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18May2015 Pre-Market Commentary: U.S. Futures Pulling Back From Last Weeks Highs, European Markets Lower Over Greece Concerns And Goldman Lowers Oil Price Forecast

Written by Gary

U.S. stock futures fell slightly this morning, putting the S&P 500 index on track to pull back from its new record closing high made on Friday.

Southern Europe led the continent's stocks lower, as jitters arose over the future of Greece ahead of a summit of European leaders later this week.

Markets expected to open fractionally lower.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are lower today with shares in France off the most. The CAC 40 is down 0.70% while London's FTSE 100 is off 0.12% and Germany's DAX is lower by 0.05%.

Goldman Sachs has cut its long-term crude oil price forecasts and recommended investors sell shares in two major oil companies, saying that improved U.S. shale efficiency and higher production from OPEC will more than cover future demand.

Property prices may be rising in China's biggest cities, but huge swaths of the country are mired in unsold inventory.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Human Stock Pickers Gain Against Indexes

So far this year, U.S. stock mutual funds that are actively managed have outperformed the overall market and rivals who aim to clone its performance.

Goldman cuts crude outlook and oil company forecasts

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs has cut its long-term crude oil price forecasts and recommended investors sell shares in two major oil companies, saying that improved U.S. shale efficiency and higher production from OPEC will more than cover future demand.

Intel, Altera resume deal talks: NY Post

(Reuters) - Chipmakers Intel Corp and Altera Corp have resumed talks on a possible deal that could top $13 billion, the New York Post reported.

Shape Of Greek Endgame Emerges: IMF Discussed "Cyprus-Like" Plan After Tsipras Warned Of Looming Default

As we said over the weekend, it's all about Riga again for Greece. EU leaders will meet on Thursday and Friday in Latvia where PM Alexis Tsipras will try to secure a more favorable outcome than did FinMin Yanis Varoufakis who, last month in Riga, reportedly did more chiding and lecturing than negotiating, a performance that may ultimately cost him his job once all is said and done. The situation is far more urgent this time around, with Greece having tapped its IMF SDR account to make a payment to the Fund and with the banking sector running dangerously low on collateral that can be pledged for emergency liquidity.

A bit more color from Deutsche Bank:

One thing that is starting to come to a head is Greece. With an EU leaders summit in Riga scheduled for Thursday and Friday, we should have a good idea of where current negotiations stand by the end of the week. Talks may well pick up in pace over the next few days with a spokesman for the Syriza party saying on Greek TV (Mega) that .we're striving for a mutually beneficial agreement by Friday' while pushing the party line that'our mandate from the Greek people is to reach an agreement where we stay in the euro area without harsh austerity measures'...

One other factor that will likely add pressure to accelerate negotiations this week is the news over the weekend that Greece came close to being unable to pay the May 12th IMF repayment. According to Greek press Ekathimerini, PM Tsipras sent a letter on May 8th to the IMF's Lagarde saying that the Greek government would not be able to repay the €750m unless the ECB allowed for Greece to issue more T-Bills. In the end, the government decided that it would o ...

Platinum Bullion Stocks To Be Completely Depleted?


Today's AM LBMA Gold Price was USD 1,228.15, EUR 1,079.41 and GBP 784.12 per ounce.
Friday's AM LBMA Gold Price was USD 1,216.30, EUR 1,071.23 and GBP 772.95 per ounce.

Gold in USD - 1 Week Gold in USD - 1 Week

Gold climbed $3.10 or 0.25 percent to $1,224.90 an ounce on Friday, and silver rose $0.10 or 0.57 percent to $17.53 an ounce.

Gold and silver both performed strongly for the week - gold gained 3 percent and silver outperformed once again and surged 6.4 percent.

Gold in Singapore rose to $1,232.20 an ounce near the end of day trading - its highest price since February. In London, gold climbed for its fifth consecutive session making it the longest winning streak since March.

Gold in GBP - 1 Week Gold in GBP - 1 Week ...

Exclusive: Help us fight fakes, Alibaba's security chief tells global brands

HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - When it comes to fighting fakes, Alibaba's head of internet security says cooperation beats the courtroom any day.

China's Improving Property Scene Still a Drag

Property prices may be rising in China's biggest cities, but huge swaths of the country are mired in unsold inventory.

Frontrunning: May 18

Tsipras Endgame Nears as Greek Bank Collateral Evaporates (BBG)

Shi'ite forces ordered to deploy after fall of Iraqi city (Reuters)

Ratings agency Fitch to downgrade many European banks (Reuters)

Bubble Blowing to Continue So Long as Yellen Isn't Raising Rates (BBG)

Greece's Debt Battle Exposes Deeper Eurozone Flaws (WSJ)

Obama to set new limits on police use of military equipment (Reuters)

China April home prices fuel hopes of bottoming out, but long road to recovery (Reuters)

Hedge Funds Close Doors, Facing Low Returns and Investor Scrutiny (NYT)

ASIC's Greg Medcraft 'quite worried' about Sydney, Mel ...

Oil holds as Mideast turmoil offsets ample supply outlook

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices firmed on Monday after a major advance by Islamic State militants in Iraq.

Stock futures edge lower ahead of housing data

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Monday, after the S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday, as investors awaited U.S. housing data.

Beijing to Unveil South America Investments

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang is set to bring greater financial support to South America, part of Beijing's broader effort to reassure countries that have been hit by declining demand for raw materials.

Gold Jumps Despite Stronger Dollar As Grexit Gets Ever Nearer, Futures Flat

With equities having long ago stopped reflecting fundamentals, and certainly the Eurozone's ever more dire newsflow where any day could be Greece's last in the doomed monetary union, it was up to gold to reflect that headlines out of Athens are going from bad to worse, with Bloomberg reporting that not only are Greek banks running low on collateral, both for ELA and any other purposes, that Greece would have no choice but to leave the Euro upon a default and that, as reported previously, Greece would not have made its May 12 payment had it not been for using the IMF's own reserves as a source of funding and that the IMF now sees June 5 as Greece's ever more fluid D-day. As a result gold jumped above $1230 overnight, a level last seen in February even as the Dollar index was higher by 0.5% at last check thanks to a drop in the EUR and the JPY.

Over in commodities, Brent has extended gains into 2nd day amid heightened geopolitical tensions across Middle East, including resumption of Saudi-led air-strikes against Yemen Houthi because nobody could have possibly foreseen the "Ukrainization" of that particular ceasefire. Saudi air strikes in Yemen fall under rules of engagement, Houthi rebels moved missile launchers to border, says U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry. "Under the rules of engagement, it was always understood that, if there were proactive moves by one side or the other, the ...

Planemaker Dassault to double Rafale output in two to three years if India buys

GENEVA (Reuters) - Dassault Aviation will double production of its Rafale combat jet within two to three years of the completion of a planned sale to India, its chief executive said on Monday.

Chinese car hire app Yidao Yongche hints at Uber tie-up

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese private car hire app Yidao Yongche has hinted at a tie-up with Uber Technologies Inc, the controversial $40 billion U.S. taxi-hailing firm which has repeatedly hit regulatory roadblocks in China, the world's largest smartphone market.

Italian Banks Have Chance to Bloom

Italy's banking sector is set to benefit from the return to economic growth and a stable government in Rome. There is opportunity here for investors, but buyer beware: valuations are already stretched for the main players.

European stocks rise, led by energy shares; dollar rebounds

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares rose on Monday, with energy stocks in focus after a rise in oil prices, while the dollar lifted off four-month lows it had reached on concern over the U.S. economy.

Fed's Evans says FOMC could look at rate hike in June

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve could look at a rate hike in June if the economy is strong enough, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said in the Swedish capital on Monday.

AstraZeneca to invest $285 million in Swedish biotech drug factory

LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca is investing $285 million to expand biotech drug manufacturing in Sweden as the company bets on the future of high-tech medicine for future growth.

Oil Investors Take a Closer Look at Production

A spotlight has landed on a previously overlooked metric as oil traders drill deeper for clues on price movement.

Nissan CEO says no need to change Renault alliance after French government hikes stake

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co Ltd CEO Carlos Ghosn said on Monday there was no need to change the automaker's capital alliance with Renault , after France raised its stake and voting rights in Renault last month.

Ctrip Continues Solid Topline Growth In Q1 With Open Platform Growth & Technological Advancements

Ctrip International, the leading Chinese online travel agency, announced its Q1 2015 earnings on May 13th. The company displayed top-line growth towards the higher end of management guidance, though the bottom line remained dampened. At $373 million, net revenues for Q1 2015 grew by 46% year on year. The main contributors to this growth were accommodation (contributing to 41% of the revenue) and transportation ticketing (contributing 41%). Accommodation reservation volume increased 60% year on year and revenues from accommodation reservation increased 45% year on year to reach $154 million. Transportation ticketing volume increased 104% year on year and revenues from transportation ticketing increased 46% year on year reaching $153 million.

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