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 Post subject: Re: AMATOR's News & misc
PostPosted: November 17th, 2010, 8:43 pm 
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BEIJING (Reuters) – China will intervene to control consumer prices if they rise too quickly, the government said on Wednesday, a move that will do little by itself to tame inflation but could foreshadow harsher monetary tightening.

Steps to cool demand in China, the world's fastest-growing major economy, could weigh on global markets at a time when recoveries in Europe and the United States remain fragile.

To begin with, the State Council, or cabinet, said it would aim to increase the supply of commodities, especially food, that have driven inflation to a 25-month high, while also clamping down on speculative demand that has lifted prices higher.

"We need to understand the importance and urgency of stabilizing market prices and take forceful measures," it said after a routine meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.

"When necessary, temporary intervention measures will be implemented on prices of some important daily necessities and production materials," it added in the statement.

The State Council singled out grain, oil, sugar and cotton as markets that it wanted to stabilize. It also vowed to intensify a crackdown on price speculation and to punish those found hoarding commodities and pushing up prices by illegal means.

The statement made no mention of monetary policy.

"I don't believe that they will just stop here," said Kevin Lai, an economist with Daiwa Capital Markets. "Many people in the government are capable enough to figure out that prices controls are not that effective."

"They really have to do something more about controlling liquidity and money supply growth if they are serious about containing inflation," Lai said, adding that he expected the central bank to raise interest rates for the second time this year over the next two weeks.

MORE TIGHTENING AHEAD

Worries that the government could start tightening more aggressively drove China's main stock index down by 1.9 percent on Wednesday to a one-month closing low. The index has dropped 11 percent over the past four trading days.

Shi Chenyu, an economist with the investment banking arm of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, said the sternly worded statement showed that inflation had reached the top of Beijing's policy agenda.

"The government often opts for iron-fisted administrative measures to control prices when inflation becomes a serious problem," Shi said. "However, harsh administrative measures may backfire as expectations of further price rises may intensify."

The State Council said it would hold provincial governors accountable for the prices of "rice bags" and make mayors responsible for "vegetable baskets", though it did not specify how it would implement these directives.

The world's major consumer of farm commodities including cotton, corn and sugar, China has been releasing state reserves this year but has failed to cool record domestic prices.

Commodities analysts predicted the government's statement would have little long-term impact on commodities prices, which have been rising sharply in China in recent months.

"Agricultural commodities price falls are likely to be moderate and regain upward strength if there aren't concrete measures such as tightening liquidity," said Lu Yun, an analyst with Shanghai JCI.

"There is nothing new in the statement, and the market has already anticipated such adjustment," added Lu.

Even if the government sold all its estimated 1 million tonnes of state sugar reserves, the market could soon digest it, said Liu Qiang, an analyst with Guohai Liangshi Futures Co.

GOOD FOR FARMERS

Apart from doubts about the effectiveness of price controls, Beijing may be reluctant to press down too heavily because more expensive food also supports one of its core policy objectives.

"The government has always said it wants to raise farmers' incomes and rising prices are a good way of achieving that," said Zhang Hanya, a researcher with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a powerful planning agency.

Instead of targeting food prices, the government should use part of its hefty revenues to subsidize city dwellers, he said.

Consumer inflation sped to a 25-month high in October, with prices rising 4.4 percent from a year earlier. Food, which makes up about a third of China's consumer price index, led the way, climbing 10.1 percent. Non-food items rose just 1.6 percent.

Unlike past bouts of food inflation in China, there have been no major droughts or diseases to stoke prices this year. Instead, fast money growth appears to be the primary culprit.

To that end, reports in the Chinese press on Wednesday pointed to interest rate increases, higher reserve requirements and more restrictions on bank lending as weapons in the government's arsenal against inflation.

Many economists also believe China will quicken the pace of yuan appreciation as inflation accelerates, because this would help to reduce the cost of imported goods.

China's futures prices for cotton, sugar and rubber have spiked in recent weeks, with analysts blaming excessive liquidity, supply disruptions, strengthening demand and a growing investor appetite for safe-haven assets.

A spike in demand for diesel-fired power generation has caused a supply shortage that could last into 2011, forcing Chinese refineries to import the fuel for the first time in nearly two years.


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 Post subject: Re: AMATOR's News & misc
PostPosted: November 17th, 2010, 10:30 pm 
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European Union and International Monetary Fund experts will start scanning the books of Ireland’s debt-laden banks tomorrow in Dublin in a prelude to a possible aid package to stem Europe’s widening fiscal crisis.

Finance chiefs from the 16-country euro area said the joint assessment will determine whether Ireland can fix the banking system on its own or needs to fall back on the EU-IMF 750 billion-euro ($1 trillion) rescue fund.

“The Irish banking sector has to be made viable and sustainable,” European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said today after finance ministers ended a monthly meeting in Brussels. It “will require quite some reorganization and restructuring.”

As Europe struggled to present a united front to maintain its fiscal credibility, Britain said it would back support for Ireland, abandoning a hands-off policy toward the euro region to prevent Irish bank woes from spilling over into the U.K. market.

Irish bonds rose, sending the 10-year yield down 8 basis points to 8.16 percent. The extra yield over German bunds fell 5 basis points to 557 basis points. The spread, a measure of risk of investing in Ireland, peaked at 646 basis points on Nov. 11.

The Dublin consultations with the ECB, European Commission and IMF will “see if the state is able to cover the needs of the banking sector,” Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders told reporters. “If that’s not the case, there will probably have to be a European intervention.”

Such a package could come together quickly, the officials said. “Is it six months or a few days away? I’d say it’s closer to days,” French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said.

Ministers refused to speculate about Ireland’s financial needs, estimated by Barclays Capital at about 80 billion euros. Klaus Regling, manager of the rescue facility, said the EU could raise the money in five to eight working days.

“If banking problems are too big for this small country to manage, Europe has made it clear they’ll help,” Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan told state broadcaster RTE today.

Britain, which didn’t contribute to the 860 billion euros in loans and pledges in the wake of the Greek crisis, “stands ready to support Ireland,” U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said today in Brussels.


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 Post subject: Re: AMATOR's News & misc
PostPosted: November 18th, 2010, 6:28 am 
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Thursday: The Department of Labor releases the weekly jobless claims report in the morning. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment last week is forecast to inch higher to 442,000 from 435,000 in the previous week.

Continuing claims -- a measure of Americans who have been receiving benefits for a week or more -- is expected to hold steady at around 4.30 million, the same as in the previous week.

Analysts expect office supply giant Staples earned 40 cents per share last quarter, up slightly from 39 cents a year earlier.

The Philadelphia Fed index, another regional reading on manufacturing, is expected to have improved to 4.5 in November from 1.0 in October.

The index of leading economic indicators is expected to have risen 0.6% in October after rising 0.3% the previous month.

After the close, Dell (DELL, Fortune 500) is expected to post earnings of 32 cents per share, up from 23 cents per share a year earlier.

.....................

The Consumer Price Index, a key measure of inflation, increased 1.2% over the past 12 months ending in October, the government said.

After stripping out volatile food and energy prices, the core CPI rose 0.6% on an annual basis -- the smallest annual price increase since the government started recording the data in 1957.

On a monthly basis, CPI rose 0.2% in October. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected a 0.3% uptick. The increase was largely due to an increase in energy prices, the report said. Core CPI was flat on a monthly basis, slightly lower than economists' forecasts for a 0.1% increase.

Some traders said the inflation data mean the Federal Reserve has additional leeway to support the economy and asset prices. But others worry that inflation is too low, and that the central bank's actions could drive prices higher as money flows into commodities markets.

Another government report showed that housing starts fell 11.7% to an annual rate of 519,000 units in October. That was lower than expected. Housing starts were forecast to rose to a 600,000 rate in October.

Building permits, considered a leading indicator of construction activity, reached an annual rate of 550,000 units in October. This was less than the projected rate of 570,000, but more than September's annual rate of 547,000.


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 Post subject: Re: AMATOR's News & misc
PostPosted: November 18th, 2010, 8:14 am 
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SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)--Singapore's economy contracted less than previously estimated in the third quarter, the government said Thursday and projected that the economy will grow around 15% for the full year.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry said the island nation's economy contracted 18.7% in the quarter that ended September from the previous three months in seasonally adjusted, annualized terms, compared with a 19.8% contraction estimated last month.

From a year earlier, the economy expanded 10.6%, according to the revised data, faster than the 10.3% growth reported earlier.

In the second quarter, Singapore's economy had expanded 19.6% on year and 27.3% on an on-quarter annualized basis.

"For the rest of 2010, growth will be supported by a number of industry specific factors," the ministry said in a statement.

It said that biomedical manufacturing sector is expected to recover with higher production and the financial sector should also continue to recover.

Output in the manufacturing sector rose 14.3% from a year earlier, while the services and the construction sector grew 9.3% and 7.1% on year, respectively.

For next year, the Singapore expects its economy to grow between 4.0% and 6.0%.

"Nevertheless, the global economy remains vulnerable to several downside risks, notably a reversion to recessionary conditions in the U.S., and concerns of sovereign debt sustainability in the peripheral EU economies," MTI said.


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 Post subject: Re: AMATOR's News & misc
PostPosted: November 18th, 2010, 8:43 am 
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Global Logistic Properties Started At Overweight, Target Set At S$2.90 By JPMorgan

Olam Raised To Buy From Neutral, Target Raised To S$3.90 From S$3.40 By Nomura

Genting Singapore Cut To Underperform Vs Neutral, Target Raised To S$1.83 Vs S$1.75 By Macquarie

Singapore Airlines Target Raised To S$18.25 Vs S$16.85 -Nomura

Singapore Exchange Raised To Buy From Hold, Target Upped To S$10.50 Vs S$8.55 By Deutsche Bank

China Animal Healthcare Started At Buy, S$0.48 Target -Kim Eng

Frasers Commercial Trust Started At Buy, S$0.17 Target By OCBC


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 Post subject: Re: AMATOR's News & misc
PostPosted: November 19th, 2010, 6:32 am 
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Friday: There are no market-moving economic or corporate events expected on Friday.

....................

A possible solution to the Irish debt crisis pushed European and Asian stocks higher, and those gains carried over into the U.S. market. Britain's FTSE 100 closed 1.3% higher, while Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 surged 2%.

While Irish government officials had been denying that a loan to contain its growing debt was necessary, the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank met in Ireland Thursday, and Central Bank of Ireland governor Patrick Honohan said he expects an IMF loan.

"The Irish debt situation has been the hot topic, so the news that Ireland may accept a loan took off some of the scare and this is a relief rally based on that initial headline. But the issue is far from solved. It's like a bucket with many holes in it -- you plug one hole and water gushes somewhere else."

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve index, a regional reading on manufacturing, surged to 22.5 -- up from 1 in October, and much higher than the reading of 5 economists had been expecting.

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators jumped 0.5%, after rising 0.5% the previous month. The reading slightly missed the 0.6% rise economists had forecast.

................

Shares of General Motors (GM) opened at $35 apiece, $2 above the offering price. Trading was very active, with volume topping 452 million shares at the close. That's equivalent to about 10% of the total volume trading on the New York Stock Exchange's Thursday.

The automaker's highly-anticipated initial public offering raised more than $20 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history.

"The GM deal looks like it went well, which shows there's finally some stability and a growing company. There was really no question of it not going well, because they had the government behind them, so it's a no brainer for investors -- they're thinking they can get a quick flip here, buying at $33 and selling at $35."

...............

Personal computer maker Dell Inc. said Thursday that its net income for the latest quarter more than doubled as companies spent more to replace aging technology.

Dell's earnings topped Wall Street's expectations, and investors sent shares up nearly 6 percent after the results were announced.


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 Post subject: Re: AMATOR's News & misc
PostPosted: November 19th, 2010, 8:59 am 
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SembCorp Industries Target Raised To S$5.60 Vs S$4.73 By Citi

Keppel Corp Target Raised to S$12.80 From S$11.10 By Citi

SembCorp Marine Cut To Hold From Buy, Target Raised To S$5.60 From S$4.60 By Citi

Hongkong Land Upgraded To Buy From Hold, Target Raised To US$9.37 From US$5.50 By Citi


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 Post subject: Re: AMATOR's News & misc
PostPosted: November 19th, 2010, 1:57 pm 
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Hong Kong’s government plans new measures to cool the property market that will be related to the stamp duty imposed on home sales, a person familiar with the situation said today. Developers’ shares declined.

The measures may be announced today, the person said, declining to be identified ahead of an official statement.

The Hang Seng Property Index was headed for its biggest drop in three months. The gauge, which tracks Hong Kong’s seven biggest developers including Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., fell as much as 2.5 percent, the most since Aug. 16, and traded 1.9 percent lower as of 11:56 a.m. in Hong Kong.

The city’s home prices have climbed about 50 percent since the start of last year, surpassing a 1997 peak that was followed by a six-year deflationary slump. Norman Chan, who heads the city’s central bank, has said the U.S. Federal Reserve’s expanded monetary stimulus may spur inflows of cash into Hong Kong, where a currency peg to the dollar prevents officials from raising interest rates to cool demand.

“Every time the government introduces new measures it will somehow slow down the rise in property prices,” said Wong Leung-sing, a research director at Centaline Property Agency Ltd., Hong Kong’s biggest privately held real-estate brokerage. “But after that slight pause, as long as interest rates stay low, prices will start going up again.”

The government will release measures to help cool rising home prices after the close of trading at 4 p.m., Dow Jones reported earlier, citing a person it didn’t identify. Terry Wong, a spokeswoman at the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, said she “can’t confirm” the Dow Jones report or comment if there will be a press conference today.


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 Post subject: Re: AMATOR's News & misc
PostPosted: November 19th, 2010, 2:01 pm 
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Genting Singapore HSBC downgrades to Underweight with target price of S$2.05.

Keppel Land Phillip maintains Hold with target price of S$5.04.

Suntec REIT OCBC maintains Buy with target price of S$1.63 (previously S$1.64).


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 Post subject: Re: AMATOR's News & misc
PostPosted: November 19th, 2010, 8:39 pm 
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BEIJING (Reuters) – China ordered lenders on Friday to lock up more of their money with the central bank for the second time in two weeks, stepping up its battle to pull excess cash out of the economy before inflation has a chance to take off.

The People's Bank of China said that it would increase banks' required reserves by 50 basis points, its fifth such announcement this year. Including a temporary increase, the move takes required reserve ratios (RRR) to 18.5 percent for big banks, a record high.

The increase was intended "to strengthen liquidity management and appropriately control money and credit issuance", the central bank said in a statement on its website (www.pbc.gov.cn).

The move was not a surprise and, in fact, could be something of a relief for investors who had expected worse.

"It suggests China is intent to manage price pressures through withdrawing liquidity from the system," said Dongming Xie, China economist at OCBC Bank in Singapore. "However, it also suggests that China is being cautious about aggressive monetary tightening."

The central bank made the announcement after domestic markets had closed for the weekend. The Australian dollar, which is sensitive to the strength of Chinese demand, fell briefly against the U.S. dollar.

Chinese stock markets have tumbled nearly 10 percent over the past six trading days on concerns that the government would ratchet up its monetary policy tightening after inflation sped to a 25-month high in October.

Such concerns were crystallized when China's cabinet vowed on Wednesday to take "forceful" measures, including price controls if necessary, to rein in inflation.

"This RRR hike will not reduce the chance of raising interest rates, and I expect the central bank will raise benchmark rates one more time within the year," said Lu Zhengwei, chief economist at Industrial Bank in Shanghai.


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