Asian Metals Market Update: July-31-2017

Factors which can affect markets
This could be a big week for the US dollar as well as metals and energies. Crude oil could zoom if it manages to trade over $50. Boom or bust scenario for the US dollar index. There is nothing positive from Trump and his team. Unending Trump controversies haunt investors. Degradation of US-Russia to before cold war years can have a long term affect for global markets. America is not the sole consumer of the world now. Russian consumer demand is rising. American companies will be looser in the US-Russia spat. US-European union relations could be in serious jeopardy as sanctions on Russia hurt European companies in a big way.
There is also some speculation that the current Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen could be renewed for another term next year. This will be positive for the US dollar and negative for gold and silver as it reduces uncertainty and also the pace of interest rate hikes will faster next year.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 31 July 2017.

Scaramucci Fired As Trump’s Communications Director After Just 10 Days

Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S. C.: No WH chaos!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2017

That didn’t take long: just over a week after Anthony Scaramucci was appointed as the new White House communications director, and just three days after Trump fired the Mooch’s arch nemesis Reince Priebus, the NYT reports that Trump has removed Scaramucci from the role of Communications Director, under instruction from Trump’s new chief of staff, Gen. Kelly.
According to the NYT, Scaramucci’s abrupt removal came just 10 days after the wealthy New York financier was brought on to the West Wing staff, a move that convulsed an already chaotic White House and led to the departures of Sean Spicer, the former press secretary, and Reince Priebus, the president’s first chief of staff.
The decision to remove Mr. Scaramucci, who had boasted about reporting directly to the president not the chief of staff, John F. Kelly, came at Mr. Kelly’s request, the people said. Mr. Kelly made clear to members of the White House staff at a meeting Monday morning that he is in charge.
It was not clear whether Mr. Scaramucci will remain employed at the White House in another position or will leave altogether.
ABC adds that Scaramucci offered his resignation to Gen. Kelly this morning, with a request to be moved to the Ex-Im bank

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

Gold: An Economic Lifeline for Women in India

Gold makes up an integral part of the economy of India in general, but for Indian women, it often serves as an economic lifeline.
Indians have a love affair with gold. The country ranks as the second largest consumer of the yellow metal in the world. It’s not just a luxury. Even the poor buy gold in India. The yellow metal is interwoven into the country’s marriage ceremonies, and cultural and religious rites. Indians also value gold as a store of wealth, especially in poor rural regions. Two-thirds of India’s gold demand comes from these areas, where the vast majority of people live outside the official tax system.
Women drive much of the traditional demand for gold in the India, as former Reserve Bank of India governor Y. V. Reddy explained in the recent issue of the World Gold Council publication The Gold Investor.
Gold is inherited by women and they are deprived of it only under desperate circumstances. As gold is significantly nondepreciating in its physical form or in terms of value, it provides safety and security for women and, under difficult circumstances, liquidity.’

This post was published at Schiffgold on JULY 31, 2017.

SWOT Analysis: Popularity Rises for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

Strengths
The best performing precious metal for the week was palladium, up 4.29 percent on hedge fund managers increasing their bullish positioning on the metal as expectations of increased usage in automotive catalyst to curb pollution. China’s purchase of bullion bars in the first half of the year rose 51 percent, reports Bloomberg, setting gold up for a sixth monthly gain in seven. China gold demand rose 545.23 tons, including gold bars to 158.40 tons. And as global gold prices retreat, China purchased more bullion from Hong Kong in June. The dollar dropped as gold rose this week following signals from the Federal Reserve that inflation remains below target, reports Bloomberg, fueling speculation that the central bank will not rush to raise rates. The Fed commented that the balance sheet unwind will start ‘relatively soon.’ The dollar held near the lowest in more than a year, with gold futures reaching the highest since mid-June. ‘Dollar weakness and U. S. political concerns are lending support to gold,’ said Guotai Junan Futures, a Chinese brokerage. The widening investigation into President Donald Trump, threatening to derail his economic agenda, has also spurred haven demand for the yellow metal, Bloomberg writes. Weaknesses
The worst performing precious metal for the week was platinum, essentially flat by the end of the week. Part of the weakness related to weaker diesel engine demand. In addition, The U. K. became the latest European country to mark the end of the line for diesel and gasoline fueled cars, reports Bloomberg, as the government said it will ban sales of the vehicles by 2040. ‘The global shift toward electric vehicles will create upheaval across a number of sectors, from oil majors harmed by reduced gasoline demand to spark plug and fuel injection makers whose products aren’t needed by plug-in cars,’ the article reads.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Monday, 31 July 2017.

Key Events In The Coming Week: Payrolls, Central Banks, China And More

As many traders quietly leave for summer break soaking up even more liquidity as they go, a busy US calendar unfolds in the week ahead, with ISM, PCE price data and, of course, payrolls in the spotlight.
Key Events, courtesy of RanSquawk
Monday: Eurozone CPI (Jul, P), China Official PMIs (Jul) Tuesday: RBA MonPol Decision, Eurozone GDP (Q2, Initial) Wednesday: ADP, Fed’s Mester, Williams speak Thursday: BoE MonPol Decision, Meeting Minutes & Quarterly Inflation Report Friday: US Labour Market Report (Jun), Canadian Labour Market Report (Jun), RBA SoMP In North America, June’s US Labor Market Report headlines the docket next week. Analysts expect the Nonfarm Payrolls headline to print at 187,000, with the unemployment rate expected to tick down to 4.3%, while hourly earnings are expected to remain subdued. The H1 average for the Nonfarm Payrolls release sits at 180,000. Following its latest statement, the Federal Reserve noted that ‘job gains have been solid, while household spending and business fixed investment have continued to expand.’ The main worry is wage growth, which has remained muted, and is perhaps keeping a lid on the Federal Reserve’s hiking cycle at present, as inflation has been kept in check.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

The Accounting Ponzi Scheme Is Catching Up To Amazon

”Faith’ is defined as ‘belief without evidence.’ AMZN is a stock investment that thrives on
investor faith. Investor greed transforms into irrational faith when the faith is rewarded with stock gains. This will ultimately burn out but it’s impossible to predict timing. The stock is trading at 178x TTM net income. This is an insane multiple for a company with a deteriorating business model that is under attack from all angles by large, well-capitalized competitors who specialize in Amazon’s business segments.
Having said that, I continue to believe that money can be made trading AMZN from the short side but it requires discipline and diligent capital management. Amazon is one of those stocks in which you need to maintain some short exposure because, when it finally goes, it will go quickly and you’ll be waiting for a big bounce to short that will never materialize’ – excerpt from the latest Short Seller’s Journal
In last week’s issue of the Short Seller’s Journal, I did an in-depth analysis of Netflix’s (NFLX) accounting and demonstrated how NFLX manipulates GAAP accounting to manufacture fake net income. I advised subscribers to short NFLX on Monday at $188. This week I focus on the key areas of Amazon’s quarterly financials and show how Jeff Bezos transforms actual negative free cash flow into the Bezos $9.6 billion LTM ‘free cash flow.’

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on July 31, 2017.

An Ohio Factory Owner Is Eager To Hire Workers, There Is Just One Problem…

In April, the Fed’s otherwise boring Beige Book revealed a striking anecdote about the current state of the US labor market: as the Boston Fed commented at the time, the qualified labor shortage had gotten so bad, that the hit rate on hiring after a simple math and drug test, has collapsed below 50%. To wit:
Labor markets in the First District continued to tighten somewhat. Many employers sought to add modestly to head counts (although one manufacturer laid off about 4 percent of staff over the last year), while wage increases were modest. Some smaller retailers noted increasing labor costs, in part driven by increases in state minimum wages being implemented over a multi-year period. Restaurant contacts, particularly in heavy tourism regions, expressed concern about possible labor shortages this summer, exacerbated by an expected slowdown in granting H-2B visas. Half of contacted manufacturers were hiring, though none in large numbers; several firms said it was hard to find workers.
One respondent said that during a recent six-month attempt to add to staff for a new product, two-thirds of applicants for assembly line jobs were screened out before hiring via math tests and drug tests; of 400 workers hired, only 180 worked out.
Fast forward to today when we have a practical example of how severe this quandary has become for employers.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

Can the Stock Market Continue Its Rise While the U.S. Dollar Slumps?

Back on January 12, 2017, Wall Street On Parade had a foreboding about the President-elect and his impact on the nation’s currency. We wrote at the time:
‘The President of the United States is typically viewed as the person whose top job is to inspire confidence in the dignity, integrity and sanity of his leadership of the country. But the presser held by President-elect Donald Trump yesterday, the first in six months and likely viewed by world leaders around the globe, was short on confidence building and long on slandering the American media and U. S. intelligence agencies. In short order, the U. S. dollar took a dive. Trump has yet to assimilate the concept that his words no longer belong just to him but attach themselves like flypaper to the credibility of the most powerful nation on earth.’
This morning, reporters at Bloomberg News are also worrying about the sagging U. S. dollar, writing that ‘there’s no better place for investors to express their views about how a nation is managing its affairs than the $5.1 trillion-a-day global market for foreign exchange.’ The article also notes that on July 20 of this year, when news reports surfaced that the Trump campaign/Russia investigation had expanded to include his personal finances, the U. S. dollar ‘immediately sank to an 11-month low. Just two days earlier, the currency slumped after a Republican effort to overhaul health care broke down.’

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Martens and Russ Marte.

Bill Blain: “There Is One Obvious Trigger That Could Lead To A Market Fall In The Second Half”

Politics – More Destabilizing Than You Think!
‘With comedy we can search for the profound…’
Dark skies, torrential rain and thinking about putting the log-burner on.. Welcome to high-summer in England. Markets are thin and the crowds trying to clamber on the train were noticeably lighter this morning. (Actually, the sun was shining this morning as my train sat listlessly somewhere ‘Sarf’ of Wimbledon..)
Don’t be fooled into thinking what’s happening today isn’t critical – events now are setting the tone for the rest of 2017. If you want a title for today’s Porridge – try: ‘Politics – More Important than you think!’
The big debate is between the Macro Panglossians and the Micro Worriers. There are those – those who believe the growing synchronous global recovery story will get even stronger, driven by positive economic factors: policy, low interest rates and low inflation. It’s difficult to fault their arguments in favour of a big secular shift into stocks, and to worry less about the bond markets as any rate increases will be limited. (If you buy into this scenario, you might want to think about how oversold the dollar might be..)

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

Why the Market’s ‘Most Powerful Index’ Is Dead Right Now

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
The ‘Big Three’ indexes – the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and the Nasdaq, with their unprecedented strength – are the ones everyone’s watching right now.
There’s one important index, however, that’s continually scraping record lows. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index – the VIX. The VIX measures volatility in short-term S&P 500 options, but most investors think of it as a powerful broad-market ‘fear index.’
It seems the market has no ‘fear’ right now. So FOX Business’ Gerri Wilder turned to the guy that helped develop the VIX, Shah, to see whether the record lows there are cause for concern.
Shah told us what’s really happening and, best of all, how to make a little extra money on this unusual situation…

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Money Morning Staff Reports ‘ July 31, 2017.

Only 37% Believe the Democrats Stand for Something – The Disintegration of Politics

The Democrats are realizing that recent polls show that only 37% of people believe that the Democratic Party stands for something while the rest think they just oppose Trump. The Washington Post carried the comments of Chuck Schumer who effectively blasted Hillary for blaming everyone from Comey to Russians sending the country ever closer to not merely a paralyzing system, but increasing the risk of war.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 31, 2017.

Global Stocks Rise On “Growth Optimism”, Ignore Political Turmoil; Dollar, Oil Creep Higher

S&P futures rose 0.1% on the last trading day of the month, trailing European and Asian markets boosted by China’s July Mfg. PMI, which despite declining from from 51.7 to 51.4, and missing expecations of 51.5, saw the construction index rise to its highest level since December 13, sending Chinese iron ore futures surging and the European commodity sector broadly higher.
DCE Iron ore futures +6.43% pic.twitter.com/z7TDGWHOkQ
— Sunchartist (@Sunchartist) July 31, 2017

In equities, the MSCI All-Country World Index advanced 0.1%, and the MSCI Emerging Market Index increased 0.3%, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan reversed early losses to rise 0.25%. Stocks have rebounding from Friday’s selloff spurred by raw-material producers on “optimism the global economy is gathering momentum” amid “evidence points to resilient global growth, with investors assessing numbers from the world’s top three economies” according to Bloomberg.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

JPM Develops A.I. Robot To Execute High Speed Trades, Put Humans Out Of Work

With high-margin FICC revenues stuck in a secular decline across the financial industry, banks are forced to extract as much profit as possible from existing product lines. Which explains why JPMorgan will soon be using a “first-of-its-kind robot” to do away with carbon-based traders altogether and execute trades across its global equities algorithms business using a “robot”, after a recent trial of JPM’s new artificial intelligence (AI) program showed it was “much more efficient than traditional methods of buying and selling“, the FT reports.
JPMorgan, the world’s biggest bank by revenue, believes it is the first on Wall Street to use AI with trade execution and said it would take rivals 18 to 24 months and an investment of ‘multiple millions’ to come up with similar technology.
The AI – known internally as LOXM – has been used in the bank’s European equities algorithms business since the first quarter and will be launched across Asia and the US in the fourth quarter, Daniel Ciment, JPMorgan’s head of global equities electronic trading, told the Financial Times.
In the latest victory for robot kind over humans, LOXM’s job will be to execute client orders with maximum speed at the best price, “using lessons it has learnt from billions of past trades – both real and simulated – to tackle problems such as how best to offload big equity stakes without moving market prices.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

As Saudi King’s Health Wanes, War Architect Bin Salman Set To Become King

While his health and even sanity have been in doubt for years, fresh rumors are spreading that King Salman of Saudi Arabia’s physical condition has further deteriorated. According to Saudi sources cited by Oil Price, Salman’s health will likely forced him to abdicate the throne in the next few months.
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Though it was long believed that Mohammed bin Nayef, the king’s nephew and the country’s Minister of the Interior, would assume the throne, bin Nayef’s sudden ouster as Saudi Crown Prince during Ramadan definitively changed that, with King Salman’s son and the current Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, now positioned to take control.
Bin Nayef’s ouster was initially reported by international media as having gone ‘smoothly.’ However, it soon emerged that bin Salman had planned the entire affair and that the former Crown Prince, following his acquiescence of the title, was essentially under house arrest. Since then, rumblings have emerged that many in the Saudi royal family, which has long been guided by deference to elders and group consensus, are none too happy with the sudden turn of events in the normally stable kingdom.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 30, 2017.

The West lost at least another 1000 tonnes of large gold bars in 2015

Over the last number of years, one of the most interesting trends in the physical gold world is the ongoing conversion of large 400 ounce gold bars into smaller high purity 1 kilogram gold bars to meet the insatiable demand of Asian gold markets such as China and India.
This transformation of 400 ounce bars into 1 kilogram bars is an established fact and is irrefutable given the large amount of evidence which proves it is happening, as has been documented on the BullionStar website and elsewhere.
It is also something which causes plenty of excitement in the gold world as it underscores the huge movement of physical gold from West to East, and the continual depletion of gold inventories from locations such as the London Gold Market.
The general movement is one of 995 purity 400 ounce gold bars coming out of gold-backed ETFs, central bank gold holdings and other wholesale gold holdings, and these bars making their way to the Swiss refineries where they are transformed / smelted / recast into smaller 9999 high purity gold bars. The smaller gold bars are then exported from Switzerland to India, China, Hong Kong, and the Middle East.

This post was published at Bullion Star on 31 Jul 2017.

SILVER INVESTMENT: Outperformed Gold In This Major Sector

Precious metals investors may not be aware, but silver investment has seriously outperformed gold in this major market sector. Even though precious metals sentiment and sales are currently lower than they were over the past several years, this is only temporary pause before the market surges as the highly inflated stock market finally cracks and plunges lower.
When we start to witness a huge correction or crash in the broader stock markets, there only be a few physical assets worth owning to protect wealth. Investors moving into the precious metals at this time, will see their asset values increase significantly. However, silver will likely out perform gold as investors and speculators move into the more undervalued precious metal.
Actually, we have already witnessed this as physical silver investment versus jewelry demand has outperformed gold in the same market. Let me explain. While industrial demand is the largest consumer of silver in the market, silver jewelry demand has ranked second for quite some time. But, this all changed after the 2008 U. S. Banking Industry and Housing Market collapse.

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on JULY 30, 2017.

Low Volatility Will Make The Next 5% Drop In The Dow “Feel Like 1987”

The VIX has recently flirted with its all-time closing low, analysts worry that volatility has been so low for so long that analysts are worried that the next sizable negative shock will cause investors to panic and dump their holdings.
Other than a handful of selloffs over the past couple of years (Aug. 2015, Jan. 2016, June 2016), Federal Reserve-led easing has guided markets steadily higher since the crisis. As MarketWatch reports, The Dow hasn’t experienced a 5% drop since 2011, and before that a 5% drop hadn’t happened since 2008, when there were 9 such drops. The blue-chip index closed at a record high on Friday, leaving it just 200 points shy of 22,000. At this level, a 5% selloff would equate to a 1,100-point, one-day slide in the gauge – an eye-popping four-digit drop.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

Bitcoin, ICO Risk Versus Immutable Gold and Silver

– Latest developments show risks in crypto currencies
– Confusion as bitcoin may split tomorrow
– SEC stepped into express concern over ICOs
– ICOs have so far raised $1.2 billion in 2017
– ICOs preying on lack of understanding from investors
– Physical gold not vulnerable to technological risk
– Beauty and safety in simplicity of gold and silver
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Editor: Mark O’Byrne
Forks and ICOs solves bitcoin v gold debate
There is still a huge amount of noise in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency space but there have been a few developments of late which have pushed the space further into maturity.
From what I can tell from dinner party conversations people who are vaguely aware of bitcoin now know that there are two terms they need to throw into the chat in order to sound like they know what they are talking about. These two terms are ICO and Fork.
Price is also a major talking point at present. As ever the price of bitcoin remains volatile and headline-worthy.

This post was published at Gold Core on July 31, 2017.