prices for crude, Colombia's biggest export and source of foreign exchange in the $380 billion economy, have fallen more than a third since June, creating fiscal worries as royalties and tax earnings decline. Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas - who represents the government on the bank's board - said the rate would probably remain steady as growth nears potential. But policymakers may bristle at the effect oil prices have on the current account deficit, which has grown to 4.5 percent of gross domestic product. Crude prices may not lift for some time. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided on Thursday not to reduce output, a move that could mean prices decline further. With inflation near 3 percent, the mid-point of the bank's 2-4 percent target range, there is no hurry to slow consumer spending and lending. A tax bill to raise $24.5 billion, replace expiring duties and make up for lost oil revenue passed an initial congressional vote on Wednesday. (Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Additional reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Editing by Helen Murphy and Nick Zieminski) ((julia.cobb@thomsonreuters.com; +571-634-4140;)) Keywords: COLOMBIA RATES/

GLOBAL MARKETS-OPEC inaction sends Brent to four-year low, hits stocks

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

* Brent Crude off 4 year low, but set for 15 pct Nov drop * FTSEurofirst falls, led lower by oil and gas stocks * Euro zone data show inflation weak, Bund yield pressured * Dollar gains against commodity currencies, euro and yen (Updates U.S. futures, prices) By Alistair Smout LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Brent crude fell to a fresh four-year low on Friday, sending oil-related shares and currencies lower, after OPEC decided against cutting output despite a supply glut. With markets in the United States due to reopen following Thursday's holiday, futures on major U.S. stock indexes SPc1 DJc1 NDc1 were around 0.2 percent lower. Brent crude LCOc1 touched a low of $71.12 a barrel after settling at a four-year closing low on Thursday, when Saudi Arabia blocked calls from poorer members of the OPEC oil cartel to cut production to stem a slide in global prices. ID:nL3N0TH1DN Europe's oil benchmark came off its lows to trade at $73.09, but remained on track to have lost more than 15 percent in November -- its biggest monthly fall for six years. U.S. crude CLc1 was last down 6.5 percent at $68.90. The slump dominated Asian and European trade. European oil and gas stocks .SXEP dropped 3.7 percent, dragging the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 0.4 percent lower to 1,387.12 after a five-day winning streak. The euro EUR= and the yen JPY= both lost ground to the safe-haven dollar, which also made sharp gains against the currencies of oil-rich countries, rallying to as much as 7 Norwegian crowns NOK= , a high not seen in over five years. Although a lower oil price helps support economic growth, it may undermine efforts to avert deflation in Japan and Europe. "Whatever positive connotations lower energy (prices) might have for global growth, the extent and pace of the decline in oil seems the more worrying factor for the moment," said Michael Turner, a strategist with RBC Capital Markets. The plunge in oil prices weighed on inflation expectations, pinning euro zone sovereign bond yields at record lows after data showed cheaper energy helped push annual inflation in the bloc back to a five-year low of 0.3 percent in November. ID:nL6N0TI1UQ The reading was in line with expectations, and did nothing to counteract soft price data from Germany and Spain that suggested the European Central Bank (ECB) may come under more pressure to ramp up monetary stimulus to counter the threat of deflation. German 10-year yields DE10YT=TWEB , the benchmark for euro zone borrowing, were down a fraction at 0.70 percent, while French peers FR10YT=TWEB were 2 bp lower at 0.98 percent. Bonds from Italy and Spain, which trade at a large premium to Bunds and offer the greatest amount of potential for tightening if the ECB launches a full-blown quantitative easing (QE) programme, saw bigger moves. GVD/EUR "It's pretty clear that the vast majority of the disinflation trend has been due to oil prices ... but it is also clear that this is not a development the ECB can ignore," said Credit Agricole's senior euro zone economist Frederik Ducrozet. The ECB is expected by many to follow Japan in buying government debt to try to vanquish deflation. On Friday, Japanese two-year government bonds traded at a negative yield JP2YTN=JBTC for the first time in history, as the Bank of Japan's massive bond buying crushed short-term debt yields. ID:nL3N0TI1KD The dollar rose about 0.4 percent against the yen to 118.17 yen JPY= , while the euro held broadly steady at $1.249 EUR= . The dollar also spiked to a one-week high against its Canadian counterpart at C$1.1392 CAD=D4 and rose 0.6 percent against a basket of six major currencies .DXY . Spot gold XAU= extended losses into a third session on expectations that plunging oil prices could sap inflationary pressure and curb the metal's appeal as a hedge. Gold was down 0.6 percent at $1,183.90 an ounce, over 1 percent lower on the week and ready to snap a three-week rally. ((To read Reuters Global Investing Blog click on http://blogs.reuters.com/globalinvesting; for the Macro Scope Blog click on http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope; for Hedge Fund Blog Hub click on http://blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub) ((For the state of play of Asian stock markets please click on: 0#.INDEXA)) (Additional reporting by Patrick Graham and John Geddie in London and Blaise Robinson in Paris; Editing by Catherine Evans and Mark Potter) ((alistair.smout@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 207 542 7064)(Reuters Messaging: alistair.smout.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS GLOBAL/

London gold 1030 fix - Nov 28 - 1184.50 dlrs

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

Vietnam domestic market commodity prices-Nov 28

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

Nov 28 (Reuters) - Following are domestic prices of Vietnam's key commodities. Unit: million dong VND= per tonne. Item Nov 24-28 Nov 17-21 Location Robusta beans 40.5-41.4 40.4-41.4 Central Highlands Black pepper 194.0-197.0 192.0-196.0 Southern region Refined sugar 13.0-15.5 13.0-15.5 Southern region Summer-autumn paddy 5.60-6.40 5.50-6.40 Mekong Delta ___________________ SJC gold 3.510-3.547 3.535-3.545 Hanoi, HCM City NOTES: Gold prices are low/high selling prices quoted in million dong during the week by top manufacturer SJC per 3.75-gram ingot. Coffee export prices COFFEE/ASIA1 Rice export prices RICE/ASIA1 Historical data VNCOMM01 Central bank's gold auction SBVGOLD2013 ($1=21,300 dong) (Compiled by Hanoi Newsroom) ((ho.minh@thomsonreuters.com +844 3825 9623)) Keywords: VIETNAM COMMODITIES/PRICES

London platinum/palladium 0945 fix - Nov 28

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

India's Nov gold imports seen climbing on expectation of curbs

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

* Imports could exceed 100 tonnes in Nov -sources * Speculation over new rules prompts buying * Premiums fall to $10/oz from $18 last week By A. Ananthalakshmi and Meenakshi Sharma SINGAPORE/MUMBAI, Nov 28 (Reuters) - India's gold imports could climb to around 100 tonnes for a third straight month in November as dealers buy heavily for fear of curbs on overseas purchases, especially as the wedding season picks up, traders said. Local premiums have fallen to about $10 an ounce from $18 last week due to the speculation over curbs, they said. Curbs on gold imports figured in a meeting of central bank and finance ministry officials this month as a way to rein in India's trade deficit, swelled by a jump in imports in September and October, to about 100 tonnes each month. ID:nL3N0T33A7 But officials wary of overreacting have not yet made a decision. ID:nL3N0TB41O "The speculation around rules triggered panic buying and imports are going to be over 100 tonnes again this month," said a trader in Mumbai, adding that shipments could outstrip those in October. October shipments to India, the world's No.2 gold consumer after China, jumped to about 150 tonnes, from less than 25 tonnes a year earlier and 143 tonnes in September. ID:nL3N0T34K6 Curbs imposed last year remain in place, from a record import duty of 10 percent to a measure tying imports to exports. ID:nL3N0T82J2 Measures being considered would limit imports resumed by private trading firms around the middle of this year, following a block since July 2013, traders said. November imports will be boosted by private traders, one trader said. "Gold imports in November are going to be more than 100 tonnes, on higher purchases from private trading houses ahead of weddings," said a New Delhi-based trader. The increase could add pressure for India to act. Tougher rules could fuel premiums, as the wedding season is likely to keep consumer demand strong. "Gold demand is good, as prices are lower and premiums over the international market have also come down," said Narendra Singh, a dealer in Jaipur. "Gold purchases are likely to remain firm for the next two to three months due to weddings." Gold ornaments form a key part of the dowry daughters traditionally receive from parents at Indian weddings. Nearly 60 percent of gold demand comes from rural areas that depend on the monsoon, which was weak this year. However, lower gold prices have kept demand strong, traders say. Elsewhere in Asia, Chinese buying was steady, with premiums holding up at $1 to $2 an ounce. Premiums slid to $1.10 from $1.40 in Hong Kong, and in Singapore, they fell to $1.20 from $1.50. GOLD/ASIA1 (Editing by Clarence Fernandez) ((ananthalakshmi.as@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3726; Reuters Messaging: ananthalakshmi.as.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: INDIA GOLD/IMPORTS

UPDATE 1-New Burkina PM vows investigations into Compaore-era deaths

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

* Pledges investigation into deaths of folk hero, journalist * Confirms all mining permits to be reviewed * Says country may renationalise some private firms (Adds background, comment on mining) By Mathieu Bonkoungou OUAGADOUGOU, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Burkina Faso's interim prime minister has pledged to open enquiries into the deaths of a revered former president and an investigative journalist -- key demands of protesters who swept veteran ruler Blaise Compaore from power last month. Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida, who seized power after Compaore fled and was then named prime minister, also said audits would be carried out at state firms and those suspected of corruption would be held to account. Compaore fled the West African country last month when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, Ouagadougou, to protest against his bid to change the constitution to extend his 27-year rule. Although he won support from Western allies as a key regional power broker in recent years, Compaore left behind a country where many say corruption and impunity hobbled progress despite a growing gold mining industry. "We must shine a light on everything that went on during Blaise Compaore's rule. All the pending dossiers will be reopened," Zida told reporters late on Thursday. Compaore took office in a 1987 coup in which then-President Thomas Sankara was killed in unexplained circumstances. Interim authorities have already vowed to exhume a grave thought to contain the remains of Sankara, a revolutionary folk hero in the West African nation. ID:nL6N0TC08D The 1998 death of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo, who was researching the death of a driver working for Compaore's brother, also weighed on Compaore's time in power. Underlining the importance of Zongo's legacy, interim culture and tourism minister Adama Sagnon resigned this week after allegations that he had not done enough to investigate the death. Zida threatened to renationalise any firms that had been privatised at the expense of the population and said people responsible for corruption "must be called to explain themselves". Burkina Faso's new authorities earlier removed General Gilbert Diendere, the most powerful remaining figure from the Compaore era, from his post as head of the presidential guard. Echoing earlier comments from the interim mining minister, Zida reiterated a pledge to review all Compaore-era mining contracts, adding that permits won through corruption or nepotism would be "cancelled pure and simple". ID:nL6N0TH4TW Zida, who is also defence minister, heads a transitional government that has one year to lead the country to new elections. A former foreign minister, Michel Kafando, is serving as president until the 2015 polls. (Writing by David Lewis and Emma Farge; Editing by Gareth Jones) ((emma.farge@thomsonreuters.com; +221 33 864 5077; Reuters Messaging: emma.farge.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BURKINA POLITICS/

INDICATORS - Kazakhstan - Nov 28

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Nov 28

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

Nov 28 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. * Two music publishers are taking aim at a new target in the battle against illegal song downloading: the cable industry. Wednesday afternoon, BMG Rights Management LLC and Round Hill Music LP sued cable giant Cox Communications Inc, claiming that Cox, which provides Internet service to millions, is deliberately turning a blind eye to illegal downloading by its subscribers. (http://on.wsj.com/15F673Y) * Hedge-fund managers are increasingly persuading investors to lock up their money for longer - in many cases more than double the typical one-year period - and dangling lower fees to close the deal. (http://on.wsj.com/1vr7DyZ) * European politicians are poised to approve a new generation of lower-cost rockets, partly in response to competition from U.S. launch providers, according to government and aerospace-industry officials on both sides of the Atlantic. (http://on.wsj.com/1xY2DEe) * Manufacturers are taking matters into their own hands to patch up a weak spot of Thailand's economy: its worsening shortage of skilled labor. A shrinking labor pool and inadequate training for workers are constraining business and industrial growth, investors here say. Now an increasing number of companies - many in the auto industry - are rolling out apprenticeship programs aimed at beefing up the workforce themselves. (http://on.wsj.com/1HJ21Xh) * Europe escalated its war against U.S. technology superpowers as the Continent's two largest economies and the European Parliament on Thursday backed fresh efforts to rein in the growing influence of companies such as Apple Inc AAPL.O , Facebook Inc FB.O and Google Inc GOOGL.O . (http://on.wsj.com/1zZDYhv) * Outbrain Inc, a provider of "native ads," filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month seeking preliminary approval to list shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market, according to people familiar with the matter. (http://on.wsj.com/1xXb1Uk) * The financial crisis and its aftermath have revived interest in gold as a monetary policy instrument, especially in Europe, where central banks face public pressure to buy gold or bring back home what they hold overseas. (http://on.wsj.com/1vWk0pg) * BAIC Motor Corp, a Chinese car maker partly owned by Daimler AG DAIGn.DE , is planning to start gauging investors' interest next week in an initial public offering which could raise between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion in Hong Kong, a person familiar with the situation said. (http://on.wsj.com/1tx1blZ) (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bangalore) ((Neha.Dimri@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 1130; Reuters Messaging: neha.dimri.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: PRESS DIGEST WSJ/

New Burkina PM vows investigations into Compaore-era deaths

November 28, 2014 - reuters.com

OUAGADOUGOU, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Burkina Faso's interim prime minister pledged on Thursday to open enquiries into the deaths of a former president and a journalist, among the key demands of protesters who swept former President Blaise Compaore from power last month. Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida, who seized power after Compaore fled and was then named prime minister, also said audits would be carried out at state firms and those suspected of corruption would be held to account. Compaore fled the West African country last month when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, Ouagadougou, to protest his bid to change the constitution to extend his 27-year rule. Although he won support from Western allies as a key regional power broker in recent years, Compaore left behind a country where many say corruption and impunity hobbled progress despite a growing gold mining industry. "We must shine a light on everything that went on during Blaise Compaore's rule. All the pending dossiers will be reopened," Zida told reporters late on Thursday. Compaore took office in a 1987 coup in which then-President Thomas Sankara was killed in unexplained circumstances. The 1998 death of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo, who was researching the death of a driver working for Compaore's brother, also weighed on Compaore's time in power. Zida threatened to renationalise any firms that had been privatised at the expense of the population and said people responsible for corruption "must be called to explain themselves." Burkina Faso's new authorities earlier removed General Gilbert Diendere, the most powerful remaining figure from the Compaore era, from his post as head of the presidential guard. Zida heads a transitional government that has one year to lead the country to new elections. (Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Emma Farge and Peter Cooney) ((emma.farge@thomsonreuters.com; +221 33 864 5077; Reuters Messaging: emma.farge.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: BURKINA POLITICS/

Private equity funds see promise in Australia's battered mines

November 27, 2014 - reuters.com

* Private funds look for bargains in struggling mining sector * Say they can cut costs on promising projects * But analysts warn could be difficult to make robust returns By Sonali Paul MELBOURNE, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Private funds are trawling for bargains in Australia in the aftermath of a global mining boom, looking to strip the fat at companies and projects they believe hold promise but which are struggling under the weight of sagging commodity prices. Big name funds that dominate the $2.5 trillion private equity industry generally steer clear of mining which they see as too risky, but a clutch of specialist funds estimated to have at least $10 billion to invest are on the prowl for opportunities around the world. Most of those funds have focused on snaring assets in Africa and Latin America, shunning Australia due to its higher costs. But some, like Resource Capital Funds, Royalty Stream Investments and Denham Capital, say they see ways to build and run operations more tightly, reaping advantages from Australia's relative proximity to China. "We're working through this landscape of broken companies and mothballed projects," said Bert Koth, managing director at Denham, an energy and mining private equity firm with more than $7 billion already invested globally which set up an office in Perth last year. Costs in Australia soared over the past decade, with mining and energy companies spending billions of dollars to build new projects as they raced to supply China, driving up prices for manpower, equipment and fuel. Miners big and small were able to afford those costs as commodity prices climbed to record highs, but most are now frantically cutting back as markets have become oversupplied and prices have tumbled. In an industry starved for capital from top to bottom, bankers and analysts agree that cashed up private funds could pick up assets cheaply and inject some extra capital to improve operations. But they warn it could be difficult to make robust returns. "The question is when you put the whole package together, including the costs to export, is it going to be good enough on a total return? That's a lot more difficult," said Lawrence Grech, head of research at PhillipCapital in Sydney. NOT SO BAD Former BHP Billiton executive Alberto Calderon, who left the mining giant earlier this year, sees good prospects in base metals. He recently invested with Royalty Stream Investments in a Northern Territory bauxite project run by privately owned Gulf Alumina and is also eyeing investments in mining technology. "In this mining environment where there is a lot of downside in most commodities, there are interesting opportunities," he said. Denham's Koth said his firm had recently backed two teams of seasoned mining executives with up to $200 million each, looking to "take back the cost excesses of the mining boom step by step". One, Pembroke Resources, is hunting for metallurgical coal projects in Australia, while the other, Auctus Minerals, is scouting for non-coal assets. Pembroke and Auctus are led by executives who successfully delivered mining projects and ran mines in Australia when commodity prices were much weaker than now. Auctus Managing Director Stephen Murdoch said current prices look low to executives in charge of companies during the boom, but are far higher than when he was running mines over a decade ago with copper at 55 cents a pound, versus around $3 now. Auctus expects to seal its first acquisition within six months, said Murdoch, who rescued a costly magnetite iron ore project as chief executive of Karara Mining. Pembroke, under former Gloucester Coal chief Barry Tudor, is focused on finding high quality metallurgical coal assets in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. Tudor is confident he can pull off another success like he did at Gloucester, a 5 million tonnes a year coal producer that was taken over by Chinese-controlled Yancoal Australia Ltd YAL.AX three years ago in a deal worth about A$2 billion. But Koth said there was no rush to buy coal assets. "We actually believe the market is going to deteriorate further," he said. (Editing by Joseph Radford) ((Sonali.Paul@thomsonreuters.com; +61 3 9286 1419; Reuters Messaging: sonali.paul.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MINING PRIVATEEQUITY/AUSTRALIA

Colombia mine regulator sees faster project licensing within a year

November 27, 2014 - reuters.com

BOGOTA, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Colombia's mining regulator will be able to bring wait times for exploration and production permits back within legal limits in about a year after it has smoothed out the legal tangles that have bogged down its decisions, its chief said on Thursday. Natalia Gutierrez, president of the National Mining Agency (ANM), said processing times for permits in the Latin American coal, gold, nickel and emerald producer would fall to a legally required 180 days once the legal framework has been streamlined. Colombia has attracted billions of dollars to its oil and mining sectors after a decade-long U.S.-backed military offensive against leftist rebels improved security, but red tape and legal uncertainty have frustrated many investment plans. "We would think that in a year we will be delivering titles within the time frame set out by the law," Gutierrez told a seminar on responsible mining in Bogota. The legal framework governing Colombia's mining law has changed several times in the last decade making it difficult to apply the shifting regulations, she said. The agency has been sifting through legal inconsistencies one by one to work out which rules now apply, Gutierrez added. In particular, the agency is waiting for the Mines and Energy Ministry to regulate the 37th article of the mining code determining the role of central and local authorities in mining-related decisions. Colombia dropped to 82nd in 2013 from 25th in 2009 in a ranking of mining countries compiled by Canada's Fraser Institute, based on regulatory complexity and investor friendliness. Nonetheless, the Andean nation is on track to hold its first ever mining auction round, for titles for 11 minerals, in the second half of 2015, Gutierrez said. Colombia's income from mining, which accounts for more than 2 percent of gross domestic product, fell sharply last year due in part to lower prices for its top mining export, coal. A run of strikes also disrupted the sector. (Reporting by Peter Murphy; Editing by Peter Galloway) ((Peter.Murphy@thomsonreuters.com; +57 1 634 4133; Reuters Messaging: peter.murphy.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: COLOMBIA MINING/LICENSES

PRECIOUS-Gold eases as dollar strengthens, oil prices slide

November 27, 2014 - reuters.com

* Dollar index benefits from soft euro zone data * Oil prices slide as OPEC opts not to cut output * U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving holiday (Updates prices, adds comment) By Jan Harvey LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Gold eased on Thursday, hurt by a sharp drop in oil prices, strength in the dollar and fresh outflows from bullion-backed funds, with traders cautious ahead of this weekend's Swiss referendum on central bank bullion assets. Spot gold XAU= was down 0.3 percent at $1,193.85 an ounce at 1549 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 for December delivery were down $3.80 an ounce at $1,192.80. U.S. markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. News that oil cartel OPEC had opted not to cut output in the face of falling prices knocked benchmark Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 more than 4 percent to their lowest in four years. O/R "Falling oil prices might lead to a less inflation pressure, and this in turn is negative for gold," Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said. "The referendum on Sunday is also casting a shadow....The latest polls suggest there will be a 'no' vote, so we are expecting lower gold prices at the beginning of next week." <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ GRAPHIC-2014 asset returns: http://link.reuters.com/dub25t GRAPHIC-Gold/USD correlation: http://r.reuters.com/ryx52s ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> Swiss voters go to the polls on Sunday to decide a motion that would oblige the Swiss National Bank to hold 20 percent of its reserves in bullion, repatriate gold from overseas, and undertake to make no gold sales. If a 'yes' vote is passed, the Swiss central bank would have to buy about 1,500 tonnes of gold over the next few years, analysts say. ID:nL6N0TB3O9 Investment interest in gold has suffered this year from expectations that the Federal Reserve will tighten policy before other central banks. Higher U.S. interest rates would lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, and would also benefit the dollar, in which the metal is priced. The dollar rose a quarter of a percent against a currency basket .DXY on Thursday, pressuring precious metals. FRX/ Outflows from the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares GLD , resumed on Wednesday. Holdings fell 2.1 tonnes to 718.82 tonnes, near six-year lows. GOL/ETF Among other precious metals, silver XAG= was down 1 percent at $16.30 an ounce, platinum XPT= was down 0.6 percent at $1,215.24 an ounce and palladium XPD= was up 0.5 percent at $803.98 an ounce. (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; editing by Jason Neely and Elaine Hardcastle) ((jan.harvey@thomsonreuters.com)(+44)(0)(207 542 7744)(Reuters Messaging: jan.harvey.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS PRECIOUS/

UPDATE 1-Deutsche Bank shuts down physical precious metals trading

November 27, 2014 - reuters.com

* Bank exiting physical commodities business * Move to cost fewer than 5 jobs, bank says (Adds background, comment) By Jan Harvey LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE is winding down its physical precious metals trading business, it said on Thursday, moving to further scale back its exposure to commodities. The closure of the business will result in the loss of fewer than five positions in London, a spokesman said. "Certain parts of the physical precious metals trading operations may be re-housed within other divisions of Deutsche Bank and we will address this over the coming months," the bank said in a statement. The decision to close down the physical precious metals business comes after Deutsche Bank shut its other physical commodities business, covering energy, agriculture, base metals and dry bulk, in December 2013. The bank will retain some precious metals capability though its financial derivatives business, it said. Higher capital requirements and increasing political and regulatory scrutiny have eroded profits from trading raw materials and led several big banks to divest assets and operations. Gold prices XAU= have fallen by more than a third from the record high they hit just over three years ago. Deutsche Bank was, until the beginning of the year, one of five banks that operated a twice-daily gold price benchmark known as the "fix". It later resigned its seat in the process, which it had held for two decades, after failing to find a buyer. ID:nL6N0NL5LA Along with other precious metal benchmarks, the gold fix has come under increased regulatory scrutiny since a scandal broke in 2012 over manipulation of the Libor interest rate. The banks operating the twice-daily gold fix announced earlier this year it would be abandoned, to be replaced by an electronic system operated by U.S. bourse Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Sources close to the matter said in June that Deutsche Bank was conducting its own investigation into trading around the setting of the benchmark, in addition to one being carried out by Germany's financial watchdog Bafin. ID:nL5N0OY4VA (Editing by Veronica Brown and Mark Potter) ((jan.harvey@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(207 542 7744; Reuters Messaging: jan.harvey.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: DEUTSCHE BANK PRECIOUS/

London gold 1500 fix - Nov 27 - 1194.75 dlrs

November 27, 2014 - reuters.com

Deutsche Bank shuts down physical precious metals trading

November 27, 2014 - reuters.com

LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE is closing down its physical precious metals trading business, the bank said on Thursday, as it moves to further scale back its exposure to commodities. The closure of the business will result in the loss of fewer than than five positions in London, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank said. "Certain parts of the physical precious metals trading operations may be re-housed within other divisions of Deutsche Bank and we will address this over the coming months," the bank said in a statement. The decision to close down its physical precious metals business comes after the bank shut its other physical commodities business, covering energy, base metals and dry bulk in December 2013. The bank will retain some precious metals capability though its financial derivatives business, it said. (Reporting by Jan Harvey; editing by Keith Weir) ((jan.harvey@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(207 542 7744; Reuters Messaging: jan.harvey.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: DEUTSCHE BANK/PRECIOUS

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