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  • DAILY US OPENING NEWS - 27/07/12
    1. Bundesbank reiterates opposition to the resurrection of ECB bond-buying; countering hopes of ECB action next week.

     

    1. French press Le Monde reports that the ECB are preparing coordinated action with European governments to buy Spanish and Italian debt; as such, markets are looking for clarity between the conflicting reports from the Bundesbank and the French press.

     

    1. Barring any European surprises, the next flashpoint for price action likely to be US advanced GDP for Q2, due at 1330BST/0730CDT.

     

    1. RANsquawk European Morning Briefing Video: http://youtu.be/PeQmV2ia9x4

    Market Re-Cap

    After a muted start to the morning, price action has picked up and become highly volatile as a number of conflicting reports on the ECB's SMP bond-buying program arise in the wake of yesterday's comments from the ECB President Draghi. At the North American crossover, European equities are trading in positive territory, with EUR/USD tipping into the green.

    Firstly, the Bundesbank commented that they have not changed their view on the ECB's purchases of government bonds, reiterating that they are problematic and create false incentives, dampening market hopes that yesterday's Draghi comments indicated an imminent resurrection of the ECB's bond-buying in the troubled Spanish and Italian debt markets. The comments prompted a sell-off across the asset classes and flight to quality. However, these moves were firmly reversed upon the release of a report from French press Le Monde, stating that the ECB is preparing coordinated action with European governments to purchase Spanish and Italian debt, with the ECB buying on the secondary market, and the EFSF/ESM buying on the primary equivalent, citing sources.

    The fluctuations in Spanish and Italian borrowing costs reflect the themes in today's trade, showing a steep incline in line with the reports from the Bundesbank, followed by a rapid pullback upon the release of the Le Monde article. At the midpoint of the European session, both Spanish and Italian 10yr yields are below their psychological levels of 7% and 6% respectively, but will be closely watched throughout the rest of the session.

    Looking ahead in the session, the key release of the day will likely be US advanced GDP for Q2, with the street looking for a decline to 1.4% annualized growth. Further commentary will also be keenly eyed as sources suggest the French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel are set to hold a teleconference due to begin at 1200BST/0600CDT as well as the German finance minister, who is to issue a statement on the Eurozone, with no time scheduled.

    Asian Headlines

    Changsha, a central China industrial city, has set out a USD 130bln investment plan that could pave the way for other local governments to launch stimulus programmes as the country's economic growth slows. (FT-More) The reports come despite the central Chinese government vowing to avoid a repeat of the stimulus seen in 2009-2010, which prompted high levels of debt and inflation.

    EU & UK Headlines

    The Bundesbank has said it still opposes giving the ESM a banking licence as giving the ESM a banking licence would be de facto financing of governments, that would be fatal and is prohibited by European treaties. (Newswires) This runs contrary to comments from ECB's Nowotny earlier in the week, wherein he said he sees an argument for giving the ESM a banking license, and the ESM gaining a bank license is an ongoing discussion.

    Spain discussed the idea of EUR 300bln bailout with Germany last Tuesday according to a Eurozone official. (Newswires) Germany did not support a full bailout idea and discussions are closed until the ESM fund is fully operational.

    Italy sold EUR 8.5bln 6-month BOTs with a bid/cover 1.614, prev. 1.61 (yield 2.454%, prev. 2.957%), following yesterday's successful 2yr zero-coupon sale, possibly laying the ground for Monday's 3-, 5- and 10-yr bond issuance from the Italian treasury. (Newswires)

    Societe Generale have changed their Bank of England interest rate forecast, now seeing a cut in November and more QE from the BoE at the same meeting. (Newswires) The next BoE MPC meeting is due next week, with all analysts surveyed currently going for unchanged at 0.5% for the rate. All analysts are expecting no change to the APF as a boost to the facility was announced just last month, and the MPC expects the announced programme of asset purchases to take four months to complete, ending in November.

    Equities

    European equities are in positive territory at the midpoint of the European trading day, after a quiet start leading to highly volatile choppy trade as newsflow came through thick and fast from various European sources. After moving lower following the reiteration of the Bundesbank's opposition to the SMP, stocks benefited from Le Monde's report, moving confidently back into the green. Oil & Gas alongside financials are seen as the top performing sectors of the day, with telecommunications the only laggard at the North American crossover. US stock futures are in positive territory alongside their European counterparts, indicating a higher open on Wall Street today.

    In individual equities news, Barclays reported their interim performance premarket today, reporting H1 adjusted pretax profit of GBP 4.2bln vs. exp. GBP 3.9bln and adjusted pretax profit of GBP 1.78bln vs. exp. GBP 1.72bln across the same period. Barclays shares are seen outperforming their UK banking counterparts and the European sector as a whole, last seen higher by over 6%.

    Elsewhere, French supermajor Total have released their earnings report, with Q2 adjusted net of EUR 2.9bln vs. Exp EUR 2.85bln and Q2 adjusted operating profit of EUR 5.9bln. Total shares currently trade higher by 3.3%. Looking ahead to today's calendar further earnings from the oil & gas sector in the US are expected, with Chevron due to report at 1330BST/0730CDT.

    FX

    EUR/USD is reflective of the choppy trade seen across the asset classes today, drifting lower following the European open as investors raised doubts over how Draghi and the ECB would deliver on their economic measures. The EUR saw severe downside following the announcements from the Bundesbank, however all losses were pared alongside the pick-up in risk appetite provided by the Le Monde article, pushing EUR/USD higher and into positive territory. The pair now trades in close proximity to a touted option expiry at the 1.2300 handle for today's 10am (1500BST) NY cut, however further price action will likely be defined by any additional European commentary and the upcoming headline GDP figure from the US.

    GBP/USD printed session highs at 1.5748, moving in tandem with the risk appetite across the asset classes on the back of the report from Le Monde, but has come off the highest levels to settle just above 1.5700 at the North American crossover. Option expiries are touted at the 1.5720 level for today's NY cut, however, likewise with the broader FX market, price action remains reliant on European commentary and USD fluctuations alongside the GDP data due shortly.

    Commodities

    WTI and Brent crude futures are on a downward trend ahead of the NYMEX pit open but do remain in positive territory as yesterday's comments from ECB President Draghi prompted hopes that the central bank may provide economic measures to boost growth. The downward trend has been observed since commentary from the German central bank countered these claims. Spot prices for gold and silver are seen mimicking the moves across the energy complex, currently sitting just below session highs.

    Oil & Gas News

     

    1. Japan are scheduled to be loading a second Iranian oil cargo backed by sovereign guarantees this week, according to two sources with knowledge of the plans.
    2. South Korea must continue to purchase Iranian crude in order to limit disruption to the country's oil supplies, according to a state adviser on energy policy.
    3. Total, Tullow Oil and CNOOC are to create a major oil pipeline to tap newly discovered reserves in East Africa, opening Western Ugandan discoveries to the global market.
    4. Iranian oil exports are unlikely to continue their decline as a result of sanctions and will probably rebound slightly as Asian buyers resume their purchases, according to SocGen analysis.
    5. Goldman Sachs have raised their NYMEX natural gas price forecast for Q3 to USD 2.90/MMBTU from their previous estimate of USD 2.10/MMBTU as the market is pricing in too much support from the weather in the US. Goldman Sachs expects natural gas contracts to trade at USD 3.75/MMBTU over the next six months.

    Corporate News

     

    1. The US government should block a bid by CNOOC for Canada's Nexen Energy until the Chinese government provides fair access to US companies that wish to invest in China, according to a top Democratic senator.
    2. Repsol have said it found Argentina's first shale oil resource before the government seized control of their YPF unit in April.


    Last price taken at: 1224BST

    **Note:
    Euro-Bund/Bobl/Schatz August options expiry (1615BST/1015CDT)
    Gold August futures expiry (1830BST/1230CDT)
    Silver August futures expiry (1825BST/1225CDT)
    Nat Gas August futures expiry (1930BST/1330CDT)
    UST August options expiry (1900CDT/0100BST)

    You can now follow real-time news headlines on the move with the new RANsquawk app available to download for free at ransquawk.com/mobile_app for Apple iPhone, Blackberry and Android users.

    Jul 27 7:54 AM | Link | Comment!
  • DAILY US OPENING NEWS - 26/07/12
    1. ECB's Draghi provides a dose of risk appetite across the asset classes with his comments that the ECB will do whatever it takes to preserve the Euro, with additional upbeat commentary on the progress of the Eurozone.

     

    1. Italian and Spanish borrowing costs sharply decline alongside the pick-up in risk appetite, but remain at highly elevated levels.

     

    1. RANsquawk European Morning Briefing Video: http://youtu.be/2pdxxNeA2nk

    Market Re-Cap

    European markets started off on a quiet note with thin volumes as equities drifted lower and fixed income gradually made gains, however newsflow rapidly picked up as commentary from the ECB President Draghi picked up wide attention. The ECB President was very upbeat on the Eurozone's future, commenting that the bank will do whatever is needed to preserve the Euro, fuelling the asset classes with risk appetite across the board. European equities as well as the single currency erased all losses and the Bund moved solidly into negative territory. As such, EUR/USD is seen comfortably back above 1.2200, with both the core and peripheral bourses making progress.

    In the wake of the moves, attention is particularly being paid to Draghi's comment that if monetary policy transmission is affected by government borrowing, it would come within the bank's policy mandate. As such, much of the focus now lies firmly on next week's policy decision from the ECB.

    Coinciding with the risk-on trade, a steep decline in Spanish and Italian borrowing costs was observed, with the Spanish 10yr yield hitting multiday lows of 7.24% and the Italian counterpart hitting 6.25%. As such, both the 10yr government bond yield spreads against the German Bund are markedly tighter on the day after spending the early hours of the session in widening territory.

    Looking ahead in the session, data flow is set to pick up, with the weekly US jobs data due at 1330/0730CDT and pending home sales following at 1500BST/0900CDT. Another slew of earnings is expected today, with investors eyeing ExxonMobil and Facebook as some of the largest releases today.

    Asian Headlines

    A Chinese statistics official has said he expects a few Reserve Requirement Ratio (RRR) cuts in the second half of this year. (Newswires) The RRR currently stands at 20%, with the previous cut coming in May of 50bps.

    China is to continue proactive fiscal policy for growth. (Xinhua)

    Japan's public pensions fund has said it has been selling JGBs as the number of people eligible for retirement payments increases. The President of the Government Pension Investment Fund has commented that payouts are getting bigger than insurance revenue, so selling JGBs is necessary to raise cash, adding that the fund must now consider investing in assets beyond conventional ones. (Newswires)

    US Headlines

    According to IMF analysis, the Federal Reserve should not consider raising its inflation target, as the moves would come at the detriment of welfare costs, with the costs outweighing the benefits of having more room to cut interest rates. (Newswires)

    RealtyTrac have said 59% of US metropolitan areas posted a higher rate of foreclosure activity in the first half of this year than the second half of 2011, according to its Midyear 2012 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report. (Newswires)

    According to Fitch analysis, US prime money market fund exposures to Eurozone banks declined 33% over June and now represent approximately 8% of the total money market fund assets. The figure is a record low for the study, which began at the end of 2006. (Newswires)

    BarCap month end extensions Treasury: +0.02y

    EU & UK Headlines

    Asset classes across Europe were relatively quiet throughout the early hours of the morning, but price action picked up alongside volumes with commentary from ECB's Draghi, speaking at the Global Investment Forum in London.

    ECB's Draghi said that the bank will do whatever is needed to preserve the Euro, adding that if premia on government borrowing hurt monetary policy transmission, they would come within the bank's mandate, prompting hopes among investors ahead of next week's rate decision. In the instant reaction, EUR/USD moved up 19 pips immediately, coinciding with Bund futures falling 17 ticks and a boost in European stock futures. Five minutes after the comment, there were further bids in EUR/USD, as well as stock futures on both sides of the pond which are now all in positive territory. Of note, traders will be mindful of these comments ahead of the ECB rate decision next Thursday.

    The ECB is studying implementing palliative measures to ease market pressure exerted on countries with more economic difficulties, specifically Italy and Spain, according to European sources. (El Pais) According to the report, the ECB is considering loosening the guarantees that banks are required to present in order to get financing as well as an assets purchase program. The piece adds that both measures, which were expected to be put in place in autumn, may be moved forward due to the heightening of market tensions.

    According to a German Finance Ministry report, the EFSF still has EUR 236.7bln left in the EUR 440bln fund. The bailout fund has disbursed a total of EUR 100.7bln of the EUR 188.3bln earmarked for Greece, Portugal and Ireland. (Newswires)

    Egan-Jones downgrades Italian sovereign rating to CCC+ from B+; on negative watch. (Newswires)

    The Belgian foreign minister Reynders has said changing the ECB's mandate to allow the financing of governments should be part of the Eurozone's current debate on deeper fiscal integration. (FT-More) Germany has long objected to such proposals dubbing such measures as 'monetary financing' so any suggestions of a mandate change for the ECB would likely face stiff opposition from German leaders.

    BarCap month end extensions Pan Euro Agg: +0.09y

    Equities

    European equities are seen firmly in the green, being led higher by the riskier financials, as appetite was boosted across the board by Draghi's upbeat Eurozone comments. European stocks were observed drifting lower alongside the EUR throughout the majority of the European morning, but with an injection of price action, moved solidly into positive territory at around 1100BST/0500CDT. US stock futures also benefited from the moves, indicating a higher open on Wall Street today.

    In individual equity news, FTSE-listed Rolls-Royce are making strong gains at the midpoint of the European session after having reported a strong set of earnings premarket today. The company reported H1 underlying profit before tax of GBP 637mln, up 7%, with underlying revenues of GBP 5.8bln, up 5% and an order book seen at GBP 60.1bln, up 4%. At the midpoint of the European session, the company's shares are seen higher by over 6.5%.

    In other stocks news, European carmakers are taking heavy losses at the midpoint of the European trading day, as Volkswagen reported a slowdown in earnings growth as domestic demand is dragged lower by the Eurozone headwinds. The company reported that its operating profits rose 3.4% in Q1, compared with an increase of 10% across Q1, dampening investor sentiment. The report has further weighed upon the other European carmarkers, with Peugeot also one of the worst performers today. Volkswagen and Peugeot shares have been seen lower by as much as 4% a piece today, despite the bullish European stock market overall.

    FX

    EUR/USD rapidly erased all of the day's losses along with the injection of risk appetite provided by the commentary from the ECB President, pushing through 1.2200 to the upside with conviction. However, a slew of option expiries throughout the 1.21-1.2200 range could prove magnetic on the approach to the 10am (1500BST) NY cut, so some desks have noted that continued upside in the pair could be capped as European crisis concerns take focus once more.

    GBP/USD reached a three day high printed at 1.5651 in the Draghi-aided incline, as a series of short squeezes, now comfortably higher than the pair was trading before yesterday's very disappointing UK GDP print. EUR/GBP is seen now trading flat on the day, with GBP outperforming the EUR against the USD, highlighting that GBP's safe haven status is still in effect despite the AAA-rating concerns after yesterday's poor growth reading.

    Commodities

    Crude futures trade higher heading into the pit open, with markets globally having found support on comments from ECB's Draghi after he noted that the ECB will do whatever is needed to preserve the Euro.

    Oil & Gas News:

     

    1. A South Korean minister said there is a high chance for Iranian crude imports to resume soon.

    Geopolitical News:

     

    1. The Iranian navy said the Strait of Hormuz will not be closed. Alireza Tangsiri, deputy naval commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards, has come out and stated that while "the enemies constantly state that the Islamic Republic of Iran intends to close the Strait of Hormuz, we say that common sense does not dictate that Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz as long as it makes use of it."
    2. Russia's Putin is sending more crude than ever to the West Coast, a region all but cut off from the biggest US oil production boom since the end of the Cold War.


    Last price taken at: 1245BST

    **Note:
    Gold August options expiry (1830BST/1230CDT)
    Silver August options expiry (1825BST/1225CDT)
    Heating Oil/RBOB/Nat Gas August options expiry (1930BST/1330CDT)

    You can now follow real-time news headlines on the move with the new RANsquawk app available to download for free at ransquawk.com/mobile_app for Apple iPhone, Blackberry and Android users.

    Jul 26 8:12 AM | Link | Comment!
  • DAILY US OPENING NEWS - 25/07/12
    1. Risk appetite observed across the board at the North American crossover, with positive earnings on both sides of the Atlantic as well as a stronger EUR soothing investor sentiment.

     

    1. Both the Spanish and German government deny reports that Spain is being pressed into seeking a full sovereign bailout.

     

    1. UK GDP registers the third consecutive quarter of negative growth for the UK, -0.7% vs. Exp. -0.2% (Prev. -0.3%).

     

    1. RANsquawk European Morning Briefing Video: http://youtu.be/c-B8MujWZTk

    Market Re-Cap.

    European equities are seen higher at the North American crossover as the asset classes benefit from an uptick in risk appetite observed in the European morning. Financials are leading the moves, closely followed by technology as all European sectors, with the exception of defensive healthcare stocks, tip into the green at the midpoint of the European session.

    The European trading day got off to a rapid start with an immediate injection of volatility at the cash equity open as comments from ECB's Nowotny arguing the case for an ESM banking licence coincided with a formal denial from the Spanish government that it is to seek a full sovereign bailout, contrary to overnight reports in El Economista. As such, EUR/USD has been observed higher throughout the morning, with European stock futures moving in tandem. The moves were further assisted by a tightening in the peripheral 10yr government bond yield spreads against the Bund, with both the Spanish and Italian 10yr yields declining through the morning alongside unconfirmed market talk of domestic accounts buying the paper.

    The Bund is seen lower at the midpoint of the day, as hefty issuance from the Bundesbank in the form of 30-year Buxls weighs, with the auction coming in with a high level of retention at 22.6%. On the lead up to the results, Bund futures were seen taking marked moves to the downside of around 32 ticks on the break of yesterday's low, so the release of the results were met with a more muted reaction.

    Growth data from the UK came as a shock, registering a much deeper contraction than street estimates at -0.7% as the additional bank holiday and poor weather took a heavy toll on GDP. As such, initial GBP weakness was observed with a spike higher in Gilt futures, however GBP/USD has recovered as the USD remains lower across the board.

    Looking ahead in the session, earnings from the US are due to be thick and fast, with a number of companies set to report ahead of the Wall Street open, followed by New Home Sales figures due at 1500BST/0900CDT.

    Asian Headlines

    The IMF have said the Chinese economy is making a soft landing, but significant downside risks remain, with inflationary pressures easing. (Newswires) The IMF added that Chinese authorities are ready to apply more stimulus if necessary, and a large external shock could prompt the country to do more on the economy. The fund additionally warned that economic data from the country may deteriorate in the near-term.

    US Headlines

    According to the WSJ the Fed are moving close to action to spur growth, bond buying, rate guidance and lower reserve rate among Fed options. (WSJ) Amid the recent wave of disappointing economic news, conversation inside the Fed has turned more intensely toward the questions of how and when to move. Central-bank officials could take new steps at their meeting next week, July 31 and Aug. 1, though they might wait until their September meeting to accumulate more information on the pace of growth and job gains before deciding whether to act.

    BarCap month end extensions Treasury: +0.02y

    EU & UK Headlines

    An unsourced report released overnight in Spanish press garnered attention ahead of the European open, stating that the German government is urging Spain to request a EUR 300bln bailout package that would give Spain two years without needing to sell debt. The first EUR 100bln tranche would come from the EFSF, and the rest of the funding would be obtained from the ESM. (El Economista) Both the Spanish and German governments have come out to vehemently deny the reports, somewhat soothing sentiment towards the periphery today.

    Moody's have lowered their outlook to negative on the provisional Aaa rating of the EFSF following its steps late on Monday to revise Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg's outlooks to negative. (Newswires) The action is to be expected as Finland is now the only

    stable Aaa rated contributor to the bailout fund and Germany holds a 29% share.

    ECB's Nowotny has said the ECB is not talking about a negative deposit rate for now, adding that he sees the argument for giving the ESM a banking license. Nowotny added that the ECB is not planning on buying more debt. (Newswires)

    UK GDP (Q2 A) Q/Q -0.7% vs. Exp. -0.2% (Prev. -0.3%)

    UK GDP (Q2 A) Y/Y -0.8% vs. Exp. -0.3% (Prev. -0.2%) (Newswires)
    The ONS have said the extra public holiday due to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and poor weather hurt Q2 GDP and led to additional uncertainty in calculating the figure during June. UK Chancellor Osborne commented that the onus is not on the BoE to provide stimulus.
    - UK Q2 service sector output Q/Q -0.1% vs. Q1 0.2%
    - UK Q2 industrial output Q/Q -1.3% vs. Q1 -1.5%
    - UK Q2 construction Q/Q -5.2% vs. Q1 -4.9%

    Bundesbank sells EUR 2.322bln 2.50% Jul '44 Bunds, bid/cover 1.5, Prev. 1.1 (Yield 2.17%, Prev 2.41%, Retention 22.6%, Prev. 19.8%)
    Bund futures dropped 32 ticks in the 1 minute leading up to the auction results, on the break of yesterday's low at 144.51 and tripping stops to the downside. On the results a muted reaction was seen although Sep Bund futures still sit down 66 ticks.
    Price action in the German 30-year was similar to that in the 10yr, bouncing on the auction result before continuing moves lower.

    At the midpoint of the European session, the 30yr yield is seen markedly higher by over 6bps as the longer-end of the curve underperforms.

    BarCap month end extensions Pan Euro Agg: +0.09y

    Equities

    Both core and peripheral European indices are making steady gains, with financials observed as the outperforming sector, closely followed by technology. Defensive healthcare stocks are the only sector seen in the red today. The moves higher follow a pick-up in appetite for the riskier assets with a stronger EUR and a tightening in peripheral 10yr government bond yield spreads assisting the moves. US stock futures indicate a higher open on Wall Street today with the exception of the NASDAQ, still weighed upon by last night's earnings miss from Apple.

    One of the strongest stocks in Europe today is the German carmaker Daimler, releasing their latest earnings report premarket today. Daimler reported Q2 net income of EUR 1.52bln vs. exp. EUR1.40bln with Q2 sales of EUR 28.9bln vs. exp. EUR 27.9bln, confirming their 2012 forecast. (Newswires) At the North American crossover, Daimler shares trade higher by over 5%.

    In individual equities news, Deutsche Bank are severely underperforming the European financials sectors following their unscheduled release late in yesterday's European session wherein they reported higher than expected non-interest expenses, being particularly weighed upon by a weaker EUR. Following this release, JP Morgan have forecast a material EPS cut from the bank as capital concerns are due to linger after they report Q2 earnings. At the midpoint of the European session, Deutsche Bank's shares trade lower by over 5%.

    FX

    GBP/USD has seen volatile price action, with aggressive weakening in the GBP currency following a weaker advanced Q2 GDP print which came in at -0.7% vs. the expected -0.2%. This caused a 50 pip move to the downside in the pair, and with weakening the GBP, EUR/GBP in parallel saw strengthening following the reading. Despite this, cable has largely recovered with talk of a UK clearer on the bid at the lows. It is worth of note that there is an option expiry in close proximity at 1.5500 for the 10am NY cut (1500BST).

    EUR/USD has been seen strengthening throughout most of the European session, shrugging off continued concerns over the periphery as the Eurozone crisis becomes a headline driver once again. A large sized bid was seen on the European cash open of 40 pips, attributed to several reasons but notably comments from ECB's Nowotny who said that the ECB is not talking about a negative deposit rate for now, and he sees an argument for giving the ESM a banking license. The pair trades just off session highs and near an option expiry at 1.2150 for the 10am NY cut.

    AUD/USD has been supported in today's session with weakness in the USD-Index (-0.5%). Overnight data in the form of CPIs showed slightly lower readings than forecast but comments from Australian Treasurer Swan who noted the economy is robust did add to support in the AUD currency. Strength in commodity prices also gave strength to the currency throughout the session so far.

    Commodities

    WTI and Brent crude futures are seen higher ahead of the NYMEX pit open after spending the much of the overnight Asian session in negative territory as last night's API inventory figures report a US stockpile gain. WTI and Brent futures have made progress throughout the European morning with a weaker USD index and modest risk appetite across the asset classes. The next flashpoint of activity for the energy complex will be the US DOE oil inventories due at 1530BST/0930CDT today.

    Oil & Gas News:

     

    1. Japanese imports of LNG rose 6.7% in June on a yearly basis, while crude purchases increased 5.2% over the same period, according to data released from the Japanese finance ministry.
    2. The smallest OPEC member Ecuador expects to increase average oil production to 530,000BPD in 2013, up from a target of 510,000BPD this year.
    3. National Iranian Oil Co. will introduce a new generation of buy-back contracts 'soon' for its oil and gas fields to attract foreign and domestic investors, according to unsourced reports.
    4. SocGen have reaffirmed their forecast for Brent crude at USD 97-98/BBL for the rest of the year, even as they note that changes in risk appetite heighten price volatility.

    Geopolitical News:

     

    1. Iran is proceeding with its controversial nuclear activities by activating hundreds more uranium enrichment centrifuges, according to the Iranian President in state media reports. The President added that there are currently 11,000 centrifuges active across the country's enrichment facilities.

    Last price taken at: 1237BST

    You can now follow real-time news headlines on the move with the new RANsquawk app available to download for free at ransquawk.com/mobile_app for Apple iPhone, Blackberry and Android users.

    Jul 25 8:03 AM | Link | Comment!
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