Tuesday 28th April 2015
NEWS TICKER: APRIL 28th 2015: The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 20.76 points or 0.59% lower to 3495.09, taking the year-to-date performance to +3.86%. The top active stocks today were SingTel, which declined 0.45%, DBS, which gained 0.48%, UOB, which declined 0.36%, Keppel Corp, which declined 2.56% and OCBC Bank, which closed unchanged. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index fell 0.63%, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index fell 0.67%. The outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Utilities Index, which rose 1.24%. The two biggest stocks of the Index - United Envirotech and Hyflux – ended 1.11% lower and 1.60% higher respectively. The underperforming sector was the FTSE ST Oil & Gas Index, which slipped 2.59%. Keppel Corp shares declined 2.56% and Sembcorp Industries declined 2.60% - India’s MM Auto Industries Ltd has withdrawn its proposed initial public offer, making it the third entity to pull back of an IPO this year. The Gurgaon-based company had filed draft offer documents with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for the proposed IPO in March. It was yet to receive Sebi's approval for the proposed public offer. However, the company through its lead merchant banker Mefcom Capital Markets Limited withdrew the IPO application on April 18th according to the firm’s spokesman - Orezone Gold Corporation (ORE-TSX) has released the findings of an independent Feasibility Study for its wholly owned Bomboré Gold Project in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The study envisions a shallow open pit mining operation with a processing circuit that combines heap leaching and carbon-in-leach (CIL) without any grinding to process the soft and mostly free digging oxidized ores. The eleven-year mine plan, based on a mineral reserve using an US$1,100 gold price, is designed to deliver higher grade ore in the early years (0.88 g/t over the first eight years of production at a strip ratio of 1:1). Lower grade stockpiles will be processed in the final three years. The financial model with revenues based on a US$1,250 gold price, yields a robust 24.4% after tax internal rate of return to the company (based on 90% ownership, 10% government stake) with a net present value of $196m at a 5% discount rate. Project payback is estimated at 2.7 years with all in sustaining costs averaging $678/oz. Initial capital is estimated at $250m including contingencies, all working capital and a $10.5m credit for gold revenues generated during the pre-production period. Capital costs include the mining fleet, a much larger water storage reservoir and higher resettlement costs than envisioned in the March 2014 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA). Sustaining capital is estimated at $75.2m, taking into account the additional three years of mine life and higher resettlement costs than estimated in the PEA. Total reclamation and closure costs are estimated at $22.5m including $8.7m of heap rinsing costs expensed in year twelve.

The push and pull of willpower & politics

Friday, 25 May 2012
The push and pull of willpower & politics June will be a battle between political will and economics. While European leaders continue to insist that they want Greece to remain in the eurozone, they are continually being reminded of the economic reality that a break-up of the single currency is almost certain. What is becoming more apparent day by day is that the markets will simply not allow the likes of Greece to have their cake and eat it without paying for it too. Whether Europe’s politicians will listen to those market siren calls for change has yet to be determined. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

June will be a battle between political will and economics. While European leaders continue to insist that they want Greece to remain in the eurozone, they are continually being reminded of the economic reality that a break-up of the single currency is almost certain. What is becoming more apparent day by day is that the markets will simply not allow the likes of Greece to have their cake and eat it without paying for it too. Whether Europe’s politicians will listen to those market siren calls for change has yet to be determined.

If the Germans and French remain reluctant to put their money in the pockets by either using the ECB’s potential firepower or create a special eurobond then they could themselves become the very nemesis of the single currency that they tell us they are so desperate to keep. Even so, risk aversion continues to whittle down the markets; at the time of writing the index is at 5380, down some 25 points. Traders are watching term support trends at 5335, 5300 and 5275; hopeful bulls out there will be looking for resistance at 5490, 5615/45. This near term downward trend sees the index capped by a downward trend line that also puts some resistance at 5450. Over the longer term now that the index has broken below its 200 day moving average and its upward trend line a close below 5400 could been seen as very negative and we’re now in the ­territory of people not wanting to catch a falling knife.

While immediate market focus will remain on Europe and its affect on the macro picture, there are a couple of important pieces of data that UK investors should note. First, following a surprising improvement in April, unemployment numbers are likely to show a weakening labour market.  There’s little in the way of encouraging data from the UK at the moment, but last month’s data was the first ­indication that unemployment is ­starting to peak. Job creation has come largely from part time rather than ­permanent work and the tick downwards to 8.3% in the rate of unemployment is expected to rise back to 8.4%. Second, it will be interesting to see whether the upcoming Bank of England’s inflation report will encourage the central bank to stick to their hawkish guns or whether the ­confirmation of the double dip recession and a further downgrading of growth projections will result in a more dove-ish tone.



Other European indicators are not great either: Italian ten year yields have crossed back above 6% and for Spain back above 6.5%, meanwhile risk adverse investors piled into German bunds driving their cost of borrowing even lower. This is classic fear gripping the markets once again as the vicissitudes of 2012 look to be playing out in a very similar fashion to 2011. Financial markets detest uncertainty and at the moment they are riddled with them since Greece has been unable to form a government and has had to call for a new round of  elections on 17th June. Up until that point we can expect volatility to remain high and continued pressure to the downside.

The euro made a low of $1.2720 as the situation in Greece continues to deteriorate. Bears sold the single ­currency heavily after socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos announced that talks to form a coalition government had failed and that the public would have to go back to the polls next month. Gold continued to fall as traders dumped risky assets and piled into the safety of the US dollar. Spot gold traded as low as $1541 an ounce.  With little technical support seen until $1531 and no turn around in Greece on the horizon, the down trend looks set to stay firmly in place.

On top of all the European woes there’s also the growing concern that China is slowing down quicker than was previously thought. Add any downturn to the euro crisis and it has negative connotations for global growth.

As ever, ladies and gentlemen, place your bets...

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