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24Sep2015 Pre-Market Commentary: Markets Set To Open Lower, WTI Oil In High 43's And Falling

Written by Gary

U.S. stock futures index is down this morning (-0.8%), WTI oil is currently trading in the $44/43 line in the sand and the morning financials are 'not so good'.

Markets are expected to open lower and may test the lower sideways channel.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are broadly lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 2.05% while France's CAC 40 is off 1.63% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.59%.

WTI oil is in the high $43's falling from yesterday's highs of $47.14 (Chart Here) and the U.S. Dollar is losing ground now in the high $95's, down from its high at $96.70 yesterday (Chart Here).

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

19 September 2015 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Again Improves

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims

The market was expecting the weekly initial unemployment claims at 269,000 to 280,000 (consensus 275,000) vs the 267,000 reported. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 272,500 (reported last week as 272,500) to 271,750. The rolling averages generally have been equal to or under 300,000 since August 2014.

Volkswagen to start firings over emissions scandal: sources

HAMBURG/BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen will start firing people responsible for rigging U.S. emissions tests and shake up management on Friday, two sources familiar with the plans said, as the German carmaker tries to get to grips with the biggest scandal in its 78-year history.

Rewarding Failure - Volkswagen CEO To Receive $32 Million Pension

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Last week, I tweeted the following with regard to my prediction about what would happen to the Volkswagen CEO after pretty much destroying the company's reputation due to the emissions cheating scandal:

CEO will be fired and receive a $150 million exit package with a new free car every year for life.

— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) September 18, 2015

It didn't take long for crony capitalism to kick in. You know, where the most destructive and inept members of society are consistently rewarded for failure. Bloomberg reports the following:

Martin Winterkorn, engulfed by a diesel-emissions scandal at Volkswagen AG, amassed a $32 million pension before stepping down Wednesday, and may reap millions more in severance depending on how the supervisory board classifies his exit.

After Winterkorn disclosed Wednesday that he had asked the board to terminate his role, company spokesman Claus-Peter Tiemann declined to comment on how much money the departing CEO stands to get. Volkswagen's most recent annual report outlines how Winterkorn, its leader since 2007, could theoretically collect two signif ...

Global Easing Bonanza Continues As Norway, Taiwan Cut Rates To Spur Struggling Economies

On several occasions this year we've profiled Norway where the central bank, much like the Riksbank in neighboring Sweden, is walking a fine line between keeping rates low to support the economy (not to mention remain competitive in the global currency wars) and being mindful of the effect low rates have on an overheating housing market.

Like the Riksbank, The Norges Bank is in a tough spot. The property bubble quite clearly needs to be arrested but using monetary policy to rein in the housing market means leaning hawkish in a world of DM doves and that can be exceptionally dangerous especially when your economy is heavily dependent on oil and crude prices are crashing.

Indeed, the pain from low oil prices has become so acute that Norway may ultimately be forced to tap its $900 billion sovereign wealth fund in order to avoid fiscal retrenchment.

Given the above, no one was surprised (well, no one except PhD economists, most of whom got this one wrong) when the Norges Bank cut rates on Thursday, taking the overnight depo rate to a record low of 0.75%. Here's Bloomberg:

Norway's central bank cut interest rates to an all-time low and said it may ease policy further as it seeks to rescue an expansion in western Europe's biggest petroleum producer amid a plunge in oil prices.

The overnight deposit rate was lowered by 25 basis points to 0.75 percent, the Oslo-based central bank said Thursday. The move was forecast by seven of the 17 economists surveyed by Bloombe ...

Bank of England and LBMA Gold Bullion - The "London Float"

A case study of physical gold stored in London Vaults in LBMA 400 troy ounce gold bars has been undertaken by Ronan Manly, Koos Jansen, Bron Suchecki and Nick Laird.

Nick Laird has just completed a great article replete with many interesting and important charts which further illuminate the size of the "London Float" which is the working supply of gold available to meet the gold markets daily needs and huge international demand for gold today â€" especially from Germany, India and China.

The size of the "London Float" is examined and brought "out of the shadows and into the light of day".

[Please click chart to expand]

Jesse's Cafe Americain via Sharelynx

Laird concludes that there is an increasing shortage of physical gold bullion in LBMA vaults and on the COMEX due to the continuing flows of gold east to "satisfy the current rampant Asian demand".

Continue reading on the blog


Today's Gold Prices: USD 1134.45, EUR 1012.31 and GBP 742.73 per ounce.
Yesterday's Gold Prices: USD 1124.60, EUR 1010.97 and GBP 734.77 per ounce.

Frontrunning: September 24

Stocks slip for fifth straight day, euro holds steady (Reuters)

VW recall letters in April warned of an emissions glitch (Reuters)

VW Cheating Scandal Threatens to Ensnare BMW as Probe Widens (BBG)

Pope Francis set to address fractious U.S. Congress (Reuters)

Norway Cuts Rates to Record Low to Save Economy From Oil Slump (BBG)

Taiwan Cuts Rate for First Time Since 2009 as Exports Falter (BBG)

Janet Yellen to speak at UMass on Thursday (Daily Collegian)

A Big Bet That China's Currency Will Devalue Further (NYT)

Debt Relief for Students Snarls Market for Their Loans (WSJ)

Wal-Mart presses suppliers to shar ...

Futures fall sharply; Yellen speech awaited

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell sharply on Thursday as concerns about global economic growth grew and ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Global Stocks Weighed Down by Auto-Sector Woes

Most global stock markets traded lower, dragged down by losses in the auto sector.

BMW denies report about emissions manipulations

BERLIN (Reuters) - BMW said it has not manipulated emissions tests, denying a magazine report saying some of its diesel cars were found to exceed emissions standards.

Exclusive: Pivoting after failed Syngenta bid, Monsanto to build big data business

CHICAGO/KANSAS CITY (Reuters) - With its shares trading at three-year-lows since it abandoned a $46 billion bid to buy Syngenta AG last month, Monsanto Co plans to offer its shareholders a new corporate vision: a future in big data.

Stocks Tumble As Emissions Scandal Spreads To BMW; NOK Plunges On Unexpected Norway Rate Cut

Two days ago, when observing how the Volkswagen scandal could become a systemic threat to both the German and the European economies we quoted Theo Vermaelen, a finance professor at INSEAD who said "if nobody else has done it, the damage would be limited. If it looks like it's more companies, not just Volkswagen, it would be a major problem for the German car industry, and the German economy overall." We added "that's the question German investors are wrestling with: was it just one cockroach. If it was more, the ultimate outcome will (not may) be more QE from the ECB because with Europe tentative recovery also sputtering after 6 months of ECB QE, a steak through the heart of Germany's most important industry, will be just the black swan that sends Europe into a recession."

Earlier this morning it seems the case for more ECB easing is pretty much set following a report by German Autobild that BMW's X3 xDrive 20d sport utility vehicle "emitted as much as 11 times the European limit for air pollution in a road test, adding to concern that the investigation weighing on Volkswagen AG may spread to other manufacturers."

According to Bloomberg the SUV was road-tested by the International Council on Clean Transportation, the same group whose tipoff led U.S. regulators to investigate a gap between Volkswagen AG diesels' emissions in tests and on the road.

The company denied: "There is no function to recognize emissions testing cycles at BMW," the Munich-based company said in a statement in response to the report. "All emissions systems remain active outside the testing cycles" adding that BMW said that there's ...

Volkswagen boss quits over diesel emissions scandal

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday, succumbing to pressure for change at the German carmaker, which is reeling from the admission that it deceived U.S. regulators about how much its diesel cars pollute.

Exclusive: VW recall letters in April warned of an emissions glitch

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - In April of 2015, Volkswagen of America, Inc. sent letters to California owners of diesel-powered Audis and Volkswagens informing them of an "emissions service action" affecting the vehicles.

Stocks slip for fifth straight day, euro holds steady

LONDON (Reuters) - World shares fell for the fifth day running on Thursday, sliding back towards two-year lows on growing unease about global growth, while emerging markets continued to gnaw at investor confidence.

Toshiba in white goods deal with China's Skyworth; Skyworth shares jump

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp said it would sell stakes of 5 percent each in two white goods manufacturing units to China's Skyworth Digital Holdings - a move that comes amid a revamp of its operations in the wake of a $1.3 billion accounting scandal.

Early Headlines: Asian Stocks Subdued, LNG Powered Ships, Eurozone Looking Stronger, Smog Cops Brought Down VW, China Diesel Surplus, Canada Exports Surge And More

Written by John Lounsbury

Early Bird Headlines 23 September 2015

Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.


Irrigation Myths - What Seems Obvious Is Not

Written by Sig Silber

Irrigation is the world's largest water user in dry regions. Irrigation is an important contributor to food security and for maintaining livelihoods in many of the world's rural arid places. Moreover, with growing evidence of climate variability and change, policy choices affecting irrigation will be deliberated with great care in the search for flexible measures for adapting to drought and climate while sustainably protecting food security.

Ward Article Myths

Cisco joins flurry of U.S.-China tech partnerships

BEIJING (Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc said Thursday it would form a joint-venture with Chinese server maker Inspur to sell networking and cloud computing products in China, where the Silicon Valley firm faces political pressure and declining sales.

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