Global Stocks Set To Close 2017 At All Time Highs, Best Year For The Euro Since 2003

With just a few hours left until the close of the last US trading session of 2017, and most of Asia already in the books, S&P futures are trading just shy of a new all time high as the dollar continued its decline ahead of the New Year holidays.
Indeed, markets were set to end 2017 in a party mood on Friday after a year in which a concerted pick-up in global growth boosted corporate profits and commodity prices, while benign inflation kept central banks from snatching away the monetary punch bowl. As a result, the MSCI world equity index rose another 0.15% as six straight weeks and now 13 straight months of gains left it at yet another all time high.
In total, world stocks haven’t had a down month in 2017, with the index rising 22% in the year adding almost $9 trillion in market cap for the year.
Putting the year in context, emerging markets led the charge with gains of 34%. Hong Kong surged 36%, South Korea was up 22% and India and Poland both rose 27% in local currency terms. Japan’s Nikkei and the S&P 500 are both ahead by almost 20%, while the Dow has risen by a quarter. In Europe, the German DAX gained nearly 14% though the UK FTSE lagged a little with a rise of 7 percent.
Craig James, chief economist at fund manager CommSec, told Reuters that of the 73 bourses it tracks globally, all but nine have recorded gains in local currency terms this year.
‘For the outlook, the key issue is whether the low growth rates of prices and wages will continue, thus prompting central banks to remain on the monetary policy sidelines,’ said James. ‘Globalization and technological change have been influential in keeping inflation low. In short, consumers can buy goods whenever they want and wherever they are.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Fri, 12/29/2017 –.

Hong Kong Ship Seized After Transferring Oil To North Korea

Just days after we showed satellite images which indicated that Chinese ships were trading oil with North Korean ships in a blatant violation of UN Security Council sanctions, South Korea said Friday that it was holding a Hong Kong flagged ship suspected of doing just that.
The Lighthouse Winmore is believed to have “secretly transferred” about 600 tons of refined petroleum products to the North Korean ship, the Sam Jong 2, in international waters in the East China Sea on Oct. 19, according to Bloomberg and the Associated Press.

The Hong Kong vessel had previously visited Yeosu port on Oct. 11 to load up on Japanese oil products and departed the port while claiming its destination was Taiwan. Instead, it transferred the oil to the Sam Jong 2 and three other non-North Korean vessels in international waters

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Fri, 12/29/2017 –.

Despite Being “Caught Red Handed”, China Denies Secretly Selling Oil To North Korea

An official statement from Chinese officials tonight smacks of Obi Wan Kenobi – ‘these are not the secret oil trades you are looking for’.

After being ‘caught RED HANDED’…according to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, U. S. recon satellites have photographed around 30 illegal transactions involving Chinese vessels selling oil to North Korea on the West Sea in October. The images allegedly showed large Chinese and North Korean ships transacting in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea. The satellite pictures even showed the names of the ships.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Thu, 12/28/2017 –.

Trump Warns China – “No Friendly Solution” If They Keep Cheating On Korean Oil Exports

Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2017

President Trump took aim at President Xi this morning in a very clear tweeted warning that follows US spy satellite evidence that showed China allowing oil exports to North Korea.
Trump exclaimed “caught red-handed” and said he was “very disappointed” by China’s actions. Perhaps more notable is that he explained “there’s no friendly solution” if this continues…
As a reminder, this is what President Trump is upset about, according to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, U. S. recon satellites have photographed around 30 illegal transactions involving Chinese vessels selling oil to North Korea on the West Sea in October. The images allegedly showed large Chinese and North Korean ships transacting in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea. The satellite pictures even showed the names of the ships.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Thu, 12/28/2017 –.

North Korean Defectors Show Signs Of Radiation Exposure

South Korean scientists and doctors who have been examining North Korean defectors have stumbled upon yet another horrifying discovery: At least four of the defectors have shown signs of radiation exposure, the South Korean government said on Wednesday – although researchers could not confirm if the radiation was related to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
Earlier today, we noted that one of the defectors had also tested positive for Anthrax antibodies, suggesting that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has continued his chemical weapons program despite signing an international chemical weapons treaty. Of course, the North Korean government has denied that chemical weapons are being used.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 27, 2017.

The Chinese: Liars In Trade AND Sanctions

Tell me again why we don’t toss our so-called “free trade” with China right here and now…..
According to South Korean government sources, the satellites have pictured large Chinese and North Korean ships illegally trading in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea.
The satellite pictures even show the names of the ships. A government source said, “We need to focus on the fact that the illicit trade started after a UN Security Council resolution in September drastically capped North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products.”

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-12-27.

US Spy Satellites Catch Chinese Ships Illegally Selling Oil To North Korea

According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, U. S. recon satellites have photographed around 30 illegal transactions involving Chinese vessels selling oil to North Korea on the West Sea in October. The images allegedly showed large Chinese and North Korean ships transacting in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea. The satellite pictures even showed the names of the ships.
REA MORE

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.

Satellite Images Show North Korea Building New Tunnel At Nuclear-Test Site

Despite earlier hope amid Tillerson’s comments on diplomacy with North Korea, a new batch of satellite images suggests that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is ignoring warnings from Chinese (as well as American and South Korean) scientists and instead pressing ahead with the country’s nuclear testing regimen at Punggye-ri, a facility situated in the country’s mountainous northeast.
As scientist from several countries have tried to explain, satellite images suggest Punggye-ri is suffering from ‘Tired Mountain Syndrome’ – a phenomenon first documented by spy satellites examining Soviet nuclear test sites. After being warned by Chinese scientists about the dangers, two tunnels collapsed near the testing chamber back in October, killing 200 North Korean workers.
According to 38North, a blog that closely tracks North Korea related news, work on what appears to be a new tunnel near the site’s West Portal is progressing, leaving the North Portal – where the last five tests were conducted – mostly dormant and likely abandoned, at least for the time being.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 12, 2017.

Japan, Inc. Rocked Again: Toray Admits To Falsifying Data After Internet Post Exposes Fraud

Corporate Japan’s credibility, already teetering after a barrage of corporate fraud and falsification scandals in recent months, hit another low after Toray Industries, one of Japan’s biggest materials manufacturers, joined a list of companies admitting to falsifying data. On Tuesdaty, Toray announced it had uncovered 149 cases of data fabrication at its subsidiary, Toray Hybrid Cord, in three products sold to tire companies and autoparts makers: tire cords, cords for car hose belts and cords for paper making. According to Nikkei Asian Review, the subsidiary made the products look as though they met customer requirements. The company admitted that 13 domestic and overseas companies, including at least one South Korean company, are affected.
In a statement issued roughly around the time president Akihiro Nikkaku was bowing to news reporters as Japanese management tends to do when caught engaging in criminal activity, Toray maintained that the “amount by which the data was adjusted to fit customer contract standards was insignificant.” The company believed there were no safety issues involved. Toray Hybrid Cord discovered the problem during a July 2016 internal compliance check, with Toray president Akihiro Nikkaku being informed of the matter the following October.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 28, 2017.

US to Import Inflation from Japan, China, South Korea

Even from Japan – whose export producer prices are soaring.
The oil price collapse that started in 2014 pushed down input costs that companies – the ‘producers’ – faced. And producer price indices, which measure inflation further up the pipeline, plunged. But this is over. And the biggest export powerhouses in Asia that have ballooning trade surpluses with the US, show how.
The Producer Price Index in Japan – the ‘Corporate Goods Price Index,’ as it’s called there – jumped 3.4% in October compared to a year ago, after already climbing an upwardly revised 3.1% in September, the Bank of Japan reported on November 13. It was the tenth month in a row of year-over-year gains and the highest annual rate since September 2014, by which time the collapsing energy prices were mopping up any inflationary pressures (chart via Trading Economics):

This post was published at Wolf Street on Nov 12, 2017.

Japan Rocked By Violent Stock Plunge As Nikkei Tumbles 850 Points Before Recovering Losses

Something snapped in Japan today.
With Asian stocks finally breaking out a decade-long doldrum, and hitting record highs earlier in the session, and with Japanese equities starting off the session on the right foot and continuing their recent ascent which until Wednesday had seen them rise on 23 of the past 25 days, Japanese shares suddenly lurched on Thursday, plunging sharply lower after dramatic intraday swings took the Nikkei and Topix indexes to multi-decade highs only to drop in the afternoon on futures-driven trading ahead of the following day’s options settlement. All told, in a little over an hour, what had been another solid rally in Japanese stocks turned into some rather sharp clear-air turbulence, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average plunging about 3.6% from the afternoon-session high to its low for the day.
It all started off well enough: in the morning session, the Topix notched a new 26-year high and the Nikkei 225 broke the 23,000 level for the first time since January 1992, as financial and securities shares rallied.
Then something flipped and in a gut-churning rollercoaster of a move, the Nikkei lurched from an over 2% gain which took it to a fresh 25 year high at the end of the morning session, to a loss of as much as 1.7%. The sudden reversal quickly spread to the currency market, with the yen surging before spreading across Asia: South Korean and Hong Kong equities also tumbled in sympathy. As Bloomberg snarks, “Sydney traders could count themselves lucky their market had already closed before the worst of the sell-off.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 9, 2017.

Gold And The Big Four: Slam Dunk

The synergistic relationship between gold and economic growth is quite healthy, and poised to become even more healthy in 2018 – 2019. Please click here now. Double-click to enlarge this fabulous South Korean stock market ETF chart. Big name Western money managers are finally racing to move money into Asian markets, and this is great news for both gold and global stock markets. For several years I’ve recommended that the gold community slightly reduce (but not drop) their focus on gold’s Western world fear trade and increase their focus on the Eastern stock markets and the love trade for gold. South Korea’s stock market sports 50% earnings growth and a P/E ratio of just 10! Japan’s market is also red hot, and so are the markets of China and India. US markets have risen strongly, but with anemic economic growth and nosebleed valuations. Growth is vastly stronger in Asia, but without European and US money manager participation, Asian stock markets have previously languished. This situation has changed dramatically in 2017, and 2018 should see an acceleration of this new trend. The bottom line: American markets are hot but overvalued. Asian markets are red hot but not overvalued. I own ETFs (and some individual stocks) in the ‘Big Four’ Asian markets; India, China, Japan, and Korea. I urge all Western gold bugs to ‘get with the (good) times’. The fear trade for gold will never disappear, but it’s a new era, and this new era is dominated by Asia. Investors should be very comfortable owning Asian stock markets and gold…at the same time. The bottom line: America isn’t out, but Asia is in! When times are good (and they are now very good in Asia), Asians buy more gold. Exponentially more. Chinese demand reflects this fact. It’s rising again; demand is up almost 20% over 2016, and poised to rise even more strongly in 2018.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 7 November 2017.

Asian Metals Market Update: November-7-2017

Higher crude oil prices are supporting gold and silver. Gold and silver have always flourished in an inflationary environment. Focus will shift to inflation. If crude oil prices continue to rise then one should use sharp dips to invest for the short term. I see a direct correlation between gold prices and crude oil prices. Trump’s South Korea visit and China visit will be closely watched. Ways to deal with North Korean nukes will affect gold and silver prices.
Rising crude oil prices can change the balance sheet of emerging markets like India. Governments will be caught between the choice of fiscal management and inflation management. Most of the emerging markets have enough reserves to withstand an energy shock. I see emerging market currency weakness, if Nymex crude oil continues to rise to $80 and consolidates at $80. Under the current scenario crude oil looks headed for $100 in the next twelve months as long as it trades over $46. Emerging market stock markets will form a medium term top and could move into a bearish phase if crude oil prices rise and consolidate around $80. As long as crude oil prices do not break $80, emerging markets are in a safe zone.
Historically crude oil prices have always zoomed under republicans. The current rise in crude oil price is an early signal of history repeating itself.
COMEX GOLD DECEMBER 2017 – current price $1280.10
Bullish over $1275.50 with $1291.40 and $1296.30 as price target.
Bearish below $1270.40 with $1264.60 and $1257.30 as price target.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 7 November 2017.

The End Is Near… Depopulation Is Out Of Control… So Buy Stocks (Seriously)

Authored by Chris Hamilton via Econimica blog,
The world economy is premised on a ludicrous idea – that Asia, then India, and then Africa will continue to drive economic growth.
So as not to turn this article into a book, lets consider this idea focusing on East Asia consisting of China, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, and minor others. This region consists of 1.6 billion persons or about 22% of earths inhabitants. However, since 2008, it is this region that is responsible for nearly 100% of the global increase in demand for oil (best proxy available for true economic growth) and having primarily driven global economic growth. My point in this article is that the growth in this region is entirely a credit driven supernova against collapsing populations which will never be able to fill the 100+ million newly added apartments or pay back the debt incurred to achieve the “growth”. Contrarily, from an investor standpoint, this weakness is the green light to “invest” as aggressively as possible because as long as central banks exist, they have your back.
Consider, since 2000, China’s debt outstanding has risen something like 14x’s to 17x’s or from about $2 trillion to something between $30 to $35 trillion presently. As for Japan, who knows Japan’s true debt as Japan’s central bank is buying much or most of the debt and essentially throwing it in a black hole, never to be seen again(…monetization with a capital “M”).
Why the massive debt creation and central bank monetization? Depopulation with a capital “D”. First off, consider the collapse in fertility rates for these nations (chart below). To maintain a constant, zero growth population, the childbearing population needs to produce 2.1 children in order to replace themselves (dashed line, below). However, as the chart below shows, E. Asian nations have seen negative fertility rates for decades (Japan turning negative in ’74, S. Korea in ’83, China in ’92, and N. Korea in ’96).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 3, 2017.

Frontrunning: November 3

House GOP Readies for Tax-Bill Battle (WSJ) GOP’s United Front on Tax Cuts Masks Divisions (BBG) Republican tax plan a blow to Democratic states, officials say (Reuters) As Trump Embarks on Asia Tour, North Korea Looms Large (WSJ) Apple Store Lines Return as iPhone X Debuts (WSJ) There’s Some Good News About 401(k)s in the Tax Bill (BBG) iPhone Xs Are Already Being Resold in Hong Kong (BBG) CNN to Launch Subscriptions for Digital News (WSJ) Mr. Ordinary: Who Is Jerome Powell, Trump’s Fed Pick? (WSJ) U. S. bomber drills aggravate North Korea ahead of Trump’s Asia visit (Reuters) Bitcoin Is the ‘Very Definition’ of a Bubble, Credit Suisse CEO Says (BBG) Goldman Retreats From Options as Stock Derivatives Trading Struggles (WSJ) Here’s a Juicy Tax Break. Now, How to Keep Everybody From Claiming It? (BBG) Dark Side at Fidelity: Women Describe a Culture of Revenge (BBG) Get Ready for an Appalachian Gas Bonanza (BBG) PDVSA Bonds Slump After Venezuela Calls for Restructuring: Chart (BBG) Drug Deaths Rose More Last Year Than in the Previous Four Combined (BBG) Overnight Media Digest
WSJ
– Two U. S. B-1B bombers flew near North Korea on Thursday, alongside Japanese and South Korean jet fighters, provoking anger from Pyongyang ahead of President Donald Trump’s closely watched trip to Asia. on.wsj.com/2gZ02qP
– The Justice Department is laying the groundwork for a potential lawsuit challenging AT&T Inc’s planned acquisition of Time Warner Inc if the government and companies can’t agree on a settlement, according to people familiar with the matter. on.wsj.com/2ipyGuh
– T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp are working to salvage their potential blockbuster merger, people familiar with the matter said, days after Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son appeared to call off the talks. on.wsj.com/2gZNq2Q

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 3, 2017.

Trump Departs For Longest Asian Tour Since Bush Vomited On Japan’s PM

President Donald Trump is leaving his administration’s push to pass comprehensive tax reform before year’s end in the hands of his trusted deputies while he embarks this morning on a 10-day tour to Asia, where he’s expected to discuss, among other topics, the security threat that North Korea poses to both the region and to the world more broadly.
As Reuters points out, it will be the longest Asia tour by a US president since George H. W. Bush vomited on Japan’s then-prime minister, Kiichi Miyazawa, during a trip to Asia in 1992 just weeks before the New Hampshire primary. While Trump, whoso gastro digestive system is in far better shape, will likely not suffer the same embarrassment, the possibility of a diplomatic fiasco is high for obvious reasons. Meanwhile, tensions run high: to underscore the seriousness of the biggest problem at hand, two US strategic bombers carried out military drills over South Korea Thursday, the U. S. Air Force said, raising tensions with North Korea, which accused the US of carrying out simulated bombing drills near its territory. In a move that is sure to further trigger the Kim regime just as Trump touches down in the region, the US has sent three aircraft carriers to participate in unprecedented 3-way drills off the Korean penninsula. Thursday’s drills were first reported by North Korean state news agency KCNA on Friday, which described the exercises involving South Korean and Japanese fighter jets were a ‘surprise nuclear strike drill,” Reuters reported.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 3, 2017.

“More Than 200” Dead After Tunnel Collapses At North Korean Nuclear Test Site

North Korean nuclear scientists apparently ignored warnings from a group of Chinese colleaugues who briefed them back in September that the North’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site was slowly imploding following the country’s sixth nuclear test, which involved a 100-kiloton hydrogen bomb roughly seven times more powerful than the weapon dropped by the US on Hiroshima in 1945.
As Japanese TV station Asahi TV reported Tuesday, more than 200 North Koreans were killed earlier this month when several tunnels in the underground complex collapsed, killing more a crew of laborers and a crew of rescue workers sent to save them. As we’ve reported previously, scientists in the US, China and South Korea have warned that further tests at the site could blow the top off the mountain, causing it to collapse. Meanwhile, it could send a plume of radioactive particles into the atmosphere that could deleteriously impact population centers in Northern China and across the region.

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

OCT 16/2017/GOLD AND SILVER FALL ON NEWS THAT TRUMP IS CONSIDERING JOHN TAYLOR AS FED GOVERNOR/KIRKUK FALLS TO IRAQI GOVERNMENT/SPECIAL FORCES LAND IN SOUTH KOREA/BREXIT TALKS GOING NOWHERE

GOLD: $1302.35 DOWN $1.64
Silver: $1733 DOWN 6 cents
Closing access prices:
Gold $1295.50
silver: $17.24
SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1309,55 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1301,50
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $8.05 (premiums getting larger)
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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1311.55
NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1303.50
Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$8.60(PREMIUMS GETTING LARGER)
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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1305.10
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1304.10
LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1299.60
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1299.60
For comex gold:
OCTOBER/
NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR OCT CONTRACT MONTH: 19NOTICE(S) FOR 1900 OZ.
TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 2353 FOR 235,300 OZ (7.318TONNES)
For silver:
OCTOBER
9 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR
45,000 OZ/
Total number of notices filed so far this month: 562 for 2,810,000 oz
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Bitcoin: $5659 bid /$56 79 offer up $171.00

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on October 16, 2017.