Posts from Thursday Jan 24 2013

Australia’s $20 trillion oil find

Move over Gulf Keystone; there’s a new wannabe supermajor in town.

It’s a small Australian exploration and development company called Linc Energy – tagline ‘Fueling our Future’ – and according to some hysterical media reports down under it’s found oil worth $20 trillion. Read more

The Closer


Not 1,500, not just yet. The S&P 500 failed to hold 1,500 on Thursday, but has now risen for seven days, its longest set of consecutive gains since October 2006. It closed at 1,494.82, dampened by the decline in Apple stock, post-earnings. Shares in Apple fell 12.4 per cent (Reuters). Read more

This normalising world

From the Danish central bank:

Effective from 25 January 2013, Danmarks Nationalbank’s interest rate on certificates of deposit and the lending rate are increased by 0.10 percentage point. The discount rate and the current account rate are unchanged.

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A statistician speaks out

It’s Andreas Georgiou, the head of Greece’s independent statistics agency, Elstat.

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Bob Diamond, John Varley, Jerry del Missier, Chris Lucas, Rich Ricci, and the Honourable Mr Justice Flaux

Quite a victory for open justice on Thursday — senior Barclays bankers involved in the first major test litigation over Libor will be publicly named in court after all, after a High Court judge threw out their application for anonymity.

Full FT story here. (The FT joined other media organisations in challenging the anonymity.) Read more

The shape of discretionary spending in emerging markets

There may be signs that the wealthiest few zillionaires in emerging markets are outgrowing their love of bling or at least becoming more discerning.

But the fashion houses in Milan and Paris are unlikely to be losing sleep over that. Because for many millions in the EM, success and status remains all too bound up with having Chanel’s double-Cs on their handbag or an Ω on their wrist. Read more

Preparing for a nickel glut?

FT Alphaville doesn’t tend to follow the nickel market too closely, but the research from Goldman Sachs on Thursday did strike us as interesting (our emphasis):

2012 nickel market summary: Weak demand growth and lower input costs As background, nickel underperformed in 2012, starting the year at $18,910/t, rising to $21,700/t in early February, and finishing the year at $16,998/t, declines of 10.1% and 21.4%, respectively. Overall nickel prices averaged $17,536/t in 2012, down 23.4% yoy from 22,900/t in 2011. Price weakness reflected a combination of soft global consumption growth set against significantly higher low-cost nickel pig iron supply in China, and, importantly, a shift down of the nickel cost curve in 2H2012 (largely reflecting lower energy and nickel ore input prices).

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Guest post: Scott Sumner responds on NGDP level targeting

Many thanks to economist Scott Sumner for this guest post responding to a recent comment by John Kemp, a Reuters analyst. Scott’s native writing home is The Money Illusion.

­­John Kemp recently posted the following qu­­estions in a comment at FT Alphaville:

Three questions for advocates of NGDPLT targeting to answer:

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Thanks for letting the team down, France

From Credit Suisse on Thursday morning:

BREAKING NEWS: Stronger-than-expected euro area flash PMIs in Januaryexcept for France

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Goodwill for all European companies

The European Securities and Markets Authority has squinted at the amount of goodwill on the balance sheets of 235 listed European companies, and it’s not happy with what it found. Not only were the companies seemingly too optimistic, given prevailing economic conditions, but some of their disclosures contained insufficient detail. It’s the sort of thing that makes it hard for investors and analysts to understand what’s going on.

That’s the boring explanation. Let’s go over it again, but this time with pictures! Read more

Markets Live: Thursday, 24th January, 2013

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Apple stock sheds 10% on growth worries || Japan records its largest ever trade deficit || Jaguar profit warning dents Tata Motors || North Korea threatens new nuclear test || Fortescue predicts iron ore price drop || South Korean growth hits three-year low || Google: Feds requesting more user data || Markets: Shares mixed on divergent data Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Thursday,

– Inequality and demand.

– Martin Wolf, hippie.

– DNA as a storage vehicle.  Read more

The 6am Cut London

Asian equities were mixed after a manufacturing survey pointed to a further acceleration of China’s economic recovery, while technology stocks came under pressure following Apple’s disappointing earnings report. The Nikkei jumped 1.3% in mid-afternoon trading as the yen weakened sharply on news of Japan’s record trade deficit. (Financial Times)

Japan’s 2012 trade deficit was its biggest ever: The deficit reached Y6.9tn ($77bn) as the cost of importing fuel rose following the Fukushima disaster, a strong yen, and frictions with China weighed on exports, bringing them 5.8% lower than the previous year, compared to expectations of a 4.2% decline. Prior to 2011, Japan had not recorded trade deficits since the 1980s. (Financial Times)(ReutersRead more

China flash manufacturing PMIs are at a 2-year high

And the preliminary HSBC PMI figure for China this month is…wait for it…

… 51.9. Read more