Surprise!! Japanese Stocks Surge After Machinery Orders Crash 14.6% – Worst In 5 Years

So much for that short-lived hope-fest that Abenomics was not a total and utter disaster. Japan Machinery Orders (excluding -rather ironically- volatile orders) plunged 14.6% Year-over-Year in November (missing expectations of a 6.3% drop) for the biggest fall since Nov 2009. In this new farcical normal of course, this is just what the surging JPY of the last week needed and it is now dumping back towards 117.50 dragging Nikkei futures 150 points higher with it!!

 

Massive miss and drop in Machine Orders…

 

and the ubiquitous “bad is good” ripfest in stocks/USDJPY

And

  • *JAPAN 10-YEAR GOVERNMENT BOND YIELD FALLS TO RECORD 0.245%

 

And then they actually admit something might be wrong:

  • *JAPAN’S CABINET OFFICE SAYS CUTS ASSESSMENT OF MACHINE ORDERS
  • *CABINET OFFICE:SEE SIGNS RECOVERY IN MACHINE ORDERS HAS STALLED

 

Charts: bloomberg




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China Buying Up Latin American (And Russian) Oil

Submitted by Colin Chilcoat via OilPrice.com,

As the world’s number one energy consumer China is enjoying the low prices while they last. Never one to settle however, China is finding still more ways to take advantage of the dire straits gripping several oil producers.

China’s slowdown is real – preliminary data suggests 2014 will mark the weakest GDP growth in 24 years – but the country still has plenty of money to play with that is taking it places the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wouldn’t dare. Their reward? More oil of course. With tough conditions and greater access to raw commodities, China looks to turn the high risk into equal or greater returns.

In Russia, much has been made of the deepening energy ties with its neighbor to the south. With western financing no closer to a return and a hesitancy to dig deeper into its foreign exchange reserves, Russia turned to China for a bailout. China has obliged, agreeing to finance state-owned Rosneft’s debt in addition to opening a $24 billion currency swap program, which could expand further. For its part, China gains access to Russia’s tightly held upstream sector – in the form of the giant Vankor field – and fulfills its needs downstream with favorable long-term oil and gas deals. Further loans and infrastructure investments are likely moving forward – one of China’s biggest debt-rating agencies Dagong believes Russian debt is a safer investment than US government debt.

China'sProductionConsumption

Source: EIA

Russia’s economic situation is by no means rosy, but the state of affairs in Venezuela is downright awful. Oil and gas revenues account for one quarter of the country’s GDP and approximately 95 percent of its export revenues. Not surprisingly, low oil prices have the country teetering on the brink of default. Since 2007, Venezuela has borrowed more than $50 billion from China – loans that prevent Venezuela from otherwise marketing about half of its current exports to the Asian nation, which total approximately 500,000 barrels per day (bpd).

While perhaps more cautious, China is ready to keep giving. On Wednesday, Venezuela and President Nicolas Maduro landed more than $20 billion in investment for economic, social, and oil-related projects. This arrangement precedes what Maduro hopes to be a more liquid $16 billion loan that could be more freely applied to its other debt obligations. Still, China sets the terms and it wants more oil in return – more than 100,000 bpd greater than current levels.

Elsewhere in South America, Ecuador has pinned its development hopes to the Chinese for better or worse. Since 2008, Ecuador has borrowed in excess of $11 billion – 2013 saw 61 percent of government spending needs met by Chinese money. President Rafael Correa just secured a further $7.5 billion in loans and credit lines, but he has little more oil to give – the country already sells about 90 percent of its crude oil to China. Once offshore, China remarkets two-thirds of this supply, much of which reaches the United States. It’s a familiar picture across Latin America.

In Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and the aforementioned countries, China is fronting the bill and staking claim to the raw goods. The country’s high-interest, inflexible lending draws parallels to the multibillion-dollar payday loan industry in the US. In this scenario, the lender is caught in a circle of debt with no real impetus for change. That circle may continue for some as China is pledging $250 billion in investment in the region over the next decade. The country’s oil-based financing is still an unproven gamble – and lower prices increase the default risk – but it’s shrewd move for what will soon be the world’s largest consumer of oil.

*  *  *

And it's not just LatAm, China's imports of oil from Russia are up over 60% YoY – by a record 1.3 million metric tonnes…




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Ohio Man Arrested Over ISIS-Inspired Plot To Blow Up Capitol

In all the drama over the recent terrorist events in France, Americans almost forgot that there is evil, pure, concentrated evil, as opposed to CentCom Twitter account hacking evil, in their own backyard and only the government can possibly protect them from it. Sure enough, what better way to remind them of just this than to merge a deranged lunatic, bombs, ISIS, and an attack on DC all into one.

That is precisely what ABC blasted about an hour ago, when it reported that the FBI had arrested an Ohio man (different from the one who wanted to kill John Boehner) for plotting an Islamic State-inspired attack on U.S. Capitol, where he hoped to set off series of bombs aimed at lawmakers whom he allegedly considered enemies.

Per ABC, Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, of Green Township, was arrested on charges of attempting to kill a U.S. government official, authorities said. “According to government documents, he allegedly planned to detonate pipe bombs at the national landmark and open fire on any employees and officials fleeing after the explosions.”


FBI officials said the 20-year-old purchased two semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition at the shop before officers arrested him.

The moral of the story: don’t use Twitter to plot your evil, Jihadi murder plots.

The FBI first noticed Cornell several months ago after an informant notified the agency that Cornell was allegedly voicing support for violent “jihad” on Twitter accounts under the alias “Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah,” according to charging documents. In addition, Cornell allegedly posted statements, videos and other content expressing support for ISIS — the brutal terrorist group also known as ISIL — that is wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.

“I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks and everything,” Cornell allegedly wrote in an online message to the informant in August, according to the FBI. “I believe we should meet up and make our own group in alliance with the Islamic State here and plan operations ourselves.” 

 

Cornell and the informant met in Cincinnati over two days in October, and then another two days in November. During the last meeting, Cornell told an FBI informant that members of Congress were enemies and that he wanted to launch an attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., according to charging documents.

 

Cornell then allegedly saved money to finance the attack and researched how to build bombs, the FBI said.

 

Earlier today, while also taking “final steps” to travel to Washington for the attack, Cornell allegedly bought two semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition from a store in Ohio, authorities said.

 

Within hours of Cornell’s arrest, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin to law enforcement agencies across the country notifying them of the case.

This is how the victorious DHS patted itself on its back: “The alleged activities of Cornell highlight the continued interest of US-based violent extremists to support designated foreign terrorist organizations overseas, such as ISIL, by committing terrorist acts in the United States. Terrorist group members and supporters will almost certainly continue to use social media platforms to disseminate English language violent extremist messages.”

Because real terrorists always brag about their upcoming explosive, murderous rampage on Twitter. And now cue to Obama demanding even more power for the government for catching this heinous plot dead in its tracks.

In the context of the stupidity of the above, we can’t help but go back to the abovementioned story about a bartender who wanted to kill Boehner:

Ebola, evil voices and the devil. Those are just a few of the things a Butler County bartender cited as reasons he was going to kill House Speaker John Boehner this past fall, federal agents said.

 

Michael Robert Hoyt, 44, was indicted Jan. 7 on charges of threatening to murder the congressman in a plot police said included poisoning his drink at a country club.

 

When officers visited Hoyt at his home on Matson Avenue in Deer Park, they said the plot thickened.

 

“Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola,” United States Capitol Police (USCP) Special Agent Christopher M. Desrosiers said. “Hoyt advised he had a loaded Beretta .380 automatic and he was going to shoot Boehner and take off.”

Deer Park police signed a 72-hour hold on Hoyt at the psychiatric ward and recovered the .380 handgun from his home for safekeeping, officials said.

 

At the hospital’s psych ward, Hoyt told FBI agents his supervisor fired him from his bartending job because he had a bad attitude at work and several club members complained about him.

 

“Hoyt was visibly upset talking about being fired and about the circumstances surrounding it,” Desrosiers said. “He believes John Boehner and other members of the country club got him fired.”

 

Hoyt was treated for a psychotic episode about two years ago and was under “significant duress” during that time, agents said.

The spin:

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said stronger background checks would save lives. “Hopefully, the Republican Congress will heed this indictment of the Speaker’s would-be assassin as a wake-up call to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, including felons, fugitives, domestic abusers and the severely mentally ill,” Gross said.

No words.




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Power beyond mind control

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Power beyond mind control

by Jon Rappoport
January 15, 2015
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“All thought is not the same. There is random static. There is repetitious and circular rumination. There is thought devoted to solving a problem or analyzing a situation. There is thought that occurs when one is creating something that never existed before. To blithely say that “externally inserted” mind control can replace all levels of thinking without a person being aware of what is going on is foolish.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

Consciousness wants to create new consciousness, and it can. Imagination is how it does it. If there were some ultimate state of consciousness, imagination would always be able to play another card and take it further.

In any arena of life, and especially when it comes to mind, perception, power, empathy, and so on, there is always a status quo. It’s merely the place where a person says, “Well, that’s enough. I’ll settle for what I have. I’ll stop here.”

Sooner or later, this leads to boredom, frustration, problems, and conflict. It leads to a decline.

Imagination, which knows no bounds, is the source for the most adventurous explorations. It can have great impact on the material world, of course, but one mustn’t therefore conclude it is composed of matter or energy. Imagination is non-material. To think otherwise winds you up in using some version of physics to depict imagination—and then you are imposing limits on it. This is an error. Imagination doesn’t obey any laws of physics.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we’ve flattered reality enough. It doesn’t need any more. Imagination creates new realities.

You can create the same thing over and over, and eventually you’ll be about as alive as a table. Inject imagination into the mix, and everything suddenly changes. You can steer that boat anywhere you want to.

The lowest common denominator of consensus implies an absence of imagination. Everyone agrees; everyone is bored; everyone is obedient. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are massive floods of unique individual creation, and then that sought-after thing called abundance is as natural as the sun rising in the morning.

Sitting around in a cosmic bus station waiting for reality is what reality is. Everything else is imagination.

There are those who believe life is a museum. You walk through the rooms, find one painting, stroll into it and take up permanent residence. But the museum is endless. If you were a painter, you’d never decide to live inside one of your canvases forever. You’d keep on painting.

The relentless and obsessive search for all those things on which we can agree is a confession of bankruptcy.

When we re-learn to live through and by imagination, we enter and invent new space and time.

With imagination, one can solve a problem. More importantly, one can skip ahead of the problem and render it null and void.

Imagination isn’t a system. It might invent systems, but it is non-material. It’s a capacity. It feels no compulsion to imitate reality. It makes realities. Its scope is limited only by a person’s imagining of how far imagination can go.

The human race is obsessed by the question: what exists? It appears to be a far easier question than: what do you want to create? This comparison explains why civilizations decline.

Imagination is a path. Walking on that path long enough, you find answers to all the questions you’ve ever asked, as an incidental side effect of the journey. You also find power that most people only dream of.

Jon Rappoport
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at http://ift.tt/KQeBZA

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Skyscraper Index Goes Global

If the Barclays Skyscraper Index, which posits bursts of skyscraper construction are a harbinger of great economic collapse and market crashes, is accurate, then the world is in for a, well, world of pain. And nowhere more so than in China. As Skyscraper Center reports, 2014 saw an all-time high record 97 buildings of 200 meters or more completed with an increasing shift towards Asia (with a stunning 76% of all tall-building construction). For the seventh year in a row, China completed the most (58) skyscrapers… mal-investment boom much?

 

For the 8th year in a row, North America saw its share of the tallest skyscrapers in the world fall…

 

With China dominant…

 

As yet another chart represnting consumption and credit goes exponential…

 

And here is the dominance of Asia in 2014's builds…

 

Which is why if the Barclays Skysraper Index is indeed correct, then China – ignoring all other sirens of an imminent credit bubble implosion – better watch out below.

 

And the skyscraper-fest has gone fully global in 2015

Source: Skyscraper Center




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The Center's Got To Give

Submitted by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,

I was thinking about something along the lines of The Center Cannot Hold and Something’s Got To Give earlier, but then I thought there’s no way I haven’t used those titles before. And then it occurred to me that The Automatic Earth started 7 years ago this month. Just looked it up, it was January 22, 2008. Party next week!

Of course Nicole and I had been writing before that on the Oil Drum, who then didn’t want us to write about finance. They claimed we didn’t have the – academic, they were big on academic – credentials, as if that would ever stop me. Economists, the only people with the ‘proper’ credentials, are the last ones anyone should listen to, they engage in goal-seeked analysis only (no worries, Steve, you’re still no. 1 in our blogroll).

So we started The Automatic Earth, where we could write about what we wanted and thought needed to be addressed. In 2005 it may not have seemed important to the energy crowd, but they’ve all since seen that what we insisted on talking about back then was indeed a big event. 2007 brought Bear Stearns, and 2008 gave us Lehman. Not a minor trifle to write about in 2005. Plus, that means we’ve been doing this for 10 years already. No minor trifle either.

Meanwhile, peak oil has moved way back in the line of pressing events, the Oil Drum went so far south it’s out of sight and shale oil has just about everyone believing the peak oil theory was wrong all along. It wasn’t, not for conventional oil, which was all it addressed to begin with, but so things go. The financial casino trumped energy. But now those days seem over.

In January 2012, we were forced to move again, away from the Blogger platform, where the hacking and heckling and spamming had taken on absurd forms, from which Google refused to offer us protection. We made the mistake to move to Joomla, and it took a while to change – again – to WordPress, where we are now.

That last move cost us a lot of readers and – subscription – donors, something we’re still recuperating from today. It makes the work a lot harder, as Nicole’s long absences are testimony to. But that won’t end The Automatic Earth, and at the same time, that’s enough history. In the end, there’s nothing but forward. Best rock ‘n roll line ever, hands down: I Don’t Care About History, ‘Cause That’s Not Where I Wanna Be.

I was thinking today about Yeats’ The Center Cannot Hold when I saw European stock exchanges vs oil prices, and I wondered; are you sure about this, guys? France’s CAC40 and Germany’s DAX were up about 1.5% today, Greece even over 3%. While Europe’s Brent oil standard fell twice as fast as America’s West Texas Intermediate, diminishing the ‘normal’ $5 gap between the two to 50 cents or so. And stocks rise?

There is no way one can keep falling while the other rises. The Center Cannot Hold. I see stories about Texas homebuilders getting hit by the oil price drop, and it’s still very early innings. Sure, the price of oil will go up again at some point, but it’s the very reason it will that we should fear most, whatever it turns out to be.

It could be a war, proxy or not, it could be large scale lay-offs and defaults in the US shale patch, it could be severe civil unrest in one or more OPEC nations. None bode well for us, for the west, for its citizens. And if none of these things happen over the next year, oil prices won’t perform a Lazarus act. Or a phoenix.

That shouldn’t be all that much of a surprise. We’ve been living in cloud cuckoo land ever since the financial crisis we said back in 2005 would come, materialized. We live in a world of spin and propaganda and embellished numbers , and we’ve come to see them as a new normal. It’s the 55% drop of price of oil that is the first sign that central banks don’t control the universe, or the world, or even our own lives.

But, judging by those European exchanges, we’re still not listening, or keeping an eye out. We see signals, but we don’t recognize them, we don’t know what they mean. Like this little tidbit from CNBC:

Here’s Why Oil Is Such A Problem For Corporate Earnings

On December 1st, analysts anticipated that Energy earnings for Q1 2015 would decline 13.8% compared to Q1 2014, according to S&P Capital IQ. As of Monday, analysts expected Energy earnings for Q1 2015 to decline 41.0%. Think about that: in 5 weeks, earnings expectations for the entire Energy group have gone from down 13.8% to down 41.0%.

 

Q1 earnings for the Energy sector were cut by $7.7 billion from December 1 through today. The S&P 500 as a whole saw a cut of $9.1 billion during the same period. So Energy is $7.7 billion/$9.1 billion = 84% of the decline in the dollar value of the earnings decline we have seen in the past five weeks. See why the market is so focused on oil for the moment?

Methinks the market is not focused nearly enough on oil. Yet. Though numbers like that should be cause for pause. Especially combined with the knowledge that most other numbers, GDP, jobs, you name them, are nothing but shrewd spin jobs. And, lest we forget, that the Fed no longer supplies free lunch. That the Fed has a plan. A plan that will benefit its owner/member banks, not you and me.

In all likelihood, the oil mayhem will start blowing up in proxy territory, perhaps Turkmenistan, perceived as a possible wound to Putin, perhaps Bahrain, where the Saudis have been interfering militarily for quite some time.

Thing is, that whole line about how lower oil prices were going to be a boost for our economies was ignorant from the start. And there’s still plenty people believing just that. That may explain those EU stock exchange gains. That sort of thing all comes from people who don’t understand to what extent oil is pivotal to our societies.

That we would be lost without it. And that dropping its price by 55% and counting will make the machine run a lot less efficiently. Think of what you pay for oil and gas as the grease that keeps the machine running. Not the product itself, but what you pay for it. We just took away a lot of grease. And you know what that does to a machine. When oil drops, so do many people’s wages, and jobs. And then businesses start to close. And we enter deflation. And more businesses close. And more jobs are lost, and more wages squeezed. Ergo: more deflation.

It’s not yet too late, but ask yourself: can the machine run for, like, another year with this diminished amount of grease? Or with even less, what if oil falls to $40, or even $30? Bad for Texas, devastating for Alaska and North Dakota, and terrible for many Middle Eastern nations that have so far been our friends and allies (even if they don’t exactly espouse the ‘values’ we so proudly proclaimed at the #JeSuisCharlie promo events). What if they turn on us? The way ISIS did?

But that’s not our biggest, or most immediate, concern. We’re not in 2008 anymore, when an oil price drop actually helped us crawl out of a tight spot. We’re $50 trillion down the road, and there won’t be another $50 trillion, or another road. For all intents and purposes, we are the center today, and we cannot hold this way.




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BlackBerry Shares Crash Back To Earth After Company Denies Samsung Rumor

In October, BBRY shares spiked (and dumped) on rumors that Lenovo had made an offer. Today, after a detailed report from Reuters explained that Samsung executives had offered to takeover the troubled phone-maker (or whatever they call themselves nowadays) and the stocks spiked up nearly 40% – perfectly running stopw through the mid-Nov highs and squeezing shorts out of the market… and now – after hours – BlackBerry issues a statement denying the whole thing… rigged much?

 

  • 1543ET – *BLACKBERRY RECENTLY APPROACHED BY SAMSUNG ON TAKEOVER: REUTERS
  • 1543ET – *SAMSUNG PROPOSED PAYING $13.35-$15.49/SHR FOR BBRY: REUTERS

As Reuters reported,

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) recently approached BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY.O) (BB.TO) about buying the smartphone maker for as much as $7.5 billion in a play for its patent portfolio, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents seen by Reuters.

 

South Korea’s Samsung proposed an initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, representing a premium of 38 percent to 60 percent over BlackBerry’s current trading price, the source said.

 

Executives from the two companies, which are working with advisers, met last week to discuss a potential transaction, the source said, asking not to be identified because the conversations are private.

*  *  *

And then… at 1730ET

BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY)(TSX: BB) (“BlackBerry”) is aware of certain press reports published today with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further.

  • *BLACKBERRY AWARE OF REPORTS ON POSSIBLE OFFER BY SAMSUNG
  • *BLACKBERRY NOT IN TALKS WITH SAMSUNG

 

 

* * * Seems like basically every two months someone uses some pseudo-relevant media outlet to pump and dump BBRY shares… paging the SEC?




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Oil Collapses and Copper Crashes 8% in Day – Great Recession Cometh?

Oil Collapses and Copper Crashes 8% This Morning – Great Recession Deepens
Oil prices fell another 1 per cent this morning  and continue their collapse – down 57% in just over 6 months. Copper crashed 8% on the London Metal Exchange, plunging to 5 and a half year lows.


Doctor Copper –  Usually a good indicator for economic trends and markets via Marketwatch

Oil fell to fresh six-year lows and has fallen almost 60 per cent since June 30, 2014 to levels last seen in early 2009 after the 2008 crash (see chart).

February Brent crude dropped another 79 cents to $45.80 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate crude for was at $45.34, down 55 cents. Copper for delivery in three months on the LME dropped as much as 8.7 percent to $5,353.25 a metric ton, the lowest intraday price since July 2009. Nickel slid 4.6 percent and lead fell 3.8 percent to the lowest in more than two years.


NYMEX Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) – 1985 to January 14, 2015 (Thomson Reuters)

Commodities came under further pressure after the World Bank cut its forecasts for global growth,
reinforcing worries of a gloomy economic outlook.

There has been much speculation in recent months as to the causes of oil’s dramatic crash in price. Some analysts have suggested that Saudi Arabia is attempting to put the U.S. shale oil industry out of business in order to keep the U.S. dependent on Saudi oil exports. Others suggest that prices were forced down by the Gulf states and the U.S. in order to damage Russia’s exports and its economy.


Copper Comex Spot HG Index – 1997 to January 14, 2015 (Thomson Reuters)

These may be factors but it is becoming increasingly clear that if they are, they are secondary factors to the major trend which is falling demand and a slowdown in the global economy – this is most pronounced in China, in Japan and in Europe.

We already have witnessed the customary New Year’s hype from many banks and governments that this year will finally be the year when economies come off the life-support of ultra low interest rates – even as they cheer-lead the ECB’s expected foray into QE and euro money printing.

However, the fact is that the omens for the economy this year are far from good. The most telling sign is not specifically that oil prices are collapsing but that it is happening in conjunction with the most widely used industrial metal – copper.

Copper fell over 8 per cent today, after a 1.3 per cent fall yesterday hitting its lowest level in nearly five years on the back of an 18% decline last year.

China has been the major user of the metal in recent years as its construction industry boomed. The Chinese housing and property market is now slowing down with the potential for a staggering collapse as dozens of “ghost cities” – brand new cities financed by reckless banks with nobody to occupy them – unwind.

The effects of such would be harsh on metal and commodity exporting countries, particularly those exposed to China like Australia and Brazil.

While copper has seen the most notable declines, other industrial metals are also faring poorly. According to Bloomberg, “A gauge of the six main industrial metals has declined 9.3 percent in the past 12 months to the lowest since June 7, 2010.”

Clearly global industrial production is slowing down.

When oil price declines are viewed against this backdrop a more worrying picture emerges. Oil prices are now at almost six-year lows and this despite record imports of oil by China.

The Financial Times report that trade data showed “China imported 30.37m tonnes of crude in December, up 19.5 per cent month-on-month.”

In only six months oil has lost 60% of it’s value. This may have been partly exacerbated by strategic maneuvering by various players but, by any standard, such a decline must be viewed with alarm.

The recent plunge in commodity prices and especially copper should also be viewed with alarm. It is said that copper should be known as Doctor Copper as the metal is said to have a PhD in Economics and the ability to predict future economic growth or a lack thereof.

Are we on the verge of a global depression?

Only, time will tell. The inability of central banks to stoke inflation and sustainable economic growth, statistics from Europe suggesting deflation, and stubborn and rising unemployment across the western world would suggest that it is a real possibility.

At the very least, the ‘great recession’ seems likely to continue. A serious recession or depression will likely collapse the already fragile banking system, especially in Europe, and the savings of ordinary people and companies will become exposed to bail-ins.

As ever, there are so many actors, factors and potential outcomes, it is unwise to predict exact outcomes. All we can be sure of is that the outlook is uncertain and unfortunately negative and we should prepare accordingly.

From a financial perspective, now is the time to be risk averse and diversify and favour safe haven assets such as safer forms of cash, bonds, hard assets and of course physical gold.


MARKET UPDATE
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,228.75, EUR 1,044.99 and GBP 808.76 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,239.00, EUR 1,049.91 and GBP 820.97 per ounce.

Spot gold fell $3.40 or 0.28% to $1,230.40 per ounce yesterday and silver climbed $0.44 or 2.66%  to $17.01 per ounce.


Gold in Euros – 2 Years (Thomson Reuters)

Gold prices are little changed near $1,230 early in late trading in London, after hitting a 12-week high of $1,243.60 in the previous session.

Spot gold in Singapore fell marginally as demand in China was muted and there were COMEX resting offers. Intraday stops were triggered pushing gold lower before quickly rebounding back to $1,230 per ounce, where gold remains.

The euro was pinned near nine-year lows today and euro gold remained near EUR 1,050 per ounce on investor concerns  regarding ‘Gexit’ and the possibility of ECB QE. The metal rose to  EUR 1,054.74 per ounce yesterday, its strongest since September 2013.

Gold in euros remained just short of its highest level since September 2013 after Greek Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said that Greece could exit the currency bloc as the opposition party holds a slim lead heading into the election on January 25th.

Sentiment remains poor – ETF gold bullion holdings slipped 3.2 metric tons to 1,595.9 tons yesterday, the lowest since April 2009.

On the wider markets , concerns about the global economy saw Asian equities lower and European stocks are down, mirroring a slump in copper and oil prices after the World Bank cut its global growth forecast for this year.

Benchmark Brent crude oil futures are 1.4% lower, extending their recent sharp slide as commodities were sold off (see above).

Silver is down 2 per cent after a near 3 percent jump yesterday. Platinum lost 0.6 percent to $1,233.13 an ounce and palladium dropped 2.6 percent, to reach $785.80 an ounce.

Gold remains the most resilient of the metals and indeed the commodities and is down just 0.15% despite its recent strong gains and the losses in stocks markets and the sharp losses seen in commodity markets.


REVIEW of 2014 – Gold Second Best Currency, +13% in EUR, +6% GBP

OUTLOOK 2015 – Uncertainty, Volatility, Possible Reset – DIVERSIFY

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