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R.T.M. ~ Frontrunning ~ 3rd Ed., Vol.16 ~ April 17th - 21st

Discussion in 'Coffee Shack (Daily News/Economy)' started by searcher, Apr 16, 2017.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Gold Seeker Closing Report: Gold and Silver Fall Almost 1%
    By: Chris Mullen, Gold-Seeker.com
    Gold dropped $14.60 to $1275.50 in midmorning New York trade before it edged back higher at times, but it still ended with a loss of 0.84%. Silver slipped to as low as $18.099 and ended with a loss of 0.98%.
     
  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Europe And S&P Futures Higher, Dollar Drops As OPEC Talks Oil Up

    [​IMG]
    by Tyler Durden
    Apr 20, 2017 6:44 AM


    European stocks rose amid earnings beats, offsetting weakness in the energy sector and easing investor concerns ahead of the weekend’s French election. Asian shares and U.S. futures also rise. The dollar weakens against the euro and most crosses, while crude oil rebounds following renewed OPEC chatter of a production cut, this time with Saudi Arabia seemingly onboard.

    World stocks eked out small gains on Thursday, with the MSCI's world stock index up 0.13 percent, as investors resisted risky bets ahead of the first round of the French presidential election over the weekend. Oil prices, which fell sharply on Wednesday on supply news, regained some losses after Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said that OPEC is likely to reach an agreement to extend the group’s production cuts into the second half of 2017. Overall, markets have stuck to familiar trading ranges buffeted by concern over political risks and continued tensions over North Korea.

    What happened overnight? Here is a 30 second summary from JPM:

    Stocks were mixed in Asia while equities in Europe have a bid and US futures are bouncing too. On the macro front, nothing major occurred (although there are a few interesting headlines, esp. the ones concerning easier China capital controls). The main focus was on earnings w/a slew of reports out of both the US and Europe (on balance earnings over the last 12-18 hours were positive although no single report is altering the broader market narrative). There were a bunch of articles talking about the potential for a US gov’t shutdown (which still seems unlikely). Finally, Saudi Arabia sounds confident in extending the OPEC deal although maybe by less than 6 months.

    Looking at markets, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index fluctuated before advancing 0.1%, helped by a rally in food producers after Unilever NV and Nestle SA results beat estimates. It has been a pretty busy morning of Eurozone earnings w/a bunch of large reports (ABB, Man Group, Nestle, Pernod Ricard, Publicis, Rio Tinto, Schneider Electric, Unilever, and more). Pretty much all the large caps are rallying in Europe after reporting. Man Group, Schneider Electric, and Publicis are some of the top stocks in the SXXP following their earnings. Sawai Pharmaceutical said on Thursday it would buy U.S. generic drug maker Upsher-Smith Laboratories for $1.05B (per Reuters). VIRT has reached a deal to buy KCG and an announcement is likely Thurs; VIRT will pay $20/shr. (per Bloomberg and CNBC).

    In Asian trading, Japanese stocks failed to hold on to slim gains and closed flat on the day. S&P 500 futures rose 0.3% after the cash market slid 0.2% on Wednesday.

    Quoted by Reuters, Fan Cheuk Wan, head of investment strategy and advisory, Asia, at HSBC Private Banking said that "given the binary risk of the French presidential elections and geopolitical concerns over North Korea, investors are staying on the sidelines."

    Investors are facing a stern test of nerves on Sunday where polling ahead of the first round of the French elections suggests that any two candidates can make it into the second round.

    [​IMG]

    Millions of French voters remain undecided, making this the least predictable vote in France in decades, and raising fears of a potential surprise result that could spread turmoil in markets. As Reuters notes, however, France's borrowing costs nudged down on Thursday before a bond auction that is likely to be watched more closely than usual. There was some optimism for a market-friendly "status quo" outcome when a Harris Interactive-France Televisions poll show Macron's lead rising by 1 point to 25% over Le Pen at 22%, which in turn sent the EUR to session highs.

    [​IMG]

    However, a subsequent poll from OpinionWay showed that Macron's lead remained unchanged at 23%, just 1 point above Le Pen at 22% and Fillon and Melenchon both within poll error distance.

    Additionally, ongoing tensions around North Korea and Syria ratchet up market risks. U.S. President Donald Trump’s travails trying to implement his fiscal agenda are also clouding the growth picture, while the Federal Reserve’s plan for monetary tightening looks increasingly unsure. “This political uncertainty’s not going away for a while,” said Ben Kumar, a London-based investment manager at Seven Investment Management.“Markets are trying to get their heads around whether that will actually affect company earnings. For the first part of this year the message was no, it doesn’t matter, earnings upgrades came through in Europe and the U.S.”

    Indeed, a run of disappointing U.S. economic data and questions about whether the Trump administration can push through tax cuts have dented some of the enthusiasm for risky assets in recent weeks. A sharp dip to three-week lows in oil prices overnight was the latest sign of an unwind in the global reflation trade. Crude oil clawed back some of the loss but concerns about a supply glut capped the rebound.

    "Rising U.S. oil inventory data is now starting to impact the market's aggressive long position in crude," said analysts at Morgan Stanley in a note to clients.

    Following the abovementioned Saudi comments on a potential deal extension, Brent crude futures were up 0.5% to $53.22 a barrel after sliding more than 3 percent in the previous session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 were up 0.4%.

    In currency markets, the euro rose 0.4 percent to a three-week high of $1.0748 against the dollar. The greenback was 0.2 percent weaker against a basket of major currencies

    The greenback slipped against most peers. Commenting on the dollar slide, SocGen's Kit Juckes writes that "the Fed's biggest challenge may be that inflation expectations are still falling, steadily de-coupling from its 2% target. It's hard to see how the Fed can remain hawkish against a backdrop of falling inflation expectations and hard, in the process, to see the dollar getting more than a nominal bounce until there are clearer signs of economic robustness."

    USD/JPY has been faithfully following real yields, and does look increasingly like a buy closer to 105. AUD/JPY may come back into its own at around the same time. We just can't see the justification for US real yields to fall all that much further, and stability around here may be all that is needed to get USD/JPY trending back up within the current trading range.

    The bigger dollar story remains against the euro. French election polls continue to show the top four candidates' poll rankings bunching around 19-23%, which will keep markets nervous, though the only major risk to the market is that Le Pen and Mélenchon make the second round together - something that is getting slightly less likely as M. Mélenchon's poll ranking fails to break above 20%.

    It is a quiet day in the US where economic data include initial jobless claims. Philip Morris, Verizon are among companies scheduled to publish results. On the DC docket, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence continues his Asia-Pacific trip with a stop in Jakarta.

    Bulletin Headline summary from RanSquawk
    • Indecisive trade across the main European indices this morning with the downside in the energy sector counterbalanced by the gains in consumer staples
    • Modest moves across the currency spectrum in G10 this morning, with modest gains for the EUR, GBP and AUD against the USD as yields remain suppressed
    • Looking ahead, highlights include US weekly jobs, Philly Fed, Fed's Powell, Rosengren and BoE's Carney
    Global Market Wrap
    • US futures are up 6-7 points
    • Asia: Japan Nikkei -0.01%, Japan TOPIX +0.09%, China +0.04%, Hong Kong +0.97%, KOSPI +0.50%, Taiwan -0.08%, Australia +0.30%
    • Stoxx 600, +0.11%. EuroStoxx 50 +0.73%, FTSE -0.05%, DAX +0.27%, CAC +1.10%, Italy +0.31%, Spain +0.84%
    • USD (DXY) down 0.27%, EUR up 0.48%, GBP up 0.38%, JPY down 0.17%, CNY Onshore up 0.07%, CNH Offshore up 0.06%, AUD up 0.27%
    • VIX down 4.22% to 14.3
    • Gold down 0.10% to $1,278.95
    • Silver up 0.04% to $18.17
    • Copper up 0.63% to $256.50
    • WTI Crude up 0.69% to $50.79
    • Brent Crude up 0.74% to $53.32
    • Natural Gas up 0.31% to $3.20
    • Corn up 0.48% to $3.70/bu
    • Wheat up 0.23% to $4.36/bu
    • Treasuries 2yr yields are up ~0.4bps at 1.181%, 10yr yields are up ~1.1bps at 2.225% and 30yr yields are up ~0.6bps at 2.879%
    • Japan 10yr yields 0.003%, up ~0.8bps on the day
    • France 10yr yields 0.966%, up ~2.3bps on the day
    • Italy 10yr yields 2.288%, up ~3.1bps on the day
    • Spain 10yr yields 1.687%, up ~3.8bps on the day
    • Germany 10yr yields 0.234%, up ~3.4bps on the day
    Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
    • Fischer Says Foreign Economies Better Able to Handle Fed Hikes
    • Sky Expands Partnership With HBO to Counter Netflix on Drama
    • Nestle, Unilever Price Increases Stoke Food Industry Optimism
    • Saudi Arabia Says Some Oil Producers Reach Deal to Extend Cuts
    • Russia Says Extension of OPEC Oil Deal Still Under Discussion
    • General Motors Ceases Venezuela Operations After Assets Seized
    • Amazon Confirms Australia Opening, Seeks Marketplace Merchants
    • Enbridge Announces 27% Apportionment on Line 4/67 in May
    • Encana Sees Montney Asset Producing 70k Barrels a Day by 2019
    • American Air to Combine Flight Attendant Operations in Oct. 2018
    • AbbVie Veliparib Phase 3 Studies Didn’t Meet Primary Endpoints
    • Deere Mentioned Cautiously by Grant’s Interest Rate Observer
    • Microsoft in Talks to Buy Cloudyn for $50m-$70m: Calcalist
    • Buffett May Have Voted Shares to Back Wells Fargo Board: Reuters
    • Apple to Start Trial Assembly of iPhones Starting Next Month: ET
    • Virtu Financial to Buy KCG Holdings for $20/Share Cash: CNBC
    Asia equity markets traded mostly higher after shrugging off the weak lead from Wall Street, where weakness in the energy complex weighed on sentiment. ASX 200 (+0.2%) traded in the green as strength in financials upstaged losses in commodity related sectors, while Nikkei 225 (flat) was initally led higher by Toshiba after interest surrounding its chip business gave shares a 4% boost, with strong Japanese trade data also underpinning exporter sentiment, before losing steam heading into the close. In China, Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) and Hang Seng (+0.9%) initially conformed to the improved tone amid reports of tax cuts and after the PBoC upped its liquidity injections, although the mainland bourse later failed to sustain the momentum. Finally, 10yr JGBs traded lower amid the increased risk appetite in the region, although prices were supported off the lows following a firm 20yr JGB auction in which the b/c rose to its highest since 2014. PBoC injected CNY 70bIn in 7-day reverse repos, CNY 20bIn in 14-day reverse repos and CNY 10bIn in 28-day reverse repos.

    Top Asian News
    • Hon Hai Eyes Amazon, Dell Roles in Toshiba Chip Bid: Mainichi
    • Abu Dhabi’s Taqa Seeking to Sell Some Overseas Energy Assets
    • China’s New Market Anomaly: Stocks Refuse to Drop More Than 1%
    • The Indian Bank Bonds Everyone Wants. If Someone Would Sell
    • Sun Hung Kai & Co. Said to Revisit Finance Unit IPO in Hong Kong
    • Rainforest Wood Breaches Tokyo Green Olympic Vow, Activists Say
    • Sawai to Buy U.S. Generic Drug Business for $1 Billion
    • Macquarie Buys U.K. Green Investment Bank for $3 Billion
    European bourses have seen modest upside this morning indices this morning with the downside in the energy sector counterbalanced by the gains in consumer staples. More focus has been on the latest slew of financial results as European earning season cranks up a notch, with the likes of Unilever and Nestle higher this morning after they announced better than expected figures. WTI and Brent crude futures have clawed back some of yesterday's sharp losses, this comes amid talk from the Saudi Energy Minister Al-Falih who stated that a preliminary agreement (but still not including all producers) has been reached, although did highlight that an extension may not necessarily be another 6-months but instead an additional 3-months. Softness in EGBs had been partially attributed to the spate of supply this morning with Spain and France coming to market, all of which was relatively well digested by the market despite some concerns over French paper ahead of this weekend's election. Elsewhere, German paper has been showing somewhat of a bear steepening bias with a narrowing in the FR/GE 10yr spread to 65.9bps as markets begin to position ahead of the aforementioned event.

    Top European News
    • ECB Officials Inch Toward the Day They Discuss Stimulus Exit
    • ABB Sees Signs of Markets Stabilizing as Smaller Orders Advance
    • Pandora Rebounds as Transparency Issues Addressed, Guidance Kept
    • BioMerieux Shares Surge on First-Quarter Sales Increase of 16%
    • Schneider Quarterly Sales Rise Amid Push for Solar Business
    • Croat Opposition to Seek FinMin Maric’s Ouster on Agrokor: Grbin
    • Euro Option Traders Focus More on First Round France Vote Risks
    In currencies, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2 percent after rising 0.5 percent Wednesday. The pound jumped 0.5 percent to $1.2835 and the euro climbed 0.5 percent to $1.0766. The yen advanced 0.2 percent to 109.02 per dollar, following a 0.4 percent decline on Wednesday. Modest moves across the currency spectrum in G10 this morning, with modest gains for the EUR, GBP and AUD against the USD as yields remain suppressed. One would expect a little more pressure on the EUR spot rate given the election risk over the weekend, with the French polls — which garner little confidence in light of the past year — still showing a very tight race. EUR/USD now pushing for new highs towards 1.0800, but we expect sellers to gain the upper hand as we get close to the figure. Cable looks to be following to a modest degree, but is hampered by tentative gains seen in EUR/GBP. The cross rate found support after the stab through 0.8333 earlier in the week — this a level we always have to watch out for (inverse rate 1.2000), as it generates a large amount of hedging activity from UK corporates. The fundamental backdrop will dictate at some stage, but amid the air of Brexit uncertainty, we have to assume this as a key support level in the interim.

    In commodities, West Texas Intermediate oil increased 0.9 percent to $50.87 a barrel, after tumbling 3.8 percent Wednesday when a report showed U.S. gasoline supplies increased for the first time since February, while crude output keeps rising. Gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,278.79 an ounce. Focus in the commodity markets back on Oil price once again as leading OPEC members crank up the rhetoric on looking to extend the output cuts into H2. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have both commented positively on the intent continue production cuts for another 6 months, and this has given WTI a modest boost, having reclaimed USD51.00 but somewhat cautiously as yet. Yesterday's heavy downturn stopped short of the USD50.00 mark, but there is still very little on the horizon to suggest a test of USD55.00 higher up. Precious metals look to be taking their feed off risk rather than Treasuries at moment, with Gold stabilising around USD1280 as Silver has edged back towards USD18.10-15. Base metals continue to meander inside familiar ranges, and taking the lead off Copper which is pushing further up away from the earlier base ahead of USD2.50. Zinc is the outperformer on the day.

    Looking at the day ahead, data due out includes initial jobless claims, Philly Fed business outlook and conference board’s leading index. Away from the data, the Fed’s Powell is due to speak this afternoon at 8am BST while the BoE’s Carney speaks at two separate events in the early evening. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is also due to speak. In terms of earnings, 21 S&P 500 companies are pencilled in to report including Verizon (prior to the open) and Visa (after the close).

    US Event Calendar
    • 8:00am: Fed’s Powell Speaks on Economic Growth And Capital Markets
    • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 240,000, prior 234,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.02m, prior 2.03m
    • 8:30am: Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook, est. 25.5, prior 32.8
    • 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, prior 51; Bloomberg Economic Expectations, prior 54
    • 10am: Leading Index, est. 0.2%, prior 0.6%
    DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

    A couple of weeks ago we published a note illustrating that 2017 has been the least volatile year on record for credit which has been a surprise to us. Since this point volatility outside of credit has picked up notably, especially in VSTOXX. This morning we've published a short Credit Bites entitled "Credit now expensive vs. Volatility" where we look at the close historical relationship between credit spreads and vol and how credit looks a little more expensive now given the recent moves. Obviously the vol could be short lived and credit illiquid enough that trading in and out might not be worth the costs. However the move does have an impact on valuation which is worth highlighting and overall the results in the note are consistent with our general views that IG should outperform HY on a relative basis from here.

    Over in markets it had looked like we’d be in for a relatively calm session yesterday after European equities inched higher (Stoxx 600 +0.24%) and the surge in the VSTOXX abated with the index edging just off its highs to close below 25 again. However things rolled over after Europe went home. The S&P 500 initially rose +0.44% helped by some better than expected earnings from Morgan Stanley which sent shares up 2%. However a sharp leg lower for Oil prices saw the energy sector tumble which in turn sent the S&P 500 to a -0.17% loss by the end of play while the VIX edged back up over 3% to 14.93. The energy sector was down -1.43% alone with WTI plunging -3.76% to $50.44/bbl for its biggest one-day loss since March 8th. The move came after the latest EIA data revealed an unexpected increase in US gasoline stockpiles last week and in fact the first climb in two months.

    Unsurprisingly oil and commodity sensitive currencies felt the brunt of that selloff with the likes of the Norwegian Krone (-0.80%), Canadian Dollar (-0.78%), Mexican Peso (-1.28%) and Brazilian Real (-1.36%) amongst the biggest underperformers. Sterling (-0.50%) also gave back some of Tuesday’s big rally but is still up some +1.70% or so since the snap election announcement. It’s worth noting that yesterday, as expected, the UK Parliament passed the necessary approval to hold the June 8th election. Meanwhile, despite the slide for oil yesterday bond yields across most core markets actually ticked higher. 10y Treasury yields finished back above 2.200% again (at 2.215%) after climbing 4.6bps while similar maturity Bund yields finished an equal amount higher at 0.199%. A heavy day for corporate issuance with $10bn of bank IG issuance yesterday was cited as a factor while comments from various ECB speakers were also reasonably upbeat. ECB Governing Council member Hansson said that growth rates in Europe are “probably higher than potential” and that the “output gap is closing”. Peter Praet said after this that he doesn’t “personally see risks to the downside anymore”.

    Meanwhile over at the Fed there was some focus on comments from Rosengren (non-voter) and Fischer. The former told his audience that the Fed’s balance sheet reduction could begin “relatively soon” and that the “tightening of short term interest rates should not need to be much different than it would be in the absence of shrinking the balance sheet”. His compatriot at the Fed, Vice-Chair Fischer, said “I expect that the Fed’s removal of accommodation will be driven by a continued expansion of the US economy” while also adding that “foreign output expansions appear more entrenched and downside risks to those economies appear noticeably smaller than in recent years”.

    Staying with the Fed, it’s worth highlighting our economists’ latest global economics perspectives piece published yesterday titled “global inflation risks rising”. They note that the market has marked down inflation expectations noticeably over the years to come with gridlock in Washington and some very recent declines in inflation. They believe that this revision is misguided. In their view inflation risks in the US have shifted significantly to the upside, and the move from deflation risk to rising inflation elsewhere around the globe has been impressive.

    This morning in Asia, despite the energy sector also coming under pressure most major bourses are actually posting modest gains this morning. The Nikkei (+0.31%), Hang Seng (+0.38%), Shanghai Comp (+0.18%), Kospi (+0.35%) and ASX (+0.22%) are amongst those currently up, while US equity index futures are also showing small gains overnight. The overnight data has been supportive. In Japan exports were reported as rising +12.0% yoy in March (vs. +6.2% expected) and up from +11.3% in February. A big jump in imports did however see the trade surplus shrink slightly. Meanwhile in NZ headline CPI came in at a higher than expected +1.0% qoq (vs. +0.8% expected) in Q1. Our economists also noted that the core measure was robust.

    Moving on. There wasn’t much to report at all on the data front yesterday. In Europe we got confirmation of the final March CPI prints with headline growth confirmed at +0.8% mom and +1.5% yoy and the core confirmed at +0.7% - the latter resulting in a two-tenths of a percent decline from the February reading. There wasn’t any data in the US although we did get the Fed’s Beige Book. It reported that economic activity increased in each of the twelve Fed reserve districts between mid-February and the end of March, with the pace of expansion said to be equally split between “modest and moderate”. Interestingly the labour market was described as remaining “tight, and employers in most districts had more difficulty filling low-skilled positions”.

    Before we look at today’s calendar, a quick mention that this morning our European equity strategy team have published a note on European vs. US equities. They note that with US equities trading at historically elevated valuation levels, investors have turned increasingly positive on the outlook for European versus US equities. However, our European equity strategist Sebastian Raedler argues that the three conditions that are typically required for European equities to outperform are not in place. First, Europe tends to outperform only when Euro area GDP growth is above that in the US, but neither our economists nor consensus expects this to happen either this year or next. Secondly, the relative performance of Europe versus the US tracks the trajectory of relative EPS growth – and projections by our strategy teams in Europe and the US suggest the US will continue to benefit from premium EPS growth this year (13% versus 9%). Lastly, Europe has typically outperformed when the global composite PMI was above 55 (i.e. global GDP growth was strong, at around 4%), while our global economists’ growth projections suggest that it will ease back to around 53, from the current 53.6 (implying around 5% underperformance by Europe versus the US). Contact Sebastian.Raedler@db.com for the full report.

    Looking at the day ahead, this morning in Europe the only data due out is the Germany PPI reading for March. This afternoon we will also get the flash April consumer confidence reading for the Euro area while in the US the data due out includes initial jobless claims, Philly Fed business outlook and conference board’s leading index. Away from the data, the Fed’s Powell is due to speak this afternoon at 1pm BST while the BoE’s Carney speaks at two separate events in the early evening (the first at 4.30pm BST). US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is also due to speak. In terms of earnings, 21 S&P 500 companies are pencilled in to report including Verizon (prior to the open) and Visa (after the close).

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-20/europe-and-sp-futures-higher-dollar-drops-opec-talks-oil
     
  3. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Frontrunning: April 20

    [​IMG]
    by Tyler Durden
    Apr 20, 2017 7:59 AM

    • White House to risk shutdown as Trump searches for “win” (Politico)
    • Saudi Minister Wants OPEC Oil-Production Deal Extended, Perhaps for Less Than 6 Months (WSJ)
    • Russia denies Reuters report think tank drew up plan to sway U.S. election (Reuters)
    • Fed's Kaplan: Three rate rises this year 'still a good baseline' (Reuters)
    • Ex-Arconic CEO Sent Vague Threat to Hedge-Fund Boss (WSJ)
    • Can, kicked: IMF may fund Greek bailout with small amount, for one year (Reuters)
    • Hard Dose of Reality Hits Anti-Brexit Campaigners (BBG)
    • Egypt says air strikes kill Islamic State leaders in Sinai (Reuters)
    • Bose headphones spy on listeners: lawsuit (Reuters)
    • French Industrial Decline Fuels Le Pen’s Rise (WSJ)
    • China's Stocks Refuse to Drop More Than 1% (BBG)
    • China Shakes Up Regulators in Scramble for Stability (WSJ)
    • China sees higher risk of mass unemployment, pledges more support (Reuters)
    • A Quarter of Millennials Who Live at Home Don’t Work — or Study (BBG)
    • Man Group's Assets Rise to Record on Largest Inflows Since 2011 (BBG)
    • Putin Quietly Detaches Ukraine's Rebel Zones as U.S. Waffles (BBG)
    • House Speaker Ryan sees long battle over tax reform (Reuters)
    • Western Digital, Japan Investors in Toshiba Unit Sale Talks (BBG)
    • The Most Closed-Off Nordic Nation Is Yearning for Immigrants (BBG)
    • Housing Crunch Threatens Reno’s Tech Boom (WSJ)
    • White House sidewalk to be closed to public permanently (Reuters)
    • Macquarie to Boost U.K. Green Bank After $3 Billion Purchase (BBG)
    • The Biggest Time Suck at the Office Might Be Your Computer (BBG)

    Overnight Media Digest

    WSJ

    - The Trump administration worked Wednesday to quell an international furor and calm questions over its credibility after misstating by thousands of miles the location of a U.S. aircraft carrier officials had warned could be used to strike North Korea. http://on.wsj.com/2oRuVAx

    - Officials at the University of California at Berkeley canceled a scheduled appearance by Ann Coulter, the conservative commentator and Donald Trump supporter, citing safety concerns. http://on.wsj.com/2oRvaeV

    - U.S. Bancorp plans on May 1 to launch a premium card geared toward high spenders and millennials. This adds to the threats facing American Express Co in a card category where it was until recently unrivaled. http://on.wsj.com/2oRCuqU

    - The letter that cost Klaus Kleinfeld his job as chief executive of aerospace-parts maker Arconic Inc on Monday contained a vague threat toward the billionaire whose hedge fund had been campaigning for Mr. Kleinfeld's ouster. http://on.wsj.com/2oREorI

    - New Jersey Democratic U.S. Senator Cory Booker and Republican Governor Chris Christie again joined political forces on Wednesday to call for federal investment in the region's troubled transit system. http://on.wsj.com/2oRz87k


    FT

    - British groups are starting to be systematically shut out by Brussels from multibillion-euro contracts. European Commission's top officials have told staff to avoid "unnecessary additional complications" with Britain before 2019, according to an internal memo.

    - The owner of channels including Dave and Gold, UKTV said that Theresa May's decision for a snap general election could led to the television advertising market further deteriorating.

    - Theresa May's call for a snap general election on June 8 won overwhelming backing from MPs. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would try to overturn daunting electoral odds by picking some of the themes adopted by Donald Trump in the US presidential election last year.

    - The biggest star at Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel Bill O'Reilly is leaving the network after an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed many women. His departure was triggered by a New York Times investigation revealing that he and Fox News paid a combined $13 million to silence women who had complained of sexual harassment.


    NYT

    - Chinese authorities plan to question Apple Inc about video streaming services available over its app store within the country, in their latest move to intensify pressure on the American technology giant over the content it provides in the vast and crucial market. http://nyti.ms/2oRK8Sq

    - Exxon Mobil is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia to drill in the Black Sea in a venture with Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, a former State Department official said on Wednesday. http://nyti.ms/2oRILmq

    - The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Wednesday admitted that its oversight of Wells Fargo & Co was "untimely and ineffective." The report said the agency failed to spot clues that would have allowed it to connect the dots in one of the most brazen banking scandals of the recent past. http://nyti.ms/2oRCLKp

    - Bill O'Reilly's reign as the top-rated host in cable news came to an abrupt and embarrassing end on Wednesday as Fox News forced him out after the disclosure of a series of sexual harassment allegations against him and an internal investigation that turned up even more. http://nyti.ms/2oRHmwj


    Canada

    THE GLOBE AND MAIL

    ** China's envoy to Canada is calling for a rapid conclusion of exploratory free-trade talks so negotiators can quickly get down to work on a far-ranging trade agreement with "win-win results" for both countries. https://tgam.ca/2oNJ9E4

    ** Home Capital Group Inc and three of its current or former executives are being accused of making false and misleading statements to the public about the reasons the alternative mortgage lender had begun to extend fewer loans. https://tgam.ca/2oNOlbr

    NATIONAL POST

    ** Ontario is poised to announce sweeping measures to deal with its overheated Toronto housing market, with sources close to the situation saying a 15 per cent tax on non-residents buying in the region is at the top of the list. http://bit.ly/2oNU3d9

    ** The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled in favour of Bombardier Inc in its dispute with Metrolinx. http://bit.ly/2oNLT4y

    ** Joe Natale wants to create a culture that prioritizes customer service in his new role as chief executive officer of Rogers Communications Inc. http://bit.ly/2oNIAKP


    Britain

    The Times

    The head of High Speed Two told MPs that he and his executives had done no checks and had not monitored a former HS2 chief of staff at the centre of a conflict of interest fiasco with its key contractor on the 55 billion pound ($70.26 billion)London-Birmingham rail line. http://bit.ly/2ooHzGc

    The Guardian

    The government will not delay tackling rising electricity and gas bills that are hurting consumers because of Theresa May's decision to call a surprise general election for June 8, business secretary Greg Clark said. http://bit.ly/2otvAGu

    The government has agreed a 2.3 billion pound sale of the Green Investment Bank to the Australian bank Macquarie, according to sources close to the process. The privatisation of the bank was expected in January but signoff was delayed in the face of stiff political opposition and wrangling over the final price. http://bit.ly/2ooH535

    The Telegraph

    Communities secretary Sajid Javid has downplayed concerns that foreign investors are buying up swathes of London property as he promised government reforms to the housing market would continue despite the upcoming general election. http://bit.ly/2pE4bGA

    Warehouse property developer Segro Plc has so far this year signed new leasing deals worth twice as much as the same time last year, showing the demand for industrial property continues to hold up. http://bit.ly/2oQHtID

    Sky News

    A former owner of Boots the Chemist is weighing a $6 billion takeover bid for the U.S.-based parent company of Holland & Barrett, the high street health foods chain. KKR & Co is among a small number of potential bidders for NBTY - a vitamins and nutritional supplements manufacturer previously known as Nature's Bounty. http://bit.ly/2oWWeeO

    Workers at three BMW plants in the United Kingdom have started a 24-hour strike over proposed changes to pensions. http://bit.ly/2pT7WVf

    The Independent

    Tesco Plc has announced that it is selling its optician business to Vision Express, as it continues to slim down and focus on core operations in its home market. http://ind.pn/2omeR95

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-20/frontrunning-april-20
     
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    Asian Metals Market Update: Apr-20-2017
    By: Chintan Karnani, Insignia Consultants
    Lack of news resulted in gold and silver correcting yesterday which if it continues today will result in a mild sell off. Indian demand and Asian demand will be the key for gold and silver. Investment demand for gold and silver is expected to remain firm as long as they trade over $1258 and $1737.

    Gold and Silver Market Morning: April 20 2017 - Gold still building strength below $1,300!
    By: Julian D. W. Phillips, Gold/Silver Forecaster - Global Watch
    Shanghai continues to lead the way in the gold markets, barely changing its prices over the last two days, despite very heavy buying in New York into the U.S. based gold ETFs and the dollar weakening. We feel it is important to factor the current dominance of Shanghai’s pricing of gold over that of London and New York. In line with this, we expect Shanghai to exert an upward pull on New York and London’s prices for the rest of this week.
     
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    REALIST NEWS - The Greatest Bull Wedge Pattern in the History of the Gold Market?
    jsnip4



    Published on Apr 20, 2017
    Today's Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srn7Y...

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    REALIST NEWS - By 2020 Two-Thirds Of Wild Animals Will Have Been Wiped Out Over A 50 Year Period
    jsnip4



    Published on Apr 20, 2017
    Today's Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srn7Y...

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    REALIST NEWS - IMF Finds Over 20% Of US Corporations At Risk Of Default Should Rates Rise
    jsnip4



    Published on Apr 20, 2017
    Today's Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srn7Y...

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04...

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    Rogue Mornings - 420, Climate Deal Dilemma & Saudi Money (04/20/2017)
    ROGUE MONEY



    Streamed live 2 hours ago
    "V" and CJ discuss the origins of 420 day, raise the concerns over another potential policy flip of Trump and share Saudi money for US military support.

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    Gold Seeker Closing Report: Gold and Silver End Mixed While Stocks Rise On Tax Cut Talk
    By: Chris Mullen, Gold-Seeker.com
    Gold chopped up to $1283.20 in late morning New York trade before it dropped back to $1276.70 in early afternoon action, but it then bounced back higher into the close and ended with a gain of 0.16%. Silver slipped to as low as $17.879 before it also rallied back higher, but it still ended with a loss of 0.72%.
     
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    Have a funny feeling Bo maybe wrong here. Take it fwiw and dyodd.

    Bo Polny-Jubilee Year Means Stocks, Bonds and Dollar are Toast
    Greg Hunter



    Published on Apr 18, 2017
    Market cycle analyst Bo Polny says a “Jubilee” year is the end of seven, seven year cycles. That is 49 years, and now is the 50th year which is called a “Jubilee” year. Polny says, “49 years is the end of the cycle. So, the 50th year is a year of cleansing and a year of washing. It’s a year of debt forgiveness. . . .It’s a year of rest. It’s a debt forgiveness year. . . . The old system of debt, bonds and the dollar, those are all debt based instruments. That’s the old . . . that’s part of the cycle which ended. Now you have seven years forward of massive world changes.”
    Polny also says, “Do expect that this year, 2017, markets will be falling. The dollar will be falling, and gold and silver will never be at these low prices ever again.”
    Join Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com as he goes One-on-One with Bo Polny of Gold2020Forecast.com.

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    European, US Stocks In Eerie Calm As French Vote Looms

    [​IMG]
    by Tyler Durden
    Apr 21, 2017 6:45 AM

    Global markets were oddly calm on Friday, the last day of trading before the first round of France's closely fought presidential election, with European stocks posting modest declines ahead of Sunday's main event, Asian shares rising, and set for first weekly gain in the past month, while U.S. futures were unchanged. French bond yields hit three-months low even as the euro has seen some recent weakness.

    The long awaited French Presidential Election is now nearly upon us with the first round taking place this Sunday. We'll likely get exit polls soon after polls close at 7pm local time (8pm BST) with any delays caused by the fact that a few stations are open for an extra hour. In terms of the how the polls are looking, yesterday there was a lot of focus on a Harris poll which showed that support for Macron was running at 24.5% in the first round (compared to 23% ish in other polls) and support for Le Pen is at 21% (versus 22-23% in other polls). Melenchon and Fillon came in with support at 19% and 20% respectively. French assets had a strong day yesterday and outperformed other European assets on the back of that Harris poll. The CAC closed +1.48% for its best day since March 1st. That compared to a much smaller +0.22% gain for the Stoxx 600.

    Trading along with the latest polls, the euro has shown little signs of anxiety days before the crucial vote as Le Pen has fallen behind centrist Emmanuel Macron in recent polls.

    The fatal attack on a police officer in Paris overnight caused investors some immediate jitters, with the gap between French and German 10-year borrowing costs rising sharply in the first few minutes of trading. Traders said this was on concern the attack could sway the vote in favor of Marine Le Pen. But that move reversed as the session wore on, with the yield on 10-year French government debt hitting its weakest since mid-January and the gap between it and its German equivalent falling to its tightest in three weeks. The stated reason for the move back was that the market assumed any gains for Le Pen would come at the expense of Melenchon.

    [​IMG]


    The murder of a policeman on the Champs-Elysees also forced an early end to campaigning ahead of Sunday’s vote in France. Investors are bracing for a period of uncertainty until a victor emerges on May 7.

    “The need to hedge the downside risks on the euro without capping the upside potential, has mostly pushed investors toward the currency options through the week,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a market analyst at London Capital Group wrote in a note. Heightened stock volatility has been spurred by investors’ need to protect against political risk into and following the first round, she said.

    Despite Friday's seeming calm, in recent weeks European stock volatility has seen a pick up, rising to the highest level since Brexit last summer.

    [​IMG]

    Away from the French elections, Europe had something to cheer about with a slew of upbeat PMI reports this morning suggesting a pick up in the economy across the Eurozone. According to Markit, Eurozone PMI hit a 6 year high in April, suggesting the reflation trade is alive and well in Europe, which continues to shrug off any political uncertainties, and continues to be a headache for Mario Draghi who needs some justification to keep extra easy monetary conditions.

    [​IMG]

    There was some less attractive data out of the UK, where the big data release was the March UK retail sales release, which posted the worst Q1 data since 2010, although there was little follow through in GBP selling as Cable buyers stood resolute ahead of 1.2750 and EUR/GBP buyers will find little reprieve ahead of the French elections this weekend.

    Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent as of 6:20 a.m. in New York. The cash index rose 0.8 percent Thursday, with American Express surging nearly 6 percent to pace gains in the financial group after its results topped estimates. European stocks were little changed, with the STOXX 600 index up 0.01% at 6:40am ET.

    "So far markets have been pretty sanguine in the face of the (French) presidential election, which was flagged as one of the potential banana skins for markets in this year and I think that may be partly a result of political fatigue," said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Laith Khalaf, in London. But options markets suggested investors remain worried about strong results for Le Pen and/or hard-left challenger anti-EU Jean-Luc Melenchon that would point to the risk of another major political shock for Europe in two weeks time.

    "It is kind of reminiscent of the big events last year where people know that it is a binary outcome so the best approach is to remain as cautious as possible," said Simon Derrick, head of the global markets research team at Bank of New York Mellon in London. France's CAC stock index fell 0.9%, though it was only around 2 percent off its highest levels since mid-2015.

    French 10-year yields fell two basis points to 0.92 percent. Bunds also gained, with the yield on the benchmark due in a decade one basis point lower at 0.24 percent. U.S. government debt fell, as the yield on the 10-year note rose one basis point to 2.24 percent, climbing for a third straight day.

    In Asia stocks ended the week on a positive note, unscathed by a U.S. trade probe on Chinese steel exports. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.5 percent, but was down 0.4 percent on the week. Asian steelmakers were mostly steady or higher, as investors dismissed for now any negative impact from the launch of a U.S. trade probe against Chinese steel exporters, although Chinese companies shed some of their earlier gains. The move sent their U.S. counterparts surging over 8 percent overnight. Japan's Nikkei advanced 1 percent, posting a weekly gain of 1.6 percent. Chinese shares in Shanghai added 0.1 percent but recorded a 2.2 percent weekly drop, their worst since mid-December.

    "The U.S. accounts for a small proportion of China's steel exports," said Yang Kunhe, steel analyst at Northeast Securities in Beijing, adding Northeast Asia and Africa have been growing markets for Chinese steel over the past few years. "But if Trump’s probe translates into actions, it would increase the chance of trade friction, and hurt market sentiment."

    Markets also mostly shrugged off White House comments that the U.S. may consider tit-for-tat tariffs on imports, and concerns raised by the International Monetary Fund that U.S. tax cuts could fuel financial risk-taking and increase public debt.

    The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell for a second week after President Donald Trump said this month the currency is getting too strong. Rebounding commodities propelled gains in European mining stocks while oil rose.

    In commodities, oil prices edged lower and were on course for the biggest weekly drop in a month, over doubts that an OPEC-led production cut will restore balance to an oversupplied market. Front-month Brent futures were at $52.95 a barrel and set for a 5.2 percent weekly drop, the most since the week of March 10. Gold was flat at $1,280.91 an ounce. Meahwhile, iron ore futures climbed 5.1 percent.

    Economic data include existing home sales, manufacturing PMI. GE, SunTrust are among companies scheduled to publish results.

    Market Snapshot
    • S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 2,354
    • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 377.30
    • MXAP up 0.7% to 147.03
    • MXAPJ up 0.5% to 478.58
    • Nikkei up 1% to 18,620.75
    • Topix up 1.1% to 1,488.58
    • Hang Seng Index down 0.06% to 24,042.02
    • Shanghai Composite up 0.03% to 3,173.15
    • Sensex down 0.4% to 29,307.65
    • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.6% to 5,854.14
    • Kospi up 0.7% to 2,165.04
    • Brent Futures down less than 0.1% to $52.98
    • Gold spot little changed at $1,281.44
    • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 99.79
    • German 10Y yield fell 0.6 bps to 0.238%
    • Euro up 0.03% to 1.0720 per US$
    • Brent Futures up 0.1% to $53.06/bbl
    • Italian 10Y yield fell 0.7 bps to 1.974%
    • Spanish 10Y yield rose 0.3 bps to 1.703%
    Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
    • SNC-Lavalin Expands Reach With $2.7 Billion Deal for Atkins
    • Deutsche Bank Is First Bank Busted for Breaking Volcker Rule
    • U.S. FDA Finds Incomplete Lab Data at Sun Pharma’s Dadra Plant
    • Sony Reports Preliminary Profit Above Forecast on Savings
    • Kuroda Says Current Purchase Pace to Continue for Some Time
    • Samsung Biologics in Talks for 15 Contracts Amid Pharma Boom
    • Reckitt Benckiser Sales Flatten on Home-Brand Slump in U.S.
    • Freeport May Get Indonesia Nod to Export Concentrate Tuesday
    • GM Sees Low Single-Digit Growth for China Auto Industry in 2017
    • Mckesson Gets Conditional Belgian Nod to Buy Belmedis, Others
    • Pence Announces $10b in Deals in Indonesia With U.S. Companies
    Asian equity markets traded higher across the board as the region took the impetus from the upbeat US close where stocks benefitted from optimism regarding tax and healthcare reforms. ASX 200 (+0.7%) was underpinned by outperformance in miners after increases in copper and iron ore prices as Dalian iron ore futures surged by 7% in early trade. Nikkei 225 (+1.0%) was benefitted from a weaker currency in which USD/JPY reclaimed 109.00, while Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.1%) gained after the PBoC continued to inject funds into the interbank market which resulted to a net weekly injection of CNY 170bIn vs. Prey. CNY 70bIn injection last week. 10yr JGBs traded flat with demand dampened amid a positive risk tone across the region, while the BoJ's Rinban announcement also failed to spur demand as it was widely in line with expectations and heavily concentrated on T-bills. PBoC injected CNY 60bIn in 7-day reverse repos, CNY 20bIn in 14-day reverse repos and CNY 20bIn in 28-day reverse repos, for a net weekly injection of CNY 170bIn vs. last week's CNY 70bIn net injection.

    Top Asian News
    • Netmarble to Raise $2.3 Billion After Pricing IPO at the Top
    • GNI Seeks 13.6b Yen From Warrant Sale to Morgan Stanley MUFG
    • KKR Sells Entire 8.4% Stake in India’s Dalmia Bharat
    • Sunac Said to Weigh $1.1b Joint Investment in Faraday: QQ.com
    • Bullish Options Active on India Cement Stocks on Sales Outlook
    Europe's final trading day of the week has seen equities yet again struggling to find any real direction as participants prepare themselves for the 1st round results of the much-anticipated French election, subsequently volumes are on the lighter side. Europe has had something to cheer about with a slew of upbeat PMI reports this morning suggesting a pick up in the economy across the Eurozone. In fixed income markets, DE-FR spread had been wider by some 8bps at the open with reports out last night of another terror attack in France, consequently heightening tensions regarding the election, however since the open, the spread has tightened to around 65bps. While the move higher in OATs has spilled over into gilts which kicked of the session on a firmer footing, with a further move higher attributed by the weak retail sales data.

    Top European News
    • Euro-Area Economic Activity Accelerates to Fastest in Six Years
    • U.K. Retail Sales Post Biggest Quarterly Drop Since Early 2010
    • Philips Lighting CEO Says LED Demand Growth Faster Than Expected
    • Dortmund Soccer Team Attacker Hoped to Gain From Share Drop
    In currencies, The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed and is poised for a weekly decline of 0.2 percent. The euro weakened 0.2 percent to $1.0693. Sterling also fell 0.2 percent to $1.2787. The big data release this morning was the March UK retail sales release, but despite posting the worst Q1 data since 2010, we saw little follow through in GBP selling as Cable buyers stood resolute ahead of 1.2750 and EUR/GBP buyers will find little reprieve ahead of the French elections this weekend. Trading is still relatively tight however, but the longer the Pound holds up, the more we expect this GBP revival to continue. Switching to the main event in front of us, and a number of pundits are highlighting the modest risk premium priced into Euro assets — specifically French stocks — but also as the EUR as a whole. That said, we have seen EUR/USD dip back to 1.0700 more recently, as traders throw in the towel on an intra day push lower in GBP. Most of the pre weekend positioning is said to be in place — very likely through the options market — as the prospect of a market friendly result in the first round vote could spell a strong relief rally in the EUR. From a USD perspective, it is hard to argue against a lower (EUR/USD) rate near term, with US Treasury yields recovering somewhat. 1.0600 is a key fair value point and this is a potential target for later today. USD/JPY is not getting the upside traction however, and this is likely to cross rate activity which sees EUR/JPY back in the mid 116.00's, but less so of a retreat in GBP/JPY to highlight the resilience in the Pound noted above. The BoJ maintains that it is too early to talk about exit strategy, but to little effect on the JPY all round.

    In commodities, some modest respite for the reflation trade gave base metals a modest fillip yesterday following comments from Trump's administration over healthcare and tax reform. Copper gains have stalled north of USD2.55, but we continue to hold off USD2.50 as tight range looks set to extend into the weekend as traders all focus on the French elections, and broader risk sentiment as a result. Price action looks to be uniform across the field this morning, but Copper outperforms modestly. Precious metals have based out, with little fresh weakness to note despite a small pick up in UST yields. Naturally the risk factor dominates for now, keeping Gold above USD1280.00, but Silver has since slipped below USD18.00. WTI is back under USD51.00 again, but ahead of fresh OPEC talks which will focus on a potential extension to production cuts, we should expect some near term 'noise' to play out.

    Looking at the day ahead, the focus in the morning session in Europe will almost certainly be the release of the flash April PMIs. Market consensus is for the composite Euro area reading to hold steady at 56.3, with the final print coming in stronger at 56.7 Away from that, this morning we will also get UK retail sales data for March. Over in the US this afternoon the flash PMIs will also be released alongside March existing home sales data. Away from the data, the Fed’s Kashkari is due to speak this afternoon while the BoE’s Saunders is also scheduled to speak. Also of note is the start of the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF which will continue into the weekend. Lagarde and Mnuchin are amongst the scheduled speakers. Earnings wise today its quiet with just 9 S&P 500 companies reporting including Schlumberger and General Electric.

    US Event Calendar
    • 9:45am: Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 53.8, prior 53.3; Services PMI, est. 53.2, prior 52.8; Composite PMI, prior 53
    • 10am: Existing Home Sales, est. 5.6m, prior 5.48m; MoM, est. 2.19%, prior -3.7%
    DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

    The long awaited French Presidential Election is now nearly upon us with the first round taking place this Sunday. Speaking to our expert Marc De-Muizon yesterday he informed me that we'll likely get exit polls soon after polls close at 7pm local time (8pm BST) with any delays caused by the fact that a few stations are open for an extra hour. It's also possible we'll get some earlier exit polls from across the border during the afternoon as they'll be banned in France while polls are open. Marc thinks that the only way we won't have a good idea of the rankings of the leading candidates within an hour or two is if all four main protagonists are clustered around the same mark. Quite possible.

    In terms of the how the polls are looking, yesterday there was a lot of focus on a Harris poll which showed that support for Macron was running at 24.5% in the first round (compared to 23% ish in other polls) and support for Le Pen is at 21% (versus 22-23% in other polls). Melenchon and Fillon came in with support at 19% and 20% respectively. It is probably worth handicapping this poll however given that the sample size was less than 1000 people and also that the poll is also a lot less regular than some of the more reliable ones including Opinionway, Ifop and Ipsos. Indeed if we look at the last 3 polls run by those pollsters then the spread between the four candidates is at an average of 4.5%. Macron’s average is 23.3%, Le Pen 22.3%, Fillon 19.7% and Melenchon 18.8%. So as we remark earlier it’s quite possible that these 4 candidates will be clustered together given that the spread is within the margin of error from previous elections. It’s worth noting that French assets had a strong day yesterday and outperformed other European assets on the back of that Harris poll. The CAC closed +1.48% for its best day since March 1st. That compared to a much smaller +0.22% gain for the Stoxx 600. Before the day ahead we highlight that our Euro equity strategist doesn't think too much risk premium is priced in. In bonds 10y OATs were also 2.9bps lower at 0.914% compared to a 4.0bps move higher for similar maturity Bunds.

    Unfortunately just 3 days prior to Sunday’s vote Paris was home to what is being called a terror attack last night following the fatal shooting of a police officer on the Champs-Elysees. Two others have been injured. President Francois Hollande said that “we are convinced that the leads in the investigation are terror related”. Fillon and Le Pen have cancelled campaign appearances scheduled for today following the attack.

    The French Election story was overshadowed a little yesterday by renewed interest in both the Healthcare bill and perhaps more importantly positive sounding rhetoric from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on tax reform. Specifically Mnuchin said that “we’re pretty close to being able to bring forward what is going to be major tax reform” regardless of whether or not health care reform gets done. Mnuchin also said that he hoped passing such tax overhaul will not take “till the end of the year”. President Trump separately said at a joint news conference with Italian PM Gentiloni that he hopes that the House can vote on healthcare reform again next week. Those comments seemed to bring some life back to US risk assets. The S&P 500 closed up +0.76% with Banks alone up +1.81%. Industrials also had a strong day which more than likely reflected the comment from Trump that the US was moving one step closer towards imposing tariffs on steel imports. Earnings helped at the margin with the standout being a better than expected quarterly report from American Express which sent shares up nearly 6%.

    Credit markets in the US also had a decent day in line with the largely positive sentiment. CDX IG closed 1.7bps tighter for its strongest day in over a month. Meanwhile US Treasury yields inched a little bit higher with 10y yields up another 1.8bps to 2.233%. That means yields are now up some 7bps from Tuesday’s intraday lows. Meanwhile in commodities it was a decent day for base metals with the likes of iron ore (+1.18%), copper (+1.21%), aluminium (+2.10%) and zinc (+3.30%) all higher. The tumble lower for WTI Oil abated somewhat after holding just below the $51/bbl mark. Meanwhile in FX the most notable move was that for the Yen which weakened -0.42% after BoJ Governor Kuroda said that the BoJ will continue with very accommodative monetary policy and continue with the current pace of QE for some time. He noted that this reflects the still benign inflation backdrop despite an improving economy.

    This morning in Japan both the Nikkei (+0.86%) and Topix (+0.98%) are leading gains following those Kuroda comments, while a strengthening in Japan’s manufacturing PMI to 52.8 (from 52.4) is also helping sentiment. Elsewhere in Asia the Hang Seng (+0.30%), Shanghai Comp (+0.07%), Kospi (+0.91%) and ASX (+0.91) are also higher. US equity index futures are also showing modest gains.

    Moving on. We have published a Credit Bite this morning which provides a brief overview of floater issuance dynamics in the EUR IG space, showing a breakdown by maturity for corporates and financials separately. The recent surge in supply comes largely on the back of investors starved for floaters amidst concerns about the direction of interest rates. It should be in your inbox, email Michal.Jezek@db.com if not.

    In terms of other news yesterday, over at the Fed we heard from Governor Powell who said that he favoured some form of reassessment around financial regulation. Meanwhile Dallas Fed President Kaplan reiterated that he thinks the median of three rate hikes this year remains an appropriate baseline. In terms of data, in the US the headline business conditions index in the Philly Fed’s manufacturing survey declined 10.8pts to 22.0 in April. Meanwhile initial jobless claims edged up a small 10k to 244k last week while the conference board’s leading index came in at +0.4% mom for March. In Europe the European Commission’s flash consumer sentiment reading for April was reported as improving 1.4pts to -3.6 and in the process equally the post-financial crisis high set in March 2015.

    Before we look at today’s calendar, ahead of the first round of the French elections on Sunday, our equity strategist Sebastian Raedler notes that despite the tightening of the poll numbers among the four front-runners, European equities show little sign of pricing in a meaningful political risk premium. While equities fell 8% ahead the UK referendum last June and 4% ahead of the US elections in November, they have remained close to their recent highs this time around – and now trade around 3% above the fair-value levels suggested by our strategists’ models. European banks have also held up well despite falling bond yields, with their price relative around 5% above the level implied by the German 10-year yield. Our strategists expect only moderate upside for European equities in case of a Macron/Fillon victory in the second round on May 7th (~3%), moderate downside in case of a Mélenchon win (~3%) and significant downside in case of a Le Pen victory (~15%). Contact Sebastian.Raedler@db.com for the full report.

    Looking at the day ahead, the focus in the morning session in Europe will almost certainly be the release of the flash April PMIs. Market consensus is for the composite Euro area reading to hold steady at 56.4. Away from that, this morning we will also get UK retail sales data for March. Over in the US this afternoon the flash PMIs will also be released alongside March existing home sales data. Away from the data, the Fed’s Kashkari is due to speak this afternoon while the BoE’s Saunders is also scheduled to speak. Also of note is the start of the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF which will continue into the weekend. Lagarde and Mnuchin are amongst the scheduled speakers. Earnings wise today its quiet with just 9 S&P 500 companies reporting including Schlumberger and General Electric.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-21/european-us-stocks-eerie-clam-french-vote-looms
     
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    Frontrunning: April 21

    [​IMG]
    by Tyler Durden
    Apr 21, 2017 7:59 AM

    • Attack overshadows last campaign day in France (Reuters)
    • Paris Gunman Was Questioned by Police in February (WSJ)
    • French PM knocks Le Pen, Fillon stance on security after Paris shooting (Reuters)
    • Battle zone scenes at Paris Champs Elysees (Reuters)
    • In ‘Buy American’ Push, Trump Is Starting in a Hole (WSJ)
    • Trump Steel Probe Adds Tinge of Economic Nationalism (WSJ)
    • Mnuchin’s Talk of Tax Plan ‘Soon’ Stirs Markets and Skeptics (BBG)
    • Trump, GOP Race to Revive Health Bill, Avoid Government Shutdown (WSJ)
    • Farmers Have a Beef With Trump and Big Meat (BBG)
    • Stock futures little changed as French election in focus (Reuters)
    • Euro-Area Recovery Broadens With Strongest Growth in Six Years (BBG)
    • Markets Send a Worrying Message About the Economy (WSJ)
    • OPEC cut doubts put oil on track for biggest weekly drop in a month (Reuters)
    • Trump’s Trade War Will Make Your Dentist Visits Even Costlier (BBG)
    • Gorsuch's First Big High Court Vote Allows Arkansas Execution (BBG)
    • Exxon Faces Limited Options for Deal With Russian Firm (WSJ)
    • Exxon probe is unconstitutional, Republican prosecutors say (Reuters)
    • Caracas on Knife-Edge as Maduro Protesters Erect Barricades (BBG)
    • Desperate Malls Turn to Concerts and Food Trucks (BBG)
    • Ann Coulter rejects Berkeley's bid to reschedule speech (Reuters)
    • Publishers Weigh Potential Google Ad-Blocking Feature (WSJ)
    • GE revenue falls 1 percent (Reuters)
    • Reckitt Benckiser Fails to Grow for First Time Since 1999 (BBG)

    Overnight Media Digest

    WSJ

    - White House officials said they are developing a sweeping plan to overhaul both corporate and individual taxes, dismissing concerns that a more modest proposal might be more viable in today's political climate. http://on.wsj.com/2oWLhIe

    - Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk confirmed plans for his newest company, called Neuralink Corp, revealing he will be the chief executive of a startup that aims to merge computers with brains so humans could one day engage in "consensual telepathy". http://on.wsj.com/2oWR4NP

    - President Donald Trump will sign three documents on Friday to advance his administration's push to reduce tax and regulatory burdens, including a measure that could roll back Obama administration efforts to prevent U.S. companies from shifting operations overseas to avoid taxes, administration officials said late Thursday. http://on.wsj.com/2oX1KMv

    - Verizon Communications Inc is having to slash prices and offer more data to stem an unprecedented wave of customer losses, a maneuver that benefits consumers but hurts its bottom line. http://on.wsj.com/2oWY6SI

    - France's unpredictable presidential election was plunged into still greater turmoil Thursday as candidates scrambled to respond to a suspected terror attack that left at least one police officer dead. http://on.wsj.com/2oWWY1H

    - Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay $157 million in penalties to the Federal Reserve over alleged rule violations. http://on.wsj.com/2oWTc8y


    FT

    * Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he will not be standing in Britain's 2017 election, in an opinion piece for the Daily Telegraph.

    * The director for communications at Bank of England, Jenny Scott, has left the bank according to an internal memo sent to the bank's staff on Wednesday.

    * A French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in central Paris on Thursday night in an attack carried out days before presidential elections and quickly claimed by the Islamic State group.


    NYT

    - America's largest automaker, General Motors Co said it had been forced to cease operations in Venezuela because of an "illegal judicial seizure of its assets" and would lay off its 2,700 workers there. http://nyti.ms/2oWCMx2

    - Bill O'Reilly is receiving a payout of as much as $25 million from Fox News, equivalent to one year of his salary, two people familiar with the matter said Thursday. Some employees and critics outside the company said this sent a message that a powerful newsroom figure could profit even after multiple sexual harassment allegations had been made against him. http://nyti.ms/2oWBL8c

    - Partners at the law firm Chadbourne & Parke - in an unusual public gesture - voted on Thursday to expel from its ranks a female partner, Kerrie Campbell, who filed a gender discrimination and pay inequity lawsuit against the firm last year. http://nyti.ms/2oX2EZD

    - Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, met with Facebook Inc and other tech companies this week to seek feedback on his intention to unwind aspects of net neutrality, the rules that require broadband providers to make all internet content equally accessible for consumers. http://nyti.ms/2oWY4KC

    - Federal and state regulators unleashed a fusillade of lawsuits and enforcement orders on Thursday against the Ocwen Financial Corporation, a large mortgage servicer, aimed at curbing what they said had been years of flagrant and repeated abuses, including illegal foreclosures, deceptive fees and extensive mishandling of customers' home loan payments. http://nyti.ms/2oWT7S1

    - The Internal Revenue Service is about to start using four private debt-collection companies to chase down overdue payments from hundreds of thousands of people who owe money to the federal government, a job it has handled in house for years. http://nyti.ms/2oWTiNm


    Canada

    THE GLOBE AND MAIL

    ** U.S. President Donald Trump is vowing to target Canada's energy, lumber and dairy sectors in a renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement. https://tgam.ca/2owQowX

    ** Real Matters has filled out the underwriting syndicate for its initial public offering, a transaction the mortgage services technology company hopes will raise upwards of C$125-million ($93 million). https://tgam.ca/2owDf7c

    NATIONAL POST

    ** The Ontario government announced 16 new measures including a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers and expanded rent control rules to rein in the housing market in and around its largest city. https://tgam.ca/2owQowX

    ** Rogers Communications Inc wouldn't let Telus Corp broadcast its highest-definition sports channels until it was directed to do so by Canada's broadcast umpire just in time for the Blue Jays' home opener last week. http://bit.ly/2owSGMD


    Britain

    The Times

    - Managing director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde has called on countries to pull together in the fight against a damaging retreat into protectionism amid mounting evidence that a global trade war is already under way. http://bit.ly/2oWbAOU

    - A U.S. crackdown on steel imports is looming after President Donald Trump ordered an investigation into unfair export practices, setting up a potential showdown with China. http://bit.ly/2oW8wlT

    The Guardian

    - A consortium led by Macquarie Group Ltd agreed to buy the Green Investment Bank, which was established in 2012 by the coalition government to fund green infrastructure projects. The decision to sell Green Investment Bank for 2.3 billion pounds ($2.94 billion) has been attacked by critics including the Liberal Democrats and Greenpeace as “politically dubious” and a “disaster”. http://bit.ly/2oW3G85

    - President of World Bank Jim Kim told Theresa May that cutting the United Kingdom’s aid budget could lead to an increase in conflict, terrorism and migration and would damage Britain’s international reputation. http://bit.ly/2oW4RUQ

    The Telegraph

    - British engineering firm WS Atkins Plc has agreed to a 2.1 billion pound ($2.7 billion) takeover by Canadian rival SNC-Lavalin. Atkins' board last night agreed to a cash takeover at 20.80 pounds a share and the deal would see the company's chief executive step aside. http://bit.ly/2oW161O

    - Sky Plc suffered a marked slowdown in its core UK pay-TV business, sparking renewed claims that increasingly cautious consumers are rejecting expensive packages in favour of cheaper entertainment options such as Netflix. Its takeover by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc was likely to be delayed by the General Election. http://bit.ly/2oW7J4b

    Sky News

    - Marks and Spencer Group Plc has confirmed plans to close six stores in a move that will affect almost 400 employees. http://bit.ly/2oW4ZUx

    - Debenhams Plc will consider closing up to 10 of its 176 stores under a review announced by its new chief executive, Sergio Bucher. http://bit.ly/2oVVRzp

    The Independent

    - Amazon.com Inc has been accused of setting workers against each other to ensure they turn up for work even when they are sick and should be at home. The company gives its workers in Germany a monthly bonus of 6 percent to 10 percent of their salary, only if their co-workers have good enough attendance records. http://ind.pn/2oW5w8Z

    - GMB union has accused the UK government of “gross betrayal” after drinks company Diageo Plc announced plans to cut more than 100 jobs across its Scottish operations because of concerns over Brexit. http://ind.pn/2oVWSaq

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-21/frontrunning-april-21
     
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    Gold and Silver Market Morning: April 21 2017 - Gold consolidating below $1,300!
    By: Julian D. W. Phillips, Gold/Silver Forecaster - Global Watch
    All three global gold markets are in line with each other. At this moment in time, we don’t see that the three are leading or following each other, but the closeness of prices tells us that arbitrageurs are doing a very professional job of smoothing out the gold markets across the world. New York closed $1.44 below Shanghai’s closing yesterday and today. London opened at a $1.46 discount to Shanghai in line with New York. This is the closest we have ever seen them.

    Silver, Platinum and Palladium as Investments – Research Shows Diversification Benefits
    By: GoldCore
    – Silver, platinum and palladium see increased role as investment vehicles
    – Increase in academic output on the white precious metals is in line with this
    – Silver and particularly gold are safe haven assets
    – Silver was a safe haven at times during which gold failed to be
    – Platinum and palladium less so but have diversification benefits
     
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    REALIST NEWS - For The First Time In Its History, Subway Shutters Hundreds Of US Stores
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    REALIST NEWS - Will You Turn Away Family & Friends When America’s Day Of Disaster Arrives?
    jsnip4



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    REALIST NEWS - More Americans Aged 18-to-34 Living With Parents Than With Spouse
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    Rogue Mornings - Paris Event, Assange Wanted & Venezuela Socialist Failure (04/21/2017)
    ROGUE MONEY



    Streamed live 2 hours ago
    "V" and CJ deliver another great show discussing the event in Paris, the complete flip regarding Julian Assange and detail the economic collapse in Venezuela.

    We are political scientists, editorial engineers, and radio show developers drawn together by a shared vision of bringing Alternative news through digital mediums that evangelize our civil liberties.

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    Shipping & Energy 04/21:


    Peak Oil Review – 17 April 2017
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-04-17/peak-oil-review-17-april-2017/

    Rotary and Workover Rig Counts
    http://www.wtrg.com/rotaryrigs.html

    Why the crude rally has fizzled: Market analysis series
    http://blogs.platts.com/2017/04/19/crude-oil-market-rally-fizzled/

    Will Banks Allow Another Slew Of Oil Bankruptcies?
    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Will-Banks-Allow-Another-Slew-Of-Oil-Bankruptcies.html

    RPT-Murky oil inventory picture leaves market grappling for clarity
    http://www.reuters.com/article/oil-supplies-opec-idUSL1N1HS1G4

    New York-Bound Tanker Changes Course as Gasoline Prices Dip
    http://gcaptain.com/new-york-bound-tanker-changes-course-as-gasoline-prices-dip/

    East Coast refiner shuns Bakken delivery as Dakota Access Pipeline starts
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-north-dakota-pipeline-pes-idUSKBN17L0BJ

    Investors spot a gap and move in on secondhand feeder vessel market
    https://theloadstar.co.uk/investors-spot-gap-move-secondhand-feeder-vessel-market/

    Shanghai port, world's busiest, grapples with traffic congestion
    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/21/reut...busiest-grapples-with-traffic-congestion.html

    Congestion at Shanghai fails to help spot rates out of Asia
    https://theloadstar.co.uk/congestion-shanghai-puts-pressure-spot-rates/

    The Future (of Maritime) Care
    https://www.marinelink.com/news/maritime-future-care424443

    PortGraphic: container port activity around the straits of Gibraltar (1985-2016)
    http://www.porteconomics.eu/2017/04...ty-around-the-straits-of-gibraltar-1985-2016/

    The puzzle of shipping alliances in April 2017
    http://www.porteconomics.eu/2017/04/20/the-puzzle-of-shipping-alliances-in-july-2016/

    Swift Acting Crews Reduce Asian Pirate Attacks
    http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/swift-acting-crews-reduce-asian-pirate-attacks

    Drewry: World Container Index Down by 0.5% on Week
    http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/drewry-world-container-index-down-by-0-5-on-week/

    Baltic Dry Index falls to 1195, down 48 points
    http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/baltic-dry-index-falls-to-1195-down-48-points/

    Falling Capesize Rates Weigh on Baltic Index
    http://2016.marinelink.com/news/capesize-falling-baltic424416

    Live International Companies’ Shipping Stocks
    http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/live-international-shipping-stocks/
     
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    Golden Age, Liquidity Super-Nova & Depression Like Event.
    Junius Maltby



    Published on Apr 21, 2017
    Junius Maltby discussion on news regarding the Liquidity Super-Nova, Depression like event and a Golden Age! Join the news and discussion.
     
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    France: The Next Political Earthquake? | John Rubino
    SilverDoctors



    Published on Apr 20, 2017
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    France could be the next political earthquake. Could a far-right candidate or a communist be France's next president? What we've learned from Brexit and Trump's election is "the improbable became possible, and then it happened." The mainstream pollsters and media and political elite have been taken completely off guard in recent elections. Will France's presidential election be even more earthshaking?

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    REALIST NEWS - SRSRocco Warns Stocks, Bonds, & Real Estate Headed For A FINANCIAL ENEMA
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