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09Mar2016 Pre-Market Commentary: US Futures Fractionally Higher, WTI Crude Trending Up From Support, US Dollar Melting Up, Investor Global Financial Worries Remain

Written by Gary

US stock future indexes are fractionally higher this morning (+0.5%). European markets are in the green while Asian markets closed sharply down. WTI crude rose off yesterdays support level to trend upwards in lieu of OPEC 'freezing output' talks. However, investors remained wary of weakness in the global economy, led by China. Markets are expected to open higher, followed my a 'morning dip'.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are broadly higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 1.27% while France's CAC 40 is up 1.21% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.70%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

BMW 2015 results beat as dividend proposal lags

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German carmaker BMW reported a better than expected operating profit on Wednesday thanks to healthy sales of high-margin sports utility vehicles, but disappointed on the dividend.

Valeant gives Pershing Square a seat on its board

(Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc , under scrutiny for its accounting and business practices, said it had given shareholder Pershing Square Capital Management a seat on its board and added two additional directors.

Oil prices above $40, European shares bounce back

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices rose above $40 a barrel on Wednesday, helping lift European stock markets back towards recent one-month peaks and taking the edge off global growth concerns for now.

Qatar Air says Pratt & Whitney engines not adequately tested

BERLIN (Reuters) - The head of Qatar Airways kept up pressure on U.S. engine maker Pratt & Whitney over delays and technical problems on Wednesday, saying engines for its Airbus A320neo aircraft had not been adequately tested.

Oil prices rise as big producers plan to discuss output

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices broke above $40 a barrel on Wednesday, driven by anticipation that the world's largest exporters may agree as soon as this month to freeze output, which could accelerate a decline in the largest global build in unwanted crude in years.

Futures rise as crude prices rebound

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Wednesday, tracking a rise in oil prices, even as investors remained wary of weakness in the global economy, led by China.

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia seeks $6-8 billion bank loan to shore up state coffers

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is seeking a bank loan of between $6 billion and $8 billion, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, in what would be the first significant foreign borrowing by the kingdom's government for over a decade.

Liquor baron Mallya, under pressure from banks, leaves India

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya, under pressure from banks to repay more than $1 billion of debt owed by his collapsed airline, left the country last week, a lawyer for the lenders told the country's top court.

Forget fracking. Choking, lifting latest efforts to stem U.S. shale bust

(Reuters) - Something is awry in the beleaguered U.S. shale patch: older wells, which normally gush oil or natural gas in their first few months before rapidly depleting, are not petering out as quickly as they should.

"Output Freeze A Joke", China Demand To Fall, And Other News That Should Be Moving Oil

In this bipolar market, where only momentum, liquidity, technicals and short squeezes matter, as well as the occasional kneejerk reaction to a flashing red headline (usually some lie out of Venezuela or Nigeria about an imminent OPEC meeting which has not even been scheduled), one thing that no longer seems to have an impact on prices is actual news and fundamentals. So to help those who are blindly following the price of oil as an indicator of what is happening, here is a brief recap of the main news and research reports that should be impacting where oil trades today, but almost certainly won't.

Among today's key highlights compiled by Bloomberg we learn that JBC Energy doesn't expect China to maintain record crude imports seen in Feb. as refinery maintenance, elevated storage impact. FGE says proposed producer accord to freeze output a "joke", while Deutsche Bank says "fading oil demand may hamper price recovery."

Here are the top stories via Bloomberg:

JBC Energy

China probably can't maintain Feb.'s record crude imports amid refinery maintenance, storage capacity limitations

Feb. imports likely were boosted by œcontinued weakness in outright prices, higher crude runs at teapot refineries

Facts Global Energy chairman Fereidun Fesharaki

Deal to cap crude output at record œa joke ; production freeze is œnonsense

Libya can boost output to 1.2m b/d, taking prices down to $20/bbl

CNPC Chairman Wang Yilin

Current $30-40/bbl oil price not sustainable; $50-60 a œreasonable range

Co. drafting development plans for long-term low oil price environment

Bloomberg story

Oil producers slow to add hedges as they wait for higher prices

As prices continue to rise, œwe should see producer hedging accelerate, says BNP Paribas ...

"Israel Must Be Wiped Off The Face Of The Earth": Iran Launches Missiles Inscribed For Netanyahu

On Tuesday, Tehran demonstrated its œdeterrent capabilities by launching several mid-range ballistic missiles.

In a show of force dubbed œThe Power of Velayat (a nod to the Republic's religious doctrine), Iran tested what looked like several medium-range Qiam-1s, missiles based on the Shahab of which Iran has hundreds stashed in underground storage facilities.

œDefensive or no, the tests obviously fly in the face of western sanctions and underscore the extent to which Tehran deeply mistrusts its regional rivals in Israel and Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday, the IRGC tested more missiles and this time, they had a name on them - literally.

œIran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) test-fired two ballistic missiles on Wednesday morning that it said were designed to be able to hit Israel, defying a threat of new sanctions from the United States, Reuters reports. œThe IRGC fired two Qadr missiles from northern Iran which hit targets in the southeast of the country 1,400 kms (870 miles) away, Iranian agencies said. The nearest point in Iran is around 1,000 km from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Here are the visuals:

Frontrunning: March 9

Angry White Males Propel Donald Trump "and Bernie Sanders (WSJ)

Trump Beats Back Attacks and Tightens Hold on Primary Race (BBG)

Fed Likely to Stand Pat on Rates, Keep Options Open for April or June (Hilsenrath)

Draghi Stimulus Fails in Stock Market as Swings Match 2008 (BBG)

Sabine Oil wins pipeline ruling in a blow to pipeline operators (Reuters)

U.S. Officials Propose Test Program Aimed at Lowering Medicare Drug Costs (WSJ)

Death of a Shale Man: The Final Days of Aubrey McClendon (BBG)

North Korea's Kim says country has miniaturised nuclear warheads (Reuters)

China May Face Japan-Like Slump Unless Yuan Weakens, KKR Says (BBG)

Saudi Arabia seeks $6-8 billion bank loan to shore up state coffers (Reuters)

Manipulation or Brilliant Trade? The Curious Case of Don Wilson (

Gold Could Surge To $8,000/oz On Negative Interest Rates - Lassonde

The gold bull market has returned and gold could surge over 1,000% to $8,000 per ounce in the coming years on ZIRP and NIRP according to legendary gold investor and industry insider Pierre Lassonde.

Pierre Lassonde on BNN

Gold prices are heading higher, much higher and he is "very sure" that the five-year bear market for gold is over and we are at the beginning of a new bull market, the gold insider told leading Canadian business channel, BNN.

The primary reason for his very bullish outlook for gold is negative interest rates and the $7 trillion in bonds that now have negative yields:

œOne of the big knocks on gold is that you have to pay to hold it, Lassonde said. œNow even bonds have a negative carry.

He also believes that the Dow Gold ratio suggests much higher gold prices:

During strong gold bull markets, the price of gold often hits a one-to-one ratio with the Dow Jones industrial average, says the chairman of Franco-Nevada Mining and former president of Newmont Mining.

That means gold could surge to US$8,000 an ounce or even higher, he says.

œIn 1980 gold was at US$800 and th ...

Stocks Rise as Investors Look Ahead to ECB Decisions

Global stocks rose as commodity prices stabilized and investors hoped for further easing measures from the European Central Bank.

China, Fighting Money Exodus, Squeezes Business

Chinese regulators, trying to slow a money exodus, are making life tougher for companies and investors that need to trade yuan for dollars to do business.

Fed Likely to Stand Pat on Rates, Keep Options Open for April or June

Amid uncertainties about inflation and global growth, Federal Reserve officials are likely to hold short-term interest rates steady at their policy meeting next week but keep open options to move in April or June.

Is The Islamic State In Its Death Throes Or Deadlier Than Ever?


-- this post authored by Scott Stewart

On Feb. 28, the Islamic State launched a complex attack involving three vehicle bombs and an armed assault against an Iraqi security forces barracks in Abu Ghraib, a suburb of Baghdad only about 29 kilometers (18 miles) from the center of the Iraqi capital. Since the attack, many journalists have questioned whether the Islamic State is really being damaged by coalition airstrikes, and some have even suggested that the group may be stronger than ever.

Amazon reaches air cargo deal with Air Transport Services Group

The air cargo company will help deliver Amazon's products to customers across the U.S.

Deep Dive: Unlikely stock market winners: oil companies with little debt

Industry survivors such as Helmerich & Payne and Exxon Mobil have risen as much as 29% in the past two months, writes Phil van Doorn.

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